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See saw with yes on one side and no on the other, balanced.
Beyond the ballot measures raising the minimum wage in Albuquerque and San Jose and raising wages for hotel workers in Long Beach, there was mixed news for workers, unions, and schools on the ballot measure front.
  • In California, two labor-related measures went the right way. Voters passed Proposition 30, which raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent and institutes a 1/4 cent sales tax to fund schools and public safety. They also rejected Prop. 32, which would have limited unions' ability to raise money for political purposes, leaving corporations and billionaires virtually unchallenged in state politics.
  • There was also good news in Idaho, where voters strongly rejected laws that promoted online education (which would funnel profits to companies that backed Idaho Superintendent of Public Education Tom Luna, who pushed these laws), used test scores to evaluate teachers and hand out bonuses, and cut collective bargaining rights for teachers.
  • Michigan provided some mixed news. On the one hand, the state's anti-democratic Emergency Manager law was defeated. But on the other hand, the attempt to put collective bargaining rights in the state constitution was defeated, as was a proposal to improve conditions for home care workers and the people they serve. The defeat of the Emergency Manager law is a BFD, though.
  • The bad news is that charter school initiatives were passing narrowly in Washington and strongly in Georgia. Charter school proponents outspent opponents 17 to one in Washington thanks to money from billionaires like Bill Gates and Alice Walton, overcoming an electorate that had repeatedly rejected such measures in recent years.

And to end on a happier, though not ballot measure-related, note, Diane Ravitch highlights defeats for education villains in Colorado and Indiana.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:49 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  California also failed to repeal the Death Penalty (3+ / 0-)

    Last number I saw didn't even seem that close.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 10:55:18 AM PST

  •  Other good news from Michigan (8+ / 0-)

    That ridiculous bridge amendment went down in flames. Maroun can go (back) to hell.

    Prop 1 was a good win. The law over-reaches, for one thing, and the better approach is to remove the obstacles city managers face in fixing the problems on their own. Bringing in non-elected officials to fix something that the state's laws caused in the first place is idiocy.

  •  I'm sad about some of the MI proposals (8+ / 0-)

    failing, but seeing the emergency manager one go down was worth it.  

  •  And the IL Constitutional amendment failed (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    progressivist, Satya1, Odysseus

    per ABC-7 this morning. Thank goodness. Curse you Mike Madigan.

    •  He's terrible, and needs to go. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      With "Democrats" like Madigan, who needs Republicans?

      "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 Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:18:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Glad to see that but it was a squeaker (0+ / 0-)

      The results were 56% for the constitutional amendment last I saw (readers: this is in IL) but it needed 60% to pass.

      Now the legislature will actually have to find some political courage and do their jobs.  I'm so happy this ridiculous anti-labor, cover-your-ass BS failed.

      The amendment and the accompanying ballot language was designed IMHO to appeal to a subconscious reflex.  After all the misinformation about pensions and the budget in the press, very few would be able to resist simply punching 'yes'.  Unless they knew a little background.  All the unions, almost all newspapers, all better government groups were against it.

      About 45% of the people who voted in the presidential contest voted "yes" on the amendment.  That to me is an indicator of a lot of people willing to vote on pure uninformed reflex to hot button language on a ballot.  Some 'yes' voters were no doubt informed, but not many.

      For more  background, I did a diary on this Monday:

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

      by Satya1 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:23:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this. I heard none of them had (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DuzT, surelyujest, libnewsie

    likely passed, but hadn't found verification that it was so.  I was extremely sorry that the union measure and renewable energy ones didn't pass, but give my druthers, I'm relunctantly willing to give those up in exchange for the emergency manager and bridge ones going down.  

    "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

    by gustynpip on Wed Nov 07, 2012 at 11:23:40 AM PST

    •  Yes, a less onerous version put into effect ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      years ago.
      The defeated one included contract breaking and the like.
      Personally, very sorry to see Prop 2, establishing the right to collectively bargain failed, in a great union state. We are truly moving closer to becoming Michissippi.

  •  MI emergency despot law overturned. (6+ / 0-)

    THIS WAS SO IMPORTANT TO ME and I've never even been to MI, save for one conference talk once in Ann Arbor.

    It's just so... visceral.  I mean what the actual fuck? An emergency dictatorship law? What is this, late Republican Rome?

  •  I still can't get over the GMO vote. wtf. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluezen, surelyujest

    In California of all fucking places. They lose this issue.

    "No clear mandate" is the new "It's tied"

    by jazzence on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:10:23 AM PST

  •  And don't forget... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Odysseus, cybersaur

    Montana Initiative 166, which strikes down the wrongheaded notion of "corporate personhood" and prohibits corporate campaign contributions in the state, passed by a 3-1 margin.

    "Ballot initiative I-166 establishes a state policy that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights because they are not human beings, and charges Montana elected and appointed officials, state and federal, to implement that policy. With this policy, the people of Montana establish that there should be a level playing field in campaign spending, in part by prohibiting corporate campaign contributions and expenditures and by limiting political spending in elections. Further, Montana’s congressional delegation is charged with proposing a joint resolution offering an amendment to the United States Constitution establishing that corporations are not human beings entitled to constitutional rights."

    It's constitutional, bitches.

    by KTinOhio on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:13:52 AM PST

  •  On the subject of Charter Schools (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hazzcon, Tomato Observer

    My county is trying to de-privatize aspects of the way it provides certain services to save money (yes, you read that right), and is running into to some hidden expenses that it never considered.  For one, the software the private company used to track records was proprietary and requires replacement.  The county owns the records, but it doesn't own the software.  The irony is that a county budget squeezed by revenue drops is looking at reducing outsourcing to save money.  It turns out that, over time, the cost of outsourcing often exceeds the cost of providing services in house.

    •  Michelle Rhee floated for education Secretary (0+ / 0-)

      i saw this in a long piece at Politico.  They also said Arne Duncan probably isn't going anywhere, which is too bad, but Rhee is a fraud, a charlatans, an ideologue and unqualified.

      Now that consumers have so little money the "entrepreneurs" are looking at education funding as a vast honey pot they can get their hands on by promoting charter schools and learning products that qualified teachers would reject.  Hence the need to get rid of experienced, unionized teachers and replace them with new people.

      The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

      by Mimikatz on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:33:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yesterday I noted the irony of prop5 in MI (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    libnewsie, Odysseus

    -A referendum that would have changed the constitution to require a 2/3 majority to raise taxes. Does anyone else see the ridiculousness of being able to change your state constitution with a simple majority in a referendum to make it nearly impossible to raise taxes? Am I the only one that thinks this is the stupidest thing any group of people has ever done in the long and glorious history of Stupid Things Humans Have Done?????

    Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

    by hazzcon on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:20:22 AM PST

    •  In Florida, it requires a 60% vote (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to amend the Constitution.  This is actually a bit of a godsend because interest groups are constantly trying to achieve via misleadingly worded amendments what they couldn't accomplish legislatively.

      •  The idiocy is infuriating. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If prop 5 passed, and I was a Michigan legislator who subsequently wanted to raise taxes, I would do it by putting a referendum on the ballot to change the constitution because that would require fewer votes than passing a tax increase in the legislature. It boggles my mind that we do shit like this.

        Let's go back to E Pluribus Unum

        by hazzcon on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:36:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Laura, don't forget about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Illinois.  There was a big constitutional amendment related to labor that was voted down.

  •  in ga, we have touch screen voting machines . . . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    libnewsie, wishingwell

    with no paper trail & i've always wondered how accurate vote tallies are with that level of non-transparency -- which the whole idea, of course.

    the charter school question was very, very close on election night, so it makes me even more suspicious of the results.

    •  My sister is a public school teacher in GA and has (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tomato Observer, bluezen

      been for the past 30 yrs. She is really struggling now because the public schools are losing funding, and teachers have to pay most of their benefits entirely out of pocket. They are taking huge pay cuts.  She may retire sooner than later now and just leave the state and work as a sub in another state or another job but not in GA.

      Teachers have no collective bargaining rights in Georgia and they have no voice when they get screwed over.
      And all this funding will go charter schools and leave the public schools and their teachers in the hole.

      She spends so much out of pocket for school supplies too. There seems little protection for the teachers too.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:20:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  both my neighbors are teachers -- or at least (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        one of them is, & she has to stay in her job b/c one of her kids was diagnosed with lukemia a few yrs ago & her husband is self-employed & she needs her job so they can have health insurance.  interestingly, they had mccain yard signs out in 2008 but nothing for romney/ryan.

        the other neighbor was a big sarah palin supporter in 2008 & had bumper stickers & yard signs, but none for romney/ryan this time around.  i'm not sure she teaches anymore b/c she's never home when schools are out for holidays, so i don't know whether she's teaching at a private school or has taken a job in some other field -- or a second job, b/c i rarely see her.

        i like to think maybe both of them finally woke up & realized the r's were screwing their families, & that's why they didn't put out yard signs.

  •  As a Michigan voter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I see no problem with the initiatives going down.  No need to continue to legislate via constitutional amendment.  Thanks be to the heavens that the ridiculous bridge one was defeated - the ads were brilliantly misleading.

    Also, want to call out the MI Democratic Party for being lame-ass cowards, and not recommending votes either direction on 3 (renewable portfolio standard) or 6 (bridge monopoly preservation).  Weak.

    "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model which makes the existing model obsolete."-Buckminster Fuller

    by georg on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:28:30 AM PST

  •  Florida Squashed Republican Initiatives (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, terrypinder

    like they squash cockroaches.

    1. Repeal of aid-to-religion ban defeated;
    2. Several "tax relief" proposals that would have crippled county tax bases, and so, public school funding defeated;
    3. Proposal that would have banned government mandates for obtaining insurance such as required by Obamacare defeated;
    4. Limits to abortion rights defeated;
    5. Increased GOP legislative control over courts defeated;
    6. State revenue caps defeated.  Tax us, please!

    Floridians also voted to retain all the State Supreme Court justices the GOP tried to do a hatchet job on.

    Florida also destroyed the strangle-hold super-majority Republicans had in the Legislature by electing more Democratic legislators.

    Not bad for a single day's work.

    Finally, rumors are beginning to fly that Charlie Crist will be the Democratic candidate for governor in 2014.

    Watch as Florida goes from swing to blue, just like PA has done.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:28:35 AM PST

    •  And I Forgot This Happy Statistic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, terrypinder

      47% of Miami-Dade's so-called conservative Cuban American population cast votes for President Obama.

      Marco Rubio or no, this demographic is getting bluer as the older backward-to-Cuba-looking generation is replaced by the thoroughly American forward looking one.

      Also, the Tea Party is offensive to them.  Finally, the solid but paradoxical political position of being an immigrant or child of immigrants but voting Republican has cracked.

      Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

      by Limelite on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:35:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fl defeated all our Republican driven amendments (0+ / 0-)

    *  Anti-healthcare law (Federal Govt cannot impose a mandate)  ---Defeated
    *  Ban on public funding of abortions -- Defeated
    *  FL Senate confirms FL supreme court justices - Defeated
    *  Allow state funds to religious institutions - Defeated

    There were a few other amendments that were defeated as well.  The only one to survive was an amendment to reduce property taxes for disabled veterans.  

    We still may not know how to count votes in Florida, but, the citizens are able to see thru amendments that are pushing a Republican agenda and defeat them.

  •  Florida may not be able (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Florida may not be able to count votes for a candidate.  However, every teabagger ballot initiative put there by the out-of-control GOP legislature went down to defeat.  That would 8 out of 11 amendments including overturning Obamacare, no public funding for abortions, packing the Fl SC, etc.

    Teabagger mentality lost big in Florida.  It is a new day.  There's no going back.  

  •  The Indiana Defeat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    was huge.  Now the head of our Education department is a certified public school teacher and union member who has been a very vocal critic of high stakes test scores.  She booted out Daniel's charters school/private education lap dog and massively came from behind in epic fashion.

    Unfortunately, Pence is already downplaying her election, stated that yes people elected her, but since they elected him it means that they still want charter schools so it doesn't matter.  Rather than recognizing that Indiana wanted some checks on executive and legislative power by voting for someone who will fight for public education. She's also already getting the Newspaper editorials warning her that it's fine to "tweak" the reforms but she would be stupid to try to over turn them.

    Once again, Reps getting elected always means mandate and Dems getting elected must play nice.

  •  In Michigan... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    lots of concerns that five of our six proposals were to amend the constitution, and it caused me some second thoughts as well. But, in fact, it appears that inserting it into the state constitution is the only way to "sort of" ensure that it takes affect. Michigan has had several ballot proposals pass in the past (i.e. med marijuana) which the legislative branch just chose to disregard by fooling around the edges to disable the proposal's effect. It is certainly sad that we as citizens must amend the constitution to have any chance of being heard, but it is simply true.

  •  Michiganders balked a little at amending the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    It's too bad that collective bargaining and alternative energy both lost.  But it was clear that some liberals were a little squeamish about making these constitutional issues. So I'd guess that the outcomes underestimate support for these policy issues. (Saying which, I realize I'm more pundit than quant.)

    "There were questions that Governor Romney wanted to address to make sure people understood that he's not a felon" - Ed Gillespie (Romney supporter)

    by itswhatson on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 06:47:13 AM PST

  •  Charter Shls I-1240 in WA (0+ / 0-)

    The charter schools initiative won't last long. Newly elected Democratic Governor, Jay Inslee, will not move it fast at all to give WEA or some other entity time to file a lawsuit.  The charter schools initiative violates our state's constitution. Details on how it does that here.

  •  Florida voters were REALLY smart (0+ / 0-)

    Florida voters have a very very bad history of blindly voting "yes" to enact amendment after amendment after amendment.  Not this time!!

    The Florida Legislature loaded up this year's historically long ballot with 11 lengthy and confusing constitutional amendments—only to see voters reject almost all of them.

    Eight of the amendments failed to get the requisite 60 percent vote, including a massive property tax overhaul, new abortion restrictions and a "religious freedom" proposal.

    The amendments made for long ballots, which clogged precincts and caused voters to wait for hours in some cases. It was the worst outcome for constitutional amendments since 1978, when all nine of the state's proposed amendments failed.

    The three Florida Supreme Court justices targeted by the GOP easily survived the retention election.  The MAIN reason the GOP went after these justices was due to their refusal, along with the rest of the justices who were not on the ballot this time, to approve the earlier drafts of these amendments.

    It's not easy being a Floridian: PS I'm a lawYER now; no longer a lawSTUDENT.

    by lawstudent922 on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 07:15:36 AM PST

  •  Marijuana! (0+ / 0-)

    Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana.
    That's kind of a BFD.

    --- Keep Christian mythology out of science class! @cybersaur1

    by cybersaur on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 08:37:26 AM PST

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