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It's time once again, boys and girls, for Uncle Woody's Patented (Pend.), 100% Effective, Accept-No-Substitutes-or-Imitations Curmudgeon's Guide for Young Conservative Voters®©™.
Every election that rolls around here in California (and believe me, with as many fault lines as we have here in California, when I say they "roll," I mean they slosh around like loose barrels on a storm-tossed dinghy) gets this treatment from your genial host (remember him?). We suffered through the Primary Election back in June, wound up with mediocre (at best) candidates from which to choose, and now we prepare for the General Election, which will (or perhaps won't) be a turning point in Congress during this so-called mid-term election cycle. It will (or perhaps won't) be an indictment of President Obama's numerous failures to do anything except learn how to kow-tow before various heads of state (see: Seat of Pants, Government by). So the results will (most likely in this case) be interesting, to say the least.
So, fellow citizens, we come to bury the Propositions here in California, not praise them. I will examine them one by one, attempting to rein in my hyperactive gag reflex, and tell you in as concise a manner as I am capable how I think you Young Conservatives should vote. Or not. This is a very relaxed voters guide, here at the Woundup.
|Measure||Uncle Woody||California||Uncle Woody's Reaction|
|19 - Legalizes Marijuana Under California But Not Federal Law. Permits Local Governments to Regulate and Tax Commercial Production, Distribution, and Sale of Marijuana. Initiative Statute.||NO||NO (56.1%)||Send the pot-heads to Mexico to deal directly with the cartels!|
|20 - Redistricting of Congressional Districts. Initiative Constitutional Amendment||NO||YES (64.p%)||Uncle Woody is not surprised, though disappointed.|
|21 - Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State Parks and Wildlife Programs, Grants Surcharged Vehicles Free Admission to All State Parks. Initiative Statute||NO||NO (61.4%)||It failed the duck test.|
|22 - Prohibits the State From Borrowing or Taking Funds Used for Transportation, Redevelopment, or Local Government Projects and Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment||NO||YES (63.8%)||Don't blame Uncle Woody when they grab your property for a strip mall.|
|23 - Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) Requiring Major Sources of Emissions to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming, Until Unemployment Drops to 5.5 Percent or Less for a Full Year. Initiative Statute||YES||NO (58.1%)||Kiss those jobs bye-bye, Young Conservatives. Progressives have once again proven they want everything paid for with non-existent revenue.|
|24 - Repeals a Recent Legislation That Would Allow Businesses to Lower Their Tax Liability. Initiative Statute||NO||NO (60.6%)||The news is not all bad. Progressives must have been caught sleeping on this one.,|
|25 - Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass Budget and Budget-Related Legislation From Two-Thirds to a Simple Majority. Retains Two-Thirds Vote Requirement for Taxes. Initiative Constitutional Amendment||NO||YES (53.7%)||Hoo, boy. Hopefully Uncle Woody will be able to retire to Utah before they pass their first simple majority budget. After that there won't be any retirement money left in the state. The unions will get it all.|
|26 - Requires That Certain State and Local Fees Be Approved by Two-Thirds Vote. Fees Include Those That Address Adverse Impacts on Society or the Environment Caused by the Fee-Payer's Business. Initiative Constitutional Amendment||YES||YES (55.5%)||Fees = Taxes. They finally got it!|
|27 - Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority for Redistricting with Elected Representatives. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.||YES||NO (60.9%)||Again, predictable. Uncle Woody further predicts LOTS of belly-aching over the first attempted gerrymander by the Kommission.|
|Anaheim Measure J||YES||YES (62.3%)||No real passion or controversy with either of our city measures this time around.|
|Anaheim Measure K||YES||YES (72.9%)||Let's hope we're not proven wrong on this one.|
Let's begin, then, with:
Hah! The joke's on us, Young Conservatives! There IS no "Proposition 18." At some point (August 10, 2010, according to the ever-helpful "Official Voter Information Guide") this proposition was removed by both the Legislature (motto: "Budget?") and the Governor (motto: "Budget?"). Can they even do that, Young Conservatives? Did anyone happen to inform Proposition 18 that it was no longer running for office? Did they let it down gently, or was it (more likely) some soul-less form rejection letter?
Dear Proposition 18,Heartless and cruel, that is.
We regret to inform you that your services are no longer needed by the State of California. As such, you will be summarily removed from the ballot for the November 2, 2010 General Election...
Oh, well. Moving on.
Proposition 19 - Legalizes Marijuana Under California But Not Federal Law. Permits Local Governments to Regulate and Tax Commercial Production, Distribution, and Sale of Marijuana. Initiative Statute.
Apparently, Young Conservatives, whoever came up with the title of this Proposition had already had a toke or two, if you ask Uncle Woody. Not that I have ever toked, Young Conservatives. Although, since Uncle Woody was in high school in the 70's, it's entirely possible that I inhaled without ever knowing it.
Anyway, Uncle Woody cannot for the life of him figure out where these initiatives come from. Aliens would be Uncle Woody's guess (the UFO kind, not the illegal ones) (although, by definition, the UFO kind would be here illegally too, right?). We're supposed to believe that legalizing the weed will somehow weaken the drug cartels, for example. Right. Legalizing something that nearly everyone currently living in Berkeley grows in their front yards, for Pete's sake, is really gonna take a huge bite out of those Mexican drug lords' profits.
Uncle Woody suspects that the real reasons for this initiative lie in the doped-up title of the Proposition itself: Words like "tax" and "regulate" make this the work of the Democrats, or Uncle Woody is much mistaken.
Don't light this one up, Young Conservatives. Bury it. Uncle Woody votes NO.
Proposition 20 - Redistricting of Congressional Districts. Initiative Constitutional Amendment
Oy. This one is silly, Young Conservatives. We voted on Proposition 11 back in the General Election of 2008. Uncle Woody, you may recall, urged a No vote on this Commission but was shouted down by 50.5% of California voters (this happens a lot to Uncle Woody). Now, Proposition 20 appears to try to somehow empower this already-voter-established Commission to actually do the job they were created to perform.
Since the Commission itself is nothing but a boondoggle, Uncle Woody could not care less whether they receive any actual "power" to redistrict this state, period. There's no way any resulting redistricting will ever be considered "fair" to anyone but the benefactors of such gerrymandering, so how will this be different from any redistricting done in the past?
Uncle Woody is a STRONG NO on this one, Young Conservatives. See my notes on Proposition 27 later.
Proposition 21 - Establishes $18 Annual Vehicle License Surcharge to Help Fund State Parks and Wildlife Programs, Grants Surcharged Vehicles Free Admission to All State Parks. Initiative Statute
Uncle Woody smells Sierra Club somewhere in all this, but I can see why they want this. If there's one thing California does relatively well, it's preserve significant portions of the state in the form of State Parks. We also boast a number of National Parks, along with monuments, and other forms of refuge that are intended to provide us with a protected environment as well as aesthetic enjoyment for years to come.
Here's Uncle Woody's beef: Creating the surcharge means everyone who drives a car in California will be paying what amounts to a usage fee for these parks whether they actually use them or not. It's already bad enough that in California we have to pay the State to not drive our junk cars every year, so why should we pay to use parks or facilities that we may not ever use? I personally have been known to go years without ever visiting a State Park.
The other part of that beef is that none (read closely, Young Conservatives: NONE) of the promised benefits that have increased our vehicle license fees over the past several years have ever come to pass in this budget-wasteland of a state. I repeat: NONE. So, I stubbornly refuse to believe that any of this $18 "surcharge" (a tax by any other name...) will ever end up benefiting our State Parks.
Uncle Woody votes NO
Proposition 22 - Prohibits the State From Borrowing or Taking Funds Used for Transportation, Redevelopment, or Local Government Projects and Services. Initiative Constitutional Amendment
Skeptic that I am, Uncle Woody may actually be tempted to vote for this one. Not that I believe it has a snowball's chance of actually preventing politicians from ever robbing their own coffers, but because it should at least be on the books that they're not allowed to. Also, Uncle Woody notes that the primary opposition to this Proposition comes from a union, and Uncle Woody is not feeling any too friendly toward fat-cat union bosses these days. They're part of the reason this country is in this current fiscal nightmare.
Uncle Woody has repented, Young Conservatives. After reading an editorial by the OC Register, Uncle Woody is reminded that "redevelopment" is a euphemism for "land-grabbing by local government because they can't stand the fact that landowners enjoy, you know, owning land." That fact alone kills this proposition in Uncle Woody's mind. Vote NO on Prop 22.
Proposition 23 - Suspends Implementation of Air Pollution Control Law (AB 32) Requiring Major Sources of Emissions to Report and Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions that Cause Global Warming, Until Unemployment Drops to 5.5 Percent or Less for a Full Year. Initiative Statute
Whew! That's a mouthful, Young Conservatives, and it magnifies one of the biggest problems with our current political environment. In today's political world, Young Conservatives, everything that happens, whether natural or not, has got to be someone's fault! "Global Warming" is one of those catch-all phrases that encompasses everything that's filthy in today's politics. What's that phrase, Young Conservatives? "Lies, damned lies, and statistics!" We have seen report after report debunking the Al Gore-created myth of anthropogenic global warming, and yet the spittle-emitting extremists still insist that we have the power to turn back the earth's natural warming and cooling cycles.
Worse, we continually sacrifice jobs on the altar of Global Warming because it makes someone, somewhere, feel better when we do. This proposition appears to take a somewhat more practical tone by suspending crippling legislation that has killed more jobs than any politician cares to admit, and allows us to stay suspended until unemployment drops to 5.5%.
Uncle Woody thinks it's worth a try. Uncle Woody votes YES on Prop 23.
Proposition 24 - Repeals a Recent Legislation That Would Allow Businesses to Lower Their Tax Liability. Initiative Statute
See my notes under Proposition 23 above, Young Conservatives. But be careful; where Proposition 23 requires a Yes vote in order to provide relief to California businesses, this Proposition requires a No vote in order to give businesses a necessary break.
Hey, Uncle Woody is all for having everyone, businesses included, pay a fair share of taxes to the state of California. But Uncle Woody would like to remind California of a couple of things:
1. Businesses are revenue generators for the state. When you cripple them with larger tax burdens, those businesses either fold up or leave the state. Hence you receive no taxes from those businesses for your precious social programs.
2. The State of California is apparently incapable of budgeting within their means in any given year, so whether you continue to tax businesses in this manner or not, it won't make a lick of difference to the budget. Speaking of which, how's all that Lotto money working out for our schools?
Reason Number One to Vote No on Proposition 24: The California Teachers Association (see: Evil, Personified) wants us to vote Yes.
Uncle Woody says we should man up and vote NO on Proposition 24.
Proposition 25 - Changes Legislative Vote Requirement to Pass Budget and Budget-Related Legislation From Two-Thirds to a Simple Majority. Retains Two-Thirds Vote Requirement for Taxes. Initiative Constitutional Amendment
Another waste of tax-payer time, Young Conservatives. Either you pass a budget (i.e., live within your means) or you don't. The move to a simple majority only means that it will be that much harder for Republicans in this state to stop Democrats from spending money they never intend to have on projects that benefit no one but the labor unions of this state.
What Uncle Woody would prefer to see is to give the Governor line-item veto authority over the budget. Uncle Woody realizes that this can be a dual-edged sword, but when the Legislature hands you a crock of a budget, you need the ability to cross things out.
Uncle Woody votes NO on Proposition 25.
Proposition 26 - Requires That Certain State and Local Fees Be Approved by Two-Thirds Vote. Fees Include Those That Address Adverse Impacts on Society or the Environment Caused by the Fee-Payer's Business. Initiative Constitutional Amendment
Uncle Woody sometimes wonders what our legislators are smoking, up there in Sacramento. There are numerous reasons why this state is one of the (if not THE) most expensive states for cost of living in the country. Uncle Woody has already determined that he will not be retiring in this state because he simply will not be able to afford it. And while there is much about California that he would miss, Uncle Woody can always visit (at $18 per State Park, it's a bargain, right?).
That said, Uncle Woody somehow instinctively knows that if California is ever to survive and not turn into the largest hippie commune in the country, it needs to find ways to encourage businesses to not only stay in this state, but find a way to help them make a profit as well. This is the sort of thing that encourages businesses to hire people to work for them, as opposed to laying them off and sending their work to other business-friendly states like Texas or Utah.
Uncle Woody therefore likes the idea of making it harder for our insatiable state legislators to continually burden our businesses with fees and other charges that make it impossible for them to maintain healthy staffing levels and provide benefits for them.
Uncle Woody votes YES on Proposition 26.
Proposition 27 - Eliminates State Commission on Redistricting. Consolidates Authority for Redistricting with Elected Representatives. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
If you were reading my notes under Proposition 20, Young Conservatives, then you can probably guess that Uncle Woody would not mind having you vote Yes on this one. Uncle Woody did not like the idea of a Commission back in 2008, Young Conservatives, for one primary reason: They never work. Really. When was the last time, Young Conservatives, you ever heard the Public Utilities Commission do something useful? Me, neither.
Commissions have a way of becoming entrenched, in Uncle Woody's experience. Entrenched is not a good word, Young Conservatives. It's one of the contributors to the Entitlement Culture that has created a strangle-hold on our economy in the past several years. The more entrenched a commission becomes, the less likely they are to ever represent you or anyone related to you on any issue.
Uncle Woody urges a YES vote on Prop 27, Young Conservatives, even though he suspects it'll never happen.
Uncle Woody's Recommendations on Candidates
Normally, Young Conservatives, Uncle Woody simply tells you to vote your consciences and pray for the best. However, there are a few candidates that Uncle Woody feels a need to pontificate about, whether Uncle Woody knows what he's talking about or not.
It is with heavy heart that Uncle Woody endorses Meg Whitman for Governor. The reason is simple: Voting for Whitman is the only viable way to keep Jerry Brown out of the Governor's office. Voting for any other candidate, even if that candidate is Mickey Mouse and would probably do a better job than the last three governors put together, is effectively a vote for Jerry Brown. There's a reason, Young Conservatives, why we called Jerry Brown "Governor Moonbeam" back in the day. He was living with Linda Ronstadt, for crying out loud. We also called him "Governor Med Fly" or "Governor Malathion" because of continual fruit fly infestations in this state which resulted in frequent Malathion rain, generally without notice. Anyway, if anyone remembers far enough back to include Brown's administration in Sacramento, they MUST VOTE FOR WHITMAN AT ALL COSTS. Not because she's any sort of true conservative — in many ways I fear she'll be even more
If that's damning with faint praise, it's the best I can do.
I really don't care who you vote for in this case, Young Conservatives. Just don't vote for Abel Maldonado. He has betrayed the conservative wing of the Republican party far too many times to be given any serious consideration for any elected job, including dog catcher. Heck, vote for the Libertarian, if it makes you feel good. The Lt. Governor of California is perhaps the only job even more ceremonial than Vice President of the United States.
United States Senator
Another move on the chess board, Young Conservatives. Go out and vote for Carly Fiorina. As with Whitman, there is much about Fiorina that I don't trust, but I trust Boxer far, far less. If we have any hope to break the liberal gridlock from California, it's Fiorina.
Now Uncle Woody is ready to tell you Young Conservatives to go vote your conscience. Vote Republican if it makes you feel good, or pick and choose. Damon Dunn is running for Secretary of State and has the delusion that if he grills the businesses that are packing up and leaving, he'll be able to tell the Legislature why they're leaving and the Legislature will then fix the problem. Not sure what the weather is like on Mr. Dunn's home planet, but if he believes that, then okay.
I can't say much about Steve Cooley for Attorney General, primarily because he wasn't all that visible while serving as DA for Los Angeles. He'd surface every few months whenever a high-visibility crime was being prosecuted, then retreat into his office to hibernate until the next press conference.
Mike Villines figures he'll protect consumers and crack down on fraud as Insurance Commissioner. I've got news for Mr. Villines: he'll be so busy trying to figure out why insurance companies are going out of business because of Obamacare, that his first fraud case will probably not cross his desk until three years after he's voted out of office. He'll be spending most of his time trying to dodge questions about how he (Villines) could possibly let the insurance companies go bankrupt when Obama promised us that we'd all have free health care for life!
Additional Notes, Including Local Issues for Orange County and Anaheim
Rather than paint this entire section red, just consider this to be one of the amendments to the Guide, okay Young Conservatives?
Propositions 20 and 27
Uncle Woody knows he's swimming upstream here, and doesn't care. I don't like the idea of a Commission for redistricting that we can't vote on. Period. Just because they consist of members representing all viable political parties in this state, there is NO GUARANTEE THAT THEY'LL REPRESENT MY OWN INTERESTS IN THIS PROCESS. And no one can ever guarantee that to my satisfaction. This is politics at its absolute worst, Young Conservatives, and I refuse to trust any commission, no matter how well intentioned, any more than I trust any given incumbent politician today. [/RANT]
City of Anaheim Measures
Measure J allows the use of design-build procurement for public works projects that support the city. Not a problem for Uncle Woody: this is just an acknowledgment that the rules of procurement can evolve over time as new methods for accomplishing things in a more efficient manner are discovered. Uncle Woody votes YES on Measure J.
Measure K wants to prohibit ever allowing the city to install a red-light camera at any time. Uncle Woody is of two minds on this issue, my young friends. On the one hand, red-light cameras are more an invasion of privacy and smack of "big brotherism" than I believe they're worth. Also, many, many people have made the point that the business case for red-light cameras actually saving lives has never been made. Agreed.
My only hesitation is that there may one day be a case where it can be absolutely proven that not doing everything possible, including installing such a camera at a given intersection, would be irresponsible if it has any chance at all of preventing traffic fatalities.
After some vacillation, however, Uncle Woody must agree with the majority here. Traffic cameras are unproven deterrents. Uncle Woody votes YES on Measure K.
If you're at all interested or care in any way, here's a run-down on how Uncle Woody plans to vote for candidates not mentioned elsewhere:
Lt. Governor: Uncle Woody is making good on his threat to vote for the Libertarian in this race, Pamela J Brown. I cannot and will not pull the lever for Maldonado.
Secretary of State: Damon Dunn. Yeah, he's deluded, but he means well.
Controller: Tony Strickland. I'm a big fan.
Treasurer (State): Mimi Walters
Attorney General: Steve Cooley
Insurance Commissioner: Mike Villines. Do these people ever understand what they're getting themselves into?
State Board of Equalization - 3rd District: Michelle Steel
US Representative, 42nd District: Gary Miller
State Assembly, 60th District: Curt Hagman
Judicial: I'm only voting one name down in this entire list, and that's Carlos Moreno. Nothing personal against the man, really, except that he espouses some opinions with which I happen to disagree. I have no idea if the man is a good judge or not.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Larry Aceves. You might think that Uncle Woody, being a homeschooler, could not possibly care less about who helms the education department of the state. You couldn't be more incorrect. Homeschoolers have everything to lose if the wrong person makes it to this office. The real problem with our two choices is that neither candidate, Aceves or Torlakson, would go on the record as to where they stand on homeschooling as a right of the parent. So, in this case, the absence of such statements makes me at least hopeful that whoever wins will, as others have done before them, pretty much ignore homeschooling in the state of California for the next term. It's the best we can hope for. In voting for Aceves I am only acknowledging that, were my kids in public school, he more closely mirrors my own vision for school reform and accountability.
North Orange County Community College District:
Barbara Dunsheath (Area 2)
Jeffrey P. Brown (Area 3)
Darlene Allen (Area 4)
Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District:
Karin M. Freeman (Full Term)
Kim Palmer (Full Term)
Susan M. Eckles (Short Term)
Treasurer-Tax Collector (Orange County): Shari L. Freidenrich
City of Anaheim - Mayor: Tom Tait
City of Anaheim - City Council:
End of Amended Post
Good luck, Young Conservatives! Our future is in your capable hands. Uncle Woody will be in Utah, if you need him.