GO VOTE — PolitoMuse Offers Complete Analysis on All 11 California Propositions And Selected Local Measures

Visit the PolitoMuse Propositions page for complete independent analysis of each of California proposition on this November’s ballot and the PolitoMuse Local Measures page for selected Measures.  Agree with us, disagree with us, post and vent, but whatever you do, fulfill you duty to educate yourself about the issues and then exercise your right to vote.

PolitoMuse State Proposition Recommendations:

PolitoMuse Selected Local Measure Recommendations:

We urge you to re-post the PolitoMuse URL on your personal network pages (Facebook etc), wear your “I Voted” sticker, and urge your friends and family to learn, debate, motivate, and VOTE.  Votes matter – just ask Mr. Dewey.

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Help! I want to vote but . . .

Californians may feel a little left out of the Presidential election fun (though we’ll point out the obvious: polls don’t elect the president, you still have to actually vote), still, this election is shaping up to offer some very close races on important propositions (Props 30, 34, 36, 37, 38 and possibly 32), local measures, and elected officials (including a handful of state races that have attracted over $50 million in out-of-state spending).  So, make sure you vote, encourage others to vote, and check-out our revised FAQ for answers to frequent voter conundrums.

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  • I moved within my county and forgot to re-register!

No problem – go to your correct precinct, or any precinct within your county and ask for a provisional ballot.  Your provisional ballot will be verified after the election and your votes for all offices, propositions and measures to which you were entitled to vote (based on where you live) will be counted.

Unfortunately, if you moved out of your county your vote cannot be counted unless you re-registered.

  • I’m registered to Vote-by-Mail but I lost my ballot!

No problem.  Go to your voting precinct and tell the precinct captain your ballot was lost, destroyed, or eaten by your dog.  No matter what, make sure you get a provisional ballot — so long as you are not voting twice, your provisional ballot vote will be counted.

Stil have your Vote-by-Mail ballot.  That’s OK too, just surrender it at your polling place and you can vote in person.

  • My name isn’t on the polling roster at my precinct!

Not your problem.  Mistakes happen, just ask for a provisional ballot.  So long as you are in the right county (kinda hard to miss that one) your vote will count.

  • Where is my polling place again?

Checkout the California Secretary of State’s “Find Your Polling Place” page and select your county.  We have a lot of Silicon Valley (i.e., Santa Clara County) readers so here is the link to the yes, wait for it – Voter Mobile App!

  • Oh crap I’ve procrastinated and didn’t mail by Vote By Mail (aka absentee ballot) yet, can I still vote?

Yes! You have two options for getting your vote in and counted.  Some of this varies by county a bit, so check your county elections official for specifics.

  1. Return it in person to a polling place or elections office in your county before or on Election Day. Many counties will have authorized VBM ballot drop-offs locations, like City Halls for your convenience.
  2. Authorize a relative or person living in the same household as you to return the ballot on your behalf.
  • I sent in my Vote By Mail/provisional ballot but how do I know it was counted?

After that whole dangling chad incident in Florida, people have gotten awfully persnickety about knowing whether or not their ballot was counted. Well good news, there is a law for that. Under the Federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, every voter who casts a provisional ballot is entitled to find out from his/her county elections official if the ballot was counted and if not, the reason why it was not counted. Similarly, the Elections Code section 3017 provides that vote by mail voters can also track their ballots.  Again this tracking process varies by county so click here to find the appropriate website or phone number by county to track your ballot.

Voting is a privilege, a right, and a duty.  Learn the positions of the candidates, analyze the propositions and measures, and make your vote count.

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Prop 31 – PolitoMuse Urges Throwing This Baby Out With The Bath

See our analysis of California’s Proposition 31 and its mishmash of various purported reforms.  Some of the ideas are good, some are bad, and some are none-of-the above.  Overall, we don’t think this watered down “reform” plan does anything to “advance the ball” on the key state issues that call out for government reform.

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“Yes” and “No” (and “No”) – PolitoMuse Analyzes California Propositions 37, 39 and 40

California’s Proposition 37 could probably be dismissed because of its haphazard regulation scheme but at the proposition’s core is a growing public discomfort with genetically engineered foods and the monstrous agribusiness forces behind it.  We decided to reach out to one of our PolitoPals for help in trying to wade through the science.  We think the analysis provides some interesting food for thought (and we promise it won’t make you grow reptilian scales… we think).

We analyze California Proposition 39 and its efforts to close a 3-year old tax loophole created by Republican lawmakers in the dead of night.  Finally, we join others scratching their heads about Proposition 40, a referendum that is no longer backed by its own backers.  If that isn’t confusing enough, in order to defeat the referendum you need to vote “yes.”

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California Propositions 35 and 36 – PolitoMuse Urges Opposite Votes On These 2 Criminal Statutes

Proposition 35 seeks to increase the penalty for California-based human trafficking.  We aren’t sure what that is, and it turns out neither do the drafters of the proposition.  The result is a proposition that criminalizes both forcing people into prostitution, and arguably, forcing your kid to do his or her chores.  That, among other reasons, is why PolitoMuse sides with the small cadre of self-described “sex workers” (we’re sure our mothers are so proud) to oppose this well-intentioned but severely defective proposition.

Proposition 36 by contrast, is a very narrowly tailored law that changes the existing 3-strikes law by removing the ability to charge most non-serious or non-violent felonies as a 3rd Strike and allows those currently serving a life sentence for such non-serious or non-violent felonies to request re-sentencing so long as those criminals had not previously been convicted of rape, murder or child molestation.  We think this change in the law aligns 3-strikes more closely to the intentions of the electorate when it originally passed the law in 1994,  it dramatically reduces prison costs, and it provides a more just result.  

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Oh Molly… Why Californians Need To Reject 38 And Approve 30

We’ve got to hand it to Prop 38 backer Molly Munger, the multi-millionaire and her PR posse are pounding the airways with an avalanche of slick ads pushing her self-created tax plan. According to polls and questions we are getting here at PolitoMuse her money is yielding a strong return. Unfortunately, her ads are a bit loose with the truth.

“Prop 38 Doesn’t Restore Education Funding”

The Prop 38 folks just missed that one word we highlighted in making their ads. As we outline in our analysis of Prop 30 and Prop 38 only Proposition 30 restores the education funds removed in the last cost-cutting budget. Specifically:

  • Prop 38 restores exactly $0.00 of the funds cut from higher education – it will necessarily result in more increased tuition costs and reduced services to all community college, Cal State and U.C. students.
  • Prop 38 restores exactly $0.00 of the funds cut from Developmental Services (the folks that provide educational support for the disabled in California)
  • Prop 38 does not even “restore” the K-12 monies removed by the current budget. It provides different sums of money (resulting in a net reduction this year followed by a net gain in later years – more on that later) but then mandates that it be spent in a particular manner, including about $50 million (1%) to fund a new bureaucracy created by Prop 38 and some $750 million (12%) annually on computers and training whether schools need them or not.

By contrast, Proposition 30 does exactly what Proposition 38 falsely claims — it precisely “restores” the funds removed by the current budget cuts.  Cuts that were implemented with the intention of giving voters the choice posited by Proposition 30.

Prop 38 Doesn’t Keep Money Away From Bureaucrats

Molly and her PR folks missed that same important word on this claim too.  As we explain in our analysis, Prop 38 actually creates a massive bureaucracy; it just moves bureaucratic decisions from the legislature and local communities to the Superintendent of schools and a newly created non-legislative board (not exactly a “win” in our book).  It also imposes required spending on all schools throughout the state in a manner that will be good for some and bad for others.  For example, it will require spending on “technology” totaling nearly 750 million in year 2 and nearly $1 billion in years 5 through 12 – And like the rest of the initiative, that allocation cannot be changed absent passage of another state-wide proposition.  Finally, it does one of the biggest budgeting “no-no’s” one can do: It creates massive fluctuations in the income stream for both schools and the general fund. Here is how the estimated money flow looks just for K-12:

  • Year 1 = $3 Billion (a net $3 billion loss based on existing budget cuts)
  • Years 2-4 = a massive jump to about $6 billion
  • Years 5-12 = another jump (and a corresponding, inexplicable reduction in other expenditures) to over $8.5 billion.

The proponents of Prop 38 offer zero justification for the funding levels they selected, much less the rational for the sudden, massive, 50% increase between year one to two and the nearly 30% increase between years four and five.

Similar zigzagging of expenditures is found at the state general fund level which receives substantial funds to pay down debt for four years, followed by a sudden, unexplained, end to those payments (and no we will not come anywhere near paying off our debt after four years).

Prop 30 does the opposite.  It provides a steady, predictable, income stream at proven levels previously used by the State.

Voter Beware

As a matter of state law, Prop 30 and 38 can’t both be enacted. That means you have to pick one, the other, or neither. This is one of the many reasons proponents of Prop 30 begged Molly Munger to withdraw her well-intentioned, but poorly crafted, initiative. Because she refused, it means that those who support a modest tax increase to increase funding for education will be split between two competing statutes while those opposed will just vote against both. That is unfortunate for the reasons we set forth in our analyses. Our state desperately needs the funds targeted to the broad range of educational sources in Proposition 30. We hope voters will be savvy enough to wade through the confusion to vote in favor of 30 and against 38.

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PolitoMuse urges a “Yes” vote on Proposition 34

We carefully analyze the weighty pro and con arguments relating to Proposition 34 and conclude that it is one of those rare propositions that properly presents a well-reasoned change in state policy.  This particular change resolves a number of real problems while resulting in a net savings of tens of millions of dollars to state and county budgets.  We like that.  Agree?  Disagree?  Post your equally well-reasoned responses at the bottom of the analysis page.

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California Joins 21st Century – Offers Online Voter Reg

Yes that’s right – California has rolled out its online voter registration via an online application. This is especially great for you Silicon Valley readers, who have forgotten how to do anything that involves a piece of paper or a pen. You can find the online application here and some helpful FAQs.

You need to re-register to vote when:

  • You move to a new permanent residence,
  • You change your name, or
  • You change your political party choice.

Not sure if you are correctly registered?  Click here to find a complete list of all California County Election sites and check your status.

Californian’s registration must be postmarked or electronically submitted no later than October 22, 2012.

As of September 5th, 2012  17,259,680 people (representing 72.58% of eligible California voters) have registered to vote.

Make sure you are one of them!

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PolitoMuse urges a No on Proposition 33

If you loved Prop 17 in 2010 (which was defeated), you’ll love Prop 33 this election cycle. While here at PolitoMuse we do love to reuse and recycle, we recommend you leave this insurance industry proposition at the curbside – vote “No” (again).

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PolitoMuse Recommends No on Prop 32

A Yes vote on Proposition 32 promises to cut “the money tie between special interests and career politicians.” If only using all the right buzzwords made it so.

Read our full analysis here 

P.S. And isn’t ironic that the estimated combined spend on the Yes/No on Proposition 32 campaigns is over $50 million? True campaign finance reform is sorely needed in this state . . .

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