Here are my (that is, Kennita Watson's) positions on the current crop of propositions.
PROP 1A - Gambling
YES. Gambling is a personal decision, and ought not be
subject to regulation, especially given that the Indian nations are suposedly sovereign
nations, and they ought by right to be allowed to do whatever they like on their land.
I wonder what the State is going to do with
those tens of millions of dollars a year in gambling license fees?
PROP 12 - Parks, Water and Coastal Protection Bond Act
NO. The State has often proven itself fickle in the protection of the
environment. The fate of the land may not be safe past the next
election year. Better to sell, or even donate, the land to some
organization with a vested interest in its preservation. That way,
at least someone will own and have responsibility for it.
PROP 13 - Safe Drinking Water, Clean Water, Watershed Protection, And Flood Protection Bond Act
NO. The state didn't do a very good job protecting the citizens from
MTBE. Saddling our children both with more billions of dollars in
debt and the toxic effects of more failed programs is throwing good
money after bad.
PROP 14 - California Reading And Literacy Improvement And Public Library Construction And Renovation Bond Act of 2000
NO. The public school system wastes most of the money it gets now.
Wanting children to be educated demands that the money be spent by
some organization or group of organizations that will spend it less
wastefully, rather than throwing more money at them, naively believing
that the reason the previous plan didn't work is that we didn't throw
enough, not that it was wasted.
PROP 15 - The Hertzberg-Polanco Crime Laboratories Construction Bond Act Of 1999
NO. If people find forensics valuable, they will pay for them. If
enough people find them valuable and are paying for them that new
forensics laboratories are called for, private industry will build
them. Borrowing money with the expectation that they will be wanted
and needed in the future is not called for.
PROP 16 - Veterans' Homes Bond Act Of 2000
NO. Veterans' homes may be a worthy cause, but to borrow money to
pay for them is like having the Girl Scouts come to your door and
make you take out a loan to buy cookies -- even if you don't like
PROP 17 - Lotteries: Charitable Raffles
YES. A lottery, honestly conducted, seems a fine way to raise money
for a cause. The state can do it; its citizens should be allowed to
PROP 18 - Murder: Special Circumstances
NO. This looks like an emotionally-motivated attempt to further
complicate the penal code to no great effect. If a criminal is
dangerous, don't grant parole when he/she comes up for it. If our
parole system is letting dangerous people out on the street, it
needs fixing at that level, not by applying legislative Band-Aids
PROP 19 - Murder: BART And CSU Peace Officers
NO. A murder that is punishable by life imprisonment is a murder that
is punishable by life imprisonment, no matter who is murdered or doing
the murdering. If there are inequities in the current system, remove
them rather than creating more.
PROP 20 - California State Lottery: Allocation For Instructional Materials Legislative Initiative Amendment
NO. To legislate such a specific increase makes no sense in this
information age, where the cost of instructional materials may
actually decrease dramatically. To earmark the funds means further
bureaucratic or legislative hassles to reallocate them if the crystal ball was
PROP 21 - Juvenile Crime
NO. This looks like a large step towards a police state, creating new
crimes, giving license to hassle people, and creating new databases,
none of which will make as much difference as actually prosecuting
and punishing criminals for the offenses mentioned, which are already
crimes. Instead of making more laws, enforce the ones we have.
PROP 22 - Limit on Marriages (was "Definition of Marriage")
NO. Marriage as used here is a contract. Any persons willing to enter
into such a contract should be allowed to do so insofar as they are
allowed to enter into contracts at all. The religious/covenantal
contract between the persons involved and their higher power(s) is
not, and ought not be, by the First Amendment to the United States
Constitution, any of the State's business.
PROP 23 - "None of the Above" Ballot Option
YES. This finally gives a way for the protest vote to be counted.
If there are enough of them, perhaps the people in power will sit
up and take notice. And once this change is made, it may open the
door to real changes in the election process, such as a NOTA that
can actually win, or even proportional representation.
PROP 25 - Election Campaigns, Contributions and Spending Limits, Public Financing, Disclosures
NO. People who want to get elected, and those who stand to benefit
from their being elected, will find a way to to bend whatever rules
we make so they can spend whatever money is necessary to get it done.
To have less money collected and spent, make it worth less to the
people with the money (e.g., give the State fewer favors to hand out)
rather than running this knee-jerk political arms race.
PROP 26 - School Facilities, Bonds, Local Majority Vote
NO. A two-thirds vote at least is called for when making decisions
about borrowing money that someone else will have to pay back. Taxes
don't come down once they've gone up. Don't make it easier to saddle
the future with the financial burdens of today.
PROP 27 - Elections, Term Limit Declarations For Congressional Candidates
NO. I don't think it accomplishes anything, since any candidate can
sign such a declaration now if she/he wishes, and I don't want to
create more State requirements for tabulating and publishing the results.
PROP 28 - Repeal Of Proposition 10 Tobacco Surtax
YES. The tax was unfair when it was enacted, and it's unfair now.
As tempting as it may be to punish an activity we dislike, using that punishment as a source of revenue is ill-conceived: if we are
successful in eliminating the activity, the revenue goes away as well.
It's rare that we get a chance to turn around such a mistake -- let's
PROP 29 - 1998 Indian Gaming Compacts
NO. Prop. 29 seems like a fine thing, as though it is moot if 1A passes and better than
nothing if it doesn't, but the Indians, who are pushing for support of 1A, are pushing for
defeat of 29. In the absence of deeper information, I'll support them -- maybe it's a strategic
move on their part.
PROP 30 - Referendum Petition to Overturn the "Fair Insurance Responsibility Act"
YES. I think anyone should have the right to sue anyone else (and
possibly lose, be ruled in contempt of court, or whatever). It would annoy me no end to be
told "You can't sue.".
PROP 31 - Referendum Petition to Overturn Amendments to "Fair Insurance Responsibility Act"
NO. Prop. 31 places limits on who can sue, for what, and under what circumstances,
basically weakening Prop. 30. Even where arbitration is a good idea, it ought not be mandated
under the law.