Election Guidelines

My friend, Hank, was unable to attend a local “discuss the ballot” gathering that we held recently and asked that I summarize the results of the gathering together with some of the reasoning we used to get to the recommendations we did.  There is a very brief discussion of each at the end.  I’ll also take the liberty to express my strong opinion when it is that:

Prop #        my strong yes    Yes              No              my strong no

30*            x

31*                                                                   x

32*                                                                                      x

33*                                                                   x

34*            x

35*                                     x

36*            x

37*            x

38*                                                           x

39*            x

State and federal officers:
I strongly urge everyone to vote straight Democratic Party, except where the open primary has eliminated that option in the Oller-What’s, his name race, where my instinct would be to vote against Oller, as he is a known quantity I despise,  But I don’t know enough about What’s his name to rule out the possibility that he is the bigger nutcase (this general attitude should suffice to inform any of you who might not know me well enough to realize I have little or no tolerance for the right wing).  I’ve decided not to vote for ether man and to just let the control of the recently-gone-mad-Republican Party remain in the hands of Republicans.
BTW: “voting for the Party, not the man,” has been a very strong rule of thumb for me for almost as long as I can remember.  The man (or woman) chose the Party for a very good reason, usually that the Party is better aligned with the philosophy of the man (or woman).  The person elected is, to a large extent, chosen to run by the Party because he/she represents those ideals fairly closely.  The man/woman answers to the Party in a myriad of ways.  He/she is dependent upon the Party’s support to be effective.
Unfortunately, he/she is more credible than the Party when campaigning, hence “voting for the man, not the Party” has always sounded to me like a typically deceitful mantra of a Party that knows full well it doesn’t represent the will of the majority.  I’ve always thought the Republican Party stood for the values and benefit, mainly, of the monied class and, therefore, assumed this was an idea started and promoted mainly by them.  Yet I know many Democrats who chant the phrase like an anthem.  What’s with that?
Re. the one position on my ballot where there is no Democrat on the general election ballot, the race between Oller and What’s is name, both Republicans, I find myself in an difficult position.  As I said earlier, I’ve decided to stay out of it.
But I’d like to add one more comment; this illustrates one of the problems with the “Top Two Open Primary” initiative passed last year (or was it two years ago?).  I recall only hearing about the “Open Primary” initiative at the time, by the way.  That’s where everyone can cross over to help defeat extremists if the extremist in a Party has a real competition in the primary.
One thing’s for sure; they (the politicos) thought about it.  Under this new law, the general election, like this one, can present the general public with no choice outside of a single Party.  If one Party is vigorous enough in it’s primary campaigning, they can present the public, as here, with a choice between two candidates from the same Party, leaving the office being contested automatically in the hands of that Party.  This is an interesting new twist in the potential for political manipulation of the system.
Oller, because he’s been on the scene for some time, has a terrible reputation with me.  Yet I know nothing of his opponent.  Being a Republican, in today’s Republican party, he may well be worse than Oller.  I suppose I could do a lot of last minute research, or just vote against Oller, on the slight chance that the unknown guy might be from the more moderate wing of the right wing.  But then he may not be. Maybe voting for him is making the right wing even more in control of the Republicans.
What’s a guy to do?  I’ve decided to leave the potential destruction of the Republicans to themselves by not voting on the office at all.  This may be what the extreme right wants, I don’t know.  They may have snookered me last election, but I won’t participate in the snookering that may be taking place here yet again.  They managed to get this office, now we’ll just have to observe how they choose to sleep in it.

Non-Partisan Officers:
Judge:  I choose Hoffman over Strachner, or whatever the bearded guy’s name is.
Reason:  I’d come to the conclusion from what I’d first read, but only slightly, then the ad money imbalance became clear.  Strachner obviously has more money behind him.  Then the lack of attention that was being paid to the use of that money also became clear when one of the numerous fliers supporting him proclaimed that he was “fair and impartical (sic).”
I can understand spell check overlooking a correctly spelled wrong word, although a careful proofreading of material that is about to go out to thousands of potential voters should have caught it.  But not spell checking it at all, which obviously is what happened here, nor catching it in even a casual proofread, seems to indicate to me a careless disregard to the attention to detail that I’d think would be crucial for the office of “judge.”  And if he just wasn’t paying attention to the work of those under him who should have been paying attention, I still find it unconvincing as an argument to reverse my first impression.
City Council:  I choose to vote for only one, which is allowed, JoAnn Conner.  I’m much more hopeful that she, more than any of the other candidates, may represent true change.  If that is correct, then I don’t want to dilute my vote and make it possible that she might end up third.

Comments on the propositions:
30 and 38 are linked in that, should both pass, the one with most votes takes precedence.  30 is governor Brown’s initiative and, we all agreed, the better choice.
31 strikes me as a play by special interests to make it possible for local governments to overrule environmental protections from the State.
32 is, I think, little more than an additional attack on unions.
33 seems like little more than an authorization to raise rates on new policy holders account of their having gone without insurance for a while (e.g., while  n the military).  What is the argument about allowing insurance companies to lower rates really about?  I’ve never heard of laws that prevent insurance companies from setting rates too low.
34 fact: It’s more expensive to have a death penalty than not.
35 is a weird one.  If I understand it, its goal is to make it easier to prosecute the lowlifes that run young girls against their will.  Cool.  If it were really a threat to civil liberties, why isn’t the argument against it by someone like the ACLU?  Instead we get a mother who’s concerned about her perfect son getting branded because she’s a sex worker (who presumably isn’t under age anyway)?  Sounds bogus to me.
36 reduces some of the extremes of the ill-thought-out three strikes law passed as a prison guard full employment initiative several years ago.
37 is clearly being opposed by the big profiteers that stand to keep reaping in hugh profits if it’s defeated.  When you can see the interests of millionaires as clearly as here, vote against them.
39 is, likewise, being fought by some really big money.  Fight back.
40 is also an odd one.  Notice that the argument against is, essentially, “we didn’t mean it.”  There are a myriad of confusing twists and turns to the story, but apparently the least disruption, and the only real support of the non-gerrymandering redistricting policy we put in place last election is to vote yes.  Also, for obscure reasons, opposition has been withdrawn.

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