By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
PROPOSITION 46: HOUSING AND EMERGENCY SHELTER TRUST FUND ACT OF 2002NO
Just $195 million of this bond measure's $2.1 billion goes toward the "emergency shelters" that make up part of its seductive title. The rest, as is perfectly clear from the long list of developers funding it, goes toward multifamily housing subsidies and homebuyer's programs. Sure, all the housing has to be "affordable," but that means it has to cost about 20 percent less than the median housing price. Real-estate developers are already superrich. Must we make them richer?
PROPOSITION 47: KINDERGARTEN—UNIVERSITY PUBLIC EDUCATION FACILITIES BOND ACT OF 2002NO
This is a $13 billion bond measure to build schools and classrooms from the kindergarten through university level. Including interest payments, the measure will eventually total more than $26 billion. As is usual in these things, most of the money goes toward new school construction, with just $1.7 billion directed to "critically overcrowded schools." What's more, irrespective of Measure 47 passing, in two years, we'll have to vote on a nearly identical $12 billion bond measure. We love schools—but not this much.
PROPOSTION 48: COURT CONSOLIDATION (LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT)NO
Prop. 48 "amends [the] Constitution to delete references to the municipal courts" because all superior and municipal courts were previously unified "by voters." Sounds simple enough until you take a closer look. Who are these "voters," and why are they "voting?" What good comes of voting, anyway? Wasn't Hitler elected? Delta Burke? And why do superior courts need to be the only courts? The superior courts have always hogged the spotlight thinking they're all better than the municipal ones. I think we'd all be a lot happier if the superior courts just stayed out of our lives, and that's what I told the officers when they asked me about the oily rags and gas can.
PROPOSITION 49: BEFORE- AND AFTER-SCHOOL PROGRAMSNO
We like after-school programs fine, but are they really so important that Arnold Schwarzenegger needed to sponsor this measure and then shell out $1 million to get it passed? And how come all these Hollywood guys such as Norman Lear, Rob Reiner, Jack Valenti and Tom Arnold are giving money, too? Whoa—that guy who runs Univision, the Spanish-language TV network? That guy also gave $1 million! Look, when it comes down to it, Prop. 49 detracts from during-school programs, like, uh, school, to fund after-school stuff. Now who wants that?
PROPOSITION 50: WATER QUALITY, SUPPLY AND SAFE DRINKING WATER PROJECTSHELL, NO
Ballot measures used to be for grassroots political groups who couldn't assert themselves in Sacramento because they lacked big lobbying dollars. But Prop. 50 shows us that's all in the past. Today, ballot measures help already-rich developers get richer. Prop. 50 is supposedly about securing clean and safe water, but most of its allocations go to buy land from developers up and down the state—the same developers contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Yes on 50 campaign.
PROPOSITION 51: TRANSPORTATION. DISTRIBUTION OF EXISTING MOTOR VEHICLE SALES AND USE TAXHELL, NO, AGAIN
Another massive payoff to developers like our old buddies the Irvine Co., which donated another $50,000 to support the campaign. When is this madness going to end? When the whole state suffocates under one massive concrete slab?
PROPOSITION 52: ELECTION DAY VOTER REGISTRATIONYES
Prop. 52 would allow Californians to walk into their polling places on Election Day, register and vote immediately. Critics say that would leave elections officials "no time to check the validity of the registration before the ballot is cast." It's a bogus argument: as Orange County's Registrar of Voters will tell you, they don't check now. On the other hand, political scientists agree that election-day registration has raised turnout in the six states where it's legal. Higher turnout? That's a good thing. Unless, of course, you hate democracy, Hitler boy.
MEASURE A: CAMPAIGN-FINANCE REFORMYES
The county's first campaign-reform ordinance was enacted in 1978, but in the ensuing years, candidates, contributors and political parties have used loopholes and court decisions to weaken the law. Measure A closes the loopholes and amends the language to take into account the court decrees. County Supervisor-elect Chris Norby, who won his seat with an expensive slate mailer God knows who paid for, opposes Measure A because, he says, only the very rich who self-finance their campaigns will win elections. But what Measure A actually does is let voters know who exactly a candidate is beholden to, be they developers, potential constituents or daddy's trust fund.
MEASURE B: EL TORO CLEANUP ADVISORY VOTENO
An advisory vote only, Measure B would prompt the county Board of Supervisors to press the U.S. Navy to clean up the abandoned El Toro Marine Corps Air Station. That's swell, except the measure is really flaky and stupid, saying El Toro will become "[Don] Bren National Park," which will contain such things as a wildlife corridor "for the California mountain lion and its food chain," a "five-star luxury California Mission-style destination resort/lodge concession" and a "reasonable-international-nonintrusive-'V' configuration-airport" that will employ and house "low-paid airport/airline workers." Is this what passes for a joke in Orange County today?
MEASURE N: GARDEN GROVE HOTEL VISITORS TAXNO
Although supported by Garden Grove's police and firefighters—who mistakenly think they'll get something out of this tax increase on tourists who stay in the city's hotels—the real forces behind Measure N are Mayor "Bulldozer" Bruce Broadwater and his financiers in the tourism industry—who have pumped into the campaign more than $70,000. Through heavy public subsidies to private hotel developers, Broadwater et al. have gambled the city's financial future on tourists who, so far, haven't shown up. Their solution to an increasingly bankrupt redevelopment agency: tax the tourists. Where are the Republicans when you need them to point out the obvious? You don't raise prices on people who are already staying the hell away from your hotel. Even if Measure N passes, it's unlikely the tax will generate enough cash to keep Garden Grove from selling its parks, schools—even its city hall—to pay off the debt it generated through this insane socialism for the rich.
MEASURE CC: WHISPERING HILLS REZONINGHELL, NO
We've seen some disgusting measures before, but this one is a classic extortion move by the San Juan Capistrano City Council. To get a new high school they need, residents must approve a measure that allows a land developer to build a huge new residential community. The developer will walk away with tens of millions of dollars in profit. Locals will get more than 6,000 additional car trips a day in an already impossibly congested area. If voters are sane, they'll realize that the answer to overcrowding is not building more homes. The developer and his shills on the City Council claim their priority is the school. So scrap this disgraceful measure and build the damn school.