5/15: Update with link to Merc endorsements and more thoughts on Governor.
A couple people have asked me for my opinion on things on the June 5th ballot, so here are my picks and the reasons why I am voting the way am.
But before I go through the ballot, let me note that this is an important elections, at the local, state and national level. As many of you know, I have been working on registering Spanish speaking citizens at Catholic Churches in the Modesto area, where there is some amount of chronic under-voting, and we have a real chance to flip a district to a Democratic seat. There are also good people running in San Jose, as well as some pretty nefarious propositions. So please, vote. Now, on with the picks:
It is important to understand my algorithm. I will pick candidates that share my values, but you also get points for running a good campaign, and points subtracted for running a bad campaign. This is because if you can’t run a campaign effectively, you will likely be unable to govern effectively.
Governor: I am torn. I have concerns about Gavin Newsom, especially after Stephen Colbert embarrassed him on the old show. And selling gay marriage in San Francisco was not really a tough sell. Had he been mayor of Louisville or Milwaukee, that would have been something. That said, I think he as fairly represented California as Lt. Governor. On one hand, he’s a 1-percenter, scion of the Gettys, that started a winery with family money. On the other hand, he has supported important causes, we line up on most important issues, and he throws great parties for Democrats at the state convention. And he’s from Northern California. We need someone to represent the north, to make sure our resources (especially water) do not get inappropriately siphoned off by southern California. The Merc seems to like him, for good policy reasons. They does not reflect the pause some are given by his messy first divorce, nor his current wife’s penchant for unfortunate mis-statement.
Antonio Villraigosa on the other hand, to me, represents what California is becoming. California is already a minority-majority state, and we should be represented this way. He has experience running LA, no mean feat. However, I am not sure he’d factor in Norcal in his decisions due to lack of experience.
I also like Amanda Renteria, but it feels like she is ballot-riding for her next job, whatever that is.
Pick: Today I am leaning Gavin, last week it was Villraigosa.You Pick. (I’ll update this when I make a choice)
Lt. Governor: Eleni Kounalakis gave a pretty good speech at the local Dem Pary Dinner, as did Jeff Bleich. Bleich has a serious resume, as a law clerk, lawyer and ambassador. Kounalakis was also an ambassador, and was born in Sacramento. She also seems to have decent money behind her, and is running a decent campaign.
Secretary of State: Alex Padilla. Incumbent. Doing a good job.
Controller: Betty Yee. Incumbent. Doing a good job.
Treasurer: Fiona Ma. Gave a great speech at the local Dem Dinner. Very impressive and a solid accounting background.
Attorney General: Xavier Becerra. He’s been doing a great job standing up to Trump. Keep him in this seat.
Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara. The *last* thing we need is a crypto-conservative shill for the insurance industry in the job. I’m looking at you Steve Poizner.
Board of Equalization, District 2: Malia Cohen. Great local candidate.
Senator: KDL (AKA Kevin DeLeon). After enough years, a change is needed. DiFi has been maddeningly centrist on national security and privacy issues. Its time for a change.
Congress: Zoe Lofgren. Because she’s one of my heroes.
State Assembly: Evan Low. Incumbent. Doing a good job.
Superior Court, District 4: Chiarello. He’s the only one running.
Recall Persky: Yes. The Standford case is all you need to know.
Persky Replacements: Unknown. You pick.
School Superintendent: Marshall Tuck. He has good endorsements from people I trust.
County Supervisor: Don Rocha. He understands central San Jose, and he stopped by the house. He’s working hard for it. (and he offer to help me load my Kayak.).
Assessor: Larry Stone. Cuz why not.
DA: Jeff Rosen. Incumbent. Doing a good job.
Sheriff: Too scandals/deaths at the County Jail for Smith to keep her job. Hirokawa.
Mayor: No real choice. Sam Liccardo. A good man who is trying to represent ALL of San Jose, and doing a good job at it.
Prop 68: Bond measure for natural resources. YES.
Prop 69: Making sure the Legislature does not divert transportation money to something else. Duh. YES.
Prop 70: Requiring 2/3 super-majority on divesting cap-and-trade monies. I hate super-majorities. Seems anti-democratic. NO.
Prop 71: Sets effective date for ballot measures. Unclear what this is for but seems reasonable: YES.
Prop 72: from the why-are-we-deciding-this Dept.: Excludes newly constructed rain-capture equipment from reassessment. Umm….I guess so? YES. (Is the rain-capture lobby really this strong?)
RM3: Raise bridge toll. Not a big affect on me, and we need more monies for traffic alleviation. YES.
Measure B: Sham proposition. NO.
Measure C: Tucked in here is language that allows the creation of affordable housing which San Jose desperately needs. YES.