Tuesday, 6/6/06 is Election Day again in California. You can download a voter guide and find your polling place here.
You wouldn't know it from the recent run of attack ads, but the two frontrunning Democratic candidates Phil Angelides and Steve Westly have in the past seemed like fairly rational, decent guys. (Disclosure: this LAist contributor volunteered a bit on Angelides's campaign.) They're both state-level finance guys, which seems useful given that California's current projects often end up coming back to messy budget snarls. Angelides wants to tax the very rich and corporations to pay for better social services. Westly wants to cut waste. Wait, wasn't that pretty much current governor and Republican candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger's platform a few years ago?
You can see the problem all the candiates and governors have right in the voter guide. Alongside the names of candidates who have grand plans for the budget are these direct-to-the-voter propositions, this time on whether to fund library construction with bonds and tax the wealthy to make preschool available to everyone. The same wealthy Angelides plans to tax for other programs? Yes. but if you'd rather have Angelides's programs than the universal preschool, there's no way to register that without possibly getting both. If you are for the state-funed preschool (and studies have shown preschool is good for kids), you know the number of people with preschool-aged kids is much less than those making $400,000 year or more who'd be affected by the tax, but you also know half the public is convinced that they are going to be making half a million dollars a year in a few years and won't want to pay the tax. Ah, we're an optimistic nation. So who knows if it'll pass. It's confusing and frustrating to be asked both to elect representatives and to make specific isolated decisions ourselves, all on the same ballot. (Though of course you should still go vote). Can we get some kind of proposition about fewer propositions?
Photo by ancawonka via Flickr.