Skip to main content

I figure everyone else in the universe has done one of these (many of them piled upon my kitchen table at this very moment), so why not me?

Generally, I see this election as a great chance to set California and the nation in a new direction, and get some traction here and there to pursue real change in the future. The stakes, as I wrote below, are quite high, both in terms of really bad things to avoid, and really exciting possibilities for positive change.

my picks over the flip:

Elected Officials

Senator - left blank.

Six years ago, I swallowed my objections to Senator Feinstein's illiberal support for the internecine madness of a drug war waged upon our own population, her relentless corporate  and "free" trade leanings, and her general hawkishness. Tom Campbell was to the left of Feinstein on several key issues, but I punched a hole for Feinstein anyways because partisan control of the senate was so essential to blocking disasterous conservative legislation and extremist right wing judges. Six years later, in light of her votes for the Iraq war (in spite of the prevailing sentiment - since proven painfully prescient - of her constituents), the credit card corporate givaway bankruptcy bill, her public criticism of Gavin Newsom standing up for equal rights in marriage in her very hometown, her support twice for the Constitution-shredding Patriot Act, her support of the nomination of Condoleeza Rice for Secretary of State after she botched her job as National Security Advisor by ignoring a PDB entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike Inside America" in August of 2001, and so on, I cannot bring myself to do so a second time. There are lines which I will not cross. She'll have to pound Mountjoy into pulp without my vote.

Governor -  (D) Phil Angelides

As I wrote below, I really think that Phil Angelides represents a real chance for California to get off the failed bipartisan consensus of borrow and spend Republican-lite governance, and jolt us forward into building a California that doesn't shy from dreaming big and planning for the future. I have never been fooled by Schwarzeneggar's moderate shtick, having been on the recieving end of tuition hjike after tuition hike. The Governor is corrupt and bad for California; Angelides would be a real step forward.

Lt. Governor - (D) John Garamendi

Garamendi has done a good job as Insurance Commissioner, and supports stem cell research, unlike his incredibly right wing opponent Tom McClintock. The last thing California needs is an ideologue like McClintock pushing his pro-life, anti-tax, anti-science SoCal agenda from the Sacramento #2 bully pulpit for four years.

Secretary of State - (D) Debra Bowen

Bowen is far and away the best candidate for this critical job to come around in a long time, and I really hope she wins. As I wrote earlier, Bowen understands the problems with electronic voting better than any politician statewide or nationally, and will be a solid advocate for the right of California voters to have their vote counted on a machine or ballot that is trustworthy without having to wait in lines for hours because of broken voting machines. This is one of the most important races this election, and polling pretty close, so please GOTV for Debra and our democracy!

Attorney General - (D) Jerry Brown

While I'm less than thrilled with Brown's recent tilt towards the "tough on crime" side of the policing spectrum as Oakland mayor, and would far rather see an AG willing to encourage more community policing and restitutive justice, Brown looks to be aiming to really use the Attorney General's officeas an activist platform to finally put some teeth in the state's consumer protection, anti-corruption and environmental laws, and go after the powerful for a change. Additionally, Fresno Republican Chuck Poochigian is exactly the sort of anti-regulation, pro-life, lock-'em-up-and-throw-away-the-key social conservative that really ought to be kept far away from positions of power.

Treasurer - (D) Bill Lockyer

I'm not a huge fan of Lockyer after his sucking up to Schwarzeneggar following the recall, but his opponent (R) Claude Parrish is a Howard Jarvis anti-tax, anti-bond conservative, and the state has suffered enough from that failed political philosophy. Advantage Lockyer.

Controller - (D) John Chiang

Controller's a pretty wonky sort of technical job, and Chiang seems pretty qualified to pull it off, with degrees in both law and finance, and seems to have a genuine desire to make taxes transparent to regular people. Accordingly, tax software company Intuit and other special interests have backed his opponent, conservative SoCal Republican Tony Strickland. God forbid people can figure out their taxes without software.

Insurance Commissioner - left blank

I'm sorry Cruz, but when your campaign consists of taking money from the companies that you're planning on regulating, and talking about your attempts at weight loss, you clearly have no business in politics. Poizner claims he's a moderate, but I've had my fill of "pro-business candidate" being a euphamism for "corrupt and pro-corporate." meh.

Ballot Measures, always the fun part of California Politics

1A - NO. While I'm very sympathetic to funding transportation infrastructure, tying our budget further in knots with yet another well-meaning proposition is not the solution.

1B-1E - YES. It's a crying shame California isn't rational enough to fund this stuff through honest, up-front taxation, but when the choice is third-world decay or floating yet another bond, I'm all for the bond. Roads, housing and abuse shelters, schools, and above all (for us Central Valley denizens) flood protection are all sorely needed infrastructure.

83 - NO. Yet another tough-sounding but dumb anti-crime initiative, this time using the rhetorical stance of fighting sexual abuse, that fails to actually effectively solve the problem it purports to attack, and causing all manner of new unanticipated problems to boot. By banning sex offenders (not just felony convictions either, but minor stuff like flashers and streakers as well) from residence within 2000 feet from schools or parks, it effectively forces sex offenders out of most cities and towns and into rural areas where police resources are spread thinly, and making it more likely that they'll just end up homeless and thus harder to track. Oops. The lifelong GPS tracking aspect is creepy as well, and an unsettling Orwellian step that won't really tell you much of anything about potentil recidivism. The same money spent in treatment and abuse awareness programs would serve our communities a lot better. Iowa  passed a similar a while back, and is now trying to repeal it, because it didn't work.

84 - YES. Easy choice for anyone living in the Central Valley, or who gets their drinking or irrigation water from the aquaduct, or who would rather pay for an ounce of prevention rather than paying a ton of cure after a levee bursts and makes Sacramento look like New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward.

85 - NO!!! A trojan horse attack on choice, playing to parents' anxieties about their inability to control teenaged daughters. People have got to think outside the bubble of their own experience, and realize that the last thing a teenage girl in an abusive situation needs is a law ordering her to inform her parents who might well kick her out of the house for her 'sin,' beat her, or worse. This is the real world, and our laws have got to reflect that.

86 - still undecided, leaning NO.

I understand the appeal of taxing cigarettes to fund the social and health costs of nicoteine, but I'm not convinced that a regressive consumption tax on addicts is really all that just a solution. There are better ways to go about this.

87 - YES! Texas and Alaska get paid for their oil, why the heck don't we? Diverting those profits towards research into alternative energy is a stroke of genius. Oil isn't going to last forever, and our national addiction to it has trapped us into a disasterous foreign policy in the Middle East and anywhere else with oil. Time to kick the habit, and take a bite out of the oil corporations who gouge us at the pump for a change.

88 - YES. Anyone with a house in this insanely inflated housing market can afford the $50 a year to pay for school supplies. Since bonds have to be used for infrastructure only, school supplies get neglected. They needn't be.

89 - YES! YES! YES! Public financing of elections will allow primary challengers to make serious runs agaionst well-funded incumbants or millionaire self-funders without first sucking up to superwealthy corporate donors (and losing their souls in the process). The corporations will still finance the system, same as they do now through the process of legalized bribery that passes as our campaign finance system, but if prop. 89 passes, they won't be able to buy our democracy. It should go a long way towards making races far more contested, and candidates more connected to voters than they are to well-heeled donors. Similar laws have been passed in Maine and Arizona, and the voters there tend to like the results. For an über-expensive media market state like California, public financing could help clean up our democracy.

90 - NO! NO! NO!
As I wrote yesterday, prop. 90 is a horrible trojan horse of a bill that would gut our zoning laws and environmental regulations,  encourage unlimited sprawl development,  bankrupt our state government, and generally mess us Calfornia as badly as Measure 37 did Oregon. It's so bad, even the Howard Jarvis death-before-taxes crowd has joined the rest of us sane people in rejecting it. The langauge about eminent domain is a con; the real goal is crippling government and giving developers carte blanche.

Yolo County

Measures H&I - YES

Don't let PG&E's $10 million in advertising and October rebate buy your vote. Vote Yes for SMUD's cheaper energy and local control, and stick it to the folks who jacked up your rates after the 2001 energy crisis.

Yolo County Supervisor, district 3 - (D) Frank Sieferman

Don't let Republican operative Matt Rexroad get a toehold in Yolo County. Any friend of the swift boaters is no friend of mine, and bad news for Yolo County.

Davis

Measure K - NO

The proposed Target is just too big, with union-busting wages that are too low, and threatens to put a lot of nice local stores under if it comes to town. The big box stores in Woodland, Dixon, West Sacramento, Sacramento and Vacaville are enough, there's no need to add another one to the supersaturated mix. Besides, we pass zoning laws for a reason. 136,000 square feet is gargantuan.

Measure L - YES

I'm not convinced that this will really improve the functioning of city politics much, if at all, but at least the people on the city council will have the support of 50% of the town instead of the crazy 8-way races with 12% winners. I'd be far happier about electing councilmembers by district, but apparently there isn't a snowball's chance in hell of that one coming to pass anyway.

Judges

From what I was able to find, the people up for CA supreme court and the Central Valley appeals court seem pretty reasonable. If you're in the bay Area, vote NO on McGuiness, the justice who wrote the decision that separate but equal is still OK in California, as long as you're gay or lesbian.

(originally posted at surf putah)

Originally posted to wu ming on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 01:43 AM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar (20+ / 0-)

    should be a fascinating day tomorrow. i'll be working my precinct for the first time, getting out the dem vote, wish me luck.

    surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

    by wu ming on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 01:41:50 AM PST

  •  I'm with you on most of that. (0+ / 0-)

    Including Feinstein.  I just filled out my sample (the other family members will be using it, as well), and left Feinstein blank.  I couldn't decide which bozo party to choose to vote for in protest.  Probably P&F.

    She's going to win anyway.  She doesn't need my vote.  Doesn't apparently want it, either.

  •  Even if the chances of defeating Arnold are... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, venice ca, tovan, b b

    are exceedingly small, the prospect of getting Debra Bowen elected are sufficient (by themselves) to justify going to the polls. She's the real deal...

    Open source voting machines now!

    "For every complex problem there exists a solution that is simple, straightforward, and utterly wrong." --Anonymous

    by Autarkh on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 02:46:02 AM PST

  •  I voted no on all the bonds... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tovan

    My votes on the candidates were more or less like yours, although I did vote for Feinstein and Bustamante.  I don't like Feinstein, but I won't even risk the miniscule chance of the Republican being elected.  That's the same thing with Bustamante, he may be corrupt, but based on what's happened lately I've come to the conclusion that Republicans are corrupt by default.  

    When it comes to all the bond bills I voted no.  I think our state is in big trouble when it comes to bonds.  Every single time an election comes up we have more bleeding heart bonds on the ballot and they all pretty much pass.  I urge you to look in the voter's guide.  I'm not sure what page it is on, but it shows the increase in bond debt as a percentage of California's GDP.  It also shows how it will grow more by passing these bonds.  I think it's pretty scary, and more so because no one is considering it a problem.  

    All of the stuff that is being financed by bonds can be paid out of the general fund instead.  The argument behind the bonds are pure lies.  You hear stuff like "pay over time, without raising taxes".  It's a crock.  Over time these bonds will take more and more out of the general fund to pay for their interest and either other stuff will end up being cut, or we'll end up cutting other programs.  There is no free lunch, and no matter how you spin it, these bonds are like spending 50 cents on every dollar raised, and flushing the other 50 cents down the toilet.  

    He's another reason to vote against 1B at the very least.  We are entering an era of higher energy prices (read some of Jerome a Paris's diaries for more info).  This bond is focused primarily on building more highway infrastructure which will be obsolete within the next several decades.  Public transportation projects are just thrown in as an after thought.  This is not the direction we need to go right now.  

    I'll just touch on a couple of the other ones.  Prop 83 and 85, I agree with you.  I voted yes on the cigarette tax.  It was a hard decision, but a couple friends of mine smoke, and if the price goes up they'll be more likely to quit (yeah, with friends like me...hehe).  As to Prop 88, it's another situation where I don't see why the funding can't come out of the general fund.  We've thrown a lot of money at our schools and the end result is still utter crap.  There is a systemic problem with California schools, maybe even all U.S. schools, and it's not something that money alone can solve.  Prop 89 and 90, I agree.  

    I think Prop 87 is a bad bill, but I voted for it because it will most likely increase gasoline prices (regardless of what the bill may claim), and I want gas prices to be higher to cut down on consumption.  Some argue that higher gas prices hurt poor people, but the reality is, we need to start reducing our consumption or we're all going to be even more badly hurt in the long run.  

    Anyway, just my thoughts, take 'em or leave 'em.  I have no doubt all the bonds are going to pass anyway.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 03:26:29 AM PST

    •  Typo (0+ / 0-)

      In the third paragraph the sentence should read: "Over time these bonds will take more and more out of the general fund to pay for their interest and either other stuff will end up being cut, or we'll end up having to raise taxes."  

      In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

      by Asak on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 03:28:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the problem with taxes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      venice ca

      is that it takes a 2/3 supermajority to raise them, pass a budget, or override a governor's veto. so as long as republicans have a third of the assembly or state senate, or the governorship, no bonds means no funding, period.

      it's a bullshit way to pay, but that's the box that california's stuck in. better more debt than falling into decay, IMO. but i understand your frustration with the setup.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 08:36:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm voting yes on 86 - I think (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Asak, venice ca

    I still have to do my research - but I'm fairly sure that's the advise of some folks I respect - I must research it before I go to the polls this morning.

    Thanks for this diary, wu ming.

    ````
    peace

  •  Now, let's hope every Californian follows (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    venice ca, b b

    ...your lead...

    "Our sweat and our blood have fallen on this land to make other men rich." Cesar Estrada Chavez

    by bic momma on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 04:04:05 AM PST

  •  I'm glad you're leaning no (0+ / 0-)

    on the cig tax.  I have to say I'm surprised by how many are voting (or have voted) yes.  

    It's a regressive tax.  It's a sin tax.  It's a tax on a drug which, although legal, has a higher rate of addiction and a lower rate of recovery than many illegal narcotics.  If we want to address the true societal costs of behavior, then we truly do need to begin taxing junk food, gas guzzling cars, and all other manner of behaviors that ordinary people engage in which create a net negative effect on health.  

    Many of the financial problems our hospitals are now having can be traced back to Prop. 10, which was the last big cigarette tax passed in CA.  That prop provided funding to hospitals.  That funding ended up being used to offset budget cuts made by the state.  Now that there are fewer smokers, there's less income for the hospitals, because the state hasn't made up those budget cuts.   BTW, the bulk of the money from this new tax is supposed to offset the losses we're already seeing from prop. 10 - and most of that is going to support early childhood development programs - NOT to offset the healthcare costs attributed to smoking.  

    For the average, pack-a-day smoker, this will create an additional tax burden of $78 per month or $949 per year.  Statistical data show that the average smoker has a attained a lower level of education and is far less wealthy than his or her non-smoking counterpart.  

    This is a tax which will negatively impact those who have the least access to programs to help them stop, who have the least access to decent health care (ie, non-emergency room care) and it's a tax which will negatively impact the poorest of our society.  I'm not comforatable with that.

    (full disclosure - I am not now nor have I ever been a a smoker.)

    "This is your time, now, to do what you will do. Your life is now." - John Mellencamp

    by lapolitichick on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 10:38:40 AM PST

    •  actually (0+ / 0-)

      <i?If we want to address the true societal costs of behavior, then we truly do need to begin taxing junk food, gas guzzling cars, and all other manner of behaviors that ordinary people engage in which create a net negative effect on health. </em>

      i'd be more than willing to tax junk food, food with hydrogenated oils, sources of pollution, and especially high fructose corn syrup.

      but it's a tricky business balancing the good of discouraging things bad for public health with the drawback of placing more tax burden on the poor. if we had national health insurance, i would expect a lot more of this sort of thing, though, once the state began bearing the burden of bad societal habits directly instead of indirectly, as it now does.

      part of the old common good vs. personal rights to do stupid things dilemma. i'm closer to eugene than i am to, say, raybin on this, but 86 just didn't meet my threshold for busybodiness.

      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

      by wu ming on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 07:16:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agree mostly (0+ / 0-)

    A straight Democratic ticket was marred by a blank for Insurance Commissioner, so I filled it in Green.

    "If you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen." - Harry Truman

    by Rusty Pipes on Tue Nov 07, 2006 at 05:33:57 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site