The other day, we wrote about the 11 Propositions on the California ballot, and in the past, we’ve discussed the miserable California initiative, referendum and recall system, that gives any big-money interests direct access to government, bypassing the state Legislature and Governor.
While every couple of years or so a well-intentioned initiative is on the ballot, the vast majority of ballot measures are attempts by big business and the insurance industry to change California law for the sole purpose of increasing their own profits, the public good be damned.
Occasionally, a measure such as this election’s Prop 30 is on the ballot, a measure proposed and supported by the governor, in an effort to bypass legislative gridlock and provide a public solution for a serious problem.
As the voting public did throughout much of the country, Californians saw through much of the garbage, and cast intelligent votes, disdaining the fallacious arguments bought and paid for by billion dollar interests, and voted to benefit the public good, in most (but not all) instances:
Voters passed Prop 30 that saves our education system and other needed public services. Voters passed Prop 36 that adds a common sense fairness to the three strikes sentencing laws. Voters passed Prop 39 that corrects a horrible tax law that special interests guided through a few years back, and that will now provide the state billions in corporate tax revenue, and voters passed Prop 40, a referendum that keeps the newly drawn and independently drawn state senate districts.
Voters rejected Prop 31 that would have empowered local politicians to circumvent environmental and health laws. Voters rejected Prop 32 that would have denied unions the means to support or oppose issues according to how they affect the well-being of their members, and all working class Californians. Voters rejected Prop 33 that would have returned California drivers to the old days of insurance premiums based on how much carriers wanted to bill, rather than on any valid, objective criteria. Voters rejected Prop 38, the alternative special interest tax measure that would have increased income taxes on almost all Californians.
Unfortunately, however, the money paid off on some measures:
Voters passed Prop 35, that adds superfluous and unneeded new sentencing requirements to serious crimes that were already properly dealt with, and that also adds new penalties and sanctions that criminalize acts that do not correctly or properly fall into such categories. Voters rejected Prop 34 that would have ended California’s controversial and expensive death penalty, and voters rejected Prop 37 that would have provided consumers with vital labeling information as to the genetically engineered components of the food they eat.
Eight and three is not a bad outcome. Unless, of course, you’re eating radioactive tomatoes and don’t understand why your fingernails are glowing in the dark.