Midday Edition 2022 election special, state propositions
S1: San Diego's registrar of Voters prepares for the final vote count.
S2: We can anticipate anywhere from a 50 to 60% turnout.
S1: I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. This is KPBS midday edition. Voting patterns reveal more. San Diego are voting for Democrats.
S3: By an entire ticket.
S2: Even if I didn't know what it was , there was just no way I was voting for anybody Republican.
S1: Then we'll bring you a roundup of state propositions on the ballot from a proposal to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. Two dueling props that would make sports betting legal. That's ahead on KPBS Midday Edition. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent promoting the issues and candidates on this year's ballot. But voters get to make the final call. Tomorrow , San Diego will choose a new sheriff , decide on fees for trash pickup and help decide the political balance in Congress. Among other big issues , the San Diego County Registrar of Voters Office is all geared up for tomorrow's final day of voting. Registrar Cynthia Paz joins us now. And Cynthia , welcome to the program.
S2: Thank you.
S2: So today we have 218 vote centers open across the county. So please take advantage of early voting today at one of our centers. They will be open till 5 p.m. tonight , avoid any lines or delays tomorrow at the vote centers on Election Day , avoid the rain and come out today and cast your ballot. So please check voter.com for a list of locations and a locator map to find a location near you.
S1: Now , the last time we spoke , you were looking for a lot of poll workers to staff the voting centers.
S2: So we we have fully staffed vote centers , anywhere from 8 to 10 poll workers at every site.
S2: We do encourage folks to go ahead and drop it off in one of our official ballot drop boxes or at a vote center. But it's not too late to mail it as long as your ballot is postmarked on or before Election Day and we receive it here in our office by November 15th. It is time we cast and will be added to the count.
S1: Now , some areas of the country are recording a high turnout for early voting and mail in ballots.
S2: So the 2014 gubernatorial general as well as the 2018 gubernatorial general. We've received over 500,000 mail in ballots already back and being processed into the count. They will be part of our initial results release election night. So that's a good number of returns. Looking at historical data of past gubernatorial elections , we can maybe anticipate anywhere from a 50 to 60% turnout. If you look at the recall , just last year , we saw a 60% turnout. The 2018 gubernatorial general was a 66% turnout.
S1: We've seen stories of armed poll watchers in other parts of the country and alleged voter intimidation.
S2: We've been fortunate here in San Diego , and we don't take that for granted either. But we have not experienced any threats or any reports of such incidents at any of our early voting sites or at any of our official ballot drop off locations.
S2: So for every election cycle , we always anticipate that they may need to deal with electioneering or maybe a voter who is upset. And and how do we still provide the most positive experience for that individual. So we do provide training on de-escalation. Anything beyond that , if they feel physically threatened in any way , they are to call law enforcement immediately. We don't want them to delay.
S2: That will include all the vote by mail ballots that have been received by our office prior to Election Day and processed into the count as well as early voting. You'll see periodic updates throughout the night. Our next update will occur around 10 p.m. and then there will be periodic updates until all 218 vote centers report and all of those Election Day votes are processed into the count.
S1: There seem to be several races that could be close.
S2: So that's not new. It's it's never been over on Election Day. So what we anticipate potentially is anywhere from 200 to 250000 mail ballots could be dropped off on Election Day or received in the mail on Election Day or during the seven days following Election Day for for any mail ballots that are postmarked on or before Election Day , they can be received by our office up to seven days after to be considered timely cast. So those , of course , will all need to be processed and added to the count. So I would anticipate it will still take a week or two following Election Day to get the bulk of those votes into the count.
S1: After that 11 p.m. drop you told us about tomorrow night.
S2: So once all the vote centers report in , we will have periodic updates throughout the night until they all report in. Then our next update will occur by 5 p.m. on Thursday following Election Day. And then we will have updates every day through Saturday and then it might slow up a bit. And that has a lot to do with with current law , with anyone who failed to sign their name to their envelope. So there is no signature for signature verification , or if the signature on the envelope was found not to compare to the voter signature we have on their registration form , those voters are sent a letter and a signature verification statement. So they have up until two days before certification of the election to cure that situation , whether it's to come in and sign their envelope or to sign the signature verification statement and send it back to us. We also have the seven days following Election Day that we could still be receiving mail ballots that are timely cast from the U.S. Postal Service.
S1: You know , Cynthia , with so much scrutiny now on how ballots are collected and counted and of course , conspiracy theories about ballot tampering.
S2: We encourage people that it's the registrar's office in San Diego County that is the official source of election information. So we're working in that way to just try to get the facts out there , the truth about the care that's taken and in each and every election and the procedures in place and the thousands of workers that come together that enable the success of every election.
S1: I've been speaking with San Diego County Registrar of Voters , Cynthia Pass. Cynthia , thank you so much and good luck tomorrow.
S2: Thank you.
S4: It's no secret that San Diego County voter registration has been trending away from the Republican Party in the last two decades. KPBS investigative reporter Claire TRAGESER dives into the data to see what's driving the shifts.
S3: Take a look at a San Diego County voter registration map and you'll see a county that's become quite a bit more blue over the past two decades. And some voters who've left the Republican Party have no problem telling you why. For Bonita resident Nikki Petzel , it was Donald Trump's campaign for president in 2016.
S2: To the point where by the time.
S3: It came time to vote in 2020 , there was just absolutely no way I.
S2: Could vote for another.
S3: Republican ever. While she grew up Republican and conservative , now she votes the entire Democratic ticket. An entire ticket.
S2: Even if I didn't know what it was , there was just no way I was voting for anybody. Republican.
S3: Petzel is part of a political shift in San Diego's voter registration. Between 2004 and 2020 , it's transformed San Diego from a county so reliably red to the light blue county it is today. The impacts of this change have been significant , says that Causer , a politics professor at UC San Diego.
S5: We've seen this radical transformation just over the last two decades in San Diego from really a Republican stronghold to to a battleground , and now an area where if you look at the county Board of Supervisors , the city council , the legislative coalitions Democrats have have almost locked up every position.
S3: But the move away from the Republican Party has not happened evenly across the county. Areas like Escondido , Carlsbad , Lake , San Marcos and Valley Center all saw a drop in registered Republicans , but GOP registration actually increased in other places like El Cajon and Encinitas. California Republicans were always more moderate , with leaders like Congressman Brian Bilbray and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger , who were socially liberal and pro-environment but fiscally conservative. So the shift makes sense , Couser says.
S5: And that's not Donald Trump , right ? The culture wars , getting rid of of reproductive choice through Roe v Wade and and and and pulling out of the Paris Climate Accords. Those sorts of steps took the Republican Party sharply to the right and really too far to the right for many San Diego Republicans.
S3: Jordan Gascon is no fan of Trump , but the executive director of the San Diego County Republican Party wants local Republicans to fight for change within the party rather than leave.
S5: Staying Republican and leaving the Republican Party in the direction that you want to see , I think is very important. People should stay in the Republican Party to do that , to effect change.
S3: Also , the data show voters fleeing today's GOP aren't necessarily flocking to the Democrats. Far more are becoming know party preference voters , which creates a new reality for campaigns. Ryan Kempner , a San Diego based campaign consultant , says the so-called independent voter used to be someone who'd checked out of politics. That's no longer the case.
S5: Affiliation as an independent is actually a reflection that they hold very specific opinions about politics , rather than that they don't want to be bothered with politics.
S3: Columnar says the region's demographics and growth patterns also play a significant role. For example , areas like Mira mesa and Mission Valley have built more dense housing in the past decade , which draws in residents who are more likely to be lower income and younger. And those voters are less likely to be Republican.
S5: That changes the issues that they care about and how they live their lives , their access to public transit in a different environment. The same voters might be behaving a different way because they would care about different issues.
S3: But who knows how long this new behavior will last ? As experts tell you , local politics can be like the weather. If you don't like it , just wait a while and it will change. Clare TRAGESER , KPBS News.
S1: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. When the U.S. Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade was first leaked in April , state lawmakers in California went to work. They drafted an amendment to protect abortion rights under the state constitution. And it's on our election ballot. But as KQED health correspondent April DEMBOSKY explains , there is debate as to whether Proposition one may actually expand abortion rights.
S5: Mr. Speaker , you may open.
S3: Before the final legislative vote on the amendment. One Democrat after another stood up and declared their commitment to women's health , autonomy and equality.
S2: This needs to be enshrined.
S5: To enshrine in our state constitution.
S4: We must enshrine the right to an abortion.
S2: In our.
S4: State constitution.
S3: But then Republican Kevin Kiley asked a pointed question.
S5: California law generally bars the performance of an abortion past the point of fetal viability.
S3: For a full 30 seconds , Mr. Kiley waited. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon whispered with colleagues. He asked to have the question repeated. Then he declined to respond.
S5: I'll answer that question and others in my closing.
S3: He never did. Under current California law , abortion for any reason is allowed up to 24 weeks of pregnancy. This is the general definition of viability , the point at which a fetus can survive outside the womb. The constitutional amendment doesn't mention the word viability anywhere.
S5: And that's why I can't support this constitutional amendment today. Because of what's missing from it.
S3: Republican Assembly member James Gallagher says his twin boys were born ten weeks early.
S5: They were alive and they were people.
S3: Without explicit time limits on abortion. Gallagher says the constitutional amendment gets the balance wrong between the rights of the mother and the baby.
S5: It says nothing about their rights.
S3: Throughout debate of the amendment. In Sacramento , there were several awkward moments when proponents seemed confused by the language of their own bill. They appeared to walk it back and scrambled to answer questions about viability. But doctors like Pratima Gupta , who were involved in drafting the law , say there was no mistake here. The word viability was left out on purpose. Every pregnancy is individual and it's a continuum. She says people come into pregnancy with a range of pre-existing health conditions , diabetes , anemia , high blood pressure. They may not have access to good medical care. All of these very nuanced factors determine whether a fetus is viable , not some arbitrary number. For example , if I see a patient who has broken their bag.
S1: Of water at.
S3: 23 weeks of pregnancy , that doesn't mean that it's viable or not viable. In recent years , at least three other states have removed gestational age limits from their abortion laws , including Colorado , New Jersey and Vermont. Abortion opponents say if California follows suit by passing Prop one , women will be lining up for abortions when they're eight months pregnant for no reason at all. The latest research suggests this is a fantasy. There's a very small percentage of abortions that take place at and after 21 weeks , it's about 1%. Elizabeth Nash is a policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute. She says women seek abortions later because of medical complications and increasingly legal barriers. It may be that they're delayed because there are lots of restrictions they have to comply with , maybe because they need to travel for an abortion. It may be that they can't get time off of work or that it was a wanted pregnancy. And something happened even in California. Polls show voters get more uncomfortable with abortion the later it gets in pregnancy. But when it comes to Proposition one , almost three quarters say they're going to vote for it. The politics.
S2: Of viability have. Changed.
S3: Changed. Mary Ziegler is a law professor at UC Davis. With the Supreme Court increasing the federal right to abortion and multiple states banning the procedure , she says the vast majority of Californians are not inclined to nitpick.
S2: These viability arguments that had obviously been compelling for decades. Don't listen to the same way.
S3: Ziegler says Prop one may ultimately allow abortion at any point in pregnancy , but it will likely be left to the courts for the final interpretation. From San Francisco , I'm April DEMBOSKY.
S4: KPBS reporter Matt Hoffman tells us about the difference between the two propositions.
S5: Another special interest ballot proposition. Hundreds of millions are being spent on propositions 26 and 27. It's almost hard to miss all of their online and TV ads.
S6: Only one proposition supports California tribes like ours.
S2: Vote No on Prop 27.
S3: Yes on Prop 27.
S5: Both would amend the state constitution to allow for sports wagering in California. Proposition 26 would introduce dice games like roulette and in-person sports wagering at tribal casinos. It would also allow sports betting at four racetracks in California , including in Del Mar. Kathy Fairbanks is the spokesperson for the Yes on 26 No on 27 campaign. People betting will have.
S2: To show their. IDs.
S5: IDs. Someone will check their IDs and make sure that they're adults and that they're following the law and they're gambling legally. Fairbanks represents a coalition of business groups and more than 50 tribes locally. The Verona Band of Mission Indians and the second band of the Kulmiye Nation have contributed to the campaign. Tribes would need to work with the state to determine government payouts , and racetracks would be required to pay 10% of daily bets minus winnings. The independent , nonpartisan legislative analyst says that Proposition 26 will result in tens of millions of dollars going to California coffers to fund state priorities like education , transportation , even homelessness efforts. The other Proposition 27 would legalize online sports betting for tribes and online gambling companies. Businesses would have to partner with a tribe to get a license. It's backed by betting companies like FanDuel , bet MGM and DraftKings , along with a few smaller tribes. Nathan Klick is the spokesperson for Prop 27. 25 other states have legalized online sports betting. They're proving that you can do so safely and responsibly and create real revenue for states under Prop 27. A 10th of betting profits would go to address homelessness with a smaller portion of that split among tribes without casinos. The state's independent auditor takes a look at every initiative that crosses its path. They found that only Prop 27 would raise hundreds of millions of dollars each year that would go directly towards homelessness and mental health support. Prop 27 is supported locally by the CEO of San Diego's Regional Task Force on Homelessness.
S3: I'm supportive of whatever it takes to get dedicated , committed funding on a permanent basis.
S5: Tamara Koehler says it's an opportunity to finally secure a permanent funding source.
S3: This funding is also not just for supporting , you know , the the housing solutions , but also mental health , behavioral health treatment support and , above all , housing.
S5: If Prop 26 passes , it would mean a sportsbook could open at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. President and Chief operating Officer Josh Rubenstein says his organization is supporting the measure. He thinks a sportsbook would help support the racing business and increase tax revenue in terms of foot traffic for these local businesses. You would think for busy events like Super Bowl and the Final Four , that that would translate to additional business for for not signing accounting. The public has been hammered with ads from both propositions. Yet a UC Berkeley L.A. Times poll found the measures polling under 50%. Both need a simple majority to pass. Our priority , the tribe's priority from day one since 27 , showed up was to defeat that measure. So we are looking at the poll results in a positive light because our number one priority is being met. Click with the Proposition 27 campaign says they're undaunted. The voters I talked to , they understand completely. You know , we need a solution to homelessness. They support online sports betting. And it's a win win for the state of California. For more information , check out the KPBS Voter hub online. Matt Hoffman , KPBS news.
S4: Now we have another take on Proposition 27 , which has created a record spending war between gambling companies who support the measure and many California tribal governments who oppose it. As KQED Guy Maserati and CAB Radio's Nicole Nixon explained. The measure has sparked a debate over the issue of tribal sovereignty.
S5: Most of the California tribes who have weighed in on Proposition 27 are against it. But if you've seen , yes , on Prop 27 ads , you've probably noticed the guy in a bright red shirt.
S6: Prop 27 supports financially disadvantaged tribes that don't own big casinos.
S5: That's Mog. Simon , chair of the Middletown Rancheria of Pomo Indians in rural Lake County , north of Napa. For much of the summer and fall , his face was a constant presence on TV in support of Prop 27.
S6: By taxing and regulating online sports betting for adults 21 and over. We can protect tribal sovereignty.
S5: And Middletown , Rancheria is one of three tribes that supports Prop 27. But Nicole found that more than 50 tribes oppose it. They're worried in part about language tucked away in the measure that could potentially undermine tribal sovereignty.
S3: Sovereignty refers to the inherent right of tribal nations to govern their own lands and people. And in California , they also have exclusive rights to offer casino style games on their lands if they have the resources for gaming. Jeff Butler is general counsel for the Yoga de Winton Nation , a Northern California tribe that operates a casino resort. He says many tribes are skeptical of Prop 27 because it would require them to sign new agreements with big companies like FanDuel or DraftKings to offer online sports betting.
S5: But the problem with that is that to do so , the tribe expressly must waive its sovereign immunity. It's going to allow itself to be sued. And that is a it's a nonstarter with respect to tribes.
S3: Sovereignty is crucial to tribal cultures , especially after generations of genocidal policies from European colonizers that resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of native people , stolen lands and fractured tribal identity. These policies continued well into the 1960s , says Joely Proudfoot. She directs the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center at Cal State , San Marcos.
S2: What makes the tribe is its.
S3: People and.
S2: The tribe having the. Wherewithal.
S2: And the resources to govern its people and its lands and its waters.
S3: Is critical. So to lose.
S2: That and just have the people blend into society as simply another racialized.
S3: Group is really harmful to tribal peoples. Proudfoot says tribal gaming and casinos have helped pull tribes out of poverty and provide essential services like health care and housing. Tribal sovereignty is wonderful , but having the resources to enact tribal sovereignty are critical.
S5: And that point about resources is why maximum the tribal chairman featured in the Yes on 27 ads finds himself on the other side of dozens of tribes.
S6: Middletown , Rancheria , has looked at the opportunities for us to grow for the next seven generations , and we're limited.
S5: The roughly 250 member tribe runs the Twin Pines Casino and Hotel , but it's not a big gaming operation. For Simon , the chance to partner with an online sports betting company could bring money for economic development and the potential to buy back tribal lands.
S6: This is just an opportunity for one tribe to make a decision , a sovereign decision on how they're going to move their people forward.
S5: Polls show Prop 27 looks headed to defeat , but these questions of tribal sovereignty and sports betting aren't going away , as the issue could be back on the ballot again in 2024. I'm Guy Mars Girardi in San Jose.
S3: And in Sacramento , I'm Nicole Nixon.
S1: Our rundown of this year's state propositions continues now. Prop 28 is asking voters to increase arts funding in public schools across the state. KQED's Julia McEvoy reports on what that could mean for one school in the San Francisco Bay Area. When it comes to high quality arts education. Richmond High senior Angela matanza says it's pretty clear all things are not created equal.
S7: Like over the years I've noticed , like communities like mine , Richmond High , where it's predominantly brown kids , we don't get the same opportunity as in like Hercules , which is , you know , predominately Asian kids and white kids.
S1: When Tan says plays viola in the Richmond High Advanced Orchestra , the school of 1500 students is 85% Latino.
S7: Parents , students and teachers have tried. Like here in Richmond High. Incredibly to get the funding that they have. We don't have the money , you know.
S1: Many Richmond High families , including Matanzas , are working class.
S7: Like not many people say , but it's also a race thing. It's a socioeconomic class thing. It's just an issue.
S1: The quality of arts education varies from district to district and often depends on where you live. Voters in wealthier communities often raise local taxes to fund arts and schools. Those disparities became even more acute during the pandemic.
S3: I had so many principals call me or email me saying that my students have been sitting in front of a screen for a year and a half. They need to sing. They need to move. They need to express themselves. And.
S1: Andrea Lundin heads School partnerships for Eastbay Center for the Performing Arts , a community organization that sends part time arts teachers into schools in Richmond to help fill the gaps. Lundeen says there is never enough money or artists , which means lots of kids are missing out.
S3: Sometimes kids can't really name exactly what's going on emotionally or mentally , but once they start to move or sing or play an instrument , then there's so much healing that goes on.
S1: A measure on this year's ballot could help. Proposition 28 would double the amount of money schools get to about $1 billion annually , locking in a permanent source of funding even during tough budget times when schools tend to cut the arts and a third of that new money would go to schools serving economically disadvantaged students at Richmond High , that would mean enough to hire someone to help. Andrew Wilkie , who teaches seven periods , runs the marching band , and the orchestra oversees all the instruments. Scheduling , transportation. This list actually goes on.
S5: I'm like , I'm done. I'm like , I'm I'm like a rock bottom emotionally , because not only am I trying to hold all these classes together and teach them all , I'm trying to find money.
S1: Schools must use 80% of their money to hire full time credentialed teachers , which could help get talented artists like spoken word poet Jazz Monique Hudson back in the classroom.
S2: I was set to teach this semester.
S3: But could not teach in the teaching art.
S2: Program because there wasn't enough funding for.
S3: The spoken word program.
S1: Hudson found a new full time job , but says she would love to be able to return to teaching. There is no official opposition to Proposition 28 , but there are those critical of so-called ballot box budgeting voters tying the hands of legislators by locking in a funding structure that can't be undone when a recession hits , for example. Then there is the accountability piece. Schools would have to create new ways of tracking personnel , which could take time and be a big lift. At Richmond High , student Anjali Matanzas is hoping that's something her orchestra leader , Mr. Wilkie , would be willing to do if it means getting more money in the door.
S7: Music really helped me express how I felt deep inside that I couldn't express with words. And also , I'm just having a hard day , you know , just playing music. Like I could just let it all out , Wilkie says.
S1: It's a job he'll happily take on if he can reach more kids in Richmond. I'm Julia McEvoy.
S4: Next up , a proposition on the ballot you voted on for multiple elections in a row. Now it's Prop 29 , the kidney dialysis measure , the California reports all. Gonzalez explains.
S5: I want to introduce you to someone I know pretty well. I'm Joanne Frost.
S5: And Joanne , who's 87 , is also one of the estimated 80,000 Californians who get dialysis because of damaged kidneys. That means three times a week , she goes to a clinic and gets hooked up to a machine that cleans waste material from her blood. The machine doing the work of what healthy kidneys would do. Each dialysis session , which lasts between 3 to 4 hours , leaves Joanne feeling exhausted.
S3: It really tires you.
S4: I sleep all the rest of the day. I just.
S3: I'm really tired.
S5: You feel like you've really been through.
S3: I've been drained. Yeah. Yeah.
S5: Yeah. But for people like Joanne with serious kidney problems , not getting dialysis just isn't an option.
S4: If I can't be attached to that machine every three days. I'll die. That's it.
S5: End to this life and death treatment comes Proposition 29 on the state's November ballot. If passed , the measure would require the state's 650 licensed dialysis clinics to have physicians or nurse practitioners on staff along with dialysis technicians. The heart and soul of this is we're going to add a clinician to the dialysis. Clinical and care is being delivered. We think it's incredibly important. That's David Miller , research director of SEIU United Health Care Workers. It's the labor union that's behind Proposition 29. We think there's millions of bad incidents of quality of care in dialysis clinics , and we think adding a clinician or an M.D. to the clinic would help resolve some of the poor care. So we think it's very important in terms of improving patient quality. The dialysis industry has a very different take. It argues the state's dialysis clinics are already safe and well staffed , and the cost of adding more personnel would force the industry to make cuts and close clinics. Prop 29 , the dialysis industry says , is about union clout , not health care.
S4: The motives of the groups behind Prop 29 are ballot box extortion.
S5: That's Kathy Fairbanks , a spokesperson for the No. One Prop 29 campaign. Fairbanks argues the ballot measure is really part of a long term pressure campaign by SEIU , United Health Care Workers , to increase its membership.
S4: It's not about patient care. It's not about improving patient care. It's about trying to unionize dialysis workers when they have so far said to the union , We're not interested. This is the union's way of putting pressure on the.
S5: Dialysis providers to past attempts to pass dialysis industry reform propositions in California , both backed by the union , failed at the ballot box , with dialysis companies spending big to defeat them. And the industry is once again opening its wallet to oppose Prop 29 , raising more than $86 million so far. Prop 29 proponents say what the industry is spending to defeat. The measure shows that it has deep pockets and can add staff without closing clinics. Dialysis is a three and a half billion dollar business in California , dominated by two companies , DaVita Inc. and Fresenius Medical Care. Again , David Miller of SEIU u H. W 80 or 90% of this industry is for profit , and this would restrict the amount of money that they could return to their shareholders. You know , so I think we are having a big fight over where the dollar goes. We're trying to wrestle it back into patient care. We think that's the crux of the fight. And what do dialysis patients think ? Like my mother in law.
S2: I just want my.
S4: Procedure done and I just want to make sure that they stay open so that I can my kidneys can.
S3: Keep functioning.
S5: That emphasis on survival is what's important to tens of thousands of dialysis patients in the state , no matter what happens to Prop 29. In Los Angeles , I'm Saul Gonzalez.
S1: This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen CAVANAUGH with Jade Heineman. Proposition 30 has split Governor Newsom from his fellow Democrats. The Democratic Party supports Prop 30 , which would finance electric vehicle incentives by taxing the wealthiest Californians. Governor Newsom is against it. KQED Kevin Stark explains the measure and the split.
S8: California has set an ambitious goal to phase out the sale of new gasoline cars , but it's still struggling with thorny issues how to make electric vehicles affordable. Who will pay for the public charging stations ? And environmentalists thought they had the solution.
S5: There's one planet. We're in it together. We have to take the steps to ensure that climate change is abated and reversed.
S8: Danny Zane is the former mayor of Santa monica. He has a long history of pushing Californians to raise taxes to pay for clean transportation. He convinced Los Angeles voters on a sales tax hike to pay for public transit in 2008 and 2016.
S5: We went to the ballot and it worked. L.A. now has about $120 billion over the next 40 years coming through , invest in transportation.
S8: After those wins , Zane wanted to go bigger. He and other California Democrats conceived of Proposition 30 , a clean air initiative that would raise the income tax on Californians who make more than $2 million a year to pay for electric car rebates , charging stations and wildfire prevention.
S3: Prop 30 is an innovative measure that all California's must support as if their.
S1: Lives depend on it.
S8: Oakland's Mayor , Libby Schaaf , says climate change and air pollution are killing Californians and is one of the state's many Democrats supporting the bill. Most of them were shocked when Newsom , who banned the sale of new gasoline cars after 2035 , opposed it. Electric vehicles and wildfire prevention are two of Newsom's top state priorities. He's already committed to spending $10 billion to help people buy EVs. So he says Prop 30 is redundant and its funding model is flawed , since so many of the state's wealthiest rely on the stock market for their income. Their taxes can fluctuate wildly. One strong recession could crater the program. Newsom starred solo in an advertisement warning Californians not to vote for the measure.
S5: Don't be fooled. Prop 30 is being advertised as a climate initiative , but in reality , it was devised by a single corporation to funnel state income taxes to benefit their company.
S8: The corporation is the ride hailing giant Lyft. The company has spent tens of millions of dollars bankrolling the campaign in support. California recently mandated that nine out of ten miles for ride hailing companies must be with an EV by 2030. Lyft wants the state to invest in the charging infrastructure. This measure would do that and fund rebates that would make cars cheaper for its drivers to lift. President John Zimmer pushed back on Newsom's assertion that the measure was devised by the company.
S5: This is about the health of our neighbors and communities. That's why we agreed to get involved when environmental leaders approached us with their plan to reduce California emissions.
S8: Prop 30 has majority support among likely voters , according to a recent poll. Governor Newsom's opposition could put a dent in that support. For his part , transit activist Danny Zane thought Newsom would be a partner in this fight.
S5: I thought it was great. We finally had somebody who was going to help back the signature drive. Suddenly it's like a scheme that's just wrong. It's just a mistake.
S8: And he says he won't stop pushing. The state estimates the measure would generate billions over the next two decades. If it passes in November. In San Francisco , I'm Kevin Stark.
S4: One proposition on the ballot this year takes a closer look at a state law passed in 2020 banning flavored tobacco products. Proponents argue Proposition 31 would uphold a ban on flavored pods for vape pens , electronic cigarettes and other tobacco products to better protect kids and teens from tobacco use. But opponents argue the law is unnecessary , saying sufficient protections for young people are already in place. Here to tell us more is Ben Christopher , a reporter covering California politics and elections with Calmatters. Ben , welcome.
S5: Thank you.
S5: So that includes flavored e-cigarette cartridges , vape juice flavored chewing tobacco. Most flavored cigarettes are already banned at the federal level , but this would also ban menthol cigarettes. So we're not just talking the sort of exotic or kid friendly flavors , but any flavor , really , although fruit , the products would be exempt.
S5: There's also an exception for certain types of cigars and loose leaf tobacco.
S5: So if you want to ban most flavored tobacco products in California , you vote yes. If you don't , you vote no.
S4: This proposition is whether to keep a law that was passed by the legislature and governor in 2020. Why is it on the ballot now ? Yes.
S5: So the California Constitution allows any group that doesn't like a law that's passed by the legislature to to gather signatures , to put it up for for a vote. So we saw this in 2020 with a law that banned cash bail. Voters actually overturned that one. And this case you saw , the legislature passed a bill in 2020 , as you mentioned , banning most tobacco flavored tobacco products. And obviously , the tobacco industry did not like that. And so they funded this referendum campaign. And so here we are.
S5: We're talking with Philip morris and R.J. Reynolds. Those are the two biggest. And as I mentioned , they did not like this this bill that was passed by the legislature in 2020. And by putting it on the ballot , they actually froze the implementation of the law until this election. And so even if they lose , they still bought themselves two extra years reprieve.
S5: So there's that. But but you do have sort of more high minded arguments for a no vote. That would be sort of the freedom argument that adults should be allowed to smoke strawberry flavored tobacco if they want to. Kids are already prevented by law from smoking. And if you ban these products , they're just going to be an underground market for them. So they're sort of the anti prohibition argument. California decided in 2016 that prohibition of marijuana was a bad idea. And so they should make the same decision about flavored tobacco. That's the argument.
S5: You have candy and fruit and pina colada and honey and that kind of thing. And I think , of course , you know , the supporters of this come from the public health field. And their ultimate goals is to reduce the number of smokers , period. And so by preventing these products from from being on the market that would appeal to kids , you're not you're preventing that many more new lifetime smokers. There's also the argument that menthol cigarettes in particular have been marketed to black consumers specifically for decades. And so they also make a racial justice argument as well.
S5: As I mentioned , in 2020 , the legislature's ban on cash bail was overturned by the voters. But in this case , the polling does look pretty good for the yes side. The last public poll that I saw was from UC Berkeley that conducted in late September , and it had supported about 57% compared to 31% opposed. And given how much more more money there is on the yes side , thanks to a lot of contributions from Michael Bloomberg , I think things are looking pretty good for the campaign.
S4: I've been speaking with Ben Christopher , who covers California politics and elections for Calmatters. Ben , thanks.
S5: Thank you so much.