Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Vote YES on Prop's 74, 75, 76, 77

The special Statewide election is fast approaching and we are being bombarded by misleading TV ads. What’s a voter to do?

My approach is a combination of research and expert advice. As you know, I attended the Milken Institute State of the State Conference on Monday 10/31 (“Hallelujah, it’s scAlito”) where the most interesting panel was on the subject of “Budget Policy and Job Creation.” The panelists were Tom Campbell (CA Finance Dept.), Amy Resnick (The Bond Buyer), Ron Ritter (McKinsey & Co.), William Simon (former CA governor candidate), Steve Westley (CA. Controller). The moderator was Ross DuVol (Milken Inst.)

A preliminary poll of the audience asked the question: What is the most serious problem facing California. The posed problems (and %response) were

Budget (41%)
Education (25%)
Economy and Jobs (22%)
Energy (8%)
Health and Human Services (5%)

Frankly, I was really surprised given the progressive character of the Milken Institute and much of the audience. Fully 63% of the participants selected the strongly related Budget, Economy and Jobs categories.

The panelists were asked to pick the one most important reform they would support to address this most important problem.

Tom Campbell said to vote for Prop. 76 that limits state spending to prior year’s level plus three previous years’ average revenue growth. Tom explained that the built in expenditure growth will always exceed the growth in revenues, and he mentioned sweetheart deals for prison guards and teachers as especially bad for the taxpayers.

Another audience poll asked about support for Prop. 76: Yes – 60%, No – 40%, another big surprise!

Amy Resnick said CA needs a better legislature: Vote Yes on Prop. 77. This is the Constitutional Amendment that takes redistricting out of the hands of the legislators themselves.

Ron Ritter said to reduce corporate taxes (8.8%) that are the second highest in the country. CA is one of only two states that charges sales tax on manufacturing equipment. How stupid is that!

Bill Simon said to reduce the regulatory burden on business. CA is the absolutely worst state for small businesses. Companies are moving out of state and CA wages are not the problem.

Steve Westley said we need political backbone at the top, so we should elect him to be Governor. He hates all the Propositions and believes the special Election is a waste. Steve was a loner on the panel and among a distinct minority in the room.

That is until Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa arrived for lunch. His idea was to entice businesses to LA by stressing green requirements. We need to do our share against global warming. Huh??? I guess this is progressive business making. Oh, Antonio hates the Prop’s too.

The Prop’s are doing poorly or well depending on the poll. So far the traditionalists --
Field and PPIC -- have him consistently down and doing worse. The new-fangled polls have him doing better. SurveyUSA uses recorded voices to question voters and very short, snappy questions. Now there is this Stanford poll that uses a scientifically selected sample who give their opinions on-line by filling out a simulated ballot. It also has the governor's slate doing well. (Daniel Weintrub). The findings:
-- Prop 74 Yes 54%
-- Prop 75 Yes 64%
-- Prop 76 No 55%
-- Prop 77 Yes 55%

The Milken folks gave good reasons to support 76 and 77. Those of us who voted for Arnold expect him to reign in the public employee unions. Thus Prop 74 (requiring 5 years for teacher tenure) and Prop 75 (requires unions to get permission from members to use dues for political purposes) are no-brainers. If we don’t vote Yes, then we deserve our mediocre public schools and unaccountable public employees.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill:
I was so glad to see you and Lee on Sunday...and I also wanted to say that I am always impressed by your reporting and analysis in your blog reports...while I don't always agree with you!!! I do enjoy your insight and information. Good for you...
Becky Stitt-Terry

7:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

Hi Dad,

I was reading where you mentioned California being one of only two states that charges sales tax on
manufacturing equipment.

When a CA company buys their manufacturing equipment and spare parts from us (in Oregon), I have to charge them CA sales tax, keep it in a holding account and then do a California quarterly tax return and send the money into the state. Talk about a pain in the butt!


5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carolynne...I work at the Palos Verdes Library District (sound familiar?)here in California and when we purchase something from out of state, we still pay the CA sales tax. That's not how it used to be but as you state, that's how it is now and apparently not just with manufactured goods. I thought it would be more paperwork for those companies outside CA.


5:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YUP…already voted absentee. Gosh, we just have to make our views known. I have to say the liberals have us looking pretty sad because while they are the minority, they are more organized, seemingly more passionate and pour more money into what they believe than conservatives do. Or maybe it just seems that way…?

I will be very interested to see if these props make it or not.


2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is Global Warming?
We exist on this planet because the earth naturally traps just enough heat in the atmosphere to keep the temperature within a very narrow range - which creates the conditions that give us breathable air, clean water, and weather we can survive. Human beings have begun to tip that balance. We've overloaded the atmosphere with heat- trapping gasses from our cars and factories and power plants. If we don't start fixing the problem - right now - there will be devastating changes to our environment. We will experience extreme temperatures, rises in sea levels, and storms of unimaginable destructive fury. We will make this planet uninhabitable.

Recently, alarming events that are consistent with scientific predictions about the effects of climate change have become more and more commonplace.

Environmental Destruction
The massive ice sheets in the Arctic are melting at alarming rates. This is causing the oceans to rise. That is how big these ice sheets are! Most of the world’s population lives on or near the coasts. Rising ocean levels, an estimated six feet over the next 100 years will cause massive devastation and economic catastrophe to population centers worldwide.

Health Risks
Malaria. Dengue Fever. Encephalitis. These names are not usually heard in emergency rooms and doctor’s offices in the United States. But if we don’t act to curb global warming, they will be. As temperatures rise, disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents spread, infecting people in their wake. Doctors at the Harvard Medical School have linked recent U.S. outbreaks of dengue ('breakbone') fever, malaria, hantavirus and other diseases to climate change.

Catastrophic Weather
Super powerful hurricanes, fueled by warmer ocean temperatures are the ‘smoking-gun’ of global warming. Since 1970, the number of category 4 and 5 events has risen sharply. Hurricane Katrina, in September of 2005 almost became a category 6 event. Human activities are adding an alarming amount of pollution to the earth’s atmosphere causing catastrophic shifts in weather patterns. These shifts will cause severe heat, floods and worse.

Here are things we can all do:
Join Together our voices will be heard!

Action items - things you can do to help stop global warming.

The United States, with only four percent of the world's population, is responsible for 22% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. Here are things we can all do:

Carpool: Leaving your car at home just two days a week will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by 1,590 pounds per year.

Click here for more action items.

A rapid transition to energy efficiency and renewable energy sources will combat global warming, protect human health, create new jobs, protect habitat and wildlife, and ensure a secure, affordable energy future.

Energy: Use renewable energy sources and reduce the amount of energy we consume.

Air: Increase fuel efficiency standards. Cap the CO2 emissions from power plants. Shift investment to renewable energy sources.

Water: Use less energy by using less water.


4:28 PM  

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