Californians go to the polls today to vote on a cigarette tax increase, and a few other things.
CIGARETTE TAX: Proposition 29 is on the ballot in California. It proposes to raise the state cigarette tax by $1 a pack. Currently the tax is $0.87 a pack, the proposition would raise it to $1.87. The state says the revenue from the tax would go to cancer and other tobacco-related diseases, along with prevention and education programs. Lots of states have cigarette or "sin" taxes. However, this one is unusual because the people are voting on it in a referendum style. Most states would pass it in the state legislature.
I may be against cigarette smoking in general, but I would never support a sin tax. A tax is a tax, "sin" or not.
OPEN PRIMARY: Also shaking up the status quo today, California is holding a new open primary with all candidates appearing on a single ballot. The top two vote-getters go on to the general election. Normally, and in all other locations I've ever heard of, people voted in party primaries that sent only one Republican and one Democrat to the general election. The results and consequences of this primary should be interesting to watch.