Tuesday, November 08, 2005

My Wish List For Today's Special Election

Prop 73 would require a 48 hr waiting period after notification of parents before a minor could have an abortion. As a strong believer in parents' rights and responsibilities, I hope it passes.

Prop 74 would change education code so that teachers would be granted tenure after 5 years instead of two or three. It would also severely restrict due process even of tenured teachers, making it too easy to fire people that administration doesn't agree with. This moves the pendulum from too far in favor of teachers to too far in favor of administration. I hope it fails.

Prop 75 would require public employee unions (police, firefighters, teachers) to get permission from each member each year before spending that members dues money on political campaigns/events. Currently these public servants are forced to pay money to a union, which then can use that money in any way it sees fit. This proposition should make the unions somewhat more accountable to their members. I hope it passes.

Prop 76 would allow the legislature and governor to make mid-year course corrections if money coming into the state treasure falls below what was expected. The legislature would have 45 days to determine what cuts to make, and if they fail to act then the governor could. Every expenditure of state money has a constituency, and of course someone would be hurt by state budget cuts. The alternative is to continue to spend ourselves into debt. I hope it passes.

Prop 77 would take decennial redistricting out of the hands of the legislature and would place it in the hands of retired judges. A pool of retired judges would be selected by lottery among those who would volunteer, and then the majority and minority leaders in the state senate would choose from this pool--but they'd be forbidden to choose members of their own party! This should ensure that moderates are chosen for the job. The final group chosen would consist of three judges, all of whom could not be from the same party. And they would determine the new districts without taking voter party affiliation into account, all three of them would have to agree on the final plan, and the plan would be presented to voters. I can't imagine a more fair system. I hope it passes.

Props 78 and 79 deal with prescription drugs. I don't want government meddling in the moderately-free market and I certainly don't like the idea of socialized medicine. I hope both of them fail.

Prop 80 would reregulate California's electrical service providers. I don't want government meddling in the moderately-free market. I hope it fails.

Early returns, with only 11.5% of precincts reporting, show 73, 74, and 75 passing, and the others failing. Lefties want the four propositions championed by Governor Schwarzenegger (I think those are 73-76) to lose. CTA is recommending "no" votes on 74-76 while urging "yes" votes on 79 and 80.

If the final tally goes as shown above (with only 11.5% of precincts reporting), it'll be a mixed bag for me. On the one hand, I'll be extremely happy that 73 and 75 passed. I feel strongly about those two. I'd be disappointed for representative government in California if 76 and 77 fail, but I'll be honest--most of my emotion in this election falls on 75. If it passes, I'll suck up any of the other ones that don't go my way.

Update: Oh no! My bellwether has 75 losing.

Update #2: With 28.2% of precincts reporting, here's how it stands:
Prop 73 50.2-49.8 too close to call
Prop 74 48.9-51.1
Prop 75 52.4-47.6 but dropping steadily, and my bellwether county has it losing 46-54
Prop 76 41.4-58.6
Prop 77 44.6-55.4
Prop 78 42.1-57.9
Prop 79 38.9-61.1
Prop 80 35.2-64.8

Update #3: Apparently things are going swimmingly in a state in which the legislature has an approval rating in the 20s and the governor has an approval rating in the 30s. Two years ago we recalled a governor and replaced him with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who promised to reform government--and the people cheered. Yesterday they pulled back from the unknown and stuck with the "devil you know", rejecting all 8 propositions.

I went 4-4 on them, which isn't the worst I've done in an election, but I'm disappointed in the failure of Proposition 75. How many scores of millions of dollars of member dues money did CTA spend to fight these propositions, to the point where they're now trying to get a $40 million line of credit to stay afloat? Ugh.


Anonymous said...

Although much work is left to be done, yesterday's elections should give us reason to hope that the long national nightmare is finally coming to an end.

Anonymous said...

I was on the same page as you Darren. Unfortunately here in L.A. I get to pay more in property taxes thanks to Measure Y. Interesting down here how they haven't spent the money from BB and yet need more for the schools. Go figure...

Darren said...

Not so fast, Anonymous. Even here in the People's Republic of California, socialized medicine failed and overly-regulated electricity failed, and my personal favorite, Prop 75, came close. I'd say if this is the best that can come in a heavily Democratic state, things look pretty good for the conservatives.

And anonymous, for someone who claims to know history, you have a *very* short view of things.

Anonymous said...

You might want to check *your* history, Darren. "The People's Republic of California" is The State that elected Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon! If you consider those guys to be lefties, you're way out there!

Anonymous said...


1- This is not the same California that elected two Republican presidents. It has grown much more left wing since 1988 and their is no sign of that changing. It has changed from the American Dream to the American Nightmare.

2- San Francisco has just cut itself off more from the United States with its handgun ban and more to the point, it's anti military recruiter act. This will cost the city millions in federal dollars and also millions in court costs because I know those left wing jackasses will sue.

As I get older, I more appreciate the great idea Lex Luther had in Superman the Movie!

Don't worry Darren...if I could arrange it, I would give you plenty of warning! :)

Anonymous said...

California is so far to the left that it ousted Gray Davis and installed The Governator? With that kind of liberalism, who needs conservatives?

Darren said...

If you think Schwarzenegger is some kind of right-wing ideologue, then you need to get out of California some more. Might I suggest a *very* long time :-)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Darren said...

Personal insults are not allowed here. I will continue to delete your comments until you can reply with at least a minimum level of decency.

Anonymous said...


I think you got a new troll.

Actually, I know you do, because that wasn't me.

Darren said...

This is true.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Darren said...

Personal attacks on the owner of the blog are not allowed. They are gratuitous, anti-intellectual, and do not serve to further civil discourse.

There are appropriate ways and inappropriate ways to comment here, and I posit that the appropriate way is nothing new--it's the way people generally act in public with people they little know. It's ok to challenge, but inappropriate to attack. This method fosters debate, *not argument*.

If you'd like to see a classic example of an intellectual way to challenge, please go see the first comment here:

In that comment, my view was directly challenged and an intellectual framework was given. Incidentally, that comment was written by a teenager. It fostered discussion.

Contrast that with this simulated comment: "You're wrong, I'm right, and you stupid Republicans just don't get it. Now I'll just sit here and wait for you to say something that I'll nitpick, thereby proving my own superiority. Oh, why do I even come to this blog?" This comment contributes nothing, represents a personal attack, is therefore *rude*--and will be deleted.

Get the picture?

Anonymous said...

If you want to maintain civility on your blog, that's great. But if you're looking to stand on the high ground of intellectual honesty, you must confess your own transgressions.

Darren said...

Good that we can agree on civility. That's a start. Let's try practicing it, shall we?