LPSF recommendations & endorsements

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Comments are welcome on the explanations below. I've also created an HTML
version, e-mailed to Bryce; it'll be posted publicly in about a day.

Thanks,
Chris

U.S. Representative, district 8: no recommendation. There is no
Libertarian candidate in this race, though Republican Jennifer DePalma
sought our recommendation. While there was wide feeling that her positions
on most economic and social issues were good, her support for the U.S.
military action in Iraq was considered unacceptable. (DePalma: 2 votes; no
recommendation: 8 votes.)

U.S. Representative, district 12: Libertarian candidate Harland Harrison
(unanimous endorsement). Harland is a Libertarian activist for peace,
human rights, and civil liberties. His top priorities in Congress include
ending the war in Iraq and bringing the troops home, dismantling the USA
PATRIOT Act, and reducing spending to balance the federal budget every year.

State Senate, district 3: Libertarian candidate David Rhodes (unanimous
endorsement). Dave has been an active member of the Libertarian Party for
several years. His top priorities are to reduce regulations on small
businesses, end the War on Drugs, and to balance the state budget.

State Assembly, district 12: Libertarian candidate Chris Maden (unanimous
endorsement). A ten-year member of the Libertarian Party, and currently
Chair of the San Francisco party, Chris's top priorities in Sacramento are
a dollar-for-dollar tax credit to shift charity from a government function
to personal and community activity, and returning state government to the
hands of a part-time legislature.

State Assembly, district 13: Libertarian candidate Jonathan Scott Marvin
(unanimous endorsement). Jonathan would work to decentralize state
government, move funding for state projects from taxation to fees, and
introduce tax cuts starting with the lowest tax brackets.

Board of Supervisors, district 5: Jim Siegel (recommendation). In the
heart of San Francisco's so-called "progressive" district 5, there is one
candidate who understands that government is the enemy of progress. While
not completely libertarian, Jim, a small business owner and landlord, would
work to reduce government interference with property ownership and business
operation. The chief reservation was with his fondness for using
historical preservation laws to save neighborhood character; however, he
also understands private approaches to preservation, and notably raised
private money to save the former site of the libertarian bookstore at 1800
Market, now part of the LGBT Community Center. (Siegel: 7 votes; none of
the above: 1 vote; no recommendation: 1 vote.)

[There was no recommendation for any other supervisory district, nor for
any other candidates in district 5.]

Board of Education: Libertarian candidate Starchild (unanimous
endorsement). Starchild is perhaps the most well-known ambassador of
Libertarianism in San Francisco. While we believe that the government
should not be in the education business, Starchild has an innovative
proposal to decentralize the school district's management and spark
competition between schools. This should raise the quality of the
government schools and reduce the cost, while setting the stage for
conversion to a free-market educational system.

[There were no recommendations for any other Board of Education candidates,
nor for any Community College Board candidates.]

Proposition A: NO (unanimous recommendation). Proposition A is a $200
million bond issue for building and renovating "affordable housing". Every
property tax increase worsens the housing situation in San
Francisco. Imposing such a tax to help the housing situation is
oxymoronic; housing needs will be better served by reducing taxation and
regulation.

Proposition B: NO (unanimous recommendation). Proposition B is a $60
million bond issue for protecting city-owned historical resources. If the
resources are worth protecting, a fund-raising drive is the appropriate
means of restoring them; private foundations do very good work at this kind
of job. In contrast, government tends to do a very poor job, and
Proposition B contains no guarantees as to which sites will get the money
from the bonds.

Proposition C: NO. Proposition C sets up a separate City department to run
the Health Service System, taking it out of the hands of the Human
Resources Department. This is essentially a change to enable extension of
City health benefits to city residents (Proposition G), which we also
oppose. Growing the bureaucracy is bad, especially when it's to enable a
worse cause. (NO: 7 votes; no recommendation: 3 votes.)

Proposition D: NO (unanimous recommendation). Proposition D makes a number
of changes to the Board of Supervisors' operational rules, and also removes
the fixed number of aides each Supervisor may employ. This is a Trojan
horse: the Supervisors constantly complain about having too much work to
do, and rather than run our lives less, they are certain to hire more staff
as soon as they are allowed. Passage of this measure is sure to increase
the cost of City government.

Proposition E: NO (unanimous recommendation). Proposition E increases the
survivor benefits for police officers or firefighters who die in the line
of duty. The benefits were reduced effective in 1976, and any employee
hired since then has agreed to the current terms. The middle of a budget
crisis is not the time to raise them back again.

Proposition F: YES. Proposition F extends the right to vote for Board of
Education elections to non-citizen residents with children in the school
system. Some felt that citizenship is not too high a hurdle to require;
others felt that the measure does not go far enough (non-citizen taxpayers
who fund the schools will have no say over the board). But overall, it is
a step in the right direction. (YES: 7 votes; NO: 1 vote; no
recommendation: 4 votes.)

Proposition G: NO (unanimous recommendation). Proposition G would extend
the medical and dental plan currently administered by the City for its
employees and their dependents to all interested city residents. The City
is not an insurance company and should not pretend to be one.

Proposition H: NO. Proposition H would officially name Candlestick Park
and prevent the city from selling naming rights. While Libertarians would
prefer that the city not run a sports stadium at all, hamstringing its
ability to make money is just senseless, especially during a budget
crisis. (NO: 11 votes; no recommendation: 2 votes.)

Proposition I: NO. Proposition I would require the Controller to produce
an economic analysis of proposed legislation as well as a long-term
Economic Development Plan. While we support the principle of an economic
watchdog, creating yet another government agency to perform that function
is a case of the foxes watching the henhouse. (NO: 9 votes; YES: 1 vote.)

Proposition J: NO (unanimous recommendation). Proposition J would raise
sales taxes to provide funding for a budget that assumes it will be
there. The budget should be balanced by cutting spending back to
pre-dot-com days, not by raising taxes on an already-damaged economy.

Proposition K: NO (unanimous recommendation). Proposition K would impose a
gross receipts tax on local businesses. As with Proposition J, this is to
provide revenue already assumed in the current budget, which is dishonest
and poor budgeting. Further, gross receipts taxes particularly punish
low-margin high-volume businesses like supermarkets, and would be imposed
on top of the payroll tax already in place. San Francisco will never
thrive until it stops punishing businesses for locating here.

Proposition L: NO. Proposition L allocates some of the currently-collected
hotel tax money to restore and preserve single-screen movie theaters. This
is so far from a legitimate function of government as to leave one stunned;
worse, it is narrowly tailored so that the allocated money can only go to a
non-profit organization established by the measure's sponsors. (NO: 12
votes; no recommendation: 1 vote.)

[Proposition M was stricken from the ballot.]

Proposition N: YES. Proposition N is a statement, on behalf of the City,
that the U.S. military action in Iraq should be ended. While it is not
clear what exactly the measure will accomplish that hundreds of thousands
marching in the street did not, since it is on the ballot, it should be
passed. (YES: 9 votes; no recommendation: 1 vote.)

Proposition O: NO. Proposition O allocates the sales tax revenue that
would be collected if Proposition J passes. As we oppose Proposition J, we
hope that Proposition O will be moot, but earmarking revenue by ballot
measures is a bad practice that tends to lead to future budget crises and
tax increases. (NO: 9 votes; no recommendation: 4 votes.)
- --
Christopher R. Maden, Chair, Libertarian Party of San Francisco
The Party of Principle: individual freedom and personal responsibility
<URL: http://www.lpsf.org/ > +1.415.775.LPSF
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