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California Propositions 2012

This is my position on some of the more important propositions on the ballot this time around. Very big conservative money is coming from Charlie JR and Molly Munger trying to shape some of it. I have delayed this too long. Numbers are as of mid October.

Prop 30 - Gov. Brown's Taxes for Schools -
A Sales and Income Tax increase to refund our schools is a compromise approach with a 7 year life span, hopefully long enough to tide the schools over until the economy recovers, and not much longer. With a requirement to publish an annual audit on the net and political commitments in addition to the prop's text, contrary to Charlie Munger Jr.'s ($22 million, about half the NO on 30's money) commercials claims. The "Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association", the opponent of any and all taxes, is the big outside group opposing it, as predicted by the fact the Appartment Owners Association president Howard Jarvis' Prop 13 damaged our schools exactly as predicted in the first place, locking property taxes below the rate of inflation and shifting more from business to homeowners. The top five proponents funding is much broader, including unions (voters) and Coca Cola. Since it is shorter term matching hoped economic recovery time with text and political commitments to fund schooling, I support 30.

Prop 32 - Political Contributions -
This Charlie Munger Jr. effort to silence Unions is very deceptive in claiming that it limits Corporations and Unions from buying votes. Since Corporations do not take any money out of paychecks, and put money straight to politics without it ever being in a paycheck, it does not effect them. A Supreme Court decision prevents Unions from using money for political purposes without permission, so it is purely a means to prevent a union from supporting a candidate, eliminating any balance to Corporate funding. Since Corporations are not people, and can not vote, and Unions are composed of employed workers, I believe they have a greater right to promote their positions, like the 40 hour week. This is the third time this attempt to silence Unions is on the ballot. A step in that direction I WOULD support is a Modest Proposal. Again Munger's $22 million exceeds any No contributor, including Unions. NO.

Prop 34 - Death Penalty -
Since a man was just released from Death Row after 20 years, now found innocent, we know it is certain to kill an innocent person, and has done so in California at least 8 times. As it is not deterrent, and costs far more, it is something that should be ended for economic if not ethical and moral reasons, Yes.

Prop 35 - Human Trafficking -
A poorly written effort to be ever more punishing conflates slavery with the sex trade. Ever greater punishment as a knee-jerk response by law enforcement has not been effective, and has cost taxpayers dearly. Kathleen Kim has made the No argument far better and comprehensively than I.

Prop 36 - 3 Strikes -
A simple fix for the original Three Strikes that the original authors failed to write as claimed, so it is not three violent acts as claimed but could be twisted to result in 25 years of prison for what should be a misdemeanor. With greater justice, more accurate aim, and tax savings, I say Yes.

Prop 37 - Requires labeling of geneticly engineered food -
Though not not adamant about it, I do believe it is reasonable to label foods containing genetically engineered food for people to decide for themselves, just as with high fat or peanuts. Read it to see what the exceptions really are, as the "no" campaign has distorted that badly. Liquor is Federally controlled, and catalysts (not in the food) and ready to eat, as fats in fast food are unlabeled. It does provide for a phase labeling in for limited quantities (<5%) such as the GM corn in the high fructose corn syrup. As Europe already has this requirement, it is not unlikely to be adopted by other states. Opponents provide claims that it is unneeded (maybe) and horror story scenarios to claim great cost, but looking at funding, it looks more like an eye on profits.

1	MONSANTO COMPANY			$7,105,582
2	E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO.	$4,900,000
3	PEPSICO, INC.			$2,145,400
I say Yes.

Prop 38 - Taxes for Schools -
A proposal with many restrictions aiming to take the schools out of the general budget and rigidly control the schools for 12 years fails to address the problems dealt with by 30 and introduces 12 years of problems for state budgeting. The support for this is 99% MOLLY MUNGER with $32,978,399. The ads claim it is all for schools, while it would fund reducing state debt for four years which violates ad claims, even though not a bad idea. NO.

Look at funding of these. I do not believe any single person or corporation should dominate any question of the State Constitution or law. If the support is that restricted, money dominated, or driven by emotional appeal, I believe it is not worthy of passage. Look for considered, moderate thought.

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