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John Campbell

John Campbell (R-Irvine) is an Assemblyman representing the 70th District in Orange County. Mr. Campbell is the Vice-Chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee. He is the only CPA in the California State legislature and recently received a national award as Freshman Republican Legislator of the Year. He represents the cities of Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Irvine, Costa Mesa, Tustin, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Woods and Lake Forest. He can be reached through his Assembly website and through the website for his California Senate campaign. [go to Campbell index]

What's a Voter To Do?
A frankly partisan take on the propositions...
[John Campbell] 10/19/04

You will be facing one of the most crowded ballots in years on Nov. 2, with 16 (count 'em, sixteen) separate statewide initiatives and referenda. That's enough to confuse even the most engaged and committed voter. But, to add to the confusion, in several instances there are competing initiatives that offer opposing proposals on the same issue. Tens of millions of dollars will be spent on all sides of all issues to persuade you to vote yes on this and no on that. The propositions are numbered from 59 through 72 and there's even a 1A and a 60A thrown in for good measure.

So what's a voter to do? Well, I have prepared this handy dandy guide to voting on these initiatives. This contains a brief summary of the initiatives and my thoughts on them, which, by the way are not at all impartial. These summaries will be short because there are so many propositions that it would fill up most of a phonebook if I went into detail. I have classified the propositions according to their topics for ease of understanding. So here goes:

Bonds: Props 61 and 71 are bond proposals to fund children's hospitals and stem cell research respectively. This state is already buried in a record amount of debt due to the Davis budget crisis and is near the maximum considered prudent by financial experts. It would be very irresponsible to rack up even more debt on the state's credit cards, regardless of how good the cause sounds. I recommend a NO vote on both props 61 and 71.

Elections: Props 60 and 62 are competing initiatives on the same subject. Prop 62 is modeled after French and Louisiana elections system and requires all candidates for an office to appear on the same primary ballot with the top two vote getters, regardless of party, facing off in the general election. In Louisiana, this has resulted in some terrible choices in the general election (David Duke, etc.), which often can result in the two "finalists" being members of the same party. Prop 60 is the competing initiative, which would require that every political party that has a candidate in the primary to have their primary winner on the general election ballot. Prop 60 guarantees an open general election. I recommend voting YES on 60 and NO on 62.

Tax Increases: Propositions 63, 67 and 72 are all tax increases. Prop 63 would raise the income tax on high-income taxpayers to spend on a new mental health bureaucracy. Prop 67 would tax all telephone calls (both hard line and cell phone) to spend more money paying hospitals for indigent care. Prop 72 would tax all businesses with 20 or more employees and their workers to fund a government-run healthcare mandate. Can you say Hillary-care? Vote NO on props 63,67 and 72.

Gambling Expansion: Both Props 68 and 70 would allow significant expansion of gambling in California and both would allow expansion into urban areas, including potentially Orange County. Prop 68 would allow card clubs and horse racing tracks, which are backing this measure, to have slot machines if Indian casinos do not pay more money to the state. Prop 70, backed by Indian gaming tribes, would allow tribes to do limitless gaming at limitless locations for 99 years because they agree to pay the same tax rate as everyone else. I like Las Vegas. But I like it in Nevada. I don't want to see Las Vegas West in Garden Grove, or anywhere else in California for that matter. I urge a NO vote on both props 68 and 70.

Local Governments: Prop 65 was originally put on the ballot by city governments to protect their sources of revenue from "raids" by state government. But it is inconsistent with Gov. Schwarzenegger's budget. So, a compromise solution was reached which is Prop 1A. This compromise still protects local governments from raids but also protects the governor's budget and it permanently reduces the car tax to its current level. Vote NO on 65 and YES on 1A.

Crime: Prop 66 is a measure that would weaken California's "three strikes and you're out" law, which has been credited with much of our crime reduction in recent years. This proposition was put on the ballot and entirely funded by one individual whose son is currently in jail for manslaughter and who would be released early if it passes. Vote NO on 66.

Prop 69 would require that anyone arrested or charged with a crime give a DNA sample (hair or something). With the advances of DNA technology, many long-unsolved crimes can now potentially be resolved. It is non-invasive and deserves your YES vote on 69.

Miscellaneous Good Government Stuff: Prop 59 gives people the right of access to some now closed government functions. It is a good "sunshine" proposal and I recommend a YES vote on 59.

Prop 60A would direct that the proceeds from the sale of surplus state properties be used to pay down our Davis Deficit Debt. Good idea. Vote YES on 60A

Prop 64 limits shakedown lawsuits by requiring that people show physical injuries or financial or property loss before they can sue a business. It's a good tort reform measure that deserves support. Vote YES on 64. CRO



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