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FROM THE EDITOR
Assessment of California Ballot Measures
Feb. 5, 2008 California Primary Elections.
JR Dieckmann - Editor

On this page I am using the recommendations from Sen. Tom McClintock and the Citizens for the California Republic as a base along with information provided by Project Vote Smart, with my additional arguments and comments added.  My thanks to Walter Moore, Candidate for Mayor of Los Angeles for his views and input on these issues also.   After reviewing the propositions, these are my assessments, comments, and recommendations:

McClintock in maroon             Project Vote Smart in blue              Great American Journal in black

Prop. 91 Transportation Funding Protection: YES
This measure flatly prohibits Sacramento from raiding our highway taxes to paper over their budget deficits. When a watered-down version of Prop. 91 was adopted by the legislature, its sponsors dropped this measure after it qualified. Nevertheless, if you want to genuinely protect our transportation taxes from being raided, Prop 91 is the Real McCoy.  The original sponsors of Prop. 91 are now saying they want you to vote NO on their measure:  As the official proponents of this measure, we are encouraging you to VOTE NO ON PROPOSITION 91.  In 2006, our coalition qualified this measure for the ballot as a means of stopping the Governor and Legislature from taking the state sales tax on gasoline, which is supposed to be used on transportation projects, and using those funds for non-transportation purposes.  As this initiative was being qualified, Governor Schwarzenegger and a bipartisan group of legislators put a different constitutional measure on the November 2006 ballot that also accomplished what Proposition 91 set out to do. That measure, Proposition 1A, was approved by an overwhelming 77% of California voters in November 2006.  By passing Proposition 1A, voters solved the problem of state raids of our gas tax funds. McClintock seems to think that the watered down version is not tough enough and that the original version should be passed.  I trust his judgement and support a YES vote. Passing Prop. 91 would replace Prop. 1A.
 
Prop. 92 Guaranteed Funding for Community Colleges: NO
This can best be described as a Prop. 98 for community colleges Ė guaranteeing them a growing level of funding from the stateís tax revenues regardless of their actual attendance, their performance or the stateís fiscal condition and priorities. If you like straight-jackets, youíll love Prop. 92. This proposition establishes independent community college districts and Board of Governors. Requires minimum funding for schools and community colleges to be calculated separately. Sets fees at $15/unit and limits future increases. Fiscal Impact: Increased state spending on K-14 education from 2007-08 through 2009-10 averaging about $300 million annually, with unknown impacts annually thereafter. Potential loss in community college student fee revenues of about $70 million annually.  The good news is that this would reduce community college fees from $26 per unit to $15 per unit.  The bad news is that it will also cost the taxpayers $300 million for the first year and increase after that.  PROPOSITION 92 HAS NO ACCOUNTABILITY REQUIREMENTS TO MAKE SURE THE MONEY GETS INTO CLASSROOMS which is the major problem we have now with state school funding.  Because this measure would create another state bureaucracy and increase state spending, I cannot support it and agree with McClintock that it should be voted down.
 
Prop. 93 Term Limits: NO
Current term limits are a maximum of 14 years in the legislature: six in the Assembly and eight in the Senate Ė which is why you see so much office-hopping. Prop. 93 reduces the maximum to 12 years in the legislature, but allows them to be served in the same house. Since Iíve only served eight years in the Senate, Prop. 93 would give me one final term; if it fails I must retire this year. Because I have a conflict of interest, Iím staying out if it. Reduces permissible state legislative service to 12 years. Allows 12 yearsí service in one house. Current legislators can serve 12 years in current house, regardless of prior legislative service. Fiscal Impact: No direct fiscal effect on state or local governments.  The good news in defeating this measure is that 43 of the current state legislators would be out of Sacramento and looking for other work.  The bad news is that Tom McClintock would be one of them.  But Walter Moore makes a good point: " Is it worth losing one good guy, who can't get anything done because he surrounded by career politician creeps, to get rid of 42 creeps? Lose 1, get rid of 42.  I think that's a good ratio. Tom should run for city controller or something."  I agree with Walter on this one and recommend a NO vote. We need to clean house in Sacramento.
 
Propositions 94-97 Indian Gaming Compacts: NO
These propositions ratify the compacts that allow four tribes to expand their casinos. Iím not a gambler, but itís none of governmentís business how people spend their money. Iím tired of government restrictions on enterprise, and Iím tired of government telling us what we can and canít do. And our economy desperately needs the new jobs and investment. Yes Vote approves, and No Vote rejects, a law that ratifies an amendment to existing gaming compact between the state and four California Indian tribes. Fiscal Impact: Net increase in annual state revenues probably in the tens of millions of dollars, growing over time through 2030.  Tom supports it but I must disagree with him on this one.  It seems to be another catch 22 situation. The state says it needs the extra revenue it would gain from the Indians to help with the budget. As I see it, it's just more spending money for the liberals in Sacramento who refuse to cut spending to balance their budget. The more money they get, the more they will spend. I don't think I want to contribute more to their delinquency but I also think the Indians should be paying their fair share of taxes on the income they make off of California residents. More revenue flowing into the state is not going to solve the problem but only make it worse in the long run as liberals spend us right into socialism. In a couple of years, we'll be right back where we were only the state budget will be higher. These people need to learn fiscal responsibility and Economics 101. The nagging thought that I keep having is that just as the country is selling out to China and the Saudis, my impression is that California is selling out to the local tribes. Walter Moore says: One thing that concerns me, moreover, is how much money the tribes throw around in Sacramento.  Perhaps we need a law treating them as foreign sovereign nations when it comes to campaign contributions, and banning them and their members, as such, from influencing our government with money.  Good point!  I am recommending a NO vote on this one. Sacramento needs to solve their spending problem the right way.
 
Los Angeles Proposition S is a no brainer and a NO
It's called a "tax rate reduction," but it's actually a tax HIKE. The City, moreover, already takes in far more money than ever in its history; there's no need to tax ourselves even more. Rather, big labor and big developers are funding this to dupe voters into giving them even more of our money.  Prop. S would add a city phone tax, a cellphone tax, and in internet tax.  It exempts, or gives a lower tax rate to businesses such as certain developers and the Los Angeles Times who are friendly to Villaraigosa's regime and liberal city council policies.