In the end, it all comes down to eggs.

On Nov. 4, California voters will be asked to decide on Proposition 2, an animal rights ballot measure that would grant the farm animals in California the opportunity to spread their hooves and claws, rather than being confined to restrictive cages, as many chickens, sows and veal cattle now are.

In this live-and-let-live town, where medical marijuana clubs do business next to grocery stores and an annual fair celebrates sadomasochism, prostitutes could soon walk the streets without fear of arrest.

San Francisco would become the first major U.S. city to decriminalize prostitution if voters next month approve Proposition K — a measure that forbids local authorities from investigating, arresting or prosecuting anyone for selling sex.

At age 22, Patricia West already has her small-business model fully launched. She’s done her market research, knows how to advertise online and has a competitive rate structure.

There’s just one problem: She works in the world’s oldest profession, which is illegal.

In industry parlance, West is an in-call sex worker. Clients meet her in safe locations. Though this helps her avoid the violence and arrests that routinely come with working the streets, she’s always on guard for police stings on the Internet.

Railing against the “club” of Big Oil and promising to shake up “management entrenchment,” T. Boone Pickens once turned his epic takeover battles with oil companies into a national effort to make public companies more accountable to shareholders.

He modeled his effort on a political campaign - complete with lobbyists, grass-roots supporters and his own money. A corporate raider whose duels with incumbent managers earned him millions, Mr. Pickens became the public advocate of shareholders betrayed by dull corporate bosses.

The U.S. Constitution has 27 amendments. California’s has more than 500.

In the past 10 years, Californians have voted on 55 constitutional amendments, and four more are on the November ballot this year. With a state Constitution that can be changed at the ballot box by a simple majority vote, amending the document is often more a political question than a legal one.

Texas billionaire oilman T. Boone Pickens has made no secret of his desire to open up the market for natural gas-powered vehicles. The founder of a company that develops natural gas vehicles, Pickens believes he has a foothold in an emerging field of clean energy resources — just as soaring gas prices and carbon emissions are causing many to look for alternatives.

He’s gotten kudos from environmental leaders for mounting a national campaign to lead the country away from its reliance on foreign oil.

A measure to name a city sewage plant for President George W. Bush has qualified for the November ballot in San Francisco, officials said.

A group calling itself the Presidential Memorial Commission of San Francisco said in June it had collected enough signatures to put the measure on the ballot, and then turned the signatures in to elections officials July 7.

Thirty years ago today, California voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 13 as a way to keep seniors from losing their homes to skyrocketing property taxes. But the 1978 vote also ignited a revolution that dramatically changed the way people across America look at government and taxes.

Tri-City Healthcare District directors will ask voters to approve a $589 million bond issue in what could be the largest mail-in ballot measure in county history.

The balloting will be done in August, for bonds intended to raise money for expansions and upgrades at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside.

The measure represents a third try for the public health care district that operates the Oceanside hospital.

A Sacramento man is accused of using address information from petitions to pursue a romantic encounter with a woman without her consent, the office of Secretary of State Debra Bowen said.

The District Attorney’s office has charged petition circulator John Edward James of Sacramento with one count of misusing petition signatures and another charge of perjury for allegedly falsifying the signature collection date on one of his petitions.

James was scheduled to be arraigned in Sacramento Superior Court on Friday afternoon.

Most informed voters are aware that there are only two measures on the statewide ballot next week. Prop 98 is supported by the California Farm Bureau Federation, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, National Federation of Independent Business, the California Association of Realtors and a host of other interests seeking to preserve and defend property rights in California. The other measure, Prop 99, was put on the ballot through funding almost exclusively through associations of government entities — the lion’s share from the League of California Cities.

A group opposed to same-sex marriage asked the California Supreme Court to delay the effect of its historic marriage ruling until after a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment in November.

The Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund argued in its request for a stay that allowing gay and lesbian weddings before November “risks legal havoc” because the amendment, if approved, would overturn the court’s ruling.

The old philosophical argument over whether the chicken or the egg first emerged from the primordial ooze has a political counterpart in California’s circular debate over the initiative process.

Is directly presenting proposed laws and constitutional amendments to voters a safety valve by which they can do what the Legislature is unwilling or unable to do, the cause of the Capitol’s endemic inability to function effectively, or, perhaps, both a symptom of our political malaise and a cure that worsens the disease?

One of the most admirable traits of political reformers is their earnest optimism.

I thought of this last week, when Bob Stern dropped by the office. Stern is the president of the Center for Governmental Studies, which is a Los Angeles-based nonprofit, nonpartisan outfit that does research into various governmental and political issues and recommends ways to make them better.

A group of concerned home builders, real estate agents, land owners and purportedly seniors, teachers and other moderate-income makers, too, have formed a Political Action Committee and plan to circulate a petition asking voters to approve a ballot measure to decrease the number of affordable housing units.