What Else Are You Voting On?

Living in California Obama will of course win the state.

But we have several propositions here that “have meaning”.

Prop 30…Raises state sales tax and income tax on the wealthy. I voted no.

Prop 32…Campaign contribution law. I voted no.

Prop 36…Change the Three Strikes Law. I voted no.

Prop 37…Require genetic labeling. I voted no.

Do you see a theme there?

I did vote in favor of keeping the additional county wide sales tax we have to fund libraries.

We’ve got medical marijuana, a beefed up lemon law, a thing to slightly raise property taxes to pay for parks and other public spaces, and legal assisted suicide here in MA. I hope they all pass.

Everything you voted on, I’m voting the opposite, except 32. We agree on that. Plus yes on the get rid of the death penalty thing.

Prop 74 in Washington State is expected to pass according to polling. Legalizes same-sex marriage.

I’m all for it.

Well, since you asked…

Prop 30 - Voted yes
Prop 32 - Voted no
Prop 36 - Voted yes
Prop 37 - Voted no


Maine is looking decent too, for marriage equality. Maryland is maybe a little dicey, though still possible.

Straight Democrat for all the positions I can vote for. There are also a bunch different special questions on Maryland’s ballot this year. I’m not 100% final on all of them except question 6 which I’m 100% for. Here is my likely run down:

Orphan court related:
question 1 for
question 2 for
question 3 for

Allowing more people to pay instate rates for state colleges.
question 4 for

Redistricting Maryland:
question 5 against

Same Sex marriage:
question 6 for

question 7 for

30: voted yes, California’s budgetary woes require additional revenue to fix.
32: vote no, deceptive power grab by the right.
36: voted yes, prisons are ridiculously overcrowded and a third non-violent offense is insufficient cause for life in prison.
37: voted no, stupid and deceptive and filled with loopholes for favored companies and items.

I knew I forgot that one. I voted yes on that. Whether you believe the “cost to kill” argument or not I just think the death penalty is, for the most part, a joke now.

The genetic labeling law (Prop 37) is one I think I could vote yes on if it was written better. As written it could become like the ADA laws were lawyers go around filing lawsuits only for the reason of making money. Also it includes and excludes some weird items. Apparently any nut that has been salted or cooked (like almonds are) are considered genetically altered under the law. It is just a poorly written proposition.

I think Prop 37 is going down. But I read the literature on it and it seemed reasonable to me. Plus I’m always suspicious when huge corporate interests say this will horrible for consumers. Like they care.

Two weeks ago it was winning easily but as I understand it current polling has it a dead heat. Of course my part of the state hates it because ag dislike the idea. But I have heard even Bay Area analysts describe it as being very poorly written.

Here in my section of Burlington, we have a general purpose bond vote, a bond vote for urban renewal projects along the waterfront, a half-cent tax increase for bike path improvements, and a marijuana legalization/taxation effort.

I don’t know the numbers, but in Michigan:

prop to try to prevent the state from pitching in with Canada to build a new bridge in Detroit to Windsor. The opposition advertising is almost 100% funded by the owner of the only current bridge. he’s a lying scumbag, but extremely rich, to the tune of dumping over $31 million of his own money into stopping his competition. Looks like he’s going to lose, though. I vote “no”, which means I support building a new bridge.

prop to enshrine collective bargaining as a “right” in the state constitution. Probably a bad idea–in general, I don’t believe in loading up the constitution with a bunch of stuff that should just be laws/regulations. I may vote for it anyway, though, just to piss off the right-wing that are fighting it so hard. But it also looks like it is losing.

prop to (supposedly) require home health care workers to unionize. would also make the state start a vetting program to screen out undesirables from those jobs. Opposition claims it will actually require that even those just taking care of their relatives at home to join a union, but I don’t see that anywhere in the language of the proposal. Again, a bad idea to put this sort of stuff in the constitution. this looks like it is not going to pass.

prop to do away with the current state emergency manager law. Right now, the governor can declare any city an emergency, and stick his own unelected “manager” into place, who has pretty much absolute powers to do whatever they think necessary to right the city’s fiscal ship. I consider the current law WAY too broad, and think it needs to be pared back some. Looks like this has a good chance of passing.

prop to require that the various power companies in the state (mainly DTE and Consumer’s Energy) to get 25% of the power they sell from renewable resources by 2025. I’d love to see this pass, but it won’t.

And finally, an amendment that would require a 2/3 vote in both houses of our legislature before any new tax could be levied by the state. An amazingly stupid idea, and fortunately it also looks to be losing.

Then, local proposals in Ann Arbor: a new millage to support public art (this one is hugely controversial, but not for the reasons you might think) and a new millage to allow the city to issue bonds to build a new “state of the art” library downtown. Also somewhat controversial, but only because of the bad economy. In a good economy this would pass easily. I suspect it might still, but it will be close.

Here in Iowa we have not much of a ballot.

President, obviously.

No U.S. Senators up.

4 U.S. House seats.

All the State House seats and 26 State Senate seats.

And no ballot measures.

So it won’t be a very exciting day at the polls for me tomorrow.

prop to require that the various power companies in the state (mainly DTE and Consumer’s Energy) to get 25% of the power they sell from renewable resources by 2025. I’d love to see this pass, but it won’t.

And finally, an amendment that would require a 2/3 vote in both houses of our legislature before any new tax could be levied by the state. An amazingly stupid idea, and fortunately it also looks to be losing.

You would end up paying more for your power. And wow, even California finally got rid of the 2/3 requirement. That is a crippling requirement.

Oh, I have no doubt we’d end up paying more for power, but I’m willing to do that if it means we push forward with more renewable. The whole damned country/world needs to be doing this, regardless of the availability of carbon-based fuel resources.

And yeah, the 2/3 thing is being pushed by the Tea Party in Michigan. It won’t pass.

In Oregon we have a bunch of state ballot measures. Some highlights:

79: A proposed constitutional ban on real estate transfer taxes that are already prohibited by state law. Voted no. The real estate industry would prefer that I vote yes, no doubt.

80: Decriminalization of marijuana, allows for state regulation and taxation, growth for personal use. We already have medical marijuana. Voted yes because I think MJ is no more serious a drug than alcohol (though I don’t partake personally of the former), but deemed unlikely to pass.

82 and 83: Basically a couple of measures sponsored by gambling interests (they like to call it “gaming” but we know better, right?) to allow for a big ol’ new non-tribal casino in the Columbia Gorge. F that.

84: Phases out state inheritance taxes (or in righty-speak: DEATH TAXES). Silly stupid sop to rich people, cuts needed revenue. Voted no.

85: Makes the “corporate kicker” (taxes collected from corporations currently refunded when those revenues exceed projections by over 2% in a bi-ennium) go to K-12 education. Smart idea, although I’d prefer that it went into a rainy day fund myself. Still, if this keeps the pressure down for calls for a regressive sales tax, more power to it. Voted yes.

Not entirely sure why those are the big four, and I won’t actually vote until tomorrow, but since I’m marking my ballot at the moment

30 Yes
32 No
36 Yes
37 No

That’s #6. I 100% agree with Moroun being a lying scumbag and also intend to vote No.

This is #2. If it was only this first bit, I might vote for it:

Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.

But the writers decided that wasn’t enough and added this:

Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.
Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.

That is insane. With this wording in the constitution and the right lawyer, you could get any law invalidated which has only the barest relation to unionization. There’s a lot of advertising showing worst-case scenarios of this, and while it’s seriously overstated like all political advertising, they have a point. Voting No.

#4. Voting No, for much the same reasons Benny states. May be a good idea, but is way to narrowly focused to belong in the constitution. Lots of potential for unintended consequences.

#1. Here I disagree with Benny, and am voting Yes (to keep the emergency manager law). While it’s true that the EM is appointed by the governor and has very broad powers, there’s a fairly lengthy process to determine if a locality is in bad enough shape to require the EM, including a public comment period. If you can’t govern your locality well enough to stay solvent, someone needs to be able to clean it up, in my opinion. By the time an EM comes in, the only other option is bankruptcy, which is even worse in terms of disruption.

This is #3. I’m voting No. Not because I don’t like renewable power…I do…but this is a horrible way to go about it. It doesn’t belong in the constitution in the first place, it’s open-ended in that it allows extensions of the deadline to hold down costs, and it includes wording that requires preference to “use of Michigan made equipment and employment of Michigan residents” which ties the hands of the utilities in figuring out ways to get it done. No thanks.

Number 5. Totally agree with Benny, voting No. Note that this one is also funded in large part by Moroun.