We Proposition You

Your guide to the propositions in less than 300 words

Prop. 32: Veterans' farm and home loans. Allows flag-waving politicians to help just 2,500 veterans selected at great expense by Sacramento bureaucrats. Looks like old-fashioned patronage. HELL NO.

Prop. 33: Legislators' retirement benefits. If you want to run for the state Legislature, plan on using part of the six-figure income to fund your own retirement. NO.

Prop. 34: Campaign-finance reform. More like campaign-finance deform, 34 allows political parties to funnel unlimited contributions to their candidates. ARE YOU KIDDING? NO.

Prop. 35: Contracting out public-works projects. Introducing competition into public-works projects is a good idea—which is why it already occurs without this unnecessary constitutional amendment. NO.

Prop. 36: Drug treatment for nonviolent offenders. While we're waiting for the government to get out of the Nixon-inspired business of prosecuting victimless crimes, this'll reduce jail populations and slow the sprawl of the prison-industrial complex. YES.

Prop. 37: Mitigation fees and taxes re-defined. "Re-defined," my ass. Prop. 37 would allow business to shift the cost of meeting environmental standards onto the backs of taxpayers by re-labeling those costs "taxes" and making those taxes deductible. HELL NO.

Prop. 38: School vouchers. We'd like this proposal if it privatized public schools, giving the teachers and administrators who run them the chance to compete freely against private schools. Since it doesn't, critics rightly point out that Prop. 38 would turn those public schools into dumping grounds for difficult cases. NO.

Prop. 39: School bond initiative. Pete Wilson—now with 50 percent more paraffin! —appears in TV ads with Gray Davis hawking this effort to kill the state's 121-year-old constitutional provision requiring local bonds to pass with a two-thirds supermajority. It's no surprise: both are friends of the Irvine Co., which, along with other developers, would love to see state taxpayers subsidize their new real-estate projects. In older school districts, well-organized campaigns have persuaded two-thirds of their neighbors to approve legitimate school bonds. NO.

 
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