San Diego tea party Proposition Recommendations

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My fellow SLOB, W.C. Varones, has posted tea party recommendations for this June’s ballot. Since there is no official tea party position, and everyone can claim a leadership role in the tea party, I am following suit. I am a resident of the city of San Diego, so I am not covering propositions in El Cajon, Oceanside or other areas. On to the props – I am using my own shortened and more accurate versions of the titles. Don’t like my characterizations? Tough, get your own blog; free speech rocks.

Statewide Propositions

Proposition 28 – The Faux Term Limits Initiative – NO

This measure reduces the total time a legislator can serve in office (Assembly or Senate) to 12 years, down from 14 years. More term limits, hooray? Wrong. Right now, members of the Assembly are limited to 6 years in office; if they want to stay in Sacramento they have to run for the State Senate. Under this proposal, an Assemblyman will go from being limited to three terms to being limited to six terms, because the new language doesn’t specify which house the term limits apply to, unlike now. Under the current system State Senators are limited to two four year terms, if Prop 28 passes they will go to three. This will actually increase the time that legislators remain ensconced in uncompetitive districts. Vote NO.

Proposition 29 – Cigarette Tax Dollars for Special Interests – NO

From the LOWV website:

This measure increases–effective October 2012–the existing state excise tax on cigarettes by $1 per pack. The total state excise tax, therefore, would be $1.87 per pack.

So the tax is set to increase by 115%. We also know that increasing tobacco taxes never generates the revenue projected. Where would the money go? Well to fund the California Cancer Research Life Sciences Innovation Trust Fund, silly. Who could be against that? Well, it turns out that this will be a slush fund, where research dollars are directed by unelected officials, appointed by politicians who can pay back their supporters. From Ballotpedia.org, the members of the committee to funnel research money to close pals of the medical and political establishment are:

  • 3 University of California chancellors (Berkeley, San Francisco and Santa Cruz)
  • 3 “selected from among Cancer Center Directors of National Cancer Institute designated cancer centers located within the State of California” (appointed by the Governor of California)
  • 1 “affiliated with a California Academic Medical Center who is a practicing physician with expertise in the prevention, treatment or research of cardiovascular disease” (appointed by the Governor of California)
  • 2 “selected from among California representatives of California or national disease advocacy groups whose focus is tobacco-related illness, at least one of whom shall be a person who has been treated for a tobacco related illness.” (appointed by Director of California Department of Public Health)
  • A Committee to establish a peer review process for selection of grants modeled on the process used by the National Institutes of Health.

Tobacco tax dollars couldn’t be in better hands. Is the state of California going to get into the cancer research funding business, given all our other problems? Further, this is an example of ballot box budgeting. I will stipulate that the Democrat controlled legislature has not done their job for decades; but we are getting to the point where angels themselves couldn’t straighten out our state budget, given the complexities of initiatives directing spending. Vote NO.

San Diego Ballot Measures

Proposition A – Project Labor Agreements Can Not be Mandatory – Yes

This explanation from the LOWV site is simple.

The ballot measure states that except as required by State or federal contracting or procurement obligation, or as a condition of the receipt of State or federal funds, the City shall not require a contractor on a construction project to participate in a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) as a contract condition.

It prevents the city from imposing a PLA condition in order to win a contract. Why this is controversial is beyond me. The bidding contractors for city work should be able to bid based on their knowledge of their own costs, without having to worry that the city will side with unions and impose additional costs on projects. Richard Rider has signed on to the ballot argument for the proposition, always a big endorsement in my view. Vote YES.

Proposition B – San Diego Employee Pension Reform – Yes

There has been a huge discussion of the details of this proposition, so I only want to make a few simple points of my own. First, even the proposition’s opponents concede it will save the city and therefore the taxpayers, money. Their claim is that the savings don’t come from the change to a defined contribution system. So what? This is a package deal that saves money.

Second, is a philosophical matter. Who should be responsible for the management of pensions, the employee or employer. I think our experience over the last two decades has answered the question. The employees must be in charge of their own retirement planning, because neither unions, nor businesses, nor government can be counted upon to keep their best interests first and foremost. This is how we got into this mess, unions cut deals with politicians that couldn’t be kept and we ended up with a disaster. Defined benefits require pay as you go accounting, which makes the costs of pensions more transparent.

Finally, there is the question of risk. Defined benefit pensions puts the risk for future benefits on the taxpayers. If the market tanks, or politicians are corrupt or some catastrophe strikes, it puts the taxpayers at risk. I don’t want the risk, I have enough of my own. Why should taxpayers, who are mostly relying on 401(k)s for their own retirement, and shouldering their own retirement risk, also should the retirement risk of employees? They shouldn’t.

Vote YES.

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Comments 14

  1. Varones is wrong about Dave Roberts. Roberts is a “tax & spend” Democrat. He was a driving force behind Prop L (which a FEW tea party people fought against). Any overtures he extends to pension reform lack the understanding that defined benefit plans leave taxpayers managing risk through a failed money manager (CalPERS)

  2. I really don’t know Carl Hilliard all that well. Steve Danon has answered every question I asked of him satisfactorily. My sense is that Danon may not be a conservative (in a way you or I might define conservative) but my experience here in Solana Beach, with Dave Roberts has been:

    1- a ban on plastic bags in grocery stores
    2- a boondoggle and costly affordable housing project when the State mandate be net for far less money by purchasing exiting housing stick
    3- proposed smoking bans on what is private property
    4- he tried to increase hotel taxes to 30% (Prop E)
    5- he tried to institute a business and landlord tax (Prop L)
    6- he supported higher cigarette taxes and gas taxes

    Roberts isn’t the protest vote for tea party folks, He’s a tax-and-spend Democrat

  3. Brian,

    You think you have it bad with Dave Roberts in Solana Beach?

    In Encinitas, we have a genuine union-owned communist for mayor. His name is Jerome Stocks, and he calls himself a Republican and blogs here at Rostra.

    In 2005, he voted for a 35% pension increase for city workers so they could retire filthy rich at 55.

  4. We won’t attempt to speak to the policy decision you reference, or those of Mr. Stocks in general. But, yeah, that gives you a ton of credibility… Anyone with whom you disagree is a communist. Good luck with that. We’ll let your comment stand, as an example of how ridiculous commenters look when they try to make points with name calling and platitudes.

  5. Jerome Stocks thinks government workers are entitled to a life of wealth and leisure at age 55 and you think I’m the one who looks ridiculous?

    Good grief, Thor’s Assistant. You need to get your priorities in order.
    ______

    From TA: We very clearly said we weren’t addressing any policies Stocks may have voted on. We don’t know, but assuming you are correct about the vote, then our concern would be applied to every public official who approved of such policies in the 90s and last decade. There were many of them. They were proved sorely wrong, even directly responsible for the budget debacles we see today. All true, likely. We understand your position to also be that they were unquestionably all commies, part of a grand conspiracy to bring the United States to its knees. Got it.

  6. To call someone in local poltiics a “communist” or “nazi” is to trivialize the GENUINE EVIL of those systems, and the more than 100 MILLION people they have murdered.

    Disputes over pensions don’t QUITE rise to that level.

  7. Jim, you previously sought to “correct” my colorful analogy and, as I am a guest here, I didn’t seek to confront you with an explanation of it (N.B- I never called anyone a communist). I suppose that now is as good as time as any, to confront politically-correct speech modification.

    Let’s start with some background. Mr Varones and I are part of the “more libertarianish right” (aka tea party) We tend to understand the unintended consequences of government action and can equate seemingly innocent legislation with the early actions of totalitarian regimes. (now I’ll speak only for myself and invite Mr Varones to do the same)

    Admittedly, I may not fully articulate the historical steps, which support the conclusive but definitive words I use, because I rely on a basic knowledge of the history of tyrannical regimes. If permitted to continue posting here, I promise to walk folks through those steps when I use more colorful adjectives and nouns so that there can be no confusion.

    eg— Annette Corriveau was featured on a Dr Phil for wanting to “mercy kill” her adult disabled children. Any student of history knows that the National Socialists started out by advocating for such a policy. I would probably not hesitate to call Mrs Corriveau a wannabe Nazi because, I, like you, recognize real evil when I see it.

    eg– It might be a hasty generalization to equivocate the Solana Beach Council’s plastic bag ban to the National Socialists’ “Reich Nature Protection Act” but it could serve as fair warning, that concentrated power, even when cloaked with the most benign of intentions, can result in tyranny..

    I grew up with university professors telling me to observe “politically correct speech” which, as I’ve come to learn, is a tenet of cultural Marxism. When I see you “correct” me or Mr. Varones, I equate that behavior with those who have pushed cultural Marxism through the “long march through the institutions”…and yet…

    I think your motives are more egoistic than that. As I am a capitalist, I would fully understand if you said that my using the C-word or N-word might hurt your business. You would get a genuine Mea Culpa from me.

    But if you just want to define the rules of speech? I gotta say that you are contributing to the problem..

    PS— as a devotee of the “more libertarianish right”, I am maniacal about property rights. If Thor’s Assistant were to say “never use the C-word or N-word on this site”, I would simply respect his decision. After all, this is his property.

  8. Hello Brian:

    Thanks for your comments which are – as usual – straight from the shoulder.

    First, I disagreed with labeling someone a Communist who is NOT a communist. That’s an effort at CLARITY, not censorship. Radio host Dennis Prager often says he seeks Clarity in politics, not agreement, and he is correct in so doing.

    Second, the term was applied to a longtime Republican (Jerome Stocks) who is also a ROSTRAFARIAN (!) and a donor/endorser of candidates like Howard Kaloogian, Chris Rubin, George Plescia, among others.

    Third, our side of the aisle in American politics paid a price for decades for reckless application of the word “communist” to people who were not communists. We can learn lessons from history, and this one is important to absorb.

    Fourth, casual use of the words Nazi and Communist erodes their impact, and trivializes the real Evil they represent. There are REAL communists in the world, and real fascists. Let’s use those words to describe them, not fellow Americans with whom we disagree on a local/state/national issue.

    WE ARE THE RIGHT… we are proud to be … And we can do better than those segments of the Left who casually call us Fascicts. We believe in Literal, actual, Unchanging Truth, and so we must hold ourselves to a Higher Standard.

    The Truth matters to us. That is a Good Thing.

  9. “The Truth matters to us. That is a Good Thing.”

    We definitely agree on that and we understand each other completely. Thanks for the reply

  10. As for being allowed to use the N- and C-words on Rostra, uhhhh, well, that would be dependent on which N and C words. That aside, our interest is in keeping the level of debate high and the name calling out of it to the extent possible. For instance, there is a difference between, say, “Joe is a Commie,” and a detailed opinion about how Joe’s policy positions are no better than those who think the means of production should be controlled by the state. BTW, fascists also believe that. But, we don’t allow the F-word either, dependent on which F word, mind you. 😉

  11. “But, we don’t allow the F-word either, dependent on which F word, mind you”

    Who said blogs don’t convey a sense of humor? You trumped me with yours 🙂
    .

  12. Hi Brian,

    I am one of the millions of Americans who are extremely worried about the direction in which our country (and state) are headed. Redefining marriage, mandating the purchase of insurance, requiring contraceptive coverage by religious organizations, taxpayer funding of abortions, increasing encroachment of government bureaucracy in the lives of its citizens, fostering a government-dependence mentality, the failure of the President and Congress to pass a budget, the trend toward estabilished multiculturalism, taxing the wealthy to redistribute wealth to those who claim entitlement – are just some of my major concerns. Some call it the march toward socialism. Whatever it is, it’s certainly not the direction our founding fathers envisioned when they launched our republic. Liberty, E Pluribus Unum, One Nation Under God. This is what they believed in. So do I.

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