Friday, October 31, 2008

How I'm voting

Take it for what it's worth.

Prop 1A- SAFE, RELIABLE HIGH-SPEED PASSENGER TRAIN BOND ACT.
-In the end, all the bond issues on this ballot are regarding the appropriate use of government funds. Yes, the California Budget is in an absolute shambles. Yes, this project is going to cost $19 billion over 30 years. Is it an appropriate use of funds in these times of economic turmoil? Of course it is. It is an absolute travesty that the state jumps into the this century with little or no idea of how to create a "next gen" urban planning transportation solution. Current plans emphasize widening freeways, creating toll roads, and building more airports, things that reflect a late 20th Century approach. California needs high speed rail, just like the North Coast needs the SMART train, the Bay Area needs BART to loop the Bay, and San Francisco needs a real subway. These projects drive the state into the next generation of transportation, urban planning, and job development. If you have a problem with government oversight, then fine, make it happen. There are plenty of examples of California transportation projects being done on the fly with good results, a good Governor could make it work. VOTE YES.

Prop 2-STANDARDS FOR CONFINING FARM ANIMALS.
-The market is already impacting the sale of all kinds of free range meats and eggs, and I think that these standards are already starting to be imposed as market driven conditions. The EU has banned pork crates (confining pigs) by 2012 and the largest pork producer in the U.S. has already agreed to phase out the same practice. While I don't agree with the treatment of CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) meats, I don't see the backbone of the needing to be impacted by more government regulation that will be gone soon enough. In the meantime, eat free range meat (it tastes better) and by eggs locally (ours are from a farm for less than grocery store prices). VOTE NO.

Prop 3-CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL BOND ACT
-While I'm sure the idea of helping children is attractive, let's remember that some money will be going to for-profit corporations to build on an already screwed up medical infrastructure. Radical change in the health care system is needed and providing government funding to a broken wheel (that keeps coming back) is not the solution. VOTE NO.

Prop 4- WAITING PERIOD AND PARENTAL NOTIFICATION BEFORE TERMINATION OF MINOR’S PREGNANCY.
-I've been in a serious argument today where a colleague insisted that if you agreed with this proposition that you must be either religious or against abortion. I'm neither. I don't see why abortion must be such an black and white topic when reasonable people can see the necessity of certain regulations on a medical procedure. Hell, a minor isn't supposed to get a tattoo without parent permission, why make a sudden exception for an abortion? Incest/Parental sexual involvement is extremely minimal in abortion cases, so you can toss that out right now. The only thing I can really find against this is the idea that people that promote this law want to end abortion, which I disagree with. Sorry, I think parents should have the right to be involved in their kids lives. VOTE YES.

Prop 5- NONVIOLENT DRUG OFFENSES. SENTENCING, PAROLE AND REHABILITATION
-A jive ass way to legalize marijuana and allow society to ignore the problems that drugs present to the community. Take it from a person that lives in a town seeped in a drug culture, rehab is an excuse, not a solution. And while I agree that we need to figure out a way to get non-violent offenders out of jail, I don't think the method is allowing addicts to take run of the community. From someone that lives in a region where this kind of thing is promoted, VOTE NO.

Prop 6- POLICE AND LAW ENFORCEMENT FUNDING. CRIMINAL PENALTIES AND LAWS.
-If this law were carved up into other propositions, I would have voted for some and rejected others. I agree that stronger laws for victim intimidation and meth possession are needed, but the funding aspect concerns me. Why the specifics targeting the anti-gang aspect? Sounds like a lot of prison money to me. VOTE NO.

Prop 7- RENEWABLE ENERGY GENERATION
-This initiative is so murky and unenforceable that it is scary. First of all, we need to realize that there is no way that major utilities will be able to produce 20% of their energy by 2010, especially in a state where environmental impact studies alone won't allow them to build anything for at least two years. Also remember that Californians love to enact the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)argument and will fight against any project that potentially kills property value. So the companies will be penalized. And while the law states that the penalty can not be shifted to consumers, I say "Good Luck" to that. It is near impossible to prove that a price increase, especially in something that is in so high of demand, is a direct result of a fine. This has disaster written all over it. VOTE NO.

Prop 8- Get's its own post

Prop 9- CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. VICTIMS’ RIGHTS. PAROLE.
-California is actually pretty up to date and pretty strict on parolees. I think that his avoids the real problem regarding crime (how do we deal with repeat offenders) while potentially increasing costs in our criminal justice system. I wouldn't mind if the victim has more say in certain parole hearings, but this is an example of trying to pass a series of laws on a population that really doesn't understand what its voting for. VOTE NO

Prop 10- ALTERNATIVE FUEL VEHICLES AND RENEWABLE ENERGY.
-Another example of how some of it works well for me, while the rest doesn't make a whole lot of sense. I wouldn't have a problem with the state spending bond money to become the next-gen capital of alternative energy. Hell, the possible economic returns for California could be enormous. But to offer millions for rebates on cars? Feed a subsidy to consumers who are already changing their driving habits (ask Ford or GM) is idiotic and a waste of money. Plus, why give people money to buy automobiles when we want them to figure out a different method of transportation? Doesn't make sense. VOTE NO.

Prop 11- REDISTRICTING.
-With all due respect, pretty much any other form of drawing districts would be better than the gerrymandered methods currently in place. The only reason that you might be against this is because of the idea that elections have consequences, and that the ability to draw congressional districts is one of those consequences. I would agree except that I think the districts should be a much more accurate representation of the region, not some manipulated geographic entity that benefits the winner. Drawing districts should not be difficult. 650,000 in an area, period. Plus, the current state legislature can't find its own ass anyway, so taking responsibility from them is a good thing. VOTE YES.

Prop 12- VETERANS’ BOND ACT OF 2008
-This is a pretty small sum of money that is actually only used if the California Veterans program can't pay to help veterans for the purchase of homes and farms. Note, the California Veterans program has totally paid for itself in the past with no direct impact on taxpayers. I see no problem with getting veterans some support (they more than deserve it), helping the economy in the process, and having a little cushion if a program that has worked in the past falls a little short. VOTE YES.
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