Living in non-swing state California makes for a boring disconnected election decided mostly by people far away. But there’s an upside! You also get to vote on a bunch of dumb propositions every year. So let’s slap on a fake smile and deconstruct this shall we?
Don’t talk to me about the lesser of two evils. Seriously, just don’t. I don’t believe the guy is evil.
Sorry everybody didn’t get their unicorn and decided to pick up their ball and go home. That isn’t a tacit endorsement of drone bombing or Guantanamo, or the rest of his policies. He’s my president and I’d like to see him finish the job. It’d be great if we lived in an ivory tower wonderland where Jill Stein could be president (despite a foreign policy that doesn’t go much beyond “wage peace” ) We don’t. This isn’t mayor of the bay area here. It is a binary decision for the most part. Mitt “the Smiler” Romney could actually win this, and if you think things suck now… Vote for anybody you want, just remember if it’s Romney, I will find you and punch you. People interested in party building or send a message, go ahead and vote for Jill Stein, Gary Johnson, or (*vomit*) Rosanne Barr. You just had better make DAMN sure to vote on propositions and your local measures too or you are an ass.
Senate: NO VOTE
*gasp* I have never voted for Dianne Feinstein and I never will. She’s pro-corporate, all about PIPA and basically a snake. I am horribly disappointed that she has no progressive challenger. I briefly considered running myself just to remind people that there are choices. Obviously I did not, but my assumption is that SOMEBODY who is better would. I guess we know what assuming does. Screw Diane Feinstein. She is awful. I cannot and will not endorse her. I’m sure she will win handily. I truly hope this is her last election.
Oakland At Large City Council: Rebecca Kaplan
Keeping it local here. Rebecca Kaplan is one of the finest public servants Oakland has ever seen. Ignacio De La Fuente one of the sleaziest and the worst. Ignacio is challenging Rebecca for Oakland At-Large city council, a citywide position. Ostensibly this is to better prepare him to run for mayor. He SUCKS. This is, put simply: The Empire vs. The Rebel Alliance. Machine politics at their worst vs. pragmatic progressivism. De La Fuente isn’t fit to be elected dogcatcher, he is a liar, corrupt and generally awful. AW-FUL. Rebecca should have been elected mayor, but she’s still in a powerful position to help the city of Oakland. A city I love very much and that needs it. She deserves to be re-elected. That’s it. I run into an alarming amount of people that aren’t even aware she’s being challenged. She is, and it’s a for serious challenge. Please vote for Rebecca Kaplan if you are an Oakland voter. Ignacio De La Fuente is awful, plain and simple, Rebecca Kaplan is wonderful.
(There are other local races, but those are the important ones to me and I do tend to ramble!)
Now the important stuff, the abject failure of the direct democracy system yet again rears its ugly head as a bevy of mostly worthless/dangerous propositions are presented to a jaded, disengaged and very angry electorate. Why do we have a bicameral legislature? SEARCH ME!
Proposition 30: YES.
Raises income taxes on top 2% for schools and vital services, quarter cent sales tax.
We love not paying for things in California! Schools are boned right now, I mean really boned. Sales tax is regressive, which I don’t care for. And I think the top 2% spend a lot of money NOT paying their taxes for the most part. But what the hell dude? State is broke. Sure could use those billions Enron defrauded California for ten years ago now, eh? Raise it. ¼ cent over 4 years is worth it.
Proposition 31: NO
Ham-fisted attempt at reform that kind of bones Environmental laws and puts all kind of weird spending caps on things. Nah brah.
Proposition 32: HELL NO!
Do you think corporations should have more power on elections? Do you think Super PACs are the best idea ever? Than this is the prop. for you! If, however… you are a sane human being vote H-E-L-L no on this. If you are Karl Rove, vote yes. This might be the worst thing on the ballot and that is saying a lot.
Proposition 33: NO!
This same stupid Mercury insurance initiative that was on the ballot in 2008. This thing is harder to kill than Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th! Insurance companies can raise rates on you. Period. That’s what this does. Even if the gap in coverage you have is because you do not own a car. Lame. Vote this business down. I’m sure we’ll be doing so again in four years.
Proposition 34:YES, YES, YES
Eliminate the death penalty. The death penalty is backwards and barbaric. Period. This is the first thing worth voting *FOR* on the ballot for me. It’s important. Only if you think our judicial system has never made a mistake should you vote no on this. If you are against abortion you absolutely have no reason not to, unless you are a hypocrite. Vote yes on this, please. It also requires killers to work while in prison and directs their earnings to their victims, but really… let’s just stop executing people.
Proposition 35: NO
This is the human trafficking prop. That doesn’t mean I’m for human trafficking, but I think this proposition kind of sucks. It’s borderline unconstitutional, poorly written and could catch a lot of people up in the system that don’t deserve to be. That is a drag. It seems reasonable at first glance, I’d say vote no on it. And since this is one of those issues like protecting child molester’s rights that everybody makes snap decisions on I think it could actually pass… and would be another tool to get people caught in the system that maybe aren’t involved in trafficking at all.
Proposition 36: YES
Reforming the three strikes law to impose life only when the felony is serious or violent. Considering how often “three strikes” has put away drug offenders, this should be on the mind of every voter. This law was passed to keep murderers and rapists locked up. Not non-violent offenders. We need to stop locking people up as the solution for everything.
Proposition 37: YES, YES, YES!
This is mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods. This would be the first law of it’s kind in the nation requiring CLEAR labels of when foods are genetically modified. This needs to happen. Lots of misinformation flying around about this. It doesn’t raise food costs or taxes, there’s a lot of scaremongering by Monsanto, DuPont, Kraft and a bunch of other big corporate types are against it. Screw them; we have a right to know. This is an awesome, awesome thing to vote FOR. Don’t get caught up in any scaremongering… this will be huge if it passes.
Proposition 38: NO
Income tax increase to support public education. I think this needs to happen, but I think this prop isn’t the way to do it. This money goes to a way unaccountable state bureaucracy and more importantly it can’t be changed for TWELVE years. Including instances of fraud and waste. This is a big ol’ 2% jump in taxes for anybody making over $8000 a year too that kind of sucks. Schools need to be funded, but I don’t think this is the answer… I think prop 30 is better.
Proposition 39: YES
Green jobs tax on multi state businesses. Closes a corporate tax loophole that has corporations getting off the hook for years. Dedicates $550 million annually for five years for energy efficiency and energy related jobs. Gotta say yes on this one. We’ve got to do this kind of stuff, and even corporations must pay their fair share.
Proposition 40: YES
Referendum on the State Senate redistricting plan. Remember that state senate redistricting plan that I was against a couple years ago? It passed and the map was created, it just needs to be implemented. The Republicans aren’t for it anymore because it wasn’t in time for the 2012 elections. Which I guess leads some credence to the “it’s a partisan” thing. Whatever… we paid for the maps, let’s use ‘em. Let the congress critters gnash their teeth.
So there you go, that’s how I voted. I don’t expect everybody to do the same, but I do try to do as much research as possible before I make a decision. Over the years people have said that they like seeing how I vote on things as a way to help them make a decision themselves. Hence the guide. Please: don’t forget to vote. It’s a privilege and a duty and if you don’t… well, the jerks usually do, let’s not let the jerks win this time.