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November 01, 2005

California Voter's Guide

What a crappy crappy day i had today. i won't go into all the reasons, some were biological and others environmental. But i'm all stressed out right now. My preferred stress reliever had to work tonight, so instead i'm enjoying a glass of fine California wine.

One thing that pissed me off early, happened between classes as i was filling out my absentee ballot. An annoying guy in my class came over and sat down next to me. He obviously thought i was filling out a lotto card.

"Hey, if you win the lottery, do I get some?" he asked.

My first thought was, You couldn't get some offa me even if you won the lottery. Then it occurred to me that he was talking about the winnings.

"No this is an absentee ballot," i told him.

"Oh, are you voting no on all those propositions?" he said.

"What propositions do you mean?"

"Those ones the governator likes."

i paused for effect. "Um, no. i'm actually voting yes on them."

He looked horribly disappointed. "Really?"

"Yes really."

"i voted for him," he added. "But I don't like any of his propositions."

This type of thinking is apparently common, according to the polls. But i was amazed to have actually met someone with that kind of disconnection from reality.

"What's the point of voting for Schwarzenegger if you don't want him to change anything? That makes no sense at all. He can't do it by himself. We might as well have kept Gray Davis."

He obviously hadn't thought about that. "Um, well, it seems like some of those propositions are just 'broken promises.'"

Whoa. That was amazing. Here was a guy who had no idea what was on the ballot, yet he was able to parrot verbatim the Unions' attack ad slogan. That's how effective those anti-Schwarzenegger ads have been.

i wanted to lay into him at that point, but i figured the better solution would be to salvage something positive from an idiot, if possible.

i said, "They're not like that at all. Why don't you read the propositions and vote for the ones that sound good to you."

"Well, i suppose." He seemed open to the idea.

"Good. Promise me you'll do that," i flashed him a smile.

"I will. I promise."

Excellent. i had hopefully converted an idiot.

So here's how i voted for next Tuesday's special election, in case any of you care:

Proposition 73: This measure requires a 48 hour waiting period and parental notification for minors seeking an abortion. This is probably just a ploy to get conservatives to the polls, but i figure it might actually bring just as many pro-abortion voters out. Since i'm against abortion, i'm in favor of any restrictions, no matter how incremental. i voted YES.

Proposition 74: This is the first of the four Schwarzenegger propositions. This measure increases the amount of time a teacher must work before getting tenure. Right now they can get tenure after two years. The initiative bumps it up to five years. Sounds reasonable to me. YES.

Proposition 75: According to the Secretary of State this initiative prohibits "the use by public employee labor organizations of public employee dues or fees for political contributions except with the prior consent of individual public employees each year on a specified written form." That's a no-brainer. YES.

Proposition 76: This is the initiative that promises to make the State government "live within its means." i hope it passes, and if it does, i hope it works. YES.

Proposition 77: This measure is supposed to reform California's gerrymandered districts by taking redistricting out of the hands of the politicians and letting a panel of retired judges draw the lines. Not a perfect solution, but better than the current system, which leaves the foxes in charge of the henhouse. YES.

Proposition 78: One of two competing prescription drug discount initiatives. i voted for this one rather than 79, which is more flawed. YES.

Proposition 79: This prescription drug scheme relies on state bureaucrats to negotiate discounts, instead of the free market. But the worst thing is that it creates a whole new loophole for greedy plaintiff lawyers to file frivoulous lawsuits based on technicalities. NO.

Proposition 80: i don't know what to think about this measure, which purports to repeal California's energy deregulation. i can see arguments both ways on this one. However, i'm generally in favor of deregulation, so i voted NO.

The four Schwarzenegger supported propositions are 74, 75, 76 and 77. The polls say they're all going down. But the polls have been wrong before, and i hope at least 76 and 77 win. That could really start some changes here in California, which is a state that is much more conservative than its legislature. Though most people don't realize it.

Posted by annika, Nov. 1, 2005 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


Add to that, Boston Legal has become an anti-Iraq War skreed tonight. Deep thoughts from the Hollywood left.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 1, 2005

I guess that was you looking over my shoulder as I marked my absentee ballot last week.

Good luck to us and to Ahnold.

Too bad his wife has chosen to sit this one out; sorry about her Mom, but she should have been out there for him all the way.

Posted by: shelly on Nov. 2, 2005

Hope it works out, I would have voted exactly the same (I am not being a syncophant). I have been very surprised by Ahnold. He has proven to be a strong leader and sticks to his guns against very powerful interests. Since he cannot be president, I hope the next republican President has a place for him on the cabinate.

Posted by: Kyle N on Nov. 2, 2005

Hello Annika,

Not living in CA I don't have a vested interest in the outcome of these measures but I am curious about the reasoning behind #79 and if by extention I might demand that the fed's ask me about the choices they make with my tax contributions. I don't want any of my contributions going to the president's salary and a few other budget items as well.


If you had script control over BOston Legal would you a) never mention current political issues, b) see to it that if mentioned the issue would be viewed from both the R and L. or c) see to it that the issue was viewed from either the R or the L.?

And I'm sure you know that at the moment the prevailing sentiment in our fair country is that the occupation was a mistake but that immediate withdrawal, something your dad was a tad slow at, is too radical an approach and a time table for witdrawal should be developed.

Posted by: Strawman on Nov. 2, 2005


Posted by: Strawman on Nov. 2, 2005

Straw the taxpayer's argument you allude to has been tried before, unsuccessfully. i don't have the supreme court cite right now, but it's somewhere in my notes from last semester.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 2, 2005

Since we're talking about Arnold and elections:

It's too bad we can't preemptively vote down the potential recall election they're trying for in June. I'm not saying I think Arnold is the best governor we could have -- but for pete's sake, people, we have a regular election next November, just a few months later! What a waste of taxpayer money to have a recall. The guy should be investing his efforts in defeating Arnold at the real election. I get that there are legitimate things to criticize the guy for, but this is just ridiculous and wasteful.

Posted by: The Law Fairy on Nov. 2, 2005


I know it has been unsuccessful re: taxes. I was just wondering what the argument would be in the case of the union dues. And how it would work-apportion contributions by stated party affiliation of members?

And we all know that this measure is a Republican move to counter Union support for Dem's. This is hardly a fight about rights and free speech. Just a partisan crow masquerading as a constitutional peacock.

Posted by: strawman on Nov. 2, 2005

{Straw the taxpayer's argument you allude to has been tried before, unsuccessfully.}

Yes it was Phoney Joni Baez, another useless, stupid, left wing asshat.

Posted by: Kyle N on Nov. 2, 2005

Hey Kyle,

Only her friends called her Joni. Are you hiding a secret passion?

Posted by: strawman on Nov. 2, 2005


Don't you feel (your personal political judgement here) as though the governor may have bitten off a little too much? His polling wasn't fantastic before calling the special election and its since fallen through the floor. What's he at now, 36%? Christ, even President Bush can't help but look at a number like that and giggle. And, as you may have read, President Bush in a desperately bad place right now.

Let's for a second assume that the polling is correct and all four measures go down. That gets spun as a "referendum on Arnold", and all of a sudden, his re-election becomes a different prospect entirely. In my judgement, he might be able to survive losing two, maybe. He loses all four and I guarantee he faces a primary challenge from some Orange County lunatic, or better still, a retard like Bill Simon. And he could very well lose a contested Republican primary. Stranger things have happened than someone who is essentially a RINO getting primaried out existence.

Any political pro will tell you that you need, at minimum, a 40% approval rating 12 months before election day if you have any chance of surviving. Can you see the governor's approval going up if he loses even one initiative? While I admire the governor's almost galactic ballsiness, I can't help but question whether this is a smart political move.

There's one very real danger in all of this; Governor Fienstein. If the Senator sees Arnold get beaten by a moron, or even sufficently softened up by one in a primary, who can say that she wouldn't jump into the race and beat everyone in sight like an inbred whore?

Politics is chock full of unintended consequences.

Just sayin'.

Posted by: skippystalin on Nov. 2, 2005

It must be a living hell to be a liberal... all this imagination wrapped around hypotheticals. Life is so much easier when one simply deals with reality.

Bill Simon a retard? A onetime neophyte perhaps, but his cherry was popped long ago. No matter what, there will be no credible primary for the Governator, and all of the big time D's will cower in the general, so as not to get it Bustamanted off in their ass.

No popularity poll is worth a fuck unless there are horserace questions.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 2, 2005

i honestly believe that Schwarzenegger called the special election when he did because he truly believed it couldn't wait. Unfortunately, i think the scenario you paint is realistic. i would not be surprised at all if all four props went down. Arnold's people have made mis-step after mis-step in running these props out there, and i heard they've not been advertising as much as they needed because they haven't raised enough money. By contrast, the Unions have been plastering the airwaves with vague ad hominem attacks for about a year now. It will be seen as a referendum on Arnold's job performance, and that's too bad, because it shouldn't be. If all four props lose, the media will say it was because people didn't like Arnold. Yet if you ask the average Californian what Arnold has done wrong, you always get a nonsensical response, like i mentioned in the post. People don't like him because they've been told not to like him by an unprecedented smear campaign by the Unions, Like lemmings, these voters will follow the Unions over the cliff, and they'll take this great state with them, but they will never even stop to ask why.

Look at Prop 76, the only one that's directly aimed at controlling spending. Ask anyone why we threw Davis out, and theyll say it's because California was going bankrupt under him. Okay, so why is prop 76 polling the worst of all of them? It should be doing the best, because we NEED to control spending. Obviously the status quo is not working. But nobody thinks. Nobody questions. Its amazing to me. The public employee Unions who are paying for all these ads have a vested interest in preventing any kind of limits on state spending. But nobody thinks about that.

Bottom line, yeah, i agree with you. Arnold's probably toast no matter what. And the lesson we can all learn from this is that if you cross the Unions, you can't sit back and let them hammer you for months without fighting back. If they tell the big lie often enough, people will believe it.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 2, 2005

Arnold is the perfect example of the american dream.
Arnold for the rest of the world is a person that hardly can add up 1 plus 1 and is the David hasselhof of politics..

Posted by: Hemaworstje on Nov. 2, 2005

Hmm, looks like we're voting the same way. I knew there was a reason I like coming here.

To those who question Prop 75 and its attempt to allow union members to have some control over union spending: If it appears to be Republicans acting pissed off at union support of Democrats, well, yes. I don't think you quite comprehend the mutual ass suck that goes on between state unions and the Democrat party. I cannot think of any single instance in which a state employee union has backed a Republican or a Republican effort. Maybe it's happened, but in 32 years of voting in California, I can't recall a single time. Am I really to believe that 100% of the union membership is 100% Democrat? I think not.

Example: The state employee unions screamed bloody murder when Pete Wilson illegally raided the PERS state retirement fund. Yet those same unions aided and abetted Gray Davis when he renamed the tactic, used a different approach, and raided the fund at will.

I've been working for the state for 5+ years now. I am not a member of any state employee union. Yet the Democrat controlled legislature implemented "fair share" so that I still must pay union dues. My dues are approximately 1% less than those of an actual union member. According to the union, that's the percentage of dues that go toward political causes.

Ha! Last month my "fair share" deduction almost doubled. Why? Because the union needed more money to fight the governor's ballot propositions. Thus, by the union's own admission, the entire increase in my "fair share" is going toward political causes. (You can find all the details at the SEIU Local 1000 website, the "fight back fund.")

Prop 75 may not allow ME any say (as I said, I'm not a union member; I'd rather join a satanic cult or, worse, register Democrat), but it definitely will allow some say from actual union members who are sick and tired of seeing the aforementioned mutual suck fest.

Posted by: bob on Nov. 2, 2005

"My first thought was, You couldn't get some offa me even if you won the lottery. Then it occurred to me that he was talking about the winnings"

I guess D.H. isn't the only person with sex on the brain...

Posted by: Mark on Nov. 2, 2005

Annika we are voting exactly the same!

Posted by: Chuck on Nov. 2, 2005


Firstly, I'm no liberal. If anything, I hold liberals in even greater contempt than I do modern "conservatives." Actually, that's probably not true, I remember a time when conservatives weren't supposed to believe in fairy tales, but that time seems to have ended.

If it were up to me, the Republican Party would nominate the ghost of my great hero, Barry Goldwater. Then they might actually be what they claim to be, a conservative party. Sure, they might get crushed all over again, but at least they'd lose with some honor, knowing that they at least lost while believing in something.

Secondly, polling is an important tool to anyone who has even the slightest interest in what's happening in politics. While they're often flawed to varying degrees, they're certainly more reliable than the RNC talking points you seem to live your life by. If life is uncomfortable for me being a "liberal", I can't imagine what it's like for you, having to be Ken Mehlman's Charlie McCarthy and all.

Various scenarios are important to explore, because politics s far more about perception and spin than it is about facts and reasoned argument. This has always been true and always will be. You ignore that fact at your own peril.

Things change rapidly in politics and if you cling to a rigid ideology, those changes will leave you in the dirt. If you don't believe me, just ask Newt Gingrich. In five short years, he went from being the King of America to a twice divorced guy in his fifties, looking to start a new career. And he was shanked by his own party because he refused to change with changing circumstances. Both you and the Governor can learn much from Newt's experience. God knows that the national party will in the next three years.

Posted by: skippystalin on Nov. 3, 2005

Skippy, one clearly sees the similarities between you and ole AU-H2O. He too was a politically self-destructive inflexible ass, until the end when he just became a kook.

I have to thank you for kindly straightening me out on the efficacy of polling. Do you even KNOW what a "horserace" poll is? If not, take a seat at my knee, remain silent, and merely be thought a fool.

A horserace poll asks the question: "If the election were held today and you had the choice of voting for candidate A or B, whom would you vote for, A, B, or neither?" Then of course B changes to C, D, E, F, and the generic, "Any candidate of the other party". This is the only measure of political popularity. All others are simply priming the MSM newscycle.

All polling is methodology dependent. Most issue polls are absolute drek, and the bane of modern politics is bad polling surfacing election cycle after election cycle.

After a cursory look over at RCP, and at Ahnuld's internals, I'm heartened that his issues will go at least 3 of 4 with 76 being the weak sister. In any case, my previous comments remain unassailed.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 3, 2005

Skippy, isn't pre-election polling outlawed in Canada? except for the 1st amendment problem, i always thought that would be a good idea here.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 3, 2005


Pre-election polling is on illegal for the 5 days before election day. And actually, I disagree with that law. Generally speaking, I think voters deserve more information rather than less, regardless if they do something monumentally stupid - like vote for the winner because he's elected to win - with that information. The government curbing the flow of ANY information during a campaign is generally regarded to be a bad idea. The slippery slope argument comes to mind, but I prefer to think things like, "Who the fuck is the government (who always runs for re-election under the Parliamentary system) to decide what I should or shouldn't know?"

I guess I'm just funny that way.

On to Casca,

Yes, Casca, I'm fully aware of what a "horserace poll" is, you fucking dolt.

However, I will admit that you do have one talent I envy. You can manage to spew insults, yet still manage to ignore the basic point of every commenter who challenges your party line diatribes. Christ, how I with you had a blog with neat little archives so one can chart how your positions on virtually everything "evolve" with the White House's. For example,

1. Did you oppose the creation of the Department of Homeland Security before you agreed that it was a damn fine idea?

2. Did you oppose the creation of the 9/11 Commission before you supported it's appointment and then cite its findings in public every chance you got?

3. Did you oppose the creation of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence before you agreed that it was a damn fine idea?

4. Did you agree that "Brownie" was doing a "great job" during Katrina before supporting his firing as Director of FEMA?

5. Back in the Ninties, did you support abolishing the Department of Education before deciding in 2002 the No Child Left Behind was imperative to our children's future?

I'm willing to bet that you did, because there's a certain president of the United States who did all of the above... and I've never once heard of Charlie McCarthy telling Edgar Bergen that he's a monsterous asshole.

In that spirit, I'll let the concept of a Bush "Republican" calling someone "inflexible" slide for the time being.

Look, being an incredibly obnoixious partisan is a lot of fun. I devoted almost all of my Twenties to doing it myself. But then I learned that you can learn a lot of neat stuff and, consequently live a fuller life, through independent thinking. Maybe you'll grow into someday. Maybe not. Maybe I'm obsolete because I remember a day without the echo-chamber of political blogs.

But there is one thing that I have noticed about you. That would be that not once in our little love-ins have you pointed out where I'm factually inaccurate or even how my intrepretation might be off. Not once. In fact, you haven't even tried.

Perhaps I do come off as pompous and long winded, but that's because I actually like to think and argue from time to time. That can take a a few words to do. As much as I've been trained to write pithy litle sound bites, I prefer not to do so here. I happen to like the exchange of fully formed ideas.

So please lecture me some more about how I'm in danger of becoming a kook. It amuses me. Christ, I actually have more respect for Strawman than I do for you, if only because he at least tries to explain why he thinks like he does.

By the way, I love you too.

Posted by: skippystalin on Nov. 3, 2005

Is this guy who spoke with representative of all Californians? What a jackass.

Posted by: Mark on Nov. 3, 2005

Ugh, Canadians, lmao, like wild pigs you shit everywhere, and I feel no compulsion to restore order. I'm sure that your kinship with the other gibbering twit who frequents this site is quite close. You share that most offensive of all pseudo-intellectual traits, the love of one's own voice.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 3, 2005


Perhaps, but I have a gorgeous voice. But I think my narcissim has a lot more to do with actually having something to say. You should look into it someday.

I could also point out that your nativist outlook is a perfect expression of why Americans have been so good at making friends around the world lately, but I'm feeling generous so I won't.

Posted by: skippystalin on Nov. 3, 2005

Nations have interests, not friends. - Otto von Bismarck

May you live long enough to gain wisdom.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 3, 2005



Posted by: annika on Nov. 4, 2005

Casca, You Ignorant Slut,

Wasn't it a recent president who suggested that the United States might need just a little bit of help in, I dunno, Iraq from its friends? And aren't a lot of American "conservatives" all pissy because said friends didn't come rushing in to something that they almost universally thought was a bad idea at the time and said so in the loudest possible voice? The fact that those friends also picked up the slack in Afghanistan when the US virtually abandoned it to go Saddam hunting seems to have escaped those "conservatives."

In fact, I agree with you. A nation's first and foremost responsibility is to act in its own national interest and not because President Bush asks them ever so nicely to do the opposite. Of course, the President would have to ask nicely after the Secretary of Defense went out of his way to insult them in public.

You might be surprised to know that I was an original supporter of the war, although for reasons different from the Adinistration's. Further, I thought it was far more in the interest of both Europe, Japan and Saudi Arabia to remove Saddam than it was in the United States'. After Canadian forces were greeted with a "Welcome to Afghanistan" bombing raid by a speed-addled American pilot, you might excuse us from wanting to stay away from your planes for awhile. Besides, Canada is run by Commie, peacenik shitheads and has been for generations.

On the other hand, you seem to want to have it both ways. On one hand, "conservatives" say that "nations have interests, not friends", yet on the other you want to chastise countries that didn't see the President's dopey democracy crusade in the Middle East as being in their national interest.

Let me give you some silly ststistics that might paint my picture in slightly brighter hues. America has an Arab population of about 2%. Within the next 30 years, based on population projections, both Germany and France will be MAJORITY Muslim countries. Germany and France also happen to treat their Muslim populations like shit.

Notice how Muslim rioters have been burning Paris to the fucking ground this week? Well, that's in SPITE of the fact the fact that France wasn't bombing the shit out of the aunts and uncles back home. Imagine the reaction if France was.

See? National interest is a double-edged sword. Generally speaking, sitting on either edge tends to cut you up pretty badly in ways that might embarass you in the Emergency Room.

And to think that all started out as discussion on a few politically damaging ballot initiatives in California. We should really take the show on the road, Casca.

Posted by: skippystalin on Nov. 4, 2005

And since you started this business of quoting people with amusing accents, I have one of my own.

"I shall destroy you all." - Stewie Griffin

Posted by: skippystalin on Nov. 4, 2005

"You Ignorant Slut,"

I respectfully object to the misuse of such a phrase. This is proper usage:


If you don't like that one, this one has better audio/visual qualities:


BTW, can't we all just get along?

*runs out of room*


Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 4, 2005

Canadians should be neither seen or heard, and in this case, since I don't read their blather, they shouldn't write.

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 4, 2005