RE: [lpsf-activists] Report from Dept of Elections

My vote would be to spend the money on “B” (the CCSF parcel tax) and “W”.
I also liked Phil’s argument against “I” and I don’t remember any arguments about it but perhaps that took place behind the scenes?
I agree that “V” will have a lot of other arguments but it it likely to pass and I don’t think that our argument, as good as it is, is going to make a difference.

Aubrey, thanks for briefing us about what happened, and staying on top of this. Would love to know what the deal was with Peskin.

Françoise

Subject: Re: [lpsf-activists] Report from Dept of Elections
From: “Aubrey Freedman aubreyyfreedman@gmail.com [lpsf-activists]”
<lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com>
Date: Fri, August 19, 2016 12:57 am
To: yahoogroups <lpsf-activists@yahoogroups.com>

Hi Mike, Starchild, and All. Thanks to everyone who helped out on the arguments. I think we pretty much covered all the major ballot measures and I was proud of what we turned in today. I was not able to hang around the house long enough to wait for the edit of Prop C (Changing Bond from a government loan program to affordable housing acquisition) because one has to allow for parking problems and TSA treatment at City Hall, and I couldn’t take a chance of missing the ball on all the measures.

Looking at the results on the DOE website, I am extremely upset about Prop B, the CCSF parcel tax increase and extension. Last Friday I called the DOE and discussed the pre-empting business with one of the folks there. With the limited resources we have, I hate to have our people spend time writing a beautiful argument and then you get down to the DOE and find out that they won’t accept the argument because it was pre-empted by one of the politicians (this happened a year ago), so I checked with him as to how to find out if a measure has been pre-empted. He definitely told me that if someone is listed under the Opponent column, then it’s pre-empted and that’s that. I checked “Local Ballot Measure Status” the morning of last Saturday’s meeting and was surprised to see Peskin’s name listed as the Opponent on 4 different measures, especially the sales tax increase measure and the CCSF parcel tax. I remember that Mike kidded at the meeting that maybe Peskin opposed the sales tax measure because it wasn’t high enough. So I told Les (who had spent time writing an argument against the CCSF tax because he just “loves” that school) to forget us submitting it for the free argument but to hang on to it because we might still use it as a paid argument. So we didn’t bother to submit anything against this measure today.

When I checked their website tonight, Prop B (CCSF tax) had no opponent argument submitted. What happened to Peskin? In fact his name is nowhere to be found on any of the measures except perhaps Prop C as a proponent. Was this a shenanigan? Errors on the part of the Dept of Elections? Seems unlikely they could goof on that many measures. At any rate, what’s done is done, but I will call the DOE tomorrow morning and get to the bottom of what happened for my own peace of mind, as well as future submissions. We cannot pass up the free argument on an important issue, and that “temporary” CCSF paracel tax needs a loud voice against it. I think we definitely should submit a paid argument on this one–and it kills me to pay good Libertarian money for what should have cost us nothing. Please advise your thoughts on this. If there is a consensus, then I will ask Les to post it on the Activist List, and we will submit it on Monday morning.

Now should we submit another paid argument? This will cost us another $500, but our coffers our good, and this is a good year for Libertarians, so I am leaning towards recommending a second paid argument as a good investment. We have strong arguments already written for V (Sugary Beverage Tax) and W (Real Estate Transfer Tax), so both are good candidates for submission. V will probably have other paid arguments against it, so it will stand out less, but then again the vote was close last time, so our argument might help to get folks to vote NO and turn the tide. On W fewer groups will oppose it because in SF you’re supposed to hate the rich, so our argument will get more exposure, but I think it’s a shoo-in to pass. Prop I (Dignity Fund) had a great argument, but there were already hard feelings regarding the editing, so let’s just leave that one alone. There was also talk of submitting paid arguments in favor of non-citizens voting in school board elections and 16 and 17-year olds voting in municipal elections, but there was nothing even close to consensus on either measure, so we should skip those measures as paid arguments but can engage the conversation again when we make our final recommendations for the remaining ballot measures that we didn’t have time to finish up last Saturday. Please advise your thoughts on a second paid argument.

I will post the proponent argument of A (school bond) when I get my hands on it tomorrow, and I am happy to write the rebuttal over the week-end, unless someone else prefers to do it. I will get the rebuttal from Wendy for the BART bond and post it also.

Again thanks to the helpers–you were great!

Thanks!
Aubrey

Posted by: francoise@thefieldingcompanies.com

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I'm interested in writing a paid argument in support of either Proposition (letting 16 and 17 year olds vote) and/or Proposition (letting non-citizens vote), either on behalf of the LPSF if we approve that, or in my own name (and yours if desired), if people are willing to help pitch in to cover the cost.

  The Peskin action also deserves our attention. I think we should file a formal complaint with the Elections Department and the Ethics Commission.

Love & Liberty,
                               ((( starchild )))

For those who weren't at the meeting, my arguments for supporting these measures (Prop. F to let 16-17 year olds vote and Prop. N to let non-citizens vote in certain circumstances) are as follows:

• Governments have no right to discriminate on the basis of nationality; doing so is as wrong as discriminating on the basis of other generally non-chosen characteristics like race, gender, or sexual orientation.

• Laws restricting rights on the basis of age are likewise invalid. Parents or guardians should be empowered to restrict the rights of legal dependents regardless of the age of those dependents (they might be senile seniors), but government should not discriminate on the basis of age.

• Young people are increasingly trending libertarian; it is in our practical interest to allow them to vote. I read recently that among voters under 30, Gary Johnson is polling ahead of Donald Trump.

• Undocumented migrants are another natural constituency for the LP, because no party is as pro-open-borders as we are; again it is in our practical interest that they be allowed to vote; we should reach out to them and let them know we're on their side

• We should oppose penalizing people for being undocumented (denying them equal civil rights), since government documentation/registration = government control

• To the extent we fail to stand up for their rights, young people and immigrants will be less likely to vote Libertarian than they would otherwise – the fact that members of both groups tend not to vote Republican is I think due in part to the fact that Republicans have generally failed to support their rights. Opposing the franchise for groups of people seeking it is simply bad politics

• No Taxation Without Representation! This key principle from the First American War of Secession (aka the American Revolution) obviously applies here. Both 16-17 year olds, and even more so migrants, are required to pay various government taxes; consequently they deserve the vote.

• Politicians and bureaucrats will still be making decisions to steal money, impose costs, etc., regardless of whether people have input as voters in those decisions or not. Restricting the franchise (letting fewer people qualify to vote) does NOTHING to ameliorate the basic problem of the political class interfering in the economy and making decisions that should be left to the individual. I trust the people, on average, more than I trust those in power, so I would like to see MORE political decisions put to the voters instead of being decided by the professionals in Washington, Sacramento, and City Hall.

• Under libertarian principles, it's better to allow 10 or 100 people to do something wrong than to violate the rights of 1 person. So if even 1% of the people in question were going to mostly support libertarian policies (and I'm sure the real number is higher), it would be wrong to support restricting their rights on the grounds that the priorities of others in their cohorts will be less responsible. That would be like saying that it's okay to restrict drug use because most drug users won't use the substances responsibly. Even if that were true, it would be morally wrong to restrict the rights of responsible users on such grounds.

Love & LIberty,
                                 ((( starchild )))

Aubrey indicated that there was no consensus at the meeting on these proposals, for good reason.

Marcy

It appears that there is no consensus. Therefore, it would appear that the right thing to do would be to do nothing.

Marcy

Good points Starchild. If the LPSF votes to support these measures with paid arguments, I'll contribute $50.

Mike

Les,

  I'm sorry you don't find value in any of my arguments for Props. F and N. Further responses interspersed below:

Nice try, Starchild, but I am not impressed by any of these arguments.

1
Govt has no right to discriminate! I am mystified by this statement. For the most part voting in the public sector is an act of aggression by imposing burdens and costs which the victims do not wish to bear. Government has no business in facilitating the initiation of violence and compulsion.

  You cut off my sentence! I didn't say government has no right to discriminate, period; I said it has no right to discriminate on the basis of nationality. I do think it has a right – and by "right" in this context I mean a legal right, since only individuals, not governments, have any moral rights – to discriminate in some cases, such as discriminating against people who commit serious crimes like murder by imposing obligations of restitution on them not imposed on other persons who have not committed such offenses.

2
Restricting rights on the basis of age? Few 16 or 17 year olds pay any significant amount of taxes. They are, on the whole, benefit receivers or tax guzzlers rather than tax payers. There is no doubt in my mind that a majority of them will vote themselves lots of goodies out of the public trough.

  I'm not sure I agree that few 16 or 17 year olds pay any significant amount of taxes. I'd like to see an analysis of that. But in any case, my age argument was not based on taxation. As Aubrey pointed out, there is a massive overall transfer of wealth via government from younger people to older people in this country. It seems a majority of older people are currently voting themselves a lot of goodies out of the public trough by supporting the continuation of the Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid welfare programs in their current unsustainable forms wherein future generations are being sent the bill. Giving more younger people the vote could help offset that.

3
Young people are trending libertarian. I don't know where you are getting this from. Bernie Sanders got most of his support from young people and they were decidedly NOT libertarian.

  I told you in part where I was getting it – that Gary Johnson is polling ahead of Donald Trump among voters under 30. Here is a source for that statement:

https://alibertarianfuture.com/2016-election/gary-johnson-beats-donald-trump-among-millennials/

  Ron Paul was also widely reported to be getting lots of support from young people (see e.g. https://mic.com/articles/3407/why-millennials-support-ron-paul , http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2012/01/ron_paul_and_the_youth_vote_why_the_candidate_appeals_to_men_under_30_.html ) so their support for Johnson appears to not be an aberration.

4
Undocumented immigrants are natural constituency for Libs. More likely in my opinion is that they will vote to expand government.

  These are people who were entrepreneurial enough to uproot their lives and relocate to an entirely different place, breaking government statutory law in the process, in search of better opportunity – often fleeing oppressive government where they came from. Those basic facts point more to a libertarian-type outlook than a leftist-type outlook. Once in the U.S., I think many of them have supported Democrats by default only because they did not know much about American politics, but could see the anti-immigrant hostility of the Republican Party and lacked information about their other choices due to the widespread failure of the media to inform them about those choices. This is a picture we can change with outreach and engagement.

5
Oppose penalizing people for being undocumented by denying them equal civil rights. In my humble opinion voting to impose burdens and costs on others is NOT a civil right and this is what I am afraid they will vote for.

  I believe that the law and civil rights should adhere to the principle of "innocent until proven guilty". A suspicion that someone might in the future abuse their rights is not sufficient reason to deny those rights. And here we are not even talking about reasonable suspicion of individuals, but mass stereotyping by demographics.

6
If we fail to stand up for their rights. If I could be sure they would vote to limit or shrink government, then I would be very happy to stand up for their right to vote. But I will not support extending the right to vote to people who I suspect will vote for more government and more taxes.

  It may be a bit of a Catch-22. You want to see proof of their libertarian voting tendencies before you support them, whereas they may reasonably want to see evidence from people who in many respects sound like Republicans that they support their rights, before they are willing to vote for them.

7
No Taxation without Representation? As I said earlier few 16 and 17 year olds pay any significant amount of taxes. They are almost entirely net receivers rather than net payers and the last thing we need is a bunch of babes sucking at the government teat voting themselves more benefits. I believe in No Representation without Taxation.

  The revolutionary slogan wasn't "No Significant Taxation Without Representation". There was no qualifier on the amount of taxation. The idea was that ANY taxation without representation is unacceptable as a matter of principle. As for benefits, most welfare benefits in this country go to older people. They could of course turn down the Social Security and Medicare checks, but naturally few of them do so. Young people are forced to go to school via compulsory education laws – government schools, unless their parents or guardians provide alternatives. But they do not in most cases actively choose this highly questionable "benefit", it is thrust upon them. The slogan "No Representation Without Taxation" posits taxation as something desirable, which it is not.

8
Politicians etc will still be making decisions to steal money etc. Yes, I am sure they will, but that is no reason to enfranchise a bunch of tax guzzlers to egg them (the politicians) on to even greater excesses.

  I don't see the basis for characterizing young people en masse as "tax guzzlers". Do you have some evidence in support of this characterization? Young people naturally rely on their parents/guardians as providers for the first years of life, but this is an obligation that parents and foster parents voluntarily and rightfully incur by giving birth or adopting kids. It is not a welfare subsidy that these young people are pushing upon them. Kids do not make the rules.

Love & Liberty,
                               ((( starchild )))

I would like to please add one small comment. I do business payrolls for a living. I see what a lot of people, young and older, make in wages, pay in taxes, and receive in "benefits". Millennials are being somewhat indeed skewered, although they are quickly catching up on the subsidies government is eager to provide. 16 to 20 year olds are net beneficiaries, forever clamoring for student loans, child cere subsidies, and debt forgiveness (they are the ideal Bernie People). Old people, some pay thru the nose and some join the ranks of the takers, depending on the value of their assets, how well any wealth they have is sheltered, how healthy they are etc. Interestingly, I see an enormous increase in non-citizens receiving benefits; this was unusual when I first started my business.

So I can attest no 16 year old is subsidizing me. And it looks that neither are the non-citizens that get the paycheck I prepare.

Just thought sharing some personal experience might help.

Marcy