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Our positions on Nov. 4’s propositions

Our View

Posted: October 18, 2008 8:54 p.m.
Updated: December 20, 2008 5:00 a.m.
Proposition 1: High Speed Rail Bonds — The first $10 billion of an eventual $45 billion or more for bullet trains — in this economy? We tried to get a stop in the Santa Clarita Valley but the bullet train people said “no.” Turnabout is fair play. We say no.

Proposition 2: Standards for Confining Farm Animals — Proponents contrast the treatment of farm animals with your treatment of your family pet. Farm animals are not pets. They are food. What happens when onerous regulations drive California’s small-family farmers out of business? Food is imported from places like Mexico to make up the difference — places where farm animals are treated even less like your family pet than California law already requires. Vote no.

Proposition 3: Children’s Hospital Bond Act — A few select hospitals in California are guaranteed a share of $1 billion in new bond money. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where Santa Clarita Valley children are transported in an emergency, is guaranteed nothing. Hundreds of millions from a voter-approved bond in 2004 remain unspent. Vote no.

Proposition 4: Waiting Period and Parental Notification — We could argue the merits of requiring parental permission before a 17-years-or-younger girl can have an abortion, but this initiative does not do that. It merely requires that parents be told. And it doesn’t necessarily do that, either. Another family member could be told if the girl is afraid of her parents, or she could go anonymously to court where an activist judge could decide to tell nobody. Parents have a right to know what’s going on in their children’s lives. This is a weak initiative, but it’s better than nothing. Vote yes.

Proposition 5: Nonviolent Drug Offenses — Don’t be fooled by the title. This initiative spends $1 billion on a wholesale restructuring of the probation and parole systems. It would grant early release to 45,000 convicts, including drug dealers. Parole violators wouldn’t have to go back to prison. The state would fund drug treatment for abusers who currently pay their own way. Proposition 5 is costly and dangerous. Join District Attorney Steve Cooley and MADD in voting no.

Proposition 6: Police and Law Enforcement Funding — Are you tired of gangbangers? The law enforcement community is tired of them, too. That’s why sheriffs and prosecutors throughout California support Proposition 6. They’re tired of seeing gangbangers take over public housing projects. They’re tired of seeing gangbangers flee when they’re released on bail. They’re tired of seeing gangbangers get off easy when they recruit kids under age 14 or jack somebody’s car at gunpoint. Give the cops and courts the tools they need to fight gangbangers. Vote yes.

Proposition 7: Renewable Energy Generation — California needs to wean itself away from fossil fuels, and current state law is making it happen at an affordable rate. Proposition 7 imposes arbitrary and unrealistic mandates on electric companies and will drive entrepreneurs out of the solar- and wind-energy markets — just the sort of entrepreneurs we need to come up with new and marketable ideas. Utilities that currently generate 12 percent of their electricity from renewable sources would have to provide 20 percent by 2010. They won’t be able to do it without a dramatic consumer rate increase. Vote no.

Proposition 8: Eliminates Same-Sex Marriage — Several years ago, California voters overwhelmingly agreed to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. A few activist judges found a way to subvert the voters’ will. This measure adds the definition to the state Constitution, where it will be harder to overturn. It does not take away any rights of domestic partners, who have “the same rights, protections and benefits” as married spouses under current law. Vote yes.

Proposition 9: Victims’ Rights — This narrow but important initiative expands the rights of victims of violent crime to participate in the legal process. Courts would have to take a victim’s safety into consideration before setting his or her suspected attacker free on bail. Imagine that. It increases the time for victims to prepare for a parole hearing and allows them to send a representative if they’re too traumatized to face their assailant. Vote yes.

Proposition 10: Alternative Fuel Vehicles — This wealth redistribution measure would give billions of our tax dollars to buyers of vehicles that run on natural gas and other alternative fuels. This is a sham proposition and deserves to be voted down overwhelmingly. Vote no.

Proposition 11: Redistricting — Do you want real change and more accountability in Sacramento? It won’t happen until we stop the politicians from drawing “safe” districts where their reelections are all but guaranteed. Californians have been screaming for redistricting for decades. Every time, the politicians find a friendly judge to shoot down these good-government measures. We won’t stop trying. Vote yes.

Proposition 12: Veterans Bond Act — Our veterans deserve our support when they return from the battlefield. These noncontroversial bond acts are needed every few years to finance the home-loan program for growing numbers of returning veterans. The loans are repaid by the veterans and cost taxpayers next to nothing. Vote yes.


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