I was just checking the results so far for the special election in California. As of this writing, the results are in from 35% of California's county precincts, and only one proposition (75) is passing. The link is to the results page on the website for the Secretary of State; I have no idea if that link will stay good, or will disappear at the conclusion of this election.
I have to say that I am surprised at some of the results so far. Prop 73, which would mandate that a parents would have to be notified for their daughter to get an abortion is losing. For most of the night, it was passing, but now the NO votes lead by 50.5%. It's close so things could change, but close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades. I do hope it passes. How ridiculous is it that schools and doctors must get permission for parents for the most mundane things, but a girl can get an abortion without the parents knowing? I think an abortion is a much bigger deal than an aspirin, what about you?
I am happy to declare, however, that the NO votes for Prop 74 are beginning to pull ahead. An hour ago, Prop 74 was leading by 0.3%; now that lead has widened to 4%. This is the proposition that would have lengthened the probationary period for teachers to 5 years before they could receive tenure, and even worse, a tenured teacher could be dismissed after 2 bad evaluations. All kinds of things bothered me about this proposition. I was talking to my father last night. He retired from the California Highway Patrol about 15 years ago. When he started on the job, his probationary period was only 1 year. As he put it, this is a job where I had the power to shoot people, and they only needed one year to figure out whether or not I was cut out for it. How could school officials need 5 years? What also bugged me was the fact that Prop 74 had an ex post facto problem. Any teacher hired during or after the 2003-04 school year was affected by Prop 74. This means that teachers who received tenure at the beginning of this school year two or three months ago, would have lost their tenure if Prop 74 passed. I fail to see how the state can go back and change the rules of the game like that. I also fail to see how they could have changed the rules for me either. I became a contracted probationary teacher at the beginning of the 2004-05 school year. My contract stated that my probationary period would last for 2 years. How can the state go back and say, "Nope, now its 5 years."? Lastly, what also bothered me was the two negative evaluations. In my relatively short time as a teacher, I have seen some slimy administrators who will give bad evaluations to competent teachers who they do not like. We teachers work in a sensitive and unique environment. We need protection from unsavory administrators who would take advantage of their power and use it to get back at the teachers under them for personal or political squabbles. I recently talked in another post about the danger this posed for politically conservative teachers.
Finally, the one Proposition on the list that is passing is one that I want to pass, and that is Prop 75, which requires public unions to secure the permission of their members to use their dues for political purposes. Being a conservative in an overwhelmingly liberal union, I am very happy to see this proposition pass (assuming the numbers hold up). If only one proposition is going to pass, let it be this one.
The bad news written on the wall for Arnold Schwarzenegger is that Proposition 75 is the only one passing right now, and that one only by 50.5% to 49.5% as I write. This can rightly be seen as a repudiation of his agenda by California voters. Did I agree with some of these propositions? Yes. Did I disagree with some of them? Yes. But for "Ahnold", I see this as a disaster for his tenure as governor, as he had a bunch of time and ego invested in his pet propositions: 74, 75, 76, 77. With only one of them passing (barely), I have a feeling he is getting the message from California voters. I could easily see him deciding not to run next year for reelection. That wouldn't break my heart at all, seeing as how in the recall election of 2003, I voted for Tom Mclintock. I also see that the governorships of Virginia and New Jersey went to the Democrat candidates. That doesn't surprise me. With the exception of maybe New Hampshire, Republicans might as well kiss off the northeast, much as the Democrats have kissed off the southeast.
So that's my take on election night, 2005. That and $4 might get you a latte.
Good Day to You, Sir