John and Ken's Voter Guide to the 2020 General Election


Between the pandemic, murder hornets and *gestures broadly at everything,* 2020 has been a year for the record books (and it's not even over yet!). Don't fool yourself, politicians and hacks are counting on voters being exhausted by the general state of things and are hoping you won't notice when they use vague promises while attempting to get away with raising your taxes.

Fortunately, John and Ken are here to help put an end to the BS and give you an unvarnished HONEST look at who and what you should vote for with their 2020 Voter's Guide to the General Election! Bookmark it. Print it out. Bring it with you to the polling center. Use this guide to help you figure out the best way to vote when voters head to the polls on November 3rd.

One important note - Thanks to COVID-19, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order earlier this year that requires the county’s elections officials to send vote-by-mail ballots for the November 3, 2020 General Election to all registered voters. You should see the vote-by-mail ballot within the next few weeks (no later than 29 days prior to Election Day). You can return your vote by mail, in person, or to a drop box. If you are returning your ballot by mail, it must be postmarked on or before Election Day and received by your county elections office no later than 17 days after Election Day. You can also drop off your vote-by-mail ballot in person or dropping it in a drop box no later than the close of polls at 8:00 p.m. on November 3rd.

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Major Races and Campaigns

FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: DONALD J. TRUMP 

Biden's continued mental decline might be interesting to watch, but Kamala Harris is waiting to become President. 

CALIFORNIA STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURES

PROPOSITION 14 - The California Stem Cell Research, TreatmeMs, and Cures Initiative of 2020

Summary: Authorizes $5.5 billion in state general obligation bonds to fund grants from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine to educational, non-profit, and private entities for: (1) stem cell and other medical research, therapy development, and therapy delivery; (2) medical training; and (3) construction of research facilities. Dedicates $1.5 billion to fund research and therapy for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, epilepsy, and other brain and central nervous system diseases and conditions. Limits bond issuance to $540 million annually. Appropriates money from General Fund to repay bond debt, but postpones repayment for first five years.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: State costs of $7.8 billion to pay off principal ($5.5 billion) and interest ($2.3 billion) on the bonds. Associated average annual debt payments of about $310 million for 25 years. The costs could be higher or lower than these estimates depending on factors such as the interest rate and the period of time over which the bonds are repaid. The state General Fund would pay most of the costs, with a relatively small amount of interest repaid by bond proceeds.

John and Ken Say VOTE: NO

More borrowing! It's more for stem cell research. We supported the first $3 billion approved in 2004, but that is running out and they want another $5.5 billion, plus interest on the debt. California is in enough debt with the public employee pensions. This is far more worthy than pensions, but we can't afford it. If stem cell research is that vital, the private sector can step up with funding .

PROPOSITION 15 - The California School and Local Communities Funding Act of 2020

Summary: Increases funding for K-12 public schools, community colleges, and local governments by requiring that commercial and industrial real property be taxed based on current market value. Exempts from this change: residential properties; agricultural properties; and owners of commercial and industrial properties with combined value of $3 million or less. Increased education funding will supplement existing school funding guarantees. Exempts small businesses from personal property tax; for other businesses, exempts $500,000 worth of personal property.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Net increase in annual property tax revenues of $7.5 billion to $12 billion in most years, depending on the strength of real estate markets. After backfilling state income tax losses related to the measure and paying for county administrative costs, the remaining $6.5 billion to $11.5 billion would be allocated to schools (40 percent) and other local governments (60 percent).

John and Ken Say VOTE: NO

This is the biggie - a stab at tearing apart Proposition 13 by revising it for commercial property owners . Don't be fooled - its another way of funding public employee pensions by disguising it as money for schools. And you will pay as commercial property owners will pass along tax increases to you.

PROPOSITION 16 - Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment

Summary: Permits government decision-making policies to consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin to address diversity by repealing article I, section 31, of the California Constitution, which was added by Proposition 209 in 1996.

Proposition 209 generally prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against, or granting preferential treatment to, individuals or groups on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, education, or contracting.

Does not alter other state and federal laws guaranteeing equal protection and prohibiting unlawful discrimination.

Fiscal impact: No direct fiscal effect on state and local entities because the measure does not require any change to current policies or programs.

Possible fiscal effects would depend on future choices by state and local entities to implement policies or programs that consider race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in public education, public employment, and public contracting. These fiscal effects are high uncertain.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO 

An attempt to undo Proposition 206 from 1996 by bringing back quotas and affirmative action in government hiring, contracting and in state college admissions. It's discriminatory and unfair.

PROPOSITION 17 - Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment

Summary: Amends state constitution to restore voting rights to persons who have been disqualified from voting while serving a prison term as soon as they complete their prison term.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO 

Allows parolees the right to vote. Isn't it enough they are releasing more and more prisoners every day using the virus as the latest excuse. Now they want their votes too? 

PROPOSITION 18 - Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment

Summary: If passed, Proposition 18 would allow 17-year-olds who will be 18 at the time of the next general election to vote in primary elections and special elections.

John and Ken Say VOTE YES

What's that line? If an 18 year old is old enough to be drafted , then why can't he vote ? Or buy liquor? Ah, 17 is close enough . Not all will qualify and most won't vote anyways .

PROPOSITION 19 - Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies and Counties Amendment

Summary: If passed, the bill would allow homeowners who are 55, severely disabled, or whose homes were destroyed by wildfire or disaster, to transfer their primary residence’s property tax base value to a replacement residence of any value, anywhere in the state. The bill would also limit tax benefits for certain transfers of real property between family members and expands tax benefits for transfers of family farms.

Fiscal impact: Any state revenues or savings would be allocated to fire protection services and reimbursing local governments for taxation-related charges.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO 

The return of another ballot measure. Sort of. It's property tax breaks for seniors and other older people whose homes were lost to wildfires. The realtors lost the first time and the Legislature revised their losing ballot measure and came up with this version. Which is the problem - they added a provision to go after property transferred from parents to children. Another tax grab . 

PROPOSITION 20 - Criminal Sentencing, Parole, and DNA Collection Initiative

Summary: If passed, this would limit access to parole programs that have been established for non-violent offenders who have completed the full term of their primary offense by eliminating eligibility for certain offenses. It would also change the standards and requirements governing parole decisions under this program. The bill also authorizes felony charges for specified theft crimes currently chargeable only as misdemeanors, including some theft crimes where the value is between $250 and $950.

Finally, this would also require any persons convicted of specified misdemeanors to submit to collection of DNA samples for state database.

John and Ken Say VOTE YES YES YES 

Fixes to some extent, the horrible Proposition 47 which has flooded the streets with more homeless. Also, the horrendous "prisoner dumping "bill, AB 109 is adjusted with some fixes. And Proposition 57 is amended too. It's supported by DA's all over the state and is all we can do right now to fight back.

PROPOSITION 21 - Local Rent Control Initiative  

Summary: If passed, this would amend state law to allow local governments to establish rent control on any residential properties that are over 15 years old and allow localities to pass limits on annual rent increases that are different than the current statewide limit. It would also allow for rent increases in rent-controlled properties of up to 15 percent over three years at start of new tenancy (above any increase allowed by local ordinance).

Any individuals who own no more than two homes would be exempt from the new rent-control policies.

In accordance with California law, prohibits rent control from violating landlords’ right to fair financial return.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO

Not again! We beat this one back once already and it's one more step towards "free rent," the ultimate goal of proponents. Don't forget how many "small business landlords" there are out there hurt by this movement in favor of irresponsible people. 

PROPOSITION 22 - App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative

Summary: This would reclassify those drivers who use app-based transportation (rideshare) and delivery companies as “independent contractors,” and not “employees,” unless company the company sets drivers’ hours, requires acceptance of specific ride and delivery requests, or restricts working for other companies.

The proposition would also allow the independent-contractor drivers to be entitled to other compensation - including minimum earnings, healthcare subsidies, and vehicle insurance.

Finally, if passed, Prop 22 would criminalize the impersonation of drivers.

John and Ken Say VOTE YES

At least give the Uber and Lyft drivers a break from AB 5, the free lancer killer bill from that hack Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, who called many of the jobs killed by the bill, "not real jobs anyway" 

PROPOSITION 23 - Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative

Summary: If passed, Proposition 23 would require at least one licensed physician on site during treatment at outpatient kidney dialysis clinics. It also authorizes the California Department of Public Health to exempt clinics from this requirement if there is a shortage of qualified licensed physicians and the clinic has at least one nurse practitioner or physician assistant on site.

Requires clinics to report dialysis-related infection data to state and federal governments.

Prohibits clinics from closing or reducing services without state approval.

Prohibits clinics from refusing to treat patients based on the source of payment for care.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO

Not again! It's a union ploy to go after the dialysis companies. Don't fall for it.

PROPOSITION 24 - Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative

Summary: Permits consumers to: (1) prevent businesses from sharing personal information; (2) correct inaccurate personal information; and (3) limit businesses’ use of “sensitive personal information”—including precise geolocation; race; ethnicity; religion; genetic data; private communications; sexual orientation; and specified health information.

Establishes California Privacy Protection Agency to additionally enforce and implement consumer privacy laws and impose fines.

Changes criteria for which businesses must comply with laws.

Prohibits businesses’ retention of personal information for longer than reasonably necessary.

Triples maximum penalties for violations concerning consumers under age 16.

Authorizes civil penalties for theft of consumer login information, as specified.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO

The only reason you need to vote this one down is that it will establish another large state government agency. Enough government bureaucracy !

PROPOSITION 25 - Replace Cash Bail with Risk Assessments Referendum

Summary: A “Yes” vote approves, and a “No” vote rejects, a 2018 law that:

Replaced the money bail system (for obtaining release from jail before trial) with a system based on a determination of public safety and flight risk.

Limits detention of a person in jail before trial for most misdemeanors.[19]

Fiscal impact statement

Increased state and local costs possibly in the mid hundreds of millions of dollars annually for a new process for releasing people from jail prior to trial. Unclear whether some of the increased state costs would be offset by local funds currently spent on this type of workload.

Decreased county jail costs possibly in the high tens of millions of dollars annually.

Unknown net impact on state and local tax revenues generally related to people spending money on goods rather than paying for release from jail prior to trial.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO

Thank God - the last one on the statewide ballot. A "No" vote means you want to cancel the state legislature's "yes" vote on ending cash bail for criminals. New York State ended cash bail and it was a mess. 

LOS ANGELES COUNTY BALLOT MEASURES:

MEASURE RR - School Upgrades and Safety Measure

Summary: A $7 billion Bond measure that would be dedicated to school upgrades and additional safety measures.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO

More borrowing for LA Unified School District - $7 billion! They won't even allow kids back into schools and they want more money to upgrade the buildings. With falling enrollment too - a ridiculous idea. 

MEASURE J -Community Investment and Alternatives to Incarceration Minimum County Budget Allocation

Summary: This measure would amend the county's charter to require that no less than 10% of the county's general fund be appropriated to community programs and alternatives to incarceration, such as health services and pre-trial non-custody services. It also authorizes the Board of Supervisors to develop a process to allocate funds and reduce the amount allocated with a vote of 4-1 during a declared fiscal emergency.

John and Ken Say VOTE NO

This is the one that will take hundreds of millions of dollars away from the LA County Sheriff's Department and hand it over to "community investment" or some such nonsense. An easy "No" vote. 

SELECT POLITICAL OFFICE RACES

FOR THE STATE SENATE DISTRICT # 29 

John and Ken Say Vote for Ling-Ling Chang (R)

Don't let Josh Newman return to Sacramento. He was already recalled from office for raising the gas tax. The punishment is permanent.

FOR U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT # 25

John and Ken Say Vote for Mike Garcia (R)

This was the Democrat "throuple" woman's seat that Mike won in a special election after she resigned. Help him keep it. 

Stay tuned. Additional races and ballot initiatives will be added as we get closer to the general election.

Photos: Getty Images, Wikipedia

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