I spent this afternoon voting, in the comfort of my [home] office, with football playing in the background. Picture me browsing to websites, reading the Official Voter Information Guide and the candidates' statements in the Sample Ballot, and actually spending time thinking about the issues. Weird, isn't it?
I know, most people don't do this, most people have never heard of most of the candidates and don't trouble to inform themselves, most people don't understand the issues they're voting about. So be it, our system is not perfect.
Anyway, here are my votes in case you wanted to know...
California State positions
- Governor - Arnold Schwarzenegger
- Lieutenant Governor - Tom McClintock
- Secretary of State - Bruce McPherson. Tough call over Debra Bowen, even though she's way liberal.
- Controller - Tony Strickland. An uninformed decision but I like his website.
- Treasurer - Claude Parrish. This is a vote against Bill Lockyer.
- Attorney General - Chuck Poochigian. A vote against Jerry Brown.
- Insurance Commissioner - Steve Poizner. A vote against Cruz Bustamante.
- Member, State Board of Equalization, 2nd district - Bill Leonard. Doesn't like the parcel tax (prop 88), neither do I.
- State Assembly, 37th district - Audra Strickland. I agree with her positions on virtually every issue.
- Senator - Dick Mountjoy. I like him, plus a vote against Dianne Feinstein, who I voted for originally but who has disappointed me over and over and moved to the left while in office.
- Representative, 24th district - Elton Gallegly. He's been a great representative for a red district in a blue state.
Joyce Kennard - Yes.
Carol Corrigan - Yes.
Robert Mallano - Yes.
Frances Rothschild - Yes.
Roger Boren - Yes.
Victoria Chavez - No. A thousand times no. No on her dad, too, except he's not on the ballot.
Patti Kitching - Yes.
Richard Alrich - Yes.
Norman Epstein - Yes. Liberal but smart.
Thomas Willhite - Yes.
Nora Manella - Yes.
Steven Suzukawa - Yes.
Richard Mosk - No. On the Christopher Commission and Iran - United States Claims Tribunal. Not real world.
Sandy Kriegler - Yes.
Arthur Gilbert - Yes. Has a blog :)
Dennis Perluss - Yes. A Davis appointee but surprisingly rational anyway.
Fred Woods - Yes. Solid citizen.
Laurie Zelon - No. She and Madeleine Flier are flaming liberals, both appointed by Davis.
Candace Cooper - No. Not enough on the web about her considering how long she's been on the court (appointed by Davis in 2001).
Madeleine Flier - No. See Laurie Zelon above.
Community College District - Cheryl Heitmann. Seems to be doing a good job.
Conejo Valley School District - Mike Dunn, Pat Phelps, Tim Stephens. Based mostly on statements in voter guides.
Thousand Oaks City Council - Dennis Gillette, John Diguiseppe, Bob Wilson. I like the current council, our city is in great shape. I'm voting incumbents.
Conejo Recreation and Parks - Joe Gibson, Susan Holt, Mike Berger. Based on voter guide.
We interrupt my vote for a rant. Why oh why do we have voter information published in Spanish? There is one official language in California, and it isn't Spanish. I'm Dutch, why don't we publish voter information in Dutch? There must be people from hundreds of countries speaking thousands of languages living in California; why not publish voter information in every used language? It doesn't make sense. People who can't speak English or comprehend written English should not vote. Simple as that. Okay, now back to voting...
- 1A - No. I think gas taxes probably should be used for transportation improvements, but I don't like earmarked taxes. Let the Governor and Legislature have flexibility to reallocate when necessary.
- 1B - Yes. $20B bond issue for state and local transportation improvements. Although there's an argument that we shouldn't use bonds for this stuff ("borrowing against the future") the fact is that these investments are needed and we can't fund them out of tax revenue, and shouldn't choke economic growth by raising taxes. So...
- 1C - No. $3B bond issue for housing and development programs. Unlike 1B, It isn't clear that these investments really are investments, or whether they're needed.
- 1D - No. $10B bond issue for school infrastructure. Unlike 1B, I don't think school infrastructure is a one-time upgrade; rather, this is ongoing maintenance and investments needed, and should be funded from tax revenues.
- 1E - Yes. $4B bond issue for flood management projects. This feels like 1B to me, so I'm for it.
Note: 1A through 1E are generally being promoted as a package, supported by [among many others] Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. I have chosen to vote for them a la carte... despite all being bond issues they have less to do with each other than supporters of the package claim.
- 83 - No. Increased punishments and restrictions on sex offenders. If I thought this would help prevent sexual abuse I'd vote for it, but I don't, so this would be just more money thrown away on bad people.
- 84 - No. $5.4B bond issue for water quality and flood control. I might not understand this well enough to make the right decision, but it feels to me like a special interest thing which isn't really needed.
- 85 - No. Makes it more difficult for minors to get an abortion. I think anyone who is pregnant and doesn't want a baby should get an abortion, especially minors who are less likely to care for the kid.
- 86 - No. Excise tax on cigarettes. I don't like "sin taxes" and this one especially doesn't seem to make sense. Seems to have special interest language in it, too, to protect hospitals from antitrust laws.
- 87 - No. $4B tax hike to fund alternative energy [sic]. I am a big fan of alternative entropy but I don't think government subsidy is the way to get there. Instead let's remove government barriers to private enterprise solutions. Anyway this kind of tax is a waste of money.
- 88 - No. This is the infamous parcel tax. Although this is a way to carve back on Prop 13, which was a big mistake, we should change Prop 13, not enact new taxes in different configurations to work around it. Also, it isn't progressive (that is, doesn't scale to the value of the parcel), which seems unfair. Backed by Reed Hastings (Netflix) and John Doerr (Kleiner Perkins).
- 89 - No. Public campaign funding. I don't think candidates' campaigns are a good use of public funds, sorry, even though I understand and somewhat accept the argument that in the absence of public funding, rich candidates have an advantage. I think they do anyway (!), and people should raise money for their campaigns based on merit.
- 90 - No. An anti-Kelo attempt to restrict public seizure of private property. I am sympathetic to the intent of this proposition, but unfortunately it goes too far by requiring government to compensate property owners for actions which change the value of their property, as well as actions which seize the property. This could trigger a rash of lawsuits and restrict governments from conducting business. ("You didn't put the new school next door to my property, so it is now less valuable!")
Thanks for your attention!
By the way, I am not one of those people who say to everyone: "you should vote!" Instead, if you don't know what you're voting about, don't vote! If you know the people and understand the issues, and we disagree, so be it. But if you don't know the people and don't understand the issues, then please don't dilute my vote with yours.