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16 propositions, 1 ballot. Confused? Last-minute links and info for voters.

Sixteen state propositions, six of which conflict, make today's ballot one of the most complicated in recent memory. Here are some links and tips, if you haven't had time to investigate yet. My slate? Vote for Democrats; YES on J, N, 59, 60, 60A, 66, 70, 71; NO on others; Madrigal, Reilly, Robert Norse (write-in), and Coral Brune (write-in) for Santa Cruz City Council.

Sixteen state propositions, six of which conflict, make today's ballot one of the most complicated in recent memory. Here are some links to information sources, if you haven't had time to investigate. My slate? Vote for Democrats; YES on J, N, 59, 60, 60A, 66, 70, 71; NO on others; Madrigal, Reilly, Robert Norse (write-in), and Coral Brune (write-in) for Santa Cruz City Council.

State Propositions

Local Measures

Recent Discussions on IndyMedia

I am sure that this is not a complete list! Please post comments with links to any key discussions that I have left out.

My Slate

Federal and State Offices

  • All Democratic candidates. Of the candidates who stand a chance of winning, they are the most progressive. This does not mean that they are perfect, or even good. We should groom some of the "small" candidates for future elections.

State Propositions

Explanations below, grouped by topic.

  • 1A - NO
  • 59 - YES
  • 60 - can't decide!
  • 60A - YES
  • 61 - NO
  • 62 - can't decide!
  • 63 - NO
  • 64 - NO
  • 65 - NO
  • 66 - YES
  • 67 - NO
  • 68 - NO
  • 69 - NO
  • 70 - YES
  • 71 - YES
  • 72 - NO

County Measure

  • J - YES. Adding carpool lanes (yes, that's a requirement in the text) between Watsonville and Santa Cruz is the priority project in this measure. 1.75 million Metro bus rides each year will be improved, with shorter travel times, shorter wait times, and more available seats. Metro bus riders, the main users of "alternative transportation" in Santa Cruz County, will be able to travel from Watsonville to Santa Cruz in 30 minutes instead of an hour and fifteen (today's most common travel time). The highway widening (carpool lanes) component would make this possible even without any new transit funding. A bus that now makes one trip in 75 minutes will be able to make more than two trips using the carpool lanes. Even so, Measure J throws in $29 million of new transit funding, including money for seniors and people with disabilities. Faster north-south transit is an economic justice issue for Watsonville residents, who often have to travel north for access to education and jobs.

Santa Cruz City Measures

  • L - NO. Makes it easier for the City of Santa Cruz to separate local electrions from state and national elections. Will reduce voter turnout, allowing a few concerned people to control the outcome. Allows the City to conduct local elections entirely by mail. Will exclude people who move frequently and/or do not have a fixed mailing address, i.e., the poor.
  • M - NO. Reduces the amount of time that City Councillors must wait before running for election again. Though the courts have already resolved this issue (they adopted the YES position), voting NO sends a message to the City Council that we don't want the same people to serve over and over again. (Thanks to Robert Norse for background information and perspective.)
  • N - YES. Lets the City publish new laws online. Reduces the number of locations where printed copies are posted. Good only because it's easier to download the information than to go to City Hall and read it.
  • O - NO. Lets the City stop keeping written records of City Council activities. The records would be electronic. Opens the door for forgeries and secret revisions (cf. Orwell's Ninteen Eighty-Four), since there will no longer be a physical master copy of the records.

Santa Cruz City Council

If you write-in a candidate, remember to also mark the box next to the name, or your write-in entry will be ignored.

  • Robert Norse. He is a maverick, a smart guy, and the person with the best progressive program.
  • Coral Brune. I don't know Coral as well as Robert, and I haven't received a program from her, but I suspect that she is a good choice for the progressive voter.
  • Tony Madrigal. A newcomer and a nice guy. I disagree with some of his positions, but he is better than the alternatives.
  • Emily Reilly. I cast this vote very reluctantly. Again, not perfect, or even good, but better than the alternatives.

Santa Cruz Port District

In the absence of any useful information about the candidates, except a Sentinel article, an old Metro article, and one statement, I am voting for the youngest candidates. I am undecided for the third position. I will not vote for Paul J. Cogswell, the sole candidate who didn't provide information for the Sentinel article. I will not vote for the incumbent, Ron Merrall, who, at 72, ought to give his place to a newcomer.

  • Lou Mata
  • Jim Thoits
  • Third position - can't decide!

Santa Cruz County Board of Education

Again, no useful information about the candidates. Ward seems to be the more rigorous of the two people.

  • Ward Edware Alksne
  • Santa Cruz City School Board

    Again, no useful information about the candidates. Ken seems to be the more active, involved, and interested candidate.

  • Ken Wagman
  • About the State Propositions

    1A & 65 - Protect city and county programs but make state programs more vulnerable. When budget cutbacks become necessary, the state will not be allowed to cut city and county programs, like police. Instead, it will have to cut state programs, including public education, community colleges, CSU, and UC.

    60 - Maintains the existing primary election system. Each party fields multiple candidates in March. Voters pick their favorites by party. Each party fields only one candidate, the favorite, in November.

    62 - Creates a non-partisan primary election system. Each party fields multiple candidates in March. Voters pick their favorites. Only the two top choices appear on the ballot in November, and this, regardless of party. Eliminates "small" candidates in March rather than November.

    68 - Will probably force the state to approve more non-Indian casinos, while limiting the amount of tax that non-Indian casino owners must pay.

    70 - Will speed up state approval of new Indian casinos and will probably reduce the amount of money that Indian tribes have to pay to the state in lieu of taxes. Fair because Indian tribes are sovereign nations and should have the right to set up casinos with no state approval. Also, treaties exempted Indians from all taxes, so tribes really shouldn't have to pay anything.

    59 - Increases public's right to access state government information.

    60A - Prevents the state from selling real estate for the sake of balancing this year's budget. Profit from sale of surplus real estate will be used to pay off state debt instead.

    61 - Has the public borrow a substantial amount of money and give it to children's hospitals. Insurance plans pay fees to hospitals, and these fees are supposed to cover the cost of care, which includes new buildings, machinery, etc. Why should the public have to make up for declining payments from stingy insurance companies? (Medi-Cal and Medicare are among the insurance plans at fault. Those publicly-funded programs need to be reformed.)

    63 - Raises the income tax rate for high income-earners and gives the money to the mental health industry, including institutions, doctors, non-profit agencies, and drug companies. The "helping industries" are crooked. Even if they weren't, there would be other, more immediate uses for this new tax money -- like paying off state debt.

    64 - Reduces people's right to sue companies that make dangerous products, etc.

    66 - Frees many minor criminals. Only serious crimes will now count toward the "3 strikes, you're out" law.

    67 - Raises the telephone tax rate (already over 100%, except for Lifeline subscribers) and gives most of the new money to hospital emergency rooms and doctors. Same problem as 61. Also, targets cell phone users (cell phone and pager companies have long targeted minorities and the poor, with the result that poor people wind up paying for the most expensive phone service).

    69 - When fully implemented in several years, requires police to collect a DNA sample from every person who is arrested in California, on mere suspicion of a felony. The DNA database will contain samples from people who were never charged with, let alone convicted of, committing a crime. The risk of mixups is tremendous, and this could lead to false criminal convictions.

    71 - Has the public borrow a relatively small amount of money and give it to the biotechnology industry for stem cell research. A give-away, good only as a policy statement and because the medical discoveries, whoever profits from them, will benefit people.

    72 - Forces employers to pay employees with both health insurance and wages. Does not force employers to pay employees more in total. Does not help small business (<20 employees) employees, self-employed people, unemployed people, non-citizens, independent contractors, or people who buy individual health insurance. Placates some currently uninsured workers, discouraging them from fighting for real health insurance that isn't tied to employment or family status (i.e., single-payer).


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