Monday, November 06, 2006

Voter Guide: Sacramento Progressive alliance

Progressive Voter Guide
Tuesday, November 7 General Election

Statewide Offices
Governor: Phil Angelides (D)
Lieutenant Governor: John Garamendi (D)
Attorney General: Jerry Brown (D)
Secretary of State: Debra Bowen (D)
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer (D)
Controller: John Chiang (D)
Insurance Comm.: Cruz Bustamante (D)Assembly - District 4: Rob Haswell (D)
U.S. Congress
District 3: Bill Durston (D)
District 11: Jerry McNerney (D)
District 4: Charlie Brown (D)
Ballot Propositions:

Prop 1A - Autopilot budgeting: No

Prop 1B - Highways and Transit: Yes

Prop 1C - Affordable Housing: Yes

Prop 1D - School Funding: Yes

Prop 1E - Disaster Preparation: Yes

Prop 84 - Parks and Clean Water: Yes

Prop 85 - Threatens Teen Safety: No

Prop 86 - Children’s Health: Yes

Prop 87 - Clean Energy: Yes

Prop 88 - Elitist Education: No

Prop 89 - Fixes Campaign Financing: Yes

Prop 90 - Stealth Environmental Nightmare: No

Sacramento Measures Q&R (Downtown Arena Project):

No Recommendation. Please inform yourself well.

Sac City Schools:

Yes on J & K: District elections for Sac. City Unified School Board.

Sacramento Municipal Utilities District.

Sacramento Residents. Yes on L.

Yolo Residents. Yes on H & I.

SMUD: For Why You Should Join Today…

For more info, please visit "Speak Out, California!"

Explanations of Ballot Initiatives:

NO on Proposition 1A
This is an unnecessary measure to protect transportation funding, and would only further hamstring the Legislature in times of budget crisis. It could put funding for schools and health care in jeopardy.
YES on Propositions 1B, 1C, 1D and 1E

California's schools, roads, emergency shelters and affordable housing are all suffering from decades of neglect by conservative ideologues. While we would prefer to see these needs funded during a time of more responsible fiscal stewardship than the Bush/Schwarzenegger "bash, break and borrow" approach, they are simply too important to allow to further decay.
Backed by:
The Governor and both houses of the legislature
Opposed by:
No organized opposition at this time.

YES on Propositions 84

This initiative continues important work that prior water and natural resource bonds have begun. With that money just about exhausted, this $5.4B bond will provide bond funding for projects for safe drinking water, flood control, protection of rivers, lakes, streams, forest and wildlife conservation, coastal protection and state parks.
Backed by:
A huge coalition of community, environmental and public health groups, and anyone who drinks water.
Opposed by:
No organized opposition at this time.
NO on Proposition 85

Just one year after the voters of California rejected Proposition 73, obsessive anti-choice extremists have put this nearly identical initiative on the ballot yet again. This is the latest attempt in a long term strategy of nibbling away at women's options, with the eventual goal of outlawing reproductive choice altogether. Prop 85 endangers California's most vulnerable teens by requiring parental notification prior to abortion. While parents rightfully want to be involved in their teenagers' lives, laws cannot mandate good family communication. In the real world, some teens live with violent or sexually abusive parents. Rather than going to an abusive parent, some teens will resort to back-alley abortions or even consider suicide.
Backers of Prop 85 make the absurd claim that teens who can't go to their parents will go to a judge to bypass the law. Not only is it preposterous to think that a scared teen from an abusive home can successfully navigate our judicial bureaucracy, a judge is not what she needs. She needs a counselor and quality medical care without delays. Studies show that the vast majority of teens involve their parents in decisions about pregnancies. Health care providers and family planning clinics already report abuse and counsel teens to talk to their families. Prop 85 is unsafe, unrealistic and unnecessary.
Backed by:
Wealthy, anti-choice ultraconservatives.
Opposed by:
The same huge coalition that beat Prop 73, including the California Nurses Association, California doctors and the California Teachers Association.
YES on Propositions 86

By adding a $2.60 tax on a pack of cigarettes, this measure expects to raise about $2.1B in 2007. The money would go towards providing health insurance for uninsured children, improvements to emergency room facilities and care, tobacco prevention programs and chronic disease research. The big tobacco corporations will probably put in close to $100M to slam this effort. We can hold them responsible for their lies and misrepresentations regarding the health consequences of their products.
In states where similar measures have been enacted, they have seen reduced smoking, reductions in unpaid healthcare costs and an increase in important new funds for health-related programs.
Backed by:
Amercian Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association
Opposed by:
Big tobacco.
YES on Propositions 87

This measure will fund a $4B effort to bring cleaner, cheaper and more reliable fuel sources to the California marketplace, and help break California's dependence on foreign oil. Prop 87 calls for a 25% reduction in gasoline and diesel consumption over the next 10 years, achieved through research and technologies funding incentives. This measure is expected to create thousands of new clean energy jobs.
Contrary to the millions being spent by big oil to fight this initiative, every other oil producing state in the country has an oil-extraction tax. Having made record profits of over $78B last year, It's time to make big oil pay its fair share for oil drilling in our state. Contrary to big oil's claims, Prop 87 specifically prohibits the oil companies from passing on this assessment to consumers.
This initiative is a win-win for California. It would reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce air pollution that causes asthma attacks, lung disease and cancer. By investing in cost-effective clean energy technology here in California, we can grow our economy while continuing to lead the nation in developing clean air and viable renewable energy solutions.
Backed by:
The emerging sustainable energy industry, environmentalists and pro-security progressives.
Opposed by:
Big oil corporations.
NO on Proposition 88

While progressives are generally not opposed to raising taxes to pay for essential services like public education, Prop 88 is not the right way to resolve the problem of our under-funded schools and even the initial backers of it have walked away. The $470 million a year Prop 88 would allocate to schools includes more than $100 million that is earmarked only for "academically successful" schools, according to how they rank within the state's standardized testing system. Under-performing schools are already at a disadvantage in this state, and Prop 88 would widen the gap.
YES YES YES on Proposition 89

Big oil, drug companies, insurers, developers, HMOs and financial services companies give millions of dollars to legislators, costing taxpayers billions in special interest giveaways. Prop 89 would make politicians accountable to voters instead of big donors and make campaigns about talking to people rather than raising money.
For all the good policy that we can't get enacted -- from affordable healthcare, to making polluters pay to clean up their mess, to protecting consumers from dangerous and defective products, this measure will restore the principal that it is the people's interests and not special interests that determine the policies of our state. It would even help level the playing field for small businesses that can't afford to make huge campaign contributions.
We wish Prop 89 went even farther: money from democratically run organizations that represent working people like unions should be exempt from this law. But overall this is a fair tradeoff. In the two states (Arizona and Maine) where this has been tried voters have remained overwhelmingly in favor of it. In San Francisco it has changed the entire local political culture, and enabled many middle class and nonwhite candidates who never would have been able to raise the money necessary to run to do so. This proposition alone is a reason for progressives to go to the polls in November.
Backed by:
A huge coalition of progressive groups, led by the California Nurses Association, including California Common Cause, CalPIRG, the Progressive Caucus of the CA Democratic Party and Code Pink. But even a lot of conservatives who are tired of their party being so closely identified with corruption are strongly in favor.
Opposed by:
Big corporations.
NO NO NO on Proposition 90

This measure has so much to dislike that it brings together in opposition one of the most unusual alliances imaginable. Joining virtually every environmental group in the state in opposition are taxpayers rights groups, the California Chamber of Commerce, consumer groups, scientists and public health agencies and even the California Farm Bureau.
Ostensibly, this proposition claims to guard against the abuses of eminent domain, but the state of California already has these protections. This measure was drafted and funded by a New York Libertarian and is supported only by other extremists, such as candidate for Lieutenant Governor Tom McClintock. It does little to protect against eminent domain abuse, but is loaded with unrelated and far-reaching provisions that will harm homeowners, cost taxpayers billions of dollars and have devastating impacts for our environment, local communities and people.
This bill would eviscerate many environmental, land use, zoning and planning laws if enacted. Any regulation said to have any impact on any property could trigger claims for compensation to be paid by taxpayers.
For example, if a company buys a piece of undeveloped land in your neighborhood and wants to put in a fertilizer plant, current zoning restrictions prohibit such use. If Proposition 90 passes, California taxpayers could be forced to compensate your new, smelly neighbor for restricting the use of the land and "damages" for lost profits.
Oregon recently passed a similar measure. Although a much smaller state, over 2,000 claims have already been filed, totally over $3.2B in payments. Their choice now is to either pay the claims or waive the regulations. In one instance, the state allowed a gravel mine near a neighbor's home and in another, a property owner is insisting on the right to build geothermal mines inside a national monument.
Backed by:
One right wing extremist from New York, Howie Rich. And Tom McClintock.
Opposed by:
What may be the single largest coalition in history to oppose a California ballot proposition: from nearly every progressive group in the state, consumer groups, scientists, environmentalists and public health agencies to reliably conservative groups like the California Chamber of Commerce, and the California Farm Bureau.
Sac City Schools:

Yes on J & K: District elections for Sacramento City Unified School Board. These measures would change the present situation where two very well off neighborhoods control the school board.

"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their
minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits." ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from the gover
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