By John Eberhard
The election is only a week away and so I thought I would offer an analysis of the general election season and of the races and propositions in California.
First of all, as I mentioned in my last article, this is an important election because control of the House could pass to the Democrats if they win enough seats in the House. This is important because the Democrats and Republicans couldn’t be more different from each other or farther apart in their philosophies and in the issues they support. Here’s a quick thumbnail of the two parties:
Strong on national defense
Tax cuts, healthy economy
Some for lax immigration, some against it (like the House Republicans)
Very weak on national defense, no strategy except surrender and "cut and run"
Much more apt to raise taxes, fought Bush’s tax cuts
All lax on immigration
Liberal groups like the ACLU attacking religion, much higher percentages of seculars, atheists
Weak on moral values
One of the key issues in my opinion is the war on terror. Whether we like it or not, we are unfortunately confronted with an enemy in the Islamic terrorists who is irrational, can’t be reasoned with or negotiated with, and wants to kill us.
The Republicans have demonstrated the will to fight that enemy, and have done so with some success. It’s easy to look at Iraq right now and the fact that the enemy there seems to have redoubled their efforts at suicide bombings, etc., and say we are losing this war. We are not. If you look at the big picture, you see that we have had no successful attack on our soil in the five years since 9/11, and we have freed millions of people in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The Democrats, on the other hand, have not demonstrated the will to fight this battle, and have in fact fought President Bush at every step of the way.
So your vote in your Congressional district will make a difference. When deciding who to vote for, ask yourself whether you believe the terrorist enemy is real and whether he means it when he says he wants to kill us, or whether he’s "just kidding."
In general I am against bond measures on the ballot, particularly this year, where the state had a revenue surplus (which the Democratic legislature wanted to spend and which the Governor wisely put some to retire debt), and so I take a dim view of the $62 billion in bond measures on the ballot. Theoretically, all of these activities, if they are so vital, should be paid for out of the tax revenues, rather than borrowing from the future to fund them. So in general I recommend to vote NO on the bond measures.
Governor: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger has pulled off an amazing transformation from last year?s elections, when the unions and special interests cleaned his clock. He has also proved to be an effective block to much of the crazy stuff coming out of the Democratic state legislature. Democratic challenger Phil Angelides has had difficulty getting any traction, with his liberal plans to raise taxes for families by $18 billion.
Lieutenant Governor: Tom McClintock
Secretary of State: Bruce McPherson
Controller: Tony Strickland
Treasurer: Claude Parrish
Attorney General: Chuck Poochigian
Insurance Commissioner: Steve Poizner
Prop 1A: Transportation Funding Protection
Requires gas tax revenues you already pay to go for road and transportation projects. No new taxes. Vote YES.
Prop 1B: Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, Port Security
The Republican Party recommends yes but it means $19.9 billion in new debt, so I say Vote NO.
Prop 1C: Housing and Emergency Shelter
Almost $3 billion in new government debt. It’s a no-brainer. Note NO.
Prop 1D: Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities
$10.4 billion in bonds. Vote NO.
Prop 1E: Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention
$4.1 billion in bonds. Vote NO.
Prop 83: Sex Offenders
This measure would require longer prison terms and paroles, sex offenders would not be allowed to reside within 2,000 feet of a park, and would be monitored by Global Positioning System (GPS) devices while on parole. It would send more offenders to state mental health facilities. A little too "big brother" for me. Vote NO.
Prop 84: Water Quality
$5.4 in new bonds. Vote NO.
Prop 85: Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Terminating Minor’s Pregnancy
If this passes, a physician would be required to notify, with certain exceptions, a parent or guardian 48 hours before performing an abortion on a minor. I couldn’t be more in favor of this. It would correct the crazy situation now in CA where girls as young as 12 can get an abortion without even telling their parents. Vote YES.
Prop 86: Tax on Cigarettes
This would impose a $2.60 per pack tax on cigarettes. Money would go to health programs, children’s health coverage, and tobacco-related activities. I’m not a smoker, but the generalized attack on cigarettes in this country is a disgrace. Vote NO.
Prop 87: Alternative Energy
A $4 billion oil tax increase. Oh my God! Vote NO!
Prop 88: Education Funding, Real Property Parcel Tax
Creates a new kind of property tax and undermines Prop 13. Vote NO.
Prop 89: Political Campaigns, Public Financing, Corporate Tax Increase
Raises taxes to pay for political ads. Duh! Vote NO.
Prop 90: Eminent Domain
I’m split on this. Supporters say it will stop governments from seizing your home and turning it over to developers, but those against say it would create new categories of lawsuits costing taxpayers billions of dollars each year. I will probably vote NO.
Please vote on November 7th. Your vote does make a difference.