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The California special election

October 20, 2005

The Nov. 8 special election ballot contains eight statewide initiatives. Here are four; the rest will appear Friday.

Proposition 73

Abortion for minors

What it would do

Amend the California Constitution to bar abortions for patients younger than 18 until 48 hours after her physician notifies a parent or legal guardian. Defines abortion as causing "the death of an unborn child, a child conceived but not yet born."

Chief proponents

California Catholic Conference of Bishops; Traditional Values Coalition; California Pro-Life Council; Mexican American Political Assn.; Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Major donors backing the measure

James E. Holman, publisher of the weekly San Diego Reader and four lay Catholic papers; vintner and former Republican state legislator Don Sebastiani; Domino's Pizza founder Tom Monaghan of Michigan; Paul Griffin, CEO, Griffin Industries, and wife Marsha, of Westlake Village.

Chief opponents

California Medical Assn.; Planned Parenthood; League of Women Voters of California; California National Organization for Women; California Nurses Assn.; American Academy of Pediatrics, California District IX.

Major donors fighting the measure

Planned Parenthood; American Civil Liberties Union; former Republican state Sen. Rebecca Morgan; Women's Political Committee; NARAL, Pro-Choice California Foundation; California Family Health Council Inc.; Andrew Grove, former chairman, Intel Corp., and wife Eva, of Palo Alto.

Main arguments in favor

Parents have a right to know if their minor daughters are seeking abortions. Without secret access to abortion, teenagers will avoid "reckless behavior" that can lead to pregnancy.

Main arguments against

Laws cannot compel healthy family communication. Teenagers afraid to tell their parents, or confused about how to obtain a judicial waiver, will face health risks from self-induced or later-term abortions or visits to unsafe providers.

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Proposition 74

Teacher employment

What it would do

Extend probationary periods for new teachers from two years to five. Would simplify the dismissal process, allowing school districts to fire a permanent teacher without advance notice after two consecutive unsatisfactory evaluations.

Chief proponents

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; George Schulz, chairman of the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors; Peter G. Mehas, superintendent of the Fresno County Office of Education

Major donors backing the measure

California Recovery Team, whose major contributors include William A. Robinson, founder of air freight carrier DHL, and A. Jerrold Perenchio, chairman of Univision television network

Chief opponents

California Teachers Assn.; California Federation of Teachers; California Supt. of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell

Major donors fighting the measure

Public employee unions, including California Teachers Assn. and California Federation of Teachers; Alliance for a Better California, a labor coalition

Main arguments in favor

California must revise its outdated teacher tenure laws, which make it costly and difficult to replace poor-performing instructors. Longer probationary periods would give schools more time to evaluate new teachers before granting permanent status.

Main arguments against

Would hamper efforts to recruit new teachers and retain qualified veterans. Would force school districts to divert millions of dollars from classrooms to new administrative expenses.*

Proposition 75

Union dues

What it would do

Require public employee unions to obtain each member's permission each year to use dues for political campaigns, including donations to candidates and initiative efforts.

Chief proponents

Sponsored by Lewis Uhler, president of the National Tax Limitation Committee. Other supporters: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; many Republican lawmakers and politicians; some union members

Major donors backing the measure

Robin P. Arkley II, owner of a real estate and loan company in Eureka; California Republican Party; investment banker Frank Baxter, who helped found a conservative political action committee; A. Jerrold Perenchio; homebuilder William Lyon; Small Business Political Action Committee (contributors include mortgage company Ameriquest Capital, late Wal-Mart heir John Walton, California Business Properties Assn.)

Chief opponents

Major unions including California Teachers Assn.; California Federation of Teachers; California Professional Firefighters; California Nurses Assn.; California State Employees Assn.; American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; most Democratic lawmakers and politicians

Major donors fighting the measure

California Teachers' Assn.; California Federation of Teachers; California State Council of Service Employees; Service Employees International Union; California State Pipe Trades Council; national AFL-CIO

Main arguments in favor

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