Progressive San Diego Voter Guide for June 2016 Primary

by on May 19, 2016 · 3 comments

in California, Civil Rights, Election, Environment, History, Labor, Media, Ocean Beach, Organizing, Politics, San Diego

imageBy Doug Porter

Over the past few months the San Diego Free Press and the OB Rag have reported on the candidates and causes central to the June 2016 primary elections.

We have combined our research and analyses with information from public sources to create a progressive voter guide for electoral contests appearing on ballots in the San Diego region.

This guide includes links to candidate websites, symbols indicating endorsements and a short overview of contests, along with links to our reporting.

We take elections seriously around here. Our views are informed by years of activism for causes big and small. Founded in 2012 by folks at the OB Rag, as an all-volunteer, non-commercial website promoting progressive views and grassroots news, the San Diego Free Press – and the OB Rag both – draw upon the legacy of the alternative press in advocating for economic justice, and against the social constraints limiting life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all people.

Our Process of Endorsement

The candidacy of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has spurred a much-needed debate on our side of the political aisle over questions of policy, driven by economic, gender and racial disenfranchisement/oppression.

The question of how good is good enough? to deserve the support of progressives was of particular importance as the SDFP editorial board (see link for who we are) pondered endorsements for this year’s primary elections.

Our decisions reflect the necessity for situational analysis. A traditional liberal as the only Democrat running in a far right district can be a better choice than not voting at all. A self-proclaimed Democrat being funded by interests historically opposed to progressive aspirations is never a good choice.

Then there are the subjective factors: experiences we’ve had with candidates in the course of our activism, debate performances and questions of competency. We have little tolerance for those who are not politically or socially mature enough to carry out their duties.

It should be said that not everybody on the SDFP board agreed with all the endorsements. We worked hard towards consensus. We understand that not everybody who calls themselves progressives will agree with our calls.

There is no rule or law that says everybody has to vote on every item on the ballot, but it is important that the decision not to vote for a particular candidate or cause, be a reason for failing to at least read all the way through the ballot. The last item on the City of San Diego ballot (Proposition I), for instance, involves giving tens of thousands of hourly workers the opportunity to earn paid sick days.

Endorsement Codes
(Mostly for local contests)

Republicans ?
Central Labor Council ?
Pipefitters/UA (Building Trades) ß
Run Women Run ?
Trump Endorser TR
Bernie Endorser Bern
SDFP Endorsements ? ?

Federal Offices

President of the United States

Senator Bernie Sanders (D) ? ? ?
Hillary Clinton (D) ? ? ß

We did not consider any other of the 1742 candidates for this election.
SD Free Press Presidential Coverage

United States Senator

California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D)? ? ß ? ?
Representative Loretta Sanchez (D)

We did not consider any other of the 34 candidates for this election.
SD Free Press Senate Race Coverage

House of Representatives

(Clicking on the District number will give you info about its location, etc)
SD Free Press Coverage (In General)

NOTE: We declined to endorse the incumbent Democrats in three contests. Too many of their votes on issues ran counter to our values. Too many office holders are too eager to embrace corporate causes rather than the needs of their constituents.

California 49
Doug Applegate (D) ? ? ß ? ?
Darrell Issa (R, Incumbent) ? TR
Ryan Wingo (No Party Preference)

California 50
Patrick Malloy (D) ? ß Bern ? ?
Duncan D. Hunter (R, Incumbent) ? TR
Scott Meisterlin [R]
David Secor (D)
H. Fuji Shioura (No Party Preference)

California 51
No Endorsement ? ?

Juan Vargas (D, Incumbent) ? ? ß
Juan Hidalgo [R] ?
Juan “Charly” Mercado-Flores (D) Bern
Carlos Sanchez [R]

California 52
No Endorsement ? ? ?
Scott Peters (D, Incumbent) ? ß
Terry Reagan Allvord[R]
Jacquie Atkinson [R]
Mike Canada [R]
Denise Gitsham [R]
John Horst [R]

California 53
No Endorsement ? ? ?
Susan Davis (D, Incumbent) ? ß
Jim Ash [R]
James Veltmeyer [R] ?

California Legislature

SD Free Press Coverage (In General)

Senate, District 39
Toni Atkins (D) ? ? ß ? ? ?
(We love Toni, wish she’d up her game when it comes to issues like utility oversight)
Bribiesca [R]
Richard M. Fago [R]
John Renison [R]

Assembly, District 71
No Democrats filed. The three rabbits and a turtle we contacted for comment about the lack of a contest did not respond.
Tony Teora [R]
Randy Voepel
[R] ?

Assembly, District 75
Andrew Masiel (D) ? ß ? ?
Go figure – a Native American running for office in the North County
Marie Waldron [R, Incumbent] ?

Assembly, District 76
Rocky Chavez [R, Incumbent] ?
No Endorsement ? ?
My notes say something about “hell” and “no”

Assembly, District 77
Melinda Vásquez (D) ? ß ? ?
Brian Maienschein [R, Incumbent] ?

Assembly, District 78
Todd Gloria (D) ? ? ß ? ?
Please be the activist Todd Gloria we’ve grown to know and love.
Kevin D Melton [R] ?

Assembly, District 79
Shirley Weber (D, Incumbent) ? ? ? ß ? ?
One of our favorites
John Moore [R] ?

Assembly, District 80
Lorena Gonzalez (D, Incumbent) ? ? ? ß ? ?
Off to a great start
Lincoln Pickard [R]
Louis J Marinelli (I) Bern

County & City

San Diego County Board of Supervisors

SD Free Press Coverage (In General)

Ugh. There is so much not to like about the Supes. Maybe it’s that they’re building detention centers for immigrants (Cox) instead of housing for the homeless. Even Republicans agree (for the wrong reasons) that decades-long tenure (Jacobs) isn’t necessarily a good idea. And we found the idea of voting for a flawed Democrat (Roberts), even if he’s the only one, distasteful. Only the sleaziness (Abed) and inexperience (Gaspar) of his opponents gives us a reason to reconsider.

District 1
Greg Cox [R, Incumbent]
No Endorsement ? ?

District 2
Rudy Reyes (D)? ß ? ?
Dianne Jacobs [R, Incumbent]

District 3 (Split Decision)
Dave Roberts (D, Incumbent) ? ß
Hold Your Nose ? ?
Sam Abed [R] ?
Kristin Gaspar [R]
No Endorsement ? ?

City of San Diego Mayor

SD Free Press Coverage (Races In General)

Here’s the deal: whatever gets incumbent Kevin Faulconer to less than 50%+1 over the vote, thus making him run again in November, is the desired result. We are assured that neither challenger can beat him outright in the primary, but together they can stop him.

We like both Ed Harris and Lori Saldaña, so look at the endorsements and vote for of either.

Ed Harris (D) ? ? ß ? ?
SD Free Press Coverage

Lori Saldaña (No Party Preference) ? Bern ? ?
SD Free Press Coverage

Kevin Faulconer [R, Incumbent] ?
SD Free Press Coverage

San Diego City Council

SD Free Press Coverage (In General)

District 1
Republicans are pouring a buttload of money into this contest, hoping to change the balance of the city council. Ellis and his friends are once again running a less-than-honorable campaign, which is why incumbent/termed-out Councilwoman Sherri Lightner’s husband jumped into the race.
Barbara Bry (D) ??ß ? ?
Ray Ellis (R) ?
Kyle Heiskala
Bruce D. Lightner (R)
Louis A. Rodolico

District 3
This is maybe the easiest contest to call. All kinds of entities and individuals with a history of bad intentions are pouring money into Bernal’s campaign. Ward is a true progressive.
Chris Ward (D) ? ? ß ? ?
Anthony Bernal (Says he’s a D)
Scott Sanborn

District 5
Kersey is reportedly Faulconer’s heir apparent for the top job. Unfortunately, we cannot endorse either Democrat running against him.
Mark Kersey (R) ?
Fotios “Frank” Tsimboukakis (D) ?
Keith Mikas (D)
No Endorsement ? ?

District 7
Caballero has been involved in many local activist causes. DeCesare is a nice guy Democrat with more experience. We couldn’t decide.
Scott Sherman [R, Incumbent] ?
Jose Caballero (D) Bern ? ?
Justin A. DeCesare (D) ? ß ? ?

District 9
Both Gomez and Saez are great candidates. Some of us have worked with one or both of them on various causes. Flores, on the other hand, is raking in the bucks from the Chamber of Commerce, an organization whose vision for D9 likely includes tearing much of it down while hiring the immigrants who are about to be evicted to do the demolition and telling them they should be grateful for having a job, even if the pay is crappy.
Georgette Gomez (D) ? ? ?
Sarah Saez (D) ? ? ? ? ?
Ricardo Flores (D)? ß
Araceli Martinez (D)
Tami Le Murillo (R- Write-in)?

City Attorney

Two SD Free Press stories about why this race is important, here and here.

This contest has seen a lot of debates. We’ve been to some, moderated others and watched with interest. The Democratic Party rated all their candidates acceptable. We think, based largely on debate performance, that Cabrera is the best choice.
Gil Cabrera (D) ? ß ? ?
Rafael Castellanos (D) ?
Mara W. Elliott (D) ? ?
Bryan Pease (D) ? Bern
Robert Hickey [R] ?

Chula Vista City Council

SD Free Press Coverage

We’re going to swim against the tide here. Seat 4 is the poorest part of Chula Vista. Reyes relocated from Bonita (Not so poor). Ramirez, who has held office before, voted against the MTS operating budget in 2014, saying it was to protest the systemically inequitable transportation system and the inhumane treatment of riders.

Seat 4
Eduardo Reyes (D) ? ß ?
Mike Diaz (D)
Rudy Ramirez (D)? ? ?
Emmanuel Soto (R) ?

Ballot Measures

SD Free Press Coverage

State Proposition 50: California Suspension of Legislators ? ? ? ?

San Diego (Propositions A-H are revisions to the City Charter)

Proposition A: Redistricting Commission Update ? ? ? ?
Proposition B: Bond Authorization Process Update ? ? ? ?
Proposition C: Property Tax Charter Language Clarification ? ? ? ?
Proposition D: Amendment on Setting City Titles & Salaries ? ? ? ?
Proposition E: Budget Approval Process Update ? ? ? ?
Proposition F: Financial Operations Process Update ? ? ? ?
Proposition G: City Audit Language Update ? ? ? ?

Proposition H: Kersey’s Infrastructure Scheme ?

Proposition I: Earned Sick Leave and Minimum Wage ? ? ß ? ?

Education Elections

San Diego County Board of Education

SD Free Press Coverage

District 1
Gregg Robinson (D, Incumbent)? ? ß ? ?
Mark Powell [R] ?

District 2
Guadalupe Gonzalez (D, Incumbent)? ? ? ?
Jerry Rindone [R] ?

District 4
Mark Anderson (D, Incumbent)? ? ? ?
Paulette Donnellon [R] ?

District 5
Rick Shea (D, Incumbent)? ? ß ? ?
Richard Smith
Mark Wyland [R] ?

Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College Board

Seat 4
Elena Adams (D) ? ? ß ? ?
Timothy Caruthers ?

San Diego Community College Board

District B
Bernie Rhinerson (D, Incumbent)? ? ß ? ?

District D
Mary Graham (D, Incumbent) ? ? ? ß ? ?
Alyce Pipkin-Allen ?

San Diego Unified School Board

District A
John Lee Evans (D, Incumbent) ? ß ? ?
Stephen Groce

District D
Richard Barrera (D, Incumbent)? ? ß ? ?

District E
LaShae Collins (D)?
Sharon Whitehurst-Payne (D, Incumbent) ? ß ? ?

UPDATE: Help us make this better. If you spot factual errors (the opinions will remain) or bad links, drop me a line at the email address below. I shouldn’t have to say this, but politely worded requests will be responded to promptly. If you think a mistake was made because there’s a conspiracy against your candidate and send an angry email, I’ll take my sweet time. Whatever floats your boat….

One final note: We are making no recommendations in the contests for Democratic Central Committee because we lack enough information to cover them all.

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I read the Daily Fishwrap(s) so you don’t have to… Catch “the Starting Line” Monday thru Friday right here at San Diego Free Press (dot) org. Send your hate mail and ideas to DougPorter@SanDiegoFreePress.Org Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Marc Snelling May 19, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Thanks for this. Just mailed in my absentee ballot.


Frank Gormlie May 19, 2016 at 7:00 pm

Doug did an incredible job in listing 99% of the candidates and propositions. Patty and I joined the rest of the SDFP crew and nailed down our endorsements and our non-endorsements. Print this list out and take it with you to the balloting or use it before you mail it in.


Lori Saldaña May 24, 2016 at 1:52 pm

For tonight’s KUSI Mayoral debate (May 24, 9 pm) : A survey is finally available that shows Faulconer 48% Saldaña 26% Harris 20%

Check the details at www.
Follow along on Twitter at #SDMayor

“The poll targeted registered voters of the city of San Diego on Facebook and connected their party registration to their poll choices, according to the IVN San Diego. The poll was weighted to match voter turnout of the two previous Presidential primary elections.

“When people were asked which candidate they would vote for, Mayor Faulconer received a little over 48 percent of the vote with Lori Saldana at 26.41 percent and Ed Harris at 20.47 percent. 5.06 percent of people selected other.

“Ed Harris received the biggest boost of about 3 percent when party affiliations were included.

The poll was taken by more than 600 people and has a margin of error of 3.5%.”


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