Monday, November 03, 2008

Fullerton Voting Guide

Edited 10/27/2010 to add: For my 2010 Fullerton Voting Guide, click here.

I know, this is probably too late for all of you awesome people who vote by mail or voted early. If you have, please leave a comment describing why you voted differently from what follows so others might be more fully informed. Maybe this will help the few folks who have held out until Election Day to cast their votes.

For a PDF of the Official California Democratic Party Voter Guide for all the races in Orange County, click here. After the jump, please find the Democratic Party's official recommendations on the statewide offices and propositions with links to candidates' websites, the Orange County Democratic Party's endorsements for almost everything on the ballot in Fullerton with links to candidates' websites, my personal recommendations in the few places they differ from the Dems (i.e., why you should vote NO on Prop. 10 and YES on Prop. 11), and a rant on Orange County Measure J (in sum: vote NO on O.C. Measure J).

If you're voting anywhere in California, here are the California Democratic Party's official recommendations on the propositions (which you can verify here):

Prop 1A: vote YES - Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century.
Prop 2: vote YES - Will stop cruel, inhumane treatment of farm animals and improve our food saftey.
Prop 3: vote YES - Funding for children’s hospitals.
Prop 4: vote NO - Don’t put our teens at risk. Reject this threat to a woman’s right to choose in California.
Prop 5: vote YES - Rehab for nonviolent drug crimes.
Prop 6: vote NO - Expensive prison expansion.
Prop 7: vote NO - Hurts small renewable energy providers.
Prop 8: vote NO - Will eliminate the fundamental right to same-sex marriage in California.
Prop 9: vote NO - Costly, misguided prison reform.
Prop 10: Neutral $5 billion in energy bonds. [See why you should vote NO below)
Prop 11: vote NO - Redistricting. Constitutional Amendment and Statute (See why you should vote YES below)
Prop 12: vote YES Helps veterans buy farms & homes.

Here is the California Democratic Party's endorsements for all California districts in the United States House of Representatives.

Here is the California Democratic Party's endorsements for all districts in the State Senate.

Here is the California Democratic Party's endorsements for all districts in the State Assembly.

If you're voting in Fullerton, California, here are the California Democratic Party's endorsements with links to the candidates' websites:

United States Representative for the 40th District: Christina Avalos

State Senator for the 33rd District: Gary Pritchard

Member of the State Assembly for the 72nd District: John MacMurray

If you're voting in Fullerton, California, here are the Orange County Democratic Party's endorsements (which can be verified here) with links to the candidates' websites:

Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 12: Debra Carrillo

North Orange County Community College District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 4: Molly McClanahan

City of Fullerton, Member, City Council: Karen Haluza and Sharon Quirk

Where I Differ from the Dems

Proposition 10: Dems - Neutral vs. Sarah - No

I can't find anything on Prop. 10 on The California Democratic Party's website other than the unsupported statement that they're neutral. Some blogger named Jim has a nice collection of resources on Prop. 10. He and I came to the same conclusion: This appears to be T. Boone Pickens' personal ballot initiative. In reading the Official Arguments & Rebuttals I found it odd that a proposition about alternative fuel vehicles wouldn't be endorsed by an environmental group. Then I checked out the opposition's website, which I understand is usually a bit melodramatic, but it did lead me to some more reliable sources. For example, the California League of Conservation Voters opposes Prop. 10 and gives a very persuasive explanation:

A fossil fuel corporation owned by Texas oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens spent $3 million dollars to put Proposition 10 on the ballot. That same corporation will almost certainly reap the rewards if Prop 10 passes. California taxpayers will be stuck subsidizing big trucking companies at a cost of $335 million per year; they’ll shell out a total of $2.5 billion in subsidies to trucking companies to purchase “clean” vehicles. Prop 10 does not require any reduction in global warming emissions for trucking companies that get “clean” vehicle handouts of up to $50,000 per truck – and Prop 10 excludes hybrids from its definition of a “clean” vehicle.

The bottom line: California already faces a $15 billion budget deficit crisis, and Prop 10’s raid on the state’s coffers will mean cuts to our schools, our public safety and our health programs. Prop 10 is biased towards investments in natural gas technology— over cleaner alternatives such as wind and solar technology—while draining California’s already over-committed general fund. Although perhaps rooted in a commendable goal of environmental progress, Prop 10 is bad policy for California’s taxpayers and California’s environment.
The Sierra Club of California also opposes Prop. 10, as does the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. These are my usual go-to resources for green issues, so I take their collective opposition to Prop. 10 seriously.

While I watched Who Killed the Electric Car? thus discovering the group Plug In America after I mailed in my ballot, I find their opposition to Prop. 10 to be highly persuasive. While the broad spectrum environmental groups might not have alternative fuel vehicles as their number one priority, Plug In America does.
Plug In America opposes California Proposition 10, the so-called "California Renewable Energy and Clean Alternative Fuel Act." Don't be suckered -- Prop. 10 is a sham that would commit $10 billion in public money primarily to enrich investors in natural gas, especially T. Boone Pickens, without doing much for consumers or the environment. Under Prop. 10, a "clean alternative fuel vehicle" doesn't have to be any cleaner than current gasoline or diesel vehicles! It would divert precious resources away from better alternatives like plug-in vehicles. And that's just the start of the problems with Prop. 10.
After reviewing all the statements from respectable resources in opposition to Prop. 10, I'm really disappointed in the California Democratic Party for not opposing it. I'm going to have to write my state party chair.(back to list of California Democratic Party proposition endorsements)

Proposition 11: Dems - No vs. Sarah - Yes
I mailed in my ballot a relatively long time ago and when I discovered that the California Democratic Party opposes Prop. 11, I was unsure whether I did the right thing on this one. Then again, that same blogger named Jim has a lovely collection of resources regarding Prop. 11 and he and I agree. Finally, I went to the Yes on Prop. 11 website and was reminded of all the very good reasons I had for voting yes on Prop. 11 and how, unsurprisingly, the California Democratic Party is on the wrong side of this fight.

Currently, state representatives draw their own voting district lines. These elected officials have incentive to draw those lines in such a way as to assure their re-election. In California that has lead to a 99% re-election rate in state legislative races. Essentially, this system has turned the office of state representative into a lifetime appointment. Without the check of reelection these representatives are not responsive to the needs of their constituency and are not held accountable as there is no threat that they will not be re-elected. Systems like the one currently in place in California undermine democracy. Why vote when the system is rigged?

Proposition 11 will create a 14-member independent citizens commission to redraw state legislative district lines based on strict non-partisan rules. Unlike the current process, Proposition 11 will ensure that the redistricting process is open and transparent and will respect existing city and county boundaries and communities. It will exclude individuals with obvious conflicts of interest, including elected officials and their staff, from serving on the Commission.

The League of Women Voters of California sponsored Prop. 11. California Common Cause, a non-profit working "to strengthen public participation and to ensure that the political process serve the public interest, rather than the special interests," supports Prop. 11, as does the ACLU of Southern California. Like the League of Conservation Voters, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists are my go-to resources for green issues, The League of Women Voters, Common Cause, and the ACLU are my go-to resources for voting rights issues. I take their collective support for Prop. 11 seriously. (back to list of California Democratic Party proposition endorsements)

Orange County Measure J
I couldn't find the OC Dems' or the Cali Dems' position on Orange County pension benefits, Measure J, which asks, "Shall the ordinance amending the County Charter to require voter approval for certain increases in retirement benefits for County employees and officials be adopted?" I voted no for a multitude of reasons.

First, what the heck do we elect county officials for if not to deal with the mundane issues of governance like retirement benefits for County employees and officials? Voting yes on Measure J sets us on a slippery slope which ends in deciding which pot holes to fill by ballot measure.

Second, for the most part these benefits are negotiated as part of collective bargaining between the county and the county employees' union. A vote for measure J is a vote against organized labor, . . which is probably not the argument to raise in pro-business Orange County.

Third, every time retirement benefits might be raised, Orange County would have to put one of these measures on the ballot, which would cost the taxpayers between $100,000-$160,000 EVERY TIME, according to the official fiscal impact statement. What a waste of money. If you don't like the way the county handles retirement benefits, don't vote for Measure J. Instead vote for someone else next time a county official is up for election. Running a county by ballot measure is a waste of time and money.

According to the L.A. Times, I'm in the minority: Orange County's Measure J foes not even bothering. Nonetheless, the L.A. Times editorial page opposes J: No to Measure J in Orange County. The conservative local paper, The O.C. Register, supports Measure J: Do you want to OK county pensions?

Copy and paste the following into the word processor of your choice, print it, and take it to the polls:

President and Vice President: Barack Obama/Joe Biden
United States Representative, 40th District: Christina Avalos
State Senator, 33rd District: Gary Pritchard
Member of the State Assembly, 72nd District: John MacMurray
Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 12: Debra Carrillo
North Orange County Community College District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 4: Molly McClanahan
City of Fullerton, Member, City Council: Karen Haluza, Sharon Quirk
Prop. 1A: YES
Prop. 2: YES
Prop. 3: YES
Prop. 4: NO
Prop. 5: YES
Prop. 6: NO
Prop. 7: NO
Prop. 8: NO
Prop. 9: NO
Prop. 10: NO
Prop. 11: YES
Prop. 12: YES
Orange County Measure J: NO

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1 comments:

Chris Sanchez said...

We want to say thank you for endorsing John MacMurray. Its goos to see friends on here. Thank you once again.

-John MacMurray Campaign 08