Plebiscite Time Is Fun Time

The Alameda County Registrar has finally deigned to process my new residency, so I have a question for the lawyers in the audience: I know it’s legal to run around naked in your own home, but does that still apply if your home is also a polling place? Or should I vote in underwear and bunny slippers?

Update: Oh, for love of crikey – what part of “approval of all abortions by the relevant Regional Air Quality Management Board” do you people not understand? These remarks are, variously, allusions to recurring political tropes, hopelessly cryptic comments on the broader role of ballot initiatives in California political culture, exaggerated caricatures of my actual opinions, and total nonsense. I’m certainly not out to convince anybody here, I was merely hoping to entertain.

But, the votes given are the ones I intend to cast. If you’d like to have serious arguments in the comments, that could be fun too; I’m particularly open to discussion about propositions 77-80. And about bunny slippers.

Prop. 73: Abortion Notification for Minors

This is hideously awful public policy. It’s also completely banal and derivative; I don’t know how many other states nearly-identical legislation has been proposed in, but it’s more than zero, for sure. Ballot initiatives are supposed to represent the unique personality of the California electorate – let’s not be afraid to let our inner soul shine through! Maybe we could require notification of a minor’s favorite tree spirit, or approval of all abortions by the relevant Regional Air Quality Management Board, or something.

Rating: F for plagiarism
My vote: No, no, no, a thousand times no!

Prop. 74: Fucking with Teacher Tenure

There once was a teacher from Glucked
Who … oh, never mind.

Rating: B-
My vote: No

Prop. 75: A Trojan Pony for Unions

I own little dribs and drabs of nearly every large corporation in the US (yay index funds!). The officers of these corporations are fully empowered to further my financial interests in whatever way they deem best, up to and including attempts to influence the political process with savvy lobbyists and judiciously distributed campaign contributions. I’d rather have this money back as extra dividends, but no – even though it’s my money, I don’t get to micromanage its use. Why should public employee unionmembers get a nice pony when corporate shareholders and private unionmembers don’t? I want a pony!

It’s kind of weird that public employees affiliated with AFSCME would be affected by this, while public employees affiliated with the UAW would not be.

Rating: A- – fiendishly clever, but it should promise all Californians a pony, not just public employee unions.
My vote: No

Prop. 76: Fiscal Strangling and Autocratic Governator Initiative

Another proposition crafted in the ancient tradition of California budgetary nawa shibari. Until they start tying up the budget (or the legislature) with actual ropes, instead of metaphorical legal ropes, I’m against it.

Rating: C
My vote: No

Prop. 77: Redistricting

I’m guessing, from the responses of those who’re more attuned than I to the universal vibrations of realistic political calculation, that if this measure passes it will cause severe short-term harm to the Democratic Party. Some of the plan’s specifics are poorly thought-out, and a clerical error in the submission process could mean that the initiative is thrown out by the courts. Oh well.

Rating: C- – revise and resubmit for an A.
My vote: Yes

Prop. 78: Drug Benefits from Drug Companies

A mediocre rendition of the classic poison pill: if someone proposes a new law you don’t like, ask that compliance be made optional! Then congratulate yourself for being so sneaky.

Rating: C-
My vote: No, subject to the state of the polls on Monday night. If it looks like 78 might pass and 79 is totally fucked, I’ll vote yes.

Prop. 79: Drug Benefits from Well-Meaning People Who Like Absurdly Complicated and Mostly Ineffective Health Care Policies

Something something discount card something, vague language about profiteering, blah blah blah special Treasury fund.

Program administrators can remove a drug from MediCal’s “approved” list if its manufacturer refuses to sign up. Proponents argue that this provision makes the whole thing enforceable – but the law’s teeth are apparently built from the crushed-up bones of MediCal patients, who would be stuck with a lesser selection of drugs to choose from.

Rating: D-
My vote: Yes, it’s totally shitty but still better than nothing. I actually do believe in incremental reform.

Prop. 80: Electricity Re-Regulation

Yay regulation! Yay! But as always, there are devils in the details. Confusing devils.

Rating: C
My vote: Abstaining

More California bloggers’ voter guides can be found here.


  1. damnum absque injuria » Request for Voter Guides wrote:

    […] Yami […]

  2. laxpat wrote:

    What about letting parents know that their daughters are having an abortion is bad policy?

  3. yami wrote:

    Mostly the part where their daughters get the shit beat out of them because they’re too young, naive, and scared to navigate the judicial bypass system. Or because a judge thought s/he could do a better job of predicting her parents’ response than she herself could, and was wrong. And also the part where girls use coat hangers because they’re simply afraid to disappoint their parents.
    And some philosophical concerns about whether or not the government should be attempting to produce healthy families by ham-fisted mandate, but those are secondary.
    And so what if a teenage girl is able to make her reproductive choices in private? Are a parent’s hurt feelings really more important than the lives of girls like Becky Bell?

  4. Antoine wrote:

    How can you give 79 a D- and still say yes? The program is going to cause a mess with all of the lawsuits that will spin from this propositon. It is certainly not better than nothing, because these folks will not see changes for while. At least 78 is effective right away.

  5. yami wrote:

    I try to be an impartial grader.
    I’ve heard this “oh 79 will explode with lawsuits!” argument before, but I don’t understand what makes it so unusually lawsuitigenic. The legal challenges that delayed implementation of a similar program in Maine have worked their way through the courts, and they failed; Maine residents have reverted to buying their drugs in Maine and not in Canada. With that precedent in hand, I’m not sure why the inevitable lawsuits would merit a preliminary injunction against the program.

  6. Antoine wrote:

    Why should there be a delay in the program at all? The folks in Maine finally got their bill, but it was very different from what they voted for in the first place. As far as the lawsuits are concerned, 79 leaves any prescription filled by those eligiable for the program, we’re talking like 200 million, open to a lawsuit. These frivolous suits are very hard to win and can take years like you said. So what’s the point?

  7. yami wrote:

    Maine’s bill may or may not align with the original proposal in a way that the electorate would have wanted; that’s not the point. It’s still a significantly different program from what Ohio has, or what Prop 78 is offering – significantly better, IMO, because it covers more people and provides meaningful punishments for companies that don’t participate in the program. I think that’s worth a small amount of possible delay.
    The lawsuits that people would be able to file against a particular drug manufacturer are not the same as the sort of lawsuits that might delay the implementation of Prop 79. If I sue a drug manufacturer under the price gouging provisions, the program will go on while my suit is heard (or thrown out, as most truly frivolous suits are). The delays in implementation would be a result of contention about whether Prop 79’s alterations of MediCal policy can be implemented without federal approval, or at all – or at least, that’s my understanding, please correct me if I’m wrong.
    The people who would sue to block the program are the drug companies who stand to lose money from it – the same companies pushing Prop 78. I don’t want to see California just give in and allow Big Pharma to dictate our health care policy because we’re too scared of the boogeymen in lawyer suits to fight for what we really want.

  8. damnum absque injuria » If You Don’t Vote Wrong, You Have No Right to Complain wrote:

    […] Yami Monkey […]

  9. FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog » California Special Election Watch: Flap’s Voter Guide for November 8 wrote:

    […] Yami Monkey […]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *