Photo by John Schreiber
Photo by John Schreiber

You probably already know how you feel about Trump or Hillary. But what about all those dozens of other local and statewide candidates and propositions you’ll be asked to vote on in the November election? How do you make a reasoned choice?

Perhaps knowing what local newspapers think may help. Here’s a summary of four top Southern California newspapers editorial positions about their recommended choices. Whether you take them seriously or scoff at media suggestions, the journalists likely spent a lot of time before trying to convince you of their opinions. Descriptions of the measures are summaries of official government descriptions. While the Los Angeles Times is owned by one newspaper chain, the Daily News, OC Register and Press-Telegram are all owned by one other separate newspaper firm.

The Los Angeles Times recommends:

President: Hillary Clinton 

U.S. Senator: Kamala Harris

U.S. Representative, 44th District: Nanette Barragan

L.A. County Supervisor District 4: Janice Hahn

L.A. County Supervisor District 5: Kathryn Barger

Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 11: Stephen Schreiner

Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 42: Efrain Matthew Aceves

Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 84: Susan Jung Townsend

Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 158: David A. Berger

The Long Beach Press Telegram recommends: 

U.S. Senator: Loretta Sanchez

U.S. Congress 25th District : Steve Knight 

U.S. Congress 29th District: Benny Bernal 

31st Congressional District: Retain Aguilar 

32nd House District: Grace Napolitano 

47th Congressional District: Re-elect Alan Lowenthal 

State Senate in 25th District: Michael Antonovich

State Senate in 27th District: Steve Fazio

State Senate in 29th District: Ling Ling Chang

State Senate in 35th District: Steven Bradford 

Proposition 51, Public School Facility BondsProposition 51 would allow proceeds from the $9 billion in bonds to be stored in a 2016 State School Facilities Fund and a 2016 California Community College Capital Outlay Bond Fund. Proceeds would be allocated for purposes such as construction of new school facilities, providing school facilities for charter schools and career technical education programs. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long-Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no.

Proposition 52, Voter Approval to Divert Hospital Fee Revenue Dedicated to Medi-Cal: Proposition 52 would add language to the California Constitution to require voter approval of changes to the hospital fee program to make it harder for the legislature to divert these funds from the original intended purpose of supporting hospital care to Medi-Cal patients and to help pay for healthcare for low-income children. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting yes.

Proposition 53, Voter Approval Requirement for Revenue Bonds above $2 Billion: Proposition 53 would require voter approval for infrastructure-related revenue bonds totaling $2 billion, adjusted for inflation, or more. The Los Angeles Times recommends no. The OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend yes.

Proposition 54, Public Display of Legislative Bills Prior to Vote: If approved, Proposition 54 would: Require that every bill is published in print and online at least 72 hours before each house of the Legislature can vote on it; Require that the Legislature make audiovisual recordings of its public proceedings and publish the recordings online within 24 hours; Allow any individual to record any open legislative proceedings either through audio or visual means and use these recordings for any legitimate purpose. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting yes.

Proposition 55, Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase: Proposition 55 would continue the tax rates instituted by Proposition 30 through 2030. The tax increase impacts the 1.5 percent of Californians with a single income filing of at least $263,000 or a joint income filing of at least $526,000. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no.

Proposition 56, Tobacco Tax Increase: This measure would add an additional $2 per pack tax on cigarettes. The Los Angeles Times recommends yes. The OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no. 

Proposition 57, Parole for Non-Violent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements: Proposition 56 would support increasing parole and good behavior opportunities for felons convicted of nonviolent crimes and allowing judges, not prosecutors, to decide whether to try certain juveniles as adults in court. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting yes. The Daily News recommends voting no. 

Proposition 58, Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education: Proposition 58 would no longer require English-only education for English learners. Schools would be allowed to utilize multiple programs, including bilingual education. The Los Angeles Times recommends voting yes. The OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no. 

Proposition 59, Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question: Proposition 59 calls on California’s elected officials to work on overturning Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and other similar judicial precedent. The initiative asks officials to allow for the “the full regulation or limitation of campaign contributions and spending” and “make clear that corporations should not have the same constitutional rights as human beings.” The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no.

Proposition 60, Condoms in Pornographic Films: Proposition 60 would require adult film producers to provide condoms and ensure that performers use them during performances in which “performers actually engage in” sexual intercourse. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no. 

Proposition 61, Drug Price Standards: This proposition would restrict the amount that any state agency could pay for drugs, tying it to the price paid by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no. 

Proposition 62, Repeal of the Death Penalty: This measure would repeal the state death penalty and replace the maximum punishment for murder with life in prison without possibility of parole. It would apply retroactively to those already sentenced to death. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting yes. 

Proposition 63, Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban: Proposition 63 would require individuals who wish to purchase ammunition to first obtain a permit. Dealers would be required to check this permit before selling ammunition. Prohibits possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines. The Los Angeles Times recommends voting yes. The OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no. 

Proposition 64, Marijuana Legalization: Proposition 64 would allow adults aged 21 years or older to possess and use marijuana for recreational purposes, creating two new taxes. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting yes.

Proposition 65, Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation Fund:  Proposition 65 would require all revenue generated by state-mandated sale of carryout bags to be earmarked for a new environmental fund called the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund (EPEF). The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no. 

Proposition 66, Death Penalty Procedures: Proposition 66 would change procedures governing state court challenges to death sentences. Designates Superior Court for initial petitions and limits successive petitions. The Los Angeles Times, OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no. 

Proposition 67, Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum: If approved, Proposition 67 would prohibit most grocery stores, large pharmacies and liquor stores from providing plastic single-use carryout bags. Stores generally would be required to charge 10 cents for any other carryout bag provided to customers at checkout. The Los Angeles Times recommends voting yes. The OC Register, the Daily News and the Long Beach Press-Telegram recommend voting no. 

The Los Angeles Times recommendations for L.A. measures are the following: 

Measure A, County parcel tax for parks: Yes

Measure M, Metro sales tax for transportation: Yes

Measure CC, Community College District bond: Yes

Measure HHH, City homelessness housing bond: Yes

Measure JJJ, City affordable housing mandate: No

Measure RRR, DWP reform: Yes

Measure SSS, City airport police pensions: No

For more detailed explanation of each proposition and measure, visit https://ballotpedia.org/California_2016_ballot_propositions.

–Staff and Wire Reports 

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