October 13, 2012, Pacifica
Having just voted, I'll share some thoughts, not endorsements. Vote your conscience. If you don't have enough information to vote, don't. It's your right. The California ballot is complicated, like the state. Unfortunately, the Top-Two scam has reduced our choices.
President. Clearly that's Gary Johnson / James Gray. None of the other candidates come close . Besides, if you are in California, your vote is moot. I guess if you are in a whimsical mood, you can vote for Roseanne Barr / Cindy Sheehan. Best to avoid the Obamanible showman. That would be nuts.
For US senator, only two persons were allowed on the ballot. If you are voting for one, that would be Elizabeth Emken. Not only is she still breathing, but she would be more influential with a Republican president and Congress, still more so if they need every vote in the senate. Also, she makes a lot of sense, although you probably will never see her anywhere.
For House District 4, here's an excerpt from Jackie Speier's blurb. I will protect Social Security and Medicare and prevent all efforts to voucher the Medicare system… Whether it is holding PG&E accountable for the tragedy in San Bruno or the defense department for its handling of military rape cases, I will not flinch from doing what's right… I respectfully request your vote for a renewed chance to move America further along the path of shared prosperity.
Here is my response. First, voucher is not a verb, it's a noun. Speier opposes vouchers of any kind or any mitigation for failing federal programs. Her only plan to "protect" them is to oppose changes that might preserve them.
She will not flinch from doing what is right, according to her, something that is difficult to believe if she thinks we are moving towards "shared prosperity," as the gap between rich and poor continues to grow, and the middle class become a memory, like dial phones.Her only opponent, Debbie Bacigalup, writes:
We keep electing the same politicians although things have gotten progressively worse despite their campaign promises. That's why I am running for Congress: to help turn the country around so we can all prosper again.
Progressively worse pinpoints the problem. The vote? Speier for president of AARP. I usually pick neither candidate when it's between two I don't want, but I might go for Debbie Bacigalupi as a protest against entrenched political hacks.
For the 13th state senate district, there are two of the same Democrats we keep electing as things have gotten progressively worse in the state. My only observation about this match is that Jerry Hill's campaign signs say "Jerry Hill, Democrat for Senate." While true, it is misleading in that his opponent is Sally Lieber, Democrat for Senate. Hill has managed to get most of the hack politicians' endorsements.
The 22nd Assembly district race has a Republican, who saved money on putting a blurb in the voter guide, and a Democrat. Kevin Mullin, whose name is familiar, writes:My work experience includes service as district director for then-State Senator Jackie Speier, and political director for my father, former Assemblymember Gene Mullin. [I knew the name was familiar.] My campaign has been endorsed by Congresswomen Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo, Senators Leland Yee and Joe Simitian, Assemblymembers Jerry Hill, Fiona Ma, and Rich Gordon, all five County Supervisors, the California Democratic Party, and many other community leaders throughout San Mateo County.
That is enough for me to oppose Mullin, but not to vote for Mark Gilham. There is no shame in leaving a position blank if you like neither or don't understand a ballot measure. Skipping ahead to Pacifica City Council, pick two.
Susan Vellone says, "Let's move Pacifica forward together!" [Exclamation point a nice touch.]
Karen Ervin: "I know that, together, we can move Pacifica forward into a strong, healthy, prosperous future."Is that their way of incorporating Obama's meaningless campaign slogan "Forward" or did they hear people like the word?
Mary Ann Nihart: Former mayor. Created the Beautification Task Force, and led a community-wide effort that garnered national recognition for Pacifica as one of the six most beautiful towns in the U.S. [I thought that was because of the great views, no thanks to the City Council. But seriously, Pacifica has a mayor? I've voted here for over twelve years and I never saw a mayoral election.]
When these professional pols list their "achievements," most consisting of being on boards or holding offices, reminds me of high school students who join clubs and extracurricular activities because it will "look good" on their college applications. You can also vote for one short-term councilman. Of these, my favourite was Mike O'Neill's listed Occupation: "Father, Businessman, School Board Trustee, Dog Owner, Community Volunteer." [Makes me wonder if he's married and what his wife thinks about that.]
Then there are the usual ballot initiatives, fewer than usual in a presidential election. For one thing, the marijuana initiative did not make it.
San Mateo Measure A — NO NO NO NO NO. This will increase the sales tax for a decade. They claim the money will fund various activities you might like, but it does not explain how they've pissed away all the money they already receive. The Libertarian Party says vote NO to this regressive, unnecessary tax. Makes me proud to be on their Central Committee.
I guess B, changing to district elections, rather than at-large, is a good idea. The big-money politicians oppose it, so it must be good.
The Libertarian Party also oppose E, which is not on my ballot. Another bond, which is a way to kick costs down the road, with little clarity as to where the money will go.
Then there are state propositions, where I usually vote "No" or leave blank when they are totally confusing. I was enthralled with the ballot synopses providing such vague information as "...of the remaining revenues, a significant portion likely would be spent on schools" [Prop 39], "Fiscal impact: Increased state tax revenues for 12 years-roughly $10 billion annually in initial years, tending to grow over time" [Prop 38]
Prop 30 is another tax increase ostensibly to fund schools and public safety. They never say it's to fund the stupid garbage they waste our money on. While the last thing we need is higher taxes in California, these areas require reform and repair, not money. And it is not temporary if provisions last seven years.
Prop 31 would have the state budget cover two years, rather than one. It's one of those ideas like term limits that sound like they might fix a problem, but won't. If they can't agree to a one-year budget, what makes them think they can produce a two-year budget? No thanks.
Prop 32 would prohibit companies and unions from using payroll deductions to fund their political pals, which actually makes sense.|
Prop 34 is a referendum on the death penalty. Considering that it is never used, may as well end it and save all the money spent on endless appeals. Currently, 726 prisoners occupy the country's largest Death Row.Prop 35 is one of those laws, like Jessica's, difficult to oppose because (in this case) it pretends to stop human trafficking, which I'm pretty sure is already illegal. No one but me would have the balls to oppose it, so people can claim I support human trafficking, which I do not. Sounds to me like overreach and the kind of law that will have unintended consequences far worse than the supposed cure, like…
Three Strikes, addressed by Prop 36. Provides some exceptions to the onerous three-strikes provision. As Greg Gutfeld has pointed out, if the initiator had been more interested in bowling than baseball, you'd have been allowed far more strikes.
Prop 37. Genetically engineered foods labeling. Oh, good, another regulation of questionable benefit, definite cost. Critics charge that it is arbitrary and complicated. I can't wait for the proposition that reduces regulations.
|©2012 Gary Tutin|