Friday, November 04, 2005

Vote on Nov 8

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, California voters have a chance to repent for voting for Schwarzenegger by offering him defeats on his ballot initiatives in a special election that he called for at a cost of 10's of millions of our dollars. He's staked his term and his reputation on this election, so how sweet will it be if the initiatives he's traveled the state advocating go down in a blaze of remorseful voter glory. Polls are showing weak support for his measures. Help make their defeat a reality by voting on Tuesday.

Below is a quick rundown of the 8 initiatives on the ballot on Tuesday and the position of the California Democratic Party on each:

Proposition 73 - Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy - Initiative Constitutional Amendment. VOTE NO

Proposition 74 - Public School Teachers/Waiting Period for Permanent Status/Dismissal - Initiative Statute. VOTE NO

Proposition 75 - Public Employee Union Dues/Restrictions on Political Contributions/Employee Consent Requirement - Initiative Statute VOTE NO

Proposition 76 - State Spending and School Funding Limits - Initiative Constitutional Amendment VOTE NO

Proposition 77 - Redistricting - Initiative Constitutional Amendment VOTE NO

Proposition 78 - Discounts on Prescription Drugs - Initiative Statute VOTE NO

Proposition 79 - Prescription Drug Discounts/State-Negotiated Rebates - Initiative Statute VOTE YES

Proposition 80 - Electric Service Providers/Regulation - Initiative Statute VOTE YES


Senator Barbara Boxer plans to vote as follows:

NO on 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 & 78
on 79

An Alliance For A Better California urges votes as follows:

NO on 74, 75, 76, 77 & 78
YES on 79 & 80

Schwarzenegger's pet initiatives are 74, 75, 76 & 77. Polls are currently showing that as he's gone on the stump for them, their support has declined. These measures represent Schwarzenegger's way of legislating without having to go through the pesky Democratic-led legislature. In the past, his star-power has been enough to sell the people on whatever he wanted. That no longer appears to be the case.

Especially precarious (and perhaps most important of all of the measures) is Prop 73. Until very recently, a majority seemed inclined to support it. Either way, it's going to be tight...all the more reason that every one of us needs to vote on Tuesday.

Don't know your voting location?

Check HERE for LA County:

Check HERE for SF:

Here's a more thorough breakdown of the initiatives on Tuesday's ballot followed by the progressive perspective on each culled from a couple of sources (what, you expected fair and balanced?):

Proposition 73 - Termination of Minor's Pregnancy. Waiting Period and Parental Notification

- Amends California Constitution, prohibiting abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor's parent/legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver.
- Defines abortion as causing "death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born."
- Permits minor to obtain court order waiving notice based on clear, convincing evidence of minor's maturity or best interests.
- Mandates various reporting requirements.
- Authorizes monetary damages against physicians for violation.
- Requires minor's consent to abortion, with certain exceptions.
- Permits judicial relief if minor's consent coerced.

Proposition 73 is just the latest attempt by right-wing conservatives to take away a woman's right to choose. This dangerous measure would jeopardize the health of our teenagers, when we should instead be focusing our efforts on preventing teen pregnancy. Prop. 73 unwisely tries to legislate family communication and unrealistically expects teenagers to navigate through a cumbersome and confusing judicial process. As the San Francisco Chronicle said in their editorial opposing Prop. 73, "The way to reduce abortion is not a law that requires frightened young women to either face a judge or the wrath of their parents. It's about increasing communication -- about sex, about choices, about consequences -- that prevents an accidental pregnancy in the first place."

Proposition 74 - Public School Teachers/Waiting Period for Permanent Status/Dismissal

- Increases length of time required before a teacher may become a permanent employee from two complete consecutive school years to five complete consecutive school years.
- Measure applies to teachers whose probationary period commenced during or after the 2003-2004 fiscal year.
- Modifies the process by which school boards can dismiss a permanent teaching employee who receives two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations.

This measure would do nothing to improve public education or deal with the real problems facing our schools. It unfairly attempts to blame teachers for the problems in our public schools, ignoring the realities of underfunding, overcrowding, and the lack of materials and resources needed for effective teaching and learning. If this measure passes, new teachers would serve a 5-year probationary period rather than the current two years, and would lose the right to even have a fair hearing on their dismissal for a full 5 years. Current law already allows for firing teachers who are not performing in the classroom, no matter how long they've been on the job.

Proposition 75 - Public Employee Union Dues/Restrictions on Political Contributions/Employee Consent Requirement

- Prohibits the use by public employee labor organizations of public employee dues or fees for political contributions except with the prior consent of individual public employees each year on a specified written form.
- Restriction does not apply to dues or fees collected for charitable organizations, health care insurance, or other purposes directly benefitting the public employee.
- Requires public employee labor organizations to maintain and submit records to Fair Political Practices Commission concerning individual public employees' and organizations' political contributions.
- These records are not subject to public disclosure.

Proposition 75 is a deceptive measure put on the ballot by the big corporations and out of state billionaires who support Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's destructive agenda for California. It unfairly targets teachers, nurses, firefighters, police and other public employees with restrictions that don't apply to other groups or corporations, which regularly spend shareholder money on politics without permission. Prop. 75 is designed to reduce our ability to respond when politicians would harm education, health care and public safety, effectively clearing the opposition to the Governor's education and health care cuts.

Proposition 76 - State Spending and School Funding Limits

- Limits state spending to prior year's level plus three previous years' average revenue growth.
- Changes state minimum school funding requirements (Proposition 98); eliminates repayment requirement when minimum funding suspended.
- Excludes appropriations above the minimum from schools' funding base.
- Directs excess General Fund revenues, currently directed to schools/tax relief, to budget reserve, specified construction, debt repayment.
- Permits Governor, under specified circumstances, to reduce appropriations of Governor's choosing, including employee compensation/state contracts.
- Continues prior year appropriations if state budget delayed.
- Prohibits state special funds borrowing.
- Requires payment of local government mandates.

This measure would devastate our public schools and other vital services, cutting school funding by over $4 billion every year - $600 per student, leading to more overcrowded classrooms, teacher layoffs, and fewer textbooks and classroom materials. Our schools lost two billion dollars when Governor Schwarzenegger broke his promise to repay the money he took from education, and if this initiative passes, the Governor will never have to repay that money to our schools. It also overturns the voter-approved Proposition 98, eliminating the minimum funding guarantee for education. It also cuts funding for local government -- cutting police and firefighters, as well as local health care services that protect children and the elderly. This initiative hurts our most vulnerable populations including the sick, the elderly and the young.

Proposition 77 - Redistricting

Amends process for redistricting California's Senate, Assembly, Congressional and Board of Equalization districts.
-Requires panel of three retired judges, selected by legislative leaders, to adopt new redistricting plan if measure passes and after each national census.
-Panel must consider legislative, public comments/hold public hearings.
-Redistricting plan effective when adopted by panel and filed with Secretary of State; governs next statewide primary/general elections even if voters reject plan.
-If voters reject redistricting plan, process repeats, but officials elected under rejected plan serve full terms.
- Allows 45 days to seek judicial review of adopted redistricting plan.

Prop 77 was put on the ballot by politicians who want to change the Constitution's redistricting rules and give themselves more power. They want to hand over redistricting to three unelected and unaccountable retired judges. But redistricting California, a diverse state of 37 million people, is too big and too important a job for just three unaccountable retired judges. Giving one set of politicians more power over another is no reason to change the Constitution. Say NO to the Redistricting Power Grab.

Proposition 78 - Discounts on Prescription Drugs

- Establishes discount prescription drug program, overseen by California Department of Health Services.
- Enables certain low- and moderate-income California residents to purchase prescription drugs at reduced prices.
- Authorizes Department: to contract with participating pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at agreed-upon discounts negotiated in advance; to negotiate rebate agreements with participating drug manufacturers.
- Imposes $15 annual application fee.
- Creates state fund for deposit of drug manufacturers' rebate payments.
- Requires Department's prompt determination of residents' eligibility, based on listed qualifications.
- Permits outreach programs to increase public awareness.
- Allows program to be terminated under specified conditions.

The big drug companies are going to spend millions trying to fool voters and keep them from passing the real prescription drug relief contained in the Alliance-backed Prop. 79. This phony measure says only that drug companies can enter a "voluntary" program to reduce prices.but why will they? They have no real incentive to lower the sky-high cost of prescription drugs. A "No" vote on this measure is necessary to provide consumers with real relief from soaring drug prices, because whichever measure gets the highest number of votes becomes law.

Proposition 79 - Prescription Drug Discounts/State-Negotiated Rebates

- Provides for prescription drug discounts to Californians who qualify based on income-related standards, to be funded through rebates from participating drug manufacturers negotiated by California Department of Health Services.
- Prohibits new Medi-Cal contracts with manufacturers not providing the Medicaid best price to this program, except for drugs without therapeutic equivalent.
- Rebates must be deposited in State Treasury fund, used only to reimburse pharmacies for discounts and to offset costs of administration.
- At least 95% of rebates must go to fund discounts.
- Establishes oversight board. Makes prescription drug profiteering, as described, unlawful.

Sponsored by consumer, senior, and health organizations, Proposition 79 would provide deeper, enforceable discounts to twice as many Californians than the drug industry-backed Prop. 78. Proposition 79 would use the purchasing power of the state of California to negotiate the best price for up to ten million Californians, who now pay more than anybody else in the world for prescription drugs. Prop. 79 saves taxpayers money by reducing prescription drug costs by 50% or more, and ensuring that more people can afford needed medications now, rather than get more expensive care later. Proposition 79 is supported by Consumers Union, Health Access California, Breast Cancer Action, Congress of California Seniors, the League of Women Voters of California, and many other organizations.

Proposition 80 - Electric Service Providers/Regulation

- Subjects electric service providers, as defined, to control and regulation by California Public Utilities Commission.
- Imposes restrictions on electricity customers' ability to switch from private utilities to other electric providers.
- Provides that registration by electric service providers with Commission constitutes providers' consent to regulation.
- Requires all retail electric sellers, instead of just private utilities, to increase renewable energy resource procurement by at least 1% each year, with 20% of retail sales procured from renewable energy by 2010, instead of current requirement of 2017.
- Imposes duties on Commission, Legislature and electrical providers.

The Electric Consumer Protection Initiative will create a more reliable, affordable and green energy future for California. Since California's energy was deregulated in 1996, consumers have faced rolling blackouts, rising rates, market manipulation, and continued dependence on polluter power plants. California is at a critical junction. While big business interests are calling for more experiments in deregulation and special rights for large customers, consumers across the state are standing up for their right to affordable rates and reliable and clean energy.


For a more complete picture of the ballot initiatives, here's a link to the Secretary of State's website, which offers a side by side comparison of both sides' arguments.

For polling, check out the well-respected Field Poll.

And now, as Jon Stewart would say, for your moment of zen:

"By a 55% to 36% margin California voters are disinclined to re-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger to another term as Governor next year. The poll also finds that Schwarzenegger's call for a special election is hurting his re-election chances, with a larger proportion of voters saying his calling the election makes them more likely to oppose (46%) than support him (29%) next year. The main reasons voters give for feeling this way relates to its cost and to the view that the Governor's reasons for calling the election have more to do with his desire to strengthen his own political position than to bring about needed reforms to state government."
- Field Poll, 11/3/05


Post a Comment

<< Home