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I'm looking at my sample ballot and have questions about some of the races. What are our thoughts on the downballot statewide races, like Secretary of State and Controller and the like? Opinions on Prop 41 and Prop 42?

Mojave Desert
On Prop 42, which is about open records, why is it an advantage to have that cost borne by local governments instead of the state? Do local governments use that provision as a shield to avoid complying, or do they comply and just send a bill?

I'm voting for Tom Torlakson for the state superintendent. I didn't vote for him last time but I think he's done a pretty good job working with Governor Brown on the whole and I'd be happy to see him do more of the same. He has classroom experience and has quite intelligently navigated some very difficult situations, including standing up to the Federal government about NCLB/RTTT sanctions.

I'm in the 2nd Assembly district and I'd be interested in thoughts on that too.

Please, consider this an open thread about the California election and discuss any races statewide or local to you as you wish.

Yosemite National Park, 150 years after it was first protected and administered as a California State Park.

Originally posted to elfling's Magical Mystery Tour on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 10:51 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and California politics.

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Comment Preferences

  •  re Prop 42 (11+ / 0-)

    I felt the same way. Maybe someone will have a better answer, but I couldn't see any advantage to it.

    I also voted for Torlakson.

    I voted for Sandra Fluke for state senate and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her. Would love to stick a big ol' finger in Rush's eye. Not to mention that I pretty much agree with her on everything.

    As an aside, we had a young and eager staff at my polling place this morning, which is quite a change. I was pleased to see it. My husband had to turn in his "vote by mail" ballot for a "vote in person" ballot and, unlike when he has done this in the past, they knew exactly how to handle it. It's good to see a new generation getting involved.

    •  The staff at my polling place... (7+ / 0-)

      ...were also young, which I thought was great at first. But they seemed more interested in gossiping with each other than anything else, to the possible detriment of, well, me (as I mentioned in my comment below). :-)

      Still, it's good to see the young engaged.

      There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

      by slksfca on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:13:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, we only had two poll workers (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slksfca, elfling, slowbutsure, fumie, LinSea

        and they were about 10 feet away from each other behind a long table. They seemed to be taking it pretty seriously. They each thanked us for voting. The young man in charge even took the time to show me how to put the ballot in and hook it on the little hooks and use the inker. I didn't have the heart to tell him not to bother, he was so eager.

        It's interesting that your poll workers were young too. They must be making a big push for that because all my life the poll workers have been older. And the retirees are great too, but honestly these kids were so well-prepared and informed that it was a nice change of pace.

    •  Prop 42 was tough (7+ / 0-)

      I've watched the state push all costs down to local since the recession started, OTOH, I've also seen the lack of transparency in my own city government.

      So I decided on transparency.   As such things go the cost isn't all that much, even at the municipal level.

      •  I wonder if the cost to figure out what the cost (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LinSea, Eric Nelson

        is ends up being of the same order as the original cost.

        I also worry though about the state just wantonly adding reporting requirements and then expecting that to come out of local budgets with no increase in income and no ability to increase their local income.

        My inclination is no but then the guy arguing that position on the ballot supplement doesn't impress me as being the most practical and sensible guy, maybe.

        Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

        by elfling on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 12:17:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The weakness of the rebuttal (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          elfling, LinSea, wu ming, Eric Nelson, kurt

          impacted my decision.  Usually initiatives have strong support and opposition and you learn a lot by reading the arguments, for, against, rebuttal (and who authored each)

          The same dude was against both initiatives and his case was weak.

          The impression I got is the laws were on the books and people used budget difficulties at the state level to avoid releasing records. (because funds kept getting cut as temporary emergency budget measures).

  •  I just got home from voting, and... (5+ / 0-)

    ...apparently my name wasn't listed. I say "apparently" because the poll worker couldn't find it — but I watched her search for me closely because she seemed to have limited English and I'm not sure I wasn't really there after all.

    Anyway, I did a provisional ballot.

    This is the second election since redistricting has put me back into Nancy Pelosi's district. I love my former rep (Jackie Speier) but it's a pleasure to vote for the once (and future?) Speaker again.

    On 42, I voted in favor of having the state continue to reimburse localities. Our hot local issue, Prop B, would put height levels for new construction on San Francisco's waterfront up for public referendum, for each project. I voted against it but it was a tough decision because Prop B's supporters make a lot of valid arguments in favor.

    There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

    by slksfca on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:07:49 AM PDT

  •  The top two primary is growing on me. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    remembrance, elfling, LinSea, kurt

    At least for deep blue districts like mine.

    I just voted for a bunch of Green and alternate-Dem candidates whose views matched mine better without having to worry that I was taking a vote away from the incumbent and giving it to a wingnut.

    Because in those races, the real battle is for second place.  There are enough party line Ds to ensure a dem is going to make the final ballot (at least in my district)

    I'd very much love a progressive candidate (of any party) vs the (incumbent) dem in the general because it'd change the conversation from "lesser of two evils" to "who has the values we want?"  This seems like a way to maybe get some better dems, in districts where the R candidate gets few or no votes in the primary.

    Not to mention the depressing effect it'd likely have on the right wing turnout if that happened to several offices.

    •  I really dislike it. Last time around we (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      wound up with 2 dems going to the big game, as would be expected from a blue district.  So, in such a case, the run who runs to the right and tries to appeal to the GOP gets elected because the GOP vote for that one. It is shaping up to happen again this time around. In effect, it guarantees victory to the least progressive Democratic candidate.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 03:15:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hm. Didn't see it that way. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enhydra lutris

        I was thinking more in terms of "Why the hell do we still have Feinstein in a state that can elect Boxer?"

        The reason is that she's got a "D" by her name, and the "Rs" have always been wingnuts.

        But I see your point.   The way things are in a normal primary, the progressive dem never even gets heard, so it is always goalposts between center and right.   At least the discussion would be between left and center-right, even if the same individual got elected.

        You're describing a case though where somebody who can't win a primary wins the general by appealing to the Rs.  Must admit I didn't see that coming.

  •  My bad. I didn't choose either way on 41. (6+ / 0-)

    Although I see the merits of giving localities "incentives" to modernize their systems of compliance, what if some have to spend so much $ on compliance they have none left to upgrade?   Seems the state should pay at least part, in one way or another, to help those municipalities upgrade that can't afford it on their own.
      As for other state office races, I thought the hardest choices were for SOS and Controller, since I didn't know much about the main Dem candidates.
      Here in San Mateo county we have several offices where the incumbent isn't challenged, or their challenger appears to be an idiot Repub.  One Repub tried to (unsuccessfully) get the Dem thrown off the ballot for allegedly not meeting the qualifications for office.  I'm sure it was just a coincindence the Dem happens to be a person of color.  
      Dropped off my ballot about an hour ago.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 11:16:48 AM PDT

  •  on 41 (6+ / 0-)

    My wife and I reflexively vote down bond issues because of the way CA is structured (we crippled our revenue base with prop 13, so everybody does "all babies must eat" appearing initiatives every cycle that ensure we get further in debt.  We also tend to vote for nearly anything paid for with a tax, as long as it has any social good)

    This was an interesting case though.  Essentially one of those bonds already passed, but the money couldn't be spent because it was money to help Veterans buy houses outright...and in the CA housing market the kind of Vets who need the money can't afford a house no matter how much help they get.

    So they take some of that money and put it into low income housing assistance for homeless vets.  Structured in a way that actually helps them.

    Clever, it's using money that structurally can't be spent (even though we're on the hook for the debt) in a way that helps the vets, and, by getting it back into the economy, helps the economy too.

  •  Well I'm off to vote shortly and I'm voting yes on (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myadestes, LinSea, wu ming, Eric Nelson, kurt

    both 41 and 42. My understanding is that the law as currently written provides for the state to reimburse the costs to local government, but since they haven't been doing it, local government uses it as an excuse. This way perhaps they will be able to put more on line and make it easier to get things in the open.

    I am voting yes on San Francisco's B because I don't trust the big guys not to mess up the waterfront.

    I am voting for Cressman even though he won't win, for  Secretary of  State. He worked for Common Cause and is endorsed by the Bay Guardian.

    I'm usually on the  losing end of these choices, but I will vote for the Democrats in the fall ;)

  •  Usually the ballot information pamphlet isn't LOL (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myadestes, slksfca, fumie, LinSea, Eric Nelson


    Secretary of State:

    ROY ALLMOND (Republican)
    I ask you to vote for me, and I will make you proud...with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, I pledge to you my Life, my Fortune, and my sacred Honor! Sincerely, Roy Allmond.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 12:26:38 PM PDT

  •  I voted for Leland Yee (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elfling, fumie, LinSea, Eric Nelson

    Just kidding. I'm curious how many votes he will get though...

    I don't feel very informed on 42 but I voted against it due to the idea of pushing costs down to the county/local level. Voted yes on 41 but also feel uninformed about it.

    Here we have some local stuff happening so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

  •  I was asked if I had ID this time. The person who (3+ / 0-)

    was doing the name look up was a non-native speaker, and I presume she did it so she could have it spelled. However, I said ID was not needed, and spelled my name for her. After I got my ballot and signed in, I said I had ID, but it was not necessary to vote and they shouldn't be asking for it. The other lady there said they weren't asking for ID. When I left I told them not to ask for it as well.

  •  List of prop 42 endorsers (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, LinSea, Eric Nelson, kurt
    Supporters of Prop 42 include:

    * California Democratic Party
    * California Republican Party
    * California Forward Action Fund
    * California Newspaper Publishers Association
    * California Nurses Association
    * California Teachers Association
    * California Professional Firefighters
    * Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
    * League of Women Voters of California
    * State Building & Construction Trades Council

    That's a list that I would expect to create some sort of singularity that could swallow a significant part of the state. CTA, CNA, AND Howard Jarvis? Eek.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Tue Jun 03, 2014 at 12:47:44 PM PDT

  •  It seems rather clever (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A reverse of the usual "all babies must eat" bond issue - finding one that wasn't working and trying to make it work, for the originally intended beneficiaries even...

    Not at all our usual level of direct democracy in this state.  I have pretty high hopes it will pass as there is a structural bias for any bond issue to pass in CA.

    My proof is this story:

    One year there was an initiative.  It was so poorly written that its SPONSORS wrote in the "for" column "DO NOT VOTE FOR THIS.  VOTE FOR THE OTHER SIMILAR INITIATIVE.  THIS INITIATIVE IS FLAWED".

    (in all caps...paraphrased but yeah, they were shouting)

    1/3 of California voters voted "Yes" on that initiative.

    I sometimes weep for democracy.  But it does mean that any vaguely worthwhile-sounding bond issue only needs to get those 1/3 folks who always vote yes, plus only 1/4 of the rest of the voters to pass the initiative.

  •  If the Democrats get shut out of Controller (0+ / 0-)

    or CA-31 (again) because of our fucking idiotic top two system, the party needs to do everything it can to repeal this disgrace.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 12:57:42 AM PDT

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