California Statewide Direct Primary — 2018 C

The Propositions

There are five (5) propositions on the California ballot for June 5th, 2018 primary election. The California State Legislature put all of these measures on the ballot. Four (4) of them are “legislative constitutional amendments” and the fifth is a bond measure.

First, the bond measure.

Proposition #68: Authorizes bonds funding parks, natural resources protection, climate adaptation, water quality and supply, and flood protection.

These are good things; indeed, they are necessary things. But . . . they are not things which should be financed (IMHO) by borrowing the money and forcing our children and grandchildren to pay these costs. Currently, California is in debt to the tune of $400+ billion. Yes, that is equal to more than $10,000 per resident.

While all of this debt is not due to bonds, I do not believe that we should add to that debt by issuing another $4 billion in general obligation bonds to finance the above.

US Debt ClockCalifornia

If you click on the above, US Debt Clock takes you the the site for the US National Debt while California takes you to the debt for the state of California. Both provide some “fascinating” numbers and food for thought.


Other propositions

Proposition #69: Requires that certain new transportation revenues be used for transportation purposes.

We have too many transportation needs to list here and, in general, I favor limiting the use of transportation related taxes and fees to our transportation needs. But . . . this proposition is limited to only a few of those revenue sources. We already have one of the world’s longest constitutions — 100+ pages —  and I do not believe that this measure should become a part of it. I would, however, favor an amendment that included all transportation related taxes and fees (except, maybe, general sales taxes) and limiting the spending of those monies to transportation related measures.


Supermajority

Proposition #70: Requires legislative supermajority vote approving use of cap-and-trade reserve fund.

Supermajority — two-thirds vote of the legislature.

I have serious doubts about “supermajorities.” I believe that, in many cases, their sole purpose is to defeat democracy. That is, to enshrine in our constitution the current political climate and prevent future generations from exercising their rights.


Proposition #71: Sets effective dates for ballot measures.

If common sense ruled California, this would not be necessary. In fact, Wm. Shakespeare wrote a comedy about items such as this: Much Ado About Nothing.

For more information see pages 22-25 of the Official Voter Information Guide.


Proposition #72: Permits legislature to exclude newly constructed rain-capture systems from property-tax reassessment requirement.

If you put in a system to collect and store rainwater on your property, you won’t have to pay higher property taxes because the system increased your property’s value.

There is no argument in the Information Guide against this measure.


Other things:

Want to follow (some of) the money? — http://fppc.ca.gov/transparency/top-contributors.html

Pages 30 & 31 of the Information Guide provides an Overview of State Bond Debt and page 31 has a short explanation of the California “Top Two” primary system.

Candidate statements are available on pages 37-83. (“Each statement was voluntarily submitted and paid for by the candidate.”) Some are revealing, at least to me. Many include email and website information.

Monday, May 21st, 2018 is the last day to register to vote.


Remember: whether you are liberal or conservative, radical or reactionary, or consider yourself to be a rational moderate (as I consider myself to be), this election is your chance to make your voice heard — Election CatsVote!

 

 

California Statewide Direct Primary — 2018 B

My Voter Information Guide and Sample Ballot for the primary election arrived a couple of weeks ago and my mail-in ballot arrived this week.

Instructions:

  • Mark your ballot — follow the directions on the ballot. Well, duh!
  • Seal your envelope — put your ballot into the envelope. Well, duh!
  • Sign the envelope — again follow directions . . .
  • Options for returning your ballot — apply first class postage (my 3 page ballot = 71¢ or two of the stamps I have on hand) and mail in; drop off ballot at polling place on Election Day; drop off ballot at early voting center (ocvote.com/early) in Costa Mesa, Irvine, Santa Ana, Mission Viejo and Fullerton May 26 – June 4, 2018.
  • If you screw your ballot up, get a replacement: 1.714.567.7600 or ocvote.com/replacement.
  • If you mail in your ballot, it must postmarked by Election Day and be received within 3 days after the election.

The Ballot:

Three (3) heavy sheets of paper / five (5) printed sides.

The Offices & Issues

Governor:

Twenty-seven (27) candidates, many, if not most, of whom I’ve never heard. Several of them I . . . well, let us not go there.

Among the candidates we have a:

  • Educator/Youth Advocate  (professional politician?)
  • Marketplace Minister
  • Public Policy Advisor (professional politician? and ex-mayor of Los Angeles)
  • Entrepreneur/Economist/Father
  • California Assemblyman/Businessman (professional politician?)
  • Virtual Reality Manager
  • California State Treasurer (professional politician?)
  • Transhumanist lecturer, Taxpayer advocate, Puppeteer, Artist, etc.

Lieutenant Governor:

Eleven (11) candidates including two named Hernandez (one a Democrat and one a Republican).

Secretary of State:

Eight (8) candidates including the current officeholder.

Controller:

Three (3) candidates including the current officeholder.

Treasurer:

Five (5) candidates including three CPAs.

Attorney General:

Four (4) candidates.

Insurance Commissioner:

Four (4) candidates including one who identifies as a Public School Teacher (not an educator, which usually means someone who was an administrator or who taught at other than the K-12 level).

Member, State Board of Equalization:

Seven (7) candidates, including three Advocates.

United States Senator:

Thirty-two (32) candidates including the current officeholder and a Special Education Teacher (could be desirable given the current group of officeholders and appointees in Washington).

United States Representative, 48th District:

Sixteen (16) candidates including the current officeholder. One of the candidates is a Neuroscientist — see above comment.

Member of the State Assembly, 74th District:

Five (5) candidates.

And the following nonpartisan offices:

  • Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 13
  • Superintendent of Public Instruction (not a teacher among the candidates)
  • County Superintendent of Schools (and guess who the only candidate is)
  • Member, County Board of Education, Trustee Area 2
  • County Supervisor, 2nd District
  • Assessor (candidates: the Assessor, a Deputy Assessor and an attorney)
  • Auditor-Controller
  • Clerk-Recorder (candidates are the current officeholder and Steve Rocco. Steve Rocco? Yes, Steve Rocco . . . Noooooooooooooooooooooo . . .)
  • District Attorney-Public Administrator (candidates include the current DA and a Victims’ Rights Attorney who makes robo-calls to push his agenda — at least, he robo-called me the other day.)
  • Sheriff-Coroner
  • Treasurer-Tax Collector (and guess who the only candidate is)

There are also five (5) State of California “Measures Submitted to the Voters.” All of these propositions have been “Put on the Ballot by the Legislature,” which, in my mind, means that the Legislature did not have the brains, or, perhaps, the “cojones” to deal with the issue.

One involves the transfer of debt, through the selling of $4 billion of bonds, to our children and grandchildren (without arguing over the merits of the issue).

I just wish the Legislature, through the individuals we elect, would do what it is supposed to do and not wash their hands of their responsibilities by putting propositions on the ballot. A “direct democracy” does not need a legislature.

At any rate, I may, or may not, comment on these at a later date.

Remember:

This election is your best chance to participate in your government. Make your voice count; make your voice heard:

Vote!


And, yes, vote even if you disagree with me.


Back to bed, not interested in blogging.
Back to bed, not interested in blogging.

Facebook Scam Report from Consumer Reports

My new (June 2018) issue of Consumer Reports arrived in the mail today. One of the featured articles is: Protect Yourself From These 7 Scams (p.26) by Mary C. Hickey. I thought some of you might be interested in the following scam involving Facebook users.

Facebook ‘Like’ Farming

Quite often we click the “thumbs-up” button, add a comment and/or even “share” the posting. Could that hurt? Evidently, it could.

You (I) could be (become) a victim of “like-farmng.” This is a post designed to draw the kind of attention that will continue ensure that it shows up in more and more people’s news feeds.

Once a high enough number of likes/shares has been reached the creators of the page change its content. The new content could be an ad for a business that really does not exist or the usual to-good-to-be-true product that you can purchase online.

It would seem that we must be ever more careful of what we like and share on Facebook.

Other scams reported (and how to avoid falling for them):

  • Smishing and Spoofing
  • Shimmer Scams
  • Tech-Support Fraud
  • White Label Ticket Scams
  • Ransomware
  • Online Charity Scams
  • IRS Imposters
  • Home Repairs and Security Checks
  • Grandparents Scam
  • Lotteries and Sweepstakes

There is also page on “Tracking Down the Crooks” about reporting scams, recourse and possible restitution.


Mist and Smoke "Resting"
Mist and Smoke “Resting”

The Curse of Technology

Technology Can Get You Killed

Text message Richard to Fred:

Hi, Fred, this is Richard, next door. I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve been riddled with guilt for a few months and have been trying to get up the courage to tell you face-to-face. At least I’m telling you in this text and I can’t live with myself a minute longer without you knowing about this. The truth is that when you’re not around I’ve been sharing your wife, day and night. In fact, probably much more than you. I haven’t been getting it at home recently and I know that that’s no excuse. The temptation was just too great. I can’t live with the guilt and hope you’ll accept my sincere apology and forgive me. Please suggest a fee for usage and I’ll pay you.
Regards, Richard.

Fred’s response:

Fred, feeling so angered and betrayed, grabbed his gun and shot Richard, killing him. He went back home and poured himself a stiff drink and sat down on the sofa. Fred then looked at his phone and discovered a second text message from Richard.

Richard’s second text message:

Hi, Fred. Richard here again. Sorry about the typo on my last text. I expect you figured it out and noticed that the damned Auto-Correct had changed “wi-fi” to “wife.” Technology, huh? It’ll be the death of us all.
Regards, Richard.

California Statewide Direct Primary — 2018 A

Yesterday, the Official Voter Information Guide for the June primary election arrived in the mail. While I will have several sets of comments to make about this in the future, today’s post will deal with just a few points of information.

The election will take place on Tuesday, June 5, 2018.

Polls will be open from 7:00 am to 8:00 pm on election day. (If you are in line when the polls close, you still get to vote.)

May 7, 2018 is the first day to vote-by-mail.

May 21, 2018 is the last day to register to vote. You are eligible to vote if you are:

  • a U. S. citizen living in California
  • at least 18 years of age
  • registered where you currently live
  • not currently in state or federal prison or on parole for the conviction of a felony
  • not currently found mentally incompetent to vote by a court

The California Secretary of State’s Website — http://www.sos.ca.gov/ — gives you access to election information:

  • The Voter Guide
  • Registration information and status
  • Find polling place or vote center on Election Day
  • Get vote-by-mail ballot information
  • First-time voters
  • Research campaign contributions and lobbying activity (follow the money):
  • Watch live election results after poll close on Election Day

Register to Vote

Register to Vote: http://www.sos.ca.gov/elections/voter-registration/

There is something that is new this year, at least I’ve never seen it before: Pre-registration for 16 and 17 year olds. If you are 16 or 17 years old, you may pre-register and on your 18th birthday you will automatically be registered to vote. Just go to: http://www.RegisterToVote.ca.gov and click on the “Pre-Reigster to Vote” button and complete the information requested.

All of the above information, and more (96 pages of it) is available in the Voter Guide.

Remember, we live in a representative democracy. In a representative democracy a nation’s citizens elect people to govern for them. If you want a say in electing these people, you need to be registered to vote and then actually vote.

We are taught that as citizens we have a right to vote. Well, along with the right to vote I believe that we have a duty. I believe that we have a duty to educate ourselves about the issues and candidates and then to cast our votes accordingly.

Whether you are a centrist or you lean to the left or right of the political spectrum; whether you believe we are on the correct track politically or believe we are going to heck-in-a-handbasket; if you wish your opinion to be heard by the powers-that-be, you need to vote.

Of course, if you favor candidates and policies that are opposed to those I espouse and don’t vote, I won’t cry about it.

But, I will say: “If you don’t vote and things don’t go the way you want, don’t complain. You had your chance.”