This is part two of my review of the 17 propositions on the November ballot. Part 1, covering Propositions 51-58, is here.
Proposition 59 would advise California’s members of Congress to overturn the 2010 Citizens United decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, which liberalized contributions to political campaigns by corporations, “to ensure that all citizens, regardless of wealth, may express their views to one another, and to make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.” It’s an absolutely pointless exercise in futility. Not only would it be ignored by California members of the Congress, Republican representatives from Iowa or Ohio aren’t going to care what voters think in Lotusland.
A Public Policy Polling Survey branded California the “least favorite state,” even below New Jersey.
Moreover, Prop. 59 attacks all types of “corporations” – including unions, especially public-employee unions. For example, the California Teachers Association stipulates, according to its own Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, “First – That the name of this corporation shall be California Teachers Association.” Think labor-associated Democrats from Michigan and Ohio would back such an attack?
Besides, doesn’t the First Amendment begin, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances”? What part of “no law” is not understood?
Proposition 60 is so disgusting I won’t even describe it, or link to it. Don’t the people who advanced the initiative care that ballot pamphlets flooding mailboxes, and describing the explicit details, are read by young children?
Proposition 61 would impose price controls on prescription drugs. But price controls always raise prices by causing shortages, so that’s what really would happen. The model would be the prices charged by the Veterans Administration. But as I pointed out in an article on this site, for generic drugs the VA actually charges twice what you can grab them for at Walmart. And is the scandal-plagued VA the model for anything?
Proposition 62 would repeal the death penalty in California. As I wrote on Fox & Hounds, there aren’t going to be any more executions in California because future governors will be against it and will commute death sentences. Yet keeping it on the books may still have a deterrent value because most murderers aren’t constitutional lawyers. And see, below, Proposition 66.
Proposition 63 is another attack on our Second Amendment “right to keep and bear arms.” Much of its content already was passed by the Legislature earlier this year. The main thing it would do is impose new police-state policies to grab guns from those who, according to other draconian state laws, aren’t supposed to have them. Your papers, please!
Proposition 64 would legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Several other states have done so already. In Colorado, the results are mixed, with pot-related DUI arrests down a bit, but heavier use up, among other purple hazy developments. California’s current penalty of just $100 for having a small amount, and no penalty for those easily getting a medical-pot card from numerous local shops, make it already virtually legal anyway.
Proposition 65 is a tax increase to dedicate revenues from selling paper bags to “a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board to support specified categories of environmental projects.” But according to opponents, “All 65 would do is direct funding from the sale of paper bags (an option under the plastic bag ban [Proposition 67, see below]) to a new state fund. The money for this fund is a drop in the bucket and will shrink over time as people adjust to bringing reusable bags.” Yeah, right.
Proposition 66 would speed up legal procedures for imposing the death penalty. As mentioned above with Proposition 62, future governors won’t allow anyone to be executed. This ain’t Texas. So Prop. 66 would speed the process by which they aren’t executed. Death penalty advocates would have better luck watching a DVD of the Clint Eastwood flick “Hang ’em High.”
Proposition 67 would ban plastic bags at grocery stores, supposedly to protect the “environment” from its most super-evil opponent yet, “Big Plastic” companies that make the bags. The ban was imposed a couple years back in Huntington Beach, where I live, and everybody hated it so much the city council reversed itself. For one thing, a lot of folks re-use the plastic bags to pick up dog ordure. So I guess Gov. Jerry Brown and the other political elitists backing this are OK with our sidewalks piling up with doggy doo-do.
As noted under Prop. 65, the aim of the bag banners is to force everyone to bring in “reusable” bags. But they’re disgusting! According to the Huffington Post, “A research paper published last year  by professors at the University of Pennsylvania and George Mason University found San Francisco’s ban on plastic bags has had significant negative repercussions on public health.
“The study, released in August, found a spike in San Francisco hospital emergency room treatment due to E. coli infections and a 46 percent increase in deaths from foodborne illness in the three months after the bag ban went into effect in 2007. E. coli bacteria, common in the human intestine and frequent suspects in food poisoning, can range from harmless to lethal.”
That’s the general result of politics nowadays in California: to make us all sick.
Veteran California journalist John Seiler’s new website on Orange County news and politics is: SeilerReport.com.