Alan Korwin's 2012 Ballot Proposition Analysis and Choices
NOTES: I read the propositions, some of which are virtually incomprehensible (did you read, for example, section 7 of Prop 117?). Anyone who says they understand them all is a bloody genius or lying. Some items cannot be intelligently decided (should a judge be dismissed at age 70 or 75, serve for six years or eight?). The official "For" and "Against" arguments help, but not completely (good people are split on some issues). Here's what I found. Feel free to pass this around if you like.
DO NOT VOTE EARLY. New information on the propositions always comes out near the end, and you'll be sorry if your vote is already cast and can't be changed! Also, I don't publicly endorse or oppose candidates, you're on your own, and typically, some candidates will be indicted, jailed, withdrawn, scandalized or even dead, and your vote will be wasted. Wait until election day, like good Americans always used to do.
Alan Korwin, Author
The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide
Gun Laws of America
After You Shoot: Your Guns Hot, The Perp's Not, Now What?
Supreme Court Gun Cases
Bomb Jokes at Airports
P.S. A lot of my trusted friends (and some of my moron friends) will write to tell me why my choices are wrong, and if they convince me I'll pass around that information -- yet another reason to hold your vote until at least near election day.
Judicial Performance Review -- NO to all
Our judges do not support Fully Informed Juries -- letting juries know they have the power to decide the facts of a case AND whether the law you're charged under is good or bad. Judges refuse to do this. Their performance scores look high because they're not even asked about this. This is completely corrupt, and grounds for removing every judge on the bench. Remember (or look up) the John Peter Zenger trial (1733) from when you were in school ("Truth must defeat bad law"). The official booklet checklist doesn't even say what the two columns are for! "Do you want to retain these judges?" Vote NO and send a loud and clear message.
Prop 114 Absolutely YES Stop criminals from suing their victims.
This crime-victim-protection amendment basically asks, should we prevent criminals from suing their victims? If your answer is yes, then a "YES" vote on Proposition 114 makes sense. Right now, a crook who gets hurt while attacking you can turn around and sue you after committing the crime. That's just wrong, and must be stopped. A quirk in the law requires a constitutional amendment to get this done, and it is desperately needed. No one seriously opposes this.
Prop 115 NO, maybe Change how judges serve and are selected
I'm not aware of a problem that needs fixing here, with policy in place since 1974 and apparently working fine. This prop does seem to limit the choices and leaves some power in the hands of the governor over the judicial process through some control of selection of judges. It's a tough call, because who can really say if a six-year term (currently) is better than eight (the proposed), or retirement at 70 (now) beats showing judges the door at 75 as proposed. Members of the bar are split, not a good sign, and I might change my mind as more info comes out closer to the Nov. 6 deadline. Don't vote early.
Prop 116 YES, maybe
This cuts the tax government gets from businesses that buy new equipment. As of now, businesses get an exemption for up to $68K of gear they buy to run their businesses, and that would increase to $2.4 million. Less money to government, more incentive for business, spurs the economy, I like that. Government might turn around later and tax something else, but the economy would be stronger, and no telling what government will do later. I'm probably a yes on this one. We won't find out how it turns out until years later, however you vote. Don't vote early, get all the facts up to the last minute. The road signs on this are totally misleading.
Prop 117 YES, maybe
This puts a cap on the taxable value of your real property (real estate) from year to year, of 5%, starting in 2015, so taxes calculated on that property can't skyrocket like they did a few years back during the bubble. That of course does nothing to stop every other form of property tax that can be invented, artificially manipulates the market, and it can also be viewed as a promise of 5% per year, knowing how the taxman works.
People I know and trust are both for and against it, and the complexity and number of moving parts here make this a real toss up. I'm leaning toward yes, the cap is better than nothing, but it's a guess, the language is hopelessly complex, I'll be waiting until the last minute to choose, and then watching for years to see what happens. Reminds me of the unattributed quote: "Give them the vote and tell them they're free."
Prop 118 YES
This changes the formula for distributing money from the "State Trust Land" fund. When Arizona became a state, about 10.9 million acres of our land were set aside to be used to fund public projects like schools and prisons. You see these State-Trust-Land signs when you drive. When land from this trust is sold or used, according to a careful formula, the money must be placed in a carefully managed fund, and the revenue from the fund is used for schools. The formula is old and no longer works. The proposed update seems reasonable, there is no opposition to speak of, the fund and trust lands remain protected, so a yes vote is in order.
Prop 119 YES Allow certain State Trust Land Exchanges
This amends the state Constitution to allow State Trust Land to be exchanged for other public land to help protect military facilities in the state from encroachment by development or to improve management of trust land. It's full of safeguards, which include, roughly -- two independent appraisals must be done, the value of the land must be preserved or enhanced, public notice and hearings must be held, and voters must approve the transfer. There is no formal opposition, and a yes vote is proper.
Prop 120 YES Declaration of State Sovereignty
This attempts to establish our state sovereignty more strongly than it is today. I can't say I am thrilled with the way it is written, with some gray areas that might later be interpreted poorly. It also doesn't go as far as I might prefer, leaving some existing control in federal hands that perhaps can be dealt with in the future, and decades of precedent to unravel. And the feds will likely sue us if it passes. It does however take a stand about fundamental state sovereignty that I believe is important to make. When push comes to shove with the feds over who controls Arizona this will work strongly in our favor.
The active part of this is non or mis-management of forests and other public lands. The feds have been missing in action, they banned forest thinning that led to massive wildfires, stopped logging that destroyed towns and economy, used the EPA to harm us, and there is no guarantee the state could do better. Locally though we can exercise more control, and that's worth a try. Once again, vote now, and find out later.
Prop 121 Absolutely NO Eliminate Political Parties in Primaries ("Open Elections" "Top 2 Primaries")
Very tough call, but definitely a NO vote. In theory, an open chance to vote for everyone running in the first-round primary election ought to be the most fair system. In practice though, since most legislative districts are rigged to favor one party or another, a so-called "open" vote would mean, in the real second-round general election, you'd get to vote for two people from the same political party, a virtually communist-style one-party disaster. Other elements of the language in this constitutional amendment could also lead to serious fraud and problems.
It's true, the parties carry smoke-filled corrupt baggage and bully the politics into narrow pigeon holes. But it's also true they are a measure of values that roughly outline how majorities of people feel, making complex society more manageable. And upstart third parties like the Teas and the Occupiers (and Libertarians and others) are a touchstone of dissent and fresh thought that keep the majority parties on their toes, and these would be squashed flat in this Top Two oligarchy model, so I have to recommend staying with the bad political-party primary system and away from the horrific "open" (actually closed) Prop 121 scheme.
Prop 204 Absolutely NO Don't make the temporary tax permanent.
When the legislature pushed through a stunning 18% sales-tax increase, they insisted it was only temporary. We all knew better, and here it is. Instead of letting it expire as promised, they've kicked the can down the road -- and put it on you! With their faithful statist lapdogs in the "news" media they're screaming about how "we" are going to starve and deprive children if we don't agree to tax ourselves some more. What's really happening is the "takings coalitions" are lined up at the feed trough begging to feast on our money.
Starve them. Read the bill -- it's a list of who can get our money besides kids. Keep your hard earned cash. Make the temporary tax temporary. Make the politicians keep their word. Force government to stay smaller. Try this: Count all the scare stories in the media about the suffering you'll cause if you don't keep the temporary tax temporary. Balance that with stories you see on how the economy will benefit from all those extra hundreds of millions the public (you) will keep. My guarantee: The final count will be a lot of stories to ZERO. You won't see one story on how the economy and the public will benefit if we get to keep the one billion dollars we've earned.
404 Page Not Found
There is no Prop 404.
The pages not found are the pages in your old copy
of The Arizona Gun Owner's Guide. If you're relying
on an old copy of my book, you're taking a big risk,
and you're making it harder for me to get this report
to you and the people you're sending this around to.
It took me days to get this report done and done right.
Studying the props, like the gun laws, practically melted my brain.
The new edition of my book is a complete update -- self defense
laws have been rewritten. You don't need a carry permit,
the Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws are new,
you have Defensive Display on the books -- it's a new ball game.
I've also added books for parents, kids, women, survival, even novels,
some great videos, even a shooting simulator that runs on your TV.
All I ask is that you take a look. You'll get a lot just by looking.
Alan Korwin, Publisher
"We publish the gun laws."
4848 E. Cactus, #505-440
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
Call, write, fax or click for free full-color catalog
(This is our address and info as of Jan. 1, 2007)
"Don't be a spectator in the struggle to preserve freedom."
If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you're reading this in English, thank a veteran.
Public sentiment is everything.
With public sentiment, nothing can fail.
Without it, nothing can succeed.
"We publish the gun laws."
4848 E. Cactus #505-440
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
1-800-707-4020 Orders http://www.gunlaws.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Call, write, fax or click for a free full-color catalog
Encourage politicians to pass more laws...
with expiration dates.