The Coastal Post - November, 1999

The Coastal Post's Quick And Dirty Election Recommendations

By Don Deane, Editor-Publisher

There are a lot of places to make a mark on your November ballot, we'll try to be short, sweet and biased in the best traditions of a free press. Criteria? Vote down stupid, costly, ineffective, unnecessary or dangerous candidates and propositions. No recommendations are made on candidates or measures for which there is insufficient information, inadequate research, or general confusion by the Coastal Post. We'll start closest to home.

RECOMMENDATION ON THE BOLINAS-STINSON SCHOOL ASSESSMENT FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS: NONE. The district just passed an increased override tax in April. A funding crisis with the county which contributed to the need for the proposed second override this year has been extinguished. The district's expenditures per student are on the low end of the spectrum. There has been virtually no information put out on this tax proposal by the district. There is no organized citizens group. Could the district use the money? Sure. Could it tighten up on spending? Probably.

NO on MEASURE A. TRANSPORTATION AND LAND USE ADVISORY MEASURE. This measure advises the Marin County Board of Supervisors to spend $300 million dollars generated by a half-cent General Sales Tax Measure (Measure B) on transportation improvements and open space acquisition. It is not binding that the $300 million be spent on transportation improvements and open space acquisition. This advisory measure is clearly designed to circumvent the law requiring 2/3 voter approval for new taxes, AND commissioned studies show that Marin County traffic congestion will not be reduced one iota by the proposals in the measure.

NO on MEASURE B. A HALF-CENT GENERAL SALES TAX FOR 20 YEARS. This Measure authorizes the Marin County Board of Supervisors to enact a half-cent retail transaction and use tax (sales tax) for general countywide purposes. The $300 million it will generate can be used by the County for any legal governmental purpose without restriction. It's hooked to the to Measure A only in an advisory sense. Three-hundred-million dollars will not reduce traffic congestion one bit according to transportation studies.

VOTE FOR DEL SANTO, ARNSTEIN AND SIEGEL FOR MARIN HEALTHCARE DISTRICT DIRECTORS. These candidates-Bernard L. Del Santo, Lawrence Arnstein, and Sylvia Siegel-are committed to returning control and possession of Marin General Hospital to the people of Marin County and out of the hands of the monolithic Sutter Healthcare Corporation which siphons money from the hospital to the Sacramento corporation.

VOTE FOR SUSAN STOMPE FOR FIFTH DISTRICT SUPERVISOR. A seasoned conservationist would be a strong addition to the present composition of the Board of Supervisors. Novato has had unprecedented growth thanks in part to Cynthia Murray. More wheelers, dealers, movers and shakers is NOT what the board needs.

VOTE FOR KERRY MAZZONI FOR STATE ASSEMBLY. The Assemblywoman has a strong record and is hard-working in being responsive to her constituents. She has earned another two years.

NO RECOMMENDATION FOR THE CONGRESSIONAL 6TH DISTRICT. Incumbent Lynn Woolsey blew it on the Pt. Reyes National Seashore Protection Act, not keeping her promises to ranchers, a majority of which don't want to be included in the park. But don't vote for a Republican, their Congress is and has been an abomination.

BARBARA BOXER FOR US SENATE. Look at her Republican opponent's running partners and his conservative-reactionary views. Look at the do nothing Republican Congress trying to have the President for lunch. Boxer is aggressive, effective and local, and votes on the left side of right most of the time.

GRAY DAVIS FOR GOVERNOR. Have your read Attorney General Lungren's columns in the Coastal Post. He has nothing but conservative orangutanish views and positions from drugs to the environment. Enough said. Vote for Davis.

NO on PROPOSITION 1: PROPERTY TAXES: CONTAMINATED PROPERTY LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. This is an area-specific tax relief measure for a small number of homes which (without knowledge) were built on a site contaminated with toxics in Southern California. There's got to be another way besides a constitutional amendment. But the homes were destroyed in the cleanup and the homeowners have lost their Prop. 13 property tax advantage.

YES on PROPOSITION 1A: SCHOOL BONDS FOR REPAIR AND NEW CONSTRUCTION OF SCHOOLS. It seems nuts that ten to fifteen years ago schools were being closed and sold off because of plummeting enrollment. Now with enrollment increasing, $9.2 billion is needed for repairs and new construction. It's needed and half would have been spent anyway if the closed school had remained in operation.

YES on PROPOSITION 2: TRANSPORTATION FUNDING. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. This law requires loans of transportation taxes and revenues to California's General Fund be repaid the same fiscal year or within three fiscal years in a Governor-declared emergency; allows loans to local entities with interest and repayment within four years; designates local transportation funds as trust funds and prohibits abolition of such funds; Restricts allocations of transportation funds only to purposes related to local transportation. In a nutshell, this law would restrict the Governor and Legislature from playing around with designated transportation funds and taxes for other purposes such as prisons, education and social services.

NO on PROPOSITION 3: PARTISAN PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY ELECTIONS: This would return the California Primary elections for President to partisan rather than open, to conform with national Republican and Democratic Party bylaws. Voters could not cross party lines to vote for the Presidential candidate of their choice in primaries. Political party leaders warn California's votes wouldn't count if the primary elections don't conform to their rules. What's wagging this dog?

NO on PROPOSITION 4: TRAPPING PRACTICES, BANS USE OF SPECIFIED TRAPS AND ANIMAL POISONS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. The proposed law is completely confusing as are the arguments in favor and against. If it's confusing, it's losing.

YES on PROPOSITION 5: TRIBAL-STATE GAMING COMPACTS. TRIBAL CASINOS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. This law would pretty much formalize the status quo in California for Indian reservation gambling. It's a boon for the tribes which overwhelmingly support the proposition. Governor Wilson has mucked around enough on this issue. The opponents are funded and driven by Nevada gambling interests.

YES on PROPOSITION 6: CRIMINAL LAW. PROHIBITION ON SLAUGHTER OF HORSES AND SALE OF HORSEMEAT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. INITIATIVE STATUTE. This one is a little weird, but if it keeps California horses from becoming part of a growing horsemeat market for foreign consumers. Put dogs in the place of horses and you get the point.

YES on PROPOSITION 7: AIR QUALITY IMPROVEMENT. TAX CREDITS. INITIATIVE STATUTE. The arguments against are filled with weasel words that confuse the reader. It is incentive based pollution reduction through tax credits concerning dirty old trucks and buses, and open burning of agricultural waste.

NO on PROPOSITION 8: PUBLIC SCHOOLS. PERMANENT CLASS SIZE REDUCTION. PARENT-TEACHER COUNCILS. TEACHER CREDENTIALING...etc. This is a nasty measure designed to look beatific. It would create a whole new, expensive and redundant bureaucratic level of government, create an Governor-appointed educational Tzar who would serve for ten years; undercut existing elected school boards and parent groups; and take money away from the classroom. Gov. Wilson and Attorney General Lungren are the parents of this mess. It stinks.

YES on ELECTRIC UTILITIES. ASSESSMENTS. BONDS. INITIATIVE STATUE. The analysis by the Legislative Analyst makes a yes vote recommendation possible. The arguments for and against are confusing. The bottom line is it would save money for consumers of utility services: require utility companies to pay for the debacle of nuclear power plants, require up to a 20 percent rate reduction, and prohibit utility companies from charging rate payers for "rate reduction bonds."

NO on PROPOSITION 10: STATE AND COUNTY EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS. ADDITIONAL TOBACCO SURTAX...etc. Here's a proposition that raises hundreds of millions in tax revenue from the sale of tobacco and tobacco-related products, and creates a huge new state bureaucracy to spend money on programs that have nothing to do with tobacco-related health issues. It's a sin tax. If you choose to smoke the government is really going to make you pay. I smoke.

NO on PROPOSITION 11: LOCAL SALES AND USE TAXES. REVENUE SHARING. LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. Local governmental entities can already enter into agreements to share local sales and use taxes is already possible under existing law. It requires the voters in the districts, cities or counties to vote for the "sharing agreement." Prop. 11 would take the voter out of the mix and require two thirds of the board or council to approve the revenue sharing agreement. Leave it with the resident voters of the district.

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