|Mostly because of this stunt, I'm not voting this way. Photos by yours truly.|
This site gets about three hundred readers a day. That's not enough to swing a single election, even in a district. Nonetheless, lots of people have asked me how I'm voting on various matters, especially on Propositions, and lots of people share this kind of information with others. I published my Proposition slate on Facebook and I'll add a few more of my decisions here. I'll also summarize why I'm voting the way I am.
Generally, as longtime readers know, I only make endorsements rarely. In this particular election, we have an unusual amount of high stake propositions, and an unusual amount of high stake elections for office. There are so many instances where the alternatives are awful that I feel obliged to let you know where I'm at on much.
President: Barack Obama
This is the absolute easiest decision on the ballot. The man has a magnificent record; his two opponents are demonstrable liars set on sending the country back to the Paleocene. This endorsement matters least of all, because the President will win California by 2,300,000 votes if he wins it by one. But my broader suggestion to you between now and Tuesday is simply to drive to an Obama phone bank and volunteer your time. If you need to know where one near you is, email me and I'll tell you.
Senate: No Endorsement
I'm voting for Feinstein and she'll win but I certainly wouldn't recommend her. Hell, I haven't even seen her since 1987. If she thanks the Farm Lobby again on election night, ahead of everyone else, as she did in 2000, I may lose it. What do our Senators really do for LA, anyway? People in LA should ask themselves that.
House: Adam Schiff; Howard Berman, No Other Endorsements
My Congressman, Adam Schiff, will win by 45,000 votes. His opponent Phil Jennerjahn, whom I've interviewed twice, is an affable extremist, endorsed by the Tea Party, and when he's not calling Obama a Pharaoh, a Caesar, or a tyrant, he goes out of his way to eat at Chick-fil-A. No contest. But I wish Schiff would have shown up once in Los Feliz. He doesn't seem to know his new district well. Berman's opponent Sherman similarly seemed like an extremist to me when he got up in Berman's face--in fact, he looked more like a dementia-plagued extremist than a mere political extremist. That disqualified Sherman for me.
Assembly: Mike Gatto, Richard Alarcon
I've interviewed both of these people many times; and they're both running against de facto development handmaidens. Gatto is one of the most effective legislators in Sacramento; his bill permitting home preparation of room temperature goods without rental of a commercial kitchen is a boon to an important cottage industry. I wrote about the Alarcon race at CityWatch; his opponent Bocanegra has been particularly noxious, flooding his district with a flyer a day and claiming to be a professor--which is doubly stupid because such a claim gets you nowhere.
|The profile of James, the back of the DA, the gravitas of Orlov.|
Jackson is the sole Republican for whom I'm voting. When I've interviewed him, he seems aggressive enough and heady enough to run the top legal office in the County. I also hated the way the Mayor's machine slammed a hastily called press conference on behalf of Lacey into an event that was supposed to be about Cooley's endorsement of Kevin James. Happily, the Mayor's machine didn't fetch many journalists that day, except for the usual swimsuit models from the local fishwraps and Fox; but Orlov, Randy Economy and yours truly were all also there to watch the shocking and distasteful proceedings. To see Cooley line up with Lacey while wearing a James button was indeed an ironic treat.
Prop 30: NO.
Schools already get enough money from us. For instance, the average LA homeowner pays $555 in property taxes beyond what she already pays to the State, for the most mammoth construction slush fund outside of the Big Dig--and will continue to pay the surcharge until 2044. You want to pay still more? No. It's time for the schools to start rearranging their money better, not asking us for still more.
Prop 31 NO.
This is a measure that at the end of the day will give corporations more clout and unions less clout in Sacramento. I want an even playing field for both, and am especially concerned about the worker's side.
Prop 32 NO.
This is the most disingenuous proposition on the ballot, consolidating more power over the legislature in the hands of corporate donors, and taking it from ordinary workers.
Prop 33 YES.
It's a very confusing proposition and we already over-regulate auto insurance in this state. But it's being spearheaded by Mercury to bring more uninsured into coverage, and figures to make auto insurance more competitive. This is one instance in which corporate sponsorship is an attempt to create a more level playing field in the auto insurance industry. Rarely are there propositions that embrace risk worth taking a chance on--but this one is one such.
Prop 34 YES OR NO.
I don't believe the death penalty is moral. Nor do I believe it should be settled at the state level--to me the Supreme Court must overturn this barbaric practice throughout the nation. Nor am I fussy for the idea of crazy killers in Texas moving to California because they know at least they won't be put to death here. I'm voting YES, but I don't feel compunction over your NO vote either.
Prop 35 NO.
Few people know that this legislation is being sponsored by a former top security officer at Facebook. The worst thing about it is that it would re-categorize anyone convicted of prostitution as a sex offender--for life. These women are already at enough risk without having to wear a lifelong scarlet letter. To me, this is a reactionary law that imposes longer prison sentences for categories of felonies that seem already adequately punitive. It also redefines child pornography, and I don't think the law should be re-codifying that, either, as present laws seem adequate. I ultimately worry that this law might inadvertently lead to the desperate committing even more sex crimes. And I doubt its constitutionality anyway.
Prop 36 YES.
Some administrations of Three Strikes are absurd. This law would change some of the absurdities.
Prop 37 YES.
We need to know what we are consuming. Period.
Prop 38 NO.
As I said: schools have enough money, they need to spend it better.
Prop 39 NO.
This creates a slush fund for clean energy projects. I don't mind taxing multistate businesses, but I do mind earmarking the taxes for this specific purpose.
Prop 40 NO.
We redistricted. Nobody cares. It happens every census. It actually makes sense to redraw the boundaries from time to time. And it makes sense to do it all again when it's patently rigged. I was not in love with any of the redistricting at any level--I wrote a lot about this as it was happening, and I think it was rigged towards over-representation of Latinos. You can't blame Latinos for this; you needn't blame anyone, in fact, because it's already done. If the Courts take a crack at the way the State Senate is redrawn, they can't do any worse.
Measure A - YES.
We did it one way, letting the voters select the County Assessor, and the man is going to jail. We need to do it another way.
Measure B - YES.
Protect the health of skin flick biz. But why can't our legislators do this on their own, without involving us?
Measure J - NO.
Is New York City's subway working? Parts are not, but the out-of-style bus system was the first public transit system to fire up after the catastrophe. Let's continue to build light rail a piece at a time, and not use the excuse of jobs to put funding for this on the backs of the same urban poor who depend on mass transit.