2010 California Gubernatorial Election, Democratic Primary

Several years ago, I predicted that every elected Democrat and their mother would be chomping at the governor’s race in 2010.  Instead, every major contender except one stayed out, and we’re stuck with Jerry Brown.  Am I voting for him in this primary?  HELL NO.  Why?  Well this article pretty much says it all – basically Brown’s a pussyshit moderate who couldn’t stand up for anything if his life depended on it (but he would if his election victory depended on it!  Too bad it doesn’t.).  (For a more comprehensive list of Brown’s drawbacks and history, see here.)

 

My #1 priority in this race is getting a Governor that will sign SB 810, the bill that would establish a single-payer health care system in California.  The California State Legislature has passed it twice (and the State Senate passed it again in January) only to have it vetoed twice by Governor Schwarzenegger.  Which means, yes, the Governor’s office is the one remaining obstacle to passing this.  So whoever is our next Governor had damn well better support single-payer.  Unfortunately, as that Union-Tribune link above (and the Calitics post it references) show, Brown isn’t on board with single-payer (despite having been an explicit supporter of it in the past).  Single-payer means so much to me that this is the closest I’m ever gonna be to being a single-issue voter, so if Brown doesn’t support it, fuck him.

 

So it was off in search of an alternative!  Unfortunately, the field of six candidates competing with Brown for the nomination were, to put it frankly, like a gang of political circus freaks.  I mean, look at Lowell Darling – is this some kind of joke?  I guess it is – when you’re running as a long-shot challenger to Jerry Brown, no need to take politics seriously!  And check out the robust platform of Chuck Pineda!

 

It took all my patience and open-mindedness to not reject Vibert Greene solely based on his chaotic mess of a website.  I mean, it really looks like someone vomited Fruit Loops all over the screen.  His issues page was vague and didn’t include single-payer.  He does use pro-government rhetoric here (at the bottom), so props to him for that.

 

Joe Symmon had a more detailed Issues page but made no mention of single-payer and instead declared his support for “Obama health-care plan” and says he “would adopt” it.  Um, does this guy not realize that “adopting” Obamacare for California makes little sense, considering the whole country will get it anyway in 2014?

 

Then there was Richard Aguirre.  He had a much stronger website and – yes! – he supports single-payer!  But health care and most other issues seem to be peripheral to him – his main focus is on what he calls the “New California Prosperity Plan”.  Basically, the idea is to install solar panels in everyone’s home to provide power, use the money from the excess power to pay for desalinization plants, sell the extra water from the desalinization plants to Mexico, Arizona and Nevada, and MAKE SHITLOADS OF BANK!!!!  If it sounds like a scam, that’s probably cuz it is.  And how do I know that’s all Aguirre cares about?  Because that’s literally the entirety of his candidate statement in the Voter Information Guide.  His statement is like one or two lines about solar energy – that’s it.

 

And then there’s Peter Schurman, the founding executive director of MoveOn.org.  He entered the race explicitly to be a liberal/progressive alternative – the liberal/progressive alternative – to Jerry Brown.  His main message was that Brown wasn’t bold and progressive enough, and that by contrast he (Schurman) would be as bold and progressive as California needed, and then some.  He came on to Huffington Post and brilliantly laid out his positions on the issues and the case for his candidacy.  His website didn’t look like garbage.  In fact, perhaps the best part about him was that he was the only one of Brown’s challengers who actually appeared to be sane.

 

His issue positions were strong, clear, and plenty liberal.  And look at them!  Raise taxes on the rich and legalize/tax marijuana!  Create green jobs and protect government services!  Invest in education and roll back university tuition increases!  End the 2/3 budget requirements! 

 

Oh, and health care?

 

          Californians deserve health care that works: simple, affordable, accessible.

 

The answer is Medicare for everyone.

 

[…]

 

This simple solution is within easy reach.  California’s Senate has passed SB 810, the California Universal Health Care Act.

 

I will sign it into law immediately.

 

OH GOD.  When I read this it was like having an orgasm.  This guy is like a dream candidate – he’s perfect!  Just one small catch… he had already dropped out of the race and endorsed Brown.

 

WHAT?!  That’s right – plastered proudly on the front page of his website was this:

 

Endorsing Jerry Brown

 

In the weeks since I launched my campaign, Jerry Brown has begun to demonstrate the kind of leadership we’ll need to win in November and to get California working again.

 

With two weeks to go in the primary, I am withdrawing from the race and endorsing Jerry Brown.  I urge all Californians to join me in supporting him.

 

WTF???!!!  In fact, at first I had totally dismissed Schurman based on this statement while skimming the candidates’ websites – it wasn’t later until I stumbled across his HuffPo editorial that I went back and looked into him and had my whole political euphoria thing.  Why the hell would he do this?  What exactly did Brown do to “demonstrate the kind of leadership” blah blah what the fuck?!!  Just to be sure, after I voted I went back home and did another Google search on “Jerry Brown single payer”.  NOTHING, just as there had been NOTHING months ago when I first decided that Brown sucked.  What is Schurman thinking?!!

 

So you can imagine my dilemma as I drove to the local polling place, still undecided as to who I would vote for Governor.  The only other candidate who endorsed single-payer was Aguirre, and so it was down to him or Schurman.  On the one hand is a guy who had some fairly substantive issue positions and favored single-payer, but whose entire candidacy revolved around a crackpot scheme reminiscent of those Nigerian check-cashing scams.  On the other hand is a guy who was perfect, perfect, perfect – except that he wasn’t even running anymore and was telling all his former supporters to vote for the scumbag that I swore not to support.

 

I was undecided right up to where my uncapped black marker was hovering uncertainly over the bubbles on the ballot for the gubernatorial candidates.  I then took a deep sigh and decided that if I was going to cast a protest vote, it will be for my ideal, dream candidate – Peter Schurman, before he was corrupted and turned to the dark side, saying ridiculous things about how Jerry Brown was terrific after all, and was demonstrating leadership (must be the invisible kind) or something.  Yes, that Peter Schurman.  I proudly endorsed and voted for Peter Schurman for Governor of California.

 


Peter Schurman.  Source: The Oakland Post Online

 

I walked out of the voting booth feeling pretty good about myself.

 

General Election: My #1 priority for the gubernatorial election remains finding and voting for a candidate who will sign SB 810, the single-payer bill.  The only thing that would make me even consider voting for Jerry Brown is if he promises to sign SB 810 or some other genuine single-payer bill.  Absent that, I will NOT vote for Jerry Brown, even if he and Republican nominee Meg Whitman are neck-and-neck on Election Day.  I will most likely vote for a liberal minor party candidate who does support SB 810 and single-payer.

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