Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Jackie G: Unsolicited Ballot Recommendations

From: jackie goldberg
Sent: Friday, May 14, 2010 4:07 PM
Subject: Unsolicited Ballot Recommendations

Hi, Here are my unsolicited recommendations for the June 8th ballot. As
always, if you disagree, please write and tell me so. And if you do NOT
wish to receive these, just send me a note by return email, and you shall
see them no more.

I did NOT recommend in all races here in California as I did not know enough
about the candidates or more likely, there was only one likely outcome, and
I though it unnecessary to note my support.

This is NOT an election to take likely. I urge you to vote, send money, and
be active wherever you can. The right is growing, and right-wing populism
is threatening this nation. Only active responses can make a difference.

Be well, Jackie

May 2010

Dear Friends,

June 8th is an important date in California and in the nation. It is on
this date, we voters decide on some ballot issues, and on the candidates
that will face each other in November. So, many people have asked me to
talk about this forthcoming Primary Election. In this little letter, I will
talk about the "Good, the All Right, and the Ugly" ballot Propositions. I
will also talk about some California political races in the California
Democratic Party Primary. I am still working on the Judges, and should have
some information for you on that score next week. Here goes!

The Good


This is probably the best Proposition on the ballot. Called the "California
Fair Elections Act," it would repeal the current ban on public funding of
campaigns here in our State. It would also create a voluntary system for
candidates for Secretary of State to qualify for a public campaign grant if
they agree to limitations on spending and private contributions.

Candidates for this ONE office in 2014 and 2018 could choose to receive
public funds to pay the cost of campaigns if they solicit enough $5
contributions to qualify. The measure would raise about $6 million every
four years would come from a biennial fee on lobbyists, lobbying firms and
lobbying employers, and from voluntary contributions.

now, as Samuel Clemmons once said, we ."have the best government money can
buy." The ridiculous amount spent on campaigns means all are beholden to
the corporate major donors if they want to be elected.

I am voting "YES on Proposition 15" on this small but essential first step
toward reducing the power of the current corporate stranglehold on our
elections process. The measure is supported by the California Nurses
Association, the California Clean Money Action Fund, Common Cause, and a
host of other groups and individuals. At the moment there is very little
organized opposition to the measure. That could change.

The All Right

Proposition 13

This measure is called "Limits on Property Tax Assessment. Seismic
Retrofitting of Existing Buildings. Legislative Constitutional Amendment."
It was put on the ballot after a 2/3 vote in both the Senate and the
Assembly of California. That usually means one of two things: (1) pretty
much everyone agrees on the matter; or (2) the Republicans would not vote
for the budget until the legislature agreed to put this on the ballot. In
this case, there was agreement on the issue. So far, the measure has NO

It would allow owners of properties who have to make seismic upgrades for
earthquake safety to do so without triggering a reassessment on their
property taxes. This exclusion most likely would lead to a minor reduction
of local property tax revenues, but would only be in effect until the
property is sold.

I am voting "YES on Proposition 13" on this measure, because who knows when
and where the next earthquake will hit, and preventative building measures
should not increase one's
property taxes until the property is sold.

The Ugly

Propositions 14, 16 and 17 are all bought and paid for by Special Interest
Corporate money and their wealthy friends. Each is an abomination, and
deserves a resounding
"NO" vote, which is what I will do on June 8th.

Proposition 14

Brought to you by Governor Schwarzeneggar's "Dream Team" of corporate
contributors, it is funded by the Chamber of Commerce, Eli Broad, the CA
Hospitals Committee, the CA Association Health Underwriters, Blue Shield,
and Hewlett Packard (HP), This measure would create an "open primary" system
where any voter could vote in any political party during the primary
election, and would have the two highest vote-getters appear on the run-off
ballot. That means that no Republican would appear on the ballot in a heavy
Democratic district, and no Democrat might appear in a heavily Republican

But the biggest problem is that corporations would be able to focus right
wing voters to do mischief in key Democratic primaries. The goal of this
measure is to reduce or eliminate progressive candidates from making it to
the General Election ballot. Had
this measure been in effect when I ran, I believe my less progressive
opponents would have won in several of my elections. Some argue that this
measure could also mean that
Democrats could vote in Republican primary elections, and kick out the most
conservative of candidates. That may also be true. But probably the most
disgusting part of this measure is that candidates would no longer be
required to put a Party Designation on the ballot at all! That means, Meg
Whitman, currently running for Governor without ever mentioning that she is
a Republican, would never have to tell anyone she is a Republican!
Republicans running for and holding office know that at this moment, they
are very unpopular because of their past destructive years in power.

So they want to get Republican money, be backed by corporate funding, and
NEVER have to tell you who they really are. This is a rotten measure, and a
very cynical one.

And I am voting a decisive "NO on Proposition 14" to try to stop this
madness. You will hear that this will mean "more people will come out to
vote." There is no evidence of that. But the mischief caused by no party
affiliation is not easy to calculate. But it will only help the right-wing
who wants to look like "independents" but are really ideologically radical
right-wing members of the Republican Party. This is a dirty trick. Don't
be fooled.

Proposition 16

This measure has only one contributor: Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E). So
far this one private energy company in northern California has spent $22,
914,022 trying to prevent a not-for-profit East Bay Municipal District
(EastBay MUD) from being able to place on local ballots the choice of
whether they want a non-profit or a for-profit provider of electricity. It
is that simple. Since some of these elections have already occurred, and
since PG&E fears it will lose these elections, they are trying to get the
rest of the State
to require a 2/3 vote on the ballot to change companies, or to start their
own electrical provider (like we in L.A. have DwP, the Dept. of Water and

Pitched as a "let the People vote," if this measure passes, it would mean
that Local governments would no longer be able to implement proposals
involving the start-up or expansion of electricity service either through
approval by a majority of voters or by actions of governing boards. PG&E
charges more for electricity that East Bay MUD, because they have to make a
profit and pay their stockholders. This is why DwP customers pay lower
costs for electricity than those who get power from Southern California

Don't be fooled by the many advertisements on TV, or the pretty full color
brochures coming to your homes. This is an Anti-democratic measure,
designed to keep PG&E the only choice people in northern California have. I
am voting a big "NO" on Proposition 16.

Proposition 17

So far, Mercury Auto Insurance Company has put in $5,250,000 into this
campaign, and they are the ONLY contributor to this measure. What Mercury
Insurance wants to be able to do is to encourage people to switch to Mercury
Auto Insurance by offering a lower price to people who have always had auto
insurance. But they also want to be able to charge higher premiums to
people who have had a "break" in insurance coverage to pay for the lower
premiums of their new customers.

Think of who will be paying the higher costs: people in the military who
discontinue auto insurance when they are deployed overseas; low income
people who discontinue
auto insurance when they stop driving a car because it was temporarily too
expensive to keep it up; people who move from one state to another for a
job, and then move back to California; and those laid off jobs, or had work
hours reduced, who also stop driving until they can find work again. You get
the idea. These people will get a SURCHARGE of as much as $1,000 even if
they are good drivers and have NO accidents, simply because they had a
"break" in coverage. And they will be paying this money so that those of us
with stable incomes and higher incomes can be enticed away from our current
insurance provider to go to Mercury Insurance. That makes me mad. And I am
voting another big "NO" on Proposition 17. The opposition is the Campaign
for Consumer Rights (

Proposition E (Los Angeles Unified School District Special Election)

This measure will raise money for the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Passing Prop. E will prevent teacher lay-offs, restore art and music
programs in the schools, and will keep on school police and nurses and other
safety employees. It will cost a property owner just $100 per year, or
about $8.34 a month, and yet it will help keep LAUSD class sizes smaller,
and keep arts programming in the schools. I will be voting a big "YES" on
Proposition E which is on the very LAST PAGE of your ballot!

In Summary on the ballot propositions: I will vote "YES" on Propositions 13
and 15, and, local LAUSD Proposition E; and
I will vote "NO" on Propositions 14, 16, and 17.

Candidates in the Democratic Primary

I have not endorsed in many races, but here is who I am supporting in
several key Democratic Primary Elections:

Attorney General -Kamala D. Harris (currently D.A. in San Francisco) is

Insurance Commissioner-Dave Jones

Superintendent of Public Instruction-Tom Torlakson

Lieutenant Governor-Janice Hahn

Some statewide races have only one candidate in the Democratic Primary; and
for Governor, I have no recommendation at this time.

Congressional District #24-Marie Panec

Congressional District #33-Karen Bass

Congressional District #36-Marcy Winograd

Congressional District #46-Ken Arnold

Congressional District #50-Francine Busby

CA State Assembly District #35-Susan Jordan

CA State Assembly District #47-Holly J. Mitchell

CA State Assembly District #50-Ricardo Lara

CA State Assembly District #57-Roger Hernandez

CA State Assembly District #79-Ben Hueso

CA State Senate District #2-Noreen Evans

CA State Senate District #40-Mary Salas

Candidate for Nonpartisan Local Campaign

Los Angeles County Assessor-John R. Noguez

If you want to know more about who is supporting them, and giving them
funding, go to the following website, where all is revealed: . I usually follow the money when making key decisions
on candidates and issues.

For California candidates, you can also look at: Here you will find out who is spending what
on which candidates and issues. You can also find out how to reach a
particular campaign if you want to send money, or volunteer to help in this
final critical month before the California Primary Election on June 8th,

Get involved! Vote like your life depended on it! Be well. As always,
warmest regards, Jackie


First, let me say that I goofed when I added Proposition E (funds for L.A.
Schools). Because I was hurrying to get this to all of you, I added it to
the end of the Propositions, which makes it look like it is in the heading
"UGLY." Nothing could be further from the truth. This small measure, if it
passes by a super-majority, will prevent many teacher lay-offs, keep class
sizes from growing, and much, much more. It should be under the heading of
Judges, I am voting as follows:

Office #35-Soussan BRUGUERA; Office #73-Laura A. MATZ;Office #131-Maren
NELSON. For Office #28-Mark AMELI; Office #107-Valeria Salkan; and finally
for Office #117-Alan SCHNEIDER.

Below, find some commentary on all of these. These are NOT easy to figure
out. So in addition to my choices, I am including other information which
may or may not cause you to vote differently than listed above. Not a
problem for me. I just want you to have as much information as I could

The three incumbents who are being challenged for no apparent reasons
deserve to be re-elected: Soussan BRUGUERA (Office #35), Laura A. MATZ
(Office, #73), and especially Maren NELSON (Office #131). If it makes a
difference to you, I don't know Judge Matz's political party affiliation,
but the other two are both endorsed by the Democratic Party.

Office #28: This is a crowded race with 8 candidates, 6 of whom are rated
"qualified" by the County Bar, 2 rated "not qualified," and none rated
"well qualified." Donna Groman has endorsed C. Edward Mack again. I believe
that he's a criminal defense attorney, he's run numerous times, and finally
made the run-off last time. Zeke Zeidler has endorsed Referee Randy
Hammock, a colleague, but Zeke has become more and more concerned about a
lack of self-awareness. The L.A. County Democratic Party and Stonewall have
endorsed Mark Ameli, who would be the first judge of Iranian descent in the
county; there's a possibility that he and a couple of other candidates
successfully appealed "not qualified" ratings up to "qualified," but I have
no way of knowing if there's any truth in that. All three of these
candidates are rated "qualified" by the L.A. County Bar.

Office #107: I've endorsed Valerie Salkin, as has the Stonewall Democratic
Club. Valerie was the student rep on the ABA Board, actively championing
LGBT issues (as a straight woman). Valerie is rated "qualified" by the
Bar, but both of the other candidates are rated "Well Qualified." Tony de
la Reyes has served on the Los Angeles City Police Commission, Civil
Service Commission, and Cultural Affairs Commission and some endorse him
as well.

Office #117: Alan Schneider is the only candidate rated "well qualified"
and he has been endorsed by Stonewall.


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