Monday, November 01, 2004

As a follow up to the previous post on California measures, here's what MoveOn. org recommends:

YES on Prop. 72: Keep Workplace Health Insurance
Proposition 72 simply re-affirms California's law requiring large and medium-sized businesses with 50 or more employees to pay for health insurance for working people. It does not affect "mom and pop" shops, neighborhood restaurants, or other such small businesses -- despite the scare tactics being used by big businesses who are trying to defeat it. With more and more Californians losing their insurance, Prop. 72 makes sure working families can see their own doctor, instead of having to depend on public services for health care.

Prop. 72 is supported by doctors and nurses associations including the California Medical Association, California Nurses Association, American Cancer Society, and American Lung Association, and by small businesses and community, labor, church, consumer and seniors groups. Groups endorsing Prop. 72 include: Consumer's Union, ACLU of Southern California, League of Women Voters of California, AARP, California ACORN, Rock the Vote, and many more. It's opposed by big businesses like Wal-Mart and McDonalds who want taxpayers to pay for their workers' health care. We urge you to vote "YES" on Prop. 72.

For more information on Proposition 72, see: http://www.YesOnProp72.com/

YES on Prop. 59: Sunshine, Not Secrecy, in Government
Known as the California Sunshine Amendment, Proposition 59 would re-affirm California's strong new law requiring full public disclosure of the workings of our government. Over the years, California's sunshine laws have been eroded by special interests and secretive judges and government officials. Prop. 59 would create a new civil right in California: a constitutional right to see what our government is doing. It would expand the disclosures required of all public agencies, officials, and courts, and narrow their ability to keep secrets from us, the public. It would require the government to prove a legitimate need for secrecy before it denies us any public information, and at the same time, it would protect our constitutional right to privacy for private information.

Prop. 59 passed unanimously in the Legislature. It's endorsed by the League of Women Voters, labor unions including AFSCME and the California Labor Federation, the California Newspaper Publishers Association, League of California Cities, AARP, Sierra Club, Progressive Jewish Alliance, and many other organizations. We urge you to vote "YES" on Prop. 59.

For more information on Proposition 59, see: http://www.prop59.org/

YES on Prop. 66: Fix California's Three Strikes Law
Voters in 1994 didn't envision 25-years-to-life prison sentences for stealing a videotape or a loaf of bread, but that's what happens too often under California's "Three Strikes And You're Out" law. Locking up non-violent offenders for life has led to gross injustices, and it's costing California taxpayers millions. Proposition 66 would restore the "Three Strikes" law's original intent -- dangerous felons would automatically get 25-to-life in prison for a violent third strike, while non-violent criminals would get normal sentences. It also toughens penalties for child abusers. Prop. 66 has its flaws -- arson or burglary when no one's home wouldn't count as a violent "third strike" -- but these are outweighed by the necessity of restoring justice to California's criminal sentencing system.

Prop. 66 is opposed by prosecutors, but it's supported by the Democratic and Green parties, by civil liberties, human rights, labor, church, and community groups, and by the editorial boards of California's four biggest newspapers. Groups supporting Prop. 66 include ACLU of Southern California, Democratic Women's Forum, Instituto Laboral de la Raza, Progressive Democratic Club, Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and the National Black Police Association. We encourage you to vote "YES" vote on Prop. 66.

For more information on Proposition 66, see: http://www.yes66.org/

YES on Prop. 71: Stem Cell Research in California
Proposition 71 would establish a legal right to conduct stem cell research in California, authorize $6 billion of state funding, and establish an institute to provide grants and loans to researchers. Scientists agree that stem cells hold the potential to cure agonizing diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, and common killers like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Prop. 71 is a bold effort to make California a world leader in the field, and to fight back against President Bush and his friends in Washington who have tried to cut off federal funding for this important research. Although Prop. 71 directs a lot of public money toward private research firms, it could lead to tremendous health and economic benefits for all Californians, and ultimately the world.

Prop. 71 is endorsed by 28 Nobel Prize winners, and by California NOW (National Organization for Women), Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, California NAACP, California Medical Association, AIDS Research Alliance, Rock the Vote, and many more organizations. Brad Pitt and Governor Schwarzenegger support it too. We recommend a "YES" vote on Prop. 71.

For more information on Proposition 71, see: http://www.yeson71.com/

Finally, here are two bad measures that need your "NO" vote to stop them:

NO on Prop. 64: Keep Your Right to Sue Polluters and Crooked Companies
Big businesses are trying to gut California's Unfair Business Competition Law, the best corporate enforcement law in the nation. The law allows citizens to sue polluters and crooked companies that scam consumers; it's been used to bust companies that contaminated drinking water with chemicals, put up tobacco billboards near schools, and ripped off minorities with higher auto loan rates. Prop. 64 would take that right to sue away from citizens -- and that's why big business is bankrolling it. While it's true that a few greedy lawyers have abused the law by threatening unwarranted lawsuits, that's a small problem that's being wildly inflated in scare ads paid for by those big businesses.

Prop 64 is backed by $13 million from the likes of Phillip Morris, Exxon, and General Motors. It's opposed by environmental, labor, consumer, civil rights, and seniors groups, including the American Lung Association, Sierra Club, Consumers Union, AARP, and California Nurses Association, and by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer. We urge you to vote "NO" on Prop. 64.

For more information on Proposition 64, see: http://www.noonprop64.org/

NO on Prop. 69: Don't Put Innocent People into a DNA Database
Prop. 69 wrongly equates arrest with guilt.

California law already requires a DNA database for convicted felons. But Proposition 69 would go overboard, by having the state collect DNA from anyone *arrested* for a felony -- not convicted, not proven guilty, just accused and arrested. Thousands of people mistakenly accused -- possibly including any of us -- would be tracked for life in a massive state criminal database, even if no crime was committed. DNA reveals intimate details about a person and his or her family -- including one's ethnic background, and any predisposition for diseases such as Alzheimer's, heart disease, and cancer. Innocent people don't belong in such an invasive government database.

Prop. 69 is opposed by California's Democratic, Green, and Libertarian parties, by the ACLU, AFL-CIO, League of Women Voters, Children's Defense Fund, Progressive Jewish Alliance, National Black Police Association, and more than 30 newspapers including the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Sacramento Bee, San Jose Mercury News, San Diego Union Tribune and Orange County Register. We urge you to vote "NO" on Prop. 69.

For more information on Proposition 69, see: http://www.protectmydna.com/

We've attached links to editorials supporting these positions below.

Thanks for your commitment to ensuring a bright future for California and America.

- Carrie, Joan, Lee, Marika, Noah, Peter, and Wes
The MoveOn.org Team
October 28th, 2004

P.S.: Here are a few key editorials supporting these positions:

Yes on Prop. 72: Save Affordable Health Insurance San Francisco Bay Guardian, October 13, 2004

Super-Sized Deception From Fast-Food Giants Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2004 COMMENTARY By Eric Schlosser, author of "Fast Food Nation"

Yes on Prop. 59: A More Open Government Serves the State Sacramento Bee, September 16, 2004

Yes on Prop 66: Vote for Three Strikes Reform Los Angeles Times, October 5, 2004

Yes on Prop. 71: Yes to Stem-Cell Research Los Angeles Times, October 3, 2004

No on Proposition 64: It's a Shakedown of Public Protections Sacramento Bee, September 17, 2004

No on 69: A Risk-Filled Use of DNA Los Angeles Times, October 11, 2004

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