NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this are purely my own. I simply want to expound upon my political thoughts regarding this year’s election, and I hope that there’s someone out there that finds this of interest.
If you’d like to read about the third party candidates, go here. If you’d like to hear my thoughts on the Republican candidate, go here. If you’re interested in knowing more about my thoughts on the Democratic nominee, go here.
But for now, let’s take a closer look at Claifornia’s propositions and measures, shall we? Since I am from San Diego, my ballot may be a little different than yours.
Measure A: The SANDAG Tax
It sucks when you already voted to pay for something and then the project goes over budget, but that’s what happened here. It’s a half a cent tax increase that will fund the Purple Line Trolley and a coaster to Del Mar.
MY VERDICT: I say we do it. SANDAG is already committed to finishing the projects but do not know how they can fund it otherwise. Let’s save them the embarrassment of hosting a bake sale.
Measure B: The Lilac Hills Ranch Development
We have a housing crisis in San Diego, and this measure promises to help fix it.
MY VERDICT: Hell no! The only reason this is on the ballot is because the people behind the measure weren’t able to put it through the traditional way due to the fact that they would directly benefit from the real estate venture. AND they cut all of the regulatory provisions before they put it on the ballot. AND it’s on environmentally protected land. AND the majority of the space will be used for retail. Hell to the no.
Measure C: The Chargers’ Stadium Plan
MY VERDICT: As Tony Hawk said, “There’s no such thing as a convadium.” This is corporate welfare that would in no way benefit the tax payers.
Measure D: The Citizens’ Plan
This would raise the city’s hotel tax rate in an effort to pay for (part of) Measure C. Chargers fans love the idea of charging (pun) fans of rival teams. Mwahahaha! I can hear them twisting their mustaches now!
MY VERDICT: @#$% you.
Measure E: Removing City Officials
This measure would make it easier to remove and replace elected city officials who’ve committed crimes or other wrongdoing.
MY VERDICT: Well, we’ve had a pretty long string of bad mayors in San Diego. The current status quo requires death, resignation, loss of voter eligibility or a recall. This would allow for a special removal election. Seems like a good thing in our corrupt city.
Measure F: Job Security for Deputy City Attorneys
Basically city attorneys can be fired for no reason within the first two years of getting hired. This is much different than any other civil position, and this would require “good cause” for terminations.
MY VERDICT: No one is against this one. It seems like a no-brainer.
Measure G: Changes to the Citizens’ Review Board
There is already a board that review cops, but this changes their name and gives them the authority to review police involved shootings.
MY VERDICT: El Cajon was going to put this into place BEFORE the shooting last month, but they decided to put it on the ballot. This is a good way to give the community a voice and to keep things calm when there is actually no wrong-doing by the police.
Measure H: Changes to the City’s Purchasing and Contracting Process
Right now if there is a project that will require private contractors, the governing body has to publish an ad in the paper 10 days before filtering bids. This would put an end to the ad in the paper and would simplify things back to standard disclosure.
MY VERDICT: No one is opposing this, and newspapers? Seriously?
Measure I: San Diego High’s Balboa Park Location
There’s a charter school in Balboa Park. No, really, there is. They had a 50 year lease, and it’s up. This is to renew that contract.
MY VERDICT: You can’t build a new school by next year, can you?
Measure J: Money for Mission Bay and Other Parks
Right now Mission Bay Parks make a lot of money and other municipal parks don’t. This would allow the city to spread the money around and make repairs where needed in a more timely manner.
MY VERDICT: I LOVE Balboa Park and would like to see more money going there. I mean, they didn’t even have the resources for their centennial last year. Come on!
Measure K: Forcing a November Runoff
Right now if a candidate wins by a margin of more than 50% in the June primaries for city council, they win. This would put the two top competitors on the November ballot instead.
MY VERDICT: This one is split straight down party lines. The Republicans, who tend to win in June, say no. The Democrats, who tend to lose in June, say yes. It seems pretty silly to me, but whatever. Vote yes? Why not give the people more of a voice?
Measure L: Voting on Initiatives and Referendums in November
More people vote in November than in June. If something is going on the ballot, this would put it on the November ballot automatically.
MY VERDICT: This comes from the same place as K. I have to ask, what’s the point of having a June ballot if nothing is on it but primaries that don’t even matter until November? You know what? I change my verdict on K. Just do away with June as a month!
Measure M: Raising the Cap on Affordable Housing Units
Right now if you want to expand low income housing, you have to put it before the voters. This would just allow city planners to make that decision without the need for a vote.
MY VERDICT: Again, we are in a housing crisis. Yes please.
Measure N: Taxing Marijuana Businesses
If (likely when) Prop 64 passes, this would allow the crop to be taxed.
MY VERDICT: Every pothead I know says, “Legalize it. Just think of how much the government would get in taxes!” Don’t make every pothead I know into a liar. Vote yes.
51 – $9,000,000,000 for schools. That’s a billion with a b. It adds $500M of debt every year to the budget, it seems to bank roll construction companies, and it won’t go to the neediest school districts.
52 – Stipulates that legislators cannot divert funds away from Medi-Cal, thus ensuring that Medi-Cal and hospitals get the money. No one is opposed to this. Vote yes.
53 – Requires state projects over $2B to be approved by voters. This one is complicated as well. Basically a public works project (a bridge or a hospital) is paid for by the government and then paid back by the user (toll or patient). The high speed rail (which may be the target this bill is intended to take down), for example, costs a lot of money and should be paid for by ticket sales, but if it fails, eventually the tax payer is on the hook. So this would be a community accountability provision to theoretically stop government officials from “signing blank checks.” However, there are a couple of problems. 1) Local projects would be on the state’s ballot (ie San Francisco projects voted on by all of California). 2) There are no provisions for emergency spending, so they would also have to go on a ballot before the project could be started.
54 – Requires that bills are posted for three days on the internet before voting. Oh, and print. Yes, and print. Again, newspapers?
55 – There was a provision put in place for “rainy days” that was always meant to be temporary (7 years). It taxes higher income people (over $263K a year) at a marginally higher rate. Opponents of this measure argue that we shouldn’t be using income tax to fix our schools (which apparently need $9 BILLION dollars). As some papers have argued, this tax sucks, but not having the resources we need sucks worse (paraphrased).
56 – Packs of cigarettes will cost $2 more a pack, and e-cigs will have the tax too. The money will go to Medical. Looping in vapes makes sense, but this is a tax on the poor in my mind. Making a pack of cigarettes cost over ten bucks doesn’t stop addicts from reaching out for their addiction. It simply hurts their family’s budget more.
57 – Makes it easier for nonviolent offenders to get parole. But this one is more complicated than that too. 1) Nonviolent criminals can earn credits to shorten their sentence through good behavior and receive incentives such as education. 2) Juveniles won’t be able to be tried as an adult without a judge’s order. Obviously, the second is noble, but here’s the thing about the first. Rape of an unconscious person, taking hostages, and setting off a bomb with intent to injure are not considered violent crimes, according to the Penal Code.
58 – 1 in 5 students in California are not fluent in English. Right now there is a government mandate that dictates that those students are only taught in English-immersion classes so that they don’t languish in bilingual classrooms. This would allow for a variety of teaching methods rather than just one. Studies have shown that language immersion doesn’t work for every student, so this seems like a way to undo a government overreach.
59 – Pass or fail, this does nothing except express your opinion. If you hate the US Supreme Court’s verdict regarding Citizens United, vote yes. If you think political spending is free speech, vote no.
60 – THE MOST IMPORTANT vote in the country. In California, we are being asked to make a decision that will have a HUGE INFLUENCE on the entire world’s culture. I’m not talking about Prop 64, which would decriminalize recreational marijuana. That would only change California’s culture, and it’s already been done in other states anyway. Of course I am speaking of Prop 60, which would require all pornographic actors to wear condoms. The man behind this proposal is a gay rights activist with a myopic viewpoint that condoms are the method everyone should use. His reasoning for this new standard is that he doesn’t want young people to think “the only hot sex is without a condom.” He’s drawn criticism not only from the adult film actors but from other gay rights activists for his condoms only stance. In my mind, this is a definite overreach. How would you enforce this legislation? I mean, if two cops bust in on a porno shoot and announce who they are, the viewers would simply fill their palm with more lubricant and expect that things are going to go in a new, exciting, possibly kinky direction. Besides, there are other ways to fight off AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, mainly a once-a-day pill that is the primary tool for adult actors right now that our advocate thinks is a cop out. The fact that the pornographic industry is as widespread (pun) as it is and there hasn’t been an AIDS epidemic should be illustrative enough to give the industry some trust that they are self-regulating already. Lastly, and possibly most importantly, if young people are watching porn and thinking it’s “the only hot sex,” they’re going to be sorely disappointed by reality.
61 – This prop has the most campaign spending in California history, so yeah!! It’s important to note that the majority of that spending is by the pharmaceutical companies to try to get you to vote no. The intent is for this bill to save Californians money when they buy their medicine, but it’s not exactly clear how it will work. It’s actually a landmark vote, and people like Bernie Sanders are campaigning hard for it to pass. But if it will actually work is up in the air, since a lot of that hinges on how those pharmaceutical companies respond to the state’s “negotiations” for drug prices after it passes.
62 & 66 – 62 repeals the death penalty. 66 speeds it up. The one with the most votes wins. This is a heavy issue. Vote your conscience and godspeed.
63 – Requires a background check to buy ammunition. I think this came from a Chris Rock routine, didn’t it? Obviously, if you’re a 2nd Amendment person, you’ll vote no. If you’re a stereotypical Californian, you’ll vote yes and hope there’s a provision to require a background check for gluten as well. I won’t say much on this, but if you’re a Boy Scout camp and have a rifle range, I hope your kids are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent enough to pass.
64 – Legalize it. Cypress Hill will advertise it.
65 & 67 – Okay. This one is complicated. 67 is a referendum. You see, 67 bans plastic bags, and California already voted to ban them. So 67 is a revote on the issue. However, 67 would take the 10 cent tax from the bag fee and gives it to environmental funds, which currently goes to the grocery store. Here’s what you need to know. Both of these measures are on the docket, because the plastic bag companies put them there. They want you to vote No on 67 and Yes on 65. Here’s where it gets tricky. If 65 passes, it eliminates 67. In other words, if you don’t want plastic bags, you have to vote yes on 67 (to ban plastic bags) and no on 65 (to give the tax to the environment). If you want to keep plastic bags and want the money to go to the environment, vote no on 67 and yes on 65. If both pass, only 65 passes. Does that make sense?