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Recall Election Recommendations

The Bohemian presents its analysis of the Oct. 7 special election

The Sept. 24 recall debate made one of the best cases for saying "No way" on the recall. Not that Governor Gray Davis is any great prize, but as Bill Clinton pointed out, if Davis is being recalled because of the economy, then people across the nation should be recalling all 49 other governors, not to mention Bush himself.

By our count, the Green Party's Peter Camejo won the Sept. 24 candidate debate hands down. He rose above the bickering by sticking to the issues and making the point that it's not the business climate that's got people leaving California, but the high cost of housing, stupid. Camejo pointed out that the budget crisis is the result of the state spending more money than it was taking in, and that poor people are paying way more taxes than the rich.

In a perfect world in which Instant Runoff Voting (IRV--see www.instantrunoff.com or www.fairvote.org for details) already existed, we'd wholeheartedly endorse Camejo and give Cruz a lukewarm second place vote. Sadly, we're still trapped in a two-party voting system, and consider a Schwarzenegger victory a very real possibility--one that, on Oct. 7, we hope you'll help terminate.

Part 1: Should Gov. Gray Davis be recalled? No
Part 2: If the recall succeeds: Cruz Bustamante

Prop. 53: California 21st Century Infrastructure Investment Fund

The question is whether California should set aside up to 3 percent of the state budget for spending on infrastructure. We're not against money for roads, water, or public buildings, but we are against this proposition. The official blurb describes this measure as increasing the amount of General Fund revenue committed to pay-as-you-go capital outlay projects for both state and local governments. What it doesn't say is that by earmarking funds during an economic crisis, anything not guaranteed funding as a result of an initiative suffers--meaning that higher education and healthcare, which are already in dire straits, will be the big losers. Recommendation: No on Prop. 53

Prop. 54: Classification by Race, Ethnicity, Color, or National Origin

Should state and local government agencies be prohibited from collecting racial information for some purposes? That's the question voters are posed, but while various restrictions apply, they don't go far enough--which is why we recommend voting no on this initiative. UC regent Ward Connerly, who authored Prop. 54, may believe in his version of a colorblind society, but we think his measure works against that goal. And while doctors would be allowed to keep racial or ethnic data on their patients, we would not be allowed to use population data--such as the fact that Latinos are at higher risk from diabetes, white women are more prone to breast cancer, and African Americans are more likely to contract Hepatitis--to prevent diseases. If Prop. 54 passes, state and local governments would be restricted from "classifying" information on a person's race, ethnicity, color, or national origin for the purposes of public education, public contracting, public employment, and other government operations. Recommendation: No on Prop. 54.

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From the October 2-8, 2003 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.

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