THE 2005 SPECIAL ELECTION VOTER GUIDE

Speak Out California's special election voter guide includes our recommendations on the eight ballot measures, as well as those of other statewide progressive groups. In our summary arguments below, we also provide links to the various campaigns.

We hope you will use this guide when you vote on Nov. 8, 2005, and as you talk to others about the special election. If you need more motivation as to why you should care, read this.

You can help us by making a donation, or by joining Speak Out California and forwarding this voter guide to your friends! You can also join us in fighting for a positive vision for California by signing our Progressive Values Pledge.

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GUIA DEL VOTANTE EN ESPAÑOL »

Speak Out
CA
Alliance
for a
Better CA
CA Dem
Party
CLCV CA NOW Cons.
Fed of
CA
League
Women
Voters
Power
PAC
Move
On
Members
Prop 73
Threatens teen safety
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Prop 74
Attacks school teachers
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Prop 75
Paycheck deception
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Prop 76
Guts school funding
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Prop 77
Redistricting power grab
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Prop 78
False prescription drug plan
NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Prop 79
Cheaper prescription drugs
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
Prop 80
Blackout avoidance
YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!
KEY: NO! vote NO! YES! vote YES!

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NO on Proposition 73

Parental notification laws like this one threaten teen safety because they delay teens from seeking safe, professional medical care. Prop 73 requires doctors to notify the parents of any teenager under the age of 18 who seeks abortion services, but provides no real solutions for parents.

The reality is that most teens do talk to their parents when faced with difficult situations like an unplanned pregnancy. But some girls, such as those from troubled homes, just can't. Prop 73 would put those teens further at risk by leading them to seek out illegal abortions or even try to end the pregnancy themselves.

Parents want to be involved in the lives and decisions of their teenagers, but this initiative, which forces the government into sensitive family decisions, is not the answer.

Backed by:
Anti-choice groups, and funded primarily by conservative Catholic newspaper publisher James Holman

Opposed by:
Groups who support teen safety and access to comprehensive reproductive health care like the California Nurses Association, Planned Parenthood, Pro-Choice California and the California Medical Association, among others.

NO on Proposition 74

This measure, which requires teachers to wait five years instead of two before they are eligible for tenure, is an attempt to deflect attention from the real problems facing our public school system. Teachers simply do not get paid enough for the work they do educating our next generation of leaders. Taking away a measure of job security, one of the few remaining incentives, will only make it more difficult to recruit and retain quality teachers.

If we really want to ensure our kids have good teachers, we must provide them with the training and support services they need.

Backed by:
Gov. Schwarzenegger, big business and anti-union groups

Opposed by:
Education groups, including CTA

NO on Proposition 75

Californians have rejected this initiative in the past, and they should do so again. Plain and simple, it is an attempt to handicap unfairly those organizations that give working families a voice in the political process that affects them.

It makes it unreasonably difficult for union dues to be used toward political purposes, and it is no coincidence that many of these organizations support progressive causes and candidates. It's unnecessary because union members already have the ability to opt out from political contributions, and as democratic institutions, union members can hold their leadership accountable if a majority does not agree with how union money is being leveraged in politics.

This initiative does not propose the same level of scrutiny for big corporate campaign donors, who fund conservative causes and candidates.

Backed by:
Anti-worker groups, Bush Administration advisors, Gov. Schwarzenegger and big business

Opposed by:
A broad coalition of progressive groups including teachers, nurses, school personnel and working family advocates.

NO on Proposition 76

Aims to give the Governor new powers to single-handedly slash state funding, while gutting the voter-approved education funding requirements set out in Proposition 98. Poorly written, it could also deprive cities and counties of hundreds of millions of dollars for police, firefighters, healthcare and social service programs.

This measure would amend the state's constitution to permanently balance the budget on the backs of students, seniors and the working poor. As the sixth largest economy in the world, California can do better.

Backed by:
Gov. Schwarzenegger, big business groups

Opposed by:
Education and health care advocacy groups

NO on Proposition 77

With all of the problems our state is currently facing, this initiative is merely a distraction. Redistricting should only be done in connection with the next Census, and only then should we decide how that process should unfold. This proposal rushes the process for the 2006 election, and disregards the diversity of California by putting redistricting in the hands of retired judges, who are predominantly white men.

Republicans in California know that the only way they can gain any seats in the Legislature and Congress is to change the rules about how districts are drawn, because their increasingly strident, right-wing extremist candidates are not popular with California voters.

Backed by:
Gov. Schwarzenegger, and the same people who brought you the 2003 recall election

NO on Proposition 78

The big problem with this initiative is that it is strictly voluntary, leaving it up to the giant drug companies to decide whether to offer seniors and the working poor cheaper prescription drugs. We doubt that the drug companies will always do the right thing and look out for the interests of their consumers.

This measure was designed to confuse voters – it was put on the ballot in response to real prescription drug reform championed by seniors and consumer-rights groups (see below).

Backed by:
Big drug companies, including PhRma

Opposed by:
Alliance for a Better California, seniors and consumer rights groups

YES on Proposition 79

Supported by seniors and consumer groups, this initiative would make it mandatory for drug companies to provide low-income residents with cheaper prescription drugs, or risk being barred from state Medi-Cal contracts.

The discounts would come in the form of rebates that are negotiated between the state and drug makers. This measure also calls for an oversight board and would make certain prescription drug profiteering illegal.

Backed by:
Alliance for a Better California, Seniors, consumer rights groups

Opposed by:
Drug companies

YES on Proposition 80

A response to the deregulation disaster that brought us the energy crisis of the late 1990s, this measure aims to bring stability and reliability back to California's electricity grid.

It will prevent the kind of Enron-style market manipulation that led to rolling blackouts and skyrocketing electricity bills, and further commits California to increased reliance on renewable energy sources.

Backed by:
Alliance for a Better California, and consumer groups including The Utility Reform Network