Greetings, California voter! I am your host, the Mad Propster. Perhaps you are wondering who I am, and why in God’s name you should put any stock in my recommendations. Well, here’s my story.
I write about politics (and love doing so) for a simple reason: I am a lifelong student of the subject. This is partly due to circumstance. My father is a professor of political science — meaning, for instance, that back in the 80s, when I was wee, come a Friday night, the household’s singular television would spend half an hour tuned to PBS’s Washington Week in Review before we could move on to the “good stuff” (like Night Flight). But over time, dammit, political and current-events programming became the “good stuff” as far as I was concerned, and so it was, when I got to college, that studying literature wasn’t enough; I had to study literature and political science — thus leading to the unforgettable moment on the phone when dear old dad laughed and noted that I had chosen “not one, but two completely useless majors.” Ahem.
As a lifelong student of politics, I usually find California’s statewide ballot measures to be the most dispiriting part of any election cycle. Born of an early 20th century populist movement, California’s initiative system has been sorely — no, dreadfully — out of whack for several decades. Armed solely with the facts in the Voter Information Guide, Californians are often at a loss to determine who’s really behind a measure, or what the effects of a given proposition might really be. Hell, it is absolutely no crime to be fuzzy on how things work in Sacramento. That stuff is for political geeks. Well, I’m one of those. I don’t just tell you how I think you should vote; I tell you why.
When your fridge goes on the fritz, you call a fridge geek. When the computer is failing, you need a computer geek. And when you have absolutely no idea whether voting YES on Proposition 666 will make the state your child grows up in a better place, it’s time to turn to a politics geek. It’s time to hit up Mad Props, your 100 percent independent guide to California’s ballot initiatives.
Early editions of Mad Props were published on my own personal blog (currently defunct, though the indieweb movement may get me to change that) and migrated over to this site more or less as-is. And this page you’re reading is in turn adapted largely from my first Mad Props post, from 2008.
New editions post here roughly three or four weeks ahead of a given election. Check back with Mad Props each election cycle, and remember what we always say: Vote with us, or you’re part of the problem!