2010 Election – How I’ll Vote

Every 2 years I publish my personal voter guide, here’s the 2010 edition.

12th Congressional District (my district)

The only choice is Jackie Speier and all I can say is that she is no Tom Lantos (RIP). I’ll leave the box unchecked.

Proposition 19: Legalize marijuana possession

How I’ll Vote: NO

Why:

I really don’t care about legalizing marijuana… while we are at it we should lower the legal drinking age to 18 in an effort to deal with binge drinking. My opposition to this proposition is not ideologically based on opposition to marijuana… I oppose this measure because of the cynical way it’s being sold, which is that the financial rewards of taxing it will be a boon for the state. I disagree.

First and foremost, this proposition specifically restricts the state from taxing and regulating marijuana transactions, instead giving this power exclusively to local counties and cities. However, in exchange for the power to tax, local agencies must establish a regulatory regime that goes well beyond the transactional aspect, for example enforcing THC limits, and when revenue from taxes does not meet the expenses incurred by regulatory enforcement then the taxpayers must cover the deficit.

If you want to get high that’s your business but when I am on the financial hook for making sure you get the “good stuff” then it’s my business and no thanks.

Prop 20: Remove redistricting responsibilities from the Legislature

How I’ll Vote: YES

Why:

Gerrymandering of districts has been a disaster for California, it’s the primary reason why even in a historically anti-incumbent election season fewer than 20% of California’s seats will turn over. The legislature has disregarded what is good for a democracy in favor of what is good for them.

Prop 21: Vehicle surcharge for state parks

How I’ll Vote: NO

Why:

Have you registered a car in California lately? It’s already massively expensive when you add the registration fee, the license fee, surcharges, and all the other nickel-and-dime attachments. Sales tax and registration costs add over 12% to the cost of a new vehicle and it needs to stop.

I love CA parks and frequent them often but the park system in California is an example of what happens when a bureaucracy becomes entrenched… it becomes entitled. Do with less, I say.

Prop 22: Prohibits the State from taking transportation funds for other purposes

How I’ll Vote: NO

Why:

I get it… gas tax money and transportation money should be used for the intended purposes. The fact that the Legislature can channel that money into other budget priorities and not be held accountable is a problem, ’nuff said.

As much as I love the intent of this proposition the fact remains that we, the voters, send people to Sacramento to do a job and increasingly we, the voters, are micromanaging the process. It’s not helpful. Don’t like what the Legislature is doing, then I say vote out your local Assembly representative and State Senator. That will send a far more pointed message to Sacramento than putting locks (that will end up being circumvented anyways) on the piggy bank.

Prop 23: Suspends AB32

How I’ll Vote: YES

Why:

AB32 is bad law and as I wrote about at length here, California’s future depends on Californians having jobs. AB32 will have disastrous consequences for the state’s economy and an ongoing series of scandals involving CARB only reinforces my view that this is a rogue agency that is no longer acting in the interests of Californians broadly.

Prop 24: Repeals legislation allowing businesses to lower tax liabilities

How I’ll Vote: NO

Why:

The California Teachers Association is behind this proposition… so basically my view is that if the CTA is in favor of something then it’s bad for me.

Prop 25: Majority vote to pass the budget

How I’ll Vote: YES

Why:

This is a measure I am voting in favor of for admittedly cynical reasons. The CA budget process is broken but not because of how many vote it takes to get it passed… and it won’t get fixed if legislators stop getting paid their salary until it is passed. The problem, as I see it, is that there is no political penalty that legislators pay as a result of poor performance. With their districts secured and the ability to blame the other side, they keep getting re-elected. If what it takes to achieve real political overhaul in Sacramento is a budgeting process that will most certainly result in more fiscal dysfunction, then maybe that isn’t a bad thing.

Prop 26: 2/3 vote for taxes AND fees

How I’ll Vote: YES

Why:

I realize that my position on this may seem at odds with what I just wrote about Prop 25, but hear me out. Basically I am frustrated, as many people are, with state and local governments backdooring tax increases on me by calling them fees. More significantly, by giving state agencies the power to levy fees we have created a system where agencies not directly accountable to voters have the power to tax and that’s not fair or democratic. The power to impose fees on the citizenry needs to be checked, this measure is a step in the right direction.

Prop 27: Eliminate the State Commission on Redistricting

How I’ll Vote: NO

Why:

This proposition is a direct assault Prop 20 and if passed will allow politicians in Sacramento to retain the power to draw district boundaries and perpetuate the status quo. If you are in favor of Prop 20 then you are by default against Prop 27.

UPDATE:

Someone commented that I neglected to cover the Whitman/Brown and Fiorina/Boxer races. The idea that Brown could become governor again is terrifying to me but Whitman really fails to connect and on top of that she displays the worst political tendencies when it comes to taking a stand on issues… basically she is like Schwarzenegger, she talks a big game but doesn’t seem to have the political will to see it through. Boxer is a truly disappointing Senator having spent 18 years representing California in the U.S. and with nothing to show for it. Fiorina can do better.

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