McClintock is an expert on matters of the State budget and fiscal
discipline. He is a Senator in the California State Legislature
and ran for Governor in the 2003 recall election. His valuable
website is found at www.tommclintock.com [McClintock
on the Propositions
What the Senator thinks...
[Tom McClintock] 10/30//04
I've been getting a lot of calls about the various ballot propositions.
Here's how I see them:
Down Protection for Local Governments. YES, I suppose. Extends
limited protection to local governments against future raids
by the state AFTER the state finishes ripping off another
$2.6 billion over the next two years. I support it because
the protections are a slight improvement over existing law,
but if you really want to protect local governments, Prop.
65 is the ticket.
Records, Open Meetings. YES. Louis Brandeis said it best: "Sunlight
is the best of disinfectants." Public business should be
Right to the Party of Your Choice. YES. This measure guarantees
all parties access to the general election ballot, and was
written to knock out Prop. 62.
Long-term Assets for Short-term Spending. NO. Sounds good
on the surface - sell surplus state property to pay for general
fund spending. Here's my problem: when surplus assets are
sold - and they should be - the funds should be used for
the purpose for which they were raised. For example, Caltrans
land was paid for by highway taxes. When it's sold, it should
be used to build highways, not pay for this year's welfare
Hospitals Bond. NO. Our borrowing is out of control - general
fund supported debt is up 54 percent in 14 months. No matter
how appealing the purpose, California needs to stop borrowing
until it has brought its credit card binge under control.
Primaries. NO. They call it an "Open Primary," but
what this really does is to trade California's primary election
system for a two-step general election. The result: the power
to determine the official party nominee is taken away from
the voters in the primary and returned to backroom political
bosses. A giant step backward from clean and open elections.
the Rich - And Then Us. NO. An extra tax on those making
over $1 million might sound good to the rest of us - but
beware. California's taxes are already so disproportionate
that the top 1Ú4 of 1 percent of income taxpayers pays nearly
one third of all income taxes. It doesn't take many of them
re-arranging their affairs to claim residency in Nevada (where
there is NO income tax), before there's a dramatic reduction
in tax revenues. And guess who they'll tax then?
Work for Lawyers. YES. Puts an end to predatory law firms
that extort money by filing huge lawsuits against employers
for technical violations of law. About time.
Local Government Protection. YES. A lost cause - the proponents
have abandoned this measure in favor of Prop. 1A - but if
you believe in protecting local government funds from continued
raids by the state, this is the measure that will do so.
Three Strikes Law. NO. Under current law, in order to qualify
for a third strike, you have to be convicted TWICE before
for VIOLENT felonies. This bill requires the THIRD strike
also be a violent felony. Call me prudish, but after a thug
has been twice convicted of raping, assaulting and murdered
his fellow citizens, I'm out of patience. California's Three
Strikes Law works. Don't weaken it.
Tax. NO. A half-billion tax increase - about $60 a year for
an average family in both direct taxes and tax-driven price
increases. Who says talk is cheap?
Grande. NO. I don't believe it's any of government's business
how grown-ups chose to spend their time and money as long
as they're not hurting anyone. But I object to the extortionate
provisions of the measure that would force Indian tribes
to accept outlandish conditions or face financial ruin.
Samples. YES. Requires DNA samples to be taken from all felons
and criminal suspects. It means that violent crimes will
become much easier to solve - and with far greater certainty
than ever before. It will give "Cold Case Files" lots
of new material.
Tribal Gaming. YES. Provides a standard gaming compact for
any legitimate Indian tribe that asks for it, assessing the
corporate tax rate while restoring a free market to operations
on Indian land. It would remove gaming from the tortured
political environment that now has pitted tribe against tribe
in winning monopoly franchises. A standardized system is
the best protection against the unjust political favoritism
that we're seeing today.
Cell Research. NO. Stem cell research is a promising field,
but why are California taxpayers suddenly responsible for
funding research for the rest of the world? Worse, any discussion
of research data when making research grants is exempt from
the Open Meetings Act and the Open Records Act. Want to know
what your $3 billion has bought? Sorry, that's confidential.
Care Coverage. NO. Here's a great idea. Require every business
with more than 20 employees to provide health insurance.
My guess: a lot of businesses with between 20 and 40 employees
will suddenly have 19 -and an awful lot of folks will be
without health care OR jobs. We're from the government and
we're here to