I usually don’t talk politics. Period. On this blog or elsewhere. I was brought up to believe it’s not polite conversation and keeping one’s opinions to oneself generally prevents drama and is therefore a good idea. But whatever. It’s a big election year and it’s time to get out and vote or mail in your ballot like I do (I really love permanent vote by mail ballot).
So here’s my agenda, if you will. So you know up front which way I swing. I consider myself an independent. I really do try to look at the issues and candidates based on their merits, pros, and cons and weigh those against my personal belief system. I am pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. I voted for Bush, twice. I never voted for Clinton because I think he’s a slime ball. I voted for Obama and am voting for him again. Frankly, I don’t trust Romney, he changes his position too often for my taste. I like to know where someone stands before I vote for them. That’s my opinion.
That being said, what I really wanted to talk about were some of the more interesting measures on the ballot.
The Grand Canyon
I’m sad I don’t live in Arizona. Apparently they’re deciding if the state of Arizona owns the whole Grand Canyon or if it’s government land (which it is currently considered). Seems to me if that one passes there are going to be some legal battles with the government.
There are some interesting measures in California this year, that I do get to vote on, and that I’ll be watching to see the outcome as much as the presidential race.
1. Education Taxes #30
This one would tax high earning families and increases the sales tax to fund schools. Supposedly, it will be audited every year and the money will help stop cuts in public education across the state. The cuts have been very deep and we feel them at Sammy’s level where there is no money for art, PE classes, and teaching assistants. They have also increased furlough days to 10 this year. Rumor is if prop 30 doesn’t pass, there will be an additional 15 furlough days next year for LAUSD. That’s right, additional, so 25 total days off school because they can’t afford to have the schools open those days. That’s a whole month. Crazy.
Not to mention cuts at the university level and continued ridiculous tuition hikes. At the current rate of tuition, I would have seriously considered not going to veterinary school. It’s almost financially irresponsible to take on that much debt in a profession that doesn’t pay well or offer good opportunity for future growth. And there would be no advantage to being an in-state resident versus out-of-state somewhere else. I very likely would have gone to a less expensive out-of-state school, driving more money out of California.
2. Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction #32
Right now, unions, very specifically the teacher’s union, can use payroll deduction fees for political contributions. That doesn’t seem very fair to me. First, I believe it’s pre-tax dollars, that seems like cheating to me. Second, just because you belongs to a union, doesn’t mean you want your money used to support a cause or candidate you don’t believe in. It also prohibits union and corporate contributions to candidates and their committees. I think that seems like a good idea to start getting the power back to the people and away from special interest groups.
3. Death Penalty #34
This would repeal the death penalty in California. I say it’s about time. I don’t believe in state sanctioned murder, and I don’t believe the death penalty prevents any crimes. People who commit heinous crimes probably aren’t thinking about the death penalty when they’re in the middle of their crime. Plus, with all the appeals and legal run around, the death penalty just costs a lot of money. In this country, we look badly upon other countries when we hear about executions via stoning or firing squad. Our death penalty isn’t any better just because we do it in a less gruesome way.
4. GMO foods #37
This would require all foods to be labeled that they contain genetically modified organisms when sold in California. I’m all for this one and would choose non-GMO foods given the choice. It will be very interesting if it passes. Companies like General Mills would have to label their Cheerios boxes in California if they contain GMOs. Would they have two boxes? One for California and one for the rest of the country? Would they produce non-GMO food only for California? If they did, how would that fly with the rest of the country. This measure, if it passes, could mean big changes for the way food is labeled and produced in this country. Definitely one I’ll be watching.
Then there’s my very favorite initiative. You only get to vote on this one if you’re in Los Angeles county. Sorry, rest of California.
Measure B- The Porn Bill
It would require porn actors to use condoms. Really? We have to legislate this? They don’t already do that? Shame on them if they don’t. Shame on any “performers” who don’t. Probably if your job is to have sex with multiple partners, you should use a condom and possibly consider bathing in bleach once in a while.
I thought this was an obvious vote, but then my husband pointed out that the porn industry doesn’t want this. Why? Because it will cost them more money and they just might up and leave California and go somewhere where they don’t require them to use condoms. That’s a lot of revenue for California. Just goes to show, there are always two sides to every issue.
Where do you stand on the issues? Any measures in your state that are interesting (or funny, although I don’t think you can beat the porn bill). Wherever you stand, get out and vote November 6th. Make your voice heard.