Your Schwarzenegger Voting Guide

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Governor Schwarzenegger has finally weighed in on the 12 measures appearing on next week's statewide balance, and what might be most interesting are the ones on which he's decided to not take a position.

The list, courtesy of his political advisers, is as follows:

Prop 1A High Speed Rail Bonds: Yes
Prop 2 Farm Animal Confinement Standards: No
Prop 3 Children's Hospital Bond: Yes
Prop 4 Parental Notification of Abortion: Yes
Prop 5 Nonviolent Drug Offenses, Sentencing & Parole: No
Prop 6 Law Enforcement Funding, Gang Penalties: Neutral
Prop 7 Renewable Energy Standards: No
Prop 8 Same-Sex Marriage Ban: No
Prop 9 Victims' Rights & Parole: Neutral
Prop 10 Alternative Fuel Bonds: No
Prop 11 Redistricting: Yes
Prop 12 Veterans Bond Act: Yes

Many of these were already out there; others seem to conform to either Schwarzenegger's long track record on various issues or his known philosophy.

However, it's worth noting that Schwarzenegger is taking a pass on endorsing Propositions 6 and 9. The governor's been on board with almost every other "get tough on crime" measure in recent years, and many of these measures' supporters are ones he has stood with on those past issues.

So what's changed? Perhaps it's the fact that both of these measures come with a collective price tag to state government that could be in the billions of dollars... an issue for the governor to ponder given the news that the budget shortfall may now be approaching $10 billion. There's also the uncomfortable alliance with Henry Nicholas, the billionaire financial backer of both proposals who was indicted this past summer on drug, fraud, and conspiracy charges. Schwarzenegger stood alongside Nicholas in 2004 to defeat Proposition 66, amending the state's three strikes law, but perhaps isn't as keen to do so now.

The ballot positions of the governor didn't come with an explanation, so make of them what you will. But given the lack of a "neutral" box to check on the ballot next to these measures, it's safe to say next Tuesday, in the privacy of the voting booth, the governor will have to choose sides.

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About John Myers

John Myers is senior editor of KQED's new multimedia California Politics & Government Desk.  He has covered California politics for most of the past two decades -- serving previously as Sacramento bureau chief for KQED News and, most recently, as political editor for KXTV News10 (ABC) in Sacramento. He moderated the only gubernatorial debate of 2014, and was named one of the nation's top statehouse reporters by The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter @johnmyers.

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