Official Voting Guide of Me Part 3

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Proposition 35 Human Trafficking. Penalties

Should the definition of human trafficking be expanded, penalties for traffickers be increased, convicted sexual traffickers be required to register as sex offenders, and additional training for law enforcement officers be required?

Like 34, I think 35 is another gut vs. brain scenario. The yes on 34 people are quick to talk about helpless women and children who are being exploited in human trafficking organizations, and while that is completely deplorable, there are already anti-trafficking laws in effect in our state. Passing an additional, badly written law that will further criminalize non-traffickers is not the answer. The language in 35 is too broad, it defines sex work too vaguely. It makes anyone who benefits financially from sex work into a sex trafficker. This includes friends and family. The yes on Prop 34 people haven’t addressed this issue at all, instead sticking to the emotional argument that child abuse is bad.

VOTE: No. We shouldn’t criminalize prostitution any further, which is ultimately what this law will do.

Proposition 36 Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties
Should California law be amended to provide that a life sentence should not be imposed for a third felony conviction unless the third conviction is for a serious or violent felony?

This is a hard one for me. Despite my usually liberal voting record, I like the three strikes law. Some people just can’t bee free. My own cousin is currently serving 25 years under Oregon’s version of 3 strikes, and it’s a damn good thing. If you’re the type of person who just can’t stop committing felonies, than maybe you’re the type of person who needs to be in prison, no matter how minor your latest fuck-up was.

However, the state is running out of money and our prisons are massively overcrowded. If 36 passes, it would apply to prisoners currently serving time on a third strike that is not violent (even if their first two were violent), except for certain crimes, crimes that involved a gun, or criminals who’s first strikes involved murder, rape, or child molestation. The state could save $70-90 million a year.

VOTE: Yes. If the state wasn’t in such trouble, I would vote no, but something has to be done about prison overpopulation.

Proposition 37 Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling
Should labeling be required on foods containing genetically modified ingredients when such foods (whether raw or processed, plant or animal) are offered for sale to consumers in California?

At a nominal cost to the state ($1 million, or aprox. $0.03 per Californian) food companies would be made to indicate on their label weather or not their product contains genetically modified ingredients. Certified organic foods, milk, cheese, meat, wine, liquor, and food sold at restaurants would not be required to label, which I don’t like, but something is better than nothing. The food companies are acting like this would be a MAJOR imposition to them, as apparently everything they make contains GMOs, and they’re threatening to pass the cost of the new labels on to consumers, to which I say please do. Their argument that GMOs are perfectly safe, and therefore we don’t need labeling because we should just trust them is patently ridiculous. Every packaged food already lists ingredients on it’s label, with this law it would simply be more accurate.

VOTE: Yes. Safe or unsafe is not the issue, accurate labeling is.

Proposition 38: Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs
Should California’s personal income tax rates be increased during 2013-24 to provide funds for public schools, early childhood education programs, and state debt payments?

Off the bat, I don’t like Prop 38 because I end up paying for it, but that’s a shitty reason. If I want the benefits good schools have on the community, I should be willing to pay the .4 to 2.2% (sliding scale) income tax increase. I like 38 because it ensures more money for schools over a longer period of time; $10 billion a year for 12 years verses $6 billion a year for seven years.

As I said in Prop 30’s summary, both sides have some fairly complicated finance language going on that I’m not even going to pretend to try and understand. 30 supporters claim that 38 will have money going willy nilly all over, but 38 supporters claim that about 30 as well. So I view that as a tie. Congratulations, you’re both as possibly corrupt and shitty as each other.

If both 30 and 38 pass, the one with the most votes will be enacted.

VOTE: Yes. Again, the Prop 30 summary already has this information, but I’m voting for both bills. I like 38 more, but I don’t want to wake up on Nov. 7 having voted for 38 and against 30 and not have any education funding at all.

Proposition 39 Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding
Should the California tax code be changed to require multistate firms to pay income taxes based on a percentage of their sales in California, with roughly half of the resulting tax increase to be used to fund clean/efficient energy projects for five years?

Can I just say how much I hate the phrase ‘job creator?’ It smacks of ‘you should consider yourself lucky just to have a job’ and other rich conservative bullshittery. And guess who’s using it to defend their use of California workforce without having to pay California taxes? The job creators behind the no on 39 campaign. Corporations come to California because we have a happier, healthier, more educated workforce, and then they don’t want to give anything to the state that they live in. Fuck that. Pay up.

And as for the argument that they would just move their jobs outside of California, they’re already doing that and getting tax breaks for it.

VOTE: Yes. A nice bonus of this bill is that $550 million would go to providing ‘clean jobs,’ which basically means making government structures more energy efficient.

Proposition 40 Redistricting. State Senate Districts
Should the current state Senate districts be retained?

This year an independent citizen’s commission was established by the California supreme court. The function of this commission is to draw fair Senate districts without political influence. Both sides of this argument are currently asking for a yes vote. Therefore…

VOTE: Yes.

Click here for part 4