Thursday, November 03, 2005

CA Special Election: How I'm voting

For the record, here is my completely unbiased take. Seriously, I find clarity in the meta, the larger context not usually find in the voters guide, unfortunately: where does this thing come from? what are the implications? is this part of a national agenda?

Prop. 73: The Secret Weapon to Get Out the Conservative Base Initiative.
I'm now very weary hearing of blah/blah/blah/parental notification for minors to have an abortion/blah/blah/blah. That's not what this initiative is about.

Hearing the Repubs crow that this is their 'secret weapon' caught my attention.

Doubly helpful: finding this quiet attempt to redefine the meaning of 'abortion'. Buried in the text of the proposed law
"Abortion" means the use of any means to termine the pregnancy of an unemancipated minor female known to be preganant with knowledge that the termination with those means will, with reasonable likelihood, cause the death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born.
Hey, what happened to the term 'embryo'? Sneaky. A no-brainer NO.

Prop. 74: The Confuse the Issue by Blaming and Punishing New Teachers Initiative.
In this one, I'm struck by the campaign rhetoric distilled to: let's make our schools better by putting the squeeze on the new teachers. What a very strange disconnect and insulting to boot. Do they think I'm stupid ? There are a ton of other things to change. Why pick on new teachers?

I've also been appalled by the misuse of the word 'tenure', horrible when big media papers such as the LAT inserts this term frequently in their non-editorial pages as if it's true. I suspect the term 'tenure' must be focus group derived because I've noticed it's extremely effective in getting people angry at teachers. We're seeing the development of a new urban myth which says teachers can never be fired once they get through two years of teaching. Hellllooooo: CA teachers do not get tenure. And CA teachers can get fired.

Lastly, I fear this initiative gives way too much power to the principal/administrative powers that be. I can easily see this proposed change in the education code used as a tool to keep costs down. But the larger implication: it'll destroy union membership.

Enough. 74 is a total waste of time, money and energy. I vote NO.

Prop. 75: The Let's Make Sure Corporations Destroy the People's Voice in Sacramento Initiative
Prop. 75 will ensure corporations have no effective competition for our taxpayer money in Sacramento. Knowing this is a national Norquist agenda ensures my vote. NO to Norquist.

Prop. 76: The Destroy Public Schools and Make the Governor an Emperor Initiative
This one is a three-for-one: TABOR-lite, defund public schools, and give unreasonable amount of power to cut the budget to the Governor. It's a wicked initiative with lots of nasty things embedded within which ensures lowered school funding in more ways than you can imagine. Big NO for this diabolical one.

Prop. 77: Let's get Three Retired Judges Appointed by Republican Governors to Redistrict California Initiative
Another bone-headed idea. That's a lot of power going to three judges, especially when they were Pete Wilson/Deukmejian appointees. NO, NO, and NO to those three judges. NO to the initiative.

Prop. 78: The Big Pharma's Weak Effort to Look Good Initiative

Too many drug companies backing this one. Easy NO.

Prop. 79: The Big Pharma Hates This One So There Must Be Something Interesting Going On Initiative

Big Pharma is spending way too much money trying to defeat this thing. Boy, I'd better vote YES on this one.

Prop. 80:
This is the last one and I give up. To be honest, I simply don't understand this one well enough. I'm going for a NO just because I don't know enough about it.

For the nonpartisan analysis, I pay first attention to the Legislative Analyst Office recommendation in the Voter Information Guide. Second (and the best overall resource for progressive voters) is the Alliance site.

It is disheartening we're paying for this rude and expensive abuse of the 'citizen's initiative' system. The least I can do is show up and vote.