Contemplating a California vote — bring on the propositions!

So being the nonpartisan fellow I am, it’s nothing but propositions for me this time out — though I’m going to double check the sample ballot to make sure, as there might be local races I’ve missed (entirely possible). This gives you an idea of the fun we always have out here. If you’re wondering about the whole history of such things, this is a brief summary explaining its roots, and there’s more out there. There have been plenty of arguments about what those changes have meant, good and bad — suffice to say it’s always been a fact of life for me, and I think the first time I was specifically aware of the power of elections when I was young wasn’t Reagan’s first election in 1980 but the legendary/notorious — depending on how you look at it — Proposition 13.

So what are we facing this time out? There are seven propositions total, and while I will take the time to consider them more fully, here are some initial impressions:

  • Prop 91 — TRANSPORTATION FUNDS. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. — this one’s pretty funny because everyone’s saying to vote against it, even the people who proposed it, as you can see here. It’s a case where other action superseded this proposition, and the will of the people having been allegedly thus expressed, this whole thing is a dead letter. I might never see something like that again, so hey.
  • Prop 92 — COMMUNITY COLLEGES. FUNDING. GOVERNANCE. FEES. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE. — basically this ensures lower fees for students attending said community college system. I am of two minds, given the current precarious state of the budget in California, but ultimately I feel that ensuring cheap access to education is crucial, and that objections from taxpayers’ associations should always be taken with a heavy grain of salt. My current vote is a yes.
  • Prop 93 — LIMITS ON LEGISLATORS’ TERMS IN OFFICE. INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. — the big one this time out, since it addresses a key part of state government in its current term limit form. As the analysis explains, this grows out of a reaction to the passage of Prop 140 back in 1990 — the first time I could vote in an election, as it happens! I believe I supported the idea at the time, but I’m not positive. My feelings on this matter are ill-defined, honestly, but inasmuch as I think that there can be an allowance between ensuring someone does not treat their office as some sort of divine gift unto death and allowing for people in office to build experience and relationships that can be of the greater benefit to the state, I think that the proposition has some value, and that objections to it are not sufficient. For the moment, I vote yes, though with caveats.
  • Prop 94, Prop 95, Prop 96, Prop 97 — REFERENDUM ON AMENDMENT TO INDIAN GAMING COMPACT. — it may seem strange to lump all four together this way but, indeed, each is a specific tribe-by-tribe alteration to the compact as noted, and together allows for an overall expansion in the amount of slot machines the four tribes can offer. I have to be honest, though — the question of gambling in any form has been of little interest to me over the years as an election issue. If gambling wasn’t allowed at all in the state, I wouldn’t worry much; if it was unrestricted, I wouldn’t worry much either. On that front, they could expand all they want. The larger arguments brought to the fore — as proponents and opponents sum up here — involves questions of tax revenue, enriching tribes at the expense of poorer ones and other fairly involved issues that means for the moment I am undecided, though I think that that a plan involving a revenue stream that cannot be guaranteed is not exactly a recipe for success.

And that’s where things are for now. The vote is still some time away, so I’ll be spending more time thinking about these issues and always welcome input. Sometimes I don’t make a final decision until the day itself, and it can easily take someone else’s viewpoint to put things in a clearer perspective. Political Blogger Alliance


7 Responses to “Contemplating a California vote — bring on the propositions!”

  1. Says:

    A second opinion always helps… two mind are better than one 😉

    Thanks for the update post!

  2. in2thefray Says:

    CA elections w/ the props are always interesting. Seem a little confusing too. Good luck. On a side The 20th is coming. I hope you’re still in for the WPBA post hagwe

  3. Ned Raggett Says:

    That’s right, had almost forgotten! That’s a Sunday, should be no problem.

  4. voter Says:

    If you want to ensure cheap access to education, you need to bring down the price of textbooks and housing. Fees are a small percentage of a student’s costs. This is a stupid bill written by lobbyists. Fees should be low, but you can’t justify freezing them regardless of all other considerations (and even reducing them right now is questionable). You don’t need to listen to taxpayer’s associations–I don’t know of anyone serious who supports prop 92.

  5. Ned Raggett Says:

    Regardless of seriousness on my part, here’s a serious question for you in turn, meant honestly — how then do you propose to bring down the price of textbooks and housing? That seems like a tall order at best.

  6. Michael R Says:

    Vital… vital to know what is going on. I value your blog and opinion on the propositions. It frustrates me when people refuse to vote or get involved saying that they’re vote doesn’t count… well they are only thinking about presidential elections. Damn electorial college… I must remind them of their importance in voting for propositions. It is local and they DO make a difference. Talking to people… blogging about it… the new digital bathroom wall… just get the information out there. You’re blog informed me and helped determine my own thoughts of what propositions to vote on.

    Proposition 91 is a good idea, making sure gas tax can only go to public transportation projects, but since it is already taken into affect with Prop1A what will happen if we vote yes anyway and it wins? Do we lose? Ha… guess I’ll just vote No.

    Proposition 92 sounds good… giving cheaping unit prices to public Colleges but what about grades K-12 getting the shaft? I have a greater concern making sure that the young ones can grow up intelligent and competent first. Then they can handle the thinking needed for college. Take care of the young ones… they will then grow up smart enough to survive. Guess it might be a NO.

    Proposition 93… limiting the office term for state legislator from 14 years to 12… hell YES. It is a job not a career… move on to bigger and better things.

    Proposition 94-97… the state is in debt. We need every penny we can get to go to public services. There is no question about it. There are paranoia talks that the audits are going to be sketchy… come on this isn’t the mafia we are talking about it’s the Native American’s what have we ever done to them? Oh, right… give them the casinos. YES.

    Thank you for you blog. It has helped me decide my position… hopefully it is standing and not bending over.

    By the way… Go Obama!

  7. Ned Raggett Says:

    Thanks very much! Yeah, what matters is at least realizing that the local issues do matter and that some thought needs to be put into them — it may be less than we might like in the end, but they are there to be considered.

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