I’ve never been a big fan of ballot measures. Once the last resort for a distressed citizen to get a social ill addressed by government, they’ve now become the first weapon for special interests with money to jam all sorts of bizarro spending and borrowing into government, often with paved Road-To-Hell like results.
Living in San Francisco affords one the benefit (!) of voting on even more of these things, which more often than not are simply “advisory” measures with absolutely no power – a sort of civic primal scream against whatever a few thousand signatures wanna scream against.
In a way, it makes voting that much easier since I pretty much vote “no” on all ballot measures, especially bonds, the leading cause of budget woes, and yet, the most popular of measures. Every year there are pleas to vote for “more money” for worthy causes and the like, and yet no one ever stops and wonders where this “free money” comes from. It ain’t free – it’s borrowed money at high interest rates. If you want to know part of the reason civic budgets are always out of whack – it’s because they have tons of bond debt service to pay.
For June, I’m keeping it easy and simple. I’m voting “Yes” on A and B here in San Francisco, only because they’re trying to fix something. “A” tries to address the problem of paying teachers in one of the most expensive parts of the country in as best a way as possible under current rules, and “B” is a housekeeping measure to fix some problem with pensions and the like. Fine, I’ll vote for ’em.
As for the rest, I’m voting a nice big “NO” on all of ’em. Most of these things are either political grudges gone wild and a waste of the paper they’re printed on, or they’re things that just aren’t that trustworthy. Since I was not part of the dream team that got paid by Lennar to pass Proposition “G” (and because I’m worried a company with so many financial problems would be given a piece of Our City), I’m voting NO.
I’m also voting NO on F, because while the intentions may be honorable, the stream of “Frak You’s” I get from its supporters have convinced me they already have enough votes to win, and don’t need mine. (Odd way to win an election, kids!).
As for the infamous Props. 98/99 – a big NO on both of them too. Classic special interest big bucks buying a way onto the ballot. Unless a state ballot measure really does what it says or revolutionizes our arcane budget process in ways we honestly need, I always vote NO on all state ballot measures.
I don’t care if it’s some Worthy Cause with ads that make you cry like you’re watching a Hallmark ad or a Lifetime TV Movie, I say no! We pay a Legislature and a Governor a lot of money to pass laws – they should be doing that, instead of running around paying for lavish trips with special interest campaign dollars.
Remember, your ballot is taxpayer financed fun. If you find yourself bored with some of the more arcane races, feel free to write in names as you feel appropriate…or for more fun, bullet-vote for your favorite candidates for Democratic Central Committee! Enjoy!
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