California 2018 Initiative Editorial Scorecard

Joe Rodota and Matt Klink
Joe Rodota is CEO of Forward Observer and Matt Klink is President of Klink Campaigns.

Below find the third issue of the 2018 California Initiative Editorial Scorecard.

Forward Observer and Klink Campaigns developed the 2018 California Initiative Editorial Scorecard to keep track of editorials for and against the 11 statewide initiatives on this November’s ballot. We will update the scorecard weekly with ballot measure endorsements (pro and con) from the top 20 California newspapers by circulation. The third edition of the California Initiative Editorial Scorecard is based on 136 editorials thus far.

The following excerpts are from endorsement editorials that appeared online or in print since our last edition:

Proposition 1

Bakersfield Californian – Yes

“Proposition 1 authorizes $4 billion in general obligation bonds to provide much-needed funding to build housing for veterans and to help the state alleviate its affordable housing crisis.” Link

Proposition 2

Los Angeles Times – Yes

“Service providers have shown consistently that mentally ill homeless people are most likely to improve when housing is combined with treatment. Developers of the housing built with this money would be required to make mental health and case management services available as well.” Link

Bakersfield Californian – Yes

“Proposition 2 will allow the Legislature to issue $2 billion in bonds to funding housing for homeless people with mental health problems. The bonds would be paid off with a portion of the proceeds from Proposition 63, a ballot measure passed by voters in 2004 that imposes a 1 percent tax on incomes of $1 million and above to fund mental health services. For the money to be used for housing, which is essentially addressing the needs of homeless, mentally ill Californians, voters are being asked to give their approval.” Link

Proposition 3

Bakersfield Californian – Yes

“Proposition 3 is a citizen’s initiative bond to continue the investments in the state’s water supply and water quality. Remarkably, in this partisan environment, valley support for this $8.9 billion bond initiative is crossing party lines. Money from the sale of the bonds will be spent on many critical valley water projects and to provide clean drinking water in communities that now have unsafe water.” Link

Proposition 4

San Francisco Chronicle – Yes

“Here is the compelling practical argument in favor of Prop. 4: The goal of the bond is to acquire the latest technology and life-saving medical equipment. It makes a difference. Children’s hospitals are on the cutting edge of pediatric research; perform 97 percent of pediatric organ transplants and 96 percent of all pediatric heart surgeries; and oversee 76 percent of all pediatric cancer treatments, according to the association.” Link

Sacramento Bee -Yes

“Faced with a choice of whether to provide children with access to top-notch hospitals or leave them and their families to fend for themselves, big-hearted Californians have shown time and again that they will gladly hand over their tax dollars – even in the midst of a recession. They should do so again this year by voting “yes” on Proposition 4 on the Nov. 6 ballot.” Link

Orange County Register, Riverside Press Enterprise, Los Angeles Daily News, Torrance Daily Breeze, Long Beach Press Telegram, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin – No

“While we appreciate the fact that raising $1.5 billion in bonds will make it easier for children’s hospitals to meet their construction and renovation goals, we question the wisdom of relying on bonds.” Link

Bakersfield Californian – Yes

“Proposition 4 authorizes a $1.5 billion bond to expand and improve the network of 13 children’s hospitals that receive more than 2 million visits a year. Some of Kern County’s most critically ill children are rushed to the Children’s Hospital in Madera for specialized treatment. Hospitals are expensive to operate and maintain. Constantly advancing medical technology is expensive to purchase. Investing in the specialized care of our children is worth supporting Proposition 4.” Link

 Proposition 5

Santa Rosa Press Democrat – No

“But this new tax break wouldn’t reduce the high cost of housing in California. Moreover, it would come at a steep cost to cities, counties and, especially, the schools those younger families count on to educate their children. It also would turn Proposition 13 on its head.” Link

Bakersfield Californian – Yes

“Seniors in some counties who wish to move or downsize may be able to apply the lower tax rate to the new home they buy. But they can use this tax break only once. Proposition 5, which voters should support, will allow the rate to be applied to multiple future transactions in all California counties. This is a smart, compassionate way to help California’s growing senior population and to make existing affordable homes available to new buyers.” Link

Proposition 6

San Francisco Chronicle – No

“California’s plan to improve the state’s roads, highways, and transit infrastructure is supported by major business groups, first responders, environmental groups, and nearly every public policy outfit with an interest in good governance. Proposition 6 is a cynical political ploy that will starve California’s already-crumbling transportation networks, and it may not save drivers any money. Vote no.” Link

Bakersfield Californian – No

“No one wants to pay taxes. But, then again, no one wants to drive on pothole-plagued, deteriorating roads or get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Those were the road conditions when state lawmakers bit the bullet and increased taxes – an act they knew would be unpopular. So unpopular it led to the recall of one lawmaker. Now it’s time for Californians to bite the bullet: They should reject efforts to repeal the much-needed tax. The Californian urges voters to reject Proposition 6.” Link

Proposition 7

Los Angeles Times – Yes

“Proposition 7 won’t stop the clock-changing; it would just allow the discussion to continue about the merits of doing so, as well as making the procedural changes needed to allow a future shift to permanent daylight saving time. It’s a debate worth having, and for that reason we urge voters to say “yes” on this measure.” Link

Bakersfield Californian – No

“A practical reason not to do this is the danger it poses to school kids and others who will be walking the streets in the dark as winter sets in and the hours of daylight grow shorter. But another consideration is that it probably won’t happen. Proposition 7 would repeal the state’s Daylight Saving Time Act that voters approved in 1949. Converting to year-round daylight saving will require a two-thirds majority vote in the Legislature, approval by Congress, plus the signatures of the governor and president.” Link

Proposition 8

Los Angeles Times – No

“Given the spread of diabetes and the kidney failure it can cause, the state will need more dialysis clinics, not fewer. But even if the revenue cap doesn’t drive clinics out of business, it would give them a perverse incentive to deliver care less efficiently – to raise patient-related spending in order to raise the revenue cap… The only guarantee is that it would make care more expensive, at a time when our goal as a society must be to bring healthcare costs down while keeping the quality of care high.” Link

Bakersfield Californian – No

“This is an example of a special interest – in this case, a labor union – using the state’s initiative system to get what it could not get by organizing the workers of the state’s two largest dialysis businesses, DaVita and Fresenius Medical Care. The convoluted formula proponents would impose on company spending and revenues may apply organizing pressure on the companies. But smaller companies contend it could force them out of business and endanger their fragile clients, who depend on dialysis to live.” Link

Proposition 10

Orange County Register, Riverside Press Enterprise, Los Angeles Daily News, Torrance Daily Breeze, Long Beach Press Telegram, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin – No

“If every municipal election offers the opportunity for city council candidates to campaign aggressively for rent control, the risk alone will likely drive prudent investors in housing business to take their money to another state. Taxpayers could take a hit: If apartment values decline, owners can obtain a lower property-tax assessment to reflect the reduced value.” Link

Fresno Bee, Modesto Bee – No

“Those living in rent-controlled apartments, meanwhile, find it difficult to move – they’ll never find rent that low again. So they stay. Voting yes on Proposition 10 might soothe the outrage felt by writing a $1,200 rent check, but it won’t solve the problem. ‘If Prop 10 is passed … it will kill multi-family housing in this state,’ said Greg Terzakis, executive director of the California Apartment Association.” Link

Bakersfield Californian – No

“Proposition 10, which would lift state limits on local rent control laws, would discourage construction of affordable housing and worsen California’s existing crisis. Voters should reject Proposition 10, which is being falsely presented as an easy way to combat increasing rents and to increase affordable housing. The answer to California’s housing crisis is to build more affordable housing, not to discourage construction.” Link

Proposition 11

Bakersfield Californian – Yes

“Proposition 11 would make it clear that emergency medical technicians and paramedics working for private ambulance companies must remain reachable during paid work breaks so that they can respond immediately when needed. The proposition results from an earlier court ruling that placed the status of on-call workers in question. This is a sensible response. Vote yes.” Link

Proposition 12

Sacramento Bee – No

“The measure would build on Proposition 2, which voters approved in 2008 to set size restrictions for confinement pens based on animal behavior. Proposition 12 would make those restrictions more clear by setting a specific number of square feet for confinement. But it is far from clear whether the sizes are adequate.”Link

Los Angeles Times – Yes

“It’s heartening that both farmers and buyers acknowledge the importance of improving animal welfare standards. But it’s also important that animal welfare standards be more than suggestions or good-hearted gestures to be undertaken when it’s convenient and withdrawn when it’s not. That’s why it’s important to have a law like Proposition 12 in place.” Link

Bakersfield Californian – No

“Now, along comes Proposition 12, which appears to be an attempt to clarify the caging requirements in Proposition 2. But some supporters of Proposition 2 are crying fowl. [Yes, it’s a pun.] They claim they were sold out by the Humane Society of the United States, which has teamed up with California egg producers to push back on caging requirements in exchange for expanding the sales prohibition and using the ballot measure for fundraising. Californians should opt out of this food fight by just voting NO.” Link

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