Does this site look plain?

This site uses advanced css techniques

This entry was recreated from private emails shared with friends, so it's not as elaborated as the ones written for the web. But the writing was all contemporaneous.

Summary of positions

This shows each measure, my position, and the the result. Entries marked in gray are those that didn't go my way.

Proposition Result My Position Description / Title
Prop 32 Pass 67.2/32.8% No Veteran's Bond Act of 2000
Prop 33 Fail 38.9/61.1% No Pensions for State Legislatures
Prop 34 Pass 60.1/39.9% No Campaign Finance Reform
Prop 35 Pass 55.2/44.8% No Private Contractors
Prop 36 Pass 60.9/39.1% No Drug Treatment
Prop 37 Fail 52.1/47.9% Yes Taxes and Fees
Prop 38 Fail 71.5/29.4% Yes Vouchers
Prop 39 Pass 53.4/46.6% No School Bond Voting

Prop 32: Veterans Bond Act of 2000

I always vote against bonds, even though this one is better than most (full cost, including admin cost, paid by the vets). What does the state have to do with national defense?

My vote: No

Prop 33: Legislative participation in retirement system

Legislature participating in state PERS. No way: legislatures have enough perks as it is, so refusing to opt them into CalPERS - the excellent state retirement system - might give them some incentives to get out of office.

My Vote: No

Prop 34: Campaign Contribution Limits

This measure is attacking the problem the wrong way, and I always vote against them. The right way is to limit the power of government, which will inherently reduce the attraction to politicians and lobbyists alike.

My Vote: No

Prop 35: Use of private contractors

This measure makes it easier for the state to use private contractors, not just in limited circumstances that happens now. I am a little bit nervous about there being no requirement for competitive bidding, but on the whole I am for this.

My Vote: Yes

Prop 35: Drug Treatment

This measure says that the first two convictions for nonviolent drug charges yield treatment instead of jail. It's still on your record (i.e., it's not decriminalizing), and if you are not "with the program" (fail a test, refuse to play ball) you go right back in jail.

Never thought I would be on the same side of any issue with Maxine Waters :-)

My vote: Strong Yes

Prop 37: Taxes and Fees

Prop 37 makes it harder to call a "tax" a "fee", the latter being currently easier to get through the legislature. Generally, a fee is something you pay for a specific service (admission to a park or something at the DMV), or a fee to pay for a regulatory agency (health permit fee pays for inspections). These are all legitimate as long as the fee is in line with the cost of specific service received.

A tax is a general obligation that does not imply any specific benefit to the taxpayer. You have a very good idea what a tax is.

What the state has been doing is making fees that are really taxes. This whole thing got started by CA levying a fee on paint producers to pay for past lead poisoning, and this is not one of the valid definitions of a fee. Perhaps the purpose is a good one, but taxes have a higher bar to pass.

I am voting yes on this one, though in practice it won't make that much differnece. The legislature will say "fine, so we'll make it a real fee" by attaching regulatory burdens (like requiring paint factory inspections). This makes it mostly moot, but I still like to make it more difficult to raise taxes.

My vote: Yes

Prop 38: School Vouchers

Libertarians are usually leery of voucher programs (surprise!) because they open the door for govt. involvement in and regulation of private schools. But this one places very strong limits on the government getting involved, so I am very much for this.

My vote: Yes

Prop 39: School Bond Voting

This advertises that it's about accountability and audits, but it's really a way to reduce the vote needed for bond passage from 2/3 to 55%. No way in hell will I make it easy for them to raise your property taxes.

My vote: Strong No