A Progressive Procrastinators 2014 Primary Guide Part One: Top Statewide Contests

by on May 14, 2014 · 2 comments

in California, Election, Politics

By Doug Porter

There are so many decisions to make. My voting district’s mail-in ballot for the June 3, 2014 election has 26 choices to be made. Opening that envelope made me realize I could no longer put off writing this series…

The fictional (activist) fairy on my shoulder says,“Say it loud & say it proud! Voting is the most fundamental duty of every citizen. Do it for truth, justice and the American way.”

The pretend (procrastinator) demon on my other shoulder says “Ugh. I’d rather watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs.”

So here we go… Today we’ll take a look at the top statewide contests.

Remember, California has a top-two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, go on to the general election. You’ll note there are no GOP endorsed candidates for some statewide offices, due to a party rule against blessing candidates in races with more than one Republican running. ? = party endorsement ? = labor endorsement ? = Dems for Equality endorsement

Governor – The Front Runners

Say What? It’s a shoo-in for Gov. Brown.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:
It tells you how completely California has become a one-party state that practically no one in Sacramento believes that a Republican can beat Gov. Jerry Brown in November. But GOP big shots think it is very important which Republican loses to Brown, 76, in November – former Treasury official Neel Kashkari or Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks (San Bernardino County).


Jerry Brown
(Incumbent, Democrat ? ? ? )
Headed for his fourth term, walking just right of the line between the corporate and activist wings of the party. Your perception may vary. Seek immediate help if you start seeing his aura. He will win this primary. The only real question here is who will come in second.

Neel Kashkari
(Businessman, Republican)
If his last name was only Smith or Jones, he’d have a shot at using this contest to position himself for some opportunity down the road. He’s the “reasonable” Republican in this race, even if his TV commercials depict him swinging an axe at a toy train. Although Kashkari was born in the Midwest and served in the Bush administration, he’s an Indian (the sub-continent)-American and a Hindu to boot, which makes him one of “those people” in Tea Party parlance. Polls last month showed Kashkari trailing a convicted sex offender.

Tim Donnelly
(Assemblyman, TeaPublican)
A certifiable right-wing nutjob. Former Minuteman leader, gun nut and purveyor of Tea Party conspiracy theories. Busted for trying to smuggle (he forgot) a gun onto a commercial airliner. He was the clear favorite at the March 2014 GOP convention. I think it would be great if Donnelly “won” (came in second) as it would likely suppress Republican voter turnout in November. And he’s not a racist.

Glenn Champ
(Business Owner, Republican)
He argues that his ten years in state prison following his conviction for intent to commit rape, assault, and voluntary manslaughter gives him the necessary experience to deal with politicians. I guess his arrest for loitering to solicit a prostitute qualifies him to deal with lobbyists. His no contest plea in a voluntary manslaughter case after running into a man with his car will prove he can be tough on opponents. Seriously, this guy is running around the state posing for pictures with a bible in his hand saying he’s found Jesus. And he’s polling in second place behind Tim Donnelly.

The Rest of the Pack

Luis Rodriguez
(Author/Community, Green Party ? Endorsed)


Cindy Sheehan
(Anti-War Activist, Peace and Freedom)
http://www.cindy2014.org (Yes, she’s That Cindy Sheehan)

Akinyemi Agbede
(Doctoral student, Democrat)


Alama Marie Winston
(Project Funding CEO, Republican)

Andrew Blount*
(Mayor of Laguna Hills, Republican)
www.andrewblount.com *Has withdrawn from the race, but is still on ballot

Bo Ambrozewicz
(Small Business Owner, No Party Preference)


Janel Buycks
(Minister/Business Owner, N0 Party Preference)

Joe Leicht
(Golf course operator, None)

Rakesh Kumar Christian
(Small Business Owner, None)

Richard Aguirre
(Real Estate Investor, Republican)

http://aguirreforgovernor.com (Yes, he’s Mike Aguirre’s brother nephew and OB resident. The GOP preference is what it says on the ballot)

Robert Newman
(Psychologist, No Party Preference)

Lieutenant Governor

Say What? It’s a cushy job. Generally treated as a stepping stone in political careers.

From Ballotpedia
The Lieutenant Governor of California is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch, and the first person in line to succeed the Governor of California. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years and is limited to two terms.

piechart-of-procrastination-7Gavin Newsom
(Incumbent, Democrat ? ? ?)
Former San Francisco Mayor, generally considered to be one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party. He runs a bit left of Gov. Brown on issues. Will win, big.

Ron Nehring
(Small Businessman/ Former California GOP Chair, Republican)

Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
Democratic strategist Sean Clegg, who advises Newsom, issued a statement on the announcement: “Ron Nehring has a curious resume for statewide office. He won zero statewide elections as Republican Chair while steering his party to the outer margins of irrelevancy with out-of-step positions on issues like marriage equality.”

Eric Korevaar
(Scientist/ Small Businessman, Democrat)

David Fennell
(Entrepreneur, Republican)

George Yang –
(Software Developer, Republican)

Jena Goodman
(Student, Green Party)

Amos Johnson
(Security Guard, Peace and Freedom)

Alan Reynolds
(City Commissioner/Engineer, Americans Elect/Reform Party)

Attorney General

Say what? Don’t let your eyes glaze over yet, the AG’s race is interesting & fun!

Via Ballotpedia:
The Attorney General of California is the chief law officer of California and the state’s primary legal counsel. The attorney general “[sees] that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced” and prosecutes violations of state law through the California Department of Justice, which he oversees.

Kamala Harris
(Incumbent, Democrat ? ? ? )
Another rising star in the Democratic Party, who’s proven time and again she knows what’s expected of her if she wants to get ahead. For instance, she endorsed Bonnie Dumanis, ugh. Considering the rest of this pack, she’s an obvious shoo-in.

Phil Wyman
(Former State Senator/Attorney, Republican)

Via the Fresno Bee:
He proposed that state lawmakers who are found guilty of crimes that endanger the lives of others should face public execution by hanging, firing squad or lethal injection as a deterrent to others.

Orly Taitz
(Attorney/ 2012 U.S. Senate candidate, None)
The “Birther Queen”, who takes time out from her various careers as a lawyer, dentist and real estate agent to repeatedly file losing lawsuits challenging Barack Obama’s right to be president.. Taitz’s says that as attorney general she would prosecute state officials who ignored evidence that Obama fabricated his birth certificate. Who says politics has to be boring?

Ronald Gold
(Retired State Prosecutor/Attorney, Republican)

John Haggerty
(Attorney, Republican)

David King
(Attorney/Small Businessman, Republican)
http://www.davidking4attorneygeneral.com/ (He is also a former San Diego deputy city attorney)

Jonathan Jaech
(Attorney, Libertarian)
http://www.jaech.info/ (Best website avatar)


Say what?

Via Ballotpedia
The treasurer is the state’s banker, directed to “receive and keep in the vaults of the State Treasury or deposit in banks or credit unions all moneys belonging to the state…”[5] He disburses funds to cover state expenditures based on warrants from the controller’s office, approves state bond issuances, and manages the state’s investments, including state employee pension funds.

procrastinationbbJohn Chiang
(California Controller, Democrat ? ? ? )
As State Controller, he gained fame by having the audacity to actually enforce a constitutional requirement holding that legislators would not be paid if they failed to pass a balanced budget by June 15, 2011. Hissyfits ensued.

Greg Conlon
(Businessman/CPA, Republican ?)
He’s been running for various offices since 2002. Never won.

Ellen Brown
(Attorney/ Public Banking Author, Green Party ? )
Here’s where it gets interesting. John Lawrence’s article here at SDFP explains her crusade to take public monies out of private institutions, saving taxpayers a bundle. Good idea, I think.

Secretary of State

Say What? Come on, Stay Focused! We’re almost done for today! Besides, this is the one office where a Republican has a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected. California’s Secretary of State isn’t normally the most exciting office, but this year it’s shaping up to be the most interesting and important statewide race for the primary election.

(Make it through this and I’ll throw in cute cats photo- No fair peeking)

Via Ballotpedia:
The California Secretary of State is an elected state executive officer established by the California Constitution. He or she serves as the state’s chief election officer, keeps the state’s key documents including the constitution and Great Seal, and keeps the state archives. Additionally, the secretary of state registers businesses in the state, commissions notaries public and manages state ballot initiatives.


Derek Cressman
(Voting Rights Advocate, Democrat)
This is the guy who filed the complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission that revealed the dark and dirty money from the Koch Bros. (and others) flowing into state elections back in 2012. If you care about reversing the effects of the disastrous Citizens United decision, Derek is your man.

Alex Padilla
(State Senator, Democrat ? ?)
A rising Latino star in the Democratic party, with more name recognition than most. A likely winner if Democrats vote down the ballot.

Pete Peterson
(Educator/Institute Director, Republican)
The one Republican on a statewide ticket with the best chance of winning. He led all candidates in early Field Polls.

Roy Allmond
(State Employee, Republican)
He’s literally been rubber-stamping slogans on dollar bills as a marketing technique.

Jeff Drobman
(Software developer, Democrat)
His thing is internet voting.

Dan Schnur
(Political Involvement Educator, None)
After functioning as a consultant to the GOP, Schnur switched his registration to independent in 2011. His campaign slogan is “Politics is too important to be left to the politicians”

David Scott Curtis
(Designer, Green Party ?)
He was previously the 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of Nevada.

Leland Yee
(Ex-state Senator, BUSTED)
Yee remains on the ballot but is no longer an active candidate. Along with 25 others, he was busted via an FBI operation involving drugs, guns and arranging murder for hire. He coulda been a contender…

cute kittens

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Sullivan May 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm

CONTROLLER is actually the most contended statewide race and I don’t see it in your rundown! Betty T. Yee is far and away the progressive standard bearer — member of the Board of Equalization (also considered a statewide office) and the most qualified for Controller, besides being a longtime, committed progressive leader. Recently-former Speaker, John Perez is looking for a landing place since he’s termed out of the Legislature this year. Ho Hum.


Tamahagane February 22, 2018 at 3:54 am

CONTROLLER is really the most battled statewide race and I don’t see it in your summary! Betty T. Yee is by a wide margin the dynamic leading figure — individual from the Leading group of Evening out (additionally thought about a statewide office) and the most met all requirements for Controller, other than being a long-term, conferred dynamic pioneer. As of late previous Speaker, John Perez is searching for an arrival put since he’s named out of the Council this year. Ho Murmur.


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