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Fox and Hound Ballot Measure Rankings – Top 5 Picks *Updated 10/9*

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Joe Mathews, journalist and Irvine senior fellow at the New America Foundation, Fellow at the Center for Social Cohesion at Arizona State University and co-author of California Crackup: How Reform Broke the Golden State and How We Can Fix It (UC Press, 2010), posted his view of what are the most important ballot issues before California's voters in the upcoming election. Early voting has begun. The polls are tightening. So are these rankings...

RANK 1: (Previous Week: Rank 1) PROP 35
Best Known As:
Human Trafficking
Backers: Law enforcement, human rights groups, rich Facebook guy, virtually everyone except traffickers.
What It Does: Tougher penalties for human trafficking. Provides something all Californians can be for.
Fiscal Impact: Minor increases for prosecution, incarceration and law enforcement training, with some small new revenues from fines.
Note: Has escaped serious scrutiny.

RANK 2: (Previous Week: Rank 2) PROP 36
Best Known As: Three Strikes
Backers: Stanford Law professor David Mills, big city prosecutors and police chiefs, George Soros, NAACP.
What It Does: Put limits on three-strike policy, limiting third strike to serious or violent crimes. Would allow some previous three strikers to apply for re-sentencing.
Fiscal Impact: May save state small amount – in tens of millions.
Note: Also has escaped serious scrutiny.

RANK 3: (Previous Week: Rank 4) PROP 37
Best Known As: GMO Labeling
Backers: Organic food interests, public health, some environmental organizations.
What It Does: Requires all genetically engineered foods and foods containing GMO ingredients be labeled as such.
Fiscal Impact: Very small administrative costs, unknown costs related to new litigation arising from its provisions.
Note: Slipping under negative ads and newspaper editorials. Can it hold on?

RANK 4: (Previous Week: Rank 3) PROP 30
Best Known As: Brown Tax Increase
Backers: Gov. Brown, unions, Democratic establishment.
What It Does: Four-year temporary sales tax increase of 0.25, seven-year temporary income tax increase starting at $250K.
Fiscal Impact: Between $5.4 and $7.6 billion annually beginning in 2013-2014.
Note: If Prop 30 loses and the world doesn’t immediately end, its backers will have lost all credibility.

RANK 5: (Previous Week: Rank -) PROP 39
Best Known As: Single Sales Factor
Backers: Hedge fund manager Tom Steyer and environmental, clean energy advocates.
What It Does: Requiring businesses to pay taxes based on their sales in California (single sales factor)
Fiscal Impact: $1.1 billion, with half dedicated to energy programs.
Note: If this were the Minnesota governor’s race and Prop 30 and Prop 38 were the major party candidates, then Prop 39 would be Jesse Ventura

6. Prop 32 (paycheck protection and corporate limits)

7. Prop 34 (death penalty repeal)

8. Prop 38 (Molly Munger)

9. Prop 31 (Cal Forward)

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