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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Election June 8th

In two weeks we have the opportunity to once again exercise the most most important right we have as American citizens: voting. With a lot on the ballot I will run through my two cents for the races on the Democratic and Republican primary ballots.

Note that I am a registered Republican so the recommendations below indicate that barring some unforeseen circumstance this is how I will be completing my ballot. For the Democratic candidates I am using my wife's sample ballot and will provide my thoughts on why if I were a registered Democrat for my choice.

Governor: It seems the Democrats have only one selection: Jerry Brown. While he has six opponents none of them have a chance. With Jerry you will be getting an old fashioned liberal. For the Republican side I am voting for Meg Whitman, I feel she has the stronger backbone to stand up to the Democratic majority that is guaranteed to hold in the Legislature against further tax increases and expansion of our state government.

Lt. Governor: This is an anyone but vote and I need to do a little more research but it seems tough to beat the ones with name recognition. For Republicans anyone by Abel Maldonado who sold out on his personal vow to not raise taxes as a member of the California Senate and cast the vote needed to give us the highest tax increase in history last year. He did it so he could be appointed Lt. Governor by Schwarzenegger, thankfully the Democrats in the Legislature have not confirmed him. On the Democratic side anyone but serial law breaker Gavin Newsom. As Mayor he has encouraged law breaking by making San Francisco a sanctuary city, performing gay marriages and even cheating on his wife. The guy seems to have no moral compass for right or wrong, for law or lawlessness, it is what ever makes him happy.

Attorney General: Republicans need to vote for John Eastman, who I wrote about in March and am endorsing. For the Democrats I know that Kamala Harris has support locally, but as DA in San Francisco she has aided and abetted the law-breaking of Mayor Newsom, while I am in favor of gay marriages it is not the law in California, he job as DA and as AG if elected is to enforce the law not allow politicians to break the laws. For Democrats I would take Chris Kelly, like Eastman a non-politician with no favors to pay-back. We need a strong AG to enforce the laws and Constitution of this State, not go off on their own agenda as we have seen with current AG Jerry Brown.

Insurance Commissioner: I can't believe we vote for this position. On the Republican side we have one member of the Legislature who like Maldonado broke a no tax pledge to his constituents (Villines) who I cannot vote for, therefore I am voting for Brian Fitzgerald who is in the Insurance Department's enforcement division. On the Democrats side two members of the Legislature are running, Hector De La Torre who annually tries to pass a law to give illegal immigrants drivers' licenses and Dave Jones. I hold my nose and vote for Jones.

U.S. Senate: I doubt any Democrat will beat incumbent Barbara Boxer, ma'am, though I think it is funny that uber-liberal Mickey Kaus is running against her because she is not liberal enough. On the Republican ballot I stick with my endorsement of Carly Fiorina from February. Acknowledging that Tom Campbell and Chuck Devore are very good candidates and would do a very good job, I think Fiorina has the best chance of unseating Boxer.

U.S. Representative (37th): Yeah! I actually have a candidate on the GOP primary for the 37th District! And it is a great candidate with a solid chance to win the general election in November: Star Parker. On the Democrats side we have incumbent Laura Richardson who is under ethics investigations and has a well chronicled history of personal financial mismanagement versus two always-runs and a new comer. The new comer deserves support and votes from local Democrats, Terry Ponchak. He is from the Bixby Knolls area of Long Beach, local attorney, involved in the community and is not Richardson. I wish him well in unseating an incumbent in the primary--it has happened in other parts of the country will local voters see it happen here?

Member of the Assembly (55th): For Republicans there is one name on the ballot, Christopher Salabaj. For Democrats incumbent and organized labor's best friend Warren Furutani who has never met an anti-business/pro-labor rally he didn't like, he should have an SEIU patch on his suit.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Not a visible office but an important one, both parties have the same names on their ballots. I have not researched every person, however I do know that Diane Lenning on the bottom of the ballot has been criss-crossing the state listening to parents, teachers and administrators as she campaigns for office. I am voting Lenning.

Propositions: NO on all propositions but Prop 13 which limits the reassessment of property that has undergone seismic retrofitting. My initial instinct would be to vote no on this, however if a building has to undergo state mandated seismic retrofitting, as in a hospital or private school or college, then why should that retrofit further increase costs by raising taxes? Yes on Prop 13.

Regarding Prop 14, aka the open primaries proposition, I am against this. This proposition only helps the majority party and hurts the minority party and minority candidates. A case in point is the race for governor. There is no way that Jerry Brown loses the Democratic nomination. If Prop 14 were law now this guaranteed win allows the Democrats to encourage their party members in key districts to vote for the candidate of the Democrats choice, most likely the candidate least likely to win the November election. The same can happen in strong Republican districts for Assembly and Senate, GOP voters putting votes to the weakest Democratic candidates to ensure wins in November. If we are having open primaries then ban parties and make all statewide offices non-partisan and run like city council elections, unless someone gets 50% plus one of the votes then have a run-off. Open primaries allows more dishonesty into the political process, vote no on Prop 14.

The only major news that can come from this election is the race between Ponchak and Richardson for the Democratic nomination for the House of Representatives, if Ponchak can upset Richardson it will continue the story of an upset electorate across the country. I hope this is the story that is on the top of the fold on June 9th: Ponchak Wins.



Bob Schilling said...

Interesting thoughts.... You seem to be particularly upset with people undertake civil disobedience. It's good you weren't around when we were integrating lunch counters or resisting the war in Viet Nam. That point of view, it seems to me, helps to support whoever is currently in power -- something I did not expect you to do.

I'm also surprised that you don't support open primaries. Take the current primary for governor as an example. In an open primary, Steve Poizner, who was a pretty decent Insurance Commissioner, could run as the centrist I think he is, and might give Jerry a real run for second place. And the effects in the State Legislature would be significant. In both Republican and Democratic districts, a more broad coalition of support would be possible. I would say that conservatives would be much in favor here, since otherwise they seem likely to be condemned to be a permanent minority, limited to blocking measures they don't like. Which, these days, seems to be everything.

Dennis C Smith said...

Bob: I don't have a problem with civil disobedience, I do have a problem with people who take an oath and break that oath. Elected officials are not sworn into office to be civil disobedients outside the law, but rather to work within the Constitutional framework to uphold existing laws and change laws with which they disagree through the processes established. What if the Mayor of Long Beach suddenly decided that he did not believe in liquor ordinances and refused enforcement so bars and stores could open where ever they wanted? Extreme example but nonetheless an example of an individual in power exercise the power of office and violating existing laws.

The issue with the open primary, and using Poizner, is that while you consider him centrist, many in the GOP consider him somewhat liberal, at least not on the right tick of centrist (many by the way would probably characterize me in the same manner given my stance on many social issues). So the choices are the far-left Brown or the "centrist" Poizner who has a history of not being fiscally conservative, let's say fiscally centrist. We get Arnie II with more tax hikes and no cuts to state spending and government growth during a recession when we are hemorrhaging jobs and employers.

If tables turned and GOP were able to stuff ballot so the Democratic nominee is "centrist" so your choices were what the GOP defines as centrist and a solid conservative while the candidate you supported, and most of your party, sits on the sidelines, would you be in favor of this? I suspect not, but being California there is little chance of that occuring from the Democratic side for many years.

Thanks as always for your comments and checking in. DCS