Tomorrow is election day and time is running out to decipher the confusing ballot initiatives and to decide which candidates to support. Since I’ve already covered what I consider to be the three most interesting contests (Prop. 19, Whitman vs. Brown, and the Senate race), I decided to jot down some quick thoughts on the other contests. Propositions 20-25 are below, with more to follow tomorrow.
Prop. 20: Redistricting of Congressional Districts
An easy Yes vote for me. Two years ago, I voted for Prop. 11 which established a “citizen commission” to redraw state district lines. This proposition would do the same thing for congressional districts.
When legislatures are allowed to draw boundaries, they create seemingly incomprehensible and misshapen districts to benefit either the political party in power or to create safe seats for incumbents. Pictured below is one district in Illinois that no nonpartisan, ordinary citizen would ever find fair. Expect a full post about this phenomena known as “gerrymandering” in the near future. In the meantime, consider voting “Yes” on this proposition providing an acceptable solution.
Prop. 21: Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge To Help Fund State Parks And Wildlife Programs. Grants Surcharged Vehicles Free Admission To All State Parks. Initiative Statute
This was a very difficult choice for me, but I just can’t bring myself to support Prop. 21. I’m a big fan of protecting and funding California’s parks and beaches. I just don’t believe this is the best way to fund them. I traditionally vote against most propositions because I believe its the job of the legislature and governor to work together to pass a budget. Going straight to the voters with numerous small taxes and fees leads to budgetary messes that takes flexibility away from the legislature. “Ballot box budgeting” has many unforeseen consequences and I’d rather see the parks and wildlife programs funded in more traditional means. No.
Prop. 22: Prohibits The State From Borrowing Or Taking Funds Used For Transportation, Redevelopment, Or Local Government Projects And Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Sacramento shouldn’t be taking money away from local governments, but this is a complicated issue that shouldn’t be handled by an initiative constitutional amendment. Want to responsibly address the problem? Reignite the debate about Prop 13, the underlying cause of this bizarre budgeting. No.
Prop. 23: Suspends Implementation Of Air Pollution Control Law (Ab 32) Requiring Major Sources Of Emissions To Report And Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions That Cause Global Warming, Until Unemployment Drops To 5.5 Percent Or Less For Full Year. Initiative Statute
Doesn’t get much easier than this. NO. This proposition sponsored by the oil companies would kill the landmark climate change legislation passed 4 years ago.
Prop. 24: Repeals Recent Legislation That Would Allow Businesses To Lower Their Tax Liability. Initiative Statute
I’m a little torn on this one, but will vote No. Whether or not you think the legislation cutting business taxes was good public policy, I maintain that we shouldn’t use ballot measures to overrule the budget-making process in Sacramento. Our budget process is already a disaster. Overruling compromises in Sacramento will make it even harder to get anything done.
CHECK BACK SOON. MORE TO COME