Prop 25

It's Not the Brand

By Robert Cruickshank

To hear California Republican apologists, their party's collapse in the 2010 elections in the Golden State are due to a bad "brand," as Carla Marinucci and Joe Garofoli report:

"Republicans, as a brand, are dead," Duf Sundheim, the former state GOP chair, told the gathering Saturday....

"There's a brand problem," agreed Republican Jim Brulte, former state Senate minority leader.

California voters supported a number of conservative ballot measures, yet not a single conservative lawmaker for statewide office, Brulte noted. Voters made it clear they "just don't want Republicans in office."

Post-election Survey: Marijuana, Climate Change, Budget Reform Captured Voters’ Attention

By Public Policy Institute of California

Of the nine propositions on the November statewide ballot, Proposition 19—the unsuccessful measure to legalize marijuana—attracted the most interest among voters, and those who voted against it felt more strongly about the outcome than those who voted yes. These are among the key findings of a post-election survey released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) with support from The James Irvine Foundation.  

In the PPIC survey of 2,003 voters who reported participating in the election, 38 percent say they were most interested in Proposition 19, followed by 16 percent who name Proposition 23, the measure to suspend the state’s air pollution law (AB 32). And, similar to Proposition 19, those who voted no on Proposition 23 are much more likely than those who voted yes to call the outcome of the vote on the measure important.

California Voters Say Yes to Clean Energy and to Ending Budget Gridlock

By Ann Notthoff

In back-to-back hits to Texas, one day after the San Francisco Giants beat the Rangers, California voters delivered a second great triumph, voting to safeguard the state’s booming clean energy economy by defeating Proposition 23 and saying no to dirty Texas oil.

There were nine measures on the statewide November ballot and NRDC took positions on four of them: we supported Propositions 21 and 25, and opposed Propositions 23 and 26.

The Morning After

By Robert Cruickshank

California Democrats are poised to have a clean sweep of the statewide elected offices, depending on whether Kamala Harris can maintain a razor-thin margin of victory over Steve Cooley. (Seriously, who the hell votes a Brown-Boxer-Newsom-Cooley ticket? WTF is wrong with those people?)

Here are the results as we know them, with 96.6% reporting across California. Note that the Secretary of State's site appears to be back up. It's not her fault the site crashed - they apparently got screwed by a vendor that made promises they could not keep.

Governor: Brown 54, Whitman 41
US Senate: Boxer 52, Fiorina 42
Lt. Gov: Newsom 50, Maldonado 39
Sec State: Bowen 53, Dunn 38
Controller: Chiang 55, Strickland 36
Treasurer: Lockyer 56, Walters 36
Attorney General: Harris 46.1%, Cooley 45.6%
Insurance Commissioner: Jones 50, Villines 38
Supt. of Public Instruction: Torlakson 55, Aceves 45

Ballot props:

November 2010 Election Predictions

By Randy Shaw

I wrote on June 7 that Jerry Brown was a “shoe-in” to be California’s next Governor, and on March 4 advised bettors to put a lot of cash on Barbara Boxer winning re-election in November. Unfortunately, the “enthusiasm gap” and standard midterm election turnout decline makes predicting other state, local, and national races far murkier. In 2008, my optimistic predictions of an Electoral College landslide for Barack Obama assumed a record turnout; today, progressives are far less energized, and the electorate is driven by anger and fear rather than hope. It’s always more fun when your projected winners are the causes and candidates you support, but 2010 will be more like the disappointing 2004 national elections than the 2006 and 2008 versions. Here are my picks.

3 State Propositions That Aren’t Getting Enough Attention

By Paul Hogarth

With the November election less than two weeks away, the media buzz is all about Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. At the grass-roots level, activists have been organizing for Proposition 19 (marijuana) – and environmentalists have focused on defeating Prop 23. But the three propositions that arguably have the greatest impact on California’s future – Propositions 24, 25 and 26 – are barely getting any attention at all. The state budget may be a boring subject, but Sacramento will remain a dysfunctional cesspool that generations of elected officials cannot fix until we make structural changes. Getting rid of the two-thirds budget rule by passing Proposition 25 is a critical first step, and passing Prop 24 will undo some of the most recent damage that is driving the state to bankruptcy. But even passing Props 24 and 25 is not enough, because Proposition 26 threatens to make a terrible situation worse – by extending two-thirds to all fee hikes. In fact, Prop 26 could make the passage of Prop 25 and the defeat of Prop 23 virtually meaningless.

End Budget Gridlock -- Vote YES on Proposition 25

By Sara Flocks
California Labor Federation

Budgets reflect the priorities and values of a state. Public dollars dedicated to schools, safe communities, healthy kids and well-maintained infrastructure demonstrate that a state is committed to creating a high quality of life for residents. California’s budget tells a whole different story. Because California has a two-thirds vote requirement to pass a budget, a small group of partisan legislators can withhold their votes to extract concessions from the majority. As a result, California’s budget process ends up full of corporate loopholes, special favors and worker takeaways—not exactly a reflection of the values of the majority of working people in California.

Unilateral Disarmament

By Robert Cruickshank

It's a recurring theme almost every election year here in California: some voters, many of them progressive, proclaim a "no on everything" stance on the ballot propositions. Intended as a protest at the flawed initiative process, this approach is little more than unilateral disarmament in the face of a concerted right-wing, corporate-funded effort to destroy California's prosperity and democracy. Instead of making a really futile and stupid gesture that won't help fix California's woes, progressives need to make intelligent choices on the November ballot - some of which involve a Yes vote.

I've been having this discussion on Facebook with several friends this past week, but one of the most prominent exponents of the "no on everything" approach is Markos Moulitsas. He's mentioned this many times on Daily Kos, with one of the clearest articulations coming in January 2008:

Predictable Sequel to California’s Ongoing State Budget Saga - A Majority Vote is Needed

By Willie Pelote

The American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) is wary of the recent budget deal signed by Arnold Schwarzenegger and is calling on voters to fix the state’s dysfunctional budget process by passing Propositions 24 and 25 on this year’s November ballot.

Brushing aside the wishes of voters who participated in budget forums around the state organized by Assembly Speaker John Perez’s office in April, the new budget plan provides about $200 million worth of subsidies to cable TV companies and the timber industry and a reduction in penalties for corporations that evade their income tax obligations in exchange for smaller cuts to social service programs and education.

This is the price for having to kowtow to a minority party that cynically exploits the state’s two-thirds budget rule to manipulate the lives of average citizens in favor of arranging tax subsidies benefiting only the wealthiest one percent.

This November's Ballot Initiatives

By Dave Johnson
Speak Out California

Here we go! This is a roundup of the ballot measures. I'm going to provide the official info, the summary and the "What Voting Yes Means" info from the state, and a discussion of the measure. In the coming month Speak Out California will go into detail on these initiatives with a progressive viewpoint, research into the funding and supporters/opponents and their reasons, and our own endorsements.

Proposition 19, The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010.

This proposition changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to Be Regulated and Taxed.