On May 19th, vote no, no, no, no, no, no!

16 May

For most elections, I bring a cheat sheet with me to the polls to remind myself what each initiative means and how to vote on them. Next Tuesday will be easy though, since I’m voting no on Props 1A-1F.

I had hoped to write a detailed endorsement post explaining why I’m voting down the legislature’s and governor’s entire package, but I just haven’t gotten around to it (you can blame BART for keeping me busy). Luckily, my colleagues over at Calitcs wrote up an excellent endorsement post that I completely agree with. Check it out.

Not sure if you trust Calitics? Well, that’s ok because the Courage Campaign put together a chart of endorsements of Democratic and progressive groups from around the state. Print it out, and take it to the polls.

My fellow region 6 delegates voting for no endorsement on 1A.

My fellow region 6 delegates voting for no endorsement on 1A.

You’ll notice in Courage Campaign’s guide that the California Democratic Party stayed neutral on 1A, 1D, and 1E, which I consider to be the three worst initiatives in the package. I was at the CDP convention, and I can tell you that getting no endorsement on those was not a small feat. Democratic legislative leaders were lobbying hard throughout the convention, and during the floor vote, Senators Darrell Steinberg and Mark Leno resorted to equating opponents of the props with the Howard Jarvis Association and Grover Norquist.

But their efforts weren’t enough to stifle the grassroots energy that lead to the CDP taking no position on 1A, 1D, and 1E. In particular, 1A came down to a 22 vote margin, and I think some of the credit for this win should be given to my fellow Assembly District 16 delegates. We met the weekend before the convention and decided to create No on 1A stickers and flyers to pass out at the convention, and some of my fellow delegates worked their assesses off all weekend, giving out stickers and talking to delegates from around the state. I especially want to thank Dan Wood and Mario Juarez, who lead this effort.

It just goes to show that a few committed people can make a huge difference, and sometimes the margin of victory is very thin. So please go to the polls on Tuesday and vote no all the way down the ballot.

13 Responses to “On May 19th, vote no, no, no, no, no, no!”

  1. We Fight Blight May 16, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    While there seems to be a surge of people interested in voting no at the next election, what is the alternative? Do you have any plan to actually fix the state budget? In voting no and encouraging others to vote no, should’nt you also disclose what effect a no vote will have on the City of Oakland and any other number of Cities in a dire budget mess? A no vote will have significant effects on an already troubled Oakland budget.

    • Becks May 16, 2009 at 4:09 pm #

      I think this is an unfair question – why should it be my responsibility to create a legislative solution? But there are solutions, like the majority vote budget proposed in December, which Steinberg recently mentioned as a possibility. Also, the only one of these measures that makes a substantial dent in the budget gap is 1C.

  2. Jim T May 16, 2009 at 10:16 am #

    I really need to read up on why a no vote is needed, so don’t take this as an endorsement. But I am aware of one “pro” argument that seems fairly salient. From the East Bay Express, http://www.eastbayexpress.com/news/vote_yes_on_props_1a_to_1f/Content?oid=979300.

    • Becks May 16, 2009 at 4:12 pm #

      Just curious, which of EBX’s arguments do you find compelling? I’d be happy to respond to something specific.

      • Jim T May 16, 2009 at 10:43 pm #

        That these measures are compromises, and that voting no across the board sends the message that compromise isn’t worth the political gamble that goes along with it. This leads to further polarization to the ends of the political spectrum.

        • Becks May 17, 2009 at 10:03 am #

          I guess I don’t view these measures as a true compromise – Democrats compromised a lot and Republicans compromised very little. And even then, it was just a few Republicans. Like on 1A, Democrats get a two year extension of a regressive tax increases, and Republicans get a permanent spending cap that could cripple state government. That doesn’t sound like real compromise to me.

          The message I’d like to send to the legislature is that they need to stop solving the budget by gimmicks and create real long term solutions.

  3. Chris Kidd May 16, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Is that the same Mario Juarez who ran for city council in the last election cycle?

  4. Ralph May 16, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    this is an easy no across the board – tax increases, ballot box budgeting and one-offs designed to address the current year problem but not the underlying structural problem

  5. JHorner May 18, 2009 at 2:39 pm #

    Actually, Becks, I think it is an entirely fair question to ask opponents what their alternative plan is. As you know, the reason the legislature didn’t just DO what these initiatives are asking (thereby delivering a legislative compromise themselves) is because they are REQUIRED to ask the voters for the changes.

    Now let me be clear: I hate the initiative process. California voters have repeatedly shown their ignorance, gullibility, and selfishness through the process. But it is as best misinformed to be frustrated by initiatives and ballot box budgeting and gimmicks when the voters themselves have inserted themselves so completely into the legislative process that more and more initiatives are required to get us out of situations initiatives themselves caused.

    Also, you get at least $6 billion in additional cuts when you vote no and a Governor who said last Thursday that new revenues were “out of the question.”

    This decision sucks so bad, but I’m going YES on most if not all of them. The last thing we need is both the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association AND SEIU claiming they killed these things. You want political deadlock for sure? You’ll get it!

    • Becks May 18, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

      I don’t have a full plan for what to do when these initiatives fail, but I think the majority budget that was introduced in December would be a great start. I’d also go for increasing gas taxes.

      Again though, the only initiative that makes a significant dent in the budget is 1C so I can understand if people want to vote for that. 1D and 1E also have marginal impacts on this year’s budget. 1A has no impact on this year’s budget.

      And I’m guessing you’d agree that the only long term solution to these problems is getting rid of the 2/3 budget and tax requirement. The only reason these terrible initiatives have been forced upon us is because Republicans were almost entirely unwilling to budget. It makes no sense to allow them to continue to hold up the budget process.

  6. artemis May 18, 2009 at 4:07 pm #

    I’m also extremely concerned about the precedent that 1D and 1E set to simply redirect funding from past ballot measures when pockets are empty. Props 10 and 63 provided their own funding sources that voters approved for very specific purposes, and the ramifications for the early childhood ed/First Five programs and mental health services funded through these propositions are pretty extreme if their funding is pulled (even “temporarily”). I don’t feel as strongly about A/B/C, but if the polls are any indication, they’re all going down anyway.

    Agreed that the entire system needs to be overhauled, though. These are band-aids at best; not fixing anything in a meaningful way, and just delaying the inevitable. I’d feel a little better if these proposals were at least accompanied by a mandate for a constitutional convention to fix some of this governmental gridlock. Ah, well.

  7. Mark D. May 18, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    After these fail, the next steps are:
    1. Repeal prop 13, first for commercial property, then for anything that is not your residence, then for residences. It needs to be phased out, particularly for homeowners. As someone who pays more than $7000 a year in property tax, I do not want to be parcel taxed even more, when many of my neighbors pay under $2000 a year.
    2. Require a simple majority to pass the budget instead of 2/3.
    3. Roll back vehicle license fees. Anyone with a car should be paying 2x what that have been to license the vehicle. I am also into a higher license fee for vehicles over a certain GVWR (maybe 5000 lbs?)

    just my 2cents

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