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Our mail-in ballots have arrived, as have the ancillary voter's guide and candidate statements and so forth. Also piles of advertising.

Andres has noticed that the fliers addressed to him are clearly specifically aimed at Hispanic voters -- there hasn't been such a clear demarcation in the past, so we're assuming that this is a result of the neighborhood demographics, possibly combined with his last name. It's interesting to compare the different versions.

I am sad at the voter's guide -- my usual guideline for using it to evaluate propositions I'm unfamiliar with is to see which side uses more ALL-CAPS SENTENCES, then vote for the other one. (This is not the only research I do, but to date it's lined up fairly well with my actual preferences.) This year, that won't work, because EVERYONE IS VERY CONCERNED OMG.

The arguments for and against the wee local measures (school funding, that sort of thing) are interesting because all the "against" arguments are by the same people[1], and all the "rebuttal to argument against"s begin more or less "The opponents of this measure have their facts wrong." Well, not literally all, but it's a pervasive theme.

I have no idea what to do about redistricting (do you have an opinion? share it!), but everything else seems pretty straightforward assuming it does what the summary says. Does anybody have more information about the "driving under the influence" part of the argument against proposition 19? I'm for legalization on general principles, but I'm a little concerned about some of the groups that are lined up against it. It sounds to me like the things this proposition is apparently missing should be easy enough to add in later, but if there's a reason that's not the case I may have to think about it more.

[1] My other voter's guide guideline is to vote against anything supported by a group with "Taxpayers Association" in its name, and likewise to vote for anything they're against. There may be exceptions to this rule -- I am in fact for fiscal responsibility! -- but my version of fiscal responsibility basically means "Use taxes instead of bonds, sheesh, have you heard of interest payments?" and also "Tax the rich more than the poor, we can afford it." While there are arguments to be made that a particular tax or fee or what-have-you is unnecessary or poorly designed, a group whose only purpose is to not pay taxes is not a group I trust to make those arguments honestly.

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Yes, there was a point when I was reading the voters guide where I was reading the arguments against the various tax/fee-increase measures, and I wanted to call up the relevant organizations and explain to them in small loud angry words how their job as writers of the official argument-against was to give me a reasoned explanation of why this was an ineffective tax and fee rather than merely thinking that they had done their job by waving flags about "this is a tax increase!" and nonsense about "living within means" (which is of course complete nonsense, given that increasing the means is a perfectly valid way of doing that) and thinking that by saying "this 'fee' is really a 'tax'" they had clearly stated an argument against it. And that, because they had gone for the cheap shots rather than giving me anything that might actually substantiate my vague concern that $69/parcel for community colleges seemed like it might be a little unusually high, they were completely abrogating their responsibility to inform me about the reasons I might want to vote against it.

(To be clear, I don't know if that particular number is unusually high by comparison or not. Thus my concern; I'd like to know that before voting on it.)

Did you catch the one of those arguments-against that had an explicit "TEA party" reference in the bolded capital letters in the sentence complaining about being "taxed enough already"?

Edited at 2010-10-09 02:46 am (UTC)

Did you catch the one of those arguments-against that had an explicit "TEA party" reference in the bolded capital letters in the sentence complaining about being "taxed enough already"?

Oh yes.

I had a good time reading this year's voter guide. I kept making astonished noises and reading bits out loud to andres_s_p_b. That one I had to point at.

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