Quick election picks in California
Phil Angelidies is still my guy because, while he proved to be a bad campaigner, he is one of our finest public servants, knows policy and cares about how it impacts regular folks. A shame, really, that he let himself get defined out of the starting gate as a tax/spender who was irresponsible. The one solace: The Republican Governor has, in this election year, governed more "liberal" than many Democratic governors elsewhere. If this current Govenor continues to want to be Earl Warren or Pat Brown, then this State should do well under his likely continued leadership. But that's a big if, isn't it? Here's hoping Maria Shriver continues to influence her husband toward a government that cares about infrastructure and the working folks of this State.
Anyway, on to other endorsements:
John Garamendi, Lt. Gov. He ran a very competent campaign and has got to be a front runner for 2010 Gov race. Garamendi did a good job as Ins. Commissioner, too, especially compared to anyone else who has ever run for that office or held that office. His opponent? The pathetic Tom McClintock, who has been a Republican office holder for almost two decades, who has never presented a budget, but just says "No." McClintock is irresponsible and petulant. He deserves nothing but derision from those who value good government.
Debra Bowen, Secretary of State. Her opponent, Bruce MacPherson, supports Diebold and other electronic voting machine companies. That's enough right there, but Bowen, a seasoned public servant in CA's legislature, is a highly competent person who studies issues and looks at various merit-based sides of issues.
Attorney-General. Jerry Brown. Baggage galore, but he's running against a right wing nut job.
Steve Poizner, Ins. Commissioner. A Republican. Yes, you read that correctly. Why? Cruz Bustamante, the Democratic Party candidate, has taken his hackdom to levels I cannot countenance. Bustamante has taken the insurance company money this year, not Poizner, who is a millionaire, cultural moderate who doesn't need their money. I remain concerned however, that Poizner will listen to insurance companies more than consumers. On the other hand, with Bustamante's latest scandal, which shows he can't run an office, I believe I'd rather have a competent business person running the department than a hack who sells himself to the highest bidder.
John Chiang, Contoller. Let's see: A tax lawyer who understands public policy and the office in which he's served and says Robert Kennedy is one of his heroes...or Tony Strickland, a young punk Republican who has hacked his way through term limits in a Republican-controlled assembly district? Strickland has not held a state wide office and so hasn't had the opportunity to be the Republican's version of Bustamante. Hopefully, he won't be given the chance.
Bill Lockyer, Treasurer. I am worried a bit about Lockyer, who is a political guy through and through. However, he has run a state wide agency, Attorney General, better than I had expected and appears concerned enough about finances to be able to run this department well with Schwarzenegger. His opponent, Claude Parrish, is one of those guys who pushes tax cuts as a panacea to just about anything, which makes him too reckless for government office.
I'm voting for the 1's on bonds, though the new battle will be to control graft that arises from this much spending. Still, our State must retrofit and rebuild itself for the rest of this century.
Props 85 and 90 are misleading horrorshows that people of good will and concern for good government, respectively, should vote against. See here and here.
Prop 86 simply goes too far in punishing people for smoking, especially poorer folks who smoke. A no vote is better for our fiscal health, if I may invoke a slight pun.
Prop 87 is a sales tax and I hate sales taxes. Still, we need to fund alternative fuel research and this is a decent vehicle to do so. It will bring more research jobs to California, which pay well and bring in greater revenue for the State. And we might again lead the way toward alternative technologies that are fast becoming a commodity of Japan and potentially China.
Prop 88 is a $50 a year parcel tax for education. Not enough to care about as it brings in scant revenue and will not help schools in poor neighborhoods in any significant way. If I vote for it, it's only because I know it's going to lose and I hate to see a proposal designed to help schools lose too badly.
Prop 89 is a largely great bill slightly marred by some limits on corporate contributions (It requires corporations to give through their executives only, which is not any different than federal law--which bars corporate giving since the early 1900s). California needs a clean money initiative. It won't get it from the politicians and this is as good as we've seen in terms of propositions. Just read about it here as opposed to listening to soundbite ads.
As for Prop 83, is it really necessary to put GPS devices on those who served their time for sexual molestation...for the rest of their lives? I know there are a number of these persons who are repeat offenders and I have two relatively young children. But, there is something in my civil liberties sensibility that says this goes too far toward "Big Brother". Calling George Orwell...
Let's see, how about Prop 84, a bond for water and parks projects over the next 25 years. Here is a summary. I tend to be wary of having too many bonds out there and have disagreed many times with my Dad when I have voted against bonds he has supported. However, with one bad earthquake, we Californians will regret not shoring up levees along our coast, for example. This one-more-bond for water and parks projects is worth passing. And please note: If John Chiang has the sense he seems to have, he'll convince Lockyer not to rush this bond onto the market if the 4 investment bonds pass tomorrow. One must plan bond marketing to avoid lowering the return on bonds overall.
Well, that's it for now. Let's see what happens tomorrow...