Tag Archives: cigarette tax

KQED’s Forum Looks at the State Props

In a ballot with few initiatives, these two get some statewide attention

by Brian Leubitz

There are just two measures on the statewide ballot, and KQED’s Forum took a look at both today. And while they are each controversial in their own way, they are both worthy efforts.  Prop 28 is a measure that would change the way term limits work from a total of 14 years (6 and 8 in the Assembly and Senate, respectively) to a total of 12 years in either house. In the first radio program, former FPPC chair Dan Schnur argues that reforming term limits will allow legislators to grow into their jobs, rather than being thrust into leadership right away. And in a very civil discussion, a vice chairman of the CA Republican Party disagreed and argued for the continuation of the current (broken) system.

They then followed that up with a discussion of Prop 29, the cigarette tax measure that will go to cancer research. As you would expect, there is a heavily tobacco-funded No campaign on that one.  It turns out the Yes side isn’t entirely without resources. Mike Bloomberg tossed in $500,000 today bringing their fundraising to nearly ten million. While Lance Armstrong and Bloomberg won’t match the over $30 million, there will be resources. The discussion on Forum, though, is worth a listen.

Non-bond Props Field Poll: Still early, but plenty of work to be done

(A repost to fix some formatting. – promoted by SFBrianCL)

I’ll start with the good news.  Prop 87, the alternative energy and oil tax initiative, is way ahead right now.  It leads 52-31 right now, including 58% support from decline to state voters.  If that number remains in that ballpark, 87 has a great shot at passing. 

Prop 87 is an interesting initiative.  I’ll be doing a longer post on it in the near future, but as a former Texan, it boggles my mind that the state keeps so little of its mineral revenues.  The entire University system in Texas was built off those revenues, but somehow California didn’t jump on that train.  Personally, I would prefer that those revenues be given to the general fund rather than a specific purpose.  Alternative energy is great (and I just posted on that last week), but the state needs all the revenue it can get.  It would be the best to let that money into the general fund and then hash out details in the normal budget process (if it really can ever be called normal).

The cigarette tax initiave, Prop 86, is up 63-32.  I’m not sure how I feel about this one.  I like the purposes it goes to, but I’m just concerned over whether this law would violate the terms of the tobacco settlement. I would prefer that the state avoid another bout of massive litigation if possible.  The no voters on this ballot seem to be smokers, as they are the only demographic rejecting it right now (72-31).

Unsuprisingly, Jessica’s law, Prop 83, is passing overwhelmingly, 76-11.  I’m not sure that we really need a ballot initiative on this, mainly because most of the issues in the law were already addressed by Jackie Speier’s law on sex offenders.  But, you can see why Angelides was almost forced by popular will to support this bill.

The Anti-choice initiative, Prop 85, is currently trailing, but just barely.  It looks like there will be another battle.  These people will never give up, no matter how many times the people of this state say that we don’t want these anti-choice laws here. Phil Angelides has denounced the initiative. I haven’t seen anything official from Schwarzenegger, but he supported last year’s nearly identical Prop 73.

And finally, Prop 90 has a plurality of support as well. It currently leads 46-31, but right now it has a 42-32 lead amongst Democrats.  Once the message goes out about how bad Prop 90 is, the No tally will increase quickly.

Incidentally, it’s important to note that the no tally generally increases as the election draws near.  Voters are usually drawn towards the status quo (typically No), so expect to see some drift there.  Last June’s Prop 82 was a good example of this, it started off quite strong, but inertia (and a blitz of advertising) overcame its initial approval. 

These numbers will soon appear on the flip and in the Poll HQ.

Poll/Prop 83: Sex Offenders 85: Anti-choice 86: Cigarette Tax 87: Oil & Alt. Energy 90: Em. Dom.
  Yes No U/DK Yes No U/DK Yes No U/DK Yes No U/DK Yes No U/DK
Field 8/2/06 76 11 13 44 45 11 63 32 5 52 31 17 46 31 23
PPIC 7/06 N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a N/a 61 23 16 N/a N/a N/a