THE 2008 PRIMARY ELECTION VOTER GUIDE

The February 5th California primary is upon us. Our top rated progressive one stop voter guide for this election focuses on the ballot initiatives and includes links to the independent and highly regarded California Legislative Analyst’s Office’s analysis of each proposition. The seven measures that actually made it on the ballot are primarily about money, and how it should be allocated. The one measure dealing with state governance is the so-called Term Limits initiative. While each of these is important to a particular interest group, none of them really incorporate progressive values nor do they serve to advance or impede the progressive agenda. For that reason, Speak Out California has not taken a position on any of them, but we have tried to distill each measure down to its basic parts so you can decide how you wish to vote on each of them.

For more details on each group's endorsement, click on the name of the group in the table, and for details about the ballot campaigns, click on the proposition link on the left hand side of the table for a comprehensive research analysis and scroll down to read our summaries.

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For updated endorsement coverage be sure to checked back to this page as addiitonal endorsements come in. Make sure everyone you know votes February 5th, but with our values and state under such relentless attack, we all have to do more than vote. Freedom is a constant struggle. One way you can help is by making a donation, or by joining Speak Out California and forwarding this voter information to your friends!


Ballot Propositions

CA
DEMS
CA
LABOR
CTA LWV LA
TIMES
MERC
NEWS
SAC
BEE
SF
CHRON
prop 91
TRANSPORTATION
FUNDS
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
no
prop 92
COMMUNITY COLLEGES. FUNDING. GOVERNANCE. FEES.
yes!
no
no
no
no
no
no
prop 93
LIMITS ON LEGISLATORSí TERMS IN OFFICE
yes!
yes!
yes!
yes!
no
no
no
props 94
AMENDMENT TO INDIAN GAMING COMPACT
no
yes!
no
no
no
props 95
AMENDMENT TO INDIAN GAMING COMPACT
no
yes!
no
no
no
props 96
AMENDMENT TO INDIAN GAMING COMPACT
no
yes!
no
no
no
props 97
AMENDMENT TO INDIAN GAMING COMPACT
no
yes!
no
no
no
KEY
      Blank - No endorsement or neutral position
YES!- Vote for
NO!- Vote against

Ballot Proposition Summaries

Proposition 91

TRANSPORTATION FUNDS
ANALYSIS - PROP 91 OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION

This measure was initially introduced to protect the Transportation Investment Fund from being raided during difficult budget times. But after signatures were gathered, a ballot measure to protect the Fund was passed as Proposition 1A in the 2006 election. Therefore, the backers of the measure say the issue has already been resolved and are now asking for a NO vote. In other words, Prop. 91 is no longer relevant and has NO support.

Proposition 92

COMMUNITY COLLEGES. FUNDING. GOVERNANCE. FEES.
ANALYSIS - PROP 92 OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION

This measure will lock into the budget a minimum guarantee of about 10% of the state’s education money for the state’s community college system. Sponsored primarily by those who have a specific interest in the community college system, the initiative is designed to protect against the loss of funding for the community colleges during difficult budget times by creating a separate funding mechanism from the one that currently exists.  Presently, community colleges are included in the K-14 funding minimums of Prop 98. They want their own separate funding calculation.

Those opposed, primarily those whose interests are in preserving K-12 funding, say this measure would further tie the hands of the state by taking away needed flexibility to move funds in times of serious budget shortfalls.  This measure pits teachers against each other with the California Federation of Teachers in support and the California Teachers Association opposed. This is more a turf battle with pros and cons on each side. The California Dem Party is neutral on the measure, while the Republican Party is opposed.

Backed by:
Community College League of California
California Federation of Teachers
Los Angeles College Faculty Guild
Yes on 92: www.prop92yes.com

 

Opposed by:
California Teachers Association
Californians for Fair Education Funding
League of Women Voters of California
No on 92: www.noprop92.org

Proposition 93

LIMITS ON LEGISLATORS’ TERMS IN OFFICE
ANALYSIS - PROP 93 OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION

This Proposition changes California’s term limits law by limiting the maximum number of years a person can serve in the State Legislature from a total of 14 to 12. This measure attempts to deal with serious concerns over the impact of California’s term limits on the quality and effectiveness of legislators who arrive and depart before they’ve learned how to do the job well and lack the institutional memory necessary to address the complexities of dealing with the 6th largest economy in the world.

This initiative allows 34 lawmakers who are due to be forced out of office next year because of existing term limits to serve either an additional 4 or 6 more years. This  “transition period” which exempts current members has outraged those who see this Proposition as a transparent attempt to give the current leadership additional time in office. Claims of "sham" “fraud” and "power grab" have distracted the public from a meaningful discussion of the real impacts of creating short terms for those serving in the California Legislature.

Supporting the measure include a number of interest groups that do business with the Legislature on a regular basis, including the California Teacher’s Association. Those in opposition believe there has been a quid pro quo for the support the measure has received.  It’s an ugly battle. Term limits is an important issue and should be the subject of a comprehensive discussion that this initiative proposal has not engendered. For this reason, we at Speak Out California are not taking a position on the measure.

Backed by:
California Teachers Association
California Labor Federation AFL-CIO
California Democratic Party
CA State Council of Service Employees Issues Committee
Yes on 93: www.termlimitsreform.com

 

Opposed by:
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner
StopProp 93: www.stopprop93.com

Propositions 94-97

REFERENDA ON AMENDMENT TO INDIAN GAMING COMPACTS
ANALYSIS - PROP 94 OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION
ANALYSIS -
PROP 95 OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION
ANALYSIS -
PROP 96 OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION
ANALYSIS -
PROP 97 OFFICIAL DESCRIPTION

These four measures are identical except that each relates to a different tribe. Passage of the measures would let stand four compacts passed by the Legislature in 2007 that allow an additional 17,000 slot machines at their respective casinos and would also exempt each of these four tribes from having to abide by certain labor and environmental standards.

Those in support of the referenda claim that the tribes would be required to contribute a portion of these additional revenues into the state General Fund and thus add critically important additional financial resources to the State’s coffers for a variety of important services. Those who oppose the compacts claim that the tribes do not have to comply with important worker and environmental protections. Opponents also claim that the amounts the State will receive during the 23 year period are vague, with dollar estimates running from several millions a year to hundreds of millions a year.

Backed by:
The Republican Party
Coalition to Protect California's Budget and Economy
Yes on 94, 95, 96 & 97: www.yesforcalifornia.com

Opposed by:
Californians Against Unfair Deals
California Labor Federation AFL-CIO
No on 94, 95, 96 & 97: www.nounfairdeals.com