Patterico's Pontifications

10/28/2020

Another Year of Horrid Ballot Propositions in California

Filed under: General — JVW @ 11:58 am



[guest post by JVW]

Proving the adage that everything noble is eventually corrupted, the citizens, interest groups, and legislature of the Golden State have once again conspired to place a series of foolhardy ballot measures up to the public for debate. Each election year we Californians, who put the “crazy” into democrazy, mull over a slew of initiatives and propositions which represent items so rancid that even the mono-party California Legislature refuses to consider them, or else they are ideas that either require the assent of the governed in order to be enacted or are controversial enough that the legislature prefers to let the riff-raff of the state have the final word. Once in a while a conservative group will cobble together enough valid signatures to place an item for public consideration, only to usually see it die a quick yet painful death.

This year our propositions are the usual collection of the stupid, the useless, and the foolhardy. I know many readers don’t reside in our dysfunctional avocado republic, but in the past some of you have mentioned that you enjoy hearing about the folly we like to inflict upon ourselves, so here you go:

Proposition 14
What is it: It authorizes the state to sell $5.5 billion in bonds, the proceeds of which will be used to continue and expand the stem cell initiative of 2004.
Who’s for it: Big Science, as well as the wealthy philanthropist who spearheaded the 2004 initiative in response to the suffering of some family members.
Who’s against it: Just about everyone in the state who has figured out that the 2004 stem cell initiative did not unlock a bevy of cures which then in turn showered the state in the promised royalty and tax revenue.
How I’m going to vote: Against. I voted no on the 2004 initiative. There’s plenty of venture capital in this state, so if stem cells are a promising field they will have no trouble raising money privately.

Proposition 15
What is it: The first major challenge to 1978’s property tax-limiting measure, Prop 13, this year’s measure would allow commercial property holdings in excess of $3 million to be reassessed at current market value for property tax purposes in order to allegedly raise $6.5 – $11 billion annually “for the schools.”
Who’s for it: The dominant leftist cartel, educrats, and a lot of people who rely upon state tax dollars for their employment.
Who’s against it: Business owners and associations, taxpayer groups, the last two or three small government advocates left here, the NAACP, landlords, some renters’ associations, pretty much anyone who understands he or she would directly or indirectly be paying these increased taxes and isn’t already filthy rich.
How I’m going to vote: No — aw, hell no! The left has long claimed that Prop 13 “starves” the state of needed revenue, even though we have somehow managed to fund a $222 billion budget in the meantime. With a pretty strong coalition against Prop 15, including some skittish Democrat legislators, I’m optimistic it will go down to a well-deserved defeat. Otherwise, look for the same coalition to sooner-rather-than-later come after residential properties too.

Proposition 16
What is it: It undoes Prop 209 from 1996 which prohibits the use of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or natural origin in government decision-making. It would allow for these factors to once again be used in public college admissions, employment, and the awarding of state contracts.
Who’s for it: The wokedy-woke and the diversity industry. They have been pining for this moment for the past 24 years, and believe the hour has at last come. The legislature considered a run at undoing 209 six years ago, but kept their powder dry until this moment.
Who’s against it: The un-woke and those who believe that a pluralistic state which is now majority minority ought to judge people by factors that are not entirely related to DNA. Asian-Americans in particular feel that they have a lot to lose by repealing 209, and they were a key player in forcing the legislature to back down in 2014, though the rise of woke Asian-Americans complicates matters somewhat.
How I’m going to vote: No. I actually voted against Prop 209 two dozen years ago for a variety of reasons, but in retrospect I think that vote was a mistake on my part. I am afraid, though, that our state suffers from terminal wokedness and that Prop 16 will pass. If I am wrong, that’s a sign that there really is a silent majority in this state who is tired of all the diversity bullying.

Proposition 17
What is it: Gives felons the right to vote after completing their prison term.
Who’s for it: The usual criminal-reform folks, racial and ethnic organizations, and Democrats who expect to benefit from voting felons.
Who’s against it: Law-and-order types, victims rights groups, Republicans who think this will lead to a higher Democrat vote totals.
How I’m going to vote: I suppose no. I would consider a yes vote if this forced ex-cons to complete their full probationary period before having voting rights restored. As it is, knowing that the Bernard Sanders crazies want even currently incarcerated felons to be able to vote, I would rather throw up a road block here and now than find ourselves sending ballots to Folsom and San Quentin in four years’ time.

Proposition 18
What is it: Allows 17-year-olds to vote in primary elections, provided that they turn 18 before the general election.
Who’s for it: Democrats who rely upon naïve voters to unquestioningly accept their agenda.
Who’s against it: People like me and W.C. Fields who don’t particularly like the young.
How I’m going to vote: There’s a decent argument to be made in favor of this, but now that California primary elections with their “jungle ballot” oftentimes elect a candidate who achieves a majority of the vote without requiring a general election runoff, I think I’ll vote no. Some hard left hamlets, such as San Francisco, are pushing the idea of allowing 16-year-olds to vote, and I’m cynical enough to see that as an attempt to get mush-minded kids who don’t pay income tax to rally around big government initiatives that their parents would have to pay for. As with Prop 17, I would rather nip this idea in the bud right away.

Proposition 19
What is it: This is a retread of 2018’s failed Prop 5, which allows homeowners over age 55 to transfer their lower property tax assessment from a home they sell to a newer home that they purchase. Advocates have tried to sweeten the pot for progressives by at the same time tightening the ability for families to pass down non-primary-residence homes or farms to younger generations without triggering a new tax assessment.
Who’s for it: Senior citizen groups, realtors, developers, local politicians who believe the legislative analyst that this will lead to a net increase in tax revenue for cities and counties, which seems to me to be a questionable assertion.
Who’s against it: Anti-tax groups and some Republican legislators
How I’m going to vote: I voted against Prop 5 two years ago because I didn’t like the idea that it was essentially a $1 billion tax break for senior citizens when I think it is young families struggling to afford a home who deserve the break. Advocates have come back and added the part about forcing assessments when a $1 million non-primary-residence home or farm is transferred in order to allegedly make this a net revenue raiser for cities and counties, but I am skeptical. I am going to study this one a bit more, but I’m leaning towards a no vote.

Proposition 20
What is it: Attempts to roll back some of the recent criminal reform measures such as Prop 47 and Prop 57. Increases penalties for some theft-related crimes. Restricts the ability of the state to give early release to some prisoners. Expands DNA collection program for prisoners.
Who’s for it: Law-and-order types who have been disgusted by the state’s move towards parole in lieu of incarceration. State prison employees and private prison operators whose livelihoods are threatened.
Who’s against it: Those who successfully pushed Props. 47 & 57 and who believe in miscreant rehabilitation and restorative justice.
How I’m going to vote: I’ll probably vote no, just because that’s my default vote on most propositions. Like our host, I do believe that Prop 57 went too far and that the state currently puts too much faith in hug-a-criminal programs, but I also recognize that the powerful prison employee unions have an ulterior agenda here. I want California to turn away from its coddling of criminals, but I don’t think that this ballot proposition is the way to go.

Proposition 21
What is it: Allows local governments to enact rent control policies. Another rehash of a failed 2018 initiative.
Who’s for it: Advocates for lower-cost housing who don’t mind passing the costs on to landlords.
Who’s against it: Free-market types, landlords, rental housing conglomerations.
How I’m going to vote: Emphatic no, just like two years ago. Our friend aphrael makes a solid case for rent control as the least-bad of a number of bad options, but I respectfully disagree. And I resent the idea that a proposition which failed by a 3:2 margin two years ago is being introduced again just because rent control proponents believe that anti-Trump momentum will carry them to victory. They deserve to fail miserably again.

Proposition 22
What is it: Exempts app-based rideshare and delivery companies like Uber and Lyft from the baneful effects of AB 5, against which we have inveighed since it was passed a year ago. In return, compels the companies to adopt limited benefits packages for employees.
Who’s for it: This ballot measure is fully conceptualized and funded by the rideshare companies themselves.
Who’s against it: Organized labor and their lackeys in the state legislature.
How I’m going to vote: I’ll vote yes for once, though I don’t like the fact that the rideshare companies have limited this initiative to their industry and not the myriad other industries which have been badly affected by this awful legislation. But once rideshare has their exit route, I’m guessing that AB 5 will collapse due to its own futility.

Proposition 23
What is it: Establishes regulations for kidney dialysis clinics in the state.
Who’s for it: Organized labor, who put this measure on the 2018 ballot only to have it defeated.
Who’s against it: The people who operate dialysis clinics.
How I’m going to vote: I’ll vote no, like I did two years ago. This is a personal snit between union interests who have not been successful organizing workers in a particular industry and an industry with deep enough pockets to fight back against union legislative influence, and ought not to play out in the voting booth.

Proposition 24
What is it: Further expands 2018 legislation to add new requirements for companies to maintain data privacy and allow users to opt-out of having their information shared. Imposes stiff financial penalties for non-compliance.
Who’s for it: If you believe the opponents of the proposition, it was written by Big Tech in cooperation with wealthy progressives and the legislators they fund, and provides companies such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc. with lots of backdoor methods of compromising and profiting from the user’s desire for online privacy.
Who’s against it: If you believe the proponents of the proposition, the opposition are people who don’t care about the online safety of your children and support Big Tech’s current ability to exploit your data for profit.
How I’m going to vote: Fuck all of these people. I’m voting no just because I want to continue to see them battle it out in the court of public opinion. One other reason to vote no is because this proposition would create yet another state regulatory body full of bureaucrats operating on the public dime.

Proposition 25
What is it: Replaces money-based bail with a system based upon a judge’s determination of flight risk and public safety.
Who’s for it: The wokearati who believes that the criminal justice system is stacked against people of color and the poor.
Who’s against it: Bail bondsmen and victims’ rights groups; surprisingly, the NAACP and some Latino civil rights groups also oppose this proposition.
How I’m going to vote: I’ll vote against. I’m kind of sympathetic to the pro argument, but if we really have a problem with poor people languishing in jail because they can’t raise bail money then the proper solution is for wealthy leftists to create a foundation which posts bail on their behalf.

That’s that. This is how a reactionary and grumpy right-winger plans to vote: almost all noes (with the possibility that I might change my mind at the last minute on two issues) and one very grudging yes. Feel free to let me know how I have botched it all up with faulty logic or willful blindness.

– JVW

53 Responses to “Another Year of Horrid Ballot Propositions in California”

  1. Here’s how the leftist LA Times editorial board sees it:
    Prop 14 – No
    Prop 15 – Yes
    Prop 16 – Yes
    Prop 17 – Yes
    Prop 18 – Yes
    Prop 19 – No
    Prop 20 – No
    Prop 21 – Yes
    Prop 22 – No
    Prop 23 – No
    Prop 24 – Yes
    Prop 25 – Yes

    Here’s how the libertarian-conservative Los Angeles News Group editorial board sees it:
    Prop 14 – No
    Prop 15 – No
    Prop 16 – No
    Prop 17 – Yes
    Prop 18 – No
    Prop 19 – No
    Prop 20 – No
    Prop 21 – No
    Prop 22 – Yes
    Prop 23 – No
    Prop 24 – No
    Prop 25 – Yes

    I did not read either paper’s endorsements before reaching my own conclusions.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  2. I’d love to hear Patrick’s thoughts on 20 and 25, given that he has direct personal experience in those areas.

    Dave (1bb933)

  3. No. I actually voted against Prop 209 two dozen years ago for a variety of reasons

    Hah! You never had me fooled even for a moment you closet pinko!

    ;P

    Dave (1bb933)

  4. Snippets from the October 2020 PPIC Statewide Survey:

    Joe Biden leads Donald Trump by a wide margin among likely voters (58% to 32%).

    Governor Newsom’s approval rating is at 58 percent among adults and 57 percent among likely voters. In our January survey, 51 percent of adults and 49 percent of likely voters approved of the governor.

    Majorities of Californians also approve of the governor’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak (61% adults, 59% likely voters). In our May survey, 69 percent of adults and 69 percent of likely voters approved of his handling of this issue.

    President Trump’s approval rating is 35 percent among adults and 34 percent among likely voters. In our January survey, 31 percent of adults and 38 percent of likely voters approved of the president.

    In the wake of the president’s treatment for the coronavirus, 32 percent of adults and 32 percent of likely voters approve of the way he is handling the outbreak. Republicans (80%) are far more likely than independents (29%) and Democrats (8%) to approve.

    Prop 15-Likely voters are divided (49% yes, 45% no).

    Prop 16-Likely voters are less divided (37% yes, 50% no)

    Californians are most likely to name either COVID-19 (20% adults, 20% likely voters) or jobs and the economy (16% adults, 16% likely voters) as the most important issue facing people in California today; fewer mention global warming, homelessness, housing costs, the state budget, and wildfires. Fifty-five percent of adults and 50 percent of likely voters think things in California are generally going in the right direction. The share saying the state is heading in the right direction was similar in September (51% adults, 48% likely voters). Today, an overwhelming majority of Democrats think the state is heading in the right direction, while most Republicans say it is heading in the wrong direction; independents are divided.

    Fifty-seven percent of Californians say they would definitely (26%) or probably (31%) get a vaccine to prevent COVID-19 if it were available today. Conversely, four in ten say they would definitely (20%) or probably (20%) not get vaccinated at this time. There is partisan agreement on the matter, with at least half or more of Democrats (56%), independents (56%), and Republicans (50%) saying they would definitely or probably get a vaccine if it were available today.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  5. I did not understand before that 22 was limited to benefiting Uber and Lyft, two companies I will never patronize. I had believed it was a repeal of AB-5 and that the ads were just targeting that industry as an example beneficiary. I will now vote no on that proposition with a clean conscience. Although my conclusion differs from yours, I appreciate your explanation,

    Eliot (71f24d)

  6. Hah! You never had me fooled even for a moment you closet pinko!

    When I was young and irresponsible, I was young and irresponsible.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  7. Close Elections Forecast for Proposition 15 (Split Roll Property Taxes) and Proposition 22 (App-based Drivers)-UC Berkeley Institute for Governmental Studies Poll
    …..
    The poll found 49% of voters in favor of Prop. 15 and 42% on the No side, with 9% undecided. Yet, this lead was less than half the 15-point advantage found in a similar Berkeley IGS Poll last month. When comparing the two polls, the proportion of voters opposes to the initiative had increased 8 points,while support for Prop. 15 was stagnant. If history is any guide,when late campaign shifts toward the No side are observed in heavily contested and well-financed ballot measures like Prop. 15, its lead tends to reduce further in the closing weeks, resulting in a closer outcome.

    With regard to Prop. 22, 46% of the voters polled were voting Yes to have app-based drivers be treated as independent contractors, while 42% were voting No to classify them as employees. A sizable 12% were undecided. The early mid-September Berkeley IGS Poll found 39% of likely voters intending to vote Yes on Prop. 22 and 36% on the No side, with 25% undecided. The relatively large proportions of undecided voters in both polls suggest that many voters were having a difficult time reaching a final decision on this initiative. How these late deciding voters ultimately come to judgement will likely determine its fate.
    ………

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. If history is any guide,when late campaign shifts toward the No side are observed in heavily contested and well-financed ballot measures like Prop. 15, its lead tends to reduce further in the closing weeks, resulting in a closer outcome.

    Oh dear. We’re probably destined to have yet another of those situations where Prop 15 is losing fairly clearly as of the Election Night tally, only to have the margin of victory slowly dwindle away as mail-in votes are counted, recounted, three-counted, and so on. We saw that this past March during the primary, when a measure to issue statewide school construction bonds ended up on primary evening losing by almost a 56% – 44% margin, only to have the count of the mail-in ballots whittle the final total down to 53% – 47%. Should Prop 15 end next Tuesday losing by a narrow margin, don’t be surprised to see it pushed over the edge by late votes, legitimate or otherwise.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  9. Thank you for doing this, JVW. Your list resembles mine. Do you think other states consistently have awful propositions like we do (with a few rare exceptions)?

    Dana (6995e0)

  10. Meanwhile, the LA Times blows the whistle on mail ballot signature verification.

    https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2020-10-28/2020-election-voter-signature-verification

    Mail-in ballots are pouring in by the millions to election offices across the country, getting stacked and prepared for processing. But before the count comes the signature test.

    Election workers eyeball voter signatures on ballots one by one, comparing the loop of an “L” or the squiggle of an “S” against other samples of that person’s writing.

    When performed by professionals in criminal cases or legal proceedings, signature verification can take hours. But election employees in many states must do the job in as little as five seconds.

    In an election marked by uncertainty amid the pandemic, the signature verification process represents one of the biggest unknowns: whether a system riddled with vulnerabilities will work on such a massive scale.

    In 2016, mismatched signatures were the most common reason that mail ballots were rejected, according to federal officials. With record numbers of people voting by mail this cycle, ballots thrown out for signature problems and other issues have the potential to decide races where the margin of victory is slim.

    Candidates could mount legal battles over the verification process to challenge election outcomes. President Trump has repeatedly asserted, with no evidence, that mail-in voting is rife with fraud.

    Includes several examples fo you to try. Spend no more than 5 seconds, please.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  11. My votes:

    Prop 14 – yes. I voted for the 2004 initiative, and this is the sort of thing where government funding helps because it’s *speculative* so early investment by government followed by late corporate investment in the convert-something-to-a-product stage makes sense.

    Prop 15 – yes. I’ve wanted this for years. I won’t vote for the residential version, but the commercial/industrial version makes sense to me. Why should PG&E or SP/UP pay a pittance in property tax on prime land in urban areas?

    Prop 16 – yes. I voted no on 209, so this makes sense to me.

    Prop 17 – yes. Released felons are part of the community and have the same moral right to vote that I do.

    Prop 18 – yes. These people can vote in the general, it makes sense to allow them to vote in the primary. I’m not thrilled about the special elections being included, but I can see where it makes things administratively simpler.

    Prop 19 – yes. They listened to the criticisms of Prop. 5 and fixed some of them. That’s good behavior I want to encourage. I voted against 5 but I’ll vote for this.

    Prop 20 – no. I think it’s too early to pass judgment on 47/57 and I don’t like a lot of the specific details.

    Prop 21 – yes, and thank you for the shoutout :)

    Prop 22 – not just no, but h**l no. AB5 is a disaster and in serious need of fixing. But this initiative only fixes it for Uber/Lyft/Doordash and other app delivery companies (and not, say, for independent modelers, gig music construction and sound people, backup band members, freelance writers, or any of the other people hurt by AB5). Plus, it’s the titans of an industry writing the regulations for their industry, which is sketchy at best, and it includes a *7/8 majority requirement* if the legislature wants to change anything, which is an absolutely insanely high threshold that will proliferate if not nipped in the bud from the get co.

    Prop 23 – no. We just voted this down, and it’s just as dumb now as it was then. There is no good reason why doctors should be required to be on site at dialysis clinics, *as the medical professionals I talk to tell me ad nauseum whenever i bring it up*. It’ll create bored doctors at dialysis clinics while, in some parts of the state, create doctor shortages because the GPs are working for the dialysis clinics.

    Prop 24 – *puzzled*. It reads to me like an earnest attempt to make the system workable, but it has some of the same industry self-regulation problem Prop 22 has, and I don’t really feel like I know enough to know what the ramifications are.

    Prop 25 – note that this is a referendum, which means a ‘yes’ vote confirms the law as the legislature passed it, wihle a ‘no’ vote repeals the law the legislature passed. I have a *real* problem with cash bail because it basically constitutes people paying the state for better or worse treatment, which is definitionally not equal protection. But public safety requires *some* determination of the risk of reoffending or the danger of release to society. I hate wealth as a proxy for that, but I have absolutely no idea if this scheme is better. I’ll vote for it because it’s easy enough for the legislature or an initiative to fix, but I also think we need to keep a close eye on it.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  12. Eliot, the problem with simply repealing AB5 is that AB5 basically implemented a state Supreme Court decision that had largely the same effect. So repealing AB5 restores the status quo ante, which is a more or less equivalent state court decision that had only been around for ~6mos when it was adopted.

    Repealing AB5 effectively requires the implementation of a new statutory replacement.

    But Uber/Lyft wrote one *for themselves* and nobody else. Blech.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  13. Rip Murdock — if a vaccine were available today I wouldn’t take it, as I don’t think it’s technically possible to have good safety data on a novel vaccine for a virus whose existence has been known for less than a year.

    If a vaccine comes available in January, i’ll check the data analysis, but i’ll almost certainly take it.

    ——

    I would add that one of the strongest no-on-15 arguments in my mind boils down to “hey, we’re in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the great depression. *now is not the time*.” so it doesn’t surprise me that undecideds are breaking against it, it’s *super hard* to argue with that.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  14. Also, point of order — to my knowledge, the jungle primary does not allow automatic victories in the primary. I’m voting in an election where the incumbent Democrat ran unopposed, but a libertarian mounted a writein candidacy which got ~3% of the vote in the primary, and there’s a general election with these two candidates. (I voted for the libertarian. He’s going to lose, but i’d like to encourage people to run against unopposed candidates, because it’s good for our democracy).

    Charter cities can have their own rules, so maybe this is a thing in your city council elections?

    aphrael (4c4719)

  15. Thanks aphrael. I am very pleased to hear from you on these matters, especially since you and I largely disagree.

    Regarding Prop 22, your position is the same as that of my (and Patterico’s) Democrat Assemblyman. He says he voted for AB 5 because he felt that the courts demanded action be taken and it was the only game around, and though he now acknowledges that there are lots of problems with the bill he thinks that he and his colleagues can fix it instead of chucking it out and starting all over.

    I vehemently disagree.

    Though I too find it distasteful that Uber, Lyft, Amazon and the rest of the rideshare and delivery companies have written this measure, I find it equally objectionable that organized labor wrote AB 5 and gave it to Lorena Gonzales to shepherd through the legislature. Passage of Prop 22 will probably be the death knell for AB 5, and maybe this time around the Democrat majority will have to sit down with all stakeholders and hash out a compromise that everyone can accept, perhaps even one that can reach that 7/8 threshold.

    On the other hand though, I have to admit that I love the fact that Big Tech has been content for the past ten years to climb into bed with Democrats yet now pretends to be surprised that they have caught a venereal disease.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  16. Well, I can’t vote in CA, but being a bit of an expatriate, I live for the day my homeland is freed.

    I’d vote:

    14 No
    15 No
    16 No
    17 No
    18 No
    19 Yes
    20 Yes
    21 No
    22 Yes
    23 No
    24 No
    25 No

    A couple deviations from JVW here.

    Prop 19: YES. The transfer of prop 13 valuation that currently exists only works in a few counties. Where it works, it allows a one-time downsizing of value by those 55 or over, without an upsizing of property tax. This is good for empty-nesters moving to their retirement home. The new intiative extends this to all counties (good), allows for some up-sizing (bad, but the benefit is pro-rated) and prevents the Prop 13 valuation for transferring to heirs (very good). It would put move larger growing-family homes on the market by allowing retired folks to move without blowing out their fixed income in property taxes.

    Prop 24: NO. Most of these privacy laws are written with little understanding of current technology or practices. They pay no attention to the difficulty of all these things they require. Big companies can manage to make the changes without breaking the bank, but mom&pops get the screws turned. Assuming the can even figure out hwhat is required (the EU rules are lengthy and dense).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  17. *move more

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  18. Direct democracy is for the Swiss. Not for the … Californians.

    nk (1d9030)

  19. JVW, one of the things I value about the time I spend here is how many of us can strongly disagree and yet still talk with each other and respect one another. :) I respect you even when I disagree, and I believe that is mutual.

    One of the ways we differ on 22, I think, is that i believe 22 won’t result in AB5 getting fixed — I think it will cause the largest and best funded people hurt by AB5 to conclude that their problem has been solved and they are no longer interested in pushing for change, which will make it difficult or impossible for the other people hurt by AB5 to successfully get the legislature to fix it.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  20. Prop 14 extends a bond that passed ONLY because it was a slap in the face of W and the “crazy Christians.” It turns out that embryo-derived stem cells don’t seem too productive compared to those created from one’s one harvested cells. And no one has any issues with the latter, so there is plenty of research there already. This is unneeded and wasteful.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. The degree to which upsizing is pro-rated is one of the things they fixed from Prop. 5.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  22. Charter cities can have their own rules, so maybe this is a thing in your city council elections?

    Nonpartisan elections can be won in the open primary if a candidate reaches 50%. Patterico’s boss, Jackie Lacey, came thisclose to winning outright, hovering just over half of the votes into the mail-in ballot count before ultimately falling just short. We had a brief debate about it in March, but Dave dug up the rules and discovered that this is indeed the case.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  23. Ah, this is for traditionally nonpartisan races like DA, county supervisor, etc, but not for traditionally partisan races like state legislator or governor.

    It’s … confusing … that different rules apply. Probably an oversight when the prop. was drafted, or something retained for historical reasons which made sense a decade ago but seem opaque and bizarre today.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  24. Kevin M, the new version of the property tax transfer (Prop 19) not only adopts this statewide but also allows a senior to take advantage of this up to three times instead of only once. I’m not sure why they added two more bites of the apple, but it’s another reason I don’t like it.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  25. Prop. 5 allowed it up to five times, so three is an improvement.

    And I can see an argument: you sell to downsize and be close to your kids. But your kids aren’t in the same place, and the one you moved close to moves away or dies or something, and you want to go move close to the other ones.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  26. Prop 14 extends a bond that passed ONLY because it was a slap in the face of W and the “crazy Christians.”

    Agreed. And I will forever believe that it was enthusiastically endorsed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger because Arnie is a bit sensitive about the perception that he’s just a dumb bodybuilder and action hero, so he tends to uncritically adopt anything that smacks of cutting-edge science and technology like stem cells and the goddam bullet train (uh oh, I’m getting started again).

    JVW (ee64e4)

  27. Thank you for doing this, JVW. Your list resembles mine. Do you think other states consistently have awful propositions like we do (with a few rare exceptions)?

    I think I probably make this point every time we discuss our initiative and referendum process, but Massachusetts has (or at least had when I lived there) and awesome law that prevents anybody other than the legislature from appropriating money. So Bay State citizens can put up a ballot measure to raise (or presumably lower) taxes, but they cannot dictate where that revenue will go (or what budget items might be cut). Though this might strike some as being contrary to the Progressive Era’s promotion of citizen activism, I think that years of watching it in practice has overwhelmingly given us reason to reject the sort of ballot-box budgeting that we are continually doing here in the Golden State.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  28. allows a senior to take advantage of this up to three times instead of only once

    Actually, the Prop 60/90 system allowed it a second time, if the second one was assisted living.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. Bullet train

    So, we could spend $22 billion on building a comprehensive rail system in Los Angeles, OR we could build a bullet train from Green Acres to Petticoat Junction.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. Mass. is voting on a form of ranked choice voting. I hope it passes.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  31. Mass. is voting on a form of ranked choice voting. I hope it passes.

    They’ve used it in Cambridge municipal elections for years. I can take it or leave it; there are things about it I like and things about it I am not too fond of.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  32. Maine uses it for statewide races including President, so it will be interesting to see how that effects Collins’ re-election and ME-2’s presidential vote.

    SF used it for city elections when I lived there.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  33. The New York Times endorsed Proposition 16 today.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/27/opinion/california-prop-16-affirmative-action.html

    Sammy Finkelman (a69e24)

  34. The New York Times endorsed Proposition 16 today.

    Stay in your own lane, New Yorkers. Seriously, I know that they consider themselves a national newspaper, but geeze.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  35. I think this was a very important issue to them. I don’t think they took positions on other California propositions.

    Sammy Finkelman (a69e24)

  36. Priorities. Priorities.

    Any proposition that castrates, gases, fries, hangs, beheads, drowns, disembowels, vaporizes, grinds, electrocutes, bludgeons and/or catapults into the next state any all gophers …

    I’m for it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  37. Mass. is voting on a form of ranked choice voting. I hope it passes.

    Ranked choice voting doesn’t really do anything. It doesn’t solve gerrymanders, it doesn’t give a voice to minorities, it generally doesn’t even mellow the field. In at-large elections it doesn’t stop parties or other blocs from winning all seats.

    If you REALLY wanted to give more people representation in government, and prevent the various methods parties and blocs use to stifle opposition, you’d go to multiple-representative districts, where each voter gets one vote and the top 2 or 3 candidates are elected.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  38. All ranked-choice voting does is allow minor parties to posture, so people can vote Libertarian first and Republican second, knowing that that first vote is just the beard.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  39. I am afraid, though, that our state suffers from terminal wokedness and that Prop 16 will pass.

    Well, if it fails some court will say that it’s failure was unconstitutional.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  40. I’d be fine with multiple member districts, especially if we increased the size of the legislature. A 800K:1 voter:representative ratio makes a mockery of representation.

    That said, in city/county elections, RCV has been very helpful in allowing coalitions to form where the people who like candidate A best and hate candidate B, and the people who like candidate C best and hate candidate B, can combine to defeat candidate B instead of splitting the anti-B vote.

    Similarly, I could imagine progressives for whom Gideon isn’t liberal enough putting the Green, WF, or P&F candidate first but then ranking Gideon above Collins.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  41. The NYT has no business weighing in on state ballot propositions in that fashion.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  42. > from terminal wokedness and that Prop 16 will pass

    PPIC poll out today shows 37 Y 50 N 13 undecided, and shows it losing in *every region of the state*.

    there’s no way a proposition polling that way passes.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  43. I’m a nope on every single one.

    In particular, Prop 20. Whatever the merits of the changes, micromanaging criminal law via propositions is a surefire way to screw all sorts of things up.

    And with 22, leave it to Uber to make me hate something otherwise attractive. Instead of trying to outright buy and bully a special carveout just for themselves, they should have made it a straight up nullification of AB5.

    No on all.

    john (cd2753)

  44. In Prop 20’s defense, it’s entirely possible that previous propositions left us in a state where the only way to change the rules is via a ballot proposition.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  45. I just received an urgent missive via email from an alleged officer at the “ALS Association, Golden West Chapter” urging me to vote “yes” on Prop 14 and encourage my friends to do so as well. They packed a great number of risible contentions and outright lies into the message, to wit:

    * “This initiative is NOT A TAX – it is a general obligation bond repaid from the state’s General Fund.” – Gosh, where do these people think that General Fund money comes from? And it’s not as if we have a whole lot of it just lying around waiting to be spent these days.

    * “If passed, Prop 14 will stimulate California’s economy, paying for itself three times over and helping the state recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.” – This is outright hogwash, with numbers wholly manufactured out of thin air — the sort of pie-in-the-sky financial promises they made regarding the original Stem Cell Bond. It didn’t even come close to coming true or else they wouldn’t have to come back for more government money. Shame on them for trying to pass off this bullshit to gullible voters.

    * “Prop 14 has the power to help tens of millions of Californians who suffer from an incurable disease, including ALS, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, Parkinson’s, infectious diseases like COVID-19, and many others.” – These are precisely the vaguely plausible promises they used to sell the original bond proposition 16 years ago. It strikes me as saying that buying that lottery ticket has the power to help make you a millionaire.

    These people are awful. I reiterate my opposition to this awful measure and hope that anyone who hasn’t done so already votes “no” on Proposition 14.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  46. Why does the rest of the country have to put up with these fruits and nuts from cantafordya? Is it possible for the rest of us to toss your sorry lives out of our country? You people have no juice to charge your car to get away from the fires. Brilliant governing. Please leave, the lights are already off.

    mg (8cbc69)

  47. Why does the rest of the country have to put up with these fruits and nuts from cantafordya? Is it possible for the rest of us to toss your sorry lives out of our country?

    Hey, we produce 99% of the nation’s artichokes and 90% of the nation’s broccoli, my friend. So unless you want to live a sorry life with those two staples being luxury imports, you’re going to have to keep us around.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  48. @47 Isn’t the sate motto “California, if there’s something that makes your state special we do just as good, if not better.”?

    Time123 (7cca75)

  49. I’d be fine with multiple member districts, especially if we increased the size of the legislature. A 800K:1 voter:representative ratio makes a mockery of representation.

    It’s key though that each voter votes for ONE. Otherwise you just get bloc slates, like the way the Santa Monica Renters Coalition wins all the at-large city council races

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  50. These people are awful. I reiterate my opposition to this awful measure and hope that anyone who hasn’t done so already votes “no” on Proposition 14.

    You’re mean! Why do you hate sick people?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  51. Hey, we produce 99% of the nation’s artichokes and 90% of the nation’s broccoli, my friend.

    Not to mention most of the computers, graphics chips, software and other devices that make your comment possible.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  52. 49. What was the old way Illinois had of electing members of the state assembly? I think it was 3 member districts, with a voting system so devised that the minority party always got one seat.

    Sammy Finkelman (a69e24)

  53. Canafordya artichokes are marginal at best. Hawaii avocados rule the roost, JVW.

    mg (8cbc69)


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