The California Democratic Party’s Executive Board met over the weekend, taking positions on ballot measures facing voters in November. According to Scott Lay at The Nooner, the tally of support (and lack thereof) will be key to how these measures are marketed to the public.
YES: Proposition 30: Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment.
NO: Proposition 31: State Budget. State and Local Government. Initiative Constitutional Amendment and Statute.
NO: Proposition 32: Prohibits Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Prohibitions on Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute.
NO: Proposition 33: Changes Law to Allow Auto Insurance Companies to Set Prices Based on a Driver’s History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute.
YES: Proposition 34: Death Penalty Repeal. Initiative Statute.
YES: Proposition 35: Human Trafficking. Penalties. Sex Offender Registration. Initiative Statute.
YES: Proposition 36: Three Strikes Law. Sentencing for Repeat Felony Offenders. Initiative Statute.
YES: Proposition 37: Genetically Engineered Foods. Mandatory Labeling. Initiative Statute.
NO: Proposition 38: Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statute.
NEUTRAL: Proposition 39: Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute.
YES: Proposition 40: Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum.
The only suspense was really over Propositions 38 and 39. While it was very unlikely the party was going to endorse a “yes” vote on Molly Munger’s initiative, she has plenty of allies in the grassroots and K-12 organizations have been unwilling to come out against it. The “No” position was a big win for Jerry Brown in his effort to focus the ballot on his measure.
Most political commentators normally downplay the impact of party endorsements, but their impact is magnified in low-turnout elections. The parties are more likely to mail to high propensity voters and those most connected to a party are most likely to look to the party on ballot measures on which they don’t have a strong inclination one way or another.