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Press Democrat election recommendations

Here’s a list of Press Democrat ballot recommendations for the Nov. 6 election.


Proposition 30: Temporary tax increase for schools — YES

It’s not perfect. But it’s far better than the partisan caterwauling that has left California’s schoolchildren at the center of a political “War of the Roses.” And the situation is about to get worse. If this fails, schools from kindergarten to high school will suffer funding cuts of $5 billion, the equivalent of losing 15 more instructional days. Our kids — our future — deserve better.

Proposition 31: State budget reforms — YES

Among other things, this would require a two-year budget cycle, eliminate unfunded mandates for costly programs and allow the governor to cut spending if legislators fail to take prompt action in a fiscal crisis. These modest reforms emerged from bipartisan efforts to make state government more efficient and more transparent. It isn’t a panacea, but it builds on a foundation of recent voter-approved reforms. including open primaries and independent reapportionment.

Proposition 32: Political contributions — NO

This purports to cut the money ties between special interests and state politicians. If it did, we would support it. But Proposition 32 would simply tie the hands of labor unions while magnifying the influence of wealthy people and businesses that spend freely on politics. It’s a one-sided measure that does not live up to its billing.

Proposition 33: Auto insurance change — NO

Like a bad dream, this idea keeps coming back. Proposition 33 would allow car insurance companies to offer a “continuity” discount to lure long-term customers from other insurers. Proponents argue that this would promote competition and reduce prices. But it would also allow insurers to raise rates for people who temporarily drop their coverage due to illness, because they can’t afford to operate a vehicle or because they choose to use public transit.

Proposition 34: Repealing death penalty — YES

California has spent roughly $4 billion on capital punishment since the death penalty was restored in 1978. Since then, about 900 individuals have received a death sentence. But of these, only 14 have been executed, the last one being in 2006. Far more have died of old age. This means that the state is spending about $300 million on every execution, a cost that is climbing with each year. It’s time to put an end to the death penalty. It doesn’t make economic sense.

Proposition 35: Stronger penalties for human trafficking — YES

This would put human traffickers at greater legal risk by increasing penalties, including a potential life sentence for trafficking a minor for sex if force or fraud is involved. Currently, the maximum sentence is eight years. The initiative also bolsters sex-offender registration requirements and allows judges to impose fines of up to $1.5 million. Human trafficking competes with arms trafficking as the second-largest worldwide criminal enterprise

Proposition 36 Three strikes reform — YES

Drug addicts and small-time thieves are serving life sentences, costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars a year. One man stole nine videotapes. Another shoplifted a VCR. A third stole three golf clubs. Almost half of the inmates sentenced to life under three strikes didn’t commit violent crimes. Proposition 36 would sharpen the focus of the law, saving its harshest penalties for repeat offenders convicted of serious or violent felonies. It’s sensible reform.

Proposition 37: Labeling GE foods — NO

It sounds appealing. But the problem with this poorly written measure is that it wouldcreate a complex and costly system of labeling for genetically engineered foods while creating the potential for shakedown lawsuits. For example, Individuals would be able to sue a food producer, distributor or grocer for the suspicion of noncompliance without having to demonstrate how they were harmed. The American Medical Association has declared, “There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.”

It would .In short, the state doesn’t need it, families can’t afford it and the science doesn’t warrant it.

Proposition 38: Tax to fund education — NO

Supported by civil rights attorney Molly Munger and the California State PTA, this education-funding alternative to Proposition 30 is appealing in many ways. It provides more money for schools, more fairly distributes the financial burden through the state’s progressive income tax and comes with greater protections against legislative pilfering. But it does not prevent the trigger cuts that are due to come if Proposition 30 fails and specifies no funding for UC and CSU systems.

Proposition 39: Taxes from multistate businesses — YES

This would base state corporate income taxes on the single-sales factor. One set of rules would apply to both California-based businesses and businesses headquartered elsewhere, and a tax incentive to expand in other states would be eliminated. Closing this loophole would raise $1 billion a year. with the total growing over time.For the first five years, half of the revenue would be dedicated to energy efficiency projects for schools and other public buildings. The rest would go to the state general fund.

Proposition 40: Redistricting — YES

A needless and confusing measure that underscores what’s wrong with state politics. Suffice it to say, even those who supported this referendum and put it on the ballot have backed down.But voters still need to vote yes to make it go away.


Measure C: Shoreline Unified School District special tax— YES

This is one of the largest elementary school districts in the county, and enrollment is projected to grow along with its south Santa Rosa neighborhood.Would upgrade older schools and add needed classrooms.

Measure C: Shoreline Unified School District parcel tax — YES

Measure K: West Sonoma County Union High School District parcel tax — YES

Measure L: Fort Ross School District parcel tax — YES

Measure M: Gravenstein Union School District bond — YES

Money would be used to renovate classrooms and make needed other improvements.

Measure N: Roseland School District bond — YES

<Measure O: Sebastopol Union School District parcel tax — YES

Would pay for academic programs, books and instructional materials. No funds for administrators salaries.

Measure P: Wilmar Union School District bond — YES

Would be used to renovate and modernize outdated buildings.

Measure Q: District elections in Santa Rosa — NO

Would introduce parochial politics while limiting Santa Rosa residents to voting for one City Council member every four years. Voters would have no input on who represents the other 86 percent of the city. Santa Rosa needs broader representation. But carving up the city is not the way to do it.

Measure R: Binding arbitration in Santa Rosa — YES

A repeal vote would have been preferable. But the wording changes proposed here are significant and worthy of community support.

Measure S: Santa Rosa design build — YES

Measure T: Amending Santa Rosa charter — YES

Measure U: Banning roundabouts in Cotati— NO

This is a silly measure that would cost Cotati in lost federal funding and higher expenses for improving Old Redwood Highway. It would also tie the hands of city engineers in improving traffic circulation and safety.

Measure V: Healdsburg half-cent sales tax — NO

Replacing lost funding is fine. But putting it on the same ballot as other sales tax measures, notably Proposition 30, makes the timing wrong.

Measure W: Healdsburg urban growth boundary — YES

Measure X: Petaluma parcel tax for recreation — YES

This measure, put on the ballot by parents and others who saw a community need, would raise an estimated $12 million for much-needed upgrades to existing recreational facilities and creating new places to play. For single-family homeowners, this tax works out to just $1 a week.

Measure Y: Sebastopol half-cent sales tax — NO

Replacing lost funding is fine. But putting it on the same ballot as other tax measures, notably Proposition 30, makes the timing wrong.

Measure Z: Rancho Adobe Fire District special tax — YES

If there’s a public agency out there with a good argument for why it needs a tax increase, it’s Rancho Adobe, which has cut operating expenses, avoided salary increases, kept benefits at reasonable levels and has no unfunded pension liability.


To see the long versions of these election recommendations and other information concerning this election, click here.

13 Responses to “Press Democrat election recommendations”

  1. Que Sera says:

    California has among the highest taxes in the entire country. But our state govt and local govts which are controlled by Democrats have been buying votes for years by overpaying and overbenefitting all public employees. $100,000 cops and firemen! Overpaid judges and court staff. Overpaid state and city workers. When compared to others states,and cities and towns nationally California is the land of milk and honey for civil servants and the worst place to attempt to get a child educated. This because Democrats have never stopped a raise or benefit for public workers because they buy their votes this way. But by overpaying workers they neglect our schools and children. They cant afford to pay the unemployed so the Democrat in Charge Obama pays them with the money collected from other states.
    California has enough tax revenue! What it doesnt have is morality and the fortitude to do what the people expect of any govt: control spending and spend for the benefit of the people not the public servants!

    No on 30 and No on any other tax increase!

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  2. James Bennett says:

    W. Cluebird: your point is well taken, there will be another excuse for more bureacracy.
    However the science is in; GMO kills.
    A lot of the considerable money spent to oppose Prop. 37 is filled with lies.

    The labeling costs 2/10 of 1%!

    I am sympathetic to anyone in small ag., these people are under assault.

    However we must send a clear message.

    If it feels like we are all under assault, it’s because we are.

    Yes, having our own garden is smarter than ever. Survival, that’s what I call a victory garden.

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  3. Reality Check says:

    Virtually every public building has, or should have, a notice posted near the entrance that was required by the public’s last orgy in mandatory labeling. It starts with, “This facility contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.”

    We’ve all seen them. If we took them seriously, we’d immediately turn around and leave the building. But we don’t. Because, deep down, we known they’re silly. We will neither be exposed to dangerous chemicals nor exposed to anything that will increase our risk of cancer.

    In many cases, the sign is demanded because somewhere in a cabinet are common cleaning compounds that, in huge quantities, could cause cancer in a rat. But in the quantity found in the product will do no such thing. And our brief and incidental visit to the facility poses zero measurable risk.

    Measure 37 isn’t about informing the public, it’s about scaring them. Fortunately, silly Californians are wealthy enough to fertilize their crops with only certified bulls—, etc. The rest of the world isn’t so fortunate. The war against modern agriculture will cause the death of millions of people, as did the war on DDT.

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  4. Western Cluebird says:

    I respectfully disagree with James Bennett about Prop. 37.

    This is just another deep trough for trial lawers (no damage must be demonstrated in order to sue)and another boot for Sacramento to place on our necks. Even the proponants admit that it is flawed.

    I have an organic apple farm.
    We make no money on the apples.
    Regulations are onerous.
    The guarentee that organics will be exempt does not reassure me.

    Organics are labeled according to how they are grown, and farmers can charge more for their organic foods- this is the way we should deal with GMO labels.
    Anyone that wants to avoid GMO’s can buy products (no doubt at an increased price) labeled as GMO free. This would be a better solution than passing another law and casting a wide net (which can be extremely variable) and trusting Sacramento politicians and lawers to impliment a fair and just outcome.

    If this passes (and I am afraid it will)this will turn out badly just like the SMART train has.
    We will pay an estimated $400.00 per year more for our food, and additional state costs for administration.

    Many people will vote for it because they think it is what they want and feel they have a right to know what is in their food. I respect that but do not hold up Europe, India or Asia as a model to emulate. There are long term and hidden consequences to this proposition.

    Over 50% of people voted for chickens to have bigger cages, but only 8% are willing to pay for chickens raised this way.
    Please think twice before putting farmers under any more crushing regulation and enforcement- or all of our food will be coming from China.

    The best guarentee that your food is grown according to your standards is to do what I do- grow it yourself!

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  5. James Bennett says:

    Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
    Our liberty and our freedoms in terms of where and how we live will be greatly damaged by Prop. 31 as will our economy.
    Prop. 31 is UN Agenda 21 on steroids. Forget what you learned in civics class.
    Prop. 31 employs all the tricks to disenfranchise the citizens. Two of which define a Soviet model of governance. Regionalism and the empowerment of unelected councils selected based on their onemindedness with the apex council. It rewards money hungry local governments for imposing Agenda 21 ridden “Action Plans” like Santa Rosa passed recently. Prop. 31 is a big NO.

    Prop. 37 deals with the lives of millions. Should our food should have mandatory labeling if it contains GMO? Over 50 countries have banned GMO or made its labeling mandatory. Including China and Russia! Ever think we’d see the day that those Countries would be humantarian examples for us?
    The latest of several studies on mice fed “transgenic maize” proved them 600 TIMES more likely to die prematurely, grow huge cancerous tumors or become sterile. Same with water containing “acceptable” (FDA Monsanto minions) levels of Roundup.

    I too am not surprized by the PDs stance on these issues.

    Here is how someone might vote that doesn’t want to be an impoverished serf with cancer, living in a gulag: http://host.thecotatiindependent.com/The%20Cotati%20Independent,%20November%202012.pdf

    In my view these Ca. Propositions are more important than which Globalist puppet Presidential Candidate fools more voters.

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  6. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    Thanks Graeme for making my case.

    VOTE NO ON 32.

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  7. FedUp says:

    “Almost half of the inmates sentenced to life under three strikes didn’t commit violent crimes.”

    Wrong. They were convicted of two violent felonies before the third strike. If you can’t live in a lawful manor after two chances to turn your life around, you are incorrigible. Bye-bye lifer.

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  8. Grapevines says:

    I check out the PD’s recommendations and then vote the opposite almost all the time.

    If the PD’s supports it, something about it is bad for the taxpayer.

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  9. Graeme Wellington says:

    Vote “No” on all bond measures no matter how sympathetic the cause may be described. All bond measures are tax increases no matter what anyone says.

    The more pleading and the more dire the cause may be, the more certain it is that you are being manipulated into paying taxes on something you shouldn’t be and paying taxes on something our legislators specifically didn’t want to be held accountable for.

    And as far as three strikes and showing mercy for petty criminals? Don’t be fooled by this manipulation either. Three strikes, and it’s certainty, have done a lot to reduce crime.

    Mercy is something the guilty want. Justice for the victims is what the good people of our society want. Criminals get away with so much so often. The career criminal might have been convicted of stealing a slice of pizza, but you can be absolutely certain beyond any possible doubt that the same guy committed hundreds of serious crimes with many hundreds more victims that he got away with. Three strikes is a good technicality. It’s an Ace up the sleeve of the good guys.

    Three strikes and you’re out. Keep it simple. Don’t start making exceptions because the exceptions will swallow the rule. You will only screw yourself if you vote to weaken the three strikes law.

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  10. Sarkyfish says:

    The neo-progs have spoken.

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  11. Kay Tokerud says:

    I agree with Political Scientist about 31 and 35. 31 is absolutely “dangerous” because it empowers regional commissions by changing the California Constitution. Regionalism is part of the shadow government by which our elected officials lose power. It’s part of the global takeover now underway. If they get away with this, we are done. Even the unions are opposing this one along with Tea Party activists, Libertarians and some Republicans. 31 has something for everyone to hate, it figures the PD would like it.

    Prop 35 makes a lot of people into criminals by expanding the definition of human trafficking. Completely innocent people now would become criminals under Prop 35. That’s the trend now, making a lot more things into crimes. It fits right into the plan to take away our civil liberties. People with criminal records are not going to be able to dissent much are they? Do we really need all kinds of new laws?

    By the time our representatives figure out what is really going on it will be too late. Wake up to the reality of United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development which is the root problem to everything that doesn’t make sense.

    Did you know that they are going to starve the suburbs to pay for inner city smart growth? Your suburban home may soon become a liability. Does that make sense? Only to the perpetrators. One Bay Area is just such a scheme and Prop 31 enables it. Vote no on 31 and 35 like your life depended on it.

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  12. Political Scientist says:

    Your recommendations for prop 31 and 35 show a complete lack of understanding about the implications of the measure.

    31 is a trojan horse that packages good measures with bad ones. Namely, the ability for local jurisdictions to opt out of state-wide laws. This means CEQA and clean air/water laws.

    35 has a complicated interplay that actually increases the penalty and registry requirements for small offenders, such as those busted for urinating in public. It’s a poorly written law. Check out the ACLU’s website for more information.

    Vote no on 31 and 35.

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  13. David says:

    Has the PD ever seen a tax hike that it did not endorse???

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