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Carol Platt Liebau

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Tom McClintock


Mr. 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 index]

the Shadow Governor
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:

1A. Watered 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.

59. Public Records, Open Meetings. YES. Louis Brandeis said it best: "Sunlight is the best of disinfectants." Public business should  be public.Period.

60. The 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.

60A. Selling 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 increase.

61. Children's 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.

62. Election 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.

63. Soak 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 14 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?

64. Honest 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.

65. Real 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.

66. Weakens 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.

67. Phone 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?

68. Casino 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.

69. DNA 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.

70. De-politicize 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.

71. Stem 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.

72. Health 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 help. CRO

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