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In addition to candidates from president to local office, many voters will be faced with ballot measures they may know little about. Here are some of the many labor and education-related ballot measures; this is far from an exhaustive list, so please chime in in the comments with others. Most, if not all, of these measures have faced big spending from Super PACs and other Republican dark money groups to tilt the playing field even more in favor of billionaires and corporations.


Michigan has three key labor-related proposals. A No vote on Prop. 1 strikes down Public Act 4, the state's anti-democratic Emergency Manager law. A Yes vote on Prop. 2 enshrines the right to collective bargaining in the state's constitution. A Yes vote on Prop. 4 will create a registry for home care providers who have been properly screened, and gives home care providers access to better training.


A Yes vote on Prop. 30 would raise taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent and institute a 1/4 cent sales tax to fund schools and public safety. A No vote on Prop. 32 blocks this attempt to make it much harder for unions to raise money for political purposes cloaked in the guise of getting big money out of politics (something it doesn't do). Related, 10 ways Prop. 32 would hurt California.

Frying Pan News rounds up how some key partisan organizations have endorsed on all of California's ballot measures.

Voters in San Jose and Long Beach will also have the opportunity to raise the minimum wage. [Edit: the Long Beach measure applies only to workers in hotels with more than 100 rooms.]

Albuquerque, New Mexico

As I wrote Saturday, Albuquerque has a ballot question raising the city's minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, tying it to inflation, and increasing the minimum wage for tipped workers to 60 percent of the regular minimum over two years.


Idaho, which has in Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna one of the worst education villains in the country, has three education-related measures. Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters writes that:

In Idaho, parents should vote NO on Propositions 1, 2, and 3: Proposition One would limit the rights of teachers to collectively bargain over working conditions like class size, would effectively eliminate their job security and base their evaluation largely on test scores. Proposition Two would implement damaging and wasteful merit pay. Proposition Three would spend yet more funding on requiring online learning for students, which was passed into law after substantial contributions from for-profit virtual learning companies to the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna. Many of the same companies, including K12 Inc., have given funds to push this proposition, along with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who contributed $200,000. Their involvement was only disclosed after a court order demanding that the shadowy group pushing these propositions reveal its donors.

Washington state voters and the state legislature have repeatedly rejected charter school measures, but they keep coming back, zombie-like. Initiative 1240 is the latest effort to authorize charter schools in Washington; a No blocks that yet again. More from Leonie Haimson:

Bill Gates and his cronies remain determined to overturn the popular will, and have contributed nearly $11 MILLION to achieve this end. Gates himself has given more than $3 million to the campaign, Alice Walton of Walmart fame has kicked in another $1.7 million, and Gates’ buddies Paul Allen of Microsoft and the Bezos family at have donated millions more. 91 percent of the funding for the massive campaign of this initiative has come from just ten people, all of them billionaires.

Meanwhile, those opposing the initiative include the Washington State PTA, the State Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters, the state Association of School Administrators, the state’s principals, the state teachers union, the Seattle NAACP, El Centro do la Raza, the Seattle Public Schools superintendent and countless school boards. They point out how this initiative would further drain resources from the public schools, which have already been found to be constitutionally underfunded by the courts, and would take accountability out of public hands.


Sticking with Leonie Haimson's writeup:

In Georgia, parents should vote NO on Amendment 1, which would create an appointed commission with the power to authorize charter schools over the opposition of democratically-elected local school boards and the state Board of Education. This constitutional amendment is opposed by the state PTA, the state School Superintendent, the Georgia School Boards Association, and many civil rights groups, who explain how this measure would divert hundreds of millions of dollars annually from the public schools, and into the hands of for-profit corporations, many of them with a lousy record of the schools they currently run, like K12 Inc.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 10:51 AM PST.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I've been writing about this all day long. (0+ / 0-)

    Diane Ravitch (my go-to for "reform" information) recently posted a letter outlining some of the various propositions on ballots across the country and suggestions for voters in those regions...

    "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

    by progressivist on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:17:26 AM PST

    •  Hah, I didn't realize until halfway down (0+ / 0-)

      that we'd both linked to the same letter. Good deal.

      I've already voted on an edu-related measure in my local ballot, and I've started writing education letters to the editor to my local paper, since I've learned that they'll publish just about anything.

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by progressivist on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 11:18:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  No, Yes, Yes, Yes, No, No here in Michigan (7+ / 0-) that order.

    My grandfather worked for 45 years at the Ford plant in Dearborn. He would be ashamed of what is happening to this state.

    "(We need) a government of the many, not a government of the money." - Nancy Pelosi

    by ScottyUrb on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 12:54:03 PM PST

  •  Illinois HJRCA49 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, eps62, bob152

    No on HJRCA49. Weakens collective bargaining rights.

  •  Please post these in table form (0+ / 0-)

    That makes it a lot easier to print out and take to the voting booth! Less guesswork!

  •  raise the minimum wage (4+ / 0-)

    its not just the fair thing to do its the all american thing to do.

  •  That's how I voted! (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, lorla, vzfk3s, David Michigan, eps62
    A No vote on Prop. 1 strikes down Public Act 4, the state's anti-democratic Emergency Manager law. A Yes vote on Prop. 2 enshrines the right to collective bargaining in the state's constitution. A Yes vote on Prop. 4 will create a registry for home care providers who have been properly screened, and gives home care providers access to better training.
    Don't need Darth Snyder ruling Detroit. And of course, collective bargaining is an easy yes. And it prop for was an easy yes for me too. Not controversial at all.
  •  . (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Moody Loner, vzfk3s, thatpj, eps62

    Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.

    by darthstar on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:01:19 PM PST

  •  Illinois has a ridiculous (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, eps62, Odysseus, bob152

    constitutional amendment on the ballot.  It's basically a "head fake" by the legislature to make it look like they're doing something while they demonize pensions and public workers.  It won't solve budget problems or pension problems.  

    Lot's of reasons to vote 'NO' on this one.  Most of all,  vote 'NO' to support teachers and other public workers.  See this diary for more info:

    Please consider putting this in your diary.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:03:00 PM PST

  •  FYI - if it weren't for Daily Kos... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, Odysseus

    as a resident of SC, i never would have known about those propositions on their ballot.

    i have 2 girls w/ husbands living in the LA area -- and i was able to help them decide how to vote on their mail-in ballots because of links found here on Daily Kos.  

    thank you, DKos posters!!

    Faux News ruined my state

    by sc kitty on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:13:01 PM PST

    •  I used one of the diaries (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Neon Mama, sc kitty

      summarizing the propositions to help my 80 year old mother-in-law make sense of the ballot. I think it was David Atkins who wrote it, but don't quote me. Anyway, whoever it was, thanks from me and the spouse.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:21:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Iowa needs to vote YES to retain their Justices... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, corncam, eps62, Odysseus

    Important not to let the hard core religious right wing win that one.  They got 3 Supreme Court Justices thrown off in the last few years.

  •  The part of the Education piece that gets missed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Neon Mama, eps62, Odysseus

    to often is the need to have Votech in in High Schools. From skilled trades to nursing all have a place.

    I am really tired of employers saying they can't find trained worker's. Employer, here are some ideas. Bring back PAID co-op positions. Stop trying to short change the school system
    on taxes.

    The rest of Us need some work also. When did We decide that a Plumber is less worthy of respect then a person with a Masters Degree? The list of when did We decide is endless, but We should really take a look at what We want our World to be like.

    "Anything We got, We Got The Hard Way" Mary Chapin Carpenter.

    by vzfk3s on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:29:32 PM PST

  •  All 11 Florida Constitutional Amendments have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brian1066, Odysseus

    a poison pill of some type in them.    

    We have no income tax.  Any further property tax exemptions will strangle infrastructure.   We all need cops, firefighters, roads, schools, libraries, courts, pothole fillers, sewer & water access.  

    One sounds good for poor old grannies --- with homes up to $250,000.   Yikes -- if you are that poor -- you can't afford that big a house.    And you WILL need roads to get to hospital, to get firefighters & police to protect you. You'll need extra help evacuating for hurricanes. You'll need the nursing/doctor training done by our schools.  You'll need police & courts to jail the con men who see you as easy victims.  

    And granny already has one simple process to have her tax delayed, if she can't pay, until after her death.  She won't be put out in the street.

    We are very heavy on poor old retirees like me, and retired veterans.   Our young folk have trouble getting minimum wage jobs because retirees will work part time minimum wage with no bennies.    

    We already give an extra break to our Florida vets.  But most of our property tax pool is retirees or veterans.  We really can't grow money on trees.   We all have to pitch in.

    Of course no on the anti-Obama care,  and anti-reproductive rights, and the no on our law against giving the non-taxed church fanatics our tax money to run "schools" and "treatment live in centers" where kids are abused without state inspection -- to protect their "religious freedom."    No to preventing taxation when needed ---- so we go broke like California.  

    In short, no to all 11 constitutional amendments -- especially since they fooled folks into making it take 60% citizen vote to rescind them once they are voted in.

    De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

    by Neon Mama on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:36:38 PM PST

    •  PS -- grans get the extra exempt only if they also (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      have lived in that home for at least 25 years.  That means they NEVER paid the @twenty thousand dollars in "impact fees" to the county it now costs for merely the privilege of building a new home.

      Yes, that is a pre-tax paid by my youngest a couple of years ago.   She's my only Florida native child.  

      Whoever gets grannies place next doesn't have to ever pay that impact fee either, since it is a pre-existing structure and thus "grandfathered" in.  That's even if it is a new Floridian who moves here to get their smart kids free college that we long time taxpayers paid for to try to stop needing to pay extra to import nurses for six months at a time from other states --- since we can't turn them out fast enough for all our old folks.

      Sorry to sound like a grump --- but I don't believe in tax fairytales anymore.   Every LOOPHOLE pits one group against another, promises a free ride, which means someone else is either forced to pay your freight ---- or we all have to do without esssential services.

      De fund + de bunk = de EXIT--->>>>>

      by Neon Mama on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 06:24:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good on Albuquerque. Great initiative. (0+ / 0-)
  •  Maryland! Montgomery County... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Question B. Basically the County Council and Exec, at the behest of the Police Chief want to strip the FOP of ability to approve practice changes that significantly effect the workplace environment.

    And they want to strip by referendum.

    Granted the Union has misused it's power in the past, but some of the changes the frustrated Chief wants to make seem likely to err in the other extreme.

    I am voting with the Union on this one. MoCo is one of the safest places you'll find, so nothing police related is all that urgent as far as I am concerned.

    (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

    by Enterik on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:48:29 PM PST

  •  NH Ballot Questions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I don't have a copy of the questions at hand, but when I sent my absentee ballot in I noted that all three questions dealt with "rewriting" the state Constitution. Each of these questions appeared to be generated by the Tea Party ranks in our legislature so I voted NO on all three.

    Anytime the representatives feel the need to rewrite the Constitution I feel a deep desire to hit them on the head with a heavy frying pan. These documents are what they have been yammering about all year as their reason for making these crazy ass bills! Now they want to change them to say something more to their liking? FAT CHANCE!!!

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 05:56:18 PM PST

    •  Here they are.. found them! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Question 1 appears to be an "anti-income tax" question. They want to basically put the no income tax language directly into the state constitution. Sheesh!

      1.  “Are you in favor of amending the second part of the constitution by inserting after article 5-b a new article to read as follows: [Art.] 5-c.
      [Income Tax Prohibited.]  Notwithstanding any general or special provision of this constitution, the general court shall not have the power or
      authority to impose and levy any assessment, rate, or tax upon income earned by any natural person; however, nothing in this Article shall be
      construed to prohibit any tax in effect on January 1, 2012, or adjustment to the rate of such a tax.”  (Passed by the N.H. House 256 Yes 110 No;
      Passed by State Senate 19 Yes 4 No) CACR 13
      Question 2 is a bit murkier, but the legislature has had their britches in a twist over the judiciary for a couple years now. And I fear this little change might give them a lever to affect the courts or at least after they install a Supreme Court Justice they approve of to make "laws" to apply on other Court Justices. They just sounds to fishy to let pass.
      2.  “Are you in favor of amending article 73-a of the second part of the constitution to read as follows: [Art.] 73-a [Supreme Court, Administration.]
      The chief justice of the supreme court shall be the administrative head of all the courts.  The chief justice shall, with the concurrence of a majority
      of the supreme court justices, make rules governing the administration of all courts in the state and the practice and procedure to be followed in all
      such courts.  The rules so promulgated shall have the force and effect of law.  The legislature shall have a concurrent power to regulate the same
      matters by statute.  In the event of a conflict between a statute and a court rule, the statute, if not otherwise contrary to this constitution, shall prevail
      over the rule.” (Passed by the N.H. House 242 Yes 96 No; Passed by State Senate 19 Yes 5 No) CACR 26
      Questions 3 is just plain "what the fuck?". Sorry but NO. I don't want you guys mucking around the state constitution. You can't even pass a bill in NH without a shit load of crazy being attached to it. I would rather these insane asylym candidates leave well enough alone!
      3.  “Shall there be a convention to amend or revise the constitution?”

      "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

      by Wynter on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 06:09:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't forget to vote YES on Ohio issue 2 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Get rid of the Republican's gerrymander of the congressional districts.

  •  Georgia's going to pass it (0+ / 0-)

    Polls show huge support for it, and it came out of nowhere. Some pro-business types got their buddies in the state legislature behind it. Everyone else associated with education in the state (including our Republican Sec of Ed) opposes it. It happened because the legislature tried to ram an unconstitutional committee down the state's throat before, and this is their workaround. More lawsuits will follow. And our idiot voters just see "choice " and "education" (the only place Republicans want to see the word choice is with education).

    Forget about the pursuit of happiness; that way lies grief. Concentrate on the happiness of pursuit.

    by kimtcga on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 06:41:26 PM PST

  •  In FL, No on questions, Yes on judgegs (0+ / 0-)

    The legislature crafted questions without any of the regulations that protect voters on initiative issues. The prupose was to hide real intent, and along the way create a ballot that took 45 minutes to read and maybe tangle voting lines further.

    The Koch brothers are financing a campaign against retaining the three State Supreme Court justice.

    No on every question.

    Yes on each of the judges.

    Have you heard? The vice president's gone mad. - Bob Dylan, 1966

    by textus on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 07:00:10 PM PST

  •  VOTE NO ON I-1240 (0+ / 0-)

    I am the president of my elementary school's PTO, and I am opposed to this initiative.

    The most troubling part of it, for me, is the concept of the "conversion" charter. If a simple majority of parents OR of teachers at an individual public school vote to convert to a charter, then the school will be recommended to the independent charter authority and will likely become a charter. The physical plant goes to the charter school, and the union is tossed out.  

    I keep seeing this nightmare scenario, where the Gates Foundation, or worse, Education R Us, pours funds into a petition drive to steal the school from the school district. Pouring funds can mean a few hundred dollars, really, because what does the PTO have to educate parents about the ramifications of converting to a charter? We can't hold enough bake sales to fend off the corporatists forever. So what I see is that they have shiny brochures telling our parents that charters are so great and their kids will all go to Harvard, and then the PTO each and every year is in the position of educating parents on the realities of the charter -- that the research doesn't look very good for the charter, that all our beloved teachers will have to leave either the school or the teachers' union, and so on and so on. Can you imagine putting the entirety of your parent volunteer efforts into this effort year after year after year until finally your group forgets whatever the hell you were fighting for and wearily gives in?

  •  Illinois (0+ / 0-)

    The proposed amendment adds a section to the Illinois Constitution requiring a three-fifths
    majority vote to approve any pension or retirement benefit increase for public employees
    and officials.

    Vote NO on changing the Illinois constitution to harm workers.

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