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Did you make it through all 11 ballot measures? Eureka!
It started off with a well-meaning idea: bring democracy to the people and give them a chance to bypass corrupt, easily bought legislators in the capital city of Sacramento. But the modern political landscape has turned the noble objective of direct democracy into a swampland of corporations and billionaires who spend their money attempting to rewrite California's constitution and law code to their own advantage. These ballot measures are often deceptive and confusing, and contain hidden agendas that are hard for the average person to decipher.

The problem? Regardless of whether the so-called "citizen initiative process" is good or not, there are still some good measures that will make the lives of Californians a little bit better. This year, voters in the Golden State will have no less than 11 ballot measures to vote on—and just like every cycle, there are some that are good, and some that are absolutely horrific.

So let's get right to them.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Proposition 30: Passing proposition 30, a tax measure that will fund California's education system, is one of the two main focuses of the Democratic Party and the labor movement in California at the statewide level. For a while, though, it was touch and go.  Leading up to the deadline to gather signatures to place measures on the ballot, Gov. Jerry Brown was leading a movement to gather signatures for his own tax plan, while progressive organizations and labor leaders were gathering signatures for a different plan that asked more from higher-income earners. Eventually, proponents of both plans, realizing that having two separate and competing tax measure on the ballot might cause both to fail, compromised on the plan that has become Proposition 30. Proposition 30 will raise taxes for seven years on those making over $250,000 a year, and increase the state sales tax by .25 points for four years. If it passes, it will help stop $6 billion more from being cut from the education system in the state. But if it doesn't, our budget will be even more of a mess.

Proposition 31: Proposition 31 was put on the ballot by an organization called "California Forward." They're one of these mushy-middle centrist reform groups. In Democratic and progressive circles, we often call them "California Backward." And that's what this measure would do. This measure is opposed by the Democratic Party and most progressive allies, primarily because it would allow the governor to make mid-year budget cuts without legislative approval. Gov. Schwarzenegger fought for this power during his term. Democrats and progressives opposed him then, and we oppose him now.<

Proposition 32: I've written about this one before. So has the Los Angeles Times; they called it "the fraud to end all frauds." And that's exactly what Proposition 32 is. It was put on the ballot by right-wingers. It's funded by right-wingers. And its sole purpose is to decimate the ability of unions to be influential in electoral politics while giving billionaires, most types of businesses, and Super PACs free reign to do as they see fit. Don't be fooled by this deception. Thankfully, recent polling shows the measure headed for defeat because of a vast outreach program by the left. But we take nothing for granted. Daily Kos Action is encouraging Californians to pledge to vote NO on 32.

Proposition 33: This is another one of those pernicious corporate measures that pretends to be an effort to provide a break for consumers, but it anything but. The funding for this measure comes from Mercury Insurance CEO George Joseph. See, current California law forbids insurers from charging higher prices to customers if they've had a lapse in coverage, regardless of the reason. Maybe you were in school. The hospital. The military. Prison, perhaps. Either way, your car insurer cannot, as law stands now, discriminate against you for a break in coverage. Proposition 33 would repeal that vital consumer protection and allow insurers to charge higher prices if you've had a lapse. And how do they couch it? By saying that it would allow companies to provide discounts for those who have maintained continuous coverage! Taste of Orwell.

Proposition 34: A very closely-watched measure, Proposition 34 would end the death penalty in California and commute all sentences for those currently on death row into a life sentence without the possibility of parole. Simple as that. The Democratic Party and most allied progressive groups are obviously in favor—not just for the humanity of ending capital punishment, but because it will save the state billions over the long term.

Proposition 35: Proposition 35, which will undoubtedly pass, provides harsh penalties for sex trafficking crimes. So far, so good—and it has been endorsed by most left-leaning organizations. But some editorial boards, such as that of the Los Angeles Times, are opposed. The arguments against are primarily that California already has very strong existing laws against sex trafficking, and that the initiative statute process is a rigid and inflexible approach. It likely won't end up mattering: which average voter is going to oppose stiffer penalties for trafficking minors into prostitution?

Proposition 36: Right now, California has a so-called "three strikes" law: commit three felonies, and your third one can be punished with a life sentence. The problem is, we now have a lot of people serving life sentences for non-violent crimes that are classified as felonies. This is a misuse of limited public safety resources, and Proposition 36 attempts to address that. It will reform the "three strikes" law by ensuring that it applies only to violent felonies. The Democratic Party and most progressive organizations are supporting this measure.

Proposition 37: You can barely turn on the TV these days without seen an ad against the so-called "right to know" act. Proposition 37, supporters claim, would require the labeling of foods that are genetically modified. Supporters, who include most progressive organizations and the Democratic Party, argue that we have a right to know whether our food has been genetically modified with, say, genes that are designed to rot insect guts from the inside. Monsanto Opponents argue that the law would cost too much and contains too many loopholes.

Proposition 38. Where to even start with this one? Proposition 38 is the brainchild of Molly Munger, daughter of Berkshire-Hathaway partner Charles Munger. Her brother, Charles Munger Jr., is one of the billionaires backing Proposition 32. Proposition 38 raises income taxes to fund education and pay down debt. On its face, that seems like something that Democrats should support. Unfortunately, that's not the whole story. Whereas Proposition 30 only raises income taxes on those making over $250,000 a year, Proposition 38 would raise taxes on those making at least $7,316 per year, while raising them less on higher-income earners. Furthermore, unlike Proposition 30, Proposition 38 will not obviate the $6 billion of so-called "trigger cuts" to the education budget that will occur if Proposition 30 doesn't pass. Even though polls show Munger's ballot measure failing, she has sunk over $30 million into the effort, even has her brother spends dozens of millions to pass Proposition 32 and defeat Proposition 30. The basic story behind story behind 30, 32 and 38 is this: a couple of billionaires who are only anybody at all because their dad is Warren Buffetts' vice-chairman are trying to impose their will on California, and then entire Democratic-progressive coalition is having to go all-out to counterbalance their millions. It's perverse.

Proposition 39. Proposition 39 repeals a tax loophole that allows multistate businesses that do business in California to choose from among several methods of having their tax liability assessed. Not surprisingly, these businesses take advantage of this so-called "single sales factor" taxation policy and cost the state billions in the process. Proposition 39 would repeal that loophole and require that a business' tax liability be assessed solely on its sales in California, and directs a healthy portion of the resulting funds to clean energy and energy efficiency programs. Sounds good, right? So why is the California Democratic Party neutral on it? Interesting question with an interesting answer. When the Party was considering its endorsements on these propositions, the top legislative priority for Assembly Speaker John A. Perez and the Democratic Caucus was the so-called Middle Class Scholarship Act, which would have repealed this same tax loophole and used the money to dramatically reduce the cost of education for students whose families made less than $150,000 a year. If that set of bills had passed, Proposition 39 would have been irrelevant, regardless of whether it passed, and could have potentially produced a conflict. Unfortunately, it takes a two-thirds vote to do anything with taxes here in California, and the bill failed by one lonely vote in the Senate—not because Speaker Perez and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg didn't do absolutely everything they could, but rather because Republican legislators are jerks who would rather see children not be able to afford college, just as long as huge businesses pay less in taxes. So now that the Middle Class Scholarship Act is dead thanks to Republican sociopathy, you'll see most Democrats and progressives supporting Proposition 39. The Democratic Party is still officially neutral, but in reality, that's only because there was no other mechanism under the bylaws to consider it again before the election.

Proposition 40. This one is funny, precisely because it's so sad. This measure is ultimately an outgrowth of the new redistricting policy we have in California, where a so-called "Citizens' Redistricting Commission" draws all the lines. When the maps for the new state Senate maps were drafted, Republicans felt that the new map would be much worse for them than the old map, and used the mechanism extant in the redistricting law (which was itself passed through the initiative process) to put the map up to a vote. Keep in mind that gathering the signatures to do this costs millions upon millions of dollars. But after the measure made it to the ballot, the Republicans realized that—oops!—the new maps weren't so bad for them after all, so now they're declining to campaign for the measure that they themselves put on the ballot. This measure is slightly confusing, however, because a "yes" vote keeps the new maps, while a "no vote" throws them out. We want to keep the new maps, which is why the Party has endorsed Proposition 40.

*Please keep in mind that nothing in this editorial should be used to construe an official endorsement for or against any measure (except for Proposition 32, as mentioned). You can view the California Democratic Party's endorsements here. The Courage Campaign has also put together a voter guide that summarizes the recommendations of 13 different progressive organizations. There's not much daylight between the two.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Yeah, otherwise all of us in the UC system... (5+ / 0-)

      get a nasty 20.3% tuition hike come January.  Not next school year.  THIS January.

    •  this would be leading if it were done more honestl (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kurt

      The reality is the cuts to education are arbitrary decisions made by the governor and the legislature to make it more likely to pass. they can revisit the budget if this doesn't pass and mover the cuts around. The money will go to schools this year, but after that it goes into the general fund and can be spent however they want, the only caveat being 40% of the total budget has to be spent on education. Opponents figured that out and are campaigning against it effectively using that argument.

      The other problem was committing to a $100B high speed rail system and spending the first few billion while saying we don't have enough money to pay our current bills. That is being used effectively as well.

      I think we could have gotten a tax through, but the high speed rail, and the temporary nature of the funding going to education make it less likely.

  •  My votes: (10+ / 0-)

    Yes on 30, No on 31, No on 32, No on 33, Yes on 34-37, No on 38, Yes on 39-40

    •  I will vote the same way on all except on 37, on (5+ / 0-)

      which I'm undecided. Sure, more information is better, but there are many people who have completely irrational fears about GM crops ("frankenfoods"). Scientifically speaking, Mankind has been genetically modifying plants and animals over thousands of years through selective breeding. Is 37 just a bias against recent innovation? OTOH, this justification seems patronizing. We should give consumers the information to allow them to make informed decisions and to trust people, not businesses, to do the right thing.

      •  I struggled a bit with 37 (6+ / 0-)

        but decided to err on the side of information. It's LOW on my list of legit boogeymen. GM is a technique, not good or bad. But I am a science prof and it is a good starting point for people to get information.

        Example:
        Important hormones are often manufactured using bacteria with hormone-producing plasmid inserts from animals. Better than using pigs, and certainly more humane.

        IIRC Insulin is produced this way BGH is too (not that I think that is so great)

      •  Here's an added bonus: (7+ / 0-)

        Prop 37 bans any product, even non-GMO, from using the label "natural" if there's been any processing: boiling, pressing, or whatever.   e.g. You wouldn't be able to sell "natural roasted almonds" because roasting is processing.

        The Yes campaign says it's not intentional, and that no one would ever interpret it this way.  The state legislative analyst disagreed, because that's what's written in the plain text of the proposition.

        Either incredibly sloppy or intentionally misleading.  Both are bad.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:36:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what is the legal definition of (3+ / 0-)

          "natural" anyway?

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:44:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  There is none. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pico, Zack from the SFV

            so, MEH

          •  There is none. (4+ / 0-)

            They're just preventing it from being used on certain products:

            In addition to any disclosure required by Section 110809, if a food meets any of the definitions in subdivision (c) or (d) of Section 110808, and is not otherwise exempted from labeling under Section 110809.2, the food may not in California, on its label, accompanying signage in a retail establishment, or in any advertising or promotional materials, state or imply that the food is "natural," "naturally made," "naturally grown," "all natural," or any words of similar import that would have any tendency to mislead any consumer.
            Problem is, here's subsection (d):
            (d) Processed food. "Processed food" means any food other than a raw agricultural commodity, and includes any food produced from a raw agricultural commodity that has been subject to processing such as canning, smoking, pressing, cooking, freezing, dehydration, fermentation, or milling.
            It's hard to read that as GMO-specific, and that's why the state refused to delete the language (i.e. that non-GM foods are threatened) from the legislative summary, despite Yes' protests.

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:55:02 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Natural is just a marketing term. n/t (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego, RMForbes

            Moral relativism is OK if you're a Republican.

            by yulooloo on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:07:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Selective breeding is one thing; (13+ / 0-)

        splicing DNA from a fish, a bacterium or a virus into corn or tomatoes is something else entirely. It's not like creating a hybrid tomato variety or a pluot, or breeding the Pekinese, the Poodle and the Chihuahua to create the Pekapoochu; it's more akin to gene-splicing a poodle with a spiny lobster or an anaconda to create who-knows-what. Basically, if we can't get there by having animals or plants have good old-fashioned sex, maybe we shouldn't go there at all. Maybe it's safe, but maybe we're playing with fire.

        We won't know for decades what the long-term health effects of GM foods are. And I for one don't want to find out by eating them — or feeding them to my 19-month-old daughter — and waiting to see what happens. That's why I'm voting Yes, so GMOs will be labeled and I can choose to avoid them.

        Since this isn't a measure to ban GMOs outright, but simply to label them so we can make educated choices, can I persuade to vote Yes? Even if only because more information and more choice is always better than less?

        Moral relativism is OK if you're a Republican.

        by yulooloo on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:50:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The thing I don't understand is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          docstymie

          if the mechanism of a specific gene is known, what does it matter where it came from? Is there something inherently less dangerous about a gene from a species that is closely related than a gene from one that is very distantly related?

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:57:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It doesn't matter. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RMForbes, Utahrd

            There have been no documented ill health effects of GMOs to humans.

            My reason for wanting to know is environmental.

            However, others disagree.

            •  There is always the case of unintended (7+ / 0-)

              consequences.  Just because we know what a specific gene does, doesn't mean that we necessarily know what happens when we put it in something else.  I'm no expert on genetics but I have written software in the past, which is basically the same thing.  I don't know how many times I've stared at code saying it will work and swearing some time later when it doesn't.  Or looking at code and saying, oh yes, I understand everything that will happen, only to discover after the new code is in that something strange is happening now that wasn't supposed to happen.  Computers are much better understood than the genome, whether a plant's or human's.  Since some of these proteins get digested, can you tell me 100% that the proteins in GMO will work exactly as proteins from the non-GMO source.  I doubt anyone can give that 100% assurance and I've given my boss 100% assurance my code will work and have had to eat those words.  I'm not too inclined to get thrilled by eating GMO words either.  

              "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

              by dangoch on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:25:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Yet. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Lisa, kurt

              There are no documented ill health effects yet.

              Let's check back on things in 20, 25, 30 years, and see if that statement still holds true.

              Moral relativism is OK if you're a Republican.

              by yulooloo on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:35:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  there weren't any documented (3+ / 0-)

              ill effects from cigarettes for a long time either. Sometimes it's because someone is not looking in the right place.

              •  Or people knowing and not wanting to (0+ / 0-)

                do anything about it because industry is so powerful.

                © grover


                So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

                by grover on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 02:50:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Yes. There were actually (2+ / 0-)

                you don't really know the history of the tobacco industry. They commissioned scientists to conduct studies and OOPS, scientists found the link to cancer.

                Scientists actually give a shit about quality research over results, for the most part.

                (Incidentally, that was the beginning of the practice of litigating science in the media, a la mode of global warming and STAR WARS)

            •  Disagree (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ozoozol, AaronInSanDiego

              The FDA was warned that food allergies were a very likely outcome.

              Here's what the FDA was told in1992:

              All food allergens are proteins. However, only a small fraction of the thousands of proteins in the diet have been
              found to be food allergens. FDA's principal concern regarding allergencity is that proteins transferred from one food
              source to another, as is possible with recombinant DNA and protoplast fusion techniques, might confer on food from
              the host plant the allergenic properties of food from the donor plant. Thus, for example, the introduction of a gene
              that encodes a peanut allergen into corn might make that variety of corn newly allergenic to people ordinarily allergic
              to peanuts.
              (PDF) http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/...

              Since the 1990s, we've seen an explosion of food allergies in the American population.

              Genetic Engineering of Crops Can Spread Allergies, Study Shows

              Published: March 14, 1996

              Researchers said today that they had the first solid evidence that proteins that can cause potentially serious allergic reactions could be transferred to crops through genetic engineering.

              Scientists at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln said tests proved that soybeans modified with genes from Brazil nuts to produce a nutritious protein found in the nuts also produced proteins that set off a strong, potentially deadly allergic reaction in people sensitive to Brazil nuts. The finding confirms early suspicions that transferring genes to food plants posed such risks.

              Critics of moving genes to food plants from other plants, animals and organisms say the research indicates that tighter regulation is needed to protect the public. But proponents of the technology and Federal regulators say the findings indicate that the current system of mostly voluntary monitoring and reporting is sufficient to protect the public.

              http://www.nytimes.com/...

              If I don't know what foods are cross-bred with other foods, how do I know what foods are potentially dangerous to me (I have an anaphylaxis allergy to certain foods).

              It's always a crap shoot. I buy mostly organics and I rarely buy processed foods. I read every label of everything I (and my family) eat every single time I buy it. No label, I don't buy it. If I have any questions, I call the manufacturer.  But produce doesn't come with labels. And there are times that I have severe reactions that seem to come out of nowhere.

              Is it that I just ate one of these tomatoes without realizing it?

              FDA emphasized its concern regarding commonly allergenic foods with a hypothetical example
              of a tomato that contains a newly introduced peanut protein. The agency explained that, unless scientific evidence established that the introduced protein was not allergenic, labeling would be required for a new variety of tomato that contained peanut protein so that peanut-sensitive consumers could avoid the new food.
              http://www.fda.gov/...   (PDF)

              FDA recognized this is an issue in 1994. But have you EVER seen any fruit or vegetable with a label saying that it is a hybrid? Of course not.

              FDA recognized the problem. It recognized the severity of the problem. And it completely dropped the ball.

              And not surprisingly, food allergies are often considered a largely American health issue, rapidly becoming a health crisis.  You can't believe how much money I've spent on emergency ER visits, epi-pens and regular office visits plus medicine to manage this.

              Most developed nations label their GMO foods. But we don't.

              It's time for consumers to simply KNOW what's in their FOOD....FDA was warned of the risks of not labeling in 1992. We've waited 20 years.

              It's time.  

              © grover


              So if you get hit by a bus tonight, would you be satisfied with how you spent today, your last day on earth? Live like tomorrow is never guaranteed, because it's not. -- Me.

              by grover on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 02:49:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  There are studies suggesting that Roundup (0+ / 0-)

              causes cancer in lab animals. More work has to be done to settle the question. Do you think that this doesn't matter?

              America—We built that!

              by Mokurai on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 09:16:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  And if the mechanism of the gene is to (0+ / 0-)

            let them put more Roundup in your food?

            America—We built that!

            by Mokurai on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 09:14:01 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not so much (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, coigue, docstymie
          splicing DNA from a fish, a bacterium or a virus into corn or tomatoes is something else entirely.
          Bacteria and viruses do it all the time, whether it's encouraged by people or not. If the spliced genes end up in the right place, they'll be passed on. (A lot of them have been, including some in people.)

          (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

          by PJEvans on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:24:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  i figured if dozens of other countries require... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yulooloo, Lost Left Coaster, kurt, grover

        that type of labeling then why shouldn't the U.S.?  the process may need to be refined a bit if it passes but it's a start.

        I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

        by blue drop on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:58:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If GMOs are no big deal, then why not label them? (7+ / 0-)

        I personally don't have a huge problem with GMOs, just like I don't think food dyes (which we label very specifically) are the end of the world. But every now and then we discover that a food dye or an ingredient causes a health problem that we didn't expect, and it becomes very useful to know what not to buy until they can be taken off the market.

        I think liberals are overthinking this. If it turns out to be useless information, then no harm done.

      •  Prop 37 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        grover

        If there is bias against this then why are 50 countries requiring GMO labeling on food products,also Russia will not buy any GMO seeds.What do they know that we don't?

      •  I am a low-information (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive, My Spin, kurt, geejay

        voter when it comes to genetics but I suspect while plants may have been grafted, animals may have been selectively bred, etc., we really haven't routinely engineered, say, pesticides into our food system the way it's being done now.

        If 37 passes, one potential good outcome could be ag and seed companies educating the public more thoroughly about what's going on with the food supply. It may be harmless or even beneficial but the fact that we haven't been informed doesn't really allow us to make that determination.

      •  I want the labels (5+ / 0-)

        Currently I understand that if I buy food containing non-organic corn or soy or canola that it will be GM. That's not to say I'll shun it completely forever, but I can know this simple fact and avoid it.

        There are tons of new GM strains that will be coming to market soon, and my knowledge will no longer come easily. On top of that, there are serious concerns of GM strains contaminating organic strains. This would effectively remove my choice to avoid GM, if I wished to.

        I am very happy we now have country of origin labeling and I consider this similar: my right to know and to exercise my preferences within the free market.

        Safe harbor is to just assume it's GM and label it as such; it costs nothing.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:10:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You can't refuse to supply information because (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        geejay

        somebody might misunderstand it or misuse it. That way lies 1984. It is a fact that some GM crops put pesticides such as Roundup inside your food where you can't wash it off or peel it. The predictable and indeed long-predicted result is that the pests are being selected for immunity, and we don't get the choice not to put those pesticides in our bodies.

        I am aware of public irrationality, for example on mercury in vaccines, but the remedy is not secrecy. That only makes the problem worse. It is education that we need.

        America—We built that!

        by Mokurai on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 09:08:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, mixing up two separate stories (0+ / 0-)

          One kind of gene makes Roundup-ready crops, so that they can spray more Roundup on them. A different kind puts some other "natural" pesticide inside the food.

          America—We built that!

          by Mokurai on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 09:22:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks Dante. I'll email your diary to many. (3+ / 0-)

    So.

    30. Yes
    31. No
    32. No
    33. No
    34. Yes
    35. No
    36. Yes
    37. Yes
    38. No
    39. Yes
    40. Yes

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:08:41 PM PDT

  •  Excellent Diary! (7+ / 0-)

    I'm in Los Angeles and am gonna use this to fill out my sample ballot.

    Thanks!

    I don't mind straight people as long as they act gay in public.

    by internationaljock on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:09:21 PM PDT

    •  Los Angeles County measures (0+ / 0-)

         I have:

          No on A. That appointed Assessor advisory measure.  You could have just as many problems with an appointed assessor as with the elected one. At least with an elected one you know you can vote him or her out.

          No on B. While it might seem worthy of support for workplace safety and public health reasons, this one is likely to cause the pornographic film industry to go underground or leave the area. This one would require condom use for all vaginal or anal sex (but not oral) in films.

          Yes on J: this would extend the half cent sales tax for transit projects ou for another 30 years. It would all the MTA to borrow on the future revenue stream so that they can accelerate the transit construction projects, providing jobs now and relief from traffic congestion sooner.

      Diehard Swingnut, disgruntled Democrat, age 54, new CA-30

      by Zack from the SFV on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:12:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I seem to recall (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Zack from the SFV

        that that's why we now have an elected state insurance commissioner - the last appointed one was in the pocket of the insurance companies.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:25:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agree on b and J (0+ / 0-)

        disagree on A. What I like about the appointed Assessor it makes the board more accountable. I dont like having elected positions outside the executive (in this case the board of supervisors) unless it is related to some type of audit role. I think the executive should be given the power and ultimately the accuntability of a well functioning government.

  •  This would've been very helpful... (5+ / 0-)

    ... about a week ago. ;) Oh well. I vote permanent absentee, and just sat down last week to take a couple of hours and vote. (Yes, I'm really an Oregonian, and permanent vote-by-mail is in my blood. How do people navigate all this in the voting booth?)

    I will share this very helpful post with other folks, though. Thanks for the concise overview of the whole pile of statewide initiatives. (The SF local ones added another 15-20 minutes to my voting, too...)

    "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

    by paxpdx on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:10:26 PM PDT

    •  today was also the last day for early voting... (4+ / 0-)

      at satellite locations in the county and it ended at 5pm.  this was the only weekend it was offered in our immediate locale.  from here on you have to go the county registrars office if you want to vote before election day.  do you have any idea how far this is in huge Riverside County, CA?

      I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

      by blue drop on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:53:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wow. Not convenient at all. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalSal, blue drop

        I haven't been to a polling place in ~20 years, probably - I don't know what it'd be like, even. But if I didn't have the ability to vote by mail, I'm not sure what I'd do. I'm unavailable on Tuesdays from 6am until 9:45pm. Something's got to change - voting really becomes a privilege for those who can flex schedules (or travel to the early voting satellite location), not a right.

        "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

        by paxpdx on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:02:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's hard to believe that the process came (5+ / 0-)

    from one of the great reform governors of all time.

    Once the reactionaries realized that they could win these by lying (Howard Jarvis clearly found a cozy corner of hell), the whole system of governance was destroyed in California.

    I've pretty much given up on the idea of initiatives, but I do like the idea that voters should be allowed to veto a bad law.

    The GOP is the party of mammon. They mock what Jesus taught.

    by freelunch on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:11:22 PM PDT

  •  As a CPS worker who's worked with (8+ / 0-)

    minors trafficked in prostitution, you can bet I'm voting yes on 35.  Am also glad to see that it contains an important protection for both minors and adults:  they can't be prosecuted for acts of prostitution while being trafficked.  Regardless of whether you think prostitution should be legal, that last point should be a no-brainer, but it's one of the things that has kept trafficking victims from getting help.  Should also note that while most of the ink has been about sex trafficking prop 35 addresses labor trafficking as well.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:11:36 PM PDT

    •  I just worry how it'll be used. (4+ / 0-)

      I agree with some of the provisions, but every time a new law goes into place on this issue, it's used to further stigmatize adult sex workers.

      Not saying that the intent isn't laudable, but IMHO we should be focusing more on the trafficking and less on the sex aspect of this.

      I don't blame Christians. I blame Stupid. Which sadly is a much more popular religion these days.

      by detroitmechworks on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:20:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's focused specifically on (4+ / 0-)

        the use of force, duress, or deprivation of liberty (for adults or minors), with separate provisions for trafficking minors (with or without force).

        The one-sided stigma, yeah, that's a weird thing.  Can't remember the exact numbers, but Rachel Lloyd's book Girls Like Us had some eye-popping stats from a survey of "johns," and I remember being stunned by how many acknowledged that they had (or thought they probably had) purchased sex from women who were being pimped/trafficked. I'm thinking a lot of them wouldn't have sex with an unwilling partner under other circumstances, but somehow the fact that money changed hands made it ok in their minds.

        I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

        by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:28:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What about the concerns that Prop 35 (4+ / 0-)

      criminalizes legal behavior?   There's also the problem that people who fall under the larger umbrella of 'sex offenders' (including 'lewd conduct') will have an expanded set of requirements that may not pass constitutional muster (e.g. required tracking of internet usage.)

      Not a leading question: I've generally heard both sides on this.

      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

      by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:27:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That doesn't seem all that different (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SoCalSal

        from other requirements around registered sex offenders; for instance, they are banned from certain physical locations like schools and group homes.  Common methods of recruiting victims now include the internet, so restrictions are changing with the times.

        I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

        by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:32:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That's good news (0+ / 0-)

      the whole "they can't be prosecuted for acts of prostitution while being trafficked" protection.

  •  prop 32, citizens united with a suntan (5+ / 0-)

    And thx for the summary.  I really appreciate it.  Had already spent some time researching these as I know how deceptive they can be.  I particularly appreciate the clarification on 38. I was already going to vote no, but this makes it much clearer.  

    Hope 30 and 34 pass.

    sh

  •  Great breakdown (3+ / 0-)

    Wish I had this a week ago when I voted absentee so I didn't have to look each one up individually and sort the truth from the bullshit. Then again, in doing so I learned a lot. TY!

    "All politics is personal"

    by laurustina on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:12:45 PM PDT

  •  I'm torn on 40 (0+ / 0-)

    I'd normally support it, except some of the mailers that I got opposing 30 and supporting 32 also supported 40.  If these slimy S.O.B.'s hadn't been for it, I wouldn't even hesitate.

  •  I'm getting multiple calls a day (7+ / 0-)

    from progressive organizations urging me to vote yes on 30 and no on 32.  Which is better than no calls, of course, but I'm starting to worry that mine is the only phone number they have.  Need to get the word out to undecideds.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:14:54 PM PDT

  •  thanks, hotlisted for reference later! n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:15:06 PM PDT

  •  Although I highly appreciate states that have.. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    coigue, Time Waits for no Woman

    Ballot Referendums...

     Prop 40 is an example of why people shouldn't be able to go too crazy with them.

  •  Too Late, Already Voted (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eyesbright

    Next time please publish before early voting / absentee ballots are sent out..

  •  Thanks! (1+ / 0-)

    Thanks so much for this.  I'm forwarding it to my low-information friends to help them along.

    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to dance in the rain...Author Unknown

    by AmazingBlaise on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:18:17 PM PDT

  •  No on 37. (7+ / 0-)

    Sorry, but the fact that Monsanto is voting against it doesn't change the fact that it's bad policy and bad science.  Slapping 'GMO' doesn't tell you anything about the product, including whether the product is even transgenic in the first place (surprise, but not all GMOs involve gene transfer).  So even your example shows how poorly thought out this proposition is.

    It's at least more honest when people argue a very tenuous "right to know", but the pseudo-scientific arguments I've been reading are sadly indicative of how poor our science education is.  Check what actual scientists on the left are saying about GMOs and Prop 37.  We had a pretty good debate about the pros and cons here (I have a bunch of those scientists linked in there), but ultimately the level of discourse on this issue has been indistinguishable from debates over vaccines and climate change, in terms of how people explain and defend the scientific (sic) rationale for anti-GMO policy.   It's the science that suffers in the end.

    But at least the snake-oil selling, anti-vac, AIDS-is-a-hoax Mercola scores a win here.  He's poured a lot of money into Prop 37 and hit the sweet spot of progressives who think that natural=healthy and that that anything corporate must be suspicious.  (And not all GMOs are corporate, so, again, the wrong target.)

    Ugh.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:18:44 PM PDT

    •  Whereas I began by agreeing with you (19+ / 0-)

      (I am a scientist), I decided to vote for it because it is generally placing light on the subject. GM is a technique, not inherently good or bad. However, if people start seeing labels in supermarkets (after the initial worry) they will begin to look for information.

      That's when the learning occurs.

      It's a process and it starts with information. 37 is about information.

      •  Wish that were the case. (4+ / 0-)

        It's hard enough to get people here to read up on GM tech.  The default assumption is that because it's 'unnatural', and because corporations do it, it needs to be avoided.  Note Dante's summary of the proposition: there's no learning there, and no attempt to.

        The actual text for Prop 37 begins by outlining all the reasons GMO are bad - it's a slate of the worst info straight from Mercola's website - and then it goes downhill from there.   That's what we're writing into California law.

        Ugh, again.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:31:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You make good points. (8+ / 0-)

          I decided based on the effect of the law, not the ranty preamble. It;s not something I feel strongly about, in principle, but there are major issues with GM seed dependence (cause of patented seed that cannot reproduce), and the "roundup ready" plants just allow MORE use of the herbicide.

          Not so great. The BGH allows unnatural growth in cattle. Not so great either.

          All these things are changing the face of farming to depend on the big companies while hurting the land.

          Making bacteria with plasmids to make medicines represents the good side of GMOs, IMO.

          So, what can I say, I am not concerned about health effects, more environmental effects.

          •  True enough, although (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            docstymie, coigue, Villanova Rhodes

            the herbicide problem isn't GMO-specific: Roundup was already an environmental problem before the first GMO was marketed.   The environmental issues, like monoculture and seed spread, exist with any kind of industrial crop.  In this issue too, the proposition is aimed at the wrong targets.

            (Worth noting: there are no sterile seeds on the market.  It'd actually be less of an environmental concern if there were, because the concern about GMOs contaminating other fields would be moot.  

            GM apples are close, only because we don't generally grow apple trees from seeds in the first place, and an apple tree can't graft itself.)

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:51:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I waffled a bit. (4+ / 0-)

          It's a terribly-crafted proposition. BUT - I'd rather see it enacted, then improved, than denied outright. I also take a dim view of corporations dumping millions and millions of dollars into something to try to defeat it.

          The food industry could choose to label foods with GMO and avoid all of this hassle. But instead, they're fighting it.

          Reminds me of PG&E a couple years back, trying to avoid the possibility of PUCs in the state. They outspent their opponents by some godawful margin. I know people who voted against PGE just because they were horrified by the money dump. (And PGE lost.)

          "I like to go into Marshall Field's in Chicago just to see all the things there are in the world that I do not want." M. Madeleva, C.S.C.

          by paxpdx on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:05:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  perhaps the burden (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive, kurt

          of informing people should be on the corporations rather than the consumers. A little sunlight on the issue seems like a good thing overall. I'd be happy to learn that GMOs are neutral or beneficial, for example, and I'm open to that possibility. So let's have a conversation about the science, hash it out in the news like we do other novel ideas until we are all better able to decide how to buy.

        •  But it doesn't ban GMOs or GM products n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:22:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A huge part of my failing to understand (0+ / 0-)

            why simply labeling products should, in any way, be problematic other than for, perhaps, companies who sell GMO's which consumers may decide they don't want to buy. Other than this, I see nothing changing, and certainly nothing that will harm consumers, let alone end GMO education; if anything, I see increased conversation about GMO safety. Exactly like we've seen with organic foods.

      •  people will probably see this the same as... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling

        the current nutrition labeling.  the information is there.  a product may be loaded with fat and salt but people still buy the product.

        I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

        by blue drop on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:07:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Difference is: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Villanova Rhodes

          the amount of salt or sugar in a product is the amount of salt or sugar in a product.  "GMO" tells you nothing... nothing about the nature of the product, its safety, its nutrition, etc.  

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:50:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This turns out not to be the case (0+ / 0-)

            It tells you that there are other questions you might want to ask. It tells you that if the company refuses to answer those questions, you have the option to vote elsewhere with your dollars. It lets you choose on a number of social issues, such as whether to reward companies that sue farmers whose crops are polluted by pollen from GMO crops. If the companies refuse to provide further details. they are opting to get hit with the broadest possible hammer. Boo-hoo. Pity the Billionaire, somebody wrote.

            If you prefer, we can require that the actual genetic modifications be listed on the label. Then I could distinguish Roundup-ready crops from those modified to affect flavor, appearance, keeping qualities, or whatever else agribusiness cares about, and decide for myself whether I consider these to be improvements, or at least inconsequential.

            America—We built that!

            by Mokurai on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 10:00:37 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I voted Yes on 37 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coigue, nanorich, My Spin

        for exactly the same reason: so people can make decisions for themselves.

        Also, I can't help but think of the Dalai Lama's warning, sorry to sound corny, that we don't always know where we are going with genetic engineering. I am strongly inclined to agree with this and thus hold strong, strong ethical stances when it comes to the issue of bioethics and disclosure.

        •  Ugh. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          docstymie

          I can grudgingly accept an argument to "letting people make decisions" (albeit poorly informed ones), but your second comment isn't just corny, it's bad.   Why is one form of agricultural engineering  more of an ethical problem than others?

          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

          by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:48:45 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't think any are implicitly worse (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            furpletron

            than any others, per se, except I don't like Monsanto's fingers in the pie here. I won't proclaim to know the full story behind this, although I understand that they have their bottom line, and that their bottom line may not be concerned with that transparency that I'm talking about when it comes to bioethics... which are incredibly complex, in flux, and prone to grave human miscalculation due to hubris and/or monetary concerns.

            That's my point in that part of my statement. Bioethical considerations should always be approached with the highest level of caution, especially when monied interests are involved.

            And in terms of the first part, should people have the right to know as much as possible about their food if that information can be made available to them? Yes. There is no reason why any information about food which people request should not be provided to them, no matter what the reason for the request is.

            •  I trust Monsanto like I trust TEPCO, in short (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              furpletron

              that's perhaps better said. Last I heard, TEPCO was saying nuclear power was safe for Japan. Now there are entire areas where no one can live due to nuclear contamination.

              BP is another great example of why I voted YES on Prop 37. A little disclosure here and there wouldn't hurt anyone, would it?

              I just don't trust big business to be straight about bioethical concerns. And I guess TEPCO, BP, and Monsanto all full under the umbrella of "reasons why."

              Thus said, I'm a realist; I seek as much fact as available. But this measure only opens up more inquiry and factual data. Nothing more, nothing less. I see no drawback for the consumer.

            •  What about companies other than (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              docstymie, Jahiegel, Villanova Rhodes

              Monsanto that are developing GM products?  Or: what about Monsanto's non-GM technologies that aren't affected by this?  How does Prop 37 have anything to do with this issue in a constructive way?

              What does 'GMO' tell you about your product other than 'GMO'?  And what does that mean?  Is it transgenic?  Is it safe?  Is it nutritious?   Is it corporate?  Is it environmentally sound?  Is it ecologically problematic?  What does 'GMO' actually mean?

              People keep retreating back to this "right to know" argument because there's literally nothing there.   Nothing.  

              Prop 37 is the wrong tool for the wrong targets: it's hitting progressives right in the sweet spot of natural fallacy and anti-corporatism at the expense of what the science actually says and does.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:59:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Whatever it means to any particular person (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kurt

                it's their right to know if a food has undergone anything they might be curious about. I say it should pass because consumers have long felt uncomfortable with it.

                If you want to advocate for GMO foods as safe, that wouldn't be impacted by this measure. You could still do that if this Proposition were to pass.

                So how and why and how would it hurt a consumer to have this information made available to them?

                •  What is the information content here? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Villanova Rhodes

                  That's what I'm trying to argue with that second set of questions.   There is nothing in that label that can give the consumer any guidance about the provenance, safety, or health of that product.  It's strictly ideological; to wit, one form of technology is somehow different from other forms.*  

                  That the text of the proposition includes all kinds of language about the threat of GMOs to consumer safety is just the shitty icing on the cake.

                  * It reminds me, by analogy, of the attempt in Georgia to add a disclaimer to student textbooks that evolution "is only a theory".  It's technically correct, so why did we raise a ruckus about it?  Don't parents have a right to know these things?  I think we all agree that information, when deprived of all context and content, isn't a value in itself.

                  Obviously transparency is a virtue, but if we want our food to be labeled transparently, we need to have a higher standard for what that means than anti-science scaremongering.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:15:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You're making a claim that they are safe (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    furpletron, elfling

                    for both human consumption as well as for the environment. If there's nothing to "not know," then where is the harm in labeling these foods GMO? Just as we label foods organic. I don't see a distinction here (particularly since for me, the GMO issue is primarily about environmental ethics BUT also to some degree about basic transparency AND Science challenged at times by Big Business and/or basic human miscalculation).

                    But as I asked in my previous question, and this is really the core question for me:

                    How and why would it hurt a consumer to have this information made available to them?

                    That's my question.

                    That's the one I'm looking for an answer to.

                    And partially because I have no good answer to this, I voted Yes on 37.
                     

                    •  Argh. No, I'm not. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Villanova Rhodes

                      I'm making a claim that issues related to safety and environment aren't remotely affected by this; that the labeling actually elides over both in ways that obscure information of value; that both issues are tangential to GMO as a technology because they're just as relevant to non-GMO agriculture; and that you won't get answers to your questions because you're asking the wrong questions to begin with.

                      An added bonus: if CA consumers shy away from GM products in any significant way - which is the stated goal of the authors, no less - it'll hurt the bottom line for companies that develop them.  That may be good news if your goal here is to hurt Monsanto, but Monsanto's a big enough corporation to take the hit.  Smaller tech companies?  Forget it.  Now you've skewed the research market toward the big corporations.  Congratulations.

                      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                      by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:34:41 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  So it sounds like you're concerned that (0+ / 0-)

                        some smaller companies could take a hit which, in turn, could result in Monsanto having a bigger piece of the pie and monopolizing the GMO industry.

                        So this sounds like your concern here has to do with who is able to compete best in the GMO market. And as we both know, this is not the issue at hand for most Californians who care about Prop 37.

                        •  You really think the Yes on 37 movement isn't (0+ / 0-)

                          motivated by anti-corporate feelings?  Or am I misunderstanding your comment?  Because there's a shit ton of comments about Monsanto here and at 37's own site.

                          Yeah, I think making the technology harder to develop by any but big corporations is a bad thing for all of us.  It's not the main reason I oppose 37, but it's not exactly a point in its favor.

                          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                          by pico on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:07:13 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  I should add (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Villanova Rhodes

                      that last point is total speculation on my part, but looking at the market for small tech GMO now and the hurdles they have to go through to get approval (something Monsanto can do much more easily), it wouldn't surprise me.  

                      It's at least a more plausible scenario than "frankenfoods killing your children", which is how the Proposition is written.

                      Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                      by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:36:49 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  It's written very imperfectly (0+ / 0-)

                        but that doesn't mean that consumers, when they ask, don't have a right to an answer.

                        Even if you think the question is a silly one.

                        •  It is a silly question. (0+ / 0-)

                          And I don't see why I have to pretend otherwise to salve the conscience of people who defend it.  

                          Here's a great anecdote for you:

                          There's a GM apple being developed by a small company in Canada.  Every single argument against GM produce is relatively moot here: they're not transgenic, they reproduce by grafting, it's not a big corporation, etc.   Nevertheless, the American Apple Growers' Association is opposing the company's application for FDA approval on the basis - I'm not making this up - that the apple will "undermine the image of apples as a healthy product."

                          So there's your movement in a nutshell.  It's not about health, safety, or nutrition.  It's not about science, the environment, or the consumer.  It's about image.  And Prop 37 is about us selling an image based on ignorance.

                          Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                          by pico on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:06:50 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Let's get back on track (0+ / 0-)

                            This is the question I asked. I am still waiting for an answer to it, whether or not you think the premise itself is "silly."

                            Can you succinctly answer this question for other voters, please?

                            How and why would it hurt a consumer to have this information made available to them?

                            Thanks!

              •  You are sounding a bit desperate (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, My Spin
                What about companies other than
                Monsanto that are developing GM
                Who cares, they need to provide truth in labeling the same way.
                 
                Or: what about Monsanto's non-GM technologies that aren't affected by this?
                Again who cares, it is not relevant to this issue of labeling GMO's.
                How does Prop 37 have anything to do with this issue in a constructive way?
                Linking Monsanto's disinformation campaign with other corporation's similar ones is a relevant metaphor.
                What does 'GMO' tell you about your product other than 'GMO'?  And what does that mean?  Is it transgenic?  Is it safe?  Is it nutritious?   Is it corporate?  Is it environmentally sound?  Is it ecologically problematic?  What does 'GMO' actually mean?
                For starters it doesn't need to tell consumers anything else besides the fact that it is genetically modified the same way as organic. I agree lets have more comprehensive labeling of GMO's. Lets tell people that this species of maize or soy was spliced with genes from another species not even in the same phyla through a virus vector and is now on America's table being forcefed to people in huge quantities (85% for corn 91% for soy) without examining the long term affects not just on human health and safety but ecological, agricultural and biodiversity.
                People keep retreating back to this "right to know" argument because there's literally nothing there.   Nothing.  
                Umm, I'm not even sure what you're saying here but there is a lot necessity for this. Not even sure where to start with the "nothing" statement but if you are implying that there is no other reason to have truth in labeling but simply the right to know (which is worthy in and of itself) that is simply and categorically false.

                A solar spill is just called a nice day

                by furpletron on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:02:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Labels are like that. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                My Spin, kurt

                On my labels, I find a country of origin... what does it matter if it was grown in Canada or Chile or USA, said the food industry.

                Well, sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't.

                The wine industry is all about not only grape variety but terroir - which means that wine made from the vineyards on the properties adjoining mine are labeled differently from wines made from grapes grown 5 miles away. The price per ton differential for grapes going across certain county lines is $1000/ton or more for some varieties. The rules are specific and consumers seem to care.

                I often choose to buy apples that come from an orchard in my county over ones that are brought in from out of state. I may even pay more for them? Why? My reason is that the local orchards pack for local consumption, and they pick later in the ripening process. I also like sending the money back into my local community.

                More and more, people are interested in the exact origin of their food and the specific varieties of their produce. Wonder why broccoli tastes different at different times of the year? It's because you're getting a different variety from a different growing region - and in fact different varieties and different growing regions can also vary dramatically in nutritional value. And the further it travels, the more nutrients are typically lost.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:37:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  country of origin has become important to me (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  elfling, mahakali overdrive

                  i never gave it any thought before labeling but now i do.  i prefer to buy produce grown in the U.S. to support our economy and because it hasn't traveled around the world to get to me.  i also try to support local if i can.

                  with the increasing incidences of tainted food, it does concern me about farming standards in other countries.  they may be regulated just as U.S. farms but i don't know that with certainty.  even if, i'm inclined to think that there is a more watchful eye over U.S. produce.  i know that U.S. produce is not immune to being tainted.  luckily, i have never been a victim of those outbreaks.  i just got a notice in the mail last week from Costco about an expansion of the recent recalled peanut butter that now includes batches of their Kirkland brand.  i've been munching on it all summer and still have half a 40 ounce jar (of a two pack) in the fridge but there was a system in place to know what to recall.  so, if produce is of U.S. origin, i just trust it more.

                  if a U.S. origin is not an option then it comes down to whether or not i am cooking the produce.  if the produce if from another country but i will be cooking it then i don't concern myself too much about the possibility of it being tainted.  if i'm going to eat the food uncooked then i will not buy it.  i could soak produce from outside the U.S. in a weak bleach solution but taking that extra step is just another level of hassle.

                  all of my thought process in just the country of origin labeling may be entirely illogical to others but it is what i am comfortable with when making my food choices.  the same could apply when it comes to GMO labeling.  illogical, maybe, but i can make my own choice about whether or not it matters to me.

                  I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

                  by blue drop on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 01:53:01 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My most specific concerns (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    mahakali overdrive, blue drop

                    when I am concerned and not just expressing preference, are about the heavy metal pollution in Chinese rivers, and that water being used to irrigate crops.

                    You can buy produce labeled 'organic' that comes from China, but my feeling is that I don't trust the veracity of that claim, nor does the organic standard really contemplate a heavily polluted environment.

                    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                    by elfling on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:15:34 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i don't think i have ever seen any produce... (0+ / 0-)

                      from China other than garlic.  i bought one of those 4-5 pack of bulbs in mesh bag.  they had no flavor and that's when i looked at the label to see they were from China.  i didn't know China grew garlic or that we would bother to import it having the "Garlic Capital" in our state, CA.

                      i do avoid farmed seafood from the various regions of Asia. for the same reason you avoid the produce.  who knows what the water quality is in those regions where they are holding the fish?  i can always buy some type of wild or U.S. farmed fish if i can find it but it is near impossible to find shrimp that isn't from somewhere in Asia.  i've almost had to give up eating but if i don't have a choice i keep it to a minimum.

                      I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

                      by blue drop on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:07:03 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, this issue just really riles me up. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              docstymie, Jahiegel, Villanova Rhodes

              I'm frustrated with how bad the information is on our side, and I'm doubly frustrated because it puts to lie that chest-thumping claim that it's the Republicans who use government against science.   This is a victory for the snake-oil salesmen on our side of the aisle.   That's the part that's driving me crazy here.

              Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

              by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:02:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I understand about the concern (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pico, Tam in CA, ozoozol

                that it's that place where anti-Science meets Progressivism. I don't care for that place either, and I often see it in things like homeopathy and flu vaccinations.

                But in this case, I feel that consumers have asked. And I see no drawback to providing them with information which they have requested.

              •  I know what you mean. (5+ / 0-)

                The anti vaccine crap, pro homeopathic stuff riles me up the same way.

                Problem is there are good reasons mixed in with the bad on this issue.

              •  I think what people like me (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mahakali overdrive, pico, kurt

                are responding to is the idea that GMOs are not something we understand but we should take it on faith that they're nothing to be worried about. Trusting corporations, large or small, is something that has been bred out of me, if you will, by betrayals.

                Honestly, it sounds a little arrogant to me when you say "You don't know what it means it a product does or doesn't have GMOs, so no one should have to tell you." It's true -- I don't know anything -- but the correct response to that ignorance is not to become exasperated and tell me to take it on faith. It's to the do the patient work of teaching me. Just like I was taught about nonfat v whole milk, drinking / juicing v eating whole foods, etc.

                I'm willing to do my share of the homework. I resist being told "we're not going to tell you because you won't (can't?) understand it."

                The autism - vaccine example is a good one, I think. The science was repeatedly explained to us. I didn't have to go searching for paywall science journal articles to understand it; the discussion was held in the public square. So let's do that again, only this time with our food.

                •  I totally understand what you're saying here, (0+ / 0-)

                  which is one of the reasons I've been trying to spread the science as much as possible in these discussions.  There really is a lot of material on various GMOs, but the summaries that have been passed on by the Yes movement are a poor assessment of what's available.  

                  (And, incidentally, the criticisms of the available GM science - that it's corporate-funded [it's not], that it's not enough, that there's no long-term studies assessing it - are literally the exact same criticisms that rile up the autism/vaccination people.)

                  GMOs in general, as a technology, isn't controversial at all.  Some of it is as simple as going into a gene sequence, identifying the genes that cause the product to rot, and suppressing them.  There's nothing radical about that kind of treatment, but the resistance to it on principle alone I find to be a major problem.

                  Open and honest discussion about this issue is great!  But this proposition doesn't advance that argument at all: in writes anti-GMO rhetoric right into our laws.  I can't think of a worse way for that discussion to happen.  

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:57:55 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  And just to clarify on this: (0+ / 0-)
                  You don't know what it means it a product does or doesn't have GMO
                  I mean that no one, including myself, knows what this means unless we've done extensive research on the product... Just like I have no idea whether a product was selectively bred, and under what circumstances, unless I research it.  

                  GM can be transgenic or not; sometimes genes are added (from close relatives, or from foreign species), sometimes genes are subtracted, sometimes suppressed, etc.  GM is a big umbrella that involves any kind of manipulation at the genetic level, including selecting for traits that could selectively bred over a longer period of time (except that selective breeding is more unpredictable).   Given that some people's expressed fears about GM (as in the diary) are transgenics, the blanket label wouldn't tell you if they were or not.

                  So I'm not calling people ignorant when I say that: I mean that the label itself isn't telling us what we'd need to know to assess the product.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:15:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I hear your unhappiness with the prologue (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                pico, kurt, mahakali overdrive

                but I don't agree that just because many of the proponents are anti-science... that to vote against it is pro-science.

                The truth is more complicated and just because a scientific technique is used does not make it inherently good, safe, or appropriate. (Drilled into me as part of my science education, by the way. ;-) )

                I am extremely unhappy with the way that GM food has snuck under the radar of most Americans. I was shocked when the experimental Liberty Link rice escaped (from Bayer) and Mike Johanns (USDA head) said, hey, what's the big deal, 70% of US food is already GMO... a little more won't hurt.

                Farmers lost their export markets, and USDA approved the variety that had not been intended to ever be produced commercially without completing the normal testing process... because the alternative was to destroy the entire rice crop from the Southeastern US.

                Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:46:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Okay, I agree with you on this point: (0+ / 0-)
                  just because a scientific technique is used does not make it inherently good, safe, or appropriate.
                  Absolutely.  But there are two separate arguments here that I think get a little elided in the larger debate:  

                  The first is whether any kind of manipulation at the genetic label is, by its very nature, unsafe and inappropriate.  From a scientific standpoint, this is not a tenable stance: we know enough about genetics, and have done enough of this in various ways, to know better.  

                  The second is whether a particular product whose origins involve GM is safe and appropriate.  This is where things get sticky, but (as I've tried to argue here and elsewhere) no more sticky than any other kind of agriculture, and sometimes even less.  But I could support labeling that, on the basis of available research, lets consumers know what, if any, are the concerns with the product.

                  The big meta-problem I have here is that Prop 37 is all about point 1, which I don't think is even debatable, and not at all about point 2, where I'd concede that some of the concerns aren't unfounded.   We're making a statement about the technology in itself with no respect to reality.  That's a real problem.

                  Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                  by pico on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 12:11:55 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I think many deserve labeling (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            My Spin, kurt, mahakali overdrive

            For example, I'm pretty happy to have Country of Origin Labeling that allows me to avoid food grown in China, if I so choose.... even though the FDA hasn't tested it and found the specific product in question was irrigated from water laced in heavy metals.

            Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

            by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:25:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You are quite the optimist (0+ / 0-)

        I see no connection between a GMO label and useful information about the health or environmental impacts of the underlying genetic modification, so I don't know how any learning could happen here.

        Now, if they'd forced the inclusion of a QR code pointing you to a website detailing the genes inserted/deleted, that might actually have been useful.

    •  Monsanto isn't simply voting against it. (7+ / 0-)

      They've poured a fortune into fighting it.

      All GMOs may not be transgenic, but some are. The example in this diary (Bt-toxin that breaches the intestines, which is now showing up in human blood despite all initial assurances to the contrary) isn't made up; it may be a worst-case example, but that doesn't make it any less valid.

      If GMOs are innocuous, then let the producers convince us of that on the merits, instead of not allowing us to know how our food is produced.

      Moral relativism is OK if you're a Republican.

      by yulooloo on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:04:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, why wouldn't they? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        docstymie

        It affects their bottom line.  That has no bearing on whether the science is good or bad: the conflation of this issue with corporate interests is one of the things that has kept so many on the Left from judging the issue on its merits.  

        If you think Bt toxin is the problem, why not label Bt toxin?* What does it have to do with GM products that have never been shown to have any negative health effects?  Don't you realize that proven (sic) safe GM products would have the same label as the suspected stuff, so that consumers would have no idea which were known safe and which weren't?  The label is so uninformative that it elides over, rather than provides, any information of value.

        * Of course the reason no one wants to label Bt is that it'd affect organics, too.  Don't be fooled that the Organics lobby is any less interested in self-preservation than Industrial Ag.  There's a reason they're dumping so much money into Prop 37, too.  

        Both sides are bad players here.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:27:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Until we have decades of data, (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lisa, mahakali overdrive, furpletron, kurt

          no GM product has been "proven" safe. They simply haven't been around long enough for us to know the long-term effects of consuming them. That's one reason why at least 14 countries have banned GMOs, fully or partially.

          And I'm sorry, but any benefit of the doubt I might have been willing to extend to Monsanto was used up long, long ago. To equate the organics lobby with Monsanto's sociopathic malfeasance is a whole new level of false equivalency.

          They told us DDT was safe, and look how that turned out. And it wasn't that long ago that hydrogenated oil spreads were touted as a healthful alternative to butter and lard. We know better now, of course . . . but we won't know about GMOs for quite a while yet.

          Let's just label them, and then we can all make our own choices.

          Moral relativism is OK if you're a Republican.

          by yulooloo on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:55:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  are you old enough to remember red dye #2? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yulooloo, mahakali overdrive

            who knows what the effects would be nearly 40 years later if it had not been banned by the FDA?  a possible link to cancer was enough to consider the risk of long term consequences.  the levels of red dye that humans consumed was probably infinitesimally small compared to the doses given to rats but, in the context of discovery of long term consequences of other chemicals in that era, it was reasonable to have concerns.

            until we have decades of data, no GM product has been "proven" safe.
            that makes GMO labeling a bit of a conundrum, doesn't it?  to prove GMO safe there has to be long term consumption.  if no one wants to take a chance of being the 'rat' it can never be proven safe.  i think i can safely assume, with the exception of organic food, the current amount GMO food in the regular American diet is an unknown. do we want find out decades later for millions of American people it was hazardous to their health?

            i'd rather err on the side of caution as we have before to avoid any possibility of widespread risk to the population.  outright banning GMO may go too far for now.  advocating labeling may still be considered too broad for some but it is a compromise and would, at least, let people make the choice of what they want to ingest for a lifetime.

            I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

            by blue drop on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 02:55:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Absolutely. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blue drop

              As I've said elsewhere in the comments, if GMOs are safe, then let them prove it to us. Until then I'd like to have the option of avoiding them.

              Without labeling, we're in essence allowing GM food producers to conduct long-term, mass-scale human trials without informed consent.

              Moral relativism is OK if you're a Republican.

              by yulooloo on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 08:16:21 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I'm getting a little tired of Pico's No arguments (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nanorich, My Spin, sacrelicious, Mokurai

      1) WTF?

      Sorry, but the fact that Monsanto is voting against it doesn't change the fact that it's bad policy and bad science.
      Umm, yes it does. One of your main arguments is the fact you have a bone to pick with Mercola and that's why you are voting no. The fact Monsanto is the largest contributor to No on 37 is a very good reason to vote Yes even if you don't know anything else.

      2) ???

      Slapping 'GMO' doesn't tell you anything about the product
      Umm, excuse me, yes it does. It has been far too long that Americans have been forcefed this GM food without truth in labeling. Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered as are 91 percent of soybeans. Let people know and let them decide.

      3) Looking down your nose at Kossacks "pseudo-science" comments on KOS is insulting. People have a right to express themselves and learn about what is in their food.

      4) "Scientists on the left" actually do not like GMO's despite potentially very lucrative research money and in the worst cases being blackmailed and bullied by their dissenting research. UC Berkeley's Dr. Miguel Altieri and Dr. Ignacio Chapela as well as numerous other scientist have serious concerns about GMO's.

      I'm calling you out Pico. Who do you work for? Monsanto?

      A solar spill is just called a nice day

      by furpletron on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:14:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just so you know, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        docstymie, AaronInSanDiego

        accusing someone of being a paid shill is a bannable offense at this site.  Keep that in mind.  I've been here since 2005 and I don't see any need to defend myself on that angle.

        On your points:

        1. I'm not opposing Prop 37 because of Mercola... I'm showing that the argument by association is bad for both sides, Yes and No; argument by association is fallacious either way, unless the association is inextricable from the argument (and it isn't here).  Monsanto's up in arms because it affects their bottom line; this is unrelated to the issue of whether GMOs are safe/healthy.  Small tech companies develop GMO independently of Monsanto.

        2. The label 'GMO' doesn't tell you anything about what was done to the genes, whether it's transgenic, or about their safety, or about their nutrition, etc. etc.  It's meaningless, except as an ideological point (which is not the kind of label we should be enforcing by law.)

        3. If the shoe fits...

        4. Altieri and Chapela's arguments aren't based on the safety/nutrition issues, but on the ecological concerns with GMO.  Problem is, a) their ecological concerns (monoculture, contamination) exist with any industrial agriculture at all, and b) are not affected in the least by Prop 37.  On the safety of GM as a technology, we have about as a widespread a consensus as we do on climate change.   Individual products may have concerns, but as per point 2, you'd never know the difference.  

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:45:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK I retract my call out, (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pico, elfling

          However it seems odd to me how vociferous your attacks on this proposition and it's supporters are. My response:

          1) Association is always relevant (just look at who supports Romney/Ryan as an aside). Monsanto's involvement (and their bottom line) is directly related to health and safety, both in the ways you define and in the broader context of the health of biodiversity, food systems sustainability and ecology.

          2) The GMO label tells you a very important thing and that is the organism is genetically modified. My original point is valid that currently up to 85% of U.S. corn and as are 91% of soybeans are GM. Let the public know and let them decide. This is important, knowledge is power. If the label isn't good enough then I agree we need more comprehensive labeling! Lets go crazy and tell them exactly what genes were manipulated and from what foreign organism and what virus vector was used. As proponents say 37 is,

          just a first step toward giving consumers the right to know what's in the food they buy in stores.
          3) You want bad science? Monsanto has epic examples of biased research. A cursory glance on google will give you tons of examples. One I particularly like...

          4) Again ecological concerns are health and safety concerns, ever heard of a woman named Rachel Carson?  You are correct that these scientists' concerns are agricultural and ecological (although not exclusively). Arguably the organic label is also for agricultural & ecological concerns and lesser so for health and safety. Just curious but were you arguing against that label also?

          Ultimately this is one of the most important Propositions on the ballot in my opinion. This is common practice already in Europe and other countries. I sincerely hope it passes in California; for as California goes so goes the nation.

          A solar spill is just called a nice day

          by furpletron on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:38:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've give you a rec for keeping it more (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            furpletron, elfling

            level this time.  Thank you.

            By the way... That link you posted?  That's about the anti-GMO movement trying to pass off bad research as significant, and about the Yes on 37 movement using it for political gain.  I think you linked to the wrong article?  It supports what I'm saying here.  (Though I'll also add: while I agree with the conclusions of that article, I think it's badly written because it obscures the real problems with that study.  The author's enjoying his prose a little too much.)

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:50:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  You can make your arguments without (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        furpletron, kurt, mahakali overdrive

        impugning pico's intentions or character.

        pico and I have been discussing this for some time. We don't agree, but I appreciate his level-headed discussion and his pointed questions. I hope he appreciates mine.

        He's a smart guy with opinions. Discuss the ideas, not the person posting them.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:50:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK I realize I got a little hot headed (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, mahakali overdrive

          Pico, I apologize for making this personal. I am very passionate and I can now see that you are very passionate about this issue too; and I must admit that at first I was suspicious about why you are going so hard against it.

          All of the arguments that I have heard against this proposition from the 'No on 37' campaign have at best been weak and at worst frankly lies. I must say that you make arguments for not voting for 37 that I have not heard before. They are logical, well researched and clear. You are obviously a very intelligent and well read scholar.

          Nevertheless, no argument that I have yet heard has convinced me of anything but to vote a resounding YES for this proposition, which I believe to be one of the most important on the ballot for California this year. I am sorry to say but I strongly believe that a no vote will be on the wrong side of this issue and I predict time will show this to be the case.

          This Proposition is long overdue, I mean by at least a decade. We should have had this kind of labeling since the late 90's when Europe was beginning to implement their policies on GMO's. We need strong voices in this country, separated from the industries that would profit from these technologies, to perform independent and truly unbiased research to study the dangers of GMO's not just to human health and safety (as you point out) but to the greater ecological web: pollinators, wildlife, food systems security, ecology, biodiversity, cultivar diversity, and ecosystem health.

          I am not making up these issues and they are not false dangers. They are real and have been called attention to by serious scientists, some of whom for conducting their research have faced persecution within their field, blackmail, termination of employment, threats and bullying.

          This is a serious issue. It is one with huge $$$ profits attached to it and big corporations stand a lot to loose and gain. Europe and other countries have already gone down a very different path then us and we desperately need to catch up and start giving the American Public real information and real safeguards.  These are my opinions but they are shared by many people including scientists, researchers and people in the academic community, and hopefully the majority of the California electorate.  

          A solar spill is just called a nice day

          by furpletron on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:19:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm voting yes, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, My Spin, kurt, mahakali overdrive

      partly in the hope that some consumer education will be a consequence of the labeling. If GMOs don't necessarily involve modifying genes, that would be good to know, as one example.

      At the moment it appears that the value of GMOs accrue primarily to ag companies. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but I would appreciate being able to decide for myself whether to purchase food that is altered in some way from what it was 30 years ago.

  •  As currently structured, direct democracy is bad (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pico, Dave in Northridge

    As the diary states it's well-intentioned (one assumes), but actual experience with it shows that it's often not such a great idea in practice. Ill-informed and easily manipulated voters who lack the time and expertise to study and understand the various refendums, initiations, propositions and measures on a typical ballot tend to make bad decisions that end up hurting them and others.

    Of course, the same can also be said of electing politicians, but at least there's a person there who can be measured over the course of a campaign, especially if they have a track record that can be assessed. I'm not saying that we should do away with them entirely, but the threshold of getting them on a ballot, and then getting them enacted, should be much higher than it is at present.

    Um, Props 13 and 8, anyone?

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:20:07 PM PDT

  •  Prop 35 is an abomination (7+ / 0-)

    20 years for consensual "statutory rape" of a 17 year old as opposed to 5 years for the violent rape of an adult?  The people voting for it have no idea what's in there.  Aside from the NYT, Sen. Leno, Asmb. Ammiano, and the American Association of University Women oppose it.  The CDP got rooked into supporting it.

    Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:20:23 PM PDT

    •  You've also missed the major argument (7+ / 0-)

      which is that it massive expands the definition of "human trafficking" in a way directly comparable to how inclusion of marijuana has expanded the definition of "hard drugs" -- with predictably similar effects on who does and doesn't get jailed.

      Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

      "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

      by Seneca Doane on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:22:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't see their names on the oppose list (1+ / 0-)

      and lots that I respect on the pro list

      http://votersedge.org/...

      •  Yeah, they got NOW and the CTA (4+ / 0-)

        (without, from what I can tell, having had an attorney look over the statutory language carefully) and the rest seem to have just fallen into place.

        Some people really did their homework, including AARP CA.  Here's a link to their letter -- which was not well publicized outside their membership, perhaps explaining why it's missing (though I don't know why the LA Times isn't there) -- and in case that link ever goes away I'm going to republish the relevant section of the letter here in full:

        More detailed comment Proposition 35 follows, since AAUW CA opposes human trafficking and supports bringing offenders to justice, as noted in our 2011-2013 CA Public Policy Priorities. This year, we were active in the passage of CA Senate Bill 1193, currently on the governor’s desk, requiring hotline postings be present in business settings where human trafficking is more likely to be present. Human trafficking laws were enacted in CA in 2006 and every year since. Even with trafficking laws in the state, most trafficking cases are prosecuted under federal laws due to the majority of cases crossing state lines. Human trafficking law is very complex, including substantial interface with federal law, and requires expert analysis and input. The Initiative process limits needed input. Any needed changes should come through a legislative process that enables multiple points of view to be discussed. This has not been the case with Proposition 35.

        AAUW CA believes Prop 35 to be poorly written and contradictory in some elements. It focuses on sex trafficking rather than human trafficking for purposes of “slavery”, although forced labor comprises 90% of human trafficking. It pits the two types of victims against each other, creating greater penalties for sex trafficking, and greater penalties than for rape: up to 20 years vs. 4 years for rape in current law. Definitions of “trafficking” are greatly broadened, and could implicate persons not directly involved in trafficking. This would likely lead to lawsuits related to First Amendment Rights, and delay implementation of the statute. When a poorly written initiative alters state law, any future change becomes nearly impossible.

        There is often a tendency to support propositions without looking at the impact of the resulting changes in state statutes. AAUW CA members should study this carefully before November 6. More info: http://vig.cdn.sos.ca.gov/... Read the full text at http://ballotpedia.org/... Visit www.jvanek.wordpress.com.

        Sue Miller, AAUW CA Vice President and Public Policy Director

        I don't mean to pick on you personally, but I think that it's hard to fully appreciate how difficult it has been to oppose Prop 35 publicly -- so I don't blame AAUW for not publicizing this more broadly.  One DNC member (formerly with the CTA) stopped just short of calling me an advocate of human trafficking when I spoke agaisnt it at the CDP's Anaheim meeting on endorsements.  People took me aside to tell me, quietly, that they thought I was right.

        That notwithstanding, lots of people whom I've asked to read it carefully with my criticisms in mind -- you can read them through this link -- have come away convinced to oppose it, especially over the past few weeks.  The public has been bamboozled here and it's going to be as hard and as painful to undo as has been the case for "three strikes" legislation.

        Out of curiosity, do you believe that the penalty for statutory rape between an 18 year old and a 17 year old in a relationship, where both parties consider it to be consensual and where the former has provided the latter with marijuana on more than one occasion, should be 15 years longer than the penalty for the violent rape of an adult?

        If you don't think that that's what the law says -- or if you're not sure that that's not what the law says -- you should read it again.  It's terribly drafted.

        The blog by John Vanek (with whom I've been in touch), at the last link in the AARP letter, is another good resource.

        Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

        by Seneca Doane on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 08:37:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I don't think it should be 15 years longer. (3+ / 0-)

          I am glad you are educating people about this. I am surprised that people haven't been more open about it. I listened to a show about prop 35 on KQED, including the opposition and I made up my mind then. The opposition was not very convincing to me, but your arguments make sense.

          •  I was supposed to appear on KTLK radio just after (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DoGooderLawyer, IM, kurt, coigue

            Daphne Phung of Californians Agaisnt Slavery -- who is on the anti-late-term abortion bandwagon, by the way -- and despite my having confirmed they just flat out didn't call me and instead talked for 10 minutes about football players' underwear or something.  They later claimed it was an inadvertent error.

            I was also invited to debate someone from pro-Prop 35 on KMTV in Mountain View -- and they said that they wouldn't show up, so we ended up taping separately.

            They really want their opposition to be the erotic services workers, because people giggle when they hear that.  They don't want it to be lawyers with a background in statutory analysis.

            One side of this debate has a lot of sway over the media -- and I think it's the one spending $2 million rather than the one spending about $20.

            Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

            "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

            by Seneca Doane on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:42:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  That IS interesting. (3+ / 0-)

      When I saw 35 on my ballot, the first thing I thought was "Huh? Isn't trafficking already crazy illegal? What are they trying to slide past us here?" Maybe its just my paranoia acting up, but anytime I see a "won't somebody think of the children" argument in favor of a new law I immediately suspect that it is a cover up for something more nefarious.

      I'm glad I voted no on that one. We don't need new laws, we need the existing ones to be properly, justly, enforced.

      Would it not be be simpler, if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another? Bertolt Brecht

      by George Hier on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:12:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lawrence O'Donnell talked with Gray Davis... (5+ / 0-)

    on Friday's show about how to vote on them.  They threw all the proposition stuff on the web.

  •  I'd vote no on 35 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Seneca Doane, DoGooderLawyer

    though I don't live in CA and haven't followed this carefully. Still:

    Prop 35 uses the same old junk science to target our intimate, domestic and economic relationship to now be called traffickers and have to register as sex offenders with 70% of the fines going to the anti-prostitution non profits who now call themselves trafficked victims. The other 30% goes to the cops. These failed policies of ballot box budgeting has bankrupted our state.
    Your help is needed now! Inform your selves and speak out about the many way prop 35 will further criminalize our industry, target the innocent and completely erode any opportunities to help victims because it relies on their failed practice of alienating the community most effected by their abusive practices.
    More info here: http://deepthroated.wordpress.com/...
  •  The ones I am having trouble with are the local (1+ / 0-)

    school board.

    Anyone have any suggestions for Orange Unified School Dist. two seats?

    at this point I am clueless.

    202-224-3121 to Congress in D.C. USE it! You can tell how big a person is by what it takes to discourage them. "We're not perfect, but they're nuts."--Barney Frank 01/02/2012

    by cany on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:27:35 PM PDT

  •  The LA Times reported recently that support for (9+ / 0-)

    30 has fallen much from earlier big support.

    Bad, bad news.  The schools need that money desperately.

    This is the long legacy of the demonization of taxes in CA,
    the crooked sonofbitches in The Howard Jarvis organization (which is stumping greatly against the measure),
    and Prop. 13.

    Not to mention that fraudulent bastard Schwarzenegger's
    destruction of the car tax.

    Notice that, yes, the fucking Republicans have destroyed any chance to save public education in CA. Damn them to hell.

    Btw, a young guy who really didn't know what he was doing
    came to our door stumping for something that had the
    heading "union bullying." The words leapt out at me. Before he even opened his mouth, I said, no thanks. Funny how
    the buzz words stand out: "union bosses," "union thugs,"
    "union bullying," etc. (The latter looks like a Frank Luntz invention, being that NOBODY likes bullying.)

    Turns out the flyer was talking about a local Long Beach,
    CA proposition on hotel workers asking for a decent wage
    (Prop. N). I'm for this 1000%, of course. I told the young guy unions are great; it's the corporations that need curtailing. He didn't seem to know or care; he was just making a few bucks. That's the problem, isn't it: young kids with no work being taken advantage of by people that would curtail their wages, too, when they get the chance.

     

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. Shakespeare, Henry V

    by Wildthumb on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:28:38 PM PDT

    •  erosion of support is due to three things (0+ / 0-)

      the governor hasn't explained how we are able to move forward with an $80-$100B high speed rail system when we can't pay the bills we have now. It makes people think there is no budget crisis and this is just alarmist for a tax increase.

      the governor hasn't effectively explained what he has done to make state government better and more efficient. He gives little antecdotes about his flying southwest airlines, but the public wants to know that you have done as much as possible before you go for a tax increase

      the bill doesn't actually mandate the money be spent on education. It will be this year, because that is what it is budgeted for, but that is not permanent.

      I think 30 will lose, and it didn't have to, but I think the governor and the legislature underestimated public resistance to a tax increase. Tighter language tying to education, putting off the high rail system, and more reform of government would have gotten this passed.

      •  High speed rail is a red herring (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kurt, mahakali overdrive

        the voters support it; the spending is over a decade or more; and much of the money is coming from matching federal funds. None of it is blocking school money this year or next year or the year after that.

        The state budget is around 10% smaller in straight dollars than it was in 2007.  It is being squeezed every which way until tuesday, at a time when many people need additional assistance.  Tell me where you think the unnecessary fripperies are in state government.

        I can tell you that my school district's budget is incredibly tight, so much so that if anything the tight constraints are on their way to creating waste by underresourcing key long term investments. The district is careful with every dollar, but the cuts it has absorbed already are not sustainable for the long term without lowering our goals for the kids. And you can't expect the same learning to take place in 160 days as 180.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:06:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  also demonizing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Wildthumb

      teachers and drumming it into us that public schools are failing. Who wants to fund a tax increase for that?

      I am afraid that we will lose school days (up to 15, I've heard) if this goes down. Three weeks of instructional time is a lot to sacrifice.

      •  Okay. It will have to go to crisis phase before (0+ / 0-)

        the demonization of taxation in this state (driven hugely by assholes like Howard Jarvis and his descendents) gets finally overcome. Ditto in the nation as a whole. When school systems actually go broke and collapse and students are sent home the public might finally get it. Even then, I don't know.

        Republicans have gone on a campaign to destroy taxation
        (and through that social security, medicare, and any safety nets) since the sixties, and it worked beautifully, even among
        Democrats. The "tax and spend" Democrats.

        If I ever get out of here /Thought of giving it all away /To a registered charity/ All I need is a pint a day /If I ever get out of here- Paul McCartney, "Band on the Run"

        by Wildthumb on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:46:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  for those who may have missed it (2+ / 0-)

    The Last Word w/Lawrence O'Donnell had a segment last Friday where he did his early voting with a California ballot on his show.  he had former Governor Gray Davis has his guest for the segment.  it was nice to hear some discussion of the propositions rather than having to rely on brief printed summaries that often seem intentionally vague.

    there was only one proposition where the governor differed from the California Democratic Party.  that was Prop. 31.

    http://www.cadem.org/...

    here is a link for that show.  they ran out of time at the end of the show and continued in a separate video online.

    Very Last Word: Lawrence votes early

    part one is in the column on the right side of the page as a thumbnail.

    part two is the larger video box on the web page

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:29:38 PM PDT

  •  By the way, Thanks MUCH for this diary!! (1+ / 0-)

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more. Shakespeare, Henry V

    by Wildthumb on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:29:42 PM PDT

  •  thanks for this write up Dante... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave

    I pretty sure I agree with all of your assessments. I wish Ms Munger would have backed down on her 38 proposal. I've read a mini biography of hers, and she seems like someone who should champion progressive values. Her intention with 38 is good, but I think her pride has gotten the way.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:29:45 PM PDT

  •  Important to remember the evil hate (2+ / 0-)

    vote no on 32, 33 and 38

    Re-elect President Obama because we don't need another selfish President

    by Timmethy on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:33:48 PM PDT

  •  California requiring GMO labeling. YES on 37 (5+ / 0-)

    With the passage of Prop 37, California would lead the nation on requiring the labeling of GMO products.

    I would like to choose non - GMO products and not be told that there is no difference between GMO and non - GMO products.  Monsanto convinced the FDA, headed by a former Monsanto employee that there was no difference and that labeling was not necessary.

    Watch these scary videos about GMO:
    (1) Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of our Lives; it's long 1hr 24 min

    (2) How GMO foods alter organ function and pose a very real health threat to humans 13 min

    Ref. link to (1): http://www.youtube.com/...
    Ref. link to (2): http://www.youtube.com/...

  •  A little late. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    I voted a week ago.

  •  You know, I support 39, but the rhetoric, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, kurt

    which is echoed in this diary, is bogus as hell. For ages, many if not most states used something called, among other things, "triple apportionment" to determine the California taxable income of multistate entities. California lost a court case and as a result had to allow companies the option of using what was then called a "water's edge" method and is now called "single sales".

    This bill outlaws the old, original, longstanding law in favor of applying the optional "water's edge" standard to all multi-state companies. In so doing, it closes no loophole, because the old law was not a loophole.

    This could cut either way with respect to tax revenues depending upon the ratio of companies that simply sell in or into CA without much of a presence here (Amazon) and companies that sell throughout the country but have significant property and employees here. The state projects that it will bring additional revenue, and one assumes that they have the data so one might as well support it. Let's do it for the right reason, however, and eschew the false and misleading propaganda being spewed by its supporters.

    (FWIW, there isn't a lot of evidence that companies were moving jobs out of state to lower their CA taxes, and less reason to suppose that they wil now "move them back". )

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:44:03 PM PDT

  •  I voted last week (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this useful diary

    It is a terrible thing to see and have no vision. ~ Helen Keller

    by Pam from Calif on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:49:54 PM PDT

  •  This school teacher sez: (5+ / 0-)

    Vote Yes on prop. 30 and No on 32. And eat your greens.

    Twitter: @michaelhag

    by MichaelPH on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 06:54:23 PM PDT

  •  It's really time to place a threshhold on when (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sacrelicious

    a ballot measure can be enacted. Perhaps requiring more than 50% of the eligible voters to turn out, or do what Switzerland does and require not only the measure winning the statewide total, but also winning in a majority of the state's counties (cantons in Switzerland's case).

    Form follows function -- Louis Sullivan

    by Spud1 on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:07:14 PM PDT

  •  Thank you, Thank you, Thank You! (2+ / 0-)

    I hadn't seen anything whatsoever on a couple of the more obscure ones and was dreading having to try to separate the truth from the noise.

    This year, more than ever in all the years I've lived, I've begun to feel that our American democracy no longer works.  I probably won't even be able to sleep on the night of November 6th.  Here's hoping I'll feel better about our democracy on the morning of November 7th.

    To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

    by Eyesbright on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:08:17 PM PDT

  •  On Prop 37 (Right to Know) i'm pretty sure Coke & (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt

    Pepsi are also major funders against.

    I was curious if anything in Prop 37 could be used to pave the way for better nutrition guidelines in public schools.  I haven't kept up on that issue for a few years but i recall Coke & Pepsi being among those who tended to fight against anything, anywhere of any size that led to better nutrition in public school lunches.

    sigh.  i sometimes miss CA and would love an opportunity to move back to SF.

    to republicans rape is "God's will" but homosexuality is somehow a "choice". republican yahweh is a dick.

    by bnasley on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:11:07 PM PDT

  •  Here's a Simple Informational Postcard (3+ / 0-)

    on how a community college would be affected if Prop 30 passes and if it doesn't.  http://www.chabotcollege.edu/...

    It's simply an informational card, but it makes its point.  We don't have to be proponents-- all we have to do is simply say this is what will happen, because it WILL.

  •  Florida has 11 too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sacrelicious

    But the decision is much simpler: vote no on all of them.

    "No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people. People have hearts, they have kids, they get jobs, they get sick, they cry, they dance. They live, they love, and they die. And that matters." --Elizabeth Warren

    by foreverblue on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:17:22 PM PDT

  •  Also YES on B (0+ / 0-)

    If you live in LA :)

  •  Yes on 30 or I could lose my job! (7+ / 0-)

    I'm not kidding. We're all saying, here in the State Universities, that if we don't pass Prop 30, we could easily, easily see our jobs cut due to massive educational funding collapses. This is Brown's attempt to push voters, so it is thought.

    Every single person I know who teaches, even very conservative teachers, are saying YES ON PROP 30.

    PLEASE, for my job, for the students of the State of California, for the state of Higher Education here, PLEASE VOTE YES ON PROP 30.

    And along with it, a NO on Prop 38!!! And a NO on Prop 32.

    •  Seriously, I was just talking to an Economics Prof (3+ / 0-)

      and also a Prof in the School of Business about Prop 30 to try to get a different perspective from my own. I'm friendly with both, but we hold VERY different political leanings.

      This was on Friday.

      Both said Prop 30 had very well better pass.

      We have no idea where we can otherwise get University funding, and we're looking at monster tuition hikes and probably closures of entire Departments, as well as potentially even some Public Universities IF this thing doesn't pass.

      If you seriously care at all, tell everyone in the State of California that all those committed to education, regardless of their partisanship, are saying YES on 30!

      And from what I understand, it works hand in hand with 32/38.

    •  As a school board member (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      I am very fearful of what will come to pass if it fails. Everyone in education has been hanging on by their fingernails and waiting for the revenues to turn around. If this fails, we'll need to plan for them not turning around. Districts have been spending reserves to try to maintain services in the meantime... but everyone was assuming we'd be back on an upward curve for funding by 2013-14.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:11:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absolutely, it impacts all schools (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elfling

        In my case, a head administrator (a good friend of mine) flat-out told me privately that I may not have a job if it doesn't pass and that some Departments might have to fold completely; we were strategizing. This was an off the record conversation. I'm only saying it here because I am blissfully anonymous. But that's what I'm hearing from those actually looking at the specific University budgets. It's not a hypothetical situation. Also, this person said that tuitions could be as much as DOUBLED.

  •  No on 35 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego, DoGooderLawyer, IM, kurt

    Please consider voting no on 35.  Many "boots on the ground" - groups who work directly with the victims of all forms of human trafficking and police officers whose expertise is in human trafficking - are against this proposition and explain why much better than I could:

    http://noonprop35.wordpress.com/

    http://churchimpact.org/...

    http://jvanek.wordpress.com/

    Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer

    by CalbraithRodgers on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 07:27:55 PM PDT

      •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DoGooderLawyer

        For a voter guide who says this about themselves:

        MapLight Voter's Edge is the quick and easy way to decide how to vote on California ballot measures. It brings together all the information you need to be an informed voter. MapLight Voter's Edge is neutral and nonpartisan.
        Those Yes and No lists were very, very curious.

        Somehow they missed a whole lot of No editorials including the LA Times, Sacramento Bee and San Francisco Examiner and No statements from CAST (Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking), the Friends Committee on Legislation in California and California Council of Churches IMPACT.  Editorials and statements by these groups are linked from here.

        And links to most of the groups in the Yes column link to a fund raising page for Yes on Proposition 35.

        I sure hope California voters aren't using this "quick and easy way to decide how to vote".  If Prop 35 is any indication, they appear to be very far from neutral.

        Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer Single Payer

        by CalbraithRodgers on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:11:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Prop 35 = PATRIOT Act for sex workers (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jahiegel, DoGooderLawyer, kurt

    I'm voting No. All I've read is that it sounds well-intentioned, but is too broadly written, and packed full of provisions that law enforcement will use against non-trafficked sex workers who are in the business on their own free will.

    Human trafficking is terrible, just as terrorism is terrible. In both cases, the prescribed cure can be as bad as the illness.

    Living in San Francisco, I've heard endless stories from sex workers who have received the worse abuse of their lives from the same people who are trusted and charged by society with "rescuing" them. But their voices are completely disregarded in the debate.

    I'm also unconvinced that law enforcement can't stop trafficking now, with existing laws against trafficking already on the books. How about they rewrite this proposition, and come back with an actual case for why they need this law? Instead of "Y U HATE THE CHILDRENS??"

    http://missmaggiemayhem.com/...

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/...

  •  Thanks so much! (0+ / 0-)

    I live in California and usually wait to go through the down ballot items.
    Thanks again for the research!

  •  I support Prop -13 (0+ / 0-)

    ie repeal of the infamous Jarvis Gann Prop 13 of the 1978,

    requiring a two-thirds majority in both legislative houses for future increases of any state tax rates or amounts of revenue collected, including income tax rates. -- Wikipedia

    Allowing a selfish minority to outvote a public spirited majority is antidemocratic on its face.

    There's no such thing as a free market!

    by Albanius on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 09:07:32 PM PDT

  •  no on 35 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, mahakali overdrive

    it will hurt adult consensual sex workers and be used as a hammer against them, and like most laws designed to target sex work related activities, it's overbroad and not well written so that it can be used in such a broad way. one horrible consequence is that a sex worker's roommate or friend sharing a pizza with a sex worker might be liable for conspiracy if the law is thrown at them (even tho no one was a minor or actually trafficked) and might end up on the sex offender registry for life. this type of regulation should be done on a more limited basis first, writing longer laws later with more complexity. this one doesn't do the trick

    It is not upon you to finish the Work, but neither shall you, O child of freedom, refrain from it.

    by DoGooderLawyer on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 10:23:30 PM PDT

  •  It's okay to vote for prop 38 (0+ / 0-)

    Of the two, I prefer prop 30, but 38 is also better for education than the status quo.

    If I had my way, 30 passes, 38 fails by a whisker.

    But I will probably vote yes on both.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Sun Oct 28, 2012 at 11:13:39 PM PDT

  •  Tx for the 'splainer, Dante (0+ / 0-)
  •  Billionaire Ballot Initiatives (0+ / 0-)

    Good NY Times story:

       “Hiram Johnson would probably be turning over in his grave, since he gave us the initiative process to fight the railroad barons,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “There has been no ballot in modern history with this type of concentration of millionaire and billionaire wealth behind it. If this was a reality TV show, we’d call it the billionaire ballot.”
    The five "billionaire initiatives" are 32, 33, 35, 38 & 39.  Voting against billionaires is a "No" vote on each of these.  Proposition 39 is the one that I'm not sure about:
       Tom Steyer, the founder of Farallon Capital Management, a hedge fund based here, has spent $22 million on Proposition 39 to rescind a three-year-old tax benefit given to out-of-state companies. In an interview, Mr. Steyer said he decided to finance the initiative after leaders in the Democratic-controlled Legislature failed to eliminate the break themselves.

        “I’m someone who believes that actually the best thing we can have is a highly respected and competent Legislature,” Mr. Steyer said. “But it seemed as if there was a need for somebody to do something, and I have a bad enough temper that I figured I wasn’t going to wait any longer.”
        ...
        Mr. Steyer’s opponents argue that repealing the out-of-state tax break would make California less competitive in attracting businesses from other states. But they appeared to have given up the fight against Proposition 39, having spent a total of just $56,000.

        “What was it they say in ‘The Untouchables’?” Mr. Steyer said, explaining that he did not regret his lopsided spending. “Don’t take a knife to a gunfight.”

    So will a vote for Prop 39 launch a billionaire's political career?

    As far as Prop 37 goes, I'm voting yes.  We're entitled to know all there is to know about our food.

    "There is a force within that gives you life--seek that. In your body there lies a priceless jewel--seek that. If you are in search of the greatest treasure, don't look outside, look within and seek that." -Rumi

    by blue denim on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 01:20:18 AM PDT

  •  Lawrence O'Donnell's shameful display (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue denim

    Lawrence O'Donnell can be very good, but also very self-indulgent when he rides one of his hobby horses (like his impractical suggestions for debate format).
      He was at his worst Friday evening. He invited ex-Gov Gray Davis to his show to "advise" him on his California ballot, and then proceeded to make a mockery of the whole process. I get - and more or less agree with - his implied point - that the referendum process has gotten out of hand, with citizens asked to legislate on a host of complex issues. But his whimisical - he must have thought it funny - approach to the ballot would have left the casual viewer with one of two impressions: 1) It's just too intimidating! Why vote at all? OR 2) It's a joke. Don't study the questions in advance. Just mark your ballot, including the down ballot races, any old way on the spur of the moment. Maybe I was projecting, but Davis seemed to be doing a slow burn as well. He probably thought he'd been invited to a serious exercise.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 06:23:15 AM PDT

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