Pancakes & Politics Davis: A Questionably Helpful Voter Guide

by Bobby Arlen, Danielle Fodor & Alan C. Miller, courtesy of the Pancakes & Politics group

Art by Danielle Fodor; Haikus reprinted with permission from Damian Carroll


Every election a group of Davis residents meets to stuff food into our gullets, discuss the upcoming election, and put out a whimsical Voter Guide.  And we always come through . . . sometimes.

“With so many propositions on the ballot it almost makes me not want to vote” – Pancakes & Politics Participant


So many voters feel this way this year!   Indeed, P&P 2016 recognized early on that we were not going to get through all the ballot measures and offices in four hours, so we decided to focus on the 16 ballot measures instead . . . or is it 17 ballot measures?  We don’t know – every time we counted we got a different number (once we counted eleven).  We sort of counted to one on the offices (see end).

So sit, back, relax, play some death metal, and curl up with your cat or hamster while you read the Pancakes and Politics Voter Guide, November 2016.  To relive our experience, make yourself some pancakes!  Life is too short to pass up on an excuse for pancakes.

Let’s start local!


Measure H – Household Tax Increase for Davis Schools

Schools, schools, schools.  Davis is an educated town, and we feel the need to school our young’uns, some of us in the school of our living room.  Currently, the school district taxes property owners a per-parcel assessment to provide additional funding for public schools. The tax is renewed every four years, assuming ⅔ of us vote for it. Additional measures are periodically brought to voters for even more funding. Measure H would set the parcel tax rate at $620/year for the next eight years (i.e. renewing the existing tax). The per parcel rate is going up because the way that apartment complexes are taxed has changed due to some state lawsuit. Apartment complexes are now being taxed as a single parcel instead of per unit (what makes them so damn special?)


Pro: Without Measure H, funding to Davis public schools will decrease. We have low-income kids in our school district, but because we don’t have a high percentage, we don’t receive as much state funding as other school districts do (though arguably, those districts need it more than we do). If H fails, low-income Davis kids would be impacted the most since they might lose at-school enrichment programs (like music or brain surgery) and their families may be unable to afford private lessons.

Con: Since most public schools rely heavily on property taxes for funding, taxes like these perpetuate systemic inequalities. There is a pattern of relatively wealthy school districts generating higher tax revenues, and providing higher quality education to their students while poorer districts are underfunded. Davis tends to focus on GATE/AIM (aka gifted) programs, and not where there is the most need. Thus, the gifted get more gifts.  The money goes to feed a competitive model of education. What’s happening to the weakest students in the link? If we focus on the bigger picture, we would be organizing for increased state and federal funding instead of always scraping by on local measures. If you vote for this, consider writing a letter to the state and federal government advocating for kids in other communities, too.

Yet what is the immediate impact of voting no? Local kids losing programs and services. Bah!  (A sheep visited briefly to emphasize the point)


Yes – 9; No —  2; Undecided — 3

Leaning yes, with some backward glances and caveats

Measure “H” Haiku – by Bobby Arlen

Davis household tax

To support good school programs

Needing two-thirds vote

Prop 51 – School Construction & Repair Bond – we’re split

This proposition really cracks us up – like an old school building in an earthquake.  It would have California borrowing $9 billion (through bonds) for the construction and rehabilitation of schools. That breaks down to $3 billion for the construction of new schools, $3 billion for renovation of existing schools, $1 billion for charter and vocational schools, and $2 billion for the construction, acquisition, and renovation of community college facilities. It is, not surprisingly, an initiative backed by construction groups and developers. But how else do propositions get on the ballot in this day and age without big big big money behind them?


For: We know, or think we know, that school districts in relatively wealthy areas can pay for services and construction through property taxes. We like that this could potentially benefit schools with greater need. Schools cost money – and are generally underfunded – no doubt about it.

Against: …but the ways that California allots money to different school districts is overly bureaucratic and doesn’t prioritize the schools with the most need. The state already is too deep in debt and shouldn’t take on more bonds that have to be paid back. (BUT taking out a long term bond at a time when interest rates are historically low might be a good idea if we’re going to end up borrowing money for this at some point anyway) There is $3 billion for new schools in this proposition. School services are not adequate as it is, so will this end in new buildings where we can’t afford to hire staff, or even upkeep on old buildings?  (Upkeep money is so not sexy)  And yet we want to support schools… agh!  Are our schools winning? Or just people who build buildings on the public dole?

We checked the endorsements from Humboldt Organized for People and the Environment (HOPE)…and the endorsements are split. Hmmmm…pass the maple syrup…

Yes -– 6; Undecided — 5; No — 4

Just barely listing towards yes, like the Titanic just barely listing towards an iceberg.

Here’s another Haiku – you’ll get one with every prop! 

(Note: We stole them, but they said we could.)

Nine billion dollars

Of bond funds for school buildings

Term: thirty-five years

Prop 52: Medi-Cal (anti-trust) funding

This law is about trust (and I don’t mean the monopoly variety). Nah, it’s about trusting the legislature and private hospitals to continue to work out a fair fee structure for Medi-Cal access. Medi-Cal is funded by state funds, federal funds and a fee charged to private hospitals. If the private hospitals don’t pay the fee, then they can’t receive Medi-Cal funds. Proposition 52 would make the fee for private hospitals permanent. We could see this as a law about trust because the fee structure is working fine as it is – the prop would be forcing them to do what they already have incentive to do. So, why formalize it with a new law? Could this indirectly block single payer? No, that’s a separate issue. Things could change in the future, maybe that’s why people want the fee formalized.

Quakers in CA are opposed to Prop 52. The current fee is set to expire at the end of 2017 and the legislature has changed the fee four times (x 4!). In the future we may want the legislature to have the flexibility to modify the fee and change how the fees should be set in response to changing circumstances. It is a constitutional amendment. It locks the process into the Constitution so that the legislature wouldn’t be able to control how funds are spent during a budget crisis.

Pro: Guarantees over $3 billion a year in Medi-Cal funds from private hospitals by constitutional amendment. Prop 52 ensures the Legislature may not divert any of this money without voter approval.

Con: Formalizing an agreement that doesn’t need to be — removes all accountability and oversight of over $3 billion taxpayer dollars. With no independent audits, hospital CEOs could spend public funds with no requirement to support health care.  There could be flexibility for a better system in the future as circumstances change that would be lost if the current system is locked in — why lock in the Model T for eternity, when you could get a Pinto in the future . . . oh, bad metaphor.

(Many of us changed our votes in the process of discussing. Flip floppers.)

No – 12; Undecided — 1

No, no, almost everyone said no.  No new laws unless we need them.

A hospital fee

Matched with federal dollars

Funds Medi-Cal boost

Prop 53: More ballot bonds? – we’re split on this too…


Currently, if the state of California wants to borrow money for an infrastructure project that will be paid off via the General Fund (i.e. taxes), voters are asked to vote on a bond. Voter approval is not required for the state to borrow money via revenue bonds — these bonds are for projects that will make money once they’re done, and eventually pay off their own debt — like a bridge that you pay a toll on or an airport. Under this proposition, voter approval is required when state projects take out revenue bonds greater than $2 billion. The measure also prevents a single project from being separated into multiple projects to avoid voter approval (i.e. no sneaking around this one Gov. Brown!)

There are not many projects that would trigger prop 53 requirements, but the Bay Delta water tunnel and high speed rail projects would. Governor Brown is trying to crush this law because it affects his two legacy projects (whaaah!).

The rather colorful Cortopassi family are bankrolling this proposition. He’s a tomato farmer who made his fortune catering to Italian restaurants. Cortapassi was appalled by the Bay Bridge debacle. Major newspapers, unions, the Democratic Party, and the Green Party are against this law. The Republican Party is for it. Bring on the pancakes…if this passes, it will add to the initiatives we will need to study at future sessions.

Pro: The state is investing huge amounts of money in projects that have not received voter approval. This law is likely to increase transparency and unlikely to stifle local projects since it improves project oversight by requiring voter approval. Most projects don’t cost $2 billion, which is 1% of the state’s annual budget! The Natural Resources agency has an annual budget of ~$2.5 billion and the Transportation agency has not even taken out $2 billion in bond funds.

(A curious PPP checked the state budget summary charts)

Con: Affects local control by requiring statewide vote on projects shared by multiple municipalities, i.e. water supply and bridge safety and other repairs. Local projects that generate their own revenue shouldn’t have to be put to a statewide vote – that is if any such local project ever met the $2 billion threshold.

Discussion: … Why does this proposition even exist? To get voters to decide on mega projects like the Delta tunnels and high-speed rail? Yeesh… For us, we’ll find out who Cortapassi is selling those tomatoes to, and next time around it’ll be Pizza & Politics while we ferret out the future initiatives on high speed water and passenger trains under the delta.

Yes — 6; No — 4; Undecided — 4

Uh….Yes… No…. Maybe so…..

Bonds for big projects

(Like high speed rail and Delta)

Would need people’s vote

Prop 54: Publish bills 72 hours before a vote

Pretty much one of the best ideas ever – why doesn’t this already exist?…

Anyways, let’s lay down some quick facts:


The California Legislature has two houses: the Senate and the Assembly. Legislative rules guide the process by which bills become laws. Various meetings are held to discuss the provisions in a bill, which often affect the content and way they’re written. Sometimes, in order to secure votes to pass a bill (or because of secret nefarious plots), legislators will completely rewrite or add provisions just before a bill is put up to vote – leaving little to no time for voters (including the bill’s authors and/or main interested parties) to review the new provisions.

Prop 54 will require bills to be posted online 72 hours before the Legislature votes them into law.

Yes: Greatly improves legislative transparency and cripples special interest groups (e.g. corporations) from influencing bill provisions.

No: There’s really nothing bad to say about this proposition… unless you support corruption in the government… but then why are you reading this voter guide?

Popcorn! Rhinoceros.

Yes — 9 (unanimous)
The first proposition upon which we unanimously agree.  Yes we say, yes yes. 

Bills must be posted

On the web, for three days straight

Before they are passed

Prop 55: Extension of Income Tax on the 1% (for Education & Health Care)

In 2012 a tax was imposed on individuals who earn over $250,000 to fund K-12 schools, California community colleges and in some years, even healthcare. Prop 55 will extend the income tax period for another 12 years, increasing state funding by about $4 billion to $9 billion annually from 2019-2030.

For: The income tax on high-income taxpayers, which is scheduled to end after 2018, will be extended through 2030 to further support K-12 schools, California community colleges and healthcare for low-income individuals.

Against: If you make more than $250,000 annually and don’t want to continue contributing to the greater good of citizens in the state of California — vote against this bill.


Yes –- 8 ; Undecided- 1

To the statewide schools tax we say YES YES, except when we are undecided

For high-earning folks

An income tax that funds schools

Would remain in place

Prop 56: Increase cigarette tax & tax e-cigs, aka “Make the Smokers Pay”

E-cigarettes currently aren’t taxed. This proposition would tax e-cigs and raise the cigarette tax by about $2 per pack via a constitutional amendment. Money raised would go to Medi-Cal and to fund smoking prevention programs and research. California’s tobacco tax is currently lower than it is in other states, and the prevalence of adult tobacco use is lower than almost all other states. According to the CDC, there is a strong correlation between income levels and tobacco use, with low-income folks more likely to smoke. Taxing e-cigs make sense and we want funding for Medi-Cal, but we also favor an equitable tax burden that doesn’t punish poor people for their addictions. Constitutional amendments aimed at reducing legal purchases via taxes don’t seem to be the solution to nicotine addiction.

Pro: More money for health care!  Taxes imposed on e-cigarettes and tobacco pay for Medi-Cal  costs (many of which are tobacco-related) already shared by non-smoking taxpayers.

Con: Smokers rejoice! Cigarette packs won’t be taxed and neither will e-cigarettes! On a more serious note, higher tobacco taxes encourage black market cigarettes to flourish (i.e. did those people really stop smoking, or are they just bringing in cigs across state lines?). Regressive taxes penalize the poor who can least afford to pay more.

Yes — 4; No — 4; Undecided — 3

We split down the middle.  You might as well flip a coin.  Or THINK.

The cigarette tax

Would go up, two bucks a pack

E-cigarettes, too

Prop 57: Parole and Juvenile Prosecution Reform

California has over 128,000 people in prison. This proposition allows non-violent felons to be given a chance to get out of prison early on parole for good behavior, education, rehabilitation and work. Concerns were raised that certain rape crimes are considered nonviolent under state law, but federal law supersedes here and puts sex crimes into their own category of horribleness, excluded from early parole. This prop also restores the right for judges (not prosecutors) to decide whether juveniles will be tried as adults — a good way to keep kids on the streets and makin’ sick beats. Word to your mother: more pancakes please!


Pro: Heaps of money could be saved by reducing the amount of time non-violent felons spend in jail. Kids and teenagers committing crimes will have a better chance at fair prosecution since the decision to be tried as an adult will be determined by a judge rather than a prosecutor.

Con: We put these people in prison for a reason, no?  Let’s keep ‘em there.

Yes — 10; Undecided — 1

We say, set the people free!! (except for that one guy)

Earlier parole

Of prisoners serving time

For non-violent crimes

Prop 58: Allow Multi-Lingual Education in Public Schools — o Dejar los Niños Hablar en Espanol

This proposition nixes (the xenophobic, some say) proposition 227 (passed in 1998) that mandated English-only education for students who were not fluent in English.

Wait a minute — you say “how come we have bilingual public schools here in Davis if they were made illegal by Prop 227?” Ah, that’s because Davisite parents sign an annual waiver allowing their students to attend. This proposition would remove the annual waiver requirement, and allow teachers to have more leeway to choose the most effective way to teach their students.

We read what the FCLCA had to say about proposition 58 and learned that about 1 in 5 California public school students are not yet fluent in English. Some of our crew are bilingual or multilingual (and we like it that way!). Some of us have experience teaching students who are not fluent in English (and wishing we could help them in their native language, but knowing that’s illegal). It’s counterproductive to prevent teachers from giving instruction to students in their native language, and being multilingual is rad!

The proposition increases the number of ways that teachers can teach students. The argument against proposition 58, from the Republicans and Libertarians, says that it would limit parental choice, but FCLCA says that it creates more choice by giving school districts (with parent and community input) the option of creating dual immersion programs for native and non-native speakers. Wait a minute — aren’t Libertarians supposed to be against restrictions? I don’t understand why they fell in line with the Republicans on this one. Enlighten me, y’all!

For: Students learn better if they are able to communicate in their native tongue, retaining a stronger sense of identity and self-esteem. We are a global economy, and multilingualism is awesome. Don’t worry, students will continue to study English. Prop 58 will improve student language proficiency and support bi-/multilingual education, so we can be citizens of the world, and live in peace and harmony (cue the music…).

Against: Students must speak English all the time.  Otherwise they will never learn English. Ignore Europe, that wouldn’t work here. Who cares about the other subjects? Immerse immerse immerse with English, all hours of the day. You can still choose bilingual education — if your school district is super duper organized and proactive, and you’ve got the time to drive your kid across town (aka Davis).

Yes — 11; No — 1; Undecided – 1

Sí, Oui, Vâng (except for two of us… who say No, Peut-être, Có Thể)

Note:  The PPP who voted “NO” has no idea what the above line means — “Speak English!”

Kids learning English

Won’t need a waiver to take

Bilingual classes

Prop 59: Citizens United is forked  (we’ll need more fattening, fattening butter, MMMM!)


Citizens United is a Supreme Court ruling that allows corporations and unions to make unlimited political donations as “free speech” because they are considered “individuals”. Political Action Committees (i.e. PACs) that spend lots of money on elections aren’t subject to reporting requirements. Citizens United sucks, yes, we agree on that, but what to do? This is an advisory measure with no teeth that gives voters a chance to say something about money in politics and encourages legislators to take a stand and move to get a Federal Constitutional change. Maybe if other states do this too, something will change. Or is that only wishful thinking?

Pro: Everybody hates Citizens United: Democrats, Republicans, squirrels and dolphins. Heck, even your silverware drawer is opposed to C.U.!  We don’t get to vote on Supreme Court decisions, so this proposition is the best way for us to voice our opinions and urge the government to overturn corporate personhood.

Con:  Yo! The League of Women Voters(LWV) is against proposition 59! LWV say it is a slow, laborious and potentially costly process, and we need to take more action NOW to expand disclosure laws, publicly finance elections and ask a new Supreme Court to revisit the ruling. Advisory votes won’t solve the problem of corporate personhood! Some of us are opposed to Prop 59 because it is an advisory measure and don’t think advisory measures should be on the ballot. Don’t encourage this ballot clutter to grow. Why waste our time and votes?

Yes — 15; No– 2

Vote yes to send a message against Citizens United.  Vote no to discourage ballot clutter.

Asks to overturn

Citizen’s United, but

Shucks, it’s non-binding

At this point a note was passed around.  One person left the proceedings….


Prop 60: Crusade for Condoms — i.e. Bag the Porno Snakes

Really? We’re voting on this?

Some of us prefer to just sit back and watch this one.

Proposition 60 would make it state law to require adult film performers to use condoms when performing vaginal or anal sex — as Cal OSHA already requires (and has fined fine people for) — and it would also allow individuals to sue to enforce the law and then share the proceeds (some say creating privacy concerns). This proposition will probably push the adult film industry out of the state (or underground), as a similar initiative did in LA, and not do much of anything as far as the “big picture” for safe sex is concerned. Also, the industry claims they already require frequent HIV and STD testing (but we all know testing is not fool-proof.  But wait — neither are condoms!) Modeling safe sex is a good idea, but improving sex education would be more beneficial than trying to regulate the porn industry.

Pro: The porn industry would likely leave California.

Condom: The porn industry would likely continue to exist in California.

No – 15; Yes – 1

No, we say. Except for one condom champion amongst us.

Adult film makers

Would have to require condoms

Or risk a lawsuit

Prop 61: Mysterious Medi-Cal Price Fixing … for the Public Good(?)

This proposition says that the state cannot pay more for prescription drugs for hospitals and Medi-Cal recipients than it pays when purchasing drugs from the Department of Veteran Affairs.


We have so many questions!!! This law aims to bring down drug prices, but no one actually knows what others pay for prescriptions drugs because of non-disclosure agreements, so how would they implement it? Can it actually be enforced? The proposition sets limits on what the state can do, but doesn’t change requirements for drug companies.

Could the drug companies just decide not to sell a drug in California if they couldn’t sell it at the price they want to? California is their largest market, so maybe they wouldn’t do that. Vets can negotiate good prices with drug companies (‘cause everybody loves vets), but some vets worry that drug companies will raise prices for Vets in response to this law, so they could sell at higher prices to the state. But then wouldn’t that expose drug companies as evil profit-mongering jerkwads? Maybe they don’t care what we think of them.

If we don’t pass this law, will we effectively organize for a better law to control drug costs?

Or if it passes would we lose the momentum to push for more?

* We all paused for a moment as a Gorilla walked by outside in the courtyard *


This isn’t as simple as fighting the interest of drug companies. We checked the endorsements….the Green Party, hospitals, and unions are for it, and the Democratic Party is split. Major newspapers seem to be against it. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation is the primary sponsor of the bill, and they negotiate drug prices, but are exempt from the proposition because of their structure. The intention may be good, the law isn’t written well.

Pro: Possibly cheaper drugs in California.

Con: Possibly fewer drugs in California.

Undecided — 7; Yes –7; No — 3

Soooo confused, but maybe yes.  Nobody knows what this law will actually do!  Even the Gorilla couldn’t make up it’s mind.

 In theory, lowers

The cost of some state-bought drugs

(But it could backfire)

Prop 62 – Down with  Death Penalty*

This proposition would replace the death penalty with life in prison. Those found guilty of murder and sentenced to life will be required to work while in prison and pay victim’s families for restitution. Death penalty appeals cost the state SO MUCH MONEY. Supposedly Prop 62 would save the state about $150 million a year, but the Grim Reaper might charge late fees for soul collection.

Pro: To be or not to be, is that the question? Well, maybe not exactly, but the death penalty is irreversible and reflects poorly on our justice system when the deceased is found “not guilty”. Turns out that happens.. (Oops!  We committed murder punishing the wrong person for murder!)

Con: With the death penalty gone, felons with a death wish might think twice about committing murderous crimes. However, jails might fill up faster if more criminals are sentenced to life in prison instead of death. This in turn might change prison culture since more intense criminals won’t be put to death, but locked up with other prisoners. Also, requiring people to work in prison is a form of slavery. Slavery is bad. But maybe better than killing people.

*Note: Proposition 66 is also on the death penalty, but it would make the  death penalty process “easier”. Whichever proposition gets the most “yes” votes will supercede (take over) the other.

Yes — 14; Undecided — 1

Vote Yes!  Down with Death!

Vote for this one if

You want to eliminate

The death penalty


Prop 66: Kill People Faster with the Death Penalty*

Of the more than 930 people placed on death row since 1978 (i.e. Prop 7 Death Penalty law), only 13 have been executed. 3 were exonerated (i.e. found not guilty), 104 died behind bars, 64 had sentences reduced by the court, and 741 remain on death row**.  Not only does Prop 66 speed up the court appeals process on sentencing the death penalty, it also allows prisons with backed up schedules to transfer condemned inmates to other prisons to kill them “sooner rather than later”.

Pro: Faster death sentences mean more dead convicts and more elbow-room for prisoners.

Con: Increases the likelihood that innocent people will be put to death. Murderers with death wishes will be granted death sooner — less of a punishment than life. Saves less money than abolishing the death penalty altogether. Prevents slavery by killing people instead.

*Note: Proposition 62 is also on the death penalty, but it eliminate the death penalty.

Whichever proposition gets the most “yes” votes will supercede (take over) the other.

** Numbers here don’t add up exactly because of conflicting sources (i.e. newspapers, CA Dept of Corrections, and Death Penalty Info Center). Do we even know how many people we killed?

Our straw polls don’t add up either.

No — 13; Undecided — 2

Vote No, Killing is Bad.

If you want the state

To execute more people

This one is for you

Prop 63: Gun Control via Bullet Buying Background Checks

This law requires background checks and permits from the Department of Justice to purchase ammunition. Apparently, even if you fail the background check to own a gun in California, you can still buy thousands of rounds of ammunition legally (and have them delivered to your home). That’s a little weird. This law closes that loophole. It creates a system for tracking ammunition sales, so the government knows who is stockpiling bullets. It requires the state to share info with the FBI. It prohibits possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines (we did this before, but apparently there was a loophole). FInally, it makes it easier (and less dangerous for police) to seize weapons owned by convicted felons (who are already not allowed to possess firearms, but don’t always surrender them). Various law enforcement agencies are split on this law.

Pro: Guns are dangerous, especially in the wrong hands. Guns kill people. Ammo is used by guns. Lots of guns are stolen or illegally change hands. We can prevent guns being used by dangerous people by controlling the way ammo is sold and who it is sold to.

Con: Guns are a civil right. Guns can protect against dangerous people and help us eat delicious animals. Guns need ammo. We don’t trust the feds, and don’t want to share info with them.

Bullets and Burritos?  Oh right, it was “Ballots and Burritos”… At least bullets don’t have hanging chads.

Yes — 10; Undecided — 1

Yes means you can still buy ammo, but only if you let us check you out first.

One vote by trampoline, ten by comfy sofa.

Requires a permit

Issued by the DOJ

To purchase ammo

Prop 64: More Fun with Legal Marijuana

We could get really silly with this one, but to mix it up, we’re going to take this one #cough cough# seriously.


This law legalizes the recreational use of marijuana (aka decriminalization). This would widen the already huge inconsistency between federal law (illegal) and state law (ok if you can get a doctor to say ok). This increases pressure for the federal government to decriminalize (precedent exists with 11 states ending alcohol prohibition before the federal government).

This law would significantly change the existing pot economy of California, potentially replacing a cottage industry with big business. Small marijuana growers are largely against it despite provisions for keeping large businesses out for four years. Large companies have plans — they are already making moves to advertise and expand the marijuana market (i.e. big money brings big advertising brings more people ingesting marijuana). But we could still grow our own — 6 plants per person for our own use.

Arguably, marijuana would be more accessible to kids (which is bad), but realistically kids have been able to get marijuana via the illegal market since the pot prohibition era of the 1980s.

Is marijuana is addictive? Yes, we say (some of us from direct experience). Yet criminalization supports the prison industrial complex.

Marijuana will be highly taxed: 15% on sales price plus fees on cultivation, and additional taxes locally (Davis has already approved a tax)..

Yea:: Some people find marijuana helpful: to feel good, to combat pain, to stimulate the appetite, to think deep thoughts. Research shows a mix of good and bad effects (just like coffee, chocolate, alcohol and pancakes). Marijuana use is no panacea, and has some real issues, but do we really need to sentence marijuana users/growers/sellers to prison time? Let people make their own, personal decisions about marijuana use. The economy could benefit — imagine local growers, schmancy “tastings”, new research and more tax dollars. This law allows the legislature to adjust taxes and regulations to changing situations, and this flexibility is an improvement on laws passed in other states.

Nay: Marijuana would be heavily taxed, possibly making it more expensive. Legalization could destroy the marijuana cottage industry, when big corporations with big money step in. Medicinal legalization has been OK, but not great (nobody monitors how the drug affects patients, unlike other pharmaceuticals). Some say marijuana is addictive and disabling. Studies support these claims. Do we need another controlled substance like caffeine, nicotine or alcohol? Recreational use will lead to more drivers under the influence and possibly cause more deaths and injuries. Does society really need one more substance with which to demonstrate our poor judgement?

Oh boy, here comes the food coma… talk about blood-sugar problems… but it tastes so good! Should we legalize maple syrup? What about the cottage industry? Quick! I’ve got time to scarf down one more syrup-soaked pancake before I pass out!  How late is Jack in the Box open?

Yes – 14; No — 1

Yes for decriminalizing and higher taxes.

Legalizes pot!

Also raises some tax funds

(Perhaps a billion?)

Prop 65: Plastic Bag Bucks (for wildlife!  And plastics industry profits!)

65 is paid for in part by the plastics industry, and is related to the Bag Ban in Prop 67. It is made to sound like it’s going to give money to environmental programs (Oooh, wildlife fund! I love wildlife funds!  But how much of that money goes to animal surgery to remove ingested plastic?). If both 65 and 67 go through, they will contradict each other. If only 67 goes through, we get a loophole-free plastic bag ban. Davis banned thin plastic bags and charges for paper bags. Thicker plastic bags can be purchased in Davis at retailers. Prop 67 is the most like what we have in Davis already. Prop 65 is a stealthy attempt by plastic bag manufacturers to keep plastic bags in circulation. And who doesn’t want to support BIG BAG.  Go Big Bag!

Pro: Brings plastic bags back into our lives… the environment and wildlife food chain. Puts some money aside for wildlife.

Con:: Uphold the plastic bag ban! No more plastic bags!

No — 12; Undecided — 1

No!  Bucks for bunnies won’t help if you’ve already bagged the bunny!

Plastic bag makers

Put this one on the ballot

To punish grocers

Prop 67: Plastic bag ban

No more plastic bags. Do we really need to discuss this?



Pro: Bags kill animals, create trash, and Mother Nature hates them.

Con: Sometimes we forget our reusable bags at home. Free plastic bags encourage dog owners to clean up after their own dog poopies. I hate stepping in dog poopy.

Yes — 13 Unanimous

Do it! Ban the bag!

To ban plastic bags

Vote “yes” on 67

“No” on 65

And now, in closing, one office, which we kinda almost covered.

One PPP really didn’t like John Garamendi who’s been a politician longer than there’s been dirt, so the PPP studied up a little on his opponent, Mr. Cleek.  He’s a trauma surgeon from Chico, don’t you know.

House of Representatives

John Garamendi — Demo, Politician Forever

Eugene Cleek — Some guy who’s not a professional politician — Rep



Said PPP has it in for Garamendi because he wants to dam(n) Sites Valley for limited water gain, pump water uphill to make electricity (that always works) and get his construction buds lots of lucrative constructive jobs.  The Big G also keeps pushing that Yolo Rail Relocation thing in tune with his buddy Angie Tsopuloopulus (sic) from Sac.

The point is, Cleek doesn’t appear to have Devil horns and the world won’t end if you vote for a Republican surgeon from Chico to make a point.  And Garamendi will win unless a virus that only kills Democrats sweeps the Valley in the next few days.

No one knew enough or had enough brain power left to provide a counterpoint.

We have nothing else to say on this matter; we didn’t even vote.  We were out of pancakes, and half the PPPs had left.


BuDee BuDee BuDee BuDee BuDee BuDee BuDee BuDee . . .

. . . That’s all folks!

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. Tia Will

    Since I was out of town for Pancakes and Politics, and since I know you all care so much what I think, I decided to weigh in on the measures that really, really matter to me.

    Measure H – my daughter, the teacher ( not in this district ) favors this measure. I’m with her.

    Prop 55 – I make over $250,000 and I support this measure. It is high time that those of us who can afford it get off our butts, appreciate our good fortune, stop whining about taxes,  and support those who are trying to improve their situations.

    Prop 56

    Regressive taxes penalize the poor who can least afford to pay more.”

    I guess you could make this argument if you consider being addicted to a substance that causes increased deaths from multiple different forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease, stroke, growth restriction in the infants of mother’s who smoke with multiple adverse consequences….progressive !  I do not see any problem with making it more difficult to start a habit ( before age 17 for most) that is highly addictive or maintain it once addicted.  Please, please, please, if you give a damn about these “poor people” who you believe are being “penalized” with better health, put aside your libertarian ideology, and vote “yes” on this measure.

    Prop 57 – Yes

    Prop 58 –  Teacher daughter and I are unanimous in a “Yes” vote.

    Prop 59 – emphatic “Yes” from all of us in the pancake free zone of J St.

    Prop 60 – you might think I would have an opinion on this. But given my inability to contact any of my patient’s involved in the sex film industry for their opinions, I am a soft “No” on this measure.

    Prop 61

    The gynecologist joins the gorilla in uncertainty on this issue. Will vote “Yes” but could fully understand a “No” vote.

    Prop 62

    Strong “Yes” from the doctor in the house and only slightly weaker “Yes” from our local prison official…..and then only because he also opposes LWOP.

    Prop 66

    No….no….no….no! Killing faster does not improve the morality of killing.

    Prop 64

    A somewhat ambivalent “Yes”

    Prop 65

    A totally non ambivalent “Yes”

    So there you have it. Your insurance against no posts in response to this article. As usual, thanks for putting on this fun event. Sorry I missed it this year.







    1. Alan Miller

      since I know you all care so much what I think

      Since we all care so much and respect what each individual thinks in this blog comment section #cought#, others — yeah you! — are welcome, nee encouraged, to post their opinions on the propositions.

      Why the F— not?!!!!

  2. South of Davis

    David, thanks for posting this it is one of the best voter guides I’ve ever seen (even though I don’t agree with the majority on every proposition).

  3. Alan Miller

    it is one of the best voter guides I’ve ever seen (even though I don’t agree with the majority on every proposition)

    Hell, I don’t agree with the majority on every proposition.

    Thanks for the compliment SofD, Team Pancake appreciates it.

  4. Matt Williams

    Thanks to Alan and Danielle for organizing this many, many years ago, and keeping it alive and ticking ever since . . . year after year.  This is my second one and both of them have been excellent learning opportunites.  Thanks too to Bobby who has jumped in with enthusiasm.  Thanks also to Lois Richter, who brought the Friends Committee on Legislation of California (FCLA) recommendations along (see LINK).  They were incredibly well thought out and helpful.

    Whether it is Pancakes and Politics or Burritos and Ballots its a real winner!!!

    1. Alan Miller

      Whether it is Pancakes and Politics or Burritos and Ballots its a real winner!!!

      Or Bullets and Burritos!  (inside joke)

      Thanks for the compliments, Matt.  It’s quite a effort to turn something around this fast, and those that dedicated themselves to this effort really do deserve the compliments made.  I’ve had several people tell me it helped them make decisions.  I know it helped me.

      We printed 130 physical voter guides and distributed them to public-oriented businesses in town, housing cooperatives, public spaces, etc.  This cost $215 and we set up a go GoFundMe page and would really like to recoup the cost.  Note: I did not front the money (so it’s not for me), and I contributed $40 to the GoFundMe to help.

      If you found the Voter Guide helpful, $5, $10 or $20 would help!  For $20, we’ll deliver you a printed Voter Guide today! The printed guide is really fun, and a collector’s item!

      1. Shanetucker

        Thanks Alan.     I just donated, and would like to get a voter guide.   No need for delivery, but can you provide the name of some of the places where you left the guide so I don’t have to drive around trying to guess the place.

        1. Alan Miller

          ST, thanks for the donation,  I see it on the site.

          The Voter Guides are at coffee houses and small cafes, the COOP patio and the like.  However, we’d like the Voter Guides to be kept at the places they are at through the election (as much as we have any control over that!)

          Please email Team Pancake at:

          Send your address and we’ll drop one off, or if you’d rather, we could leave a guide with a business downtown if you know a business owner.


  5. Marina Kalugin

    I needed this earlier….got my absentee in the mail at the last possible moment….before traveling….didn’t have the time this year to do all my usual due diligence….oh well…..but I am sharing with the others in CA on my FB wall….   I am sure it is way better than the pamphlets ….though I ddn’t have time to read this either….love the graphics and the honest comments…..which I did skim…

  6. Marina Kalugin

    Prop 57… vote yes… in fact, open the gates and let most of them out…but careful, the jails and halfway house are WAY worse.

    Only those who continued to be violent in prison need to remain… tons of milliona, billions and perhaps trillions on unneeded salary and benefits plans for the unneeded guards and cops…

    Many will not be able to cope…those who were lifers will likely not know how to live…the recidivism rate is due to no way to make a living after release..

    Under BO the job market is cutthroat….who will hire a felon when there are hundred if not thousands of applicant fo a single low level partitime job….even it they were not guilty of any crime to star t with… other than working for or being married to the WRONG person, right?

    Follow the money and learn the truth….

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