Wow. Talk about information overload. The last few days have been a blur, as the elections have finally come to a close. I have so much to say , I almost don’t know where to begin. Instead of trying to tie everything into a nice cohesive story pattern for you all here, I’m going to keep my blogging style on a Fark-ish, link and short paragraph on said link type of thing. I will continue to scatter my thoughts across the internet on my numerous blog sites and profile pages so check the blogroll too.
I have a lot to sift through, so let’s get too it!
“”If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer,” – Barack Obama, Nov 4th 2008
It is amazing how fast the results came in for this election. As soon as the polls closed in California, it seemed like the crowd in Chicago started screaming in approval! Thank God there wasn’t any of the lingering and triple counting of the past two elections. This article found at Daily Times talks about voter reform and the ease of this year’s election.
Obama voters: ‘Yes we did!’ taken from Star Tribune.com
Great video and article on Obama campaign workers in Minnesota, as they man the campaign office, complete with their reactions to the election results.
Iran’s Leader Offers Salute To Obama In a Letter
The New York Times
“President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran sent an unusual letter congratulating President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday for his victory in the American presidential race, even though the two nations have had no diplomatic ties for nearly 30 years.”
Barack Obama to be America’s first black president
“Gordon Brown called the president-elect ‘a true friend of Britain’, declaring that ‘I know Barack Obama and we share many values’. The opposition leader, David Cameron, hailed Obama as ‘the first of a new generation of leaders”
Who got the props?
The propositions that were voted on here in California were equally exciting, with controversy surrounding many of them. None were more heavily debated than Prop 8. The same sex marriage ban was voted in with a narrow 52 percent vote, sparking even more debate! Days prior to the election, reports of civil unrest and confrontations between campaign supporters started to appear in the papers. Tempers flared on street corners, words were exchanged at rallies and sides were drawn on church lawns.
Just today, a march and protest took place at the Mormon Church in Westwood. The majestic house of worship that sits high overlooking Santa Monica boulevard became ground zero, as the protest shutdown major Westwood streets, and resulted in a nearby school to be placed in “lock down”! Ironic, as one of the main arguments of Prop 8 supporters, is the influence of gay rights in schools and the interference of traditional education. The Mormon Church became the epicenter of the disturbance of that education today, as the battle took to the streets.
The story continues. Here are a few links from all regarding Prop 8 including the accusations of blackmail from Yes On Prop 8 supporters and Google’s thoughts on the prop.
1. “Prop 8 Initiative Constitutional Amendment,” Official California Voter Information Guide 2008
2. “No on 8 lead is eroding in polls,” Los Angeles Times, October 23, 2008
3. “California gay marriage ban backers target businesses,” Associated Press, October 23, 2008
“Threatening Letters Spark New Prop 8 Controversy,” KFMB-TV CBS, October 23, 2008
4. “A Line in the Sand for Same-Sex Marriage Foes,” New York Times, October 26, 2008
5. “Google’s position on Prop 8“- taken from Google Blog
News from the No on Prop 10 Camp! (taken from press release)
California Sends Pickens Packing – Prop 10 Crushed
Voters make choices, rejecting Prop 10 while approving more costly rail bond
The No on Proposition 10 campaign won a lopsided defeat of T Boone Pickens’ ballot measure. With 56 % of the ballots counted, 59.8% of voters were voting No and only 40.2% were voting Yes.
Voters looked beyond the price tag of the initiative. Voters approved Prop 1A (High Speed Rail Bond) with a 52% Yes vote. The taxpayer cost for Prop 1A is nearly twice that of Prop 10, and the Yes on 1A campaign had little money. The same voters are rejecting Prop 10 and its $23 million war chest in a landslide. Clearly voters considered not only the costs of bond measures – they weighed their merits and looked at the endorsements for and against the measures, and made discerning judgments.
“California voters didn’t fall for a Texas oil tycoon’s $10 billion money grab, no matter how much he spent greenwashing it,” stated Zack Kaldveer, spokesman for the No on Prop 10 campaign, and Communications Director of the Consumer Federation of California. “Proposition 10 is the ultimate example of a wealthy special interest abusing the ballot initiative process to enrich itself. The people of our state sent a clear and forceful message yesterday to anyone considering a similar scam in the future: California’s ballot initiative process is not for sale to the highest bidder.”
Mr. Pickens’ Clean Energy Fuels Corporation contributed nearly $19 million to the Yes on Prop 10 campaign. Chesapeake Energy and its owner Aubrey McClendon donated $3.5 million to the Yes on 10 Campaign. Clean Energy is the nation’s largest operator of natural gas fueling stations, and Chesapeake is the largest independent producer of natural gas in the U.S. Both corporations would have made a fortune under Prop 10’s multibillion dollar giveaway program to create a market for natural gas-fueled trucks. The No on Prop 10 campaign raised about $170,000.
The defeat of Proposition 10 is the first test of voter support for the self-styled “Pickens Plan.” News reports state that Mr. Pickens has spent $58 million on national television ads since July promoting his plan. One key component of his plan is the conversion of vehicles to run on natural gas. Pickens Plan ads do not spell out who pays for this conversion, and who benefits from it.
“Proposition 10 pulled back the veil from the Pickens Plan, and revealed that taxpayers were being asked to spend billions of dollars on a program that lines the pockets of a fossil fuel corporation CEO but does nothing to clean the air or reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kaldveer. “Voters took the time to do the necessary homework on this boondoggle and it didn’t pass the smell test. No amount of fossil fuel money could turn this lemon green.”
PROP 6 AUTHOR COMMENTS ON ELECTION DAY RESULTS (taken from press release)
SACRAMENTO — Republican Senator George Runner, the lead author of Proposition 6-the Safe Neighborhoods Act, released the following statements today regarding the Election Day results:
“It is with great regret that the proponents of Prop 6 accept this defeat. However, the defeat of Prop 6 by no means reflects voter sentiment on supporting public safety; instead the voters just said ‘no’ to nearly everything that spent money. It’s a sign of the tough financial times.
“But the fact remains: California local law enforcement agencies are woefully underfunded by the state Legislature. California taxpayers sent $103 billion to Sacramento in the previous fiscal year and only $600 million was returned to the state’s 58 counties and 500 cities for police, sheriff, district attorney and probation.
“Local government will continue to struggle to provide adequate protection for its citizens if the Legislature continues to make public safety an after-thought.”
California Voters Pass Historic Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008 (taken from press release)
Prop. 9 Gives Victims in California Unprecedented Constitutional Rights
SACRAMENTO — Crime Victims throughout California celebrated the historic passage of Proposition 9: The Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights of 2008. Proposition 9 is a constitutional amendment that gives crime victims 17 enumerated rights in the California Constitution.
“This is a historic moment for all crime victims throughout our state and nation,” said Harriet Salarno, mother of homicide victim Catina Salarno and President and Founder of Crime Victims United of California. “California voters have acknowledged the need for crime victims to be fully recognized in our criminal justice system. As a mother of a murder victim, I have worked for 29 years to ensure that my rights and those of other victims are treated with the same respect and importance as the rights of criminals in our justice system. Proposition 9’s success has made that a reality.”
Written by crime victims, Proposition 9 – Marsy’s Law provides victims with rights to justice and due process by creating a constitutional Crime Victims’ Bill of Rights, streamlines the parole system, and prevents politicians from releasing dangerous inmates solely to alleviate prison overcrowding, while ensuring resources to keep Californians safe without the state incurring additional costs.
“Voters throughout California agreed that California’s crime victims deserve better,” said Senator Jim Nielsen, former Chair of the Board of Prison Terms and a leader in the Yes on Prop. 9 campaign. “Proposition 9 not only gives victims and their families constitutionally protected rights, including the right to information and the right be heard, but it also ensures the criminal sentences, handed down by judges and juries, are enforced and adhered too.”
“I am absolutely thrilled that the voters of California have approved Proposition 9,” said Bilenda Harris-Ritter, who lost her parents to a double homicide and served as a Parole Commissioner in California. “I hope others will never face the terrible crimes and tragedies that inspired this proposition, but in the event that they do, they can rely on Proposition 9 as it has given them a voice in the system as they seek justice. Proposition 9 provides California real solutions with lasting impacts including true justice, due process for all and accountability.”
A true grassroots effort inspired by the real life injustices suffered by crime victims throughout California, Proposition 9 was supported by a broad based coalition including crime victims, law enforcement officials, and elected officials.
“California voters have ensured that the state will no longer favor the rights of criminals over the rights of the victims as they seek justice in the criminal process,” said Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, statewide Yes on Prop. 9 chairman. “Now victims will have an equal voice in the criminal justice process that, all too often, has treated them as second class citizens.”
“Proposition 9 does not bring Marsy back to me or my son, but it has helped my family turn a personal tragedy into a positive for society,” said Marcella Leach, mother of the initiative namesake. “We are proud to have been a part of the effort and are grateful for the support from California voters.”