Friends, Romans, Republicans:


Welcome to the Granick Slate Card for the November 6, 2012 National Election.  I missed the last opportunity to opine on all things voting because I didn’t have the time to do the kind of analysis I like.  This year is no different, but rather than sitting out, I’ll just be terse, under the theory that one should not let the perfect be the enemy of the Done. So, without further ado, the picks.




Barack Obama: On the issues that are closest to my professional heart — government surveillance and due process – Barack Obama has been just awful.  But I will be volunteering to call voters to get out the vote and I will be voting for him. I’ve come to see that this is no time for complacency, even if your support is lukewarm.  Romney is a disastrous liar and the Republicans are horrific on women’s rights.




Proposition 30. YES

Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding — State of California (Initiative Constitutional Amendment – Majority Approval Required)


Should the California Constitution be amended to (a) temporarily increase sales and personal income tax rates; (b) guarantee certain revenue transfers to local governments; and (c) eliminate state funding of certain mandates to local governments?


If this doesn’t pass, we will have three less weeks of public school next year.


Proposition 31. NO


State Budget. State and Local Government — State of California (Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute – Majority Approval Required)

Should the state constitution and law be amended to require government performance reviews and two-year budget cycles, to prohibit the Legislature from creating certain expenditures unless offsetting revenues or spending cuts are identified, and to make changes in certain responsibilities of local government, the Legislature and the Governor?

Proposition 32. NO!!


Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates — State of California (Initiative Statute – Majority Approval Required)


Should unions, corporations, government contractors and state and local government employers be prohibited from using payroll-deducted funds, or in some instances their own funds, for political expenditures?


This is an effort to hobble organized labor and other left-associated forces from participating in government.


Proposition 33. NO


Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage — State of California (Initiative Statute – Majority Approval Required)

Should automobile insurance companies be permitted to offer a discount to drivers who have continuously maintained their insurance coverage, even if they change their insurance company?


We voted against this before, in June of 2010. Its mostly funded by insurance companies that want more flexibility in pricing.


Proposition 34. YES

Death Penalty — State of California (Initiative Statute – Majority Approval Required)

Should the death penalty be repealed and replaced with life imprisonment without possibility of parole when someone is convicted of murder with specified special circumstances?


It’s the moral thing to do, and the money saved will go to solving otherwise unsolved murders and rapes.


Proposition 35. NO


Human Trafficking. Penalties — State of California (Initiative Statute – Majority Approval Required)


Should the definition of human trafficking be expanded, penalties for traffickers be increased, convicted sexual traffickers be required to register as sex offenders, and additional training for law enforcement officers be required?


There’s no need to expand the definition of these crimes.



Proposition 36. YES


Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties — State of California (Initiative Statute – Majority Approval Required)

Should California law be amended to provide that a life sentence should not be imposed for a third felony conviction unless the third conviction is for a serious or violent felony?


Right now, we incarcerate people for life for stealing and other non-serious felonies.  This would fix that.


Proposition 37. YES


Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling — State of California (Initiative Statute – Majority Approval Required)

Should labeling be required on foods containing genetically modified ingredients when such foods (whether raw or processed, plant or animal) are offered for sale to consumers in California?


We have a right to know


Proposition 38. NO


Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs — State of California (Initiative Statute – Majority Approval Required)

Should California’s personal income tax rates be increased during 2013-24 to provide funds for public schools, early childhood education programs, and state debt payments?


This is a sloppy measure put on the ballot to interfere with Prop 30, on which you should vote yes.  If both pass, the one with the most votes wins, so make sure to vote no here.


Proposition 39. YES


Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding — State of California (Initiative Statute – Majority Approval Required)

Should the California tax code be changed to require multistate firms to pay income taxes based on a percentage of their sales in California, with roughly half of the resulting tax increase to be used to fund clean/efficient energy projects for five years?


This would incentive businesses to locate in and bring jobs to California, as currently companies locate outside the state to avoid the in-state California tax. Half of money goes to renewable energy for 5 years, expected to raise $1B/year.


Proposition 40. YES


Redistricting. State Senate Districts — State of California (Referendum – Majority Approval Required)

Should the current state Senate districts be retained?


A yes doesn’t change anything



San Francisco Propositions:


Proposition A. NO


City College is mismanaged, it doesn’t need more money now. It needs to be fixed first.


City College Parcel Tax — San Francisco County (Parcel Tax – 2/3 Approval Required)

To provide City College of San Francisco with funds the State cannot take away; offset budget cuts; prevent layoffs; provide an affordable, quality education for students; maintain essential courses including, but not limited to, writing, math, science, and other general education; prepare students for four-year universities; provide workforce training including, but not limited to, nursing, engineering, technology, and business; and keep college libraries, student support services, and other instructional support open and up to date; shall the San Francisco Community College District levy 79 dollars per parcel annually for eight years requiring independent audits and citizen oversight?


Proposition B. YES


Clean and Safe Neighborhood Parks Bond — San Francisco County (Bond – 2/3 Approval Required)

SAN FRANCISCO CLEAN AND SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD PARKS BOND, To improve the safety and quality of neighborhood parks across the city and waterfront open spaces, enhance water quality and clean up environmental contamination along the Bay, replace unsafe playgrounds, fix restrooms, improve access for the disabled, and ensure the seismic safety of park and recreation facilities, shall the City and County of San Francisco issue $195 million dollars in General Obligation bonds, subject to independent oversight and regular audits?


Proposition C. YES


Housing Trust Fund — San Francisco County (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)

Shall the City amend its Charter to: create a Housing Trust Fund that supports affordable housing for low-income and moderate-income households; and change the affordable housing requirements imposed on some private residential developments?


This will direct SF money previously allocated to affordable housing via the state Redevelopment Agency to that same worthy purpose, with more help for middle income families and additional flexibility for developers.


Proposition D. YES


Consolidating Odd-Year Municipal Elections — San Francisco County (Charter Amendment – Majority Approval Required)

Shall the City amend its Charter to change the election cycle for City Attorney and Treasurer so that these officers would be elected at the same time as the Mayor, Sheriff and District Attorney?


Less elections


Proposition E. YES


Gross Receipts Tax — San Francisco County (Ordinance – Majority Approval Required)

Shall the City: create a gross receipts tax designed to eliminate or reduce the tax on payroll costs; and increase business registration fees?


Keeps startups here, though it won’t encourage established businesses to move here from the ‘burbs.


Proposition F. NO


Water and Environment Plan — San Francisco County (Ordinance – Majority Approval Required)

Shall the City prepare a two-phase plan that evaluates how to drain the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir so that it can be restored by the National Park Service and identifies replacement water and power sources?


$8M for a study that is step one is draining Hetch Hetchy, the marvelous source of our pristine drinking water, brought to the City by gravity, without need for (polluting) electricity or filtration.


Proposition G. I don’t vote on these non-binding things, especially because they are woefully ignorant.  The same theories that give us corporate personhood give us First Amendment rights for unions and NGOs.  When you figure out how to parse that under our law, I’ll read your ballot measure.  Until then, you are wasting trees.


Policy Opposing Corporate Personhood — San Francisco County (Declaration of Policy – Majority Approval Required)

Shall it be City policy that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings and should be subject to political spending limits?




Sorry I didn’t do picks for School Board or Community College Board.  I did some research and realized that it was hard.  For School Board, I’ll be voting the Chron/Guardian overlap, which is Fewer, Wynns and Walton.




SF Chronicle:


Bay Guardian:


That all, Race Fans!  See you at the ballot box.














President: Obama



Statewide San Francisco
Prop 30: Yes Prop A: No
Prop 31: No Prop B: Yes
Prop 32: No Prop C: Yes
Prop 33: No Prop D: Yes
Prop 34: YES Prop E: Yes
Prop 35: No Prop F: No
Prop 36: Yes Prop G: blather blather
Prop 37: Yes  
Prop 38: No  
Prop 39: Yes  
Prop 40: Yes  






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Slate Card issues before (almost) every California election and may be copied and freely shared for any non-commercial purpose, with author attribution.  Derivative works need not make any attribution.

My opinion piece “The Criminal NSA” co-authored with Professor Christopher Sprigman has been published in the New York Times. The op ed is about NSA spying programs Prism and the collection of all phone metadata about Americans.  An excerpt:

The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.

Calista visits EFF

Originally uploaded by Threat to Democracy

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and I are mentioned in this Wall Street Journal article about TI calculator hackers and the law.

Made Up Pasta #1

Originally uploaded by Ms. President

Chanterelles are in the farmer’s market now, so I made up this pasta dish featuring them last night. Click on the photo for more pictures and the “recipe”.

Granick/Stones, 10/31/09

Originally uploaded by Ms. President

After Nigel and the Ice Doll had a great Halloween with Izzy Elmo and Callie Elmo, we’re back to work in the brand new month of November.

Massachusetts cops can’t convert your car into a location tracker without a warrant. Will Federal Courts follow suit? Read more here.


Friends, Romans, Republicans*:

Welcome to the Granick Slate Card for the June 3, 2008 Primary Election. Lots of fun stuff on the ballot, though unfortunately we can’t vote for who is more wronged, Obama because Hillary insists that Florida and Michigan voters be counted even though Obama didn’t campaign there because they weren’t supposed to count, or Hillary because Obama insists that she death wished him by even mentioning RFK. Debate it elsewhere, we aren’t even talking about it here. No, we are not.

*Actually, its a primary and I’m registered Democrat, so the candidate picks below are only helpful for Democratic voters. If you aren’t registered D, see the “Some Housekeeping” section.

Some Housekeeping:

Its recently come to my attention that some fair citizens of San Francisco* are registered Independent, meaning American Independent Party. The AIP is not the fair-minded agnostic who just wants a chance to vote their conscience in a open primary, no. It is, according to those perennially youthful lads Matier and Ross, “anti-immigrant, anti-abortion, anti-NAFTA and anti-tax party”. For those of you in the same boat as Ms. Siebel, you might want to re-register. To become the independent voter you always wanted to be, you should pick “decline to state”. You can do so here.

*Who else made this gaffe? Why, future First Lady Jennifer Siebel did! So you are in good company. Reportedly, she went to Stanford!

Now that that’s settled, we’re off to the races.

United States Representative; District 8: Nancy Pelosi, Democratic

Pelosi is powerful. Pelosi brings home the bacon. Pelosi will face anti-war mom Cindy Sheehan in November. Pelosi will win this primary. Pelosi.

State Senator; District 3; Mark Leno

This is a tight race and, to my mind, one of two reasons to turn out and vote next Tuesday. Assemblyman Mark Leno is running against the incumbant Carole Migden and former Assemblyman Joe Nation. Nation made a name for himself with pro-environment legislation, before terming out of the State Assembly in 2006. He’s generally considered the most conservative person running for this seat, possibly because he says he’ll work across party lines, possibly because he takes money from the landlords promoting Prop 98 (see below) and also possibly because he’s the only straight guy. Hey, straight people can be liberals, too!

My vote goes for Leno. He’s been effective, principled and pragmatic. The Chron, which endorsed him, says “Leno’s work in shepherding his same-sex marriage legislation – bringing it from pipe dream to passage in 2005 and 2007, only to be vetoed each time by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger – was a textbook example of how an understated tenacity can pay off in the world of politics.” He was also instrumental in passing a state health care bill last year.

Sadly, Senator Migden’s personal and professional judgement make it impossible for me to vote for her, especially with Leno in the race. Remember the hit-and-run freeway crash, which she blamed on medication she is taking for previously undisclosed cancer, and the record fine from the Fair Political Practices Commission for campaign-finance law violations that included use of donations for personal expenses? How about the time she punched the “yes” button of a Republican legislator when he was in the toilet or something while her bill was being voted on in the Assembly? If there weren’t another great candidate, you might force yourself to overlook these things, but there’s Leno.

State Assembly: Tom Ammiano

He’s movin’ on up from the Board of Supervisors. He’s funny. He’s from New Jersey. He worked his ass off for this city. He authored the city’s domestic partners law. He authored the living wage law. He created the Children’s Fund and the the Rainy Day Fund law. He looks great in a dress. We’ll miss you, Tom, and we’re proud of you.

Democratic Party County Central Committee; San Francisco County

Here’s who I know who is running in my district, the 13th.

Michael R. Farrah, Jr.

Here’s who the Bay Guardian endorses:

13th Assembly District

Bill Barnes, David Campos, David Chiu, Chris Daly, Michael Goldstein, Robert Haaland, Joe Julian, Rafael Mandelman, Aaron Peskin, Eric Quezada, Laura Spanjian, Debra Walker

12th Assembly District

Michael Bornstein, Emily Drennen, Hene Kelly, Eric Mar, Jake McGoldrick, Trevor McNeil, Jane Morrison, Melanie Nutter, Connie O’Connor, Giselle Quezada, Arlo Hale Smith

Superior Court Judge; San Francisco County: Mary Mallen (Not Thomas Mellon)

Current Judge Mellon should not be retained due to a general disrespect for public defenders and apparent fear of the people who appear before him as defendants and witnesses (see here. Gerardo C. Sandoval, a former public defender, is a doofus. That super doofus Sean Hannity outsmarted him. Mallen, another former public defender is my choice.

State Propositions

Proposition 98: End Rent Control, and Then Some: NO
Proposition 99: Protect Homeowners from Eminent Domain: Yes

These propositions are an effort to redo a previous proposition on eminent domain that was narrowly defeated by Californians in November of 2006. 98 takes all the parts of that proposition and makes it worse by including language that would defeat rent control. 99 is more narrowly tailored to prevent the government from taking a single family dwelling to sell that land to another private party.

The problem is that eminent domain, often used by government and environmentalists to stop private property owners from destroying communal resources, has more recently be used to take the little guy’s land and give it to developers or other property owners. The US Supreme Court approved the practice, so people feel that ED is out of control. Still, government power over real estate serves an important social function when properly deployed for parks, wetlands, reasonable rent control and the like. Proposition 98 has no balance whatsoever. It would encourage property owners to sue the government whenever it restricts the ways owners use their land, including zoning, land use and environmental reglations. Proposition 98 bars state and local governments from using eminent domain to acquire an owner-occupied residence, as defined, for conveyance to a private person or business entity. This one is balanced and acceptable.

Local Measures

Proposition A School Parcel Tax – Yes

$198 per parcel annually for schools. An effort to fix underfunding because of the anti-property tax movement of the 1970’s.

Proposition B Changing Qualifications for Retiree Health and Pension Benefits and Establishing a Retiree Health Care Trust Fund – Yes

This prop increases the years of service required for City employees to qualify for employer-funded retiree health benefits from 5 to 10 or 20 years, while increasing retirement benefits for those who do qualify. A way to save the city money while providing for long-term employees.

Proposition C Forfeiture of Retirement Benefits for Conviction of a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude in Connection with City Employment – No

Not a big enough problem to be worth the litigation over whether something is morally turpitudinous enough to merit the penalty. And yes, that is a word.

Proposition D Appointments to City Boards and Commissions – No

Another one of these non-binding policy statements San Franciscans love, this one saying more men and women of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations and types of disabilities be appointed so that the interests of these people is better represented. It is both banal and false. Banal because everyone in San Francisco believes in equal opportunity for all who want to be in public service and false because the proposition assumes that identity politics is the truest way to egalitarianism, which I don’t believe is borne out by history.

Proposition E Requiring Board of Supervisors’ Approval of Mayor’s Appointments to the Public Utilities Commission and Creating Qualifications for Commission Members – No

This is another one of those salvos in the ongoing fight between our allegedly conservative mayor and the allegedly progressive Board of Supervisors over who has the most control. Right now, the mayor appoints people to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Board can only reject that person with a 2/3 vote. This would change that to a majority vote. A 2/3 vote should be enough of a safeguard against political hacks, without making PUC appointments a political football. If you trust the supervisors but not the mayor, you’ll vote the other way on this.

Proposition F — No
Proposition G – YES

This is the other reason to vote in this election and is a hot political potato.

Hunters Point is neglected and languishing. Previous voter-approved ideas, like a shopping mall, have failed because there was not a comprehensive vision or a financial plan to make improvements work. Until now. Proposition G was placed on the ballot to get voter support for a Lennar Corp. development plan. The plan is elaborate, and promises parks, businesses, housing, clean up of the Navy Yard with federal money, a way to keep the 49ers and a way to use the land if they leave for Santa Clara. While Lennar’s initial promise was for 25% affordable housing, the corporation has upped its ante to 32%, (and thrown in a chunk of change for job training and home ownership programs) due to opposition from Prop F. It has also promised to build some of the housing for the poorest people, and some for the lower middle class. The plan, if it happens in this economic market, will be great for the area. That is why Sophie Maxwell, the supervisor for Bayview/Hunters Point is in favor of G.

Proposition F is the poison pill for Proposition G. Pushed by people who don’t trust Lennar’s promises can be enforced would require 50% of the housing to be affordable. The problem is that Prop F doesn’t say how that plan could be financed. Lennar says it can’t afford to do the development at that rate. Also, during the debate on KQED the other day, one of the Prop G proponents said that no project in the City has ever had more than 30% affordable housing. So if F passes, then the most likely scenario is that, once again and still, Hunters Point sits neglected. Lennar will drop its plan, and the area is unlikely to get another suitor.

Affordable housing is really important, as is avoiding gentrification that drives current residents away, as is avoiding the “barbell effect” where the really poor and the super rich can get access to homes in the city, and everyone else has to leave. The Lennar plan provides that housing, maybe not as much as you’d theoretically like, in the context of a well-conceived detailed plan that can actually happen. F puts the kibosh on that progress. And waiting carries its own price. Black residents are already being forced out of the Bayview area by a mixture of gentrification and violence. There’s always something not to like, but that is not a good excuse anymore. Vote yes on G and no on F.

Proposition H Prohibiting Elected Officials, Candidates, or Committees They Control from Soliciting or Accepting Contributions from Certain City Contractors – No

This is a poorly crafted rule that does not define the “controlled committees” that it allegedly regulates. As a result is will not make government cleaner. Both the Chronicle and the Bay Guardian are against it.

Thats all, folks. Remember to vote early, vote often. Polls are open from 7A to 8P. Viva la democracia.


To find your polling place, go here,/a>: (A great site with tons of resources, btw)
SF Chronicle
SF Bay Guardian Endorsements:


United States Representative; District 8: Nancy Pelosi, Democratic

State Senator; District 3; Mark Leno

State Assembly: Tom Ammiano

Democratic Party County Central Committee

Michael R. Farrah, Jr.

13th Assembly District

Bill Barnes, David Campos, David Chiu, Chris Daly, Michael Goldstein, Robert Haaland, Joe Julian, Rafael Mandelman, Aaron Peskin, Eric Quezada, Laura Spanjian, Debra Walker

12th Assembly District

Michael Bornstein, Emily Drennen, Hene Kelly, Eric Mar, Jake McGoldrick, Trevor McNeil, Jane Morrison, Melanie Nutter, Connie O’Connor, Giselle Quezada, Arlo Hale Smith

Superior Court Judge; Mary Mallen (Not Thomas Mellon)

Prop A: Schools: Yes

Prop B: Retirement: Yes

Prop C: Moral Turpitude: No

Prop D: Policy on Appointments: No

Prop E: PUC Appointments: No

Prop F: Poison Pill: No

Prop G: Lennar Plan for Hunters Point: Yes

Prop H: Controlled Committees: No

To subscribe to the Granick Slate Card, visit http:// The Granick
Slate Card issues before every California election and may be copied and freely shared for any non-commercial purpose, with author attribution. Derivative works need not make any attribution.
My recent post on the EFF blog talks about the difficulty that web security researchers have doing their work, in light of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and similar state statutes. While pen testers and other hired security guns can get written authorization to do security audits, members of the public have little leeway to explore the ways a website works or breaks, even when that vulnerability means that customer data is exposed to fraudsters. Read the post –Computer Crime Laws Chill Discovery of Customer Privacy Threats | Electronic Frontier Foundation– for more about the issue.
Thanks to all who have called or emailed, wondering where the Granick Slate Card is.  I have planned to issue it a week before Election Day, October 27th, so apologies to all those who wanted to vote early.  Next election I will issue it two weeks before to accommodate you better.

The TWiT Netcast Network with Leo Laporte

Megan Morrone kindly invited Brad and I to talk about parenting in the digital age on Jumping Monkeys, a show she does with Leo Laporte.  We had a great time doing it, though I’m not sure we were a paragon of parental unity.  Apparently, Brad and I will have to work out whether we’re going to read Izz’ and Cal’s emails and when to have their GPS chip installed.

The Granick Slatecard will be out by midnight tonight.

The Granick Slate Card for Tuesday’s election is coming out later tonight, so if you want it without checking back here, make sure you are signed up.  Subscribe to the Slate Card here.

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