EDITORIAL: Looking at the statewide ballot measures
Here’s part two a two-part recap of our recommendations for the statewide measures on the Nov. 4 ballot. Included is a brief description of the measures, and our reasons for either supporting or opposing them.
Part one was published Tuesday.
Proposition 6 — No
Police funding, criminal penalties
The initiative is little more than a massive funding and power grab by law enforcement agencies, engaging in the basest form of fear-mongering to expand government, increase government spending and toughen up sentencing to unjust levels. Rising gang-related crime should be addressed by sensible local law-enforcement and community-policing policies. This measure would centralize power in the state government, and erode local law enforcement’s importance.
Prop. 6 is an overly punitive, “throw money at the problem,” big government initiative. We urge a “no” vote.
Proposition 7 — No
Renewable energy generation
An unlikely coalition of 160 groups oppose this proposition, whose alleged benefits are that it will “reduce the rising costs of energy” and “limit the dangers of global warming.”
The certainty of growing reliance on fossil fuels by developing nations alone would far outweigh whatever relatively meager emission reductions California might accomplish through Prop. 7. We urge a “no” vote.
Proposition 8 — No
Eliminates right of same-sex couples to marry
Proposition 8 would amend the California constitution to say, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
Guarantees of individual rights are included in constitutions precisely to ensure that such rights cannot be taken away, by majority vote, legislative enactment or administrative decision.
In an ideal world, the state would have little or no role in defining or regulating so intimate a relationship as marriage. However, the state has inserted itself into all too many aspects of our private lives. Given that it has done so, it is only fair that it afford equal protection to all. Vote “no.”
Proposition 9 — No
Criminal justice, victims’ rights, parole
This proposition’s enhancements of crime victims’ rights don’t seem necessary, and could impede relieving prison crowding that would cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
California’s prisons are crowded, and already under federal court supervision as a result. The Legislature and courts are considering steps to relieve crowding with early release of least-dangerous inmates. Prop. 9 could prevent those releases. We urge a “no” vote.
Proposition 10 — No
Alternative fuel vehicles, renewable energy bonds
A variety of groups oppose this measure for good reason. Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens, who put up most of $3.75 million to get the initiative on the ballot, stands to profit nicely. Prop. 10 would provide extensive subsidies for vehicles powered by natural gas, a fuel produced by his Seal Beach-based Clean Energy Fuels Corp.
The measure authorizes sale of $5 billion in general-obligation bonds that would cost about another $5 billion in interest over 30 years, drained from the state’s beleaguered general fund.
But most egregious, Prop. 10 would pick economic winners and losers. We urge a “no” vote.
Proposition 11 — Yes
We support redistricting to make political races more open and competitive, as this initiative aims to do, while acknowledging that the method to redraw the lines could result in political trade-offs.
Nevertheless, elected officials too often behave as if they hold lifetime appointments, rather than two- and four-year terms. We recommend a “yes” vote.
Proposition 12 — No
Veterans’ Bond Act
The subprime mortgage crisis is rooted in lax lending standards created partly to make mortgages more affordable to more people. Now California voters are asked to float nearly $1 billion in bonds backed by the state’s beleaguered general fund to provide yet more subsidized loans for one group of Californians.
We don’t see a need for additional special classes of Californians to receive additional taxpayer-subsidized privileges. Moreover, the issue of adequate veterans’ compensation is a federal, not state, issue. Vote “no.”