November Ballot Initiatives Get Numbers

Bebra Bowen, California Secretary of State, issued a press release today announcing the assigned numbers for the November 2010 ballot initiatives.

The initiatives are:

   Safe, Clean, and Reliable Drinking Water Supply Act of 2010.

   Changes California Law to Legalize Marijuana and Allow It to be
Regulated and Taxed.

   Redistricting of Congressional Districts.

   Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State
Parks and Wildlife Programs and Grants Free Admission to All State Parks to
Surcharged Vehicles.

   Prohibits the State from Taking Funds Used for Transportation
or Local Government Projects and Services.

   Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws Requiring Major Polluters
to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming Until
Unemployment Drops Below Specified Level for Full Year.

   Repeals Recent Legislation that Would Allow Businesses to Carry
Back Losses, Share Tax Credits, and Use a Sales-Based Income Calculation to
Lower Taxable Income.

   Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass a Budget from Two-Thirds
to a Simple Majority. Retains Two-Thirds Vote Requirement for Taxes.

   Increases Legislative Vote Requirement to Two-Thirds for State
Levies and Charges. Imposes Additional Requirement for Voters to Approve Local
Levies and Charges with Limited Exceptions. 

   Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority
for Redistricting with Elected Representatives.

Speak Out California will be analyzing these initiatives, tracing the funding of proponents and opponents, and reporting to you between now and November. 

The entire press release in full is below the fold:

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A Thought for Progressives

Guest post by Edward Bear

a former U.S. president said, “
Government is
not a solution to our problem, government is the problem,” he trampled
on the idea that government had the ability and the duty to be a source
of some very profound solutions as well. 
Child Labor Laws, Food and Drug Standards, and on and on.

With that statement, Reagan elevated
division and selfishness to new heights and, perhaps unknowingly, declared war
on what the essence of America is.

To begin with, government can be as
sound and as solid as the Constitution it is built upon.  Until the time of Reagan, the United States
was a nation that kept improving itself, and the lives of its citizens,
as it went along. 

When Governor Reagan left the state
of California behind to seek national office, he left one of the best public
school systems in the world, from kindergarten through graduate schools,
on a path of diminished support that lead to a deeply diminished and
deteriorating system. It is now below the national average in per-pupil
expenditure. The National Education Association ranks California 29th in the
nation in support of its students, and some estimates tell us that it is even
lower than that.  (Some legacy!)

By starving and shrinking
government, as Reagan supporters like to proselytize, we are starving ourselves
and the health of our nation. 

We need a new transformation,
where free citizens determine the policies and future of the nation, not
representatives within government who are bought and paid for by lobbyists to
do the bidding of business. There are sometimes as many as six to eight
lobbyists for every member of Congress.

Government should NOT be run like a
business!  Business should be run
like a business.  Business is only
concerned with maximizing market share and profits. 

Government should be run with the view that it is the servant of the
people and there to do good. 
These days, that almost sounds quaint, doesn’t it?

Government isn’t innately flawed
as Mr. Reagan liked to infer when he made fun of it.  Government is as honest and as
as the people who inhabit it.

For starters, LIARS should be banned
from all government jobs, elected and otherwise.  How many representatives and senators do you
think that would still leave in office? 
30%?  40%?  50%? 
When you give up on government, you give up on yourself!  It’s not a complicated equation: Government
is as good as the people in it!! Since when has honesty been “optional” for
government work?

Ask yourself: Do you believe that most
people are dishonest and incompetent? 
What kind of ‘view of existence’ is that?  Sad and cynical, I’d say.  I believe that it’s just a projection of the
person saying it, and I sure don’t want those people in government, much
less running it at the top!

The United States was born as a
place of Hope and Opportunity.  It
started out giving that hope and opportunity only to white males with European
background.  But it/we have kept amending
ourselves and improving this nation in an ongoing quest to provide “Liberty and
Justice for All.”  Those are the key
concepts: Liberty and Justice for All. 

If you agree with that notion, I
recommend you transform yourself into a Proud Progressive and carry these
thoughts proudly.  Government isn’t “a
beast that should be starved!”  It is Our
Resource and the basis of our “Commons” and it should be nourished and guided
into being an instrument for good and for justice.

You probably know that the current
disparity between the richest and poorest Americans is greater now than it has
ever been in our history
. Some economic observers call what our financial
system has become “Casino Capitalism.” 
The results of the policies of the last 30 years is that the American
Middle Class is being drained dry. That is counter to Hope and Opportunity, and
directly undermines Liberty and Justice for All.

So be a Proud Progressive!  Take Part. 
GOVERNMENT.  Transform our Nation and our
Future while we still can.  

Edward Bear is a long-time progressive activist, radio personality and talk-show producer.
He currently produces the progressive radio show Hannah-Beth On-The-Air.


Dear Friends;

As we come down to the wire on tomorrow’s June 8, 2010 election, we’ve seen enormous amounts of money being spent on ballot measures that will have a significant impact on the future of our state.
With a wide-range of issues at stake– from the conducting of elections to how we get our electricity, we want to make sure you have the real, unbought, objective analysis and suggestions of a progressive point-of-view on these issues.
For those who live in Santa Barbara County, and in Carpinteria, specifically, this election will determine whether another oil company is going to be able to get around existing laws for its own financial benefit and at the expense of the quality of life and protection of our coast. Measure J is a bald-faced attempt by VENECO oil company to circumvent existing environmental and land-use laws to allow drilling for as long as the company wants and in any manner they want. Hard-to-believe, but true.
But they’re not alone, there are two other initiatives that are also for the benefit of multi-million dollar corporations—again at the expense of you and me, the public. Prop. 16 (the PG&E monopoly and anti-green energy initiative) has been purchased by PG&E for over $40 Million. We must beat that back and tell PG&E that they can’t subvert democracy, energy independence and consumer protections.
The same is true for Prop. 17–which Mercury Insurance has funded, almost as exclusively as PG&E has done with 16), in order for it to be able to make huge profits,.
The single element that is so interesting is that these measures claim to be exactly the opposite of what they are. WE NEED TO SAY NO TO 16 and 17.

Prop. 14, the “open primary” initiative forces candidates to raise huge amounts of cash to campaign to all of the voters in the state.  This potentially seals the deal that campaigns require wealthy candidates or corporate sponsorship.  

On the other hand, Prop. 15, “public financing,” helps candidates from all walks of life run a campaign that can reach the public without depending on funding from wealthy or corporate interests.

So I want to make sure you’re aware of this year’s Speak Out California Voter Guide which covers the five statewide initiatives on the ballot.

In the guide please note the various recommendations from seven of the state’s leading non-partisan and progressive groups, in addition to the recommendations of Speak Out California, which are:

Proposition 13, the Earthquake Retrofit Property Tax initiative: No position.

Proposition 14, the “Kill the Parties Initiative”: NO

Proposition 15, the “End Corporate Financed Elections Initiative”: YES

Proposition 16, the “PGE Initiative”: NO

Proposition 17, the “Mercury Insurance Initiative”: NO

Thank you ,

Hannah-Beth Jackson