Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Momma Politico's Guide to The CA Ballot

Well, my fellow Politicos, you know I am usually all about the national scene when it comes to my favorite sport: politics. But with so many multimillionaires running in California, and such a variety of head-spinning measures on the ballot, I feel it's my civic duty to speak out to my fellow Californians and offer what guidance I can. Thanks, Kath, for the idea!

But no worries, my non-California resident Politicos. I'll be posting about the national insanity soon enough - you have my word. You know me, I always have an opinion on the national front, and I cannot contain it for long...

So, for those of you who are sticking around, here it is:

Momma Politico's Annual Guide to The California Ballot

Let's just start at the top of the ballot and work our way down. Feel free to skip around, peruse, or print it out to use as a sample ballot. (Yes, I'm talking to you, Marie! Happy voting!)

Needless to say, Momma Politico endorses Jerry Brown for Governor. The opposition, billionaire and corporate CEO Meg Whitman, is just that: a billionaire CEO. She has spent, to date, over 
$140 million. See, that's chump change to this gal, who has been able to buy and bully her way to anything she wanted this far. News flash, Meg: you can't shove around, layoff or fire Californians. We won't let you buy your way into office. When Jerry Brown was in office, California's schools were nowhere near 49th in the nation. We weren't in the kind of mess Ahnuld and his party (let's face it: he's a GOP puppet) has put us in. 'Nuff said.

Next up, Momma Politico wholeheartedly endorses Barbara Boxer for Senate. Barbara has spent a lifetime fighting the likes of Ahnuld and his cronies. She has fought admirably in the Senate and always spoken out on the big issues that mean something to my family and me. And she has always, always, looked out for the interests of the working families of California. She is an honorable public servant in a world where that is a rarity. Her opposition? Another billionaire CEO who never grew out of the mean girl she must have been in high school. So far, Fiorina has spent a good $5 million of her personal fortune on the race, and drawn in over $2 million from GOP sources. She's a petty, name-calling, privileged rich woman who only wants to push the Republican pro-corporation agenda. And that's not good for Californians. Barbara speaks for me, for my family's interests. She has always had my vote as she  continues to fight the Grand Obstructionist Party in the Senate.You can contribute to her campaignby clicking the following link:

Momma Politico heartily endorses Gavin Newsom for Lieutenant Governor. Gavin has a proven track record of turning around the state of affairs in a major California metropolis, and establishing such things as a city-run health care program that could easily have been the model for federal health care reform. He has done terrific work in bringing in corporate partners to support city programs, worked with a diverse population and made the city a showcase for job growth and environmental living. Newsom's the kind of guy we need right now...and as a future Governor of California. I don't make many solid predictions, but he's the guy to watch. You heard it here first, Kids! ;)

For Secretary of State, Debra Bowen is our gal. It's that simple. Solid candidate, strong Dem who shares core Democratic values for California.

John Chiang is a fighter, and I strongly endorse him for State Controller. He has the cojones to stand up to Ahnuld and his union-busting and has done so publicly. He challenges the constitutionality of the GOP's moves and is a dogged fighter for working Californians. In my book, he can have any job in the State he wants. He's a Democrat with both backbone and principles. Now, that's a rare commodity. He is owed the thanks of a grateful state for fighting the good fight.

Now, let's talk about Bill Lockyer, the Democratic candidate for Treasurer. He is a Democrat in name only, a classic DINO. He has the luxury of not having much GOP competition this year, and has decided to be one of those Dems who would put the party down and back away from our beliefs in order to gain state office. Will he get my endorsement? Absolutely not. Will he get my vote? Unfortunately, yes. Because, as Nana always said, "The worst Democrat is better than the best Republican." We simply cannot afford to have a Rethug in the Treasurer's office to gum up the good work the rest of the party can do to save California. He is, simply said, the lesser of two evils. Sometimes politics is like that.

Normally, Attorney General and Insurance Commissioner are not sexy races - but they've never been more crucial than they are this year. Right now, with the implementation of the new health care reforms, these two positions are vital to keep implementation going and avoid Rethug Obstruction of the provisions that can help California families most. There haven't been a lot of glossy ads - even the GOP wants to keep it under wraps, because they believe Californians to be just that stupid or complacent. Kamala Harris is ready to fight the GOP and all their dirty tricks. And Dave Jones is the guy who will keep health care reform on track, fighting the lobbyists and insurance industry fatcats to do it. He knows what they're up to and will call them to the carpet. Please make sure you give these two fine candidates your attention. Momma Politico is proud to endorse Kamala Harris for Attorney General and Dave Jones for Insurance Commissioner.

The Congressional and Assembly races up for grabs in California are not nearly as exciting as some of the other races across the country.  Face it, Guys: we are no longer the "land of fruits and nuts" as the wide variety of crazy wingnut-wingnuttery has us beat by a mile for once. Be glad. Be very glad. Here are my picks:


CD 24 Tim Allison
CD 23 Lois Capps (Who, by the way, totally rocks!)

AD 35 Das Williams
AD 37 Ferial Masry
AD 38 Diana Shaw
AD 41 Julia Brownley
As for the rest of the slate, I give you a straight Democratic ticket, and their respective websites/email for your further perusal:

Betty Yee      Board of Equalization (District 1)

Chris Parker    Board of Equalization (District 2)

Mary Christian-Heising    Board of Equalization (District 3)

Jerome Horton     Board of Equalization (District 4)

Tom Torlakson    Superintendent of Public Instruction

Chris Parker      Board of Equalization (District 2)

Now, what about all those confusing and oftentimes loony Propositions and Measures? Have no fear, my California Politicos. I will advise you on their viability to the best of my ability:

Prop. 19: Legalization of Marijuana - Okay, so maybe we are still a little nutty. Of course this is on the California ballot - I ask you, where else??? But it was truly inevitable. In a state where marijuana is the largest unofficial crop in our state's GDP, legalization was bound to be on the ballot sooner or later. The sooner is a realistic reaction to what could be, quite possibly, the worst budget shortfall in a lifetime and a potentially huge cash influx into California's coffers. The GOP is treating this as a wedge issue; unfortunately for them, they're living a generation in the past. Californians are nothing if we are not pragmatists. Optimists, yes; it's the nature of a state built on the idea of a gold boom and riches for all. But practically speaking, we are problem solvers. The market exists for marijuana. It is already there, so legalize it, regulate it and TAX it. Just like any other intoxicant we legally sell (e.g. alcohol and tobacco). The individual smoker does not make this a financially viable bill; it's the provision for commercial producers that holds the most promise toward California seeing the financial light of day again. Besides, when was the last time you heard about a pot smoker committing a crime to support his habit? Okay, maybe stealing Ding Dongs to soothe the munchies...Desperate times require desperate measures. A YES vote for California's newest cash crop.

Proposition 20: Redistricting Committee - This one? Completely funded by a Rethug billionaire. Kind of a no-brainer. Do you honestly think that it'll be done fairly, with no bias or gerrymandering? Not like this, that's for sure. A solid NO vote here. 

Proposition 21: Fee to Support State Parks - Where I live, you cannot park at the once free beaches to enjoy the view. But with this proposition, a mere $18 will help keep our parks open and maintained, and anyone who pays their car registration will get free admission to state parks - all of them! A win-win, and a YES vote.

Proposition 22: Prohibits state from borrowing funding from transportation, local government and redevelopment funds - A tricky one. The thing is, state school finding gets even more of an axe taken to it if this is prohibited, but on the other hand, local governments get screwed if it doesn't pass. Either way, it means we will wind up making up deficits one way or another. So, choose your poison. When in doubt, I usually vote NO, and stick with the status quo. 

Proposition 23: Suspends Air Pollution Control Laws (AB 32) Sponsored by major Texas oil companies...go figure. It claims to save jobs, allowing polluters to continue their ways. It discourages the new growth of green energy technologies in California, which is bad for jobs and bad for our air quality. What's good for Texas oil companies is not good for California.  Momma Politico votes a strong NO. 

Proposition 24: Repeal Tax Breaks for Big Corporations - As anyone who's been reading Momma Politico knows, we could employ nearly every laid-off teacher with the back taxes Ahnuld has allowed corporations to slide in paying. This proposition will increase school budgets by making corporations pay their fair share. And as a parent and educator, not just a Democrat, it's about time that Big Corporations pay their way in the Golden State. Don't listen to the commercials: vote YES on 24.

Proposition 25: Majority Rules and "Get Your Butt in Gear" - Finally, somebody has taken a common-sense, smart approach to our state budget. This proposition will change passing a budget to a simple majority instead of the 2/3 majority gridlock we face now. And just to add insult to injury, there's a cute little provision that docks elected officials' pay for each day the budget is late. And they don't get it back. (Thus the "get your butt in gear" monniker!) Tax increases still will take a 2/3 majority, but like 47 other states, we'll actually be able to pass a budget. Wow - what a concept! Momma Politico is all for this no-nonsense approach to practical governance and votes YES.

Proposition 26: Polluters Don't Pay Fees - Here's the reverse of Prop. 25: certain state and local fees must pass by a 2/3 majority. Guess which ones? The ones that keep polluters from paying for damages done by their environmentally damaging business. Obviously, they saw Prop. 25 coming, and this is the response. Don't let polluters off the hook: Momma Politico votes a big fat NO to polluters getting away with their dirty work.

Proposition 27: The Proposition That Actually Fixes Ahnuld's Gerrymandering Mess - To fix the partisan, GOP bias, this proposition sets up a fair, elected committee. It's a better fit for fairness than Prop. 20 could ever pretend to be. Momma Politico votes a strong YES. 

That about does it, Politicos. Whatever you do, please make sure to vote. And take along a friend, a neighbor, and especially, your kids. They're never too young to learn the importance and power of the right to vote. 

And to our Latino Politicos in Arizona, please make sure you vote Democratic and ignore the propaganda to stay home. When you don't vote, you lose your voice. If you want to punish someone, punish the Rethugs who have held the Senate hostage these past two years. Make a stand, put your two cents in on Election Day! 

Next week, back to politics as usual: the national scene, one week before the Midterms. Damn, I love election season!