Minutiae · November 6, 2006

Elections coming up soon!

Here’s how I’ll be voting on Tuesday. As you can see, I could still be persuaded on a couple of issues, so if you’re quick, send me an email and I’ll check it out.

I used Project Vote Smart and Smart Voter to help me with the issues and candidates. I like that Smart Voter actually shows me what my ballot will look like!

Governor: Phil Angelides, D

I don’t think Angelides has a chance in hell in winning against Schwarzenegger, but I’m in total agreement with his determination to find alternative sources of energy. Hopefully, he’ll also do something about Schwarzenegger’s broken promise to make college affordable.

Lt. Gov. : John Garamendi D

I don’t think it matters who’s elected as Lt. Gov. in this state. The job is pretty thankless. Bustamante could win it again if he weren’t term limited. Garamendi has a sound track record, and I like that he worked for Clinton as the Secretary of the Interior – so he knows how things are done. Maybe once Garamendi is elected Schwarzenegger will have a terrible weight-lifting accident.

Secretary of State: Debra Bowen D – Hands down best choice for this position. She put California legislation on the Internet, allowing everyone access to it. She advocates a paper trail for voters. Her opponents are advocating that voters have “valid ID” but have so far refused to say how such ID will be issued, and how much it will cost.

Controller: John Chiang D – Better educated, much more experience with State Taxes and finance than his opponents. Endorsed by the California Teachers Association. Unlike his Republican opponent, he doesn’t mention his religion – where Tony Strickland seems to think that Christians have better accounting skills

Treasurer: Claude Parrish R – This is a tough choice here. The Democratic candidate, Bill Lockyer, is a career politician with no accountancy skills or training that I can see, whereas Parrish is a trained accountant – I think this is important. Parrish has much more accounting skills than does Lockyer. The real problem that I see with both candidates is that neither have the skills to manage state investments. I’d really like to see a hot-shot Wall Street investor type in this position, but I have to make do. Parrish wants to sell State bonds to individual investors – which is okay I guess, but I know what financial straits our State is in, and I won’t be purchasing any of these bonds.

Attorney General: Chuck Poochigian R – this was really a no-brainer. Poochigian’s opponent, Jerry Brown, has been a high-visibility politician as long as I can remember, using his status to promote himself, and not focusing as much on the issues as he could have. Brown’s earlier good works are overshadowed by his radio and online ‘wacky’ personas and his (brief) abandonment of the Democratic party. In contrast, Poochigian has shown a steady determination to reduce crime and enforce the law, and has authored a lot of bills to do so. From what I’ve seen, these bills were non-partisan and acceptable to me. I just wish that Poochigian would say that he’s against the death penalty, but that would never happen.

Insurance Commissioner: Dale F. Ogden L – I don’t think Ogden has a chance of winning, but the crud that I’ve seen from Bustamante and Poizner is just too deep for me to justify voting for either of them. Poizner’s attack ads on Bustamente misrepresent the quarter million dollar fine that Cruz got for violating campaign finance laws as, “Money Laundering”; while at the same time Poizner’s ad fails to mention that Poizner also accepted illegal Insurance company cash. Putting either of these guys in charge would be like setting the fox to watch the henhouse. If only my vote counted, I’d be doing these two the favor of letting them have an undeserved vacation. Ogden doesn’t have any political experience, but he has a heck of a lot of experience as an Insurance consultant, and the education to back it up. I think his job qualifications are light years ahead of Poizner and Bustamante. I’ll give him a try.

State Board of Equalization, District Two: Tim Raboy D – Hands down winner in my book. He’s not financed very well, and his opponent, Republican Bill Leonard, has tons of financing and a slick campaign, so he might not win. However, Raboy won my heart as a previous small business owner when he declared that he wanted to make a ‘one stop shop’ for small businesses to apply for permits and licenses. Raboy has the training and experience that his opponent lacks, and is concentrating on cleaning house at the state BOE, where Leonard is worried about cutting taxes. Clean house first! The BOE is so ossified that it took several tries on my part for them to notice that I’d gone out of business. I got notices to my defunct business for years afterwards! I’ll pay more taxes if you make it easier for me to get into, and out of business when I want!

US Senator: Dianne Feinstein D – I hated her when I was in the military, but as a civilian I’ve got no complaints at all. She’s been doing a good job.

US Representative, District 21: Steven Haze. I like what Haze is saying about his stance on various issues. I like that although he isn’t a career politician, that he has a lot of experience working with various state agencies. I really like that he isn’t Devin Nunes! Haze is looking for energy independence, and he’s for defending the Constitution and preventing amendments that restrict our rights. I realized he was my choice when he pointed out that it was wrong for the GOP to ‘mock and vilify’ those patriots who speak out against the administration! WhooHoo! Sicc’em! No way he’ll win in this conservatively Gerrymandered district, but I’ll vote for him anyway!

State Senate, District 14: Wesley Firch D
State Assembly, District 29: Benjamin Avila D
Yes, I’m just voting the party ticket here.

Trustee; State Center Community College District; Trustee Area 4
Leslie W. Thonesen – Incumbent

Trustee; State Center Community College District; Trustee Area 5
Dorothy “Dottie” Smith – Incumbent

Trustee; Fresno Unified School District; Trustee Area 1
Luisa Medina – Incumbent

Trustee; Fresno Unified School District; Trustee Area 3
Stafford Parker– Incumbent

Trustee; Fresno Unified School District; Trustee Area 4
Julie Hornback – Incumbent

Trustee; Fresno Unified School District; Trustee Area 7
Patricia R. Barr– Incumbent

I have no complaints on how the incumbents have been running the school district – not having kids I don’t pay much attention to them anyway. I’d be willing to change my mind if anyone can give me a reason to vote for the challanger.

Sheriff, County of Fresno: Margaret Mims.
I like that she’s the assistant Sheriff, so she knows what’s going on. I also like that she’s on the board of the Marjaree Mason Center. It shows compassion and understanding of the legal issues of spousal abuse. Plus, the ad campaign for Minor really ticks me off.

Proposition 1A Transportation Funding Protection – YES. The gas tax fund is supposed to be for transportation only, but is being raided for other things. Voting YES will further limit these funds for transportation use only.

Proposition 1B Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security – NO.
Allows California to borrow money through Bonds for transportation infrastructure. The current method, ‘pay as you go’ is working okay. I’m not allowed to borrow infinitely when I’m in debt – why should the State be allowed?

Proposition 1C Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act of 2006 – NO.
This puts the State in the business of building housing. State housing, no matter the state, is notoriously bad. I think that there are other types of incentives that the State could do to encourage home ownership for those who can’t afford homes. Encouraging smaller house sizes instead of the McMansion mentality is a good start.

Proposition 1D Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities – YES.
This was a hard one for me. Education in California needs help, a lot of it! But 28 billion of state bonds has ALREADY been approved and used for education – with little effect. The problem is that the money doesn’t trickle down to the lowest levels where it’s needed the most. District headquarters are flush, while schools at the bottom seem to be lacking. I would be much more comfortable voting YES if there was more oversight built into this proposition.

Proposition 1E Disaster Preparedness and Flood Prevention. UNDECIDED.
I’m leaning toward ‘NO’ on this now, “Disaster Preparedness” is really not covered – it is almost all levee and flood control projects, and protection of drinking water. California has a problem with drinking water that will only get bigger unless we start desalination. I think the money would be better spent creating and upgrading a desalination infrastructure, and look at flood prevention as a seperate issue.

Proposition 83 Sex Offenders. Sexually Violent Predators. Punishment, Residence Restrictions and Monitoring – NO.
This proposition requires the creation of an expensive and sophisticated electronic monitoring system that could be hacked by any sex offender with an electronics background. The benefit is not worth the cost. This needs a serious re-write and isn’t workable as is.

Proposition 84 Water Quality, Safety and Supply. Flood Control. Natural Resource Protection. Park Improvements – NO.
Borrows money to protect rivers, lakes, beaches and bays, and also to ensure clean drinking water. I’d vote yes if they left out the drinking water part – as I said before, we’re going to hit the wall on clean drinking water if we don’t make a radical change.

Proposition 85 Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy – Hell NO!
I find the mandatory parental notification to be offensive and repulsive. I know people who were raped by their fathers – let’s make it equal, make a law that mandates notifying all rapists of a minor’s abortion! Fah! Yes, I know that this law makes an allowance for the minor to petition a judge, but what minor is going to think of that? This is just BS.

Proposition 86 Tax on Cigarettes – YES. Tax the heck out of ‘em. It won’t bother me. There are worries that bootleg cigarettes will become a new crime, but in my view why should tobacco be legal when marijuana is not? At least marijuana has proven medical benefits. I find it interesting that the same chemicals in tobacco are being outlawed in the manufacture of electronics.

Proposition 87 Alternative Energy. Research, Production, Incentives. Tax on California Oil Producers – YES.
I’d get a rebate when I turn my aging Saturn into an electric car. Get rid of oil dependence. I only wish this tax applied to all forms of oil and fuel in California, and that it generated 20 billion instead of 4 billion dollars.

Proposition 88 Education Funding. Real Property Parcel Tax – YES.
$50 property tax that will be passed to California schools. I like that this money could be used for school districts anywhere – not just the district in which the tax arose. Then poor districts in small towns could be funded like big city schools.

Proposition 89 Political Campaigns. Public Financing. Corporate Tax Increase. Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Limits – YES.
There are already campaign spending caps, but they are bypassed by special interest groups who campaign in a candidate’s stead without actually naming the candidate. In any case, I don’t think further limits will change this. What this proposition does is more positive, it GIVES money to poor candidates to allow them to run for office. It evens the playing field for those who are not independently wealthy, or who don’t have a donation generating ‘machine’. It places restrictions on this money that I like too – such as forcing recipients to publicly debate their opponents, and forcing them to not accept further contributions of moneys. The money to run this would come from corporate taxes, which I find to be especially appropriate since big corporations most often have their own lobbyists.

Proposition 90 Government Acquisition, Regulation of Private Property – YES.
I’m in favor of anything that makes “Eminent Domain” less frivolous. Fresno just had an incident where property was confiscated by the government and handed to a property developer. The property owner was paid ‘fair value’ which means whatever the government wants it to mean, and has little basis in reality.

Measure C Transportation Tax — County of Fresno (2/3 Approval Required) – YES.
This just continues an existing sales tax to continue transpiration improvements for Fresno County. The money can’t be used by the State, only by the County.