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May 29, 1998
I don't understand why people are spending millions of dollars to defeat or support any of the propositions on the June ballot. I also don't understand why we should waste our time voting on them. California should just have the people who will truly decide if and/or how a proposition will be implemented vote on it: the federal judges in the state of California. Only after they get through with the proposition should the voters be bothered with voting on it. I can't think of one proposition that passed in the past 10 years that hasn't been held up in the courts for years, and when finally implemented looked anything like the proposition voted upon, except maybe some bond issues.
April 27, 2014 | By Laura W. Brill
Last year's Proposition 8 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court changed the lives of many same-sex couples and their families in California for the better. But the political fallout from that decision is also having a profound and worrisome effect on the state's initiative process. The reason has to do with the nature of the court's action. The Supreme Court did not rule on the constitutionality of Proposition 8 itself. Rather, it decided an issue of standing, concluding that the initiative's backers had not been directly harmed by a lower-court ruling that the law was unconstitutional and that they therefore lacked standing to appeal that ruling.
May 30, 2012
Re "Tobacco tax? Yes, but not this one," Column, May 27 In his article opposing Proposition 29, Michael Hiltzik makes a number of misleading statements about Proposition 71, the voter-approved measure funding stem-cell research. No ads for Proposition 71 promised miraculous cures. They promised good science, and that is what is being funded, with more than 62 promising therapies for 40 different diseases on their way to clinical trials. The stem-cell agency has conflict-of-interest rules as strict as any government agency.
April 5, 2014
Re "The quest for diversity," Editorial, March 28 Your editorial on Proposition 209 and diversity at California's public universities is unclear and patronizing. It is unclear in endorsing as the benchmark of "meaningful racial diversity" the University of California's "diversity goals" - goals that the university has not itself enunciated. One can try and divine what the university's goals are, but with little success. Apparently, exceeding the pre-Proposition 209 minority enrollment (except for African American students at Berkeley and UCLA)
October 6, 2012
Proposition 30, supported by Gov. Jerry Brown, would: • Raise sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years • Raise income taxes on individual earnings over $250,000 (over $500,000 for couples) for seven years • Generate an estimated $6 billion in annual revenue • Guarantee money for local governments to fund efforts to reduce prison crowding • Stave off nearly $6 billion in budget cuts, mostly to public schools Proposition 38, supported by attorney Molly Munger, would: • Raise income taxes, using an ascending scale, on most Californians for 12 years • Raise an estimated $10 billion in yearly revenue • Create a fund for the revenue separate from regular state budget • Boost spending on schools and early childhood education • Dedicate some revenue to repaying state debt Source: Legislative Analyst's Office; Times reporting by Chris Megerian
August 5, 2010
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assn. won a legal fight Tuesday against California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown over the exact wording of an initiative proposal that will appear on the November ballot. The Jarvis victory: One word in the description of Proposition 23 was replaced by a Sacramento judge with three different words, and an "s" was removed to make the word "laws" singular rather than plural. Nitpicky? Maybe. But words do matter, especially on ballot descriptions, because for many voters these short summaries represent all they know about an initiative.
September 12, 2012 | By Jon Healey
Proposition 33, an initiative to let auto insurers offer discounts to competitors' customers, isn't quite the same as Proposition 17, a similar proposal that voters rejected in 2010. But the campaign in favor of the measure seems to be following the same truth-distorting playbook. The Yes on Proposition 33 campaign has bought airtime on 19 radio stations in five cities for what appears to be its first commercial, which is due to begin broadcasting Wednesday. The 30-second spot declares: "Proposition 33 protects our veterans and military families, and allows them to keep their discount on car insurance, saving them money.
October 24, 2012 | By Robert Greene
Proposition 40 is a measure to retain new state Senate districts. The California Republican Party, several GOP Senate campaigns and a handful of others paid more than $2 million last year to put it on the Nov. 6 ballot. So they're in support, right? But wait -- when they succeeded, and their political re-mapping referendum actually got on the ballot, their objective was to get you to vote no. So they're in opposition. Right? Well, yes. And no. The Republicans were countered early on by one very wealthy supporter of their own party, Charles T. Munger Jr. , who gave almost $600,000 to a campaign to block the referendum.
October 4, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- A television spot opposing Proposition 37, the genetically engineered food labeling initiative, was pulled briefly this week to better identify a think-tank researcher attacking the ballot issue. The controversy came as the opponents of the ballot measure, with $35 million in contributions from the food industry and biochemical firms, expanded a week-old television advertising blitz. Proposition 37 would require retailers and manufacturers of processed foods to label fresh produce or manufactured, packaged food that contain or likely could contain ingredients made from plants or animals whose DNA has been manipulated in a laboratory.
September 20, 2012
Proposition 40, a referendum on the newly redrawn state Senate district lines, may be the oddest measure before Californians in this election cycle. The people who put it on the ballot were hoping for a "no" vote, which is odd enough in itself, but then they changed their minds and withdrew from the campaign entirely. The result: There is no organized No on 40 campaign, and substantial confusion remains about what exactly the measure would do. Voters should resist the temptation to vote no out of frustration and instead should approve it after taking a moment to understand what they're being asked to support and why. First, a word on how Proposition 40 came to be on the ballot.
March 21, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
Documentaries in this age of Netflix and VOD don't often get a theatrical release, but HBO is betting that “The Case Against 8,” its Sundance-decorated documentary about the legal battle to overturn Proposition 8, can buck the trend. The network has scheduled a limited theatrical run in June for Ben Cotner and Ryan White's movie, which examines the legal battle, ultimately successful, to overturn California's same-sex marriage ban that passed in 2008. HBO will put the movie in Los Angeles and New York theaters on June 6, expand it on June 13, and then air it on June 23, which is close to the anniversary of the Supreme Court's historic ruling on the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.
March 8, 2014 | By Maura Dolan
SAN FRANCISCO - Anxious about last summer's ruling on Proposition 8, sponsors of California ballot measures are going to considerable lengths to ensure they will be able to defend them if the state doesn't. Nearly 1 in 4 proposed initiatives include language intended to skirt the ruling and avoid having a measure overturned because of antipathy by state officials, a review of the measures showed. The proposal topics are as varied as public pensions and Internet privacy, each armed with clauses aimed at turning sponsors into semi-public officials able to defend the measures if the state refuses.
February 7, 2014 | By Jennifer Gratz
Much progress has been made in the fight for equal treatment under the law for all people. Unfortunately, California politicians are actively working to ensure that the state reverts to policies that treat people differently based on skin color or ethnic identity - policies that were rejected by voters more than 17 years ago. In 1996, California voters outlawed the use of racial preferences in state institutions by overwhelmingly passing Proposition 209....
January 29, 2014 | George Skelton, Capitol Journal
SACRAMENTO - Are California voters ready yet to change Proposition 13 so that all corporations pay their fair share of property taxes? A new nonpartisan poll indicates they might be. But a better, more relevant question is whether any state political leader - namely a governor - is courageous enough to lead the charge. Answer: Of course not. Gov. Jerry Brown told me five years ago, before he was elected to a third term as governor, that "messing with 13 is a big fat loser. " Clearly he hasn't changed his mind.
December 7, 2013 | By Anthony York
SACRAMENTO - While much of the country is gearing up for the holidays, political forces in Sacramento are girding for battle. Already, special interests are lined up with plans that could shape next year's general election ballot. They are considering propositions to increase medical malpractice awards, hike tobacco taxes and give local governments the right to scale back public employee pensions, among other ideas. Each of the proposals could spawn campaigns costing tens of millions of dollars.
November 19, 2013 | By Harvey Rosenfield
"We didn't do a good enough job in terms of how we crafted the law," an apologetic President Obama said this month, shortly after millions of Americans got notices from their health insurance companies that their current policies were going to be canceled because the policies didn't comply with the minimum standards of the Affordable Care Act. Worse, the federal website where people were supposed to be able to buy replacement coverage was still barely...
November 5, 2013 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
HOUSTON - Forget Monticello or the Chrysler building: There may be no piece of architecture more quintessentially American than the Astrodome. Widely copied after it opened in 1965, it perfectly embodies postwar U.S. culture in its brash combination of Space Age glamour, broad-shouldered scale and total climate control. It also offers a key case study in how modern architecture treated the natural world - and how radically the balance of power in that relationship has shifted over the last half-century.
October 15, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court's conservative justices signaled Tuesday that they were inclined to uphold California and Michigan ballot measures that forbid state universities from granting "preferential treatment" to applicants based on race. Oral arguments on affirmative action turned into a debate over the meaning of equal treatment under the law, with the justices sounding split along the usual ideological lines. The conservatives, agreeing with Michigan's state lawyers, said removing race as a factor led to equal treatment as required under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
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