(Voter’s Guide in italics. Indented quotes from LA Times Op-Ed by Jamie Court. My comments in regular print.)
Proposition 73 – NO! (Waiting period & parental notification)
Prop 73 would put teens’ lives in danger, undermine safe access to abortion in California, and erode Roe vs. Wade and womens right to choose.
Proposition 73 is the red meat on the ballot, intended to bring the Christian right to the polls.
The fine print defines abortion in the California Constitution for the first time as the "death of the unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born." This definition sets the stage in California to undermine the protections of Roe vs. Wade.
Proposition 74 – NO! (Public school teacher tenure)
Another one of Schwarzenegger’s attacks on education and public workers. Teachers need better wages and more respect, not attacks on job security.
Proposition 74 discourages teachers from working in public schools by limiting the awarding of tenure. The California Teachers Assn. considers the initiative a stalking horse for a voucher system of "school choice" favored by conservatives.
Remember that the next time someone tells you Arnold is liberal. He’s anything but. Instead he’s pushing hard for propositions 73, 74, 75,and 76 – all of which were created and funded by the hard core neocon right. Happily, it looks like they will all lose.
Proposition 75 – NO! (Public employee union dues)
A major attack on unions. Corporations outspend labor 201 in elections, yet this would drastically limit workers unions’ ability to weigh in on politics.
Union-busting, pure and simple. If passed, then unions would need a vote of members before making political contributions. Were this proposition actually fair, then corporations would have to get the ok of their shareholders before making political contributions. I guess they forgot to put that part in…
It’s a Trojan horse whose larger purpose is to tilt the balance of power in politics by limiting union support for Democrats without cutting corporate sources of Republican funding.
Proposition 76 – NO! (State spending & school funding limits)
An anti-education proposition that would eliminate guaranteed school funding and give the Governor the power to cut any education program.
Proposition 76 is another Norquist special delivery, one he and other conservatives have pushed in many states. It gives Schwarzenegger extraordinary budget powers to cut spending.
Proposition 77 – NO! (Redistricting)
A move by the right-wing to consolidate political control state-wide.
A few years back the California legislature cynically manipulated districts so they were completely safe for one party or the other, a decidedly undemocratic move. This proposition would mandate that districts be chosen by a panel of three retired judges who are beholden to no one. Which is even less democratic and fair than the current system. Plus they want to do it now, rather than at the usual time, which is after a census.
Texas Rep. Tom DeLay inspired Schwarzenegger’s Proposition 77, which would redraw political districts more to the benefit of Republicans.
Proposition 78 – NO! (‘Discounts on prescription drugs’)
The pharmaceutical companies’ alternative to Prop 79. Don’t fall for it.
This proposition says drug companies may voluntarily offer discounted drugs to the state when purchased in bulk. Drug companies favor this one. Guess why? (Read on for the answer!)
Proposition 79 – YES! (Discounts on prescription drugs, for real)
A result of a long community-based effort, Prop 79 would give the state leverage to negotiate drug discounts on behalf of low-income Californians.
This proposition says drug companies will be mandated to sell discounted drugs to the state. The drug companies, in a particularly noxious ploy, whine that this didn’t work in Maine. Why? because they refused to sell the drugs to the state, that’s why. Thus, they are saying it won’t work because they will sabotage it.
Well, that might work in a small state like Maine. But California has 18% of the US population. Thus, the drug companies will sell to California at mandated lower prices regardless of how much they protest. Why? In the immortal words of Daffy Duck, "because I’m a greedy little duck."
Proposition 80 – YES! (Regulation of electric service providers)
A step toward repealing the electricity deregulation that helped cause California’s energy crisis while the energy companies profited.
This one is for real. No more Enron debacles.