Posts Tagged voting

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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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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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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Lies, Lies, Lies…

We at Politomuse are big fans of free speech.  That said, there is a good reason that false or misleading speech is generally not protected in this country — the reason is that lies don’t generally promote the positive effects of discourse.  Unfortunately, when we have an initiative process that foists upon voters the responsibility to analyze pages and pages of legalese, there is a real incentive to “bend the truth.”  Sadly, our press has become less interested in calling out untruths, opting instead for a policy of acceptance of all opposing positions — even ones that are based on false or misleading facts.  We don’t agree with that trend so, in anticipation of tomorrow’s election day excitement (yes, we admit to being Polito-geeks), we thought we’d point out some of the more egregious falsities in recent election mailers.

First Place:  Prop 29 Proponents Claim Funds Must Be Spent in California.            Verdict:    FALSE

We urge a “no” vote on 29 for a number of reasons related to the manner in which the hundreds of millions of dollars collected through this tax would be spent.  Among those reasons, however, was not the fact that the moneys need not be spent in California.  Apparently, however, many voters are troubled by the fact that California’s smoking taxpayers would potentially have their money funnelled out of state and the “No” campaign has been getting some traction with that argument.  So, what better way for the “yes” folks to rebut that argument than a recent mailer sent by the pro-29 folks simply stating that all the money must be spent in California.  The “pro-29” forces are also running the same misstatement in slick television commercials that are currently blanketing the airways.  The only problem with this clever rebuttal is that it is patently untrue.  We’ve reviewed the full six pages of tiny text several times and find no requirement that money be spent here.

 To the contrary, section 30130.53, subdivision d, section 1 provides that “All qualified investigators, regardless of institutional affiliation shall have equal access and opportunity to compete for the funds in this act.”

In other words, any attempt to limit expenditures to California would likely expressly violate the proposed initiative.  Like most initiatives, if approved, this one can’t be changed except by additional proposition (though this one could be altered by the legislature 15 years after passage).  So, while we can think of a number of reasons that reasonable voters may disagree with our “No” recommendation on this initiative – this falsehood isn’t one of them.

Second Place:  Measure B Opponents claim passage will cause city employees to lose their homes.            Verdict:    Misleading

We picked the nicely laid out picture of the young couple that states “If Measure B passes people like me will lose our homes” followed by a signature of Carlos, a San Jose Animal Control Officer for this questionable prize; although frankly, we could have picked a number of questionable statements presented in various “No” flyers for this dubious honor.  The wickedly clever part of this hit-piece is that the statement is really an opinion and therefore can’t really be disproved.  However, Measure B gives current employees the option of either not changing their current paycheck at all but moving to a less generous future pension or “agreeing” to a small increase in the amount of their pension contribution (between 4%-16% but no more than 50% of the real cost of the benefit).  Since Carlos will chose whether he takes a small financial hit today or a small financial hit in the future one really can’t say that the measure will force him out of his home.  If you are interested in the specifics, this chart shows the various permutations that would be available to City employees.

Dishonorable Mention:  Measure B Proponent Chuck Reed claims Measure B doesn’t reduce employee benefits.            Verdict:    Misleading

So lets think about this, we want to solve a financial problem by not reducing benefits to employees?  If you think that sounds a little dubious, there is good reason.  While its is true that City employees will have an option that keeps their exact current pension plan in place under Measure B, they will need to pay more for that plan — an increase in costs is necessarily a decrease in overall benefits to the employee.  While Mayor Reed has done a better job recently of avoiding some of the less palatable tactics he employed earlier in this campaign, we were disappointed to see this little nugget in a recent Reed flyer.  Especially since with the exception of this point, he has recently done a fair job of just laying out the facts — facts that we think should lead voters to a “yes” vote.  So why bend the truth Mayor?

We hope you navigate your way around these and other misleading gems in this election cycle.  If you find the information we provide on this site helpful, please remember to subscribe (on the right side of this page) so you will get our future posts delivered (and nothing else by the way).  Happy voting!

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PolitoMuse’s Handy Voting Guide

Today is the big day! A few last minute tips and tricks to help you out.

You can either view this summary of recommendations on your mobile phone or print the post (see icon at the bottom of post) and bring with you to the polling place.

Happy Voting!

Statewide Candidates

Governor – Jerry Brown

US Senate – Barbara Boxer

LT Governor – Gavin Newsom

Sec. State – Debra Bowen

Controller – John Chiang

Treasurer –Bill Lockyer

Attorney General – Kamala Harris

Insurance commissioner – Dave Jones

Propositions

Prop 19 – Yes

Prop 20 – No

Prop 21 – No

Prop 22 – No

Prop 23 – No

Prop 24 – No

Prop 25 – Yes

Prop 26 – No

Prop 27 – No

Local  Candidates

U.S. Rep. District 11 – Jerry McNerney

S.C. Board of Sups Dist. 1 – Wasserman

Morgan Hill Mayor – Steve Tate

Bay Area Measures

Measure A – Yes

Measure B – Yes

Measure C – No

Measure L – No

Measure U – Yes

Measure V – Yes

Measure W – Yes

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I Thought I Couldn’t Vote Because….

  • 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.

  • I’d love to vote on Tuesday, but November 2 is my pet rock’s birthday and we plan to fly to Vegas!

Well, you’ve got to have your priorities… Its OK, though, you can vote early.  Check your local county’s website (click on the link under “Useful Resources” on the right side of the PolitoMuse homepage) for you “Early Voting” location and git-er-done!

  • 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 your link

  • 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 other 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 Elections 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, 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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