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Speaking of the apocalypse, epilepsy its almost time for California’s November 8th Special Election, order and that means another Granick Slate Card. Because of my server migration, everyone who wants to be on the list needs to resubscribe. To subscribe to the Granick Slate Card, click here. The Granick Slate Card issues before every California election and is distributed under the same Creative Commons license terms as this site.

Tomorrow is Super Tuesday and California’s Primary Election. The Granick Slate Card picks for the San Francisco ballot follow. Prepare yourselves, unhealthy its long.

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Friends, Romans, Republicans…..

Below are the Granick Slate Card picks for our March 2 Super Tuesday election, exactly five days from today. This is a primary, and I’m a registered Democrat, so I’m not picking Republican races, but the ballot measure endorsements should be helpful.

Some Resources:
http://www.smartvoter.org/2004/03/02/ca/sf/
http://www.sfchamber.com/positions_ballot_measures.htm
http://www.sfbg.com/38/21/cover_endorsements.html
http://www.sfgate.com/politics/

There’s been a lot of elections this year, so let’s get right to it.

President: John Edwards

Kerry’s probably going to be the nominee, and hopefully our next president, and I’m feeling pretty good about that. But he’s got to learn the lesson that Howard Dean taught the Democrats, which is that you can’t win by playing it safe and hoping to get the “Anyone But Bush” vote. You have to take a stance. Edwards’ “Two Americas” platform is great. He’s talking about class and race and a vision of how government can help regular people. I think that the Democrats need to heed this message, and a vote for Edwards will help.�

On the other hand, you might want to send Kerry into the general election with a landslide of support behind him.�

Senator: Barbara Boxer

Even though I’m angry with her for taking a wishy-washy stance on gay marriage, Boxer’s a powerful liberal force. The Republicans, including Arnold Schwarzenegger have targeted her seat this year and will throw a lot of money at unseating her in the general election.�

US House of Representatives

District 8: Nancy Pelosi
Map of District 8: http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/SEN/cngplan/CNGMAPS/MAP08_150.JPG
Pelosi, also a liberal, was much more supportive of S.F.’s refusal to continue to issue marriage licenses on a discriminatory basis than Boxer was.�

District 12: Ro Khanna
Map of District 12: http://www.sen.ca.gov/ftp/SEN/cngplan/CNGMAPS/MAP12_150.JPG
This is not my district, but I met Ro at a political party and I think his platform and presentation is great. The incumbent he’s running against, Tom Lantos, has been in office a long time. He’s got a reasonable voting record, but he supported both the war in Iraq and the USA Patriot Act, which Ro opposes. Ro also supports gay marriage and is comfortable with taking principled stands on issues like gay marriage, even if the rest of the country isn’t exactly ready for the idea. I think its time for a change.�

State Senate, District 3

Carol Migden: From the Chronicle:� “In next Tuesday’s primary, Migden will face fellow Democrat Davy Jones, a self-described housing coordinator and businessman. Jones is campaigning on an affordable housing platform and says he is “independent of the Democratic machine.” … Migden says she is campaigning on her record of protecting old-growth redwoods, promoting safe needle use in hospitals and creating a system to provide cleaner sources of energy for California’s cities, among other accomplishments.”

State Assembly

District 12: Leland Yee: The Guardian says that Yee hasn’t done a darn thing since he got into office and refuses to endorse him.�

District 13: Mark Leno: I’m a long time supporter of Leno and he’s done a great job in the assembly. He’s an effective legislator and has focussed on important issues, including discrimination.

State Propositions:

Proposition 55 . School Bonds: Oh, ok!�

Should the state sell twelve billion three hundred million dollars ($12,300,000,000) in general obligation bonds for construction and renovation of K-12 school facilities and higher education facilities?

I’m usually for bonds for long term improvements, but against school bonds because I think the answer is to repeal Prop 13 and raise property taxes. But we’re not going to do that, so….

Proposition 56 . State Budget: YES
Should the State Constitution and certain statutes be amended to allow the state legislature to pass the state budget and budget-related tax and appropriation bills with a 55 percent vote, and to make other changes to the budget process?

This will make it easier to pass a budget. Only 2 other states require a 2/3 vote, as we currently do. It will also make it easier to raise taxes, which is why the opponents are fighting against it.�

Proposition 57 . Borrowing Money:� NO
Should the state of California borrow 15 billion dollars ($15,000,000,000) through the sale of bonds to provide financing for California’s budget deficit?

This is a really difficult one. After defeating Gray Davis, Arnold turns out to need to borrow money both to pay off old debt and to balance out the budget for next year. Opponents to the bill say the state needs to cut spending, which is right. I also do not believe in borrowing money to pay off old debt or balance the budget. We should only borrow for long term future improvements. Sacramento Bee editorial: http://www.sacbee.com/content/opinion/editorials/story/8273047p-9203707c.html, and SF Chron: http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/sparks/. Also, it would be nice to see Arnold fail at doing exactly what he criticized Davis for doing. But what are we going to do in the meantime? Top _Democrats_ including Feinstein, Boxer, State Senator Burton and Comptroller Steve Westly have come out in favor: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/02/11/MNGRA4U15T1.DTL. This is a bad idea, I think, but when in doubt, its often good to see who your bedfellows are. I’d rather be sleeping with Boxer than with the Republicans who will oppose. Still, I can’t get over what a bad idea I think this is. Today, I’m leaning towards a “no” vote. There may be an update on Monday. ������

Proposition 58 . Required Balanced Budget: NO
Should the state Constitution be amended to require that the state adopt a balanced budget and provide for mid-year adjustments if the budget falls out of balance? Should the Constitution also include state budget reserve requirements and limits on future borrowing to finance budget deficits?

The provisions of this measure only take effect if Prop 57 passes, so these rise and fall together. I’ll probably vote no.�

Local Ballot Measures:

Measure 2 . Regional Traffic Relief Plan — County of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Solano (Regional Measure – Majority Vote) Yes
Shall voters authorize a Regional Traffic Relief Plan that does the following:

(1) Directs revenues generated through the collection of bridge tolls to provide the following projects:
(A) Expand and extend BART.
(B) New transbay commuter rail crossing south of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
(C) Comprehensive Regional Express bus network.
(D) New expanded ferry service.
(E) Better connections between BART, buses, ferries, and rail.

(2) Approves a one dollar ($1) toll increase effective July 1, 2004, on all toll bridges in the bay area, except the Golden Gate Bridge?

Summarized from the Bay Guardian: Expanded A.C. Transit bus service, rail service on the Dumbarton Bridge, expanded bike and pedestrian access on both sides of the bay, and the creation of a universal transit pass are good. Some of the projects on the list, are just awful. including a fourth bore in the Caldecott Tunnel, and BART extensions to Warm Springs and east Contra Costa County. But the Greens and other environmental groups are backing it as a pretty good compromise.�

Measure A . YES

Tax-deferred Transfer of Accrued Vacation and Sick Leave to Employees — City of San Francisco (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)
Shall City employees who receive a cash payment for unused vacation time and sick leave be permitted to defer this payment and defer state and federal taxes on this payment?

This will save workers and the city money. A ballot measure that saves money for everyone!�

Measure B . YES

Retirement Benefits for District Attorneys, Public Defenders and Public Defender Investigators — City of San Francisco (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)
May the City contract with the California Public Employee Retirement System for retirement benefits for District Attorneys, Public Defenders and Public Defender investigators if there is no change in cost to the City?

No change in cost! At this rate, we’ll pay off those bonds in no time.�

Measure C . Reduce the Minimum Police Staffing Level after Conducting a Study of Which Positions Could be Filled by Civilian Personnel — City of San Francisco (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)
Shall the City reduce the required number of uniformed Police officers if the City fills certain positions currently performed by uniformed officers with civilian staff?

Yes. Instead of having cops who are being investigated by internal affairs sitting at desks and doing paperwork, the department can hire civilians at less cost to do those jobs. The current paper-pushers would not be fired, just phased out as they retire.�

Measure D . YES

Retirement Benefits for Domestic Partners — City of San Francisco (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)
Shall domestic partners be allowed to register in the City, even if they live or work outside the City, and shall the City Employees’ Retirement System treat domestic partners as spouses?

From the Guardian: This is particularly important for city workers because, currently, if they happen to live outside city limits, they aren’t allowed to transfer pension benefits in the same way as married couples or domestic partners who live here. The supervisors could also make it so San Francisco would recognize domestic partnerships registered elsewhere.

Measure E . Yes

Board of Supervisors to Respond to Orders/Requests for the Production of City Records Under State and Federal Laws — City of San Francisco (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)
Shall the Board of Supervisors, rather than individual departments and officials, respond to requests made by the federal or state government for records that may contain private information about citizens?

This is a slap back at the USA Patriot Act. We’d join other cities around the country in saying that we don’t think that giving up our privacy in the ways the statute requires makes us any safer.�

Measure F . NO

Reclassify Deputy Sheriffs as Safety Employees Covered Under Charter Section A8.590-1 et seq — City of San Francisco (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)
Shall the rules that apply to labor negotiations with the uniformed members of the Police and Fire departments also apply to labor negotiations with the deputy sheriffs?

This measure and the next were difficult to find information on, but this is the commentary from the SF Bay Guardian:

“A quirk in the City Charter currently allows police and firefighters to wait until after the city’s budget is passed, and the fiscal year has started, before they have to conclude contract negotiations. This gives them inordinate leverage, allowing them to wheel and deal indefinitely, while all other city employees have to sign their contracts before the new fiscal year. Now the roughly 850 sheriff’s deputies, who run the city’s jails, are asking to have the same extended negotiating time as the cops and firefighters.

We’re all for equity, but this is doing it backward. The cops and firefighters ought to have to same deadlines as everyone else � the early deadlines.”

Measure G . No

Supplemental Compensation for Employees on Military Leave — City of San Francisco (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)
May the City provide supplemental pay for more than 180 days to City employees called for military service, and may the City provide this pay retroactively?

Military reservists who have been called to prolonged duty in Iraq are having a hard time financially. As it stands, the city and county of San Francisco may choose to make up the difference for local government employees for up to 180 days, in the event of “extraordinary circumstances” such as a protracted war: This would remove the 180 cap and allow the city to give people money retroactively. While the financial burden is hurting reservists families, this is a cost that the federal government should shoulder, not the City.�

Measure H . No

Establishing a Public Education Fund — City of San Francisco (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)
Shall the City create a fund to increase the City’s spending for public education over the next eleven years?

The problem with this measure is that it requires increased funding for education out of the general fund without any additional revenue streams. I am against ballot measures earmarking money out of the general fund because I think it makes it impossible to set budget priorities in subsequent years. You may remember what I said about recent proposition 53 which would slate 3% of state money for general infrastructure costs:

At 12:06 PM -0700 10/1/03, Jennifer S. Granick wrote:
This proposition would slate 3% of general revenue funds for infrastructure expenses. California used to spend a lot greater percentage on infrastructure, now we spend less, and people think the roads, schools, etc. are shabby. That may be true, and we should spend more money of infrastructure, but earmarking money is not the way to do it.

You may remember my reason for voting against Arnold’s last foray into government, his after school program financing initiative. “But earmarking money in the general fund is a bad way to fund programs. It reduces the what government has to spend on other things, like schools, health programs and environmental enforcement, and ties the hands of our elected representatives. There�s no flexibility in this proposition.” This is even more true now. Less than 30 % of our budget is discretionary spending. Its hard for any governor or government to make important choices about budget priorities when so much of the budget is earmarked for other things.� If the government is to govern, we must give it something to govern with.

The guardian, which supports this measure, says: Even at its peak, Prop. H will influence less than 3 percent of the discretionary city budget � and if the city faces a deficit in any particular year, the contribution will be reduced.

Measure I . No

Healthy Air Enforcement Act of 2004 — City of San Francisco (Ordinance – Majority Approval Required)
Shall Muni be required to replace diesel buses purchased before 1991, and shall any new Muni vehicles be required to meet the anti-pollution standards that apply to other City vehicles?

This would require the city to retire diesel buses even if they are perfectly good. This effort at micromanagement comes out of a misconception that pollution is only created by the running of buses. But the manufacture of new vehicles creates pollution, too. When the buses are ready to go, they should be replaced by clean air vehicles, but it doesn’t help the environment to retire the buses when they still work and create a demand for new vehicles before they are needed.�

Measure J . No

Incentives to Build Below Market Rate Housing and Exceptions to Density Restrictions — City of San Francisco (Ordinance – Majority Approval Required)
Shall housing developments located downtown or along the central waterfront be subject to less-restrictive density and height rules?

Prop J would speed up city review of certain projects and ease height and density limits, as well as cover $2 million in up-front environmental review costs. In exchange, developers would provide an additional 27 to 29 percent of condominiums for sale to the slightly-above-midrange earners, on top of the usual affordable-housing requirements. The Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring the proposition.

From the Guardian:

Prop. J was put on the ballot without a single public hearing, and if it passes, it would override a four-year-old public planning process for the central waterfront � a process neighbors have been closely involved in � and could overrule years of careful preservation work in part of Chinatown. The measure is cleverly written to potentially allow so-called workforce condos � which would be for sale, not for rent � to be constructed in nearly every residential neighborhood in the city. To qualify to buy one, you’d have to earn 120 percent of the area median income; the vast majority of San Franciscans earn far less and won’t benefit.

There’s a much better alternative. The Board of Supervisors is already working on a plan to provide denser housing while forcing developers to give significant cash back to the community for parks, community meeting spaces, local retail, and the other things that make a neighborhood work. Public hearings have already begun, and there will be lots of time to participate. In the meantime, vote no on J.

That’s it for another exhausting election slate card.

For additional information, check out the impartial: http://www.smartvoter.org/2004/03/02/ca/sf/

+++++++++cut, carry and vote+++++++++++++++++cut, carry and vote++++++++++++cut, carry and vote++++++++++++++

President: John Edwards

Senator: Barbara Boxer

US House of Representatives

District 8: Nancy Pelosi

District 12: Ro Khanna

State Senate, District 3, Carol Migden

State Assembly, District 12: Leland Yee

District 13: Mark Leno

State Propositions:

Proposition 55 . School Bonds YES

Proposition 56 . State Budget� YES

Proposition 57 . Borrowing Money NO

Proposition 58 . Required Balanced Budget NO

Local Ballot Measures:

Measure 2 . Regional Traffic Relief Plan: Yes

Measure A . YES

Measure B . YES

Measure C . YES

Measure D . YES

Measure E . YES

Measure F . NO

Measure G . NO

Measure H . NO

Measure I . NO

Measure J . NO

+++++++++cut, carry and vote+++++++++++++++++cut, carry and vote++++++++++++cut, carry and vote++++++++++++++

The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.
*Lyndon B. Johnson

I just received the following wire from my generous Daddy–“Dear Jack, Don’t buy a single vote more than is necessary. I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay for a landslide.”
*John F. Kennedy

Onward!

Jennifer

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