Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day

Although of no interest to out-of-staters and possibly of marginal interest to Californians, here's how I'm voting tomorrow:

Governor: Jerry Brown
Lt. Governor: Gavin Newsom
Secretary of State: Debra Bowen
State Controller: John Chiang
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer
Attorney General: Kamala Harris
Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones
U.S. Senator: Barbara Boxer

All of these people are the Democratic candidates for their position. I did consider each office on individual basis, and there were a number of cases where I would normally think of voting third party: governor (I doubt Brown can even get himself excited at the though of his possible future term), lieutenant governor (I respect Newsom a great deal for his stand on same-sex marriage, but, even with a collection of shitheads in the Board of Supervisors, he's been a failure as mayor), and, most especially, attorney general (it seems it's a tradition among SF district attorneys that they be absolutely worthless). However, there has never been an election year where the choices are more clearly defined. Thanks to the polarization of the irrationalism, bigotry, and sheer ignorance of the Tea Party (otherwise known as the Republican wing of the Republican Party), I simply will not consider a third-party vote when it might it possibly benefit the Republican candidate on any level. It would be like voting for anyone but the SPD seventy-seven years ago.

As for the propositions:

Prop 19: Yes. Structural flaws or not, it's essential that the push towards drug legalization gets rolling, and state legalization of marijuana will hopefully be a major step towards that. As of today, the War on Drugs has cost $42,524,538,184 this year alone. That's over half of what the federal health care reform bill will cost on a yearly basis, and, while the health care bill gives us something tangibly beneficial, the War on Drugs has provided nothing but misery and frustration for all involved.

Prop 20: No. There is a very simple and easy solution to gerrymandering: mobilize and elect politicians that support your views. Gerrymandering isn't what is keeping the Republican Party out of power in California, it's your baffling adherence to extreme positions that don't play in the sane part of the country. Republicans and other parties have done nothing to deserve an equal representation in redistricting, and if Judge Walker's decision on Prop 8 was against "the will of the voter," then establishing unelected committees to redraw districts is just as equally undemocratic.

Prop 21: No. I like parks. I like representational democracy even more. I elect politicians to have balls and pass taxation when they need money (although I recognize that's not so simple in California, see Prop. 25 below). Vehicle license fees are regressive taxation that pays no mind to the income level of the person being taxed. I will vote for officials that will increase funding to state parks. I will not vote to do the job they should be doing themselves.

Prop 22: No. It sucks that Prop. 13 has set up a budget structure by which city revenues can be so easily raided by the state to pay the bills on the gargantuan administration needed to manage what should be city services that can't be carried by the city because they have no money because their revenues can be so easily raided by the state to pay etcetera et-fucking-cetera. Lockboxing revenue is never a good idea, especially during tough economic times when it needs to be flexible to meet our most necessary demands. The problem is Prop 13, and this is just another band-aid on what has been the ever-growing cancer at the heart of the California government.

Prop 23: No. Do you like Texas oil barons spending millions to keep California's from even attempting to do anything about climate change, regardless of what they've already supported at every level of the decision-making process? Do you like being anally-raped by your corporate overlords? If you answered yes, then vote yes on Prop 23. If you are not a complete tool, vote no.

Prop 24: No. Basically this an attempt by the Californian Teacher's Association to work around tax breaks given as consolation prizes by the Democrats in the state legislature to moderate Republicans to get a budget passed. Regardless of whether those tax breaks hurt or help the California economy, this is another example of an attempt to use the proposition process to micromanage the budget and have voters do the jobs we elect legislators to do for us. Hopefully if we can pass Prop 25, we can end this nonsense. Speaking of which...

Prop 25: Yes. HOLY FUCKING YES. This is the most important item on the ballot. California has tried this experiment of a two-thirds majority requirement for voting in a budget for decades now, and it was all fine until Prop 13 added a supermajority to taxation and screwed everything to hell. We have been living by Howard Jarvis rules for 32 years now and California ain't exactly been the Libertarian Utopia that was promised. As long as we keep the supermajority for the budget, Republicans can continue to stymie the process, Democrats can continue to claim it was all the Republicans fault, and the legislature will continue to pass bonds that are so devaluing the state's credit and no one will ever get held accountable. Only Arkansas and Rhode Island require a two-thirds supermajority for passing a state budget, and that might be all fine and dandy for Sister-fuckingville and Tinyland, but this is the 8th largest economy in the motherfucking world. Do the right thing.

Prop 26: No. See Prop 23, just here the attempt is to neuter Prop 25 and keep the carbon emissions flowing. Do you like the taste of corporate ass? If so, vote yes on 26 and get licking, slave.

Prop 27: Yes. See Prop 20. Right or wrong, democracy means you get the government you deserve people. When less than three-fourths of all eligible voters bothered to make a choice in 2008 for the California state senate, you can't tell me that democracy is being subverted by anything other than apathy in this state. And if it turns out to be true that Californians do overwhelmingly vote Democrat in this state, then change or die, Republicans.