Absentee voting in CA: No on Prop 98, Yes on Prop 99

May 13, 2008

My shiny new absentee ballot arrived from the Alameda County Registrar of Voters yesterday and I can’t wait to dig into some of this June 3rd primary candidates and ballot measure issues. In the process, I’ll try to write short posts on some of my endorsements.

While there’s a lot to talk about on this ballot, I’m gong to start with the low hanging fruit: Proposition 98.

Prop 98 is exactly the sort of mis-labeled and expansive anti-public interest law that makes the California proposition system so infuriating. When I learned about Prop 98, I marked my calendar to make sure I requested an absentee ballot in time to vote it down. Now that the ballot has arrived, my first move is a gleeful “no” vote on Prop 98.

You can read a critique of Prop 98 from the editors of the SF Chronicle or the LA Times editors or Governor Schwarzenegger or the Calitics Editorial Board. No matter how you slice it, the only people that seem to support this thing are wealthy, Republican real estate moguls and that should tell us something about the scope of the law.

Both 98 and 99 address the potential threat of public domain laws against private homeowners. Prop 98 does so in a disingenuous and needlessly anti-poor way. Schwarzenegger also argues that Prop 98 also needlessly restricts the ability of the state to handle construction projects in a cost-efficient way. In either case, Prop 99 is more circumscribed and carefully targeted legislation.

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