I Voted This Morning

10.26.12

I filled out my ballot this morning and have some mixed emotions about sending it in. I won’t get a little I Voted sticker this year. I won’t walk to the polling place with the kids and have them wait while I fill out my ballot in secret. I won’t get to talk to them about the value of voting in secret, about the freedom of being able to vote for whomever you wish and against whatever you don’t like. I’m not much for secrets I suppose.

There are a few I haven’t decided on yet. Maybe you have some insight?

I thought I’d share my votes with you, hopefully it will prompt some thoughts on both sides

President: Barack Obama – Romney is a problem but Ryan is menace. At some point the GOP started hating women, this is really tragic because I wanted to believe in their message.

United States Senator: Dianne Feinstein – was there another choice?

United States Representative: Howard Berman – without question the better candidate. Brad Sherman doesn’t even live in LA anymore and when he put Berman in a headlock during a debate I realized he’s better suited for another job… like maybe being a bouncer at a bar.

Member of the State Assembly: not decided it’s either Jay Stern or Adrin Nazarian

District Attorney: not decided Jackie Lacey or Alan Jackson

Propositions
Proposition 30: Yes. It just makes sense

Proposition 31: No. It’s too confusing and the redistribution of decision making looks to be a disaster before it begins.

Proposition 32: No. This would be a disaster for working people leaving only the very rich with the ability to effectively pool their funds.

Proposition 33: No. This will make insurance prohibitively expensive for new drivers. It is funded largely by George Joseph the chairman of Mercury Insurance. When is the last time you heard of a Chairman of a corporation spending millions of dollars to make his own business less profitable?

Proposition 34: Yes. California never kills anyone anyhow. Might as well.

Proposition 35: Yes. Harsher penalties for human trafficking… that was easy.

Proposition 36: Yes. This is really important because there have been unintended consequences of the 3 strikes law and this seeks to remedy them. Let’s reserve 25 to life to violent offenses.

Proposition 37: Yes. Yes. Yes. If you want to eat GMO free you need to vote yes on this. If you don’t want to eat GMO free you need to vote yes on this one. It’s a dot of ink that lets you know what’s in your food. Easy as can be.

Proposition 38:  No. This is a nonsense measure funded by angry billionaires who want to be sure that Prop 30 doesn’t pass and instead came up with a deeply regressive tax that further punishes the poor. Do not let Prop 38 distract you. I heartily encourage folks to vote no.

Proposition 39: Yes. This just closes a loophole that multi state businesses have been using.

Proposition 40: Yes. No one opposes this. It’s so weird.

Los Angles County Measure A: I’m not sure. Given the fact that our current tax assessor is in jail unable to make bail who knows if having it be an appointed position will be better or worse. Why is this on the ballot anyhow? Does anyone know?

Los Angles County Measure B: Yes. I’m totally voting for the nanny state. I spent the 80’s going to funerals. Condoms are your friend.

Los Angles County Measure J: Yes. I’ll always vote for traffic relief. Always.

Here’s some detail on each of the measures:

PROP 30
TEMPORARY TAXES TO FUND EDUCATION.
GUARANTEED LOCAL PUBLIC SAFETY FUNDING.
INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures

Increases taxes on earnings over $250,000 for seven years and sales taxes by ¼ cent for four years, to fund schools. Guarantees public safety realignment funding. Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues through 2018–19, averaging about $6 billion annually over the next few years. Revenues available for funding state budget. In 2012–13, planned spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would not occur.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: The state would increase personal income taxes on high-income taxpayers for seven years and sales taxes for four years. The new tax revenues would be available to fund programs in the state budget.
A NO vote on this measure means: The state would not increase personal income taxes or sales taxes. State spending reductions, primarily to education programs, would take effect in 2012–13.

ARGUMENTS
PRO: After years of cuts to schools and public safety, it’s time to take a stand. Prop. 30 asks the wealthiest to temporarily pay more to prevent deep school cuts, provide billions in new education funding, guarantee local public safety and help balance the state budget.
CON: No on 30—$50 billion in higher sales and income taxes, but no guarantee of additional money for schools. Prop. 30 doesn’t reform schools, pensions or cut waste and bureaucracy. We’ll never know where the money really goes. Educators, small businesses and taxpayer groups say NO on 30.

Back to Voting Summary

PROP 31
STATE BUDGET. STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT.
INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT AND STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Establishes two-year state budget. Sets rules for offsetting new expenditures, and Governor budget cuts in fiscal emergencies. Local governments can alter application of laws governing state-funded programs. Fiscal Impact: Decreased state sales tax revenues of $200 million annually, with corresponding increases of funding to local governments. Other, potentially more significant changes in state and local budgets, depending on future decisions by public officials.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: Certain fiscal responsibilities of the Legislature and Governor, including state and local budgeting and oversight procedures, would change. Local governments that create plans to coordinate services would receive funding from the state and could develop their own procedures for administering state programs.
A NO vote on this measure means: The fiscal responsibilities of the Legislature and Governor, including state and local budgeting and oversight procedures, would not change. Local governments would not be given (1) funding to implement new plans that coordinate services or (2) authority to develop their own procedures for administering state programs.

ARGUMENTS
PRO Yes on 31 will stop politicians from keeping Californians in the dark about how their government is functioning. It will prevent the state from passing budgets behind closed doors, stop politicians from creating programs with money the state doesn’t have, and require governments to report results before spending more money.
CON Proposition 31 is a badly flawed initiative that locks expensive and conflicting provisions into the Constitution, causing lawsuits, confusion, and cost. Prop. 31 threatens public health, the environment, prevents future increases in funding for schools, and blocks tax cuts. Join teachers, police, conservationists, tax reformers: vote no on Prop. 31.
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 32
POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY PAYROLL DEDUCTION.
CONTRIBUTIONS TO CANDIDATES.
INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes. Applies same use prohibition to payroll deductions, if any, by corporations or government contractors. Prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees. Prohibits government contractor contributions to elected officers or their committees. Fiscal Impact: Increased costs to state and local government, potentially exceeding $1 million annually, to implement and enforce the measure’s requirements.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: Unions and corporations could not use money deducted from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes. Unions, corporations, and government contractors would be subject to additional campaign finance restrictions.
A NO vote on this measure means: There would be no change to existing laws regulating the ability of unions and corporations to use money deducted from an employee’s paycheck for political purposes. Unions, corporations, and government contractors would continue to be subject to existing campaign finance laws.

ARGUMENTS
PRO Prop. 32 CUTS THE MONEY TIE BETWEEN SPECIAL INTERESTS AND POLITICIANS to the full extent constitutionally allowed. Bans contributions from corporations AND unions to politicians. Prohibits contributions from government contractors. Stops payroll withholding for politics, making ALL contributions voluntary. NO LOOPHOLES, NO EXEMPTIONS. Vote YES to clean up Sacramento. CON Prop 32 isn’t reform—it exempts business Super PACs and thousands of big businesses from its provisions, at the same time applying restrictions on working people and their unions. It’s unfair, unbalanced, and won’t take money out of politics. The League of Women Voters urges a No vote!
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 33
AUTO INSURANCE COMPANIES.
PRICES BASED ON DRIVER’S HISTORY OF INSURANCE COVERAGE. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Changes current law to allow insurance companies to set prices based on whether the driver previously carried auto insurance with any insurance company. Allows proportional discount for drivers with some prior coverage. Allows increased cost for drivers without history of continuous coverage. Fiscal Impact: Probably no significant fiscal effect on state insurance premium tax revenues.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: Insurance companies could offer new customers a discount on automobile insurance premiums based on the number of years in the previous five years that the customer was insured.
A NO vote on this measure means: Insurers could continue to provide discounts to their long-term automobile insurance customers, but would continue to be prohibited from providing a discount to new customers switching from other insurers.

ARGUMENTS
PRO Californians with car insurance earn a discount for following the law. But if you switch companies you lose the discount. Proposition 33 allows you the freedom to change insurance companies and keep your discount. Proposition 33 makes insurance companies compete, helps lower rates, and will insure more drivers.
CON Proposition 33 is another deceptive insurance company trick. Insurance companies spent millions to pass a similar law in 2010—voters defeated it. Proposition 33 allows auto insurers to raise premiums on responsible drivers up to $1,000, unfairly punishing people who stopped driving for legitimate reasons. Consumer advocates OPPOSE Prop. 33.
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 34
DEATH PENALTY.
INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Repeals death penalty and replaces it with life imprisonment without possibility of parole. Applies retroactively to existing death sentences. Directs $100 million to law enforcement agencies for investigations of homicide and rape cases. Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state and county criminal justice savings of about $130 million annually within a few years, which could vary by tens of millions of dollars. One-time state costs of $100 million for local law enforcement grants.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
YES A YES vote on this measure means: No offenders could be sentenced to death under state law. Offenders who are currently under a sentence of death would be resentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The state would provide a total of $100 million in grants to local law enforcement agencies over the next four years.
A NO vote on this measure means: Certain offenders convicted for murder could continue to be sentenced to death. The status of offenders currently under a sentence of death would not change. The state would not be required to provide local law enforcement agencies with additional grant funding.

ARGUMENTS
PRO 34 guarantees we never execute an innocent person by replacing California’s broken death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. It makes killers work and pay court-ordered restitution to victims. 34 saves wasted tax dollars and directs $100 million to law enforcement to solve rapes and murders.
CON California is broke. Prop. 34 costs taxpayers $100 million over four years and many millions more, long term. Taxpayers would pay at least $50,000 annually, giving lifetime healthcare/housing to killers who tortured, raped, and murdered children, cops, mothers, and fathers. DA’s, Sheriffs and Police Chiefs say Vote No.
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 35
HUMAN TRAFFICKING. PENALTIES.
INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Increases prison sentences and fines for human trafficking convictions. Requires convicted human traffickers to register as sex offenders. Requires registered sex offenders to disclose Internet activities and identities. Fiscal Impact: Costs of a few million dollars annually to state and local governments for addressing human trafficking offenses. Potential increased annual fine revenue of a similar amount, dedicated primarily for human trafficking victims.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: Longer prison sentences and larger fines for committing human trafficking crimes.
A NO vote on this measure means: Existing criminal penalties for human trafficking would stay in effect.

ARGUMENTS
PRO YES on 35—
STOP HUMAN TRAFFICKING. PREVENT THE SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN. Traffickers force women and children to sell their bodies on the streets and online. Prop. 35 fights back, with tougher sentencing, help for victims, protections for children online. Trafficking survivors; children’s and victims’ advocates urge: YES on 35.
CON Proposition 35 actually threatens many innocent people “My son, who served our country in the military and now attends college, could be labeled a human trafficker and have to register as a sex offender if I support him with money I earn providing erotic services.”—Maxine Doogan
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 36
THREE STRIKES LAW.
REPEAT FELONY OFFENDERS. PENALTIES.
INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Revises law to impose life sentence only when new felony conviction is serious or violent. May authorize re-sentencing if third strike conviction was not serious or violent. Fiscal Impact: Ongoing state correctional savings of around $70 million annually, with even greater savings (up to $90 million) over the next couple of decades. These savings could vary significantly depending on future state actions.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: Some criminal offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who commit certain nonserious, non-violent felonies would be sentenced to shorter terms in state prison. In addition, some offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who are currently serving life sentences for many nonserious, non-violent felony convictions could be resentenced to shorter prison terms.
A NO vote on this measure means: Offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who commit any new felony could continue to receive life sentences. In addition, offenders with two prior serious or violent felony convictions who are currently serving life sentences for nonserious, non-violent felonies would continue to serve the remainder of their life sentences.

ARGUMENTS
PRO Restores the original intent of the Three Strikes law by focusing on violent criminals. Repeat offenders of serious or violent crimes get life in prison. Nonviolent offenders get twice the ordinary prison sentence. Saves over $100,000,000 annually and ensures rapists, murderers, and other dangerous criminals stay in prison for life.
CON Proposition 36 will release dangerous criminals from prison who were sentenced to life terms because of their long criminal history. The initiative is so flawed some of these felons will be released without any supervision! Join California’s Sheriffs, Police, Prosecutors, and crime victims groups in voting No on Proposition 36.
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 37
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS.
LABELING. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Requires labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways. Prohibits marketing such food, or other processed food, as “natural.” Provides exemptions. Fiscal Impact: Increased annual state costs from a few hundred thousand dollars to over $1 million to regulate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. Additional, but likely not significant, governmental costs to address violations under the measure.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: Genetically engineered foods sold in California would have to be specifically labeled as being genetically engineered.
A NO vote on this measure means: Genetically engineered foods sold in California would continue not to have specific labeling requirements.

ARGUMENTS
PRO Proposition 37 gives us the right to know what is in the food we eat and feed to our families. It simply requires labeling of food produced using genetic engineering, so we can choose whether to buy those products or not. We have a right to know.
CON Prop. 37 is a deceptive, deeply flawed food labeling scheme, full of special-interest exemptions and loopholes. Prop. 37 would: create new government bureaucracy costing taxpayers millions, authorize expensive shakedown lawsuits against farmers and small businesses, and increase family grocery bills by hundreds of dollars per year.
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 38
TAX TO FUND EDUCATION AND EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS.
INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Increases taxes on earnings using sliding scale, for twelve years. Revenues go to K–12 schools and early childhood programs, and for four years to repaying state debt. Fiscal Impact: Increased state tax revenues for 12 years—roughly $10 billion annually in initial years, tending to grow over time. Funds used for schools, child care, and preschool, as well as providing savings on state debt payments.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: State personal income tax rates would increase for 12 years. The additional revenues would be used for schools, child care, preschool, and state debt payments.
A NO vote on this measure means: State personal income tax rates would remain at their current levels. No additional funding would be available for schools, child care, preschool, and state debt payments.

ARGUMENTS
PRO 38 makes schools a priority again. It guarantees new funding per pupil direct to every local public school site to restore budget cuts and improve educational results. 38 prohibits Sacramento politicians from touching the money. Spending decisions are made locally with community input and strong accountability requirements, including independent audits.
CON No on 38: If you earn $17,346 per year in taxable income, your taxes increase. Total of $120 BILLION in higher taxes. No requirements to improve student performance. Can’t be changed for 12 years even for fraud. Damages small business. Kills jobs. Educators, taxpayers and businesses say No on 38.
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 39
TAX TREATMENT FOR MULTISTATE BUSINESSES.
CLEAN ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY FUNDING.
INITIATIVE STATUTE.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
Requires multistate businesses to pay income taxes based on percentage of their sales in California. Dedicates revenues for five years to clean/efficient energy projects. Fiscal Impact: Increased state revenues of $1 billion annually, with half of the revenues over the next five years spent on energy efficiency projects. Of the remaining revenues, a significant portion likely would be spent on schools.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: Multistate businesses would no longer be able to choose the method for determining their state taxable income that is most advantageous for them. Some multistate businesses would have to pay more corporate income taxes due to this change. About half of this increased tax revenue over the next five years would be used to support energy efficiency and alternative energy projects.
A NO vote on this measure means: Most multistate businesses would continue to be able to choose one of two methods to determine their California taxable income.

ARGUMENTS
PRO Yes on 39 CLOSES UNFAIR TAX LOOPHOLE letting OUT-OF-STATE CORPORATIONS avoid taxes by keeping jobs out of California. Closing the loophole protects local jobs and provides $1 BILLION to California. Funds used for job-creating energy efficiency projects at schools and for deficit reduction. YES on 39—CLOSE THE LOOPHOLE.
CON Proposition 39 is a massive $1 billion tax increase on California job creators that employ tens of thousands of middle class workers. It’s a recipe for waste and corruption, giving Sacramento politicians a blank check to spend billions without real accountability. California is billions in debt; 39 makes it worse.
Back to Voting Summary

PROP 40
REDISTRICTING. STATE SENATE DISTRICTS.
REFERENDUM.

SUMMARY Put on the Ballot by Petition Signatures
A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, new State Senate districts drawn by the Citizens Redistricting Commission. If rejected, districts will be adjusted by officials supervised by the California Supreme Court. Fiscal Impact: Approving the referendum would have no fiscal impact on the state and local governments. Rejecting the referendum would result in a one-time cost of about $1 million to the state and counties.

WHAT YOUR VOTE MEANS
A YES vote on this measure means: The state Senate district boundaries certified by the Citizens Redistricting Commission would continue to be used.
A NO vote on this measure means: The California Supreme Court would appoint special masters to determine new state Senate district boundaries.

ARGUMENTS
PRO Yes on 40 protects the State Senate maps drawn by the voter-approved Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. Yes on 40 upholds the will of California voters to hold politicians accountable by keeping them out of the redistricting process. Good government groups, seniors, businesses and taxpayers recommend “Yes on 40.”
CON As sponsors of Proposition 40, our intention was to overturn the commission’s State Senate districts for 2012. However, due to the State Supreme Court’s ruling that kept these districts in place for 2012, we have suspended our campaign and no longer seek a NO vote.
Back to Voting Summary

Ask Wayne W. Williams the Clerk and Recorder of El Paso County how this Happens (and he will answer)

09.23.12

Wayne W. Williams is the Clerk and Recorder of El Paso County, Colorado.

His employee was at a grocery store looking to register voters who would support Romney. You can contact Wayne W. Williams by phone at 719.520.6202 or via email at waynewilliams@elpasoco.com. I have an email into him and I’m very curious how he views this.

EDIT: Here’s the email I got from Wayne W. Williams

She is not our employee. Thanks for contacting us.

Please see our posted comments to the video:

Both parties can and do prescreen, but all completed voter registrations must be delivered to the Clerk & Recorder, which likely is why she said she was working for the office. Wayne W. Williams, El Paso County Clerk & Recorder

waynewwilliams<http://www.youtube.com/user/waynewwilliams>

*

Just to set the record straight, neither this young lady nor any of the individuals involved in the Obama and Romney voter registration drives work for the Clerk & Recorder. Wayne W. Williams, El Paso County Clerk & Recorder.

waynewwilliams<http://www.youtube.com/user/waynewwilliams>

We have asked the poster of the video to remove the inaccuracies but she has declined.

Wayne Williams

JG:

Okay I understand that but the young lady on the video says she works for you. Are folks who register voters obligated to register everyone? Is there some level of training involved? Is she being paid by the Romney campaign? Is this an abuse of privilege or something that both parties do?

Thanks so much for your forthright answers.

WWW (kinda awesome initials if you ask me):

You’re welcome.

I believe that she was flustered and only remembered that it must be turned in to our office.

In Colorado, a VRD (voter registration drive) must turn in every form that they receive back.  They can choose, however, to whom they give a form.  Both parties engage in prescreening in various forms.

Training is required.  I don’t know who is paying her; other than I do know it is not the County.

Wayne

 

EDIT (8:19 pm)

A press release is sent out

 

El Paso County Clerk Responds to YouTube Video

September 23, 2012—Colorado Springs, CO–Yesterday a YouTube video was posted in which an individual claimed to be registering voters on behalf of the El Paso County Clerk & Recorder’s Office. In this video the young lady also stated she was working to register voters that were likely to vote for the candidate she supported. The young lady in this video is not an employee of the Clerk & Recorder’s Office and her statements regarding working for the County Clerk’s Office are inaccurate.

The El Paso County Clerk & Recorder’s Office does not conduct partisan voter registration drives and it is not affiliated with any partisan voter registration drive. All registration forms obtained by such voter registration drives, however, must be submitted to the Clerk & Recorder, which may be why the young lady made the error.

“The statement made in this video is both unfortunate and inaccurate. My office does not and will not engage in partisan voter registration. It is the duty of the Clerk’s office to ensure that elections are conducted in a fair and honest manner, this includes allowing any one to register to vote regardless of their political party affiliation,” said Clerk & Recorder Wayne Williams.

Our office has reached out to the campaign involved and requested that they clarify this information with their volunteers. They have responded and have clarified the matter to their volunteers to avoid this happening again in the future. We also have asked the poster of the video to remove the inaccurate assertion that the individual is an El Paso County employee, but she has refused to do so.

“We want to remind everyone who is legally eligible to register to vote by the October 9th deadline. The best and easiest way to register is online at GoVoteColorado.com. Registering online ensures your registration is accurate and received by the deadline,” said Williams.

Raising Free Thinkers

09.7.12

Last night we sat at the dinner table and talked about politics. It was a different kind of discussion because Jane is now in the 8th grade and her homework this was to watch the president accept the Democratic nomination. She said she couldn’t watch with us talking because she had to be impartial (apparently when we scream at the TV it’s distracting).

Mr. G asked the kids if they were Democrats or Republicans and they looked confused. Jane quickly said she was a Democrat and Alexander looked at me and asked me what I am. I explained that I’m a registered Republican but that the party has shifted of late and I don’t really identify with them anymore. I told them how awful it was to not be able to vote for McCain because when he chose Palin as a running mate he picked one of the few people on the Earth that made it dangerous to be a woman in America.

Then my husband took a turn that I hadn’t expected (and when he surprises me in parenting it is always a delight). He told the kids that they aren’t allowed to ask us how to vote. He told them that they aren’t allowed to choose a party and vote with it and that they are obligated to follow their own moral compass and vote for what’s right. He said they aren’t allowed to say they’ll vote for anyone or anything without explaining why and then went on to ask the kids why they’d vote for Obama and the answers were interesting because both kids would but for very different reasons. They’re allowed to tell us how we should vote but we will never do the same for them.

As is often the case with Mr. G I just sit at the table and watch him with his kids and I’m struck dumb. They are the luckiest two kids in the world to have a father who would rather listen to them than lecture.

I was sitting and listening to my kids talk about the Dream Act, Lily Ledbetter and four million private sector jobs and falling in love with my husband all over again. He wants to raise free thinkers.

Oh, except they’re only allowed to like the Yankees, Giants and Rangers. No free thinking there… sports aren’t a democracy, they’re a mandate.