November’s Propositions Numbered! Which ones Suck, Which ones Rock?

I love this shit!  There are so few candidates to be excited about, what with Julio not making it and all.  (Okay, sorry, there are a FEW good ones.)  But some of this November’s initiatives are a Big F-ng Deal, one way or the other.  First here they are in the order the Madame Bowen put them in.  (These numbers COULD change, as Molly Munger the Corpse of Howard Jarvis doesn’t like the apparent favoritism that put the Governor’s measure up at the top.  But I’m betting this is how they stay.)  First, how they will probably appear:

  • Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
  • Proposition 31: State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
  • Proposition 32: Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 33: Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 34: Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 35: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 38: Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute. 
  • Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
  • Proposition 40: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.  (Pathetic Whiny-ass Republican Mulligan Initiative.)

Okay.  Now.  Which propositions ROCK?

Prop 30, Governor Brown’s temporary tax.  A compromise between the “Millionaires Tax” a bunch of us progressives, unions, and Occupiers were originally pushing for, and Brown’s original less progressive plan.  It includes a temporary sales tax, but half of what the Governor was originally proposing – i.e. 1/4%.  And it raises income taxes – temporarily – on not only those who make a million a year, but, to a much lesser degree to those who make a quarter-million or more a year.  And hence we avoid even more draconian cuts to education, infrastructure, etc. than the ones we’ve been suffering through.  Important, important, important for this to pass!

Prop 34, Repeal the Death Penalty.  About time!  Join the civilized world, and save hundreds of millions just keeping these scumbags locked up for life thinking about what they did – and which every now and then turns out they didn’t do after all!

Prop 36, Three-Strikes Reform.  Another common-sense, money-saving measure.  Believe me, when I was in jail, I met a lot of guys with ridiculously long sentences for the pettiest little things!  Nice kids too.

Prop 37, GMO Labeling.  Really, whether you think Genetically Modified Organisms are great or not, harmless or not, whether or not you’re happy to just shovel them down your own gullet, who can be against letting consumers know that’s what they’re buying?  I mean, who besides Monsanto shareholders?  How are they possibly going to try to convince people to vote NO on this?  I hear they’re going to go with “If we label foods, we’ll go broke and no longer be able to feed the world like we do.”  I guess that’s the best argument they have…

So, all those are definite YESes, in my book.

Which Ones Suck!?!?

In order of suckitude:

Prop 32:  What anti-labor people call “Paycheck Protection” and pro-labor people call “Paycheck Deception.”  This is a big deal, which I’m sure we’ll be reading and writing a lot about the next few months.  I’m against anything that kneecaps the voices of working people while not doing the same to corporations and the rich.  Californians have already said NO to this twice, BUT … public employees and unions have been so demonized by the GOP in recent years that this could be close.

Prop 33:  Mercury Insurance’s Zombie Initiative.  Aww,  HELL no!  Come on, haven’t we all – left AND right – said NO to this scam like 4 or 5 times already?  All I need to do is reprint my 2010 hit “Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote for Prop 17.

Prop 31:  Pay-as-you-Go:  A right-wing anti-government idea that might sound sensible at first blush;  as Calitics puts it, it would “restrict the budgeting process through an unnecessarily strict and inflexible process.”  But maybe that’s your thing…

Prop 38:  Molly Munger’s Tax for Education.  This well-intentioned and unpopular liberal measure, bankrolled solely by billionaire Charles Munger’s crusading daughter, would raise EVERYBODY’s income taxes and direct the money toward education where it’s no doubt sorely needed;  it is in competition with the Governor’s initiative, Prop 30, and that one is better.

So, NO on 31-33 and 38, says Vern.

Don’t know enough about yet:

Prop 39:  Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding.  ???  We’ll get back to you.

Prop 35: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.  Greg Diamond says no this sucks and is stupid and will distract from enforcement against real human trafficking, and to wait because he’s gonna write about it (and might even get his argument against on the official voters guide!)

And Already Ditched:

Proposition 40, the Whiney-Ass Republican Senate Redistricting Mulligan.  This measure, based on sad California Republicans’ far-fetched contention that last year’s redistricting was gamed by Democrats and unfair to them, QUALIFIED… but they WANTED it to go into effect THIS YEAR, and the Supreme Court f-d that up for them by okaying the new Districts for this November … and the GOP’s REAL reason to get this passed quickly was to save Sam Blakeslee’s seat this fall, which ain’t gonna happen now, and now they realize that if they ARE successful they could risk the chance of winning away Lou Correa’s termed-out seat in 2014, so now they don’t WANT you to vote for it … and the rest of us don’t care.  Can we move on now?

Let the angry debates begin!!!!!!!!!!!

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.