The geniuses who moved California’s primary from the sensible, and safe June to the irrationally early March did so to “give California more say” in the presidential primaries. But because of the unbalanced front loading of the primaries so far our “choices” have been reduced to picking amongst who’se left: Sen. Kerry, Sen. Edwards, Rep. Kucinich and yes, Rev. Al Sharpton, in the Tuesday primary. Whatever “influence” California might have had has once again been snatched away, reminding one of poor ol’ Charlie Brown’s quixotic quest to kick that football Lucy has.
While this may reassure Sen. Kerry’s campaign, it has the unintended effect of potentially dampening turnout for other campaigns this March, which would be unfortunate. Several very important issues are on the ballot, and it’s important to make sure one’s voice is heard since many of these will have a more direct and immediate impact on people’s lives than who gets elected President. Plus, with so many races already decided, you can do what I do when confronted with inevitable winners in these races, and use your ballot as state-funded entertainment.
So without further ado, some humble recommendations from Schädelmann.com:
President: The only real race right now is on the Democratic side – I am unaware of any serious insurgency on the GOP side. I make two recommendations for you to consider, it really depends on how you feel when you mark your ballot.
If you want to be able to say “Hey, I voted for the winner” then vote for Sen. John Kerry. Polls indicate he’s got anywhere from a 25 to 32 point lead over Sen. Edwards, and the rest trail far behind. Thanks primarily to a large loan from himself to the campaign, he was able to revive his flagging fortunes and already President Bush and his minions are attacking him. Even if Kerry’s lead were to drop 15 points (not likely) he’d STILL win by over 15 points anyway. So if you want to vote for the “winner” , vote for Sen. John Kerry.
If you don’t care about voting for a winner, and want to have some fun, vote for Rep. Dennis Kucinch. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Rep. Kucinch and think he’s a genuinely nice guy and his campaign staff has always been fun to talk to. Barring some revelations over the weekend, he’s not going to win the California primary. But then again, with Kerry being the inevitable winner anyway, voting for Kucinch won’t hurt Kerry a bit, and could help Rep. Kucinch get some issues aired at the convention in July. So if you’d like to use your ballot for some taxpayer-funded fun, vote Kucinch.
Proposition 55: Vote No I hate to vote no on building schools, or fixing them since so many are in such sorry shape. But as usual, these fund will build lots of buildings, but make not one assurance that there’ll be a dime to fund any classes in them.
Plus when you read the fine print and realize we’re paying as much in interest (12.4 billion dollars) as we are in getting actual money to the schools (12.3 billion dollars) you begin to realize this is short term borrowing with long term debt problems. We have too many bonds issued as is – force the Doofinator and the Legislature to fund schools properly, or take the shackles off of local government and let local communities decide for themselves how much they would like to pay for decent schools in their area.
Proposition 56: Vote Yes. The two-thirds requirement to pass a budget is one of these idiotic “think tank” ideas some genius comes up with as a way to try and make things better, when in fact it makes things worse. It makes no sense for a budget with 64% of the votes in the Legislature fail, because it didn’t get a full 66% vote.
The wild-eyed claims about making it “easier” to pass higher taxes and the threat of Californians waking up one day to find all their taxes have been quintupled is foolish. If a state Legislature raised taxes too much, they’d get voted out of office – that’s our job as voters if that is in fact how we feel.
More importantly, it would force all of our state leaders to make hard decisions about how to run our state government, instead of allowing them to pass clever little “non tax” taxes, like state assessments on parking tickets and the infamous “snack tax” of Gov. Pete Wilson (aka Arnold I).
Return majority rule to the state budget process, and take away the excuses both branches use to evade their roles as leaders charged with making decisions.
Proposition 57/58: Vote NO NO NO NO. Gov. Doofinator ran Gray Davis out of town claiming that Davis resorted to budget trickery that ran our state in to debt, and that he, the Doofinator, would make “tough choices” and bring “leadership” to Sacramento. This bond and pony show does neither.
Rather than be a balls-out real Republican and cut like crazy, he instead proposes to get out the state credit card, and borrow our way out of our problems. This is not leadership – this is deferring the problem to future generations so that Doofinator and the Legislature can say they “fixed” the problem without having to make any difficult choices.
Particularly galling is the total sellout of the Jarvis Taxpayers Association, longtime foes of budget shenanigans (we thought) who have signed on to this foolish package, as well as the sellout of “Democrats” like Steve Westly, who claims to be a Democrat, but can’t seem to get those sparkles out of his eyes when standing next to the retired movie star. The witty rejoinder we keep hearing from people who “reluctantly” support this nonsense is the old “well we don’t want to make cuts in social programs, so this is the best we can do.”
Bullshit! It’s is just this kind of crisis that can force everyone to make real decisions and stand up for what it is they truly support and discard what they do not. Sure the battle would be ugly, and the short-term damage would be horrible, but the eventual compromise from an honest debate would be far better than this noise.
Superior Court, Los Angeles County: Since I recently moved here, I do not know much about these candidates. Rather than cast an irresponsible ballot, I’m leaving these blank. I rarely do this, but when I know so little about LA Superior Court issues, I’m not going to add to the noise by casting crazy votes and accidently voting for some nutcase candidate by mistake. Maybe that makes me less of a “knowledgeable pundit,” but I’d rather admit I don’t know something than lie.
Los Angeles County Supervisor: Los Angeles County, an area bigger than 20 states, has only five supervisors running the County. These people run “their” districts like little feudal kingdoms, safe from any real opposition with huge election bank accounts that ensure no one dares take them on. The geographic area of each supervisor’s district is so big, that running a low budget campaign is next to impossible. Thus, voting in these races is like voting in a third world country where the election’s been determined in advance, and the “winner” gets something like 110% of the vote.
Thus, vote for any non-incumbent in these races. If the ones running in your area are particularly insane, then write in someone. Anyone. Yourself, your friend, your dog, whatever. Punch a hole in these folks’ egos and deny them their 90%. It won’t change much but at least you’ll make someone at the Elections OFfice have to hand count your ballot.
No matter how you end up deciding to vote, be sure to do so. And make sure you know where your mail-ballot is and your polling place. Although I’m registered in Venice as a Permanent Mail Ballot voter, I have yet to receive my ballot, and after several frustrating calls to the Elections Department did I find that I may never get it – and if I’d followed the advice of the first person to take my call, I would not have been able to vote at all this time around! Scary.
© 2003-2006 Greg Dewar | All Rights Reserved | Originally Published at www.schadelmann.com
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