Endorsements 2012: State ballot measures - Page 4

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

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We agree with sex workers advocates that human trafficking is a vile crime. But we also agree that decriminalization of prostitution should be the first step towards solving it, making sex workers unafraid to come forward and report abuse in their industry and making it easier to distinguish between forced and consensual labor. In the meantime, state Sen. Mark Leno is working on legislation that will address trafficking without the problems in Prop. 35.

We'll wait for Leno's alternative. Vote No on 35.

PROPOSITION 36

THREE STRIKES MODIFICATION

YES

On Nov. 4, 1995, a small-time criminal named Leando Andrada stole $150 worth of videotapes from K-Mart. The father of three was charged with felony theft — and since he'd had prior convictions for burglary and marijuana transportation, his conviction led to a sentence of 25 years to life.

That's nuts — but it's the result of a very bad 1994 law that has made California one of the harshest states in the nation for repeat offenders — and has overcrowded the state prisons and cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

The law states than anyone convicted of three "strike" felonies, no matter how nonviolent, must serve a minimum of 25 years behind bars. Even the people who sponsored the three-strikes law now agree that it's gone too far.

Consider: Nearly 8,900 three-strikers are in prison in California, with 3,500 of them serving life sentences. A disproportionate 46 percent of three-strikers are African American.

Incarcerating all of these prisoners is expensive. Reforming three strikes could save the state of California $70 million to $90 million annually if it passes. And some of that money would be directed towards solving more murders and rapes — instead of paying so Californians can languish in prison for stealing video tapes.

Prop. 36 wouldn't repeal three strikes. It would simply require that the third strike offense be considered violent or serious. And it would provide a means for people currently serving ridiculously long sentences for relatively minor crimes to appeal and seek relief.

This is long overdue. Vote yes on 36.

PROPOSITION 37

GMO LABELING

YES

A huge amount of the food on supermarket shelves in California contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs.) A lot of people, particularly in the chemical and agribusiness industry, think that's just fine. They say that GMOs have no negative health impacts and improve the ability of producers to bring low-cost fresh food to customers.

We freely admit: The scientific evidence on GMOs is pretty sparse. There are some studies done on rodents that show organ failure and cancerous tumors related to some GMOs, but there are no human studies at all and the Food and Drug Administration says there's no need to regulate GMOs.

Prop. 37 doesn't seek regulations or limits in any way. It just mandates that GMO food be labeled — the way it is in at least 50 countries worldwide, including all of the European Union, China, Japan and Russia. Hardly a radical proposition, but it's got Big Ag in a furor.

The No on 37 campaign is funded by Monsanto, Dupont, Pepsico, and other chemical, seed and food companies that make their money from genetically engineered foods. Those outfits say engineered food is perfectly healthy, and that food labeling would unnecessarily scare consumers.

We'll be glad if they're right, and GMOs are just fine and dandy. But consumers deserve a choice — and labeling would force the industry to support further studies on consumer safety. Vote yes.

PROPOSITION 38

TAX FOR EDUCATION

YES

There's so much wrong with Prop. 38, starting with its origin. It's another billionaire plaything, the work of the wealthy Molly Munger, who decided, on her own, that the state should raise income taxes to pay for better schools.

Comments

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.
PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD IN ANY WAY YOU CAN. THANK YOU.
www.carighttoknow.org
www.gmwatch.org
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

like!

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.

http://blog.sfgate.com/sfmoms/2012/11/05/why-im-voting-yes-on-both-props...

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

SFBG MUST MEAN *NO ON 38*.

READ THE JUSTIFICATION. THEY CLEARLY MEAN NO NO NO on 38!!!!!!!!!!

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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