General Election 2006

So a lot can be said about the elections and predictions and what not, but there really is no time for that.  Plus, I don’t have too much to say.  I will say that it seems that my two favorite candidates in this election cycle, Edward M. “Ned” Lamont (D) in Connecticut and State Treasurer Philip N. Angelides (D-Calif.), both appear to be headed towards a sad defeat.  I hope they run for office again in the future.

 

I did not include the offices of State Assemblymember 75th District; California Supreme Court Associate Justice Seats 1 and 2; Associate Justice Court of Appeals Fourth Appellate District Division One, Division One – Seats 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, Division Two – Seats 1, 2, 3, and 4, Division Three – Seats 1 and 2; Judge of the Superior Court Office No. 36; San Diego Community College District Board of Trustees Member Districts A, C, and E; and San Diego Unified School District Board of Education Member Districts B and C, because, in case you haven’t guessed, I knew nothing about those offices or the people running for them, and I didn’t and don’t give a damn, and am too lazy to even bother stating that I abstained from voting on those offices (and I did) or to put up the official results, which I’m sure you can find on the Internet, e.g. at the website linked below.

 

For each office and proposition I stated my vote and put up the actual results (obtained from here), as well as, for the state propositions, the California Democratic Party’s official endorsements (obviously, for the elected offices the California Democrats supported the Democratic candidates).

 

Governor

This one’s easy – State Treasurer Philip N. Angelides (D).  I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again – Angelides is as perfect a liberal as it gets and one of the best Democratic candidates I’ve seen in my short lifetime.  If you want more details read An Editorial Word From Your Legislative Director On Statewide Elections.

Result: Governor Arnold A. Schwarzenegger (R) 56.1% – Angelides 38.9%

 

Lieutenant Governor

I voted for Insurance Commissioner John R. Garamendi in the primary because “I felt at the end of the day that he was the most forceful advocate of active government and Democratic values”.  I’ll vote for him again, even though in a debate with opponent State Senator Thomas M. McClintock (R-Thousand Oaks) he claimed that he did NOT support Phil Angelides’s tax raise and started spouting rhetoric about cutting jobs in the Clinton administration.

Result: Garamendi 49.2% – McClintock 45.3%

 

Secretary Of State

I’m voting for State Senator Debra Bowen (D-Marina del Rey); I think she is a good candidate for the office who will work hard to end election fraud and shenanigans.

Result: Bowen 48.2% – Secretary of State Bruce A. McPherson (R) 45.0%

 

Controller

I’m voting for John Chiang because he seems to be a strong liberal who will take on corporate abuse and waste.  I said back in the primary that I’d be happy to vote for him and I stand by that statement now.

Result: Chiang 50.7% – Tony Strickland (R) 40.3%

 

Treasurer

Even though I’m not the biggest fan of Attorney General William W. Lockyer, I’ll vote for him because he’s had a generally decent record.

Result: Lockyer 54.5% – Board of Equalization Member Claude Parrish (R) 37.3%

 

Attorney General

Oakland Mayor Edmund G. “Jerry” Brown is a “meh” candidate who’s shifted back and forth between being a centrist and a liberal, but I’ll vote for him because his record has had plenty of good areas and he has a track record of taking on crime.

Result: Brown 56.3% – State Senator Charles S. Poochigian (R-CA-14) 38.3%

 

Insurance Commissioner

I don’t want to vote for either Republican Stephen L. Poizner or Democratic Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante, both of whom have run lackluster campaigns.  So I turned to either the Green candidate Larry Cafiero or the Peace and Freedom candidate Tom Condit, and in the end I’m choosing Tom Condit because he seemed to be the (slightly) more forthrightly leftist of the candidates.

Result: Stephen L. Poizner (R) 51.0% – Lieutenant Governor Cruz M. Bustamante (D) 38.5% – Condit 2.2%

 

Member, State Board of Equalization, 3rd District

I abstained from voting in this race; none of the candidates appealed to me.

Result: Michelle Steel (R) 57.1% – Mary Christian-Heising (D) 38.5%

Note: I later visited Steel’s website and discovered a rather partisan website that burnished her conservative and pro-Bush credentials.  In the biography it tellingly says,

 

Longtime businesswoman and Republican activist, Michelle Steel knows firsthand the harm that an overbearing government can do to small businesses in our state.

 

That’s why she has worked tirelessly to not only build her own business, but also to raise money for Republican candidates and causes, including joining the elite group of “Bush Rangers” on behalf of President George W. Bush.

 

Yikes.  Mental note: Vote against this one in the next election.

 

United States Senator

I refuse to vote for incumbent Democrat Dianne G.B. Feinstein, for the reasons I gave in An Editorial Word From Your Legislative Director On Statewide Elections.  The alternatives were candidates from the Green and Peace and Freedom Parties, and of the two the Green Party candidate Todd Chretien was my pick.  He seemed to be equal to or superior to Feinstein on all the issues, most critically the war in Iraq.

Result: Feinstein 59.5% – Richard “Dick” Mountjoy (R) 35.2% – Chretien 1.7%

 

United States Representative, 53rd District

I voted for incumbent Democrat Susan A. Davis, who’s a good Democrat.

Result: Davis 67.6% – John “Woody” Woodrum (R) 30.0%

 

Proposition 1A

Though I generally supported the “Rebuild California Plan” (Props 1A-1E), I disliked 1A because unlike the others, 1A wasn’t “issue a bond for this” but rather a restriction of gasoline tax moneys from being used for non-transportation purposes – even things like bailing the state government out of debt.  While I’m not adverse to the idea of using revenues raised from a certain function for that function (e.g. using gas tax money for roads), I don’t slavishly adhere to it and I don’t think it’s an unbendable rule.  I thought that 1A would hamstring the state government’s ability to use money to solve problems, transportation or otherwise, and so I voted No.

CA Democrats: Yes

Result: Yes 76.9% – No 23.1%

 

Proposition 1B-1E

All of these props were basically “issue bond for w, x, y, and z” (transportation, homes, schools, and dams, as it turns out).  I’m all for big government and big spending in economic/public affairs and so I voted Yes on all four.

CA Democrats: Yes for all four

Results:

1B     Yes 61.2% – No 38.8%

1C     Yes 57.4% – No 42.6%

1D     Yes 56.5% – No 43.5%

1E     Yes 64.0% – No 36.0%

 

Proposition 83

I voted No because I thought that the new rules and punishments for sex offenders were just silly and unnecessary and – more dangerously – a waste of money that could be better spent towards prosecuting real criminals, sexual or otherwise.

CA Democrats: Yes

Result: Yes 70.5% – No 29.5%

 

Proposition 84

I voted Yes for the same reasons as Prop 1E.

CA Democrats: Yes

Result: Yes 53.7% – No 46.3%

 

Proposition 85

We got almost the exact same thing in last year’s Prop 73, which I voted against, saying “Right to privacy is for all women, regardless of age”.  Well, it’s back and I’ll say it again: Right to privacy is for all women, regardless of age.  I vote No.

CA Democrats: No

Result: No 54.0% – Yes 46.0%

 

Proposition 86

I was pretty torn on this one because while I’m all for government spending on hospitals and health programs, I didn’t see why this spending had to be on the backs of smokers.  Plus, there were some smoking prevention programs in the list of things that the spending was going towards and I didn’t see why tobacco companies had to pay a dedicated tax to pay for something that will discourage people from buying their own products. (It would be different if it were a more general tax, e.g. on income, that would be used to pay for such programs.) Actual programs to treat tobacco addicts were few and far between under this prop.  I think this prop would have been better if it had been more dedicated to specifically treating those addicted to nicotine, rather than general emergency room treatment, and hadn’t included any programs actually geared towards discouraging people from smoking.  That said, I still voted Yes on this proposition because 1.) This prop could be paying for emergency room and hospital treatment resulting from tobacco abuse 2.) The smoking prevention programs could be seen as a way of counteracting the misinformation and deception tobacco companies sometimes employ to get people hooked on their products – in other words, cleaning up the tobacco companies’ mess.

CA Democrats: Yes

Result: No 52.0% – Yes 48.0%

 

Proposition 87

This was similar to Prop 86 in that I didn’t see why a big, offensive industry – in this case, the oil producers – had to bear sole responsibility to pay for a public benefit, and pay a tax towards something that would hurt its own business (i.e. oil companies would pay for research into alternative energy sources that would eventually compete with and replace them.  That’s like taxing horse ranchers in the early 1900s to pay for research into mass-producing automobiles.) Whereas hospital services and tobacco prevention/treatment programs could be seen as cleaning up the tobacco companies’ “mess”, alternative energy research, strictly speaking, wouldn’t be cleaning up the “mess” that oil companies had already created – it would be cleaning up the mess that oil companies will probably create in the future, but it wouldn’t be fair to hold the oil companies accountable for that.  Plus, something as important as energy research should be something that all taxpayers should contribute towards.  For these reasons, I voted No on Prop 87.

CA Democrats: Yes

Result: No 54.7% – Yes 45.3%

 

Proposition 88

I voted Yes because I supported this proposition that levied a property parcel tax to pay for K-12 public education.

CA Democrats: No

Result: No 76.9% – Yes 23.1%

 

Proposition 89

I struggled with this vote, because while I support public financing of elections and campaigns, I wasn’t sure if I should support something that really limited donations to candidates.  I guess I’ve been swayed by the argument that money = speech, though I’m still skeptical of it and am willing to listen to all sides.  In the end though, the need for publically financed elections led me to vote Yes.

CA Democrats: None

Result: No 74.5% – Yes 25.5%

 

Proposition 90

I voted No because I thought that the provisions involved would seriously undermine eminent domain, which I do believe is a power that the government should have.  And the provisions stating that governments would owe money for losses in economic value just sounds like an open door to all kinds of corporate milking of the government for every penny.

CA Democrats: No

Result: No 52.3% – Yes 47.7%

 

Proposition A

This proposition dealt with opening a new airport in Miramar.  I didn’t feel like I understood the issue well enough, so I abstained.

Result: No 61.83% – Yes 38.17%

 

Proposition B

This proposition would subject raises in public employee retirement pensions to voter approval.  I thought that was ridiculous that retired public employees would have their pay determined by voters – it should be determined by whatever public institutions they worked for.  I voted No.

Result: Yes 69.94% – No 30.06%

 

Proposition C

This proposition would outsource jobs usually perfomed by local government employees to private interests.  Privatization?  BLEH!  I voted No.

Result: Yes 60.37% – No 39.63%

 

Proposition N

This proposition would issue $870 million in bonds to pay for community colleges.  I voted Yes.

Result: Yes 63.04% – No 36.96%

An Editorial Word From Your Legislative Director On Statewide Elections

As Legislative Director for the College Democrats, I wrote an editorial piece on the California statewide elections, which focused mainly on the gubernatorial race which is sadly looking like a loss for Democrat Philip N. Angelides.  The piece is posted below.

I plan on putting up another post or two regarding the elections and how I’ll vote over the next two days.

An Editorial Word From Your Legislative Director On Statewide Elections

 

I normally try to present information in a factual manner and stay above giving my own opinions on things, but hell, the election’s almost here and I think it’s time I get to editorialize.  That said, I can’t say too much about most of the statewide races, as we have a couple of loser career politicians running for some of the offices (<coughJerryBrowncough>).  I’m NOT voting for Dianne Feinstein for U.S. Senate because of 1.) Her vote for the President’s 2001 tax cuts 2.) Her vote for the 2002 Iraq war resolution 3.) Her vote for the 2003 prescription drug/Medicare “improvement” law that was a big giveaway to pharmaceutical and insurance companies that undermined Medicare’s basic foundation 4.) Her vote for CAFTA in 2005.  She votes with the Democrats most of the rest of the time but being from a liberal state like California there’s no excuse for her bad decisions on those four important votes. (Oh well, she’s slated to win by a huge margin anyway.)

 

The big race I’m most concerned about is the gubernatorial race.  Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger looks like he’s headed to an easy win, with the last couple of polls showing him with sizable leads – most of them double-digit.  This is a far cry from last year when his reelection prospects looked to be in the toilet following a rout in the special election where his relatively conservative proposals on the budget, unions and education went down in defeat.  Since then, Schwarzenegger appears to have done a total 180 on the political spectrum, taking steps on global warming, the minimum wage, ending investments in Sudan, and a massive infrastructure program (that happens to comprise Props. 1A-1E, btw) that make him look like a liberal Democrat.  That U-turn corresponds with a nice upwards pull in the opinion polls that has most watchers giving up hope on the Democratic nominee, State Treasurer Phil Angelides.

 

Poor Phil Angelides.  Does anyone even know about him?  Does anyone realize that he’s one of the best, if not the best, Democratic candidates California has produced in the last ten years?  There’s a great article in the October 24 2006 San Diego Union-Tribune (“Angelides made post ‘champion for people’” by Bill Ainsworth, http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/politics/20061024-9999-1n24phil.html) that I just so luckily happened to come by, that details how Phil turned his relatively obscure position as Treasurer (the State Treasurer mostly makes investment decisions and oversees financial programs such as pensions) into a vehicle for progressive change.  He steered those investments into things like revitalizing inner cities, providing affordable housing, and producing environmentally-friendly technology.  In doing so, he not only used his office to set a progressive policy rather than simply chase the money, but he defined himself as a true liberal’s liberal, Democrat’s Democrat – someone who embodies and is a true believer in what I consider to be the defining ideology of the Democratic Party, that government can be a force for good and can effectively play an active role in improving the country and people’s lives.  Angelides is the real deal, folks.

 

I was sold on Angelides back in March 2004, when fresh-and-popular Governor Arnold was pushing a $15 billion bond and balanced budget duo on the ballot.  The two props, which eventually passed, would put the state further into debt and inevitably force the state to make unpleasant budget cuts that would hurt Californians.  Democrats from Bill Lockyer to state legislators to Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein cowed in fear of the Governator and supported the initiatives.  Only ONE prominent Democrat stood up to challenge Schwarzenegger’s proposals – Phil Angelides. 

 

The more I learn about Phil, the more I like.  Phil’s been fighting Arnold’s worst ideas, like tightening the vise on important government spending, every step of the way, whether he was popular or not.  No Democrat is better positioned to challenge Schwarzenegger than he is.  At the same time, he hasn’t been afraid to do what every Democrat with guts ought to have the courage to do – propose to raise taxes to pay for government spending (in the case of this election, raising taxes on those making over $500K a year to pay for education).  He understands, as every Democrat and, indeed, American should, that you need tax revenue to pay for important things like education that are necessary to keep our state and country in great shape.

 

One final note: I know there are Democrats out there who are okay with Arnold Schwarzenegger now that he’s done one colossal flip-flop (and Republicans say Democrats are inconsistent?) and landed back on the (pseudo) liberal side, and are going to vote for him because he’s cool and managed to beat two liquid metal cyborgs.  Stop it.  That’s so 2003.  If you like his movies, fine (I count The Terminator and Terminator 2 among my favorite movies, myself.).  But you’re not voting him an Oscar; you’re voting him a governorship.  Don’t treat it cavalierly – this is our state we’re talking about.  And if you’re a liberal and thinking that Arnold’s the right candidate for you, don’t kid yourself.  He’s a FAKE liberal.  Hell, a lot of what he supports now, like infrastructure improvements and divestment in Sudan, is stuff Angelides supported all along.  He went from being a moderate to a conservative and then back to a moderate/liberal – with him you don’t know what you’ll get once the election’s over.  Angelides is the real liberal in the race – and I mean that in a good way.

 

A good friend of mine who’s also into politics put it best:

 

“The point isn’t whether Arnold will govern as a moderate. Even if he wins and governs the way a moderate/liberal would, that doesn’t mean you vote for him.  Vote your values and you don’t need to be scared about the ‘true’ Angelides.”

 

The latest Rasmussen shows Angelides losing to Schwarzenegger by 13 points.  That’s partly due to Democrats ditching Angelides and supporting Schwarzenegger.  Yeah it’s depressing.  But even if we can’t win the election, we can still show Democratic unity for Angelides, at the cost of just a few minutes to bubble in next to Angelides’s name.  Liberals, Democrats, whatever – come home on November 7 and vote for real Democratic values.  Vote for Phil Angelides for Governor.

 

 

Thanks guys,

 

Kenneth Huang

Legislative Director

 

 

P.S. Email me if you want to talk about politics – kjhuang@ucsd.edu