Endorsements 2012: State ballot measures - Page 3

End the death penalty -- Yes on 34. No on 35 saves our sexworkers. GMO food gets a label when you vote Yes on 37


It gets better: Even if the state doesn't kill anyone, it spends $184 million a year keeping people on death row who could instead be getting life without parole — which is, in the vast majority of cases, exactly the same sentence.

Prop. 34 would end 34 years of insanity in the golden state. It would remove California from the unholy roster of states that allow executions and would restore some justice to the legal system.

The flaws in the death penalty are legendary. More than half of the people on death row in America are black or Latino. An ACLU study found that 12 white people were executed for killing blacks, while 178 black people died for killing whites. Nobody who has the money for private counsel gets a death sentence; in nearly every single case, the condemned were impoverished, brain-damaged, or facing serious mental-health issues — and went to trial with inexperienced, overwhelmed public defenders who lacked the resources for a capital trial.

Oh, and then there are the people who turned out to be innocent. In recent years, 17 people who were scheduled to die were exonerated by DNA evidence that didn't exist when they went to trial. There are hundreds more around the country who never got a fair shot in the courtroom. As long as they're alive, there's still a chance to correct a mistake. After the lethal injection, that option goes away.

California, for all its liberal image, has long been among the more bloodthirsty states, approving the death penalty by large majorities. But that's changing — as the evidence increasingly shows how wrong and ineffective the death penalty is, the margin of voters in favor of repeal is growing. And this year, it's entirely possible that this barbaric practice, outlawed in most of the civilized world, will come to an end in the nation's most populous state.

This is a big deal; it's a reason to go to the polls even if you're disenchanted by Obama and unhappy with your local candidates. If California rolls back the death penalty, the rest of the country may start to follow.

If you still believe the death penalty deters crime, never mind: Go ahead and defy all of the evidence and vote against Prop. 34. If you're a member of the reality-based community, please: Round up your friends, your family, your neighbors and vote yes on 34.




Human trafficking is an egregious and horrible act. California law, as well as federal law, prohibits it, and the penalties are appropriately harsh.

But Prop. 35 — like so much else on the state ballot, the spawn of one rich person with a cause — wouldn't just crack down on the worst people in the sex industry. It would expand the ability of state and local authorities to harass and arrest consensual sex workers and would lead to more people serving more time in prison for victimless crimes.

Former Facebook executive Chris Kelly, mad that the state Legislature wouldn't pass a trafficking law to his liking and looking for an issue to run for office on, put up the money to place this mess on the ballot. It would rewrite the section in California's Penal Code that defines human trafficking, and impose harsher sentences on those found guilty. It requires that all those convicted of human trafficking — under an expanded definition that includes such non-sexual crimes as extortion — register on the sex offender registry, and that all registered sex offenders turn over their Internet usernames and passwords to the government.

Prop. 35 is a parade of horribles that could be used to make someone who peed in public turn over his Internet information and to threaten friends and relatives of sex workers. Under this law, the adult child of a sex worker who was living in her house with her financial support could be tagged a trafficker — and could face a long prison term and a lifetime of being tagged as a sex offender.


All those expensive "no on 37" ads paid for by Monsanto/Syngenta/Bayer are the advertising cud that the Major newspapers profit from.

This is why alternative media like the Guardian and other small papers that have endorsed Prop 37 are becoming more meaningful. Reading the Chronicle is just habit, fewer and fewer meaningful stories, sports, sports, sports, TV stars and acres of tripe.

I urge all readers that want to be informed about this issue to go to Youtube and look up "The Genetic Roulette Movie",
then select the full length version and watch it.

Posted by Guest Dale Kerwin on Oct. 03, 2012 @ 3:24 pm

You had a good analysis of Prop. 38, until the end. You neglected to mention that Prop. 30 was retroactive to the start of this year so that schools get the money they need to avoid more drastic cuts halfway through the school year. Monies from Prop. 38 would not alleviate the problem this year because they would not be available until next year. As a result, we would be using the money to repair the damage caused by the shortened school year, laid-off teachers and slashed programs.

In addition, Prop.38 functions as spoiler that drains support away from Prop. 30 and could cause both to fail, thereby leaving the upper-class residents of this state continuing to escape paying their fair share to keep California the beautiful place it is to live. There are many other problems caused by Prop. 38 that are too numerous to mention in this short space. For these reasons and more, the best vote is NO on Prop. 38 and YES on Prop. 30!

Posted by Guest: Concerned Teacher on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

Once again ,thank you for publishing your endorsements,it really helps me in deciding which way to vote.I vote against all your recommendations .

Posted by Guest Nicolas on Oct. 12, 2012 @ 2:24 pm

Lucky your vote doesn't actually count for much.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 8:39 pm

Nick, alas- What a discerning, open-minded fellow you are!

Posted by Guest: Tim on Nov. 04, 2012 @ 8:06 am

If you vote against the Guardian, you will also be voting against the Chronicle on many measures.

Posted by Nan on Nov. 05, 2012 @ 9:59 pm

If you vote against the Guardian, you will also be voting against the Chronicle on many measures.

Posted by Nan on Nov. 05, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

How very thoughtful of you! The Republican party needs more free thinkers like yourself.

Posted by Guest Steve on Nov. 06, 2012 @ 1:04 pm

If both 30 and 38 pass, only the one that receives more votes goes into effect. So by encouraging people to vote for both, you're actually hurting Prop. 30. If 30 fails, $6 billion in already-earmarked funding disappears from the budget, and everyone suffers. If 38 fails, well, it doesn't affect anything.

I find it hard to believe you didn't know that only one of the two measures could actually win.

Posted by John on Oct. 14, 2012 @ 3:46 pm

I agree, I felt that all your state proposition endorsements were well thought out and correct except this one. And whether you endorsed 38 or not, I was hoping you would draw attention to this relationship with Prop 30.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

Yeah, what on earth. Endorsing both is like ... not reading the ballot.

Posted by LQ on Nov. 01, 2012 @ 8:41 pm

MONSANTO'S 'deceptive' bullshit ads were broadcast during both 49ers and Raiders games yesterday. We just don't have the resources to counter their mega-million dollar disinformation campaign.
You will become what you eat - so will your children.

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Oct. 15, 2012 @ 11:43 am

I don't know. If I had 2 strikes agains me, I wouldn't even jaywalk

Posted by Guest on Oct. 15, 2012 @ 3:13 pm


Posted by deb on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 12:22 pm

Thank you for taking a stance to say Yes on 37.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 17, 2012 @ 4:09 pm

SFBG: SO GLAD you are a good resource in these perilous times of swirling bullshit and venality. Snakes have more ethics. I thank you for sifting thru the dust to cast your best guess as to what each prop means, and your recommendation. I'm about to open my absentee ballot. It helps a bit not to just hold my nose and vote, blindly, but actually get a sense of what's being proposed. All these propositions should be run by the average 5th-grade class, to see if any of it makes sense.

Posted by Guest charlie gee on Oct. 18, 2012 @ 3:13 pm

I agree with the SFBG endorsements except for one and that is the GMO labeling proposition, Number 37.

As a species, we are going to start running out of food, especially as global warming really kicks in. We need to encourage Big Ag to continue to experiment with GMO food to allow us to grow food in drought areas, areas with high saline in the soil, etc. The only alternative is mass starvation.

Now in the Bay Area we will probably see nothing more than a few extra dollars added to our weekly food bill, but the consequences for people already living on the edge are huge.

Posted by GlenParkDaddy on Oct. 22, 2012 @ 12:07 pm

I too am concerned with the effect climate change will have on our food supply. However, there are too many risks associated with GM foods that have been found in animals (increased allergies, modifications to liver, digestive issues, reproductive issues) for us to not at least *know when we're eating it*.

The "GMO will end starvation" idea has come up lots of times before. Though Big Ag spins the idea that GMOs will help starvation, there isn't any evidence of that to date. In fact, there's evidence it's actually leading to more food shortages than there were before due to GM seeds not being able to grow in conditions like they had been advertised or nutrient values being lower than expected.

John Robbins sums this up nicely in this article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-robbins/gmo-food_b_914968.html

We have more potential at ending hunger by understanding the root causes of hunger, not by trying to inject more Vitamin A in rice. The world currently has more food than it needs. And we already have methods to grow food in a variety of conditions without GMOs.

And I'm confused about the notion of rising food prices occurring. More than 60 countries are already doing labeling. The technology and infrastructure to label in all levels of the food supply already exists. Even American companies provide this technology. Have there been any models that show that food in California will actually rise? If so, I'd like to see them. If not, I'm not sure how this speculation about rising food prices is helping.

Posted by Stephen on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 12:28 pm

food. Is that quote accurate?

An excerpt from the huffpo article quotes George Monbiot on the bogus dynamic behind this GMO crop rationalization:

"The world has a surplus of food, but still people go hungry. They go hungry because they cannot afford to buy it. They cannot afford to buy it because the sources of wealth and the means of production have been captured and in some cases monopolized by landowners and corporations. The purpose of the biotech industry is to capture and monopolize the sources of wealth and the means of production ..."

Damn right. We hear the same arguments every time some law is proposed that will put a crimp in the ability of agribusiness to make a buck off selling us crap to put in our bodies.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 24, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

I think there is an error on the page describing Prop 38. The vote says "Yes" but you clearly mean that the proposition shouldn't be supported.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 8:32 pm

30 and 38 are mutually exclusive! It says so right there in the voter guide issued by the state. Whichever gets more votes goes into effect and the other does not. The whole reason I came to check your endorsements was to try to research more about which one would help schools most.

Shoddy reporting on that one, though I do appreciate your endorsements generally.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 27, 2012 @ 10:04 pm

Some commenters on this chatboard have implied that it's stupid to vote for both 30 and 38 since only the one that gets the most votes (and gets 50%+1 support) will be enacted.

Personally I'd never vote for regressive sales taxes so it was easy to Vote No on 30, but Vote Yes for 38 that raises most of its money from the very wealthy. Plus Prop 38 helps pay down state debt which means less money paid to the 1%ers for interest payments, and more money will be paid for important government programs and services.

But here's a column from someone who voted for both propositions that makes sense too. If you want one of the measures to pass, there's no harm in voting for both.


Posted by Guest on Nov. 06, 2012 @ 6:30 am

Yes on 37!
The big money food industry is bombarding us with ads against it, but we should be able to know what we are eating!

Posted by Guest Gerda Dinwiddie on Nov. 05, 2012 @ 8:51 pm



FIX IT! (please!)

Posted by JasonfGuest on Nov. 05, 2012 @ 9:54 pm

I'm going to skip Prop. 40. I can't wrap my mind around it. The *proponents* were *against* it, but now they are not against it?

Posted by Guest on Nov. 06, 2012 @ 4:10 am

Here's Prop 40 in a nutshell.

-Republicans sponsored the initiative to change redistricting to a "citizen commission."
-It passed. But the map they got turned out not to their liking.
-So they put an initiative on the ballot to overturn the map that the citizen commission wrote. Within that initiative, it had language saying you could put up the maps for popular vote. A yes vote would approve, a no vote would reject. So that's what the Republicans did.
-But now I think they realize they're not going to get a better map no matter what.

Posted by Greg on Nov. 06, 2012 @ 8:42 am

My son, David Kuzia, was arrested for having 1 "cigarette" of marijuana in his possession. He is in the Santa Barbara County Jail. I found out he was taken out of Prop 36 and will most likely end up in jail or prison, thereby adding to the overcrowding of both.

Posted by Guest Vicki Kuzia on Sep. 10, 2013 @ 2:24 pm

My son was arrested for having 1 "cigarette" of marijuana in his possession. He is now in the Santa Barbara county jail. I just found out he was taken off Prop 36, but never told. He will most likely stay in jail or go to prison, thereby adding to the over population of both. Talk about over kill. Mark Mansfield, his probation officer and the Prop 36 contact, never even bothered to tell him.

Posted by Guest Vicki Kuzia on Sep. 10, 2013 @ 2:28 pm

My son was arrested for having 1 "cigarette" of marijuana in his possession. He is now in the Santa Barbara county jail. I just found out he was taken off Prop 36, but never told. He will most likely stay in jail or go to prison, thereby adding to the over population of both. Talk about over kill. Mark Mansfield, his probation officer and the Prop 36 contact, never even bothered to tell him.

Posted by Guest Vicki Kuzia on Sep. 10, 2013 @ 2:29 pm

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