SDCo Prop A: No (Regional fire protection agency) The county looked at forming a regional fire department. They said it would require more money to fund than we already spend in sum total across all the existing cities and rural agencies. This doesn't provide enough money, and it sets up a poor system. This is worth doing, but they need to try again. I'm willing to pay them $52/year, but they need to not-waste it. (And our county supervisors SUCK at not-wasting money.)
State ballot propositions:
CA Prop 1A: No. (High speed rail) Authorizes $9.95 billion in bonds to build a 200 MPH rail system connecting the major cities in California. It's a good project in theory, and would ordinarily be worth the bond debt. But our bond debt is too high already, I won't approve any more of it. Besides, this state refuses to write penalty clauses into contracts, everything runs over budget (usually to horrifying degrees.) Even if it gets built, they'll run out of money before they reach San Diego. The rail authority has existed for twelve years, during which they've spent $58 million and have little to show for it. The run into San Diego would parallel I-15... except they're talking about diverting it a quarter mile east to pass through the Escondido Transit Center--at an additional cost of $900 million. These people are too irresponsible to be trusted with public money.
CA Prop 2: No. (Farm animal confinement) The factory farm model does suck. Cows, chickens, whatever jammed into tiny cages they can't move around in. This is a bad solution. It would immediately eliminate all pens and cages, requiring more space to house the same number of animals, more effort to manage them, and driving up costs. The price competition with other states will be substantial. The egg industry in California is expected to die overnight, and the meat industry will suffer badly. This is a problem worth solving, but not in this way.
CA Prop 3: No (Children's hospital bonds) $980 million in bonds to build and expand children's hospitals. Good cause, but no bonds. Sorry, Mrs. Schmenkman.
CA Prop 4: No (Parental notification of abortions) As always, another attempt by the pro-life crowd to chip away at Roe v. Wade. There's no threat to teenage girls from abortions performed in a proper setting by a licensed physician. They just want to stop their daughters from having them, and they don't care that someone else's daughter might get thrown out on the street as a consequence.
CA Prop 5: Yes (Drug offense sentancing) Expands treatment programs for nonviolent drug offenders, grants more good-time credit for inmates who complete them.
CA Prop 6: No (Drug and gang enforcement spending) Minimum funding for particular law enforcement programs, increases penalties for some drug and gang offenses. Looking at the details, there's a mix of good ideas and bad ones. One of the bad ones is diverting all the Youthful Offender Block Grant funds to county probation offices, denying their direct use by drug treatment or mental health agencies. This is what we elect a legislature to handle. This is the work of too many uninformed private citizens tossing all their agendas into one stew. We can do better than this.
CA Prop 7: No (Renewable energy generation) This sets unreasonably high proportions of energy state utilities must buy from "renewable energy sources". Again, good goal, bad method to attain it.
CA Prop 8: No (Gay marriage repeal) This is just the busybody religious right (and primarily the Mormon Church) codifying their hatred of homosexuals in civil law. Fuck those people. Fuck them up their stupid asses.
CA Prop 9: Yes (Crime victims rights) Expands required notification of crime victims about offenders' court proceedings. Expands victim protections during the prosecution process. Requires victim safety to be considered in bail and parole proceedings. Existing laws are pretty good, but there's some improvements in here about the victim notice system. I'll take it.
CA Prop 10: No (Alternative fuel vehicles) $5 billion in bonds to pay for alternative energy sources. Most of it is for vehicle purchase rebates. No more bonds, especially "let's vote the public treasury into our own pockets!" bonds.
CA Prop 11: Yes (Legislative redistricting) Takes the pen away from the legislature and gives it to a commission of five Dems, five Republicans, and four independents, requiring three of each category to approve the maps. The legislature gerrymanders districts to protect incumbents. Almost none of them are competitive, so we get state and federal legislators that suck balls. Both parties hate this proposition, which is a good sign.
CA Prop 12: Yes (Veterans mortgage bonds) $900 million in bonds to fund the veterans' mortgage program. Bonds suck when they're paid off out of tax revenues. These are paid for by the mortgage holders. I'm perfectly happy to help veterans, especially when it doesn't cost me a dime.