Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fullerton Voting Guide?

If you're a Democrat or of a more generally liberal persuasion, voting in Orange County can seem a bit disheartening. I've put together what I can figure are the best of bad choices with links to other resources so you can make up your own mind. Seated in a conference room in Cal. State Fullerton's Pollack Library, awaiting the start of a talk “Public History, Public Trust: Remaking the Nixon Library” by Dr. Timothy Naftali, the Director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, and their Education Specialist, Mindy Farmer, at Cal State Fullerton on Thursday, October 21st, a handful of folks from the political science department discussed the upcoming election. The two big topics of conversation were the Fullerton city council and the judicial seats.

Regardless your position on the candidates and issues, the most important thing is that you vote. The registration deadline has passed in California, but if you're registered, you can vote. The Obamas are asking you to commit to vote and share that commitment through your social network so as to promote voting among your friends.

For the Democratic Party of Orange County's endorsements click here.

For City of Fullerton, Member, City Council, Full Term, I'm voting for Jesse LaTour. Of all the local candidates, I am most excited about LaTour. I met him at a dinner party. Lovely young man. As one of my friends said, "Well, he's sure not more of the same." I'm definitely not voting for Bruce Whitaker, as Red County loves him. I'm not voting for Barry Levinson because he seems like a loose cannon, and not in a fun, alternative way. Greg Sebourn is endorsed by scary conservatives.

For City of Fullerton, Member, City Council, Short Term, I'm voting for Anthony N. Fonte. According to the League of Women Voters, Roland Chi and Bruce Whitaker are both endorsed by Republicans. I liked what Fonte said about this post being non-partisan so he's not accepting any endorsements. I also like his idea to turn Coyote Hills into a park. Fullerton Stories has profiles of each of these candidates.

As far as the judicial races go, I'd like to offer as a caveat the words of a wise commentator on Red County.

It's a bad idea to vote against a judge or justice simply because you disagree with some of his or her rulings. We don't want the bench to be subject to the tyranny of the majority, which is what would happen if everyone did as you suggest. The judiciary needs to be independent of political pull, and we should be voting against judges only if they are plainly incompetent, guilty of some moral turpitude, or similar problem.

I don't know of any of the judges or justices who meet that standard. I think we should either vote in favor of all those on the November ballot, or refrain from voting in those races.
If one believes that judges should be appointed rather than elected does one best express that opinion by voting yes for all, voting no for all, or not voting in judicial races? If you decide to vote on a candidate-by-candidate basis, why not take the advice offered by one of the folks awaiting the Nixon library talk: vote the opposite of the guy from Red County. I'll save you the trouble (and the guilty conscience of generating ad revenue for Red County's website):
Vote No on Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.
Vote Yes on Ming W. Chin.
Vote Yes on Carlos R. Moreno.
Vote Yes on Judith D. McConnell.
Vote Yes on Manuel A. Ramirez.
Vote Yes on Carol D. Codrington.
Vote Yes on David G. Sills.
Vote No on William W. Bedsworth.
Vote Yes on Eileen C. Moore.

For your propositions, scroll down to page nine in this PDF of the Fullerton Observer for a handy chart showing where the following groups stand: the Chamber of Commerce North OC, the League of Women Voters, the Green Party, the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, and the Sierra Club.

The links in the blurbs about the North Orange County Community College District Governing Board Members go to the non-partisan League of Women Voters candidate information for each contest. They're a quick read and might give you more of a clue on how to vote than I give you here. For North Orange County Community College District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 2 I'm voting for Barbara Dunsheath as she seems vastly more qualified to address the needs of community college students and faculty than her opponent. Also, Tim Keenan is endorsed by Ed Royce, the Republican U.S. Representative for our district.

For North Orange County Community College District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 3 I'm not super thrilled with either candidate. Brown seems more experienced but Barron seems to have his priorities in order.

I am similarly unenthused about the candidates for North Orange County Community College District, Governing Board Member, Trustee Area 4. Miller seems more experienced, but Allen seems to have her priorities in order.

For the Fullerton joint Union High School Governing Board Members, Buchi, Singer, and Hathaway seem vastly more experienced.

For Fullerton School District, Governing Board Member, I'm voting for Aaruni Thakur and Beverly Berryman. Meyer and Thompson are endorsed by Ed Royce, the Republican U.S. Representative for our district.

I saved the County of Orange County Supervisor 4th District for the end of this post since it's a choice between two Republicans neither of whom I'd be particularly thrilled about. But all things being equal, Shawn Nelson's only "issue" on his website seems to suggest he's anti-High Speed Rail. First, lame that it's the only issue. Second, high speed rail is going to be great for Orange County, so he's on the wrong side of his one issue. So that leaves me with Harry Sidhu, who at least recognizes the importance of more than one issue on his website . . . if that's not damning with faint praise I don't know what is.

Same problem with the County of Orange Treasurer-Tax Collector. Shari L. Freidenrich is endorsed by all the scary conservatives. Keith Rodenhuis doesn't have a link to his endorsements, which bodes poorly for his success, but he's also a Republican. He's worked as the deputy to the position he's running for, so eh, why not.

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