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?


  1. I remember the disaster of the 1970’s, which is why I’m voting for Whitman against Brown. Unfortunately, it looks as if we’re going to suffer through four more Brown years.

    I’m voting for Fiorina partly as penance for the worst vote I ever cast — back in 1992.

    Comment by aunursa — 10/30/2010 @ 7:15 pm

  2. Governor: you only get one, Brown or Whitman. life is tough, pick one. failure to vote for Whitman is a vote for Brown, a proven failure. yeah, i’d like another choice too, but suck it up. Whitman for Governor.

    Senate: Boxer is a scumbag of the worst order. all the whining about HP to the contrary, Carly will have to go out of her way to be worse than Boxer.
    Carly for Senate.

    Sec State: Bowen is a Dem, nuff said. the Dems are the biggest part of why my native state is so screwed up, so throw them all out. vote Dunn.

    Aceves for Public Educations because the teachers associations hate him: ’nuff said.

    19: yes. might as well formally legalize what is de facto legal now. besides, i want to see the look on the lieberal faces when Ear Leader sends the feds into enforce against their wishes.

    20: Yes. leaving the boundary drawing to the crooks in Sacramento is just stupid. if nothing else, at least we’ll have new crooks drawing the lines.

    21: NO. not a single dime more to Sacramento, expecially since we all know that the money will never make it to the parks anyway.

    22. No. three card monte with tax money needs to stop.

    23. YES. 1. there is no such thing as global warming and 2. how many more j*bs are we going to drive out of the state before we just break down and admit we’re a third world nation?

    24. NO. the California Teachers Association is in favor if it. ’nuff said.

    25. OH HELL NO! if your budget is such BS that you can’t get 2/3rds approval, you don’t have a budget. passing this just means that they will shove a shlt sandwich through every year, and we’ll never escape.

    26. HELL YEAH!!! anything that slows down the ability of the fools to raise taxes and fees, as well as forcing the sheep to pay attention and possibly even think is a good thing.

    27: FOAD. we’re taking out the trash on Tuesday, and eliminating the redistricting is the opposite of that goal.

    Comment by redc1c4 — 10/30/2010 @ 9:05 pm

  3. The somewhat-legalization of marijuana under Prop. 19 will be quite a challenge for the feds to finesse; they don’t have the resources to go after every grow operation which will spring up if the measure passes.

    They can probably shut down any retail outlets cities authorize, though. Which is going to be a great fight.

    It will really force both the left and the right to rethink their position on states’ rights, which will be entertaining to see play out. :)

    Comment by aphrael — 10/30/2010 @ 9:55 pm

  4. 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.

    So, does Prop 25 require a balanced budget? Why can’t they just pass a budget that’s $30 billion out of whack and then play chicken with a tax increase?

    Comment by Kevin Murphy — 11/1/2010 @ 7:10 pm

  5. As I point out in my post, a No vote on Prop 19 is a vote for the Drug War. Or that’s what they’ll say.

    Comment by Kevin Murphy — 11/1/2010 @ 7:11 pm

  6. Regarding Prop 25, I just voted “No,” but I would be willing to compromise and vote “Yes” on the same concept with a slightly different twist. I think that the budget should be allowed to pass with a simple majority, provided that spending does not increase any more over the previous year’s figure than the rate of population change plus the rate of inflation. Our problem in California is that when the economy gets strong and tax revenues swell from, say, $100 billion to $120 billion, the legislature responds by spending every last dollar of that revenue. Under my plan, if the increase in population plus inflation combined is 6%, the legislature can only pass a budget of $106 billion by majority vote. Anything else would still require the 2/3 super-majority.

    If I had to, I would compromise with liberals by agreeing that any tax cuts needed the super-majority too.

    Comment by JVW — 11/2/2010 @ 2:57 pm

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