NOVEMBER 2, 2010
This is intended as a general guide to voting in the upcoming California election for like-minded progressive independents. The further right you are on the political spectrum the more you should consider this a guide on how not to vote.
GOVERNOR: Jerry Brown, Democrat.
Is this the year of the CEO? I think not. We are less than two years removed from the Wall Street meltdown that nearly landed the nation in a second Great Depression. Make no mistake: The politics of Meg Whitman and her wealthy Wall Street cohorts are what landed us in this protracted recession. I think it generous of Whitman to boost California’s economy by spending a large chunk of her fortune to become Governor but the jobs she’s created will disappear in a few weeks and the only jobs she’s likely to create if elected will be in China, India or anywhere that labor is cheap.
The sky will not fall if Whitman is elected because she’s unlikely to get anything passed in the California legislature but why should we reward the arrogance of a candidate who never voted in her adult life yet believes she can buy the governor’s palace?
Jerry Brown is not the same man who was christened Moonbeam back in the day. He’s a hardnosed pragmatist and may be just the man to lead us out of the deep hole we’re in.
SENATOR: Barbara Boxer, Democrat.
Is this the year of the CEO? I think not. Carly Fiorina is the poster candidate of corporate America: Tax breaks for the elite, cheap labor, union busting, free trade, job exportation, de-regulation and corporate rule. She represents everything that is wrong with government in America and she has the audacity to call Barbara Boxer arrogant. That’s the pot calling the kettle black.
Boxer may not be the most dynamic Senator in Washington but she stands with the working people most of the time. She will vote to end our involvement in both wars and will push hard for the kinds of jobs California needs most: Rebuilding our infrastructure and laying the groundwork for an emerging Green Economy.
LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR: Weber, King or Castillo.
This is an office without power or authority. It is a stepping stone for politicians seeking to further their careers and an opportunity to prove they can win a statewide election. I see no compelling reason to vote for either major party candidate. This is an opportunity for the voter to assert his or her independence without fear of the consequences. Vote Peace and Freedom, Libertarian or Green. Who cares?
SECRETARY OF STATE: Tobin or Menasche.
As we have seen in the states of Ohio and Florida, there are times when a Secretary of State can wield enormous power. This office should be nonpartisan and the best we can do in this election is a civil rights attorney (Menasche) from the Green Party or a voting rights advocate (Tobin) from the Libertarians.
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Kamala Harris, Democrat.
In an increasingly important role, setting law enforcement priorities with dwindling resources, we can be reasonably certain Harris will bring a progressive view to the state attorney general’s office. She has done well in San Francisco.
CONTROLLER: John Chiang, Democrat.
There are times when we should support an incumbent for a job done well. It appears that this is the case with John Chiang. In these hard times he has saved taxpayers millions of dollars by exposing fraud and misappropriation of funds. Bravo!
TREASURER/INSURANCE COMMISSIONER/BOARD OF EQUALIZATION: Go Independent. As a rule of thumb, unless you have a compelling reason to vote mainstream, vote independent.
UNITED STATES REPRESENTATIVE: Democrat.
The balance of power in the US Congress is at stake in this election. It is a shame independents have not found the candidates or resources to make a run in this election. In my district there are no independent alternatives. With the Supreme Court’s ruling on corporate funding of campaigns (Citizens United) it can only get worse. Nevertheless, hold your nose and vote for these feckless Democrats. There are bigger issues at stake than the individual candidates represent.
STATE SENATOR AND ASSEMBLY: Independent. It is unlikely the Republicans will take control of the state assembly or senate. The voter should therefore feel free to vote for the independent or third party candidate of your preference. If however there is no independent alternative on the ballot, hold your nose and vote Democrat.
PROPOSITION 19: Legalization of Marijuana.
Yes. Take away the morality play (one group seeking to impose their morality on their fellow citizens) and the arguments against legalization have no bite. The same folks who said the sky would fall with medical marijuana swear that it is a gateway drug. No, it is not but alcohol is. One paper claims it is poorly written because it doesn’t spell out the details but that is exactly how it should be written. End prohibition and figure out the details as we go along. One study says it won’t shut down the cartels but it certainly won’t do them any good, will it? It is no secret that the fiercest opponents of 19 are the drug dealers. Another says it won’t raise nearly as much money as we might think. Maybe so but it will open a vast revenue stream while freeing our law enforcement officers to address more pressing issues of law and order. But the feds won’t honor it. Really? Do they have nothing better to do than to bust people growing, selling and distributing relatively small amounts of marijuana that would otherwise come from more nefarious sources? Do they intend to go after everyone or have they never heard of discriminatory law enforcement? Like medical marijuana, let California lead and the nation will eventually follow.
PROPOSITION 20: Redistricting.
Yes. Anything would be better than partisan gerrymandering. Who knows if the 14-member commission will truly be independent but lets give it a chance.
PROPOSITION 21: Vehicle fee for state parks.
Yes. As a result of Proposition 13, the single most potent reason for California’s perpetual budget shortfall, the state can no longer raise revenues through tax increase. Therefore, California’s legislators have turned to fees to escape the two-thirds vote required for taxes. State parks desperately need funds and this provides them. Too bad its prospects are so dismal.
PROPOSITION 22: Protects State Funds for Transportation, Redevelopment and Local Government Projects.
No. Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul is another way the state has adapted to its financial restraints. If you think these particular expenditures are more important than education, fire and police then vote yes. I don’t.
PROPOSITION 23: Repeal of the Green Initiative.
No. Two Texas oil companies have conspired to undo California’s Green initiative, a critical incentive to the development of a new economy. This is far and away the most important proposition on the ballot. Say No to Texas and Yes to Green.
PROPOSITION 24: Repeal of a Corporate Tax Exemption.
Yes. The corporate elite managed to get tax exemptions in the last budget compromise. Almost all of the tax breaks would go to the largest corporations while the state in all its need would sacrifice billions in lost revenues.
PROPOSITION 25: Majority Rule on Budget Passage.
Yes. The two-thirds vote is the primary weapon of all “Don’t Tax Us!” interests and it is grossly anti-democratic. It’s too bad this proposal doesn’t target the two-thirds requirement on tax increases as well but you take what you can get.
PROPOSITION 26: Two-thirds Vote for Fees.
No. If you don’t believe in majority rule you don’t believe in democracy. Allowing a majority in one election to require two-thirds in perpetuity is irresponsible, immoral and it is one major reason for the decline of the great state of California.
PROPOSITION 27: Repeals Districting Commission (Proposition 20).
No. With 20 and 27 on the ballot it is possible to create a commission and eliminate with one vote. Go figure.
VOTE TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 2ND, 7 AM TO 8 PM.
US SENATOR: BOXER
LT. GOVERNOR: CASTILLO
ATTORNEY GENERAL: HARRIS
SECRETARY OF STATE: MENASCHE
INSURANCE COMISH: PADILLA
BD OF EQUALIZATION: MICHLIN
US REPRESENTATIVE: DEMOCRAT
STATE SENATOR: INDEPENDENT
STATE ASSEMBLY: INDEPENDENT
PROPOSITION 19: YES
PROPOSITION 20: YES
PROPOSITION 21: YES
PROPOSITION 22: NO
PROPOSITION 23: NO
PROPOSITION 24: YES
PROPOSITION 25: YES
PROPOSITION 26: NO
PROPOSITION 27: NO