As of June 2, there are 14 propositions that have already qualified for the ballot; another 28 are currently circulating in your neighborhoods trying to get enough signatures to qualify; and four pending in the Attorney Generals office. If these propositions were to all be placed on the ballot this year that would come to 46 propositions we would be expected to learn in detail and cast a vote for in November. This will make it difficult for us as voters to vote intelligently which is what the initiators are banking on.
For your information this direct initiative process, which enables voters to bypass the Legislature and have an issue of concern put directly on the ballot for voter approval or rejection, can be good and bad. To have this number of propositions to consider is bad because it is impossible to become knowledgeable on that many key issues.
Some of the issues that have already qualified are: primary elections having voters vote for any political party candidate. (Democrats vote for Republicans or the other way around). This way the other party can select who will represent your views. Or the Mental Health Services Expansion and Funding Proposition starts out at $250 million in 2004 and concludes at $700 million in year 2007 without having to come back to the voters regardless to the level of service.
Another is Limitation on Enforcement of Unfair Business Competition. This will limit individuals right to sue by allowing private enforcement only if that individual has been actually injured by or suffered financial /property loss because of an unfair business practice. Others are dealing with Local Government Funds and Revenues of State Mandated Programs, Three Strike Law, Emergency Medical Services with Telephone Surcharges, Renegotiation of Tribal Gaming Compact, DNA Collection Samples and Funding, Stem Cell Research Funding, and another that wants to overturn the Amendments to Health Care Coverage.
All of these are very important issues with us as the tax payers having to foot the bill and not being sure who will benefit .
The poor neighborhoods are the ones who are asked to sign these petitions by the wealthy who have the money to pay workers to stand in front of food markets and shopping malls and run you down for your signature. Then the wealthy will pay high powered public relations firms to put a personality to the issue for your taste bud to vote yea or nay. Then after you vote you will blame the elected official for something he/she had nothing to do with. Then the process starts all over again when in reality we are to blame for signing the petition in the first place.
Some of the other petitions circulating in your neighborhood trying to qualify are: Funding for K-12 Education; State Teachers Retirement; Legalized Casino-Type Gambling; Disclosure of Social Security Numbers; School Vouchers; Personal Income Taxes; Political Redistricting; Workers Compensation; Legislative Voting Records; Disclosure of Consumer Confidential Information; School Holidays; What constitutes a Legal Marriage; Right to Keep and Bear Arms and several others with variations of some just mentioned.
Part of my point in bringing this to our attention is the legislature has lost their backbone in even discussing these issues while in session; the lobbyist have become more astute than our state elected officials, our communities are easily fooled into believing the fast talking petition signers, the money grabbing special interest have found a legal way to rob the taxpayer without going to jail and the list goes on and on. This in my opinion is not the way to run or govern a state because no one can be held accountable for our mistakes.
To find out more information before you get your ballot in the mail go to www.caag.state.ca.us/initiatives/activeindex.htm or www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections-j.htm and become knowledgeable. It is not easy reading but it is very important to protect your rights and your pocket-book.
I will do everything in my reach to gather as much material on these issues as possible and keep you informed as the months go by. In the meantime make sure you are registered to vote and that your friends and neighbors are too.
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