OK, it’s almost June 5th and you still have not sat down with your spouse or significant other, sample ballot in hand, and made your decision on who to vote for. Or, maybe you are just one of those folks that closes your eyes in the voting booth and hopes for the best (how could you do any worse?). If you have not sent your vote-by-mail ballot in or, like me, you prefer to exercise your right at the local polling place, here is our take on the locals you will be voting for. This is only for the races that really count and not for anything that brings in the “top two” votes. We may cover those when it matters, in November.
Gary Johnson – President of the United States
Hey, I am a Libertarian after all. Johnson is the best candidate for President the Libertarian Party has ever produced. He is articulate and clear on Libertarian values and has the respect of the entire party. But, it is his running mate that I like even better. Homegrown, OC boy, Jim Gray is a former Superior Court Judge who makes no secret of his belief that America has lost the war on drugs. He thinks money spent combating drugs on the street would be better spent elsewhere… or not spent at all.
Gail Lightfoot – United States Senator
The field is thick with candidates for Senator. At last count there were 14 Republicans and 6 Democrats vying for the seat. Lightfoot has the best name recognition of all of them, save for Orly Taitz, another crackpot conservative. She also has demonstrated “fiscal responsibility and social tolerance”. And, you wonder why we like Libertarians.
Todd Spitzer – District 3 County Board of Supervisors
Todd Spitzer and Deborah Pauly have put on a pretty good show for us, centered mainly on Twitter and Facebook. Pauly, who banned me from her Twitter feed (I guess she didn’t know I could just pull it up anytime, even if I can’t follow her), has tried her best to come up with some worthy zingers against Todd. But, in the end, she just doesn’t have what it takes. It must be that inner angry religious and racial bigot peeking out.
Todd, on the other hand, has made the most of the opportunities Pauly has presented him. He has deftly wielded the DUI issue without making too big a deal about it. I haven’t followed the past few days since a Pauly supporter, Bob Walters, sent a support letter out with a photo of Alabama Governor George Wallace standing in front of the University of Alabama, refusing entry to black students. Walters, who claims he was Wallace’s campaign manager for a failed presidential run, was obviously equating Pauly’s firm conservative views to Wallace, right? Funny, she did not disavow herself from Walters or the letter.
Todd is actually running for Orange County District Attorney. That position just isn’t open yet, and he needs to keep busy in the meantime. So, for now, he is running for County Board of Supervisors. He is the only candidate with both local experience as a former county supervisor, and statewide experience as a legislator. He has major endorsements from around the state and the county. In fact, all of Pauly’s colleagues on the Villa Park City Council have endorsed her opponent. He has also managed to outraise Pauly in campaign funds. So much so, that he was able to run an effective campaign on the raised funds without touching a dime in his warchest (he is saving that for the OCDA race).
Todd often manages to put his foot in his mouth but he is actually interested in making the county a better place. And just as quickly as his foot goes in, it comes back out again as he can usually turn most criticism away.
Bob Hammond – Orange County Board of Education Area 1 Trustee
Yes, we’ve broken away from the Libertarian slate on this one, for good reason. For whatever reason, they have chosen to endorse someone we just cannot stomach. We warned you of this in an earlier
post and stand by our post. Pedroza is absolutely the worst person for this position for all the reasons we wrote about here.
Bob Hammondis a former United States Marine and teacher. He has the endorsement of the (shudder) Republican Party as well as former Tustin Councilmember, Jim Palmer. In the grand scheme of things, I think an accountant would be better than a teacher in this position only because of the fiscal management responsibilities of the board. But, for that very reason, you definitely don’t want Pedroza watching the purse strings.
Yes on Measure A Office of Public Adminstrator
It is time to rein in the number of elected offices in the County. Public Administrator is a job most people did not even know about until last year when Public Administrator/Public Guardian John Williams got into hot water over a number of issues, including helping to railroad Todd Spitzer when he was fired from his job in the District Attorney’s office. It is pretty evident that the DA’s right hand girl, Susan Kang Schroeder, colluded with Williams on this one.
More importantly, the job does not pay that much and it is, at best, a part-time job that should be relegated to a Mangager III rather than an elected official who can’t figure out how to keep them from locking him out of his office.
No on Measure B, Mandatory Minimum Pension Selection
A big no on this one. Everyone thinks this is a great idea. That is what the Board of Supervisors wants you to think. However, as it stands now, Supervisors may take the regular, non-public safety pension or they can opt to take no pension at all. With this change, we are giving them a gift. With all these so-called conservative Republicans around, would it surprise you to know that only Bates and Nelson refuse their pensions? Your other three conservatives, including the career politician and employee who will reap a windfall pension when he retires, John Moorlach, gladly take their pensions, car allowances and Optional Personal Benefits Accounts to the tune of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars. Send this one back to the drawing board with a no vote and demand your Supervisors take NO pension.
Yes on Prop. 28, Term Limits
I’ll tell you right now, we are not fans of term limits at the state level. While we gladly voted for them in the old days, it has become apparent that term limits, in their current form, are useless and have done more harm than good. The immediate result of term limits in California was to put every legislator and statewide elected official into permanent fundraising mode for the next election cycle. In fact, legislators spend more time working on keeping their jobs than actually doing their jobs. Oh, you can blame the evil unions if you like but Republicans all get their money from the various chambers of commerce, business coalitions and, so-called, tax reform organizations. Let’s not forget AT&T drops millions into candidate accounts and has full-time lobbyists for their business. It’s just good… business, after all.
Prop. 28 is a long way from what I would like to see: elimination of term limits. But, it does help in that legislators will be able to remain in one house, hopefully gaining experience and wisdom along the way. At least, that is the idea behind this current change.
Term limits at the local level? Absolutely! Local politics is not the place for professional politicians. Recently, John Moorlach attempted to garner interest in changing term limits for the Board of Supervisors. That’s probably because the Republican Party has shown little interest in sending him to Sacramento. And, he will be out of a job soon enough. He is not alone. Santa Ana City Councilmember, Claudia Alvarez recently sought an opinion on their term limits measure to see if she could run for three more terms. And, can anyone, even his so-called friends, imagine 4 more years of Boss Tweed Amante and his fiscal responsiblitity? Where’s my iPad?
No on Prop. 29, Tobacco Tax
I know, I know. I should stop smoking those darned cigars. But, this really isn’t about that. The tax on non-cigarette products is rather minimal and I have voted for these taxes in the past. However, this one was so poorly written, it almost begs the government to set up another useless, money-stealing bureaucracy to mis-manage tax money and send it out of state. There is almost no oversight and, most importantly, no requirement for the money to be spent on research withing the state of California, where we have premiere cancer research laboratories. Just say No and send this one back to the drawing board. Then come down to the Chili Cookoff. I’ll be the one in the panama, smoking a pre-embargo cigar (I might even have Amber the Wonder Dog with me).