For Listeners of “The Bottom Line” Show (and anyone else who might be interested)
(Updated 14 October 2020)
“Roger’s Recommendations” for the 2020 U.S. Presidential and General Election
What follows are my recommendations the key election issues of the day, focusing primarily on the races in which votes can actually have some kind of impact. Here in California, that means starting with the state propositions. Next, a look at key races for seats in the House of Representatives, the California State Senate and Assembly. Finally, I’ll compare both Presidential candidates individually . . . as well as looking at each ticket (President and Vice President) together.
Then, at the end of my recommendations, I’ll provide a link to a couple of places you can turn for a fairly thorough analysis of key state initiatives and races county by county here in California.
THE FOUNDATION OF MY RECOMMENDATIONS:
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this year’s Presidential Election will be the most important in American history – and the Church can and MUST play a role in deciding the outcome through prayer, getting informed and then taking action.
Keeping the Socialist Democratic Party agenda OUT of the White House may be of greater importance than preserving the Godly influence currently surrounding and the President – but both are essential components in effective election strategy. EVERY VOTE MATTERS! (Even in a place like the People’s Republic of California).
Toward that end, here are the 5 National Issues I’m encouraging you as a Bottom Line listener to keep in mind as you prepare to vote locally:
- The SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE (we currently have the most Pro-Life Administration in American history and we MUST preserve that);
- The importance of RELIGIOUS LIBERTY (the President’s judicial appointments at the state and local levels over the past 4 years have erased much of the damage done by the plethora of radicalized justices who were “legislating from the bench” over the 8 years of the previous administration. In addition, his foreign policy strategy BEGINS with the preservation of Religious Liberty protections for all citizens worldwide);
- The proper role of TAXATION (a Biden/Harris victory coupled with a potential “Blue Wave” flipping the Senate could spell disaster for the average American paycheck);
- The commitment of the current Administration to the preservation of BIBLICAL FAMILY VALUES that are the bedrock of any society. (The LGBTQ Agenda is chomping at the bit to see the Biden/Harris ticket allow Progressive “values” to run rampant.); and
- A tie between the support for local law enforcement AND maintaining the strength of American leadership against all enemies foreign and domestic. (EG Obama’s response to Baltimore and the terrorist killing at the Inland Regional Center compared to Trump’s response to Portland and his missile strikes in Syria, peace negotiations with Israel and the UAE, etc).
Locally, conservative California voters are faced with a few options for moving the needle regarding local government – but multiple opportunities to let our voices be heard with the Propositions. THIS is where KBRT, KCBC and Bottom Line listeners CAN make a difference:
THE CALIFORNIA PROPOSITIONS:
Prop 14 – Stem Cell Research Institute Bond Initiative
- In 2004, CA voters passed Prop 71 which earmarked $3 billion for the creation of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (ostensibly to use stem cells to find cures for all sorts of diseases). As of this past October, CIRM is down to $300 million and has yet to generate any measurable results – other than seeking to play “mad scientist” with frozen embryos and continuing to traffic in baby body parts from abortion clinics. The majority of their grants stayed in the UC system. Furthermore, when this measure was passed, there were federal laws in place which put caps on the amount of money private groups could raise to conduct stem cell research. Those limits have been since lifted.
- This new measure would stuff their wallet with another $5 billion from taxpayers. Hospitals, universities and research facilities are free to raise as money as they can without federal limitations. Taxpayers SHOULD NOT be forced to fund these experiments – especially those that involve frozen embryos or tissue from aborted preborn children. And yet the “Yes on 14” crowd has raised over $6 million in support of passing this measure – while the “NO” side has yet to raise one dime. No matter – a groundswell of support can defeat this completely unnecessary measure (in the same way common sense Californians rose up to DEFEAT Prop 13 during the primaries earlier this year). My recommendation is “NO” vote on Prop 14 (and that is a HARD NO to be sure).
Prop 15 – Tax on Commercial and Industrial Properties for Education and Local Government Funding Initiative
- A “Yes” vote supports a constitutional amendment to require commercial and industrial properties (except agriculture) to have their taxes based on market value rather than purchase price. (Doing so punishes long-time business owners who are fighting to stay alive in the post-COVID 19 economy because the increased cost of paying taxes would be passed along to consumers.)
- Analysts estimate that this change would generate an additional $8 to 12 BILLION in tax revenue each year. HOWEVER . . . . since the current rates for Commercial and Industrial properties were established along with residential rates as a result of the passage of Prop 13 back in 1978, passage of this new Prop 15 would potentially create a legal loophole through which legislators could effectively dismantle the current system as it pertains to homeowners as well.
- An organization called “Schools and Communities First” is the Trojan Horse behind this horrific bill. Their “leadership” includes Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, every liberal Democrat in the California legislature . . . and Vice Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris. I recommend a “NO” vote on Prop 15 (and this is another HARD NO here).
Prop 16 – Repeal Proposition 209 Affirmative Action Amendment
- In 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed an Executive Order stating, “The contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color or national origin.” At that time, discrimination against women and minorities in the U.S. was fairly commonplace. But over time, many new anti-discrimination laws were enacted – and the issue as to whether or not Affirmative Action was still necessary was called into question.
- In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 209 due to the progress made in these areas over nearly four decades of reform. Voters overwhelmingly approved the measure based on the fact that, well, we didn’t seem to need it anymore (which was a good thing!)
- Fast-forward to America in 2020 and we seem to be regressing as a nation. While the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s called for the end of a segregated nation, modern social justice activists are of the mind that we actually need more segregationist policies – especially in the public sector (police, firefighting, universities and other government activities).
- Prop 16 would repeal Prop 209 and basically send us back to the 1960’s. But we have made so much progress that I do not believe we need more “protections” like this one. I find it highly ironic that so-called “Progressives” want to REGRESS in this area. Prop 16 doesn’t help us resolve racial and gender inequalities; it only fuels the fire. That’s why I recommend a “NO” vote on Prop 16
Prop 17 – Voting Rights Restoration for Persons on Parole Amendment
- A “yes” vote allows convicted felons who are on parole to vote in California elections. A “no” vote keeps the law prohibiting them from doing so.
- You may be surprised to learn how many states allow criminals who are in prison serving time to vote. California is one of 3 states that allow felons to vote once they have served their prison terms and completed parole.
- 19 other states allow those convicted of felonies who have served their time and are now on parole to vote. (17 of those states do not allow those currently in prison to vote, by the way.)
- The other 28 states have some kind of disqualifications for convicted felons still in prison.
- The right to vote is a sacred trust between a citizen and the state in which he or she lives. But these days it is all too easily treated with such little regard that its impact is seemingly minimized. I’m a firm believer that the current California law requiring convicted felons to complete both their sentences AS WELL AS their parole is fair and reasonable. For this reason I recommend a “NO” vote on Prop 17.
Prop 18 – Primary Voting for 17-Year-Olds Amendment
- A “yes” vote supports the constitutional amendment to allow 17-year-olds WHO WILL BE 18 BY THE TIME OF THE NEXT GENERAL ELECTION to vote in primaries and/or special elections leading up to that next general election. (A “no” vote keeps existing voting law in place.)
- The fiscal impact of passing this measure will add approximately $1 million to every election cycle (so that pro-rates to an additional $500,000 each year in taxpayer cost).
- Currently 18 other states along with the District of Columbia allow 17-year-olds who will turn 18 in time for that year’s general election to participate in primaries or other special elections during the year in which they will turn 18. So what’s the harm in letting kids “vote early?”
- Simple – voting is a privilege for qualified ADULT American citizens. 17-year-olds are NOT ADULTS. FULL STOP. Should this measure pass, it could serve as “precedent” for challenging other age-restricted areas of youth, potentially also spilling over into “age-of-consent” laws. Not happening on MY watch. For this (and many other) reason(s), I recommend a “NO” vote on Prop 18.
Prop 19 – Property Tax Transfers, Exemptions, and Revenue for Wildfire Agencies Initiative
- At present, California residents can transfer property to children or grandchildren and maintain said property’s value for tax purposes – regardless of whether they make said home their primary residence. (EG Parents buy a home 30 years ago so that tax valuation standard is much lower than if it were based on current market value. Transferring that home to their children or grandchildren either before death or as an inheritance does NOT change the taxable value of that home.)
- This new law would REQUIRE recipients to make the home their primary residence (and NOT use it as a rental) or wind up having the home’s value re-assessed to current market pricing for tax purposes.
- But that’s not all! The additional revenue generated would be diverted into the newly created “California Fire Response Fund” and “County Revenue Protection Fund.” The first fund would basically help pay firefighters to do their jobs. The second would “be used to reimburse counties for revenue losses related to the property tax changes.” (In other words, they acknowledge that a number of people would fight diligently to NOT have to have their property’s value reassessed and will NOT pay this ridiculous fine – er, “tax.”) It’s completely inappropriate for the State to swoop in on grieving families and take a “piece of the action” from their inheritances. That’s why I recommend a “NO” vote on Proposition 19.
Prop 20 – Criminal Sentencing, Parole and DNA Collection Initiative
- Over the past decade, California voters and lawmakers alike have approved 3 horrendous measures: Prop 47, Prop 57 and AB 109. Each of these bills have reclassified crimes like the sexual assault of an incapacitated person as MISDEMEANORS, affording hardened criminals the opportunity to receive lighter sentences, earlier paroles – and more opportunities to re-offend. Prop 20 offers citizens a course-correction from these misguided efforts. It boasts widespread bipartisan support . . . and is only opposed by progressives like former CA Governor (and Attorney General) Jerry Brown. That’s why I recommend a “YES” vote on Proposition 20.
Prop 21 – The Local Rent Control Initiative
- A “yes” vote supports allowing local governments to enact rent control on housing that was first occupied over 15 years ago – with an exception for landlords who own no more than 2 homes with distinct titles or subdivided interests.
- A “no” vote opposes this initiative, thereby continuing to prohibit rent control on housing that was first occupied after 1 February 1995 and housing units with distinct titles (like single-family homes).
- If this measure sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Prop 21 is a non-too-veiled attempt to reintroduce Prop 10 which failed miserably in the 2018 Midterm elections. Voters didn’t go for it then and we shouldn’t go for it now.
- Prop 21 basically abolishes the Costa Hawkins Act from 1995 which established a fairly executed plan to provide necessary rent controls – but with equally necessary restrictions. Prop 21 abolishes all of those safety nets.
- This measure is SO BAD that even California Governor Gavin Newsome opposes it – as do I (and this may be one of the only times you’ll ever see me siding with this Governor). I recommend a “NO” vote on Proposition 21.
Prop 22 – App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative
- The app-based ridesharing companies Uber and Lyft were born in California. The genesis of Lyft began in 2007 and took on its current incarnation by 2012. Uber started in the Bay Area in 2009. The success of both of these companies is undeniable as they literally changed the face of public transportation forever. In doing so, they also provided gainful employment for hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs who enjoy the freedom of providing such a valuable service on a schedule they can determine.
- So, in an effort to capitalize on their success, last year California lawmakers passed AB 5, a measure so restrictive that it forced all of the independent contractors for both services to become employees of their companies. In addition, the language of the law also forced hundreds of thousands of California musicians, artists and other independent contractors to basically form S Corps and treat fellow contracted artists as “employees.”
- Prop 22 changes all that, giving the option of whether or not to remain IC or go employee to the contractors themselves. This measure has massive grassroots support already but I hope my support will help this campaign prevail. I recommend a “YES” vote on Proposition 22 (and that is a HARD YES at that 😊).
Prop 23 – The Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative
- A “yes” vote supports this initiative which would require chronic dialysis clinics to have an on-site physician while patients are being treated; report data on dialysis-related infections; obtain consent from the State Health Department before closing a clinic; and not discriminate against patients based on the source of payment for care. (A “no” vote leaves existing law as is.)
- Often times on The Bottom Line, you’ve heard me rail against those who fight tirelessly to keep abortion clinics from having to maintain the same health and safety standards as other outpatient surgical centers regarding physicians having hospital admitting privileges and other measures. So you’d think that Prop 23 would have my full support. Well it does NOT.
- While the measure CLAIMS to provide precautions which would improve patient health and safety, it also HAMSTRINGS the clinics by forcing them to simultaneously INCREASING staff while DECREASING their ability to bill for services rendered.
- Similar to Prop 21 (which is a rehash of Prop 10 from 2018 . . . which soundly defeated by California voters 59 to 41 two years ago), Prop 23 is a reworking of Prop 8 from that same election . . . a measure which was also DEFEATED by a similar margin.
- Prop 23 appears to be little more than a power play by medical unions to force dialysis clinics to lower their insurance billing potential (capped at 115% of costs – typical insurance billings run 200 to 300% of cost to insure full payment . . . because you know how insurance payments work!). So they would have less money to work with AND higher expenses (EG paying a physician to be present when a less-expensive clinician would be of equal benefit). The money just doesn’t add up on this one. That’s why I recommend a “NO” vote on Proposition 23.
Prop 24 – The Consumer Personal Information Law and Agency Initiative
- A “yes” vote supports this initiative to EXPAND California’s consumer data privacy laws, including provisions to allow consumers to direct businesses NOT to share their personal information; remove the time period in which businesses can remove information before being penalized; and create the Privacy Protection Agency to enforce the State’s consumer privacy protection laws. (A “no” vote leaves the laws as they already are.)
- Ready for another 2018 “rerun?” Signatures were gathered and an attempt was made to get a similar version of this measure onto the last ballot both those efforts were scrapped after state legislators created the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 which wound up addressing the bulk of the issues presented in this initiative. Prop 24 seeks to bring the full text of the initial 2018 initiative to being.
- While there are many parts of Prop 24 that are worth applauding, the measure also contains a couple of potential loopholes. The largest of these would create a “pay-for-privacy” revenue stream for credit card companies and others who could potentially deny credit or restrict access simply based on a consumer’s desire for privacy.
- In addition, my research indicates that social media companies like Facebook may already have exemptions in place creating an “immunity” for them in terms of whether or not this law (and the agency this measure would create) would actually provide real “privacy.”
- This initiative is well-intentioned but in the end it is so poorly written that I cannot give it my full support. As a result, I recommend a “NO” vote on Prop 24.
Prop 25 – The Replace Cash Bails with Risk Assessments Referendum
- A “yes” vote would uphold California Senate Bill SB 10 which would replace cash bail with “risk assessments” for detained suspects awaiting trial. (A “no” vote would repeal SB 10 thereby returning California to the “cash bail” system which has been in place for years.)
- When a person suspected of committing a crime is taken into custody, the state has the option to either hold the suspect in prison until his or her proverbial “day in court.” In some cases, the court will allow a prison to receive a conditional release provided that bail is posted (bail being defined as good-faith money put up by the defendant as a guarantee that said defendant will, in fact, return to court on the appointed time or forfeit the bail monies paid.
- At present, every state in the union utilizes this cash system. But in 2018, California lawmakers passed SB 10 which eliminated the “cash” system in lieu of a “risk assessment program” which was designed to determine whether a suspect was a Low, Medium or High-risk for flight, and then determine if a pre-trial release should be granted without any money changing hands.
- A couple of key issues come to the surface when considering whether or not to support Prop 25. First, consider the practice of setting and posting bail. At present, the dollar amount is set at the discretion of the presiding judge. Often times that bail amount is prohibitive and many people who are arrested often wind up spending considerable amounts of time in jail simply because they can’t “make bail” before their first hearing. Racial profiling is often a factor regarding how criminals’ bail amounts are determined. But, believe it or not another factor used to determine bail amounts is . . . how many prisoners are currently housed in a facility. Privately-owned prisons often have “guaranteed occupancy” agreements whereby an institution can count on being paid for having as many as 80% of their cells filled – even if the crime rates in surrounding areas are low.
- Cash bail reform has been the clarion call for many for years. But that’s not the issue with Prop 25. The problem with this measure is that it removes a subject and punitive system and makes it WORSE by utilizing a computer metric that could border on racial profiling to determine the “risk assessment” of a prisoner. Statistically nearly twice as many arrestees wind up doing more time if they are unable to post bail – but using a computer grid to determine who stays in pre-trial and who is released removes another layer of opportunity for justice.
- One of the leading proponents of reform has been the American Civil Liberties Union – the Left-leaning ACLU. And yet even THEY are opposing this draconian measure – as am I. For this reason and many others too numerous to list here, I recommend a “NO” vote on Proposition 25.
7 Key Races to Watch
- Orange County’s 39th District (Republican Young Kim to flip this seat back and away from Democrat incumbent Gil Cisneros)
- Orange County’s 45th District – New developments have led to a change in my position on this race. In recent days, key GOP Congressional leaders Jim Jordan and Kevin McCarthy have removed their support of Greg Raths. Due to the great amount of respect I have for these men and others who have voiced their concerns, I have rescinded my endorsement of Republican Greg Raths for the seat in the 45th Congressional District.
- Orange County’s 48th District (Republican Michelle Steel to defeat incumbent Harley Rouda. Rouda knocked off Dana Rohrbacher in a mildly shocking upset as part of the Blue Wave in ’18. He ran as a “moderate” but turned out to be anything but. Michelle Steel is currently a member of the OC Board of Supervisors and previously served as a member of the California State Board of Equalization. She is currently being demonized by the Left because she pulled one of her kids from public school in order to “keep her from being brainwashed by the LGBTQ community” – my paraphrase of her reasoning.)
- San Diego/Inland Empire’s 50th District (Republican Duncan Hunter held this seat for 7 years before pleading guilty to campaign finance fraud. Former Congressman Darrell Issa came out of retirement to run for this seat and finished in the top 2 in the primaries. District encompasses primarily inland San Diego County with a slice of Temecula and the Cleveland National Forest thrown in. Hunter messed up big time but Issa provides an opportunity to bring some solid Conservative leadership back to this region.)
- Central Valley’s 23rd District (Republican Kevin McCarthy is the incumbent – should hold his seat but with Ballot Harvesting being legal in CA you never know)
- Central Valley’s 22nd District (Republican Devin Nunes is the incumbent – but as with Kevin McCarthy’s seat, time will tell if he can hold his.)
- Los Angeles’ 43rd District (Republican Joe Collins is attempting to unseat Democrat Maxine Waters. This would be a miracle of epic proportions – but it would be entertaining if it DID happen! Waters is a 15-term Congresswoman with a checkered past. Collins is a Navy veteran who grew up in this district and wants to make it great. This District has been solidly Democratic for decades but I believe it’s time for a change. If you live in the 43rd District I encourage you to invest your vote in the candidacy of Joe Collins!)
More to come!
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