California’s June Primary Is Rushing Towards Us
(Editor: The opinions expressed in this posting are not necessarily those of the OB Rag or its advertisers. Please feel free to add your two cents in the comments section, provided that you remain somewhat civil.)
No matter how insignificant the ballot measures, how swarmy the candidates are, I feel obliged to do my bit to keep democracy alive when the opportunity presents itself.
It hasn’t always been easy—I remember getting together with friends for cocktails prior to running the gauntlet of “poll workers” outside our voting place so we could “VWI” (vote while intoxicated)—the choices usually stink (tweedle-dee vs tweedle-dum) and the atmosphere at the polling place was usually just a step up from a hospital emergency room or a bail bond hearing. Having just watched TV coverage of the British election, I was envious of the possibility of being able to vote at the local watering hole.
When I was much younger I resided in Spain, back in the day when that fossilized fascist Francisco Franco ruled with an iron fist. Perhaps seeing firsthand the possibility of being denied the right to vote made an impression on my young mind. Maybe it was living in Washington DC for better than a decade where taxation without representation is the law of the land. So, despite my cynicism, I’ve usually gotten my ass off the couch and made the trek.
Fortunately, here in California, they’ve made it painless. My ballot for the June Primary arrived in my mailbox this week, and all I have to do is correctly darken the ovals next to issues/candidates of my choosing and mail it back in. It’s a lot easier now. All I have to do is make some choices, so I open my ballot and…
Wha….? What the hell is all this stuff? We vote for judges here in San Diego? And who ARE all these people running for Governor, a job that’s gotta suck so bad I’m surprised any sane person wants it?
So, keeping in mind that these are NOT editorial endorsements, I’m going to walk you through the ballot as present a few observations of the candidates and issues that we’re supposed to be voting on this June. This essay will be broken into several parts in the hope that you’ll actually read it all. In the event that a candidate is running unopposed, I’m going to skip them, unless there is some compelling reason to comment.
Governor- Democratic Candidates
On the democratic side, we’ve got no less than seven choices. Former Gov. Jerry Brown has the name recognition, the financial backing and the experience that unquestionably make him the leader of the pack. On the other hand, if you’re spooked by that massive resume, here are the six other guys:
Vibert Greene: A mechanical engineer from northern California, he’s run for elective office (Mayor, City Council, etc,) a half dozen times and lost. If you’d like to read his essay “There is a solution to the oil spill desaster (sic) in the gulf of Mexico–but no one listen”, visit his blog at vibertgreene.blogspot.com. Dude needs a spell checker, me thinks.
Lowell Darling: A conceptual artist who ran, many moons ago, against Jerry Brown for Governor and lost. Last time out he ran on a platform supporting “urban acupuncture” to fight drought pollution and calling for replacing parking meters with slot machines to discourage driving. This time out it’s all about abolishing the two-thirds majority required to pass the state’s budget. Learn more at: www.lowelldarling.com
Joe Symmon: A Kenyan by birth, Symmon is President of a non-profit “Christian Charity” called Child of Destiny that is running programs for children in Africa. His campaign literature is very vague, tending more towards platitudes than programs. His website is cutely named.
Peter Schurman: One of the founders of MoveOn.Org, Schurman represents a pleasantly progressive alternative to the right-wing muck that is sure to dominate the conversation once we get past primary season. If you’re unable to bring yourself to vote for the front runner, he could be a good choice. peterschurman.org
Charles Pineda, Jr: A parole board judge who’s been running for Governor every cycle since 1986. Money quote: “…after eighty or more years of corporate rule, let’s have one administration of the people and for the people. Vote June the 8th Charles “Chuck” Pineda, Jr., Parole Board Judge”
Richard Aguirre: Did you know that we have an OBcean running for Governor? We do. (See our post here.) And his platform lynchpin, “New California Prosperity Plan”: Free Power, Free Water, Elimination of Taxes in California, does raise as many questions as it answers. His latest twitter posting asks voters: What do you think about putting rows of Fruit Trees (Apple & Orange) around all California school campuses? Mmmmm… www.aguirreforgovernor.com
You’d think, with all the negative TV advertising we’ve seen lately, that there were only two GOP candidates for Governor. But, nooo, the Republicans are not about to let themselves be outdone by the Democrats. They, too, have seven candidates running for the Big Office.
Nobody knows how to do politics nastier than Republicans, and gillionaires Meg Whitman and Steve Poizner are doing their level best to smear each other via a television campaign so expensive that, by itself, it could probably solve the Golden State’s budget woes. Thus far nobody stands accused of child abuse or violent crimes in this race, but there still several weeks left before Election Day and anything’s possible.
Without going into any detail about Whitman & Poizner’s actual positions, let me suggest an alternative route to the front of pack, one that could save each candidate millions of dollars and allow us to enjoy the Jerome’s Furniture TV ads during the six o’clock news without those beastly interruptions…
Here’s the deal: Meg and Steve will each be stripped down to jeans, sandals and a Mexican flag tee shirt. Neither will be allowed wallets, money, cell phones, vehicles or ID’s. We’ll drop them off in Central Mexico with a gallon of water, a Nascar baseball hat and a map. This first one to make it back over border can have the nomination, if they make it by primary day.
For more vile, you can visit: www.stevepoizner.com or
Here are the rest of the candidates:
Bill Chambers: First ran for Governor in 2003. Liked it so much he ran again in 2006. Is running again, but hasn’t bothered to update his website from 2006. A rarity in GOP circles, he’s a union member, which presumably means he’s not on board with current party efforts to destroy collective bargaining organizations.
Douglas R. Hughes: Lists himself as a retired business owner. Seems to have made getting pedophiles locked up the centerpiece of his campaign. He’s a true unknown. Only has six friends on his facebook page.
Ken Miller, Jr: A “Christian Conservative”, he has boosted his visibility by attending and speaking at Tea Party events throughout California. Here’s the money quote: “As Governor, no longer will I allow the socialist Federal Government to interfere when we have the ability to make our own decisions for the good of all Californians.” www.kenmiller2010.com
Larry Naritelli: If you believe his website, this is the dark horse candidate to bet on in the 2010 Gubernatorial Primary. He’s got a “Facebook” poll up showing 77% of likely voters supporting him. Has several Tea Party organization endorsements. He’s from Carlsbad.
Robert C. Newman II: Wow, another Tea Party leaning candidate . But he’s got a twist: along with quoting from the Declaration of Independence, he cites Cesar Chavez, MoveOn.Org and Eldridge Cleaver in a speech on his web site. And he’s got the Big Guy on his side, to boot, calling his campaign a: “grass roots movement to bring change to California by God’s movement in people.” www.newman4governor.org
David Tully-Smith: This Sonoma Physician is running a Republican campaign without venom or pandering to the far right. He is doomed. www.davetullysmith.org
Next Up: The Other Party Candidates for Governor & The Lt. Governor Candidates