Which props. deserve
to get props?
Posted November 4, 2005

By now you’re all pretty sick of seeing all the TV ads related to next Tuesday’s special statewide election, and chances are you’re quite confused about the propositions and who is for and against them.
Regardless of whether you think this election is necessary, the fact remains that it is a go, and if you want to be heard and not have your tax dollars wasted more than they already are, you need to vote.

Ah, but you don’t know what you’re going to vote for, do you? Don’t worry, friend. We at the Campus Times have put together the following cheat shee…er…guide showing what we think is the way all Californians should vote. But if you’re the kind of person who takes anything that doesn’t come out of your own mouth with a grain of salt, then more power to you. As for the rest of you, read on.

Proposition 73: NO

This little morsel, if passed, would amend the state constitution to mandate that a physician would have to notify the parents of a girl younger than 18 at least 48 hours before performing an abortion.

While this sounds reasonable on paper, implementing it in the real world might not be such a hot idea. Sure, many parents take such news rather calmly and would provide advice and support, but what about the ones that prefer to make their feelings known with fists, insults and other unwholesome forms of expression? Also, if a girl doesn’t want her parents to know she is or ever was with child, that may make her more likely to seek out a dangerous underground termination of her pregnancy.

Proposition 74: NO

This measure would increase the timeframe needed for a public school teacher to qualify for tenure from two years to five years. It would also allow administrators to fire teachers who receive two consecutive unsatisfactory performance evaluations without a hearing or appeals process.

There are three great reasons to vote no on this one. First, scores of new teachers decide to leave the profession within their first five years anyway. Second, increasing the tenure-earning time would probably discourage many teachers from applying for positions. Finally, and most importantly, California students aren’t struggling because of bad teachers; they’re struggling because of rotting facilities, bureaucratic logjams, booming class sizes, antique learning materials and other shortcomings that are completely unrelated to teacher quality. In other words, blaming California public schools’ mediocrity on teachers is like blaming fish for sinking the Titanic. The teachers are doing their best with what they have to work with, so why beat on them?

Proposition 75: NO

If this were to become law, public employee unions would be prohibited from using membership dues to fund political campaigns and candidates without the members’ individual consent.

What we’re about to say might seem complicated, but here it goes: If you don’t want a union spending your money on causes and people you don’t support, then don’t join the union. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that no public employee should be forced to join a union, so it’s unlikely that you would see teachers and nurses being held at gunpoint to join their respective unions. And who’s supporting 75? Why, none other than big, anti-union corporations. Basically, this proposed legislation is an unnecessary and underhanded waste of California’s time and money.

Proposition 76: NO

Proposition 76 would limit state spending to the prior year’s level plus the average revenue growth from the three previous years. It would also overturn 1988’s Proposition 98, which established a “minimum funding guarantee” for public K-12 schools, and gives the governor virtually unlimited power to reduce funding for public services such as education, health care, police and fire.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see that 76 is a big, fat bomb. Ditching the minimum school funding guarantee is guaranteed to come back and bite us in the butt sooner or later. And giving any governor a blank check for decision making power takes the very definition of democracy and throws it in a meat grinder.

Oh, and lest you right-leaning readers assume that this is all a bunch of spin cooked up by spend-happy liberals, you might be interested to know that the president of the California Republican Assembly said 76 “actually encourages tax increases.”

So let’s recap: Prop 76 would cut funding to valuable public services, give the governor absolute power over budget decision making, and possibly lead to increased taxes. Frankly, we can’t fathom why anyone would vote for this big, steaming pile of poo.

Proposition 77: NO

This little initiative to amend the constitution seems a little too tricky to be taken as serious. You see, every ten years a federal census counts the number of people living in this Golden State. Based on the numbers, the Legislature adjusts the boundaries used to elect public officials. This is what we like to call “redistricting.” In the past, the Legislature and the Governor come to agreement on the redistricting plans and when they can’t, the California Supreme Court steps in.

This initiative proposes to amend the California Constitution and alter current redistricting processes. This measure mandates that a panel of three retired unelected judges develop the redistricting plans and implement different district boundaries, all in all costing our state about $1.5 million and individual counties something near another $1 million.

We say “nay” to this initiative. Sure, redistricting is a great idea. And we need it, but not in this form. Let’s come up with a better plan for the next time around.

Proposition 78: NO

One of two proposed drug discount initiatives on the ballot, Proposition 78 is backed by major drug companies who have pulled in nearly $8 million in fundraising efforts to back this initiative. If that’s not enough to make you think something smells fishy, then consider the fact that this proposition was thrown on the ballot in order to sway voters from voting in favor of Proposition 79, 78’s archrival, which we will be getting to shortly. Not only does 78 make it so less people qualify for greater drug discounts than those that fall into the eligibility requirement under 79’s initiatives, but 78 gives drug manufacturers the safety to price drugs as they please, allowing them to further hide behind a legal loophole that allows them to engage in illegal profiteering.

Proposition 79: YES

Finally, an initiative that we support. Not only is this proposition backed by consumer and union groups but it actually appears to be something, that if passed, will improve California.

Under this proposition, a larger group of people meet eligibility requirements to obtain drug discount cards which provide major cost breaks. This initiative also has a lower application and renewal fee than Proposition 78, $10 versus 78’s $15, creates a new nine-member panel that will review drug-access and pricing, and allows people to sue drug-makers that they feel have overcharged them for medication. Now, do you understand why the drug-manufacturers scrambled to get 78 on the ballot? Because they do not want 79 to pass. Let’s stick it to ‘em.

Proposition 80: YES

This initiative basically re-regulates power. Welp, we saw how well deregulated electricity procedures worked just a few years ago, so this proposition is pretty much a no-brainer. Vote yes in favor of regulations imposed on these electric tycoons. Unless, of course, you happen to enjoy sitting in the dark.

Which props. deserve
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