ENDORSEMENTS: State ballot measures





The primary sponsor of Prop. 13 is Republican Sen. Roy Ashburn, who dominated the news for several days after he was arrested for drunk driving on his way home from a Sacramento gay bar. Needless to say, Ashburn's dramatic coming out has whipped up far more attention than his noncontroversial ballot initiative.

We're generally opposed to anything that gives tax cuts or tax deferrals to property owners; thanks to a 1978 measure also called Prop. 13, much of the commercial and residential property in California is badly under assessed. And Prop. 13, 2010 style, is indeed a tax break. But it's probably justified.

Buildings in this state are typically reassessed for property taxes after they've been modified with new construction, except in cases where the modifications are made to comply with earthquake-safety standards. While most buildings that undergo seismic retrofitting are exempt from reassessment until the property is transferred to a new owner, the exemption for unreinforced masonry buildings is limited to 15 years. Prop 13 would remove that 15-year cap.

The fiscal impact on cities is likely to be pretty minor, and the measure might encourage both commercial and residential landlords to bring their buildings up to standard. Vote yes.





At the height of a royal mess last year when the state budget was long overdue and the two-thirds majority needed to pass it was still out of reach by one vote, Republican Sen. Abel Maldonado struck a deal with Democrats. He said he'd support the budget — if the majority party would meet a few of his demands. One thing he insisted on was Prop. 14 — a ballot measure that would effectively remove political parties from the primary elections process, allowing all voters to cast ballots for any candidate regardless of party affiliation.

Under Maldonado's plan, all candidates would run on a single primary ballot, and the top two vote-getters would face off in the general election. Heavily funded by the California Chamber of Commerce and marketed by the same spin doctors and corporate lawyers who are rolling in Yes on 16 campaign money, Prop. 14's backers say it will result in more centrist elected officials.

There are plenty of pitfalls here, the most worrisome being that it would drive up the cost of elections and give more moneyed (and corporate-allied) candidates a sharper competitive edge while elbowing out progressives. It would allow Republicans to play a role in what would normally be Democratic primaries (and vice versa.) The measure would also make it nearly impossible for smaller parties — the Green Party, for example — to offer candidates in the November elections.

Bad idea, bad process, Vote no.





California desperately needs electoral reform. Corporate campaign spending and lobbyists have poisoned the decision-making process and muzzled the voice of the people. Something radical needs to be done — and while this measure is only a small, measured step in the right direction, it's an important and promising experiment.


The progressives keep losing at the election box and yet they still claim to be the voice of the people? That is some top shelf tail chasing logic.

Why do progressives think we are all so stupid? And why do they think telling us all we are stupid will make us vote for them?

Posted by glen matlock on May. 06, 2010 @ 11:07 pm

I think everybody gives that impression to the other side Glen... at least to some degree. Personally I think Americans in particular need to start being less sensitive about being disagreed with. Being wrong doesn't mean you're necessarily stupid, just that the process you followed was incorrect.

So let's get over the dared being questioned, an investigate the claims at hand.

Posted by Daws on May. 16, 2010 @ 2:43 am

All true believers think the rest of us are stupid and duped.

Born again Christians think we are all manipulated morons, instead of big business duping us, it's secular humanists with the born againers. There isn't a reason for all of us voting against our supposed best interests as both sides claim, its that we are all idiots without the benefit of their genius.

The yes on prop 14 stance proves that progressives like much of the way things are going, by not liking the last redistricting plan the progressives prove they like the way things are going in that area too. The progressives like the present system in California where they can keep left wing democrats in power, it bothers them that moderates of either party could win.

So this prop 15 position is really just part of their trying to get over, the people at the Guardian who write this shit up are not stupid, they just think we all are. They also support Carol Midgen who sued over campaign financing laws, so its doesn't bother them when its their side getting over.

Posted by glen matlock on May. 16, 2010 @ 9:33 am

What "Yes on prop 14" stance? They're advising No. Guessing you mean 15? If so, that has nothing to do with redistricting so I have no idea why you bring it up.

Prop 15 is about where you want your campaign funding to come from. You want candidates that need to appeal to special interests for money, or are able to do without it and act as they please, beholden only to the votes of the people? As it should be.

Posted by Daws on May. 26, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

You have to wonder. Does Fox News' website get this many trolls?

Posted by etherealite on Sep. 29, 2010 @ 10:31 pm

Well, maybe if you'd read a book every now and then, or perhaps take in information some other way, you wouldn't run around leaving messages on message boards that demonstrate beyond any remote question that you're a complete blithering imbecile. Dorh.

Posted by Lucy Lucknow on May. 27, 2010 @ 10:36 pm


Not agreeing with a progressive makes a person stupid.

Posted by glen matlock on Jun. 05, 2010 @ 7:54 am

This election is all about Props 16 & 17. I'm making the effort to get to the polls just so I can vote "NO" on both of these steaming piles! PG&E & Mercury Insurance can both F.O.A.D!
Prop 17 is a cash grab.
This is a blatant attempt to get more money from drivers who have any gap in their insurance coverage at all. Mercury's treatment of their policy-holders outside of California makes that interpretation hard to deny. Prop 17 would overturn key parts of Prop 103, which has prevented such gouging by insurers operating in the state since 1988.
Prop 16 is basically illegal.
per AB 117 (9): "All electrical corporations shall cooperate fully with any community choice aggregators that investigate, pursue, or implement community choice aggregation programs,".
Spending $44.2M in a bid make CCA more difficult to implement isn't cooperation.

Posted by InnerSunsetter on Jun. 05, 2010 @ 2:52 am