The November 3rd Election

A number of the propositions on this ballot are there because the  legislature doesn’t legislate the tough issues, especially those likely to offend their funders. Most props are easy to figure out simply  by looking at who paid to get them on the ballot. Those in the public  interest are mostly the work of ordinary people who either collected  the qualifying signatures themselves, or collectively paid to have the  required signatures collected. But most initiatives are the work of the  self-interested organized as corporations or as syndicates of the  self-interested — doctors and landlords for instance, this time around.  As the plague rages, the economy implodes, Trump bumbles, the libs  sputter and cringe, the whole show is rapidly coming apart, with events moving  faster than the leadership — even if there was one — can cope with,  meaning that some of these initiatives are already mooted by recent events. But all  this is obvious to ava readers, as savvy and sophisticated a posse as  ever walked our dying earth, but here goes anyway:

PROP 14: STEM CELL RESEARCH. What kind of monster could possibly oppose  stem cell research? The Boonville monster, for one. The prob here is  that the feds are already spending billions on this line of inquiry so,  like, why should the State of California spend $7.3 billion on the same  science? And the Cali people behind 14 get a lot of the money and so on. NO ON 14.

PROP 15: PUBLIC ED FUNDING. Partially undoes the massive gift of public  money to corporations made possible by Prop 13 many years ago. Prop 15  would spike property taxes upwards on commercial parcels and structures,  the billions thus raised funneled to the instruction of our nation’s  future, those millions of sugar-fueled, twitter-fragged young who will  somehow have to learn enough to cope with the social/environmental chaos  they will inherit. YES ON 15.

PROP 16: DIVERSITY HIRING. Everyone should be nice, nicer, nicest. We  shouldn’t not hire someone because he showed up in make-up and a  mini-skirt for a job as a kindergarten teacher and referred to himself  as “they” during the interview. But seriously, arbitrary rejection based  on immutable human facts of race, gender and sub classifications  thereof, aren’t fair when public money is in play. Ol’ Whitey, male  division, still gets the biggest share of public money, and although Ms.  Whitey still makes less than Mr. Whitey both still do a lot better than  most black and brown people who are denied equivalent opportunity.  There’s still major unfairness in the way that public money and public  jobs are allocated. Although many of the people pushing Prop 16 are  race-baiting demagogues and stone weirdos, YES ON 16.

PROP 17: RIGHT TO VOTE. Remember when ex-cons were said to have “paid  their debt to society”? Well, society still hasn’t stamped paid on that debt, and there are millions of people out there in our highly  incarcerated land who deserve to be restored to full citizenship. YES ON  17.

PROP 18: THE VOTE FOR 17-YEAR OLDS. Only if they know front from back of  their baseball caps, pull their pants up and don’t scatter “likes” “sort  ofs” “kindas” and “dudes” in their every attempt at communication. But  what the hell, considering the choices of so-called adult  voters who’ve selected recent presidents, a few more idiots voting won’t  even be noticed. YES ON 18.

PROP 19: CHANGES SOME PROPERTY TAX RULES. Big help to non-rich people,  especially old people and the disabled and helps fund deserving public  agencies while making property taxes more fair as it punishes multi-home  celebs and kindred swine. YES ON 19.

PROP 20: PAROLE AND SENTENCING REVISIONS: This one’s a mixed bag of good  and bad reform. Allows DNA collection from persons committing certain  types of mostly misdemeanor crimes, which can be a good thing in that it  can help solve other crimes, but makes some property crimes felonies  which would expand prison populations when public sentiment is running  against more prisons. The good thing 20 does is it would tighten parole  restrictions on cho-mo’s and wife beaters, and make it harder for other  sex criminals to get paroled. Overall, more good than bad. YES ON 20.

PROP 21: LOCAL AUTHORITY TO ENACT RENT CONTROL: A wimpy measure unlikely  to be deployed by local authority of the fey Mendo type, but another  small step towards the much tougher rent control needed by millions of  rent-paying Americans as the economy crumbles and millions face eviction  because they can no longer pay to shelter themselves. The television ads make it seem as  if little old ladies renting one end of their Ukiah duplexes will lose  their only source of income, but the large majority of renters are at  the mercy of large-scale landlords like, for instance, our president.  YES ON 21.

PROP 22:  NO. Tricky prop written by Uber/Lyft/Doordash to stiff  drivers out of decent fringe benefits. A reader puts it best: "Just a few words on Prop 22 re app-based workers. The point of this measure is to re-classify app-based workers as independent contractors  and eliminate the AB 5 classification of these workers as employees who  have employee type rights. Prop 22 is sponsored by the app-based  companies like Uber. One can see that classifying app-based workers as  independent contractors makes sense in many ways. And Prop 22 does  provide some “benefits” to a sub-set of app-based workers. I have not  done a deep enough analysis of the measure compared to protections that  would come through AB 5 so I cannot say under which scheme app-based  workers are better served. But this measure is much different than  simply providing benefits for these workers." The ava recommends a NO vote anyway because we see it as a ploy by the app-titans to do an end-around true reform of worker protections. 

PROP 23: YES. KIDNEY DIALYSIS UPGRADES: This ghoulish billion dollar private  industry feasts on people who will die without it. The world’s civilized  countries include dialysis with tax-funded medical care for all their  citizens, but the world’s richest country sells the lives of its  citizens to syndicates of investors. The largest dialysis companies are  hugely profitable. They can easily afford a minor upgrade in patient  care and protection. YES ON 23.

PROP 24: CONSUMER PRIVACY LAWS. Protects us, perhaps, from the  cyber-harvesting of our personal information. But given the fiendishly  intrusive abilities of modern tech we’ll all remain subject to constant  monitoring and sales of our consumption profiles to the titans of free  enterprise. But what the hell, YES ON 24.

PROP 25: MONEY BAIL. Hugely unfair, especially to the Defendant  Community, who languish in jail for mostly low-level, non-violent  offenses because they’re poor and unable to afford bail. Opponents say  Prop 25 will require an expensive bureaucracy to keep track of the  caught and released, proponents point out county jails will be cheaper  to operate because fewer people will be held in them — a wash? Maybe.  But a long overdue reform. YES ON 25.

INDIVIDUAL POLITICAL RACES: We recommend, as usual, protest votes, meaning NO on  all Northcoast incumbents, a gaggle of undistinguished and  indistinguishable machine Democrats, and an emphatic NO on Biden  because, you Democrats will recall, Northcoast Democrats went heavily  for Bernie, the timid socialist made to seem like a Bolshevik by the  utterly corrupt DNC who, natch, chose the indefensible (and senile) Biden over even the  possibility of discombobulating their billionaire funders. Given that  California is in the bag for Democrats, a Northcoast protest vote for, say, Peace and Freedom, is not an implicit vote for the Orange Monster, but an  expression of your righteous and wholly justified outrage at the wholly  corrupt Democratic machine.

LOCAL RACES: Sigh. The Supervisors? Whoever replaces McCowen and Brown  are lateral moves because local elections tend to be issue-free and  child-like i.e., popularity contests. Besides which we’ve managed to  achieve, here in the “progressive” shangri-la of Mendocino County, a  perfect political entropy, making even the most sensible reform  impossible. The county, like the country, will soon be broke, and our  county apparatus will be totally unable to cope or even understand what is  happening. Anyone dependent on county services better hunker down, and  county employees below the administrative level, well, good luck  compadres. You’re going to need it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.