My 2008 Election Ballot II

 | October 31, 2008 10:59 PM

Proposition IA
Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act
A high-speed passenger train between SF and LA would be nice but honestly I would never ride it.  Because once you get to LA you will need a car again so might as well drive down yourself.  Proponents say Asia and Europe have it but those are old world cities with incredible population densities which makes public transportation efficient.  That kind of population density will probably never happen in California.  This bond could end up costing tax payers for decades without a high-speed line ever being built.

Proposition 2
Standards For Confining Farms Animals

This measure is asking that “farm animals be allowed, for the majority of every day, to fully extend their limbs or wings, lie down, stand up and turn around.”  This is not only ethical but also healthier since the animals will be healthier and living in more sanitary conditions.

Proposition 3
Children’s Hospital Bond Act

California is in serious debt.  In 2004 $750 million was authorized for children’s hospitals and $403 million of that is still available.  I think we should wait to see how the rest is spent before taking on another loan of $980 million.

Proposition 4
Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy

A daughter under the age of 18 cannot get an aspirin from a school nurse, a flu shot, teeth pulled, or see a rated “R” movie without their parent’s permission.  For something that is much more important as an abortion parents should definitely be notified.  The horror stories that the opponents are trotting out are without any basis.  Over 30 states require notification including Massachusetts and I never heard of any horror stories while in Massachusetts.

Proposition 5
Nonviolent Drug Offenses.
Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation
I was inclined to vote yes immediately because I disagree with today’s legal system that jails so many people.  The U.S. has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world and I think it is a symptom of our not wanting to deal with parts of our society.  I think incarceration in many cases is just sweeping a problem under the rug.  In my opinion I think that only legitimate threats to society should be jailed, not for example people who are caught using drugs.  However saying all that I wanted to be a little certain so I read the Yes and No sides.  I appreciated the Yes side’s rebuttal to the No side in their Myths page and that cemented my Yes vote.

Proposition 6
Police and Law Enforcement Funding.  Criminal Penalties And Laws.
If I am going to vote YES on Proposition 5 then it does not make a lot of sense to vote YES to vote on Proposition 6 which wants to increase prison terms, put more people in jail, deny illegal immigrants parole, etc.

Proposition 7
Renewable Energy Generation
Being an environmentalist one would assume that I would vote YES on Proposition 7.  But because of all the commercials I saw on TV from the NO side I was inclined to vote NO.  But after perusing the NO and YES sites, reading each side’s arguments, and because of my distrust of the big utility companies which are on the NO side I was going to vote YES.  However I finally started changing my mind because of my concern about the large the list is of small renewable energy companies that are against the proposition as well as so many other group.  I then read a few articles against Proposition 7 including this one by the Union of Concerned Scientists and this one in the LA Times.

Proposition 8
Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry.
Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
This Proposition is quite controversial and getting the most press and dollars next to the Presidential election.  I will write about why I am voting NO in a separate post.

Proposition 9
Criminal Justice System.  Victims’ Rights.  Parole.  Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute.
This is proposed by the billionaire founder of Broadcom who was indicted on federal narcotics charges that include allegations he slipped ecstasy into the drinks of business associates, maintained a drug warehouse and concealed his illegal conduct with bribes and death threats.  It is expensive and does not necessarily do anything.

Proposition 10
Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy
Again being an environmentalist one would assume that I would vote YES on Proposition 10.  But I am suspicious of the fact this Proposition was put on the ballot by a Texas billionaire oilman and is for subsidizing vehicles powered by natural gas.

Proposition 11
.  Initiative Constitutional Amendment And Statute.
Sounds to me like just more bureaucracy, more government waste and no guarantee that the redistricting process will be fairer.

Proposition 12
Veterans’ Bond Act of 2008

At first I was going to vote YES but I learned there is already a Cal-Vet loans program.  And while this program is only for people who actually fought, this new program is basically for anyone in the military.  I think the current program sounds good enough.

Measure A
Hospital Seismic Safety and Medical Facilities

There is no opposition to it so who am I to oppose it?  However it does annoy me how much advertising the YES campaign has done, more than almost any other campaign.  It signals to me that a lot of money is being wasted now and will be wasted later.

Measure B
BART Extension in Santa Clara

A 1/8 cent sales tax increase for the next 30 years to bring BART to Santa Clara does not seem like a bad idea.  However the question is is it still a wise use of money?  BART and VTA seem to be poorly administered.  VTA trains in this area always seem to run empty.  People love their cars, that’s why they are in Santa Clara and not in San Francisco.  It also bothers me that Measure A, which passed in 2001, did not result in bringing BART to Santa Clara.  If Measure B passed construction wouldn’t start until 2017 at the earliest though the tax wouldn’t start until ground is broken.  I have gone back and forth on this and right now I am on the NO side.

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