Thursday, June 01, 2006

Moody Loner's Election Guide: Part II

This continues the Moody Loner voting guide - Part I covered Prop. 81 and 82 while Part III will cover the San Jose, CA races. This, Part II, will go over my picks for the statewide races starting with the powerful and glamorous Member of the Board of Equalization races that we've heard so much about, and winding up with that Governator thing.

Okay, on to the statewide elected officials:

Member of the Board of Equalization, District 1:

Quick Answer: Oh, Jesus God.

Long answer: Already, I run into a conundrum. See, I hate - hate - voting for incumbents, and the absolute, unshakeable law of this voting guide is that I will not tell you to vote for a Republican. Yes, even if the Republican is better qualified. Republicans, by signing up and running under that party, you support everything Republicans have been doing for the past six years - the disenfranchisement, the torture, the lawbreaking, and the shredding of the Constitution. This is the payoff.

My first choice would be David Campbell from the Peace and Freedom Party - "soak the rich" ought to piss off the Republicans - but, if you must, vote for the Acting Member, Betty T. Yee.

Superintendent of Public Instruction:

Quick Answer: Jack O'Connell, wait, Sarah Knopp, wait, Grant McMicken. Ah, hell.

Long answer: Lovely, a non-partisan position - which means that they don't have to list political affiliation. Well, I like voting for someone for this position who's actually been a teacher, so that cuts half the slate out right there (including the woman who thought that listing her Republican Party accomplishments would help). Of those three, Sarah Knopp looks good right up to he point she wants to legislate my wife out of her life's work - see Prop 82 in Part I. Grant McMicken looks good - if "entrepreneur" isn't "stealth Republican". And Jack O'Connell, of course, is the incumbent, which is extra poisonous, given the state of California's public education.

Looks like a coin-flip between Sarah Knopp and Grant McMicken. Yeah, they want different things - but both of them want to make major changes, and a good shakeup - at minimum - is what we need.

Insurance Commissioner:

Quick answer: John Kraft.

Long answer: Anybody with a campaign website that crappy gets my vote. Seriously though, I don't like him being an "insurance consultant" but he, as far as I can tell, meets the two requirements for this position: He isn't supported by the insurance companies, and he isn't a Republican. The cheese stands alone!

Attorney General:

Quick answer: Jerry Brown or Michael S. Wyman.

Long answer: Okay, like I prefer to vote for a teacher for Superintendent of Public Instruction, I hate to vote for a prosecutor for Attorney General. Not particularly enthused with a criminal attorney, for the same reasons - I think a certain distance from the daily workings of our justice system is important to maintaining our rights, having worked more closely with it in high school.

Looks like a coin-flip between Jerry Brown and Michael Wyman. Their positions are somewhat different - but close enough for my book. I lean towards Wyman as he despises the Patriot Act nearly as much as I do, but Brown pisses off the wingnuts and that counts for something too.

As an aside - God, Jerry Brown got old and bald! When the hell did that happen?!?


Quick answer: Oh, Jesus God. Not the incumbent - please. All right, Bill Lockyer.

Long answer: Let's see, we have a marketer, someone who wants to raise revenue through State ownership, and two Republicans. Go with the incumbent, dammit.


Quick answer: John Chiang.
Long answer: Going back and forth between him and Laura Wells, but her website hadn't been recently updated and had misspellings. On such small hinges does our democracy turn.

Secretary of State:

Quick answer: Debra Bowen
Long answer: Debra Bowen. This is an easy one - she's been fighting Diebold long before it was cool.

Lieutenant Governor:

Quick answer: Donna J. Warren.
Long answer: I have to burn at least one of these votes on a third-party candidate, and she's a good one. She wants to amend three-strikes to violent felonies only - a position I heartily agree with - and from my early-morning researches, is one of the few candidates in this election not phoning it in. I'm sure she's received much more enthusiastic endorsements, but she'll have to settle for mine.


Quick answer: Phil Angelides, dammit.
Long answer: Not particularly happy about how he and Westly have been running this race, but I think Angelides is the marginally stronger candidate.

Okay, to answer the obvious questions: Yes, I know that this is a primary, and that I won't see most of these people on my Decline-to-State ballot (unless I pick up the Democratic one to vote for Debra Bowen. Which I may do).

This isn't so much how I'm going to vote as how I think you should - and who I want to see survive until the November election.

So, thanks to the League of Women Voters' site and to the candidates' online materials for providing the information I needed to make my recommendations. Next up, Part III - wherein I regale you with the horse-hockey we will be inflicted with in our local election. God, I love democracy.

And remember - ask for a paper ballot!

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