The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Californians Vote Down All Eight Ballot Measures

by Brendan Coyne

Nov. 9, 2005 – Voters appear to have defeated all eight ballot measures put before them this year, four backed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, early returns from the Secretary of State show.

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Two of the measures would have severely undermined the power of organized labor in the state and grew out of the governor’s long-running battle with public employees unions. According to uncertified state counts, voters defeated Proposition 74, which would have changed teacher-tenure rules in the state’s public school system and was vigorously opposed by teachers unions. Californians also rejected Proposition 75, which would have required public employee unions to seek annual approval from each member prior to using dues for political purposes.

Other measures dealing with budgeting and redistricting failed as well. Proposition 76 would have imposed an annual spending cap on the state government and would have changed public school funding rules. It too was opposed by labor organizations, many of which operated under the banner Alliance for a Better California.

The Alliance warned that the proposition "would devastate our public schools and other vital services" by potentially cutting the state education budget by $4 billion annually.

A measure that would have partially taken the redistricting process out of the legislature’s hands, handing the power over to a three-member panel of retired judges appointed by state lawmakers also failed.

All four of those propositions were placed on the special-election ballot after the governor failed at convincing legislators to back the plans earlier this year.

Voters appear to have turned down four other propositions as well, including competing prescription-drug discount plans and a proposal to impose more stringent regulations on electricity providers operating in the state.

In a close vote, Proposition 73, a measure to require teens to seek parental notification before obtaining an abortion, also failed to garner approval.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

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Brendan Coyne is a contributing journalist.

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