Election Day is Here!

With absentee voters beginning to receive their ballots this past Tuesday, voters are now making their decisions about the election. Over 40% of voters will vote absentee this year.

We need to contact as many voters as possible before they mail in their ballots!

Attached please find the voter guide approved by the Labor Council that we also endorse.

If you want more information on the statewide races and propositions, please find comments below from CFT Community College President Marty Hittelman.


From: MartyHitt@aol.com
Subject: my election note to friends, use as you wish

Dear Friends, it is election time again and here are my observations and recommendations:

GovernorPhil Angelides. Phil is great on all of the important issues ­ the environment, a woman¹s right to choose, education, social services and even the war in Iraq. Schwarzenegger is never great on any of these and only periodically (at election time) spouts a more progressive line. We can¹t afford to forget last November¹s assault on working families. He still continues to veto a lot of good bills. We need to elect someone we can count on-Angelides. No one can trust Arnold from one moment to another (not even the Republican rightwing can trust what he will do next).

Lt. Governor: John Garamendi. John is a decent and progressive person. His opponent, Tom McClintock, has not yet found a public expenditure that he could vote for. He is the reactionaries reactionary.

Secretary of StateDebra Bowen. Bruce McPherson is about as good as a Republican gets these days. He is fairly honest and tries to serve the public. Bowen, on the other hand, is a real fighter for fair elections and accurate counting of ballots. She will not stand for the stealing of votes.

Controller: John Chiang. John is the perfect candidate for this job. He is experienced in the field of finance, is a progressive, and fights for working families. He is exactly what you would like to have in a Controller. He will be a strong voice for public employee retirees on the state pension boards.

TreasurerBill Lockyer. Lockyer is a smart and funny man. Sometimes he gets too cute with his approaches to things. He would still be in the legislature if not for term limits, but this is a good holding place for him. He will fight for retiree benefits on the state pension boards.

Attorney GeneralJerry Brown (groan). Jerry is arrogant, unpredictable, and often foolish. At least he is opposed to capital punishment. His opponent, Chuck Poochigian, would be a disaster for those who believe in a women¹s right to choose, or any of a number of civil liberties. Poochigian is another candidate from the fringes of the right wing.

Insurance CommissionerCruz Bustamante. He usually gets very competent advisors and his heart is in the right place.

Board of Equalization #1Betty Yee has been a good voting member of the Board of Equalization.

Board of Equalization #2Judy Chu. She has been an outstanding legislator and will be outstanding on this job as well. She is very smart and very progressive.

Assembly, Senate, Congress: I would vote for all of the Democrats except for Steve Clute in Assembly seat 80, Dianne Feinstein for United States Senate, Tom Lantos in House of Representatives seat 12, Jim Costa in House of Representatives seat 20, and Jane Harman in House of Representatives seat 36. I would also think twice about voting for Brad Sherman (27), Howard Berman (28), and Adam Schiff (29) because of their pro-Iraq War and Occupation positions. I would not vote for any of the Republicans opposing any of the above candidates.

Some of the initiatives of the California ballot are easy to decide on. I will vote yes on all of the legislature approved bonds: 1A, 1B, 1C, 1D, and 1 E. We just can¹t afford to continue to not take care of the transportation, housing, education, and flood control infrastructure needs of California.

As for the other state propositions:

Proposition 83: I recommend a NO vote. The increased penalties and broadening of categories of offenders are not well thought out. The by products of the bill will cause more hardships and denial of basic civil rights than it will solve the very real problem of sexual assault. The bill would effectively require all past offenders to live outside of urban areas, thus concentrate possible reoccurrences to areas where protection is least likely. The lifelong wearing and monitoring of ex-offenders will be extremely expensive. The cost is likely to be more than $500 million per year. The bill would even make criminals of juveniles who experiment with sex.

Proposition 84: I recommend a YES vote. This bond will protect our water quality and supply.

Proposition 85: I recommend a NO vote. This is another attack on a female¹s right to choose to have a child. It is very similar to the parental notification initiative that was defeated in an earlier election. This is just another attack on the right to have an abortion.

Proposition 86: I recommend a YES vote. Don¹t be confused by the tobacco industry ads that have little to do with the initiative. 86 imposes an additional 13 cents on each cigarette sold and uses the money to provide emergency hospital services, nursing education, and health insurance for some children. It will also be used for tobacco use prevention programs, enforcement of tobacco related laws, as well as research.

Proposition 87: I recommend a YES vote. Proposition 87 imposes a tax of from 1.5% to 6% tax on each barrel of oil produced in California. The tax rate depends on the selling price per barrel. The initiative will raise about $4 billion per year to be used for research, education, and production incentives for alternative energy in order to reduce oil and gas usage by 25%. The proposition prohibits the passing on of the tax to consumers but I am not sure how this can be effectively enforced.

Proposition 88: I recommend a NO vote. Proposition 88 would impose a $50 property tax on each parcel of land with the funds going to K-12 education. The tax is a regressive tax that does not differentiate between expensive parcels and parcels owned by the relatively poor. It also will not raise enough money to make a significant dent in the current under funding of K-12 education but will cause some people to feel that the problem of under funding has been resolved.

Proposition 89: I recommend a NO vote. Proposition 89 would limit political contributions by labor unions and political parties to the extent that neither would be able to make an impact on the elections. There would not be ³labor² candidates in the primaries (where most elections are decided). In the last few years labor friendly candidates have been able to beat ³business Democrats² in primary elections. With the passage of 89, those days might just be history.

Under Proposition 89, a union would be able to spend a combined maximum of $2,500 in each election. The contribution to an Assembly or State Senate candidate could not exceed $500 in any one election. The Democratic Party could not spend more than a combined total of $20,000 in Assembly races in any one election. In short, Proposition 89 takes unions and the Democratic Party out of having any real influence. Conservative candidates will be able to accumulate more $500 checks than will progressive candidates.
The pubic funding part of the proposition would make sense if the amounts that the State would be able to give a candidate were enough to make a real impact on the election.

I am sure that if Proposition 89 is found to be constitutional that both the big corporations and the large labor unions will find a way around the restrictions. Smaller groups may not.

Proposition 90: I recommend a NO vote. The stated goal of 90 is to limit government from acquiring private property. It is written in a way, however, to put an end to any city zoning regulations or environmental protection laws since land owners would be allowed to sue government for the decreased value of their property due to the restrictions. It might force government to waive environmental protection laws. The law would cover past and future restrictions on property development. Proposition 90 is opposed by the Sierra Club, the League of Women Voters, the California Federation of Labor, and even the California Chamber of Commerce. It is not a good proposition.

Yours in solidarity,
Marty Hittelman

voter guide final.pdf