Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Endorsements on the local and state ballots

There are many races in the mid-term elections about which I have strong negative feelings. I really don't want to see Meg Whitman become governor, which means I kinda do want to see Jerry Brown win. I don't want Carly Fiorina, a dreadful class warrior and American job killer, elected to the senate. This means I back Barbara Boxer. For me, it's a little easier backing Boxer than Brown, but in both these cases, it's more about the unacceptable alternative.

Yesterday, I sent money to four campaigns because I feel positively about them. These are the candidates and propositions I wholeheartedly endorse on the ballot.

Jerry Ellis Powell is running for the at large seat on the AC Transit Board of Directors. He is a former student of mine and new to politics. He is running as an outsider who wants to look out for the interests of the people who use the bus service. I can think of no better motive to run for office and he has my full support.

Michael Nava is running for superior court judge in San Francisco. He was one of the top two vote getters in June and is in a run-off election against an appointed incumbent. My blog buddy SFMike (Michael Strickland, not Michael Nava) has written extensively on Nava's campaign. I support Nava's efforts, though his name will not be on the ballot I cast, since I live in the East Bay and his race is a San Francisco city issue.

There are several ballot initiatives I support, but none is more important to me personally than Yes on 25. Currently, it takes a two-thirds majority to pass a budget in California. Yes on 25 will make it possible to pass a budget with a simple majority, though it will still take a two-thirds majority to raise taxes. Personally, I would like to see a smaller super-majority for tax increases, but politics is the art of the possible, and the change to majority rule on a budget vote is possible. Because many of my checks are signed by the state, this issue is very near and dear to my heart.

Because it is so hard to get tax increases, we need a new revenue stream that can't be dammed by the obstructionist Republican Party. Proposition 19 would decriminalize marijuana cultivation and tax the newly legal proceeds. It's hard to say how much money this generate, but even conservative guesses say it could be substantial.

Politicians will not end the war on drugs. The people need to get out in front if anything is going to happen. I am not a big marijuana enthusiast. I've smoked, I've inhaled, but I'm not very good at smoking in general and the pleasant effects of marijuana fight against a nasty feeling in my throat. I've tried pot brownies twice, once thirty years ago and again recently, and only a small amount can put me on my ass, and not in a nice way.

I don't want to see Prop. 19 passed to make it easier for me to buy drugs. Beer and wine are my drugs of choice and it's already legal for me to get them. I don't pretend it will have no negative effects on society. I want to see us try something different with regards to marijuana because I believe what we do now doesn't work even a little bit. We jail people for no good cause. The most logical use for ample illegal income sources is the widespread corruption of the police. With the extra revenue legal pot could bring in, state workers like me might have a little more job security. That is the main selfish reason I support Yes on 19.

If you can vote in favor of any of these candidates or propositions on your ballot this year, please do so. As I said before, these have my wholehearted support.


CDP said...

I don't have a vote in CA, but among the many awful Republican candidates, Meg Whitman is possibly the person I least want to see elected, and Carly Fiorina runs a close second on my worst candidates list.

Matty Boy said...

There are crazier candidates, but Whitman and Fiorina are the most ardent supporters of pure class warfare. I get to cast votes against them and I will do so with glee and relish.

But not the TV show and not the condiment.