UPDATE: We’ve Changed Our Minds about Prop 35, but NOT about Sex Trafficking
Over the past six weeks or so we’ve had lots to say about the various propositions that voters will be looking at for the fall elections. Rather than make you look up each article (and in some cases there have been multiple articles) I’ve put together a handy cheat sheet. Dollar figures quoted are from the Los Angeles Times. Most stats and ballot descriptions are from Ballotpedia.org. If you click on the link in the author’s name, you’ll be directed to the original article.
Proposition #30 Gov. Brown’s Tax Initiative
What it does: “Increases taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools. Guarantees public safety realignment funding.”
Fiscal Impact: “Increased state tax revenues through 2018–19, averaging about $6 billion annually over the next few years. Revenues available for funding state budget. In 2012–13, planned spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would not occur”
What we said about it (Condensed version): If Proposition 30, the Schools and Local Public Safety Protection Act, passes it will bring in billions of dollars of revenue for education and public safety. It does so almost exclusively by taxing the top 1% of earners. (Jim Miller)
Who’s in Favor: Jerry Brown, League of Women Voters of California, California Democratic Party, California Teachers Association (CTA), California State Council of Service Employees (SEIU), California School Employees Association (CSEA), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), California Federation of Teachers (CFT).
Approx. Cash supporting it: $43,000,000
Who’s Opposed: Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, National Federation of Independent Business California, Small Business Action Committee
Cash opposing it: $1,800,000
How it’s polling (mid Sept):USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times-54% YES, 37% NO 9%
Proposition #31 California Forward Initiative
What it does: “Establishes two-year state budget. Sets rules for offsetting new expenditures, and Governor budget cuts in fiscal emergencies. Local governments can alter application of laws governing state-funded programs.
Fiscal Impact: Decreased state sales tax revenues of $200 million annually, with corresponding increases of funding to local governments. Other, potentially more significant changes in state and local budgets, depending on future decisions by public officials.”
What we said about it (Condensed version): I’d like my reform in small digestible bites, thank you, written in language that doesn’t leave me wondering if the wingnuts on the far right are on to something. (Doug Porter)
Who’s in Favor: Nicolas Berggruen and California Forward, The Hon. Cruz Reynoso. Reynoso retired justice of the California Supreme Court, The Hon. Delaine A. Eastin. Eastin former California Superintendent of Public Instruction, Prof. James Fishkin, Ph.D. Fishkin affiliated withStanfordUniversity, Bill Hauck,former chairman of the California Constitution Revision Commission, and the California Republican Party.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $5,100,000
Who’s Opposed: Sarah Rose, chief executive officer of the California League of Conservation Voters, Joshua Pechthalt, president of the California Federation of Teachers, Ron Cottingham, president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, Anthony Wrigh, executive director of Health Access California, Lacy Barnes, senior vice-president of the California Federation of Teachers, Lenny Goldberg, executive director of the California Tax Reform Association, various Tea Party organizations and the California Democratic Party
Cash opposing it: $252,000
How it’s polling (mid Sept): PPIC-25% YES, 42% NO
Proposition #32 The “Paycheck Protection” Initiative
Real Title: Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
What it does: “Restricts union political fundraising by prohibiting use of payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Same use restriction would apply to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Permits voluntary employee contributions to employer or union committees if authorized yearly, in writing. Prohibits unions and corporations from contributing directly or indirectly to candidates and candidate-controlled committees. Other political expenditures remain unrestricted, including corporate expenditures from available resources not limited by payroll deduction prohibition. Limits government contractor contributions to elected officers or officer-controlled committees.”
Fiscal Impact: Increased costs to state and local government—potentially exceeding $1 million annually—to implement and enforce the measure’s requirements.
What we said about it (Condensed version): Sure sounds good in those TV commercials, until you realize that the act exempts the people supporting it. “It’s Citizens United on Steroids, a Bill of Rights for Billionaires.” (Jim Miller)
Who’s in Favor: Gloria Romero. state director of Democrats for Education Reform, Gabriella Holt,.president of Citizens for California Reform, John Kabateck, executive director of the California chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business, Marian Bergeson, former California Secretary of Education, Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, The Hon. John Arguelles, retired justice of the California Supreme Court, Former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, Charles Munger, Jr., Richard Riordan, former mayor of Los Angeles, the California Republican Party, the American Future Fund, a PAC supported by the Koch brothers.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $9,400,000
Who’s Opposed: Jennifer A. Waggoner, president of the League of Women Voters of California, Derek Cressman, regional director of California Common Cause, Dan Stanford, former chairperson of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, Jo Seidita, chair of the California Clean Money Campaign. John Burton,chairperson of the California Democratic Party, Robbie Hunter executive secretary of the Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building and Construction Trades Council, the California Labor Federation, Dave Low, the executive director of the California School Employees Association, California Common Cause, California League of Women Voters, The California Democratic Party
Cash opposing it: $46,000,000
How it’s polling (mid Sept): USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times-36% YES, 44% NO
Proposition #33 Automobile Insurance Discount Act
What it does: “Changes current law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. Allows proportional discount for drivers with some prior coverage. Allows increased cost for drivers without history of continuous coverage.”
Fiscal Impact: None
What we said about it (Condensed version): The act promises carry over good driver discounts for consumers that switch insurance companies, the fine print says you can be charged more for other reasons. “It’s such a bad apple that other insurance companies, not exactly known for their pro-consumer attitudes when it comes to making money, won’t even support this law.” (Doug Porter)
Who’s in Favor: George Joseph, Chairman Mercury Auto Insurance, the California Republican Party, Don Perata, former California State Senate president pro tempore, Juan Vargas (D-San Diego), former Chair of the Assembly Insurance Committee, Robert T. Wolf, Estercita Aldinger, small business owner, .Dean Lee. Lee, affiliated with the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), Julian Canete, president of the California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Samuel Kang, general counsel of the Greenlining Institute.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $8,600,000
Who’s Opposed: Brian Stedge, Consumer Watchdog, Richard Holober, executive director of the Consumer Federation of California, The California Democratic Party, Harvey Rosenfield, founder of Consumer Watchdog, Elisa Obadashian,.director of the West Coast Office and State Campaigns for Consumer’s Union, Nan Brasmer, president of the California Alliance for Retired Americans, DeAnn McEwen, RN, president of the California Nurses Association, Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog.
Cash opposing it: $93,000
How it’s polling (mid Sept): California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University School of Public Policy 56% YES, 32% NO
Proposition #34 End the Death Penalty Initiative
Real Title: Death Penalty. Initiative Statute.
What it does: “Repeals death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to existing death sentences. Directs $100 million to law enforcement agencies for investigations of homicide and rape cases.”
Fiscal Impact: State and county savings related to murder trials, death penalty appeals, and corrections of about $100 million annually in the first few years, growing to about $130 million annually thereafter. This estimate could be higher or lower by tens of millions of dollars, largely depending on how the measure is implemented and the rate at which offenders would otherwise be sentenced to death and executed in the future. One-time state costs totaling $100 million for grants to local law enforcement agencies to be paid over the next four years.
What we said about it (Condensed version): If approved by voters, the new law will convert sentences of death row inmates to life in prison without the possibility of parole. “California is ready to replace the death penalty.” (Carolyn Zellander)
Who’s in Favor: Gil Garcetti, former District Attorney of Los Angeles County, Jeanne Woodford. Woodford, former Warden of San Quentin State Prison, Jennifer A. Waggoner, president of the League of Women Voters of California, Antonio R. Villaraigosa mayor of the City of Los Angeles, The Hon. John Van de Kamp, Attorney General of California (1983-1991), LaDoris Cordell, retired trial court judge in the Santa Clara County Superior Court, H. Lee Sarokin, retired federal judge, Gerald Barnes, Bishop of the Diocese of San Bernardino, The California Catholic Conference of Bishops, The American Civil Liberties Union, The California Democratic Party, The California Nurses Association.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $5,800,000
Who’s Opposed: The Hon. Pete Wilson, former Governor of California, Marc Klaas, father of Polly Klaas, who was murdered when she was 12, Keith Royal, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, Carl V. Adams, president of the California District Attorneys Association, Kermit Alexander, family was executed by a Los Angeles gang member,Ron Cottingham, president of the Peace Officers Research Association of California, McGregor Scott, former U.S. Attorney, “Californians for Justice and Public Safety”, a coalition formed to oppose the initiative, The “Criminal Justice Legal Foundation”, Michael Ramos, San Bernardino County District Attorney, The California Republican Party, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully.
Cash opposing it: $246,000
How it’s polling (mid Sept): USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times-38% YES, 51% NO
Proposition#35 Ban on Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery: CASE Act
EDITOR’S NOTE: The staff of the San Diego Free Press changed our position and eendorsement of this pproposition. See this article here. We now do NOT SUPPORT PROP 35 but we are still OPPOSED to HUMAN Trafficking.
Real title: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Initiative Statute.
What it does: “Increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions. Requires convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders. Requires registered sex offenders to disclose Internet activities and identities.”
Fiscal impact: Increased costs, not likely to exceed a couple million dollars annually, to state and local governments for criminal justice activities related to the prosecution and incarceration of human trafficking offenders. Potential one-time local government costs of up to a few million dollars on a statewide basis, and lesser additional costs incurred each year, due to new mandatory human trafficking-related training requirements for law enforcement officers. Potential additional revenue from new criminal fines, likely a few million dollars annually, which would fund services for human trafficking victims and for law enforcement activities related to human trafficking
What we said about it (Condensed version): “At 14, I ran away from a troubled home and into the clutches of a human trafficker. For years, I was trafficked and abused when I was still just a child. As a survivor of trafficking, I’m asking Californians to stand against sexual exploitation and vote ‘yes’ on 35,” says Leah Albright-Byrd, human trafficking survivor. Our contributor for this story did not want their name associated with our endorsement.
Who’s in Favor: Chris Kelly, the former chief of privacy at Facebook, Leah Albright-Byrd, Withelma Ortiz, and Carissa Phelps. Albright-Byrd, Ortiz and Phelps are survivors of human trafficking. Marc Klaas, president of the KlaasKids Foundation, Scott R. Seaman, president of the California Police Chiefs Association, Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney of Alameda County, Senator Barbara Boxer, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, activist Jada Pinkett Smith, Planned Parenthood,NOW, the California Labor Federation, Crime Victims United of California, Peace Officers Research Association of California, the California Fraternal Order of Police, the National Latino Peace Officers Association (State of California), the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, and the California Police Chiefs Association, The California Democratic Party, The California Republican Party.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $2,342,000
Who’s Opposed: Maxine Doogan, president of the Exotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project, Manual Jiminez, Chief Financial Officer of the Exotic Service Providers Legal Education and Research Project, Norma Jean Almodovar, author and a former police officer who has worked in the sex trade, “Starchild,”Cindy Liou, staff attorney at Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach, Perla Flores, a program manager at Community Solutions in Morgan Hills, Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club, California Council of Churches, San Francisco Rising, Bernal Heights Democratic Club, California Association for Criminal Justice, Peace and Freedom Party
Cash opposing it: $0
How it’s polling (mid Sept): California Business Roundtable and Pepperdine University School of Public Policy 81% YES, 11% NO
Proposition#36 Changes in the “Three Strikes” Law
What it does: “Revises law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. May authorize re-sentencing if third strike conviction was not serious or violent.”
Fiscal impact: State savings related to prison and parole operations of $70 million annually on an ongoing basis, with even higher savings—up to $90 million annually—over the next couple of decades. These estimates could be higher or lower by tens of millions of dollars depending on future state actions. One-time state and county costs of a few million dollars over the next couple of years for court activities related to the re-sentencing of certain offenders.
What we said about it (Condensed version): Adjusting sentencing guidelines under three strikes will help alleviate prison overcrowding and help California’s budget. “California’s three strikes law has gone horribly awry, and is in desperate need of a makeover.” (Andy Cohen)
Who’s in Favor: Steve Cooley. District Attorney for Los Angeles County, George Gascon, District Attorney for San Francisco, David Mills, a professor at Stanford Law School, Jeffrey F. Rosen, District Attorney for Santa Clara County, Charlie Beck, Chief of Police of the City of Los Angeles, The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Dan Newman, who filed the language for the initiative, Mike Romano, StanfordUniversitylaw professor who founded the “Three Strikes Project” in 2006, Geri Silva of “Families Against California’s Three Strikes”, The California Democratic Party
Approx. Cash supporting it: $2,300,000
Who’s Opposed: Mike Reynolds, who wrote the language for California’s “Three Strikes” Law, The California Republican Party, Keith Royal, president of the California State Sheriff’s Association, Carl Adams. Adams, president of the California District Attorneys Association, Harriet Salerno, president of Crime Victims United of California, Rick Braziel, president of the California Peace Officers Association, Henry Nicholas, author of California’s Victims Bill of Rights, Christine Ward, executive director of the Crime Victims Action Alliance.
Cash opposing it: $100,000
How it’s polling (mid Sept): USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times-66% YES, 20% NO
Proposition #37 Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food
What it does: “Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as ‘natural.’ Provides exemptions.”
Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs ranging from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Potential, but likely not significant, costs to state and local governments due to litigation resulting from possible violations of the requirements of this measure. Some of these costs would be supported by court filing fees that the parties involved in each legal case would be required to pay under existing law.
What we said about it (Condensed version): “A major food fight is about to break out between consumers who want to eat healthy and corporate farmers and the chemical industry who want to maximize profits and keep the American food supply the way it is today – highly chemicalized and unnatural.” (John Lawrence)
Who’s in Favor: Joseph Mercola, osteopath, Organic Consumers’ Association,Nature’s Path, The Institute for Responsible Technology, The California Democratic Party, Dr. Michelle Pero, pediatrician, Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director of the Center for Food Safety, Grant Lundberg, Chief Executive Officer of Lundberg Family Farms, Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, Jim Cochran, general manager of Swanton Berry Farm, Dr. Marcia Ishil-Eiteman, senior scientist with the Pesticide Action Network.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $4,700,000
Who’s Opposed: Dr. Bob Goldberg, member of the National Academy of Sciences, Jamie Johansson, family farmer in California, Betty Jo Toccoli, president of the California Small Business Association, Jonnalee Henderson, affiliated with the California Farm Bureau Federation, Dr. Henry I. Miller, founding director of the Office of Biotechnology of the Food & Drug Administration, Tom Hudson, executive director of the California Taxpayer Protection Committee, The California Republican Party.
Cash opposing it: $34,350,000
How it’s polling (mid Sept): USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times-61% YES, 25%NO
Proposition#38 Molly Munger Bill; State Income Tax Increase to Support Education
Real title: Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute
What it will do: “Increases taxes on earnings using sliding scale, for twelve years. Revenues go to K–12 schools and early childhood programs, and for four years to repaying state debt.”
Fiscal impact: Increase in state personal income tax revenues from 2013 through 2024. The increase would be roughly $10 billion in 2013–14, tending to increase over time. The 2012–13 increase would be about half this amount. In each of the initial years, about $6 billion would be used for schools, $1 billion for child care and preschool, and $3 billion for state savings on debt payments. The 2013–14 amounts likely would be higher due to the additional distribution of funds raised in 2012–13. From 2017–18 through 2024–25, the shares spent on schools, child care, and preschool would be higher and the share spent on debt payments lower.
What we said about it (Condensed version): Prop 38 is a 12 year temporary tax. It will raise $10 to $11 billion annually in new revenue through a sliding scale income tax increase that varies with taxpayers’ ability to pay. “It will make possible smaller class sizes, up-to-date teaching materials and technology, and better-trained teachers – all based on local needs and priorities.” [Editor's Note: This measure will only fund K-12 Schools] (Kimberley Beatty)
Who’s in Favor: Molly Munger, Attorney and civil rights activist, Carol Kocivar, president of the California State Parent Teacher Association, Edward James Olmos, an actor, played teacher Jaime Escalante in “Stand and Deliver”, Arun Ramanathan, executive director of Education Trust-West, Celia Jaffe, president of the 4th DistrictPTA, Orange County, Alex Kajitani, 2009 California Teacher of the Year, Tini Repetti-Renzullo, 2010–2011 Los Angeles County Teacher of the Year.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $28,300,000
Who’s Opposed: Jerry Brown, Gov. of California, Steve Glazer, adviser to the governor, David Kieffer, SEIU, The California Business Roundtable, Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, Ken Williams, member of the Orange County Board of Education, Thomas Hudson, executive director of the California Taxpayer Protection Committee, Andrew Wong, member of the Board of Education of the Pomona Unified School District, Keith Royal, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, Richard Rider, chairman of San Diego Tax Fighters, The California Republican Party, The California Democratic Party.
Cash opposing it: $26,000
How it’s polling (mid Sept): USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times-34% YES, 52% NO
Proposition #39 The California Clean Energy Jobs Act
What it does: Requires out-of-state businesses to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. Repeals existing law giving out-of-state businesses an option to choose a tax liability formula that provides favorable tax treatment for businesses with property and payroll outside California. Dedicates $550 million annually for five years from anticipated increase in revenue for the purpose of funding projects that create energy efficiency and clean energy jobs in California.
Fiscal impact: Approximately $1 billion in additional annual state revenues—growing over time—from eliminating the ability of out-of-state businesses to choose how their California taxable income is determined. This would result in some out-of-state businesses paying more state taxes. Of the revenue raised by this measure over the next five years, about half would be dedicated to energy efficiency and alternative energy projects. Of the remaining revenues, a significant portion likely would be spent on public schools and community colleges.
What we said about it (Condensed version): Would eliminate the ability of companies to choose between two methods to calculate their taxable income in California and require them to use sales only for the calculation. “Voting Yes on Proposition 39 is a vote for increased education funding and increased funding for energy efficiency and clean energy, and jobs for Californians”. (John P. Anderson)
Who’s in Favor: Thomas Steyer, founder and co-senior managing partner of Farallon Capital Management, Disney, Cisco, Qualcomm, Amgen, The California Teachers Association, Atlas Project Support, a green energy firm, Genentech, a California-based biotech firm, The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, former U.S. Secretary of State to Ronald Reagan, George Schultz, The Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, California State Assembly Speaker John Perez, the California Labor Federation, California State Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, California Democratic Party Chairman, John Burton, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, California Nurses Association, American Lung Association – California, CANOW, California Alliance for Retired Americans, California Church IMPACT, Latin Business Association, California Labor Federation, CleanTECH San Diego, Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Business Council, California Community College Trustees, and the California League of Conservation Voters, Jane Warner, president of the American Lung Association in California, Thomas Steyer, Mary Leslie, president of the Los Angeles Business Council, Alan Joseph Bankman, professor of tax law at Stanford Law School, Ruben Guerra, CEO of the Latin Business Association, Jane Skeeter, small business owner in California.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $23,000,000
Who’s Opposed: California Employers Against Higher Taxes, The Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce, The Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Oxnard Chamber of Commerce, the United Chambers of Commerce, Jack Stewart, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association, Lew Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee, Pat Kong Kushida, president of the California Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce, Mike Spence, president of the California Taxpayer Protection Committee, Robert Ming, chairman of Friends for Saving California Jobs, Jack Stewart, president of California Manufacturers & Technology Association, The California Republican Party.
Cash opposing it: $0
How it’s polling (mid Sept): USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times-51% YES, 29% NO
Proposition#40 Referendum on the State Senate Redistricting Plan
Real title: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum
What it will do: A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. If rejected, districts will be adjusted by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court.”
Fiscal impact: If the voters vote “yes” and approve the state Senate district maps certified by the Citizens Redistricting Commission, there would be no fiscal effect on state or local governments.
If the voters vote “no” and reject the state Senate district maps certified by the Citizens Redistricting Commission, the state would incur a one-time cost of about $500,000 to establish new Senate districts. Counties would incur one-time costs of about $500,000 statewide to develop new precinct maps and related election materials for the new districts.
What we said about it (Condensed version): “The original proponents of the measure have abandoned their effort and are no longer seeking to reject the new Senate maps.”[Editor's Note: Voting No on Prop 40 means that your are voting to reject the current Senate districts. So voting “Yes” means things are okay.] (Doug Porter)
Who’s in Favor: Jennifer A. Waggoner, president of the League of Women Voters of California, David Pacheco, president of AARP California, Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, Kathay Feng, executive director of California Common Cause, John Kabateck, executive director of the National Federation of Independent Business/California, Gary Toebben, president of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Charles Munger, Jr., The California Democratic Party, The California Republican Party.
Approx. Cash supporting it: $208,000
Who’s Opposed: Opponents withdrew from all campaign efforts to obtain a “no” vote on Proposition 40 in mid-July 2012.
Cash opposing it: $2,300,000 was raised to qualify it for the ballot.
How it’s polling (mid Sept): Field Poll -42% YES, 29% NO