In a way, I wonder if it matters, since so many people seem to vote early absentee nowadays, even weeks before the actual election. That's a bad trend, frankly. Front loaded primaries, front loaded elections, before all the facts can come out.
I also wonder if it matters anymore, because California will be politically constipated for some time. We are still living with the Betrayal of 2006. Last time around in 2006, when I said that if Conan the Pseudo-Republican didn't help his fellow Republicans win offices, and especially help Tom McClintock win Lieutenant Governor, we could stick a fork in California and turn it over, I meant it.
And what was worse, Ah-nold stabbed Tom in the back, along with the rest of the California Republican Party candidates. At least McClintock has moved to Roseville and will pick up the 4th Congressional seat from which John Doolittle is retiring.
But oh well, let's get on with the initiatives. Since time is short and California seems increasingly doomed, I will make it quick:
PROPOSITION 1A -- High Speed Choo-Choos -- Oh Hell NO.
Sadly, Governor Ah-nold has championed an orgy of bond spending that probably cannot be paid for. The long-expected budget crisis has formed up in detail over the last few months. Gov. Ah-nold Schwarzenegger has tap-danced his way to the end of the fantasy budget road. He managed to sidestep a lot of potholes, but his luck ran out: the subprime "Affirmative Action Mortgage" meltdown punctured the housing bubble and revealed the disastrous extent of California's shaky finances and a history of irresponsible choices. If there was ever a time to engage in another Grand Project, that time is NOT now.
Moreover, the "Rebuttal To Argument In Favor of Proposition 1" says it well:
"Californians’ problem is not getting from San Francisco to Los Angeles, it’s getting into work each day."
How many local transportation projects go begging as it is?
Even if you are a "rail fan", simple actions like double tracking the entire routes of the existing Altamont Commuter Express, Capitol, Pacific Surfliner, Metrolink and San Joaquin trains would speed up service--at a fraction of the price of a high speed choo-choo project. Currently, existing passenger trains often have to pull onto single track sidings to let the freight trains go by, with delays of up to one half hour as a result.
PROPOSITION 2 -- Farm Animal Confinement Standards -- NO.
Bambi-ism. Run. Amok.
PROPOSITION 3 -- Children's Hospital Bond Act -- Oh Hell NO.
As noble as Children's Hospitals are, this ignores the obvious problem: The hordes of poor illegal aliens crowding the public hospitals. If the illegals weren't there, this wouldn't be a problem. And building more Children's hospitals is only an encouragement for more of those "anchor babies".
We have seen the Mexifornia future and it doesn't work. An economy built on the "cheap" labor of millions of illegal aliens, which isn't cheap once we factor in the billions of tax dollars in welfare and other public service costs, is not a viable system.California's deepening budget hole from berserk spending, no thanks to the Governator, simply cannot be papered over any longer. The massive costs of supporting a massive unskilled and often illegal foreign population now threaten existing basic services, let alone floating bonds to provide for new ones.
PROPOSITION 4 -- Parental Notification and Waiting Period for Minor's Abortions -- Oh Hell YES.
This proposed law has been rewritten several times over, in order to (1) be text neutral and not have a pro-life / anti-abortion implication, and (2) allow more contingencies for abusive, neglectful or otherwise nasty parents. This proposition is the latest draft to go up for a vote. And again, I will say YES, although I am by no means anti-abortion, for one simple reason: Who raises your kids?
It is absolutely ridiculous that a child can get an abortion without parental consent but they can not receive any other type of medical treatment, except life saving treatments of course, without parental consent. Who raises your kids--you or Planned Parenthood? As a parent YOU have the responsibility to provide all necessary care for YOUR children and YOU have the right to know if they request medical care. 30 other states already have these sorts of laws, with no dead teens from back alley abortions or abused teen daughters or other such nonsense (and don't tell me they all went to get abortions in the other 20 states).
Perhaps the most arrogant, condescending and insulting argument comes from the opponents:
"In the real world, LAWS LIKE THIS CAN’T FORCE TEENS TO TALK TO THEIR PARENTS...."
But in the real world, laws like this CAN HELP PROSECUTE STATUTORY RAPE OFFENDERS.
But hey, let's hear it for Planned Parenthood -- helping statutory rapist sugar daddies get nubile and naive underage poon-tang without consequence in California.
PROPOSITION 5 -- NonViolent Drug Offenses. Sentencing Alternatives -- NO.
While the idea of treating drug users rather than incarcerating them seems appealing at first, the realities are these:
--This proposition also shortens the penalties for dealers, not just users. And while we want to help drug users realize that "drugs are not the answer", the fact is that for dealers, drugs ARE the answer, if the question is: "How can I make money quickly without working too hard?" or "How can I get high as a kite?"
--Ostensibly, incarcerating drug offenders IS a way to get them treatment, in the sense that they are supposed to be in a controlled environment where they can get away and withdraw from the drugs in the first place. It's like being committed, after all.
--If non-violent druggie prisoners are getting abused by the nastier inmates, then we need lower security prisons just for druggies, or prisons where the more troublesome prisoners are sent to. That's why Pelican Bay opened.
--If prisons are overcrowded, well, there's that illegal alien problem again. Our inability to honestly confront this has a lot to do with the ease with which drugs come across the border as well.
This proposition has noble intentions, but is not realistic.
PROPOSITION 6 -- Police and Law Enforcement Funding -- YES.
While this proposition does mandate minimum spending, and some may oppose it for that reason, the fact remains. What is the first and foremost priority of Government? Think hard.....
That's right, public safety and law enforcement.
Schools? Roads? Hospitals? Transit? Libraries? Civic Centers? All of won't amount to anything and will be destroyed if law enforcement isn't there. Those idiots with the slogan "Schools Not Jails" are fools--you can't have effective schools without safe order in the neighborhood first.
One can fault this initiative for again ignoring the illegal alien problem, as rootless young men are a disproportionate source of the crime problems. But then again, law enforcement could be applied to stopping them from coming in, yes? If there was the political will....
PROPOSITION 7 -- Mandatory Renewal Energy Generation -- Oh Hell NO.
Pardon my language but quit f***ing with market forces. Tax and Rebate Incentives for solar? Sure! But DON'T mandate, unless a "green" version the Synfuel Disaster of the 1970's and the 1980's really appeals to you.
And don't you just know that the same sort of people who support this initiative are the ones who keep hydroelectric dams like Auburn -- which are cheap and clean renewable energy and are practical for the power grid--from being built?
PROPOSITION 8 -- Defending Marriage and Stopping Judicial Tyranny -- Oh Hell YES.
I was wrong--I cant make this one quick. This one requires an essay. See my forthcoming "Election Manifesto, Proposition 8" for analysis and argument. For now, let me go on to:
PROPOSITION 9 -- Parole changes -- YES.
See arguments for Proposition 6 above.
PROPOSITION 10 -- Corporate Welfare for Alternative Fuel Vehicles -- Oh Hell NO.
See arguments for Proposition 7 above, and add the downsides to corporate welfare too.
PROPOSITION 11 -- Redistricting -- YES, with reservations.
One has only to look at the way Senate and Assembly districts are currently drawn on a map to support this. No respect of existing city and county boundaries at all. Districts are created by a mixture of partisan gerrymandering (favoring Democrats) and "sweetheart gerrymandering" (favoring incumbents of either party).
The proposed Citizens Redistricting Commission might be better as an elected body.
In fact, districting was the real problem that led to the misguided "Total Recall" of 2003. The real problem with California wasn't Gray Davis. It was, and still is, a cabal of wretched State Senate and Assemblycritters, gerrymandered to stay in power no matter what, also protected by incumbency and by bogus "Campaign finance reform" laws that make it difficult for challengers.
The mostly moderate Gray Davis actually used to restrain these radicals with vetoes, before his political instincts deserted him and he decided to sign off on drivers licenses for illegal aliens, which was what set the recall drive in motion. A good many recall proponents--among them the NRA and the Campaign for California Families--didn't expect the recall to actually happen, but they wanted to use the threat of recall to push Governor Davis rightward and restrain with vetoes the more leftist of the gerrymandered Democrats.
Samples of these wretched gerrymandered radicals are Don Perata in the East Bay, Fabian Nunez (and the rest of the "Reconquista" politicians) in LA, Marco Firebaugh in Fresno, and Sheila Kuehl in San Diego. I could include Mark Leno in San Francisco, but his district isn't gerrymandered; the problem there is San Francisco, plain and simple.
To fight all of this, too many California Republicans, myself included, thought that we could short-circuit the process of fighting district by district and initiative by initiative. All we needed, so we thought, was a charismatic Governor to face the State Senate Soviets and Assembly Apparatchiks down, and so we got one--one who has led us right over a cliff. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it....
Ultimately, I wish California and all the other states need to go back to having the State Senates represent counties within the states, just as the US Senate represents states within the Union, and overturn the Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims, an abuse of the Warren Court. Justice Harlan was right. But that's not going to happen.
Proposition 12: Cal-Vet renewal -- YES, this always passes, although I give Kudos to Gary Wesley, Esq. who I think writes rebuttals for these initiatives when no one else will, as a sort of open minded "Devil's Advocate".