The Jury Talks Back


Ballot choices …

Filed under: California Politics — aphrael @ 11:46 am


A quick rundown of how I’m planning to vote on Tuesday, with (brief) explanations instead of the usual 1000 word tomes.

Governor: Dale Ogden (L). Meg Whitman has spent a fortune failing to convince me that she can succeed at doing what Arnie promised to do. Jerry Brown is more responsible than any single other living politician for helping construct the state of California’s current framework of ungovernability. I reject them both, and am slightly more sympathetic to the Libertarians than to the Greens when I look for third party candidates.

Senator: Barbara Boxer (D). Carly Fiorina came into HP, failed to understand its corporate culture, the motivations of its employees, or what made it a great company, then proceded to change the company in ways which destroyed all three. There’s no good reason to believe she’d be any better in the Senate.

Lt. Governor: Abel Maldanado (R). Gavin Newsom is a spotlight-seeking political hack who managed to make the gay community in San Francisco love him while scoring a massive own goal for their side; then he proceeded to betray his closest friend (and prominent political aide) and his wife, simultaneously. Abel Maldanado is a socially moderate, pro-environment Republican who is willing to vote for compromise budgets. Given this choice, the answer is obvious.

Secretary of State: Debra Bowen (D). She came to office four years ago promising to restrict the use of unverifiable (and unsafe) electronic voting machines. She did so. She deserves re-election for the simple reason that she kept her primary campaign promise, with the result that elections in California are now more secure than they are in much of the country.

Attorney General: Steve Cooley (R). He’s a relatively nonpartisan conservative who supports modifying three strikes; his opponent ran a DA’s office which has been embroiled in a scandal involving the DA’s office not turning over impeachment evidence about cops with disciplinary records involving dishonesty. That was a fundamental failure of a basic job duty, and blaming it on the SFPD should not earn her a promotion.

Insurance Commissioner: why is this an elected office, again?

Superintendent of Public Education: all I know about this is that it’s shaped up to be a race between the candidate backed by the administration and the candidate backed by the teachers. Since I have no children in the public schools, I don’t follow public school politics enough to know more, so I’m inclined to not vote on it.

Assembly: Ray Bell (L). I voted against the Democrat in the primary for reasons involving local county politics (and because one of his opponents was one of the best candidates i’ve seen anywhere in a long time). He’s guaranteed a win in the general election, so I’m voting for a third party candidate to increase their visibility and numbers.

Congress: Anna Eshoo (D). I’m reasonably happy with her as a representative and don’t think any of her opponents will do a better job.

Proposition 19: Yes. It’s far from a perfect bill, but legalizing possession and growth of marijuana, and allowing some legalization of sale, is a step in the right direction. Aside from the (uncertain) situation with respect to corporate drug-free workplace policies, where I’m somewhat sympathetic to the danger that companies may be unable to comply with both this law and federal contracting regulations, my objections to Prop. 19 are that it doesn’t go far enough, not that it goes too fa.r

Proposition 20: No. I voted for the independent redistricting commission for the state legislature, two years ago; how about we give it a chance, and see how it works, before extending its power?

Proposition 21: No. This is tough: more money for parks (many of which were almost closed last year), tied to a minor increase in the vehicle license fee, balanced by free park admission – it’s a reasonable policy choice which I would vote for as a legislator. But I don’t like ballot-box budgeting; it makes the overall state budget problem worse.

Proposition 22: No. More ballot box budgeting. In a good cause, sure … but aren’t they always in a good cause?

Proposition 23: No. A temporary suspension might be in order (although even then, if we really believe that global warming is a problem that must be addressed, don’t we need to address it regardless of whether we’re in good economic times or not?). But this isn’t temporary: the trigger is a condition of extremely low unemployment … meaning the suspension may be indefinite.

Proposition 24: No. (1) Complicated tax policy is why we have a legislature. (2) I like some of the changes the measure would repeal while disliking others. (3) More ballot-box budgeting.

Proposition 25: Yes If a majority of the legislature can put together a budget which is balanced and which doesn’t require tax increases, they should be able to do so.

Proposition 26: No. Increasing the number of things which require a 2/3 majority vote, and simultaneously incresing the number of things which must be sent to the voters for a 2/3 majority vote, is a recipe for gridlock and further structural inflexibility, making it even harder for government to function than it already is.

Proposition 27: No. We voted to create this redistricting commission two years ago. Nothing has changed. How about we give it a try before repealing it?

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