Here at the OB Rag we don’t have an “editorial board” that noshes on smoked salmon and sips champagne while we sit around and make election recommendations. That’s not how we roll, unlike our dead tree brethren at the daily fishwrap, who have experienced yet another 7% decline in circulation over the past year, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s my way of saying that the opinions expressed in this article are nobody’s but my own. And here they are…
Federal and State Elections
U.S. Senator: Karly Fiorina (R) vs Barbara Boxer (D, Incumbent)
Fiorina’s portrayal of the ailing US economy as somehow being the fault of the Democratic Party and the incumbent Senator conveniently forgets that the collapse was triggered by the wave of de-regulation supported by virtually all Republicans (and many Democrats). Her track record at HP (30,000 jobs shipped overseas) gives us no insight into how she will improve the economy for anybody but the already privileged. While Barbara Boxer’s record leaves much to be desired, she is clearly a better choice for California.
Governor: Meg Whitman (R) vs Jerry Brown (D)
Meg’s TV ad says it best: thirty years ago when she moved to California, anything was possible. And who was Governor at the time? Jerry Brown. Send Meg and her millions a message and vote for Jerry Brown, who is clearly a better choice.
While the position of Lt. Governor is largely ceremonial, it’s often used as a “place holder” for politicians who are interested in higher office. The incumbent has been referred to as a moderate Republican; the challenger has a track record on social justice issues as Mayor of San Francisco that makes him an easy choice.
By most accounts, Bowden, who was elected to the post in 2006, has done a superlative job of dragging California’s election machinery into the 21st century. Her opponent is an ex-football player with a history of not voting. (I wonder if that was a qualifier for the GOP this year.) Stay with the incumbent.
It’s Los Angeles vs. San Francisco here, with both candidates currently serving as DA in their respective cities. Steve Cooley’s first move as LADA was to disband the environmental crimes unit; he is joined at the hip with SDDA Bonnie M. Dumanis in his zeal for prosecuting pot dispensaries. That’s a waste of taxpayer money in my opinion. Vote for Ms. Harris.
California, which once had one of the country’s best public school systems, now ranks at or near the bottom on academic achievement and school funding. Both candidates for this post agree on this and many other issues. Torlakson has the endorsements of both the daily fishwrap and a boatload of unions, based on his years of experience in the political scene. Aceves, a former school administrator has his own boatload of endorsements, many from fellow school administrators. Torlakson’s experience gives him the edge here.
California Courts: Various Candidates
This one’s a toughie. I’ve never heard of most of these folks. California law allows voters to “throw judges out” via votes. There are no opposing candidates, so if a judge is voted out, the Governor appoints a replacement. Fortunately, the vast research department here the OB Rag (aka Google) has turned up a socially conservative website (JudgeVoter.Com) that gives us a means to gauge the candidates:
“Unfortunately, many judges sitting on California courts may be incompetent, corrupt, lazy or soft on crime. Even worse, many are political opportunists who have a political agenda—they are “judicial activists”
I figure if they’re against them, I’m for them, and vice versa. It’s not a perfect system, but it’ll do for now. Here’s the list that will be on your ballot, along with MY suggestions:
Tani-Cantil-Sakauye (Chief Justice) Yes
Ming Chin (Associate Justice) NO (voted for ban on gay marriage)
Carlos Moreno (Associate Justice) Yes (voted against ban on gay marriage)
Judith McConnell (Appeals Court) Yes
Manuel Ramirez (Appeals Court) NO
Carol Codrington (Appeals Court) NO
David Sills (Appeals Court) NO
William Bedsworth (Appeals Court) NO
Eileen Moore (Appeals Court) Yes
Statewide Ballot Propositions
After much personal debate (I don’t use the stuff), I came down in favor. My original piece, which was part of a multi-part series on why we get high, is the most heavily trafficked article in OB Rag history. See OB Rag articles: Here, Here & Here.
Proposition 20: Congressional Redistricting – YES
This initiative adds the districts for US House of Representatives to the reforms passed last year. The bottom line here is where or not we want the legislature drawing Congressional boundaries. I vote against the legislature, which in this case was a Yes vote. Here’s our coverage.
Proposition 21: Vehicle License Fee for Parks – YES
I love it when I can quote my own articles:
So it’s come down to this: either vote to add an $18 annual fee to your car registration or we’ll close the State of California’s 278 Parks. This reminds me of that old National Lampoon magazine that ran with the cover art of a gun pointing at a dog and the headline: “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog”.
I voted for it. See our coverage here.
Do you wanna really screw schools and other social services while lining the pockets of developers suckling on the teats of so-called Community Development Corporations? It’s welfare for the rich, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Vote No on 22. Here’s our coverage.
Proposition 23: Suspend Pollution Control Laws- NO
Don’t Californians deserve Clean Air AND Good Jobs? Vote against the Texas oil companies. Vote No on 23. More here.
Proposition 24: Undo Arnold’s Giveaways to Corporations. – YES
The top 1% of businesses trading in California got a smokin’ good deal out of the budget negotiations for last year’s budget. They can afford it. See this LA Times article for proof. Vote Yes on 24. Our take here.
Proposition 25: Majority Rules – YES
So we’ve had this rule on the books for three decades now requiring a 2/3 vote for the legislature to pass a budget. Have things gotten better? Nope. Even Meg Whitman pines for the old days. Wouldn’t keeping this rule fall under the definition of insanity? Vote Yes on 25. Things aren’t gonna get any worse, that’s for sure. More here.
Proposition 26: Tobacco and Oil Companies Know What’s Best for Us – NO
Their concern for us little guys is soooo touching. I mean, really, who isn’t being crushed financially by “the hidden taxes on products and services that Californians use every day”? Say ‘No way, Jose” on Proposition 26. Our take.
Proposition 27: Politicians Are Our Friends, Really. – NO
This bit of lawmaking magic would have us overturn the reforms passed year that said ‘no thanks’ to the idea of the Legislature continuing to draw district lines for office holders. The new reforms haven’t even been tried yet, but the idea is so odious that we need to undo them. Dozens of hungry consultants are counting on your vote. I don’t think so. Vote No. Here’s our analysis.