Monday, October 13, 2008

Bill Magavern's Recommendations for November California Ballot

Recommendations for November Ballot

These are strictly my personal opinions, for whatever they're worth. Feel free
to forward them or post to web, but please do not add the names of any other
individual or organization by way of identification or affiliation. And get
ready for some change we can believe in. -- Bill

Proposition 1A --Yes
Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act.
If you’re wondering what happened to Prop 1, the Legislature replaced it with
1A, which is still a high-speed rail bond, but with significant improvements in
both fiscal accountability and environmental safeguards. This bond measure calls
for borrowing almost $10 billion, which is no easy sell, but creating a clean
and fast rail line linking most of the state’s population is a goal worth that
kind of investment. We need clean transportation alternatives to freeways and
airplanes, and if we don’t pass 1A it will be a long time before we have another

Proposition 2 -- Yes
Standards for Confining Farm Animals. Initiative Statute.
The Humane Society has a simple proposal: farm animals should have enough room
to actually turn around. Decreasing the density of confined animals will also
decrease pollution and help family farmers. The additional cost will be less
than one penny per egg.

Proposition 3 -- Yes
Children’s Hospital Bond Act. Grant Program. Initiative Statute.
Public borrowing for private institutions should have to pass a high threshold
of worthiness, and I think children’s hospitals meet that standard.

Proposition 4 -- No
Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s
Pregnancy. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
Sure, it would be great if minors discussed all important life decisions with
their parents, but having government require it is not going to make it happen.
A more likely result of passing this measure would be an increase in dangerous
amateur abortions.

Proposition 5 -- Yes
Nonviolent Drug Offenses. Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation. Initiative Statute.
Treatment and rehab programs for nonviolent offenders are more effective than
the lock-‘em up policy that the state has relied on in recent decades. These
programs will cost money, but will save higher amounts over time.

Proposition 6 -- No
Police and Law Enforcement Funding. Criminal Penalties and Laws. Initiative
Does anybody really think that our prison populations are too small, or that
sentences are too short? This measure would throw a lot of money into the
prison-industrial complex without accountability for how the money is spent.
State money that now goes to schools and healthcare would be shifted to building
jails and funding other local responsibilities.

Proposition 7 -- No
Renewable Energy Generation. Initiative Statute.
A billionaire had a good idea – ramp up renewable energy standards. But he got
really bad advice, then his team refused to listen to experts who suggested
changes in the proposal, or to recognize that the Legislature and Governor are
already moving toward the nation’s highest and best clean-power requirement. So the ballot language
would actually obstruct development of the small-scale solar and wind projects
we need. Just about all the state’s newspaper editorial boards and major
environmental groups are opposed.

Proposition 8 -- No
Eliminates Right of Same-Sex Couples to Marry. Initiative Constitutional
Why is it that the proponents of this constitutional amendment are so worried
that their marriages will be threatened if gay people are allowed to keep the
right to marry?
Proposition 9 -- No
Criminal Justice System. Victims’ Rights. Parole. Initiative Constitutional
Amendment and Statute.
This measure’s billionaire sponsor, Henry Nicholas, is under indictment for
fraud, drugs and prostitution, but he poses as a champion of victims’ rights.
Victims already have a bill of rights under the state Constitution, and Prop 9
would duplicate existing laws and cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars
a year.

Proposition 10 -- No
Alternative Fuel Vehicles and Renewable Energy. Bonds. Initiative Statute.
Another billionaire trying to make energy policy through the ballot, but this
one – Swift Boat campaign funder T. Boone Pickens – knows exactly what he’s
doing: trying to enrich his natural gas business. Like Prop 7, Prop 10 also has
drawn opposition from just about all the state’s newspaper editorial boards and
every environmental group that has weighed in, along with taxpayer and consumer
groups. Natural gas vehicles are relatively clean, but shouldn’t be subsidized
by long-term state borrowing and shouldn’t be favored over cleaner alternatives
like battery electric vehicles.

Proposition 11 -- Yes
Redistricting. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
CA needs to take redistricting away from the legislators, who have a conflict of
interest, and give it to an independent commission, as this measure would do. I
don’t buy many of the arguments of supporters – redistricting reform will not
make the Legislature more centrist or less partisan, which are over-rated virtues anyway. But it will make legislators
more responsive to their constituents, and will yield districts that are drawn
for their communities of interest and geographical compactness instead of the
self-interest of the politicians. Prop 11 isn’t perfect: it doesn’t cover
Congress, and the system of choosing the commissioners is overly complicated.
But it’s a lot better than the status quo, and is probably our best shot at
reform for a while, which is why the League of Women Voters and Common Cause

Proposition 12 -- Yes
Veterans’ Bond Act of 2008.
This system of financing veterans’ home purchases has worked before, at no
direct cost to taxpayers.


Ron Loabnek said...

The Legislature failed to pass SB411, which only demonstrates the need for an initiative like Prop 7. The environmental groups like the NRDC are the same ones that sold CA on deregulation in 2001, and considering the numerous ties, financially and administratively, between the big utilities (who are funding the opposition campaign entirely) and these enviro groups it makes it clear that this is a people vs Investor Owned Utilities battle. Please reconsider your stance on Prop 7. YES ON 7

Sofia said...

I'm gonna have to go with Ron here. Why would a billionaire hire the wrong team? I heard it's the same team that helped him get the drug treatment initiative passed, which has helped countless numbers of families fight the battle against addiction. I wouldn't listen to these "major environmental groups" who fought for deregulation either. And most papers have had to lay off half of their staff because of this economy, so why would they piss off the utilities who are buying ads in their papers? Santa Barabara Community Environmental Council supports prop 7 and they are one of the major and oldest environmental groups in CA. All the experts, like S. David Freeman, Dr. Donald Aitken (who created the Renewable Portofolio standard), 3 Nobel Prize winners, it goes on and on strongly support Prop 7. I would rather be on the experts' side and on this side of history. Yes on 7! =)

Carolina said...

The only reason why the papers are against it is because the big energy companies have spent lots of money to oppose the proposition the companies include PG&E with, $13,720,250 Edison with,$13,720,250 and Sempra with $2,104,000. Please do not let them fool you and do the right thing for a better cleaner California for the generations to come, and vote YES on 7!

snichols said...

sadly, I know all the 10 and 1/2 people who read my blog and I don't know these last 3 people who quickly jumped in with well thought out talking points on why they are Yes on 7, therefore, it's pretty clear to me that they are paid operatives who are scouring the web for opportunities to get their distorted message out. Disregard. Bygones.

red e fine said...

I've actually read your blog quite a bit off and on and mostly agree with you. I agreed with your opinion back in the Democratic Primary about John Edwards over the other candidates, what a shame things turned out the way the did with him huh? I haven't wholly agreed with you on everything, like the praying for Bush bit sometime back in the earlier part of his term. I understood your thinking on the matter and am always one to wish good things for even those I don't like well, but I don't think he nor his administration deserved the good breathe of hope when it should be the strong breath of recall. Aside from all that, I have never felt an urge to comment on anything from kudos to disagreement until this very interesting post and it's subsequent comments.

It's my understanding your husband is the director of the Sierra Club California. Pretty cool what you two are up to and have dedicated your lives to. I do appreciate all of your hard work for California and sharing your opinion with the public. I read my Sierra Club newsletter, as I always do, and found its analysis on proposition 7 to be strangely unsettling. I actually took it upon myself to research this particular ballot initiative as I strongly support the intention but have been a bit weary of it due to what good groups have been saying about it.

In short, I wrote a response letter to each of the Sierra Club's objections with the research I did reading the initiative and on each of the flawed areas mentioned. I don't find any support for the letter. Anywhere. I am quite disturbed by this and have started to question the merits of the Sierra Club in the opposition camp. I turned to your blog for some info. and unfortunately found you to be against it as well. It's true most newspapers and major environmental groups are opposed. I'm just very unclear as to how widespread the misinformation has been about proposition 7. Paid operatives or not, the 3 comments you disregarded speak what I have found to be true. This is perhaps why I finally decided to comment on your blog for the first time. Also, I finally opened up a blog account myself just a few months back. Maybe I'm the 1/2 person you referred to as someone who reads but never comments on your blog.

My point in all this Sara, is that I have done the research myself and have found money, corruption, and false information to reside in the opposition camp. I don't see that happening in the proponent camp and find their endorsers to be quite reputable. I urge you and your husband to dig a bit deeper on this particular issue. If you'd like, I can email you the response letter I wrote to the Sierra Club. If anyone reading this would like to see it actually, I can email to you as well. I will try and post it on my own blog, but I am not that web savvy yet so I apologize if it doesn't get up very quickly.

snichols said...

hmmm, okay, you can be my 1/2 reader, but sadly you're still wrong. This initiative really does sound good and you'd have to want to support it, but everyone who knows what they're talking about says they do it all wrong. Next?