Initiate This!

Prop. 59: Expand Open Meetings Law The state Legislature voted unanimously in favor of this one—but was apparently too lazy to see it through. Any law that gives us better access to government officials and their writings, however loosely its opponents claim it's worded, is a no-brainer. YES

Prop. 60: No Changes to the California Primary So, this is what it's come to. It takes a statewide voter initiative, passed by a majority of Californians, to do absolutely nothing. See Prop. 62. NO

Prop. 60A: Surplus State Property Mandates (heh, heh, heh, we said "man-dates") that money from surplus state property sales go to pay off the massive debt on bonds approved earlier this year to keep the state running. Proponents say it's only the right thing to do, seeing as how that debt is $15 billion and rising—sorry kids! Opponents say this is pointless seeing as how that debt is $15 billion and sales revenue amounts to just a few million bucks, which amounts to treating cancer with Bactine. They're right, of course. Still: YES

Prop. 61: Children's Hospital Projects Who could be against a bond for children's hospitals? Especially when the parents arguing in favor of it point out that leukemia patients now have a more than 80 percent survival rate? An 80 percent leukemia survival rate is awesome! Well, attorney Gary B. Wesley is against it, that's who! And why is Gary B. Wesley against it? Because the problem ain't inadequate funding for hospitals—the problem is that we don't have single-payer health insurance! Gary B. Wesley is awesome! Unless you're the parents arguing for Prop. 61. Their rebuttal to his rebuttal starts, "We've never heard of this attorney who opposes Proposition 61. Have you?" Mee-yowch!Really, we can go either way on this one. Here in OC, the children's hospitals already have all kinds of society matrons and debs putting on shows to benefit the precious little dears, although CHOC still doesn't get as much love as the orphans of Orangewood. Really, it's LA's Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center that needs a bond issue! That place is a wreck! But if you hate childhood cancer and really want to vote for a $1.5 billion bond issue, we wouldn't call you a bleeding-heart tax-and-spend liberal or nothin'. We hate childhood cancer too. YES Prop. 62: Open Primaries Would allow voters to cast primary ballots for candidates of any party, likely forcing candidates to appeal to all voters, possibly producing more moderate outcomes. YES Prop. 63: Mental Health Services Expansion California may not have more crazy people per capita than any other state, but it sure seems that way. Fortunately, we've got lots of rich people too. This measure imposes a 1 percent tax on personal income on California residents who earn more than $1 million per year. The money would fund health-care programs for mentally ill children, adults and seniors—but not pets. This millionaires-only tax will provide an estimated $800 million per year by 2006—cash that will flow directly to local and county social services agencies. YES Prop. 64: Enforcement of Unfair Business Laws This law tries to solve the problem of unscrupulous law firms who sue mostly small businesses often run by immigrants unfamiliar with their legal rights—and who are typically forced to pay settlements that only benefit the crafty lawyers who sued them. If passed, Prop. 64 would require such lawsuits to be filed by the agency that regulates the business being sued and would allow lawsuits to proceed only if an actual loss is suffered. YES Prop. 65: Local Funding City and county officials drafted this to block Sacramento from raiding local coffers during California's recurring budget crises. Then, in August, those same local officials cut a deal with Arnold, Prop. 1A, that accomplished the same trick in a more sublime way. 65's original supporters are now its most ardent opponents. Ballot box budgeting? It's like sausage making with Ray Charles. NO Prop. 66: Three Strikes Amendment This is probably the most important initiative on the ballot. It was written by the folks who brought you the original Three Strikes law and who now realize that it has been used to send non-violent drug offenders to prison for life. Now they'd like to amend the law to limit it to violent crimes and actually increase punishment for people who commit sex crimes against children. We say better late than never. HELL YES Prop. 67: Emergency Medical Services Increasing the current 911 telephone state surcharge from 0.72 percent to 3.72 percent on all instate calls would raise approximately $500 million for emergency health care per year. Although there is no monthly cap for cell phone customers and business lines, residential telephone service providers would pay, at most, 50 cents per month. Although you latte-sipping cell-phone junkies are screwed, low-income folks who qualify for reduced telephone service charges don't have to pay extra. Do the math. Improving emergency health care, keeping medical clinics open, preventing hospital overcrowding and understaffing is worth a few extra quarters a month. YES Prop. 68: Tribal Gaming Compact Amendments This would allow casino gambling for 16 racetracks and card clubs, and siphons cash from the card tables to fund government services. It would likely provide $1 million per year to local governments, but Governor Schwarzenegger, the Great White Father, opposes it because he's trying to work out a deal with Native American tribes who operate casinos and knows that this will cut into their businesses. We say anything that takes business away from the reservation is no good. NO Prop. 69: DNA Database Anyone who read our cover story (Bobbi Murry's "Death Row Defenders," Oct. 15) about this issue knows what's what . . . but seeing as so few of you read that cover story allow us to repeat ourselves. Though this sounds like a no-brainer—increasing the size of the state DNA database to catch bad guys—the fact is, under this proposition, the database would grow with not only the DNA of those convicted of crimes, but those simply arrested. Since most people arrested are poor and people of color, the database would unfairly be weighted against them. A good idea; poorly executed. NO Prop. 70: Tribal Gaming Compacts This initiative, backed by California's emerging class of on-the-reservation tycoons, requires Governor Terminator to sign a 99-year compact with tribes who operate casinos. In exchange, the state gets a big old chunk of change for its budget. YES Prop. 71: Stem Cell Research Under this initiative, the state would sponsor stem-cell research to the tune of $3 billion in bonds. Although it would saddle California with more debt, Christopher Reeve supported it and the Catholic Church stridently opposes it. Honor the dead; screw pedophile protectors. YES Prop. 72: Health-Care Coverage Requirements Stupid, stupid, stupid. A Yes vote would delay the inevitable by forcing every California company—first, those with 200 or more employees, then by 2007 those with at least 50 workers—to provide at least 80-20 health-care coverage for full-time workers. As anyone who has looked anywhere else in the industrialized world knows, socialized health care not only should be the final solution—it will be. NO


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