Sent: Sunday, October 14, 2012 7:45 PM
Ballot Recommendations, Part II
Some Legislative Races; L.A. County Ballot Measures
For the most part, the critical state and national legislative races are about Democrats versus Republicans. WHERE THAT IS THE CASE, VOTE FOR THE DEMOCRAT! I say that even though you may not be happy with the Democrat who represents you. But in partisan politics, numbers count. (Then find and support a more Progessive Democrat to run in the Primary against this person). Every Congressional Democrat in the House of Representatives means that Nancy Pelosi could become Speaker of the House instead of John Boehner. That is an immense difference on critical issues of the budget, and all domestic parts of the safety net. And it is very important to tax policy and environmental matters.
In the Assembly, Democrats are approaching the 2/3 threshold which would mean a possible tax reform that could reorganize the system to reflect that California is now a service economy and not a manufacturing economy. Even if that lofty goal is not achieved, every Democrat above 41 Democrats in the Assembly means that good legislation has more places to look for supporting votes. And the State Senate really is in the hunt for a 2/3 majority. Ironically it is due to the fact that the Republican right wing and the Liberals joined forces and, for better or for worse, took redistricting out of the hands of the California legislature.
I only comment or make recommendations where I know the people and/or the issues. So my not mentioning a race either means that I do not know enough about it, or that it is a Democrat against a Republican, and the Democrat gets my nod every time. However, there are a few Democrat vs. Democrat run-offs, and in a few cases, I have a recommendation.
As always, if you have a different view on one or more recommendations below, please feel free to let me know. I always learn from the exchange, and occasionally change my recommendation.
Los Angeles County Ballot Measure: SummaryNO on Measure A; and
YES on Measures B and J
Measure A: Advisory Vote Only
This measure asks the voter's opinion on whether the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor should be changed to an Appointed Office, instead of an Elected Office. This is an Advisory Vote, which means that before those who want the change act, they want to know the feeling of the people who would later vote on an actual changein other words, us.
I believe that the voters should continue to elect the Los Angeles County Tax Assessor. That is because I do think that having the Board of Supervisors make the appointment instead would make this important office even more political than it already is. I personally believe that elections are less corruptible than appointments, though both can be manipulated for political purposes. This comes up now because of the allegations (no trials yet; no convictions; but plenty of investigations) of the previous County Tax Assessor. I will vote "NO" on Measure A.
MEASURE B: A COUNTY ORDINANCE:
If passed, this Measure will require a Los Angeles County health permit in order to produce an "adult film" in Los Angeles County. It further would require the use of condoms by "adult film" actors who have sexual intercourse as part of the film. Violations of the ordinance are subject to civil fines and criminal charges.
Though on the whole, I think this is a good idea. HIV/AIDS has diminished in some populations, while it continues to grow in other sectors. But if the sexual encounters are a part of incredibly profitable industry, that industry can and should be required to protect the health of its employees. I will vote "YES" on Measure B.
MEASURE J: LOS ANGELES COUNTY MTA
Currently, the sales tax in Los Angeles County includes a one-half cent tax for the Metropolitan Transit Authority. Measure J would continue that ½ cent sales tax for an additional 30 years. If we are ever to get light and heavy rail to relieve the traffic in most parts of Los Angeles County that is grinding us to a daily standstill, we will need to pass this measure. The only opposition seems to come from those who oppose all tax measures that do not directly benefit them personally, and from those who oppose all tax measures period. It is essential for movement of people, goods and services in this county, that we pass Measure J. I will vote "YES" on Measure J.
Los Angeles County District Attorney: I will vote for Jackie Lacey.
SELECTED STATE ASSEMBLY RACES:
AD 39: This is a Democrat vs. Democrat between two candidates that would probably vote pretty much the same if elected. But one of them moved in from Riverside County to run for the seat, and the other is Democrat Luis Lopez who has lived and worked in this district for most of his adult life. This is pretty much the old AD 45 which I represented from 2000-2006. Luis Lopez will take leadership on protecting women's reproductive rights, as he is on the Board of Planned Parenthood L.A. His years working in the healthcare industry will be invaluable as the state legislature works to implement "Obamacare."
AD 59: Another two Democrat run-off from the Primary. This time it is Regie Jones-Sawyer vs. Rodney Robinson. Regis Jones-Sawyer will hit the ground running, and would be a good choice in AD 59.
SELECTED STATE SENATE RACES:
SD 19: My friend and former colleague in the State Assembly, Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson is trying to return the Central Coast to Democrat hands. If you live in her district, vote for her and help in any way you can. She is part of the possible 2/3 take-over by Democrats in the State Senate. HELP HER ANY WAY YOU CAN.
SD 27: My friend and former colleague in the State Senate, Democrat Senator Fran Pavley has had most of her Senate District removed from the current seat she is seeking. Though this is technically a re-election campaign, so much of the district is new to Senator Pavley, the Republicans hope to knock her off. Senator Pavley is the author of history-making legislation regarding green house gas emissions in California, and enjoys a well-deserved international reputation as an advocate for the environment. And, she was a school teacher to boot. HELP HER RETAIN HER SEAT!
SELECTED CONGRESSIONAL RACES:
CD 7: Ami Bera(D) has a real chance to knock of the right-wing Republican, Dan Lundgren.
CD 9: Incumbent Democract Jerry McNerney has a Koch brothers and other right-wing funding against him in attempt to knock out this progressive voice.
CD 10: Democrat Jose M. Hernandez has a shot a knoking off right-wing incumbent Republican Jeff Dunham.
CD 24: Incumbent Democrat Lois Capps has a nationally financed opponent because she has been a Progessive voice in the House of Representations. So-called "moderate" Abel Maldonado is a kindly man, with whom I served in Sacramento. He speaks in very "moderate" terms; but about 98% of the time he votes with his admittedly right-wing Republican Party leadership. Don't be taken in. Lois Capps is the real deal.
CD 26: Democrat Julia Brownley is locked into a pitched battle with right-wing Tony Strickland. I served with Strickland and his wife in the Assembly. Julia Brownley, on the other hand, was a more than able advocate for the state's children as Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. Her election moves us closer to regaining a majority in the House.
**CD 30: Two Democrats face each other in this donny-brook. Congressmen Brad Sherman and Howard Berman are two Congressmen who were put into the same district by the new redistricting process. The difference between the two is enormous. Brad Sherman has had almost 200 Town Hall meetings in his district, but has almost no legislation passed (2 of his 3 passed bills name a post office in his district). Howard Berman, with whom I disagree on many issues, however has some notable legislation and a progressive record beginning when he was in the California Assembly. The Agricultural Labor Relations Act made California the first of any state in the U.S to recognize farm workers' right to organize themselves into a union. Congressman Berman was one of a very, very, very, very small number of Congress members to vote "no" on the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" which says that same-gender couples cannot marry according to federal law.
CD 33: Redistricting has substantially changed the district of Congressman Henry Waxman. In addition he has a well-financed Republican opponent. We cannot afford to lose this Progressive voice in Congress.
CD 35: Great grandma and moderate Democrat Gloria Negrete-McLeod is trying to unseat a "Democrat-in-name-only" Joe Baca in this contested Democrat vs. Democrat seat. I served with then Assembly member Negrete-McLeod who voted courageously to advance the rights of all, and for our environment, even though she was under enormous pressure to cave. Joe Baca never did that in his legislative life.
CD 36: Democrat Raul Ruiz has a shot to knock off Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack in the Palm Springs area. If successful, it helps regain the House.
CD 41: In another tight race, this time in Riverside County, Democrat Mark Takano could very well unseat incumbent Republican John Taraglione. A very key race to help if one can.
CD 47: Democrat, Senator Alan Lowenthal, is in a struggle to get a Long Beach Congressional seat against a well financed Republican.
CD 52: Democrat Scott Peters could actually send packing longtime right-wing Republican incumbent Brian Bilbray. Help Scott Peters retire Bilbray.
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