Sunday, October 26, 2008

Donna Votes on CA Props 5, 6, 8 & 9

Propositions 5, 6, 8 & 9!

Proposition 5 is the "nonviolent drug offenses, sentencing, parole and rehabilitation initiative statute" or the Nonviolent Offender Act.

Prop 5 will stop treating drug addicts like criminals and start treating drugs as a health issue.

Prop 5 is supported by Drug Policy Organizations, California Nurses, Alcohol and Drug Education, Homeless Health care Organizations, the League of Women voters, Teachers, the Green Party, the Democratic Party, the NAACP, the National council of La Raza, Progressive Jewish Alliances, Labor, the ACLU, Jeanne Woodford, the former warden of San Quentin, and many others.

Proposition 5 is opposed by hypocrites and those who make a living off of the prison industrial complex like district attorneys, former California governors Pete Wilson and Gray Davis, and actor Martin Sheen.

Let's look at Martin Sheen who may be the biggest hypocrite of all.

Sheen says there must be tough penalties for drug addicts - for all except his own son Charlie, that is.

Most drug users are white but blacks are more frequently arrested or imprisoned. according to the Federal Household Survey, while "72 percent of all drug users are white, blacks constitute over 58 percent of those in state prisons for drug felonies".

Before the law, cases of affluent white offenders are either dismissed or resolved before they are held over for trial. Charlie Sheen, star of 2 1/2 men, son of Martin Sheen, is a repeat drug offender but Charlie Sheen has escaped the tough penalty of prison for his numerous drug arrests because his father, the famous actor Martin Sheen believes while there should be tough penalties for drug addicts, there should be no tough penalties for Charlie. So Martin mortgaged his home to put Charlie into rehab, and begs judges to send Charlie to rehab not jail.

Prop 5 is a good way to address drug addiction because rehab should be for all of us, not just for the Charlie Sheens.


Proposition 6 is the "police and law enforcement funding, criminal penalties and laws, initiative statute". Prop 6 is a racist initiative to put more black and brown youth in prison as adults. Prop 6 also known as the Runner Initiative weakens existing law so more children as young as 14 years old will be tried as adults and sent to state prison when they become 18 years old; targets recipients of public housing subsidies for annual criminal background checks; and denies the right of bail to undocumented immigrants.


Proposition 8 eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry. It is an amendment to the California constitution. Prop 8 denies some of our citizens "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". Equal rights should be for all of us.


Proposition 9 is the "criminal justice system, victims' rights, parole, initiative constitutional amendment and statute". Prop 9 will expand the legal rights of victims while severely limiting prisoners' rights to due process, representation, and parole consideration. Prop 9 will extend the right to come before a parole board from "one to five years' to fifteen years. And according to the independent legislative analyst, Prop 9 could cost "hundreds of millions of dollars annually".

In 1982, a similar measure known as the "Victims Bill of Rights" became law.

I want to speak to you about Prop 9 from a personal perspective. I too am a victim of violence. My son who I love more than life itself was gunned down in front of my eyes in 1997. He was 31years of age BUT unlike the Nicholas family, I don't want the world to pay for the crime of my son's murderer. Stop Henry Nicholas and his family from punishing us for his sister's death. We did not kill his sister; she was murdered by her own boyfriend, not our loved ones who deserve to be paroled to come home and restart their lives.

Under current law, victims have the right to be notified if their offender is released, to receive advance notice of criminal proceedings, and to participate in parole hearings and sentencing. There's already a state-funded Victims of Crime Resource Center to educate victims about their rights and help them through the process.


My Picks for the November 2008 Election

For President - Ralph Nader

For Vice-President - Matt Gonzalez

For State Senator 25th District - Rod Wright, Democrat

For County Supervisor - 2nd District - Bernard Parks, Los Angeles City Councilman


Prop 4 - Waiting period and parental notification before termination of minor's pregnancy. NO

Prop 5 - Nonviolent Drug Offenses, Sentencing, Parole and Rehabilitation. YES

Prop 6 - Police and law enforcement funding, criminal penalties and laws. NO

Prop 8 - Eliminates right of same-sex couples to marry. NO

Prop 9 - Criminal Justice system, victims rights, parole initiative. NO

Thanks and don't forget to vote on November 4th.

Why Nader Wasn't Allowed in The Debates

Barack Obama and John McCain with the help of the Commission on Presidential Debates refused to let Ralph Nader into the presidential debates. Why?

Because -

The $700 Billion Bailout.

The Republican and the Democrat in the race went along with the bailout packages.

Ralph Nader is against the bailout. Nader says "Washington had Wall Street over the barrel. What Congress should have done is add to Bush's blank check comprehensive regulation to prevent this. Criminally prosecute the culprits on Wall Street. Give more power to the shareholders to control their company and restrain their bosses' excesses. Demand real taxpayer equity with good conditions and finally, make the culprits pay for it".

Tackling the Deficit

Obama and McCain never say where the money is going to come from. Hundreds of billions for the military budget (not including the attacks on Iraq and Afghanistan) eat up the budget for education, healthcare, jobs and homes.

Ralph Nader: What the media doesn't talk about is where the money is coming from - more deficits which apparently don't bother the two major candidates enough to have a corrective program. Are we going to sell bonds to the Chinese and to the Western Europeans, treasury bonds? Are we going to print money?

The deficit is going to staggeringly expand in the next year. So the best way to deal with it is to cut the bloated military budget, cut the corporate subsidies, put the money into public works repairing America, good jobs in every community, and make the speculators on Wall Street pay for their bailout. That's what the Nader-Gonzalez campaign is taking across the country. The two major candidates and their parties have been dialing for a lot of corporate dollars. And more Wall Street money has gone into Obama's campaign than McCain's by far.

We've got to change Washington into a body of government that respects the taxpayer, respects the worker, and doesn't just use the word "middle class". "Middle class" is what Obama always says without talking about the 100 million poor people in this country who are underpaid, overcharged, ripped off, marginalized, and excluded.

They do the dirty work for us, and they're never mentioned in the campaign. It's like the poor is a no-no. And yet poor Americans are shrinking the middle class because a lot of the middle class is going into poverty.

A Call for Justice

Ralph Nader: There's the lack of consumer standards, where we shouldn't provide a mortgage with no down payment or deferred interest. And, you know, most poor people ask themselves - why should I turn down a bargain, even though it may come to haunt us?

The key here is to protect consumers with a whole brace of regulation, to reinstate some of FDR's standards to control banks, investment banks, conflicts of interest, and the enormous ricochet effect against prudent institutions who did it right and prudent investors who did it right from the speculation and what Richard Fisher, the head of the Federal Reserve in Dallas, Texas, called "an orgy of excess and speculative behavior on Wall Street".

In late January 2009 when I'm elected president, I would recraft these bills for recovery by reinstalling comprehensive regulation. It was Clinton's deregulation, with the Republican support in 1999-2000, that opened this huge speculative excess - number one!

Number two - shareholders are stripped of any authority. It's a violation of capitalist principles for people who own their companies to have no control over their bosses. And their bosses go wild with self-enrichment schemes that the mainstream press has written about constantly. That's second!

And then third - this is very, very important - there's got to be justice. People are crying out against this gross unfairness where these bosses on Wall Street tank their own companies, unemploy hundreds of thousands of workers, and jump ship into a golden lifeboat.

And then their companies demand that socialism in Washington - think of the irony - has to bail out corporate capitalism in Wall Street.

The only place left for capitalism in this country is small business because they're free to go bankrupt. They don't get bailed out.

Plans for Afghanistan

The Republican and Democratic nominees opposing me in this race have come out with different plans. Obama and McCain are ready to get us into a massive quagmire. And if Pakistan is destabilized, it's going to make Iraq look like small potatoes, even with the million Iraqis and 4,200 American soldiers who have died in that conflagration.

What is my plan? More soldiers in Afghanistan and the Pakistan border will destabilize Pakistan. The National Intelligence Estimate of Mr. Bush just came out with a statement saying there's never been more violence and chaos in Afghanistan since 9/11.

So we have to look to wise peple, like Ashraf Ghani, who is the finance minister for Karzai, the president, and who is a professor here in this country, a native Afghani, who says you've got to connect with the tribal leaders and give them and their people jobs, public works, security, and that will be the buffer against the people who just want chaos. Let's put it this way. Nobody conquers Afghanistan. The British didn't do it. The Soviet Union didn't do it. We're not going to do it.

Nader's Middle East Proposals

Six months negotiated withdrawal with modest autonomy between Shites, Sunnites and Kurds, under an unified Iraq of all U.S. soldiers and corporate contractors, continued humanitarian aid, and U.N. sponsored elections will extricate the United States from Iraq. That will do it because that would knock the bottom out of the insurgency.

I know this area. My parents came from Lebanon at age 19. We know the language. We know the authority of the religious leaders and the tribal leaders. That authority is still intact.

Any diminution of violence in recent months in Iraq have been due to realignments between these authority figures. And that's what we have to support, not more preferring one sectarian group over another, wheeling and dealing $100 bills, and the intrigue, and the revenge killings.

There's no way to knock the bottom out of the insurgency , which will ebb and rise, according to circumstances, unless you eliminate the occupation of their country and give Iraq back to the Iraqis and their oil back.

And it would help if the U.S. government would support the peace movements in Israel and Palestine, which have worked out a two-state solution , which was somehow prohibited from appearing in Congress. They're off-limits to the two-party campaigns - Obama and McCain.

And it's disgracefully cowardly for these two people who are smart. I know them. They know what it takes to make peace between the Israelis and Palestine people.

A majority of Jewish-Americans, Arab-Americans want a two-state solution. So do the majority of the Israelis and the Palestinians. And, instead, both major candidates support the hard-liners.

You don't make peace by supporting the militaristic repression, occupation and colonization of Palestine.

To hear Nader, please go to

See Donna's comments on California Propositions 5, 6, 8 & 9 and local politicians in Donna's blog - Donna Votes on Props 5, 6, 8, & 9.