California Ballot Analysis Part III: State Offices, County Offices and Issues

As promised, this is the third and last installment of my posts on the 2012 General Election ballot. This post covers state offices, and Los Angeles county offices and measures. Previous posts in this series have looked at the Federal offices on the ballot and the California propositions. (Note: This was written Wednesday night, but posted Thursday morning, because I expected to be busy with meetings)

As I stated in the first post, On November 6, most of you will have the opportunity to vote. I hope you do so, and I hope you study and make intelligent decisions about which candidates and positions to support. This means supporting a candidate or position on the basis of your own research and the facts, not the pablum spewed by commercials nor the invective spewed on the Internet. I never have a problem with a political position arrived at honestly and based on facts. The same goes if you categorically reject the possibility of any new tax, or believe the government is always evil. I want discussions based in reality, not fantasy worlds. To that end, every year I go through my entire sample ballot and present you with my positions on everything. This allows me to research it all, present that research, and allow others to possible convince me to change my current position before the election.

California State Senator, 27th District

This is a battle between Todd Zink (R) and Fran Pavley (D). Both are new to this part of Northridge, thanks to redistricting; previously, we had been lumped with a Santa Clarita district and had Cameron Smyth. Zink is supported by Steve Cooley, the Howard Jarvis association, and a number of Republican congressmen, supervisors, and such. Pavley has unions and the Democratic leadership of the state. Neither are a great surprise, and neither sway me. Issue-wise, I like much of what Zink says. He lost me, however, when he talked about increased spending for prisons. There is limited discretionary funding in the state, and spending for prisons comes at the expense of the California university system. We can’t have that — what will make California lead again are our universities. Looking at Pavley’s positions on the issues, she talks about supporting the California university system. That’s a big plus for me. She’s also had a lot of support for highway projects.

(I’ll note that this is a similar position to the primary, where I said: “This is easier: one Democrat (Fran Pavley, a CSUN graduate who wants to lower CS and UC tuition), and one Republican (Todd Zink, whose positions also seem reasonable). Both have reasonable positions; I’m giving the edge to Pavley simply because I’m tired of having a Republican as my state senator (which is what I’ve had for years).”)

Conclusion: Leaning Fran Pavley

California State Assembly, 45th District

This is a battle between Chris Kolski (R) and Bob Blumenfield (D), the incumbent. Again, both are new to Northridge, thanks to redistricting; previously, we had a Republican from Santa Clarita, Sharon Runner. I like that Kolski is an Engineer from UCLA… but he’s also campaigning against folks like Waxman and Obama (even though he is not running for Federal office) and states he is “an active Reagan Conservative”. His issues page talks national issues, not state issues. Blumenfield’s issue page is on his assembly website, but doesn’t really say all that much. His accomplishments page gives some more clues, but he seems to be mostly consumer issues. I don’t see any mention of state infrastructure, nor of transportation. So it looks like this battle is between someone who is campaigning on the Federal issues and people he is against, and an incumbent supported primarily by unions who isn’t strongly for anything either.  Weak choices, both.

(Again, I’ll note that we only had these two to choose from in the primary battle, and I drew similar conclusions: “Kolski, although he’s an EE (+) and a UCLA grad (+), is campaigning on an anti-Waxman platform (I like Waxman) and is for returning to the gold standard (bad idea).” In other words, I voted for Blumenfield only because I couldn’t stomach voting for Kolski.)

Conclusion: Coin Toss, but probably Blumenfield, simply on the hope he’ll work better with the Governor.

Los Angeles County District Attorney

This is a non-partisan battle between Alan Jackson and Jackie Lacey. Jackson is mostly endorsed by the Republican establishment and law enforcement groups. Jackson also has the endorsement of the LA Daily News. Lacey is endorsed by the LA Times, the state Atty General, the LA District Attorney, and the Democratic establishment.  Jackson’s issues page does have a discussion of high-tech crimes and cybersecurity — a plus. Lacey doesn’t have an issue page, but her “about me” page gives insight into her positions. I think I”m leaning towards Lacey, simply because she’s already in the DA’s office, and knows how it works. (I’ll note that, looking back, I supported Lacey in the primary as well)

Conclusion: Jackie Lacey.

County Measure A: LA County Assessor – Appointed or Elected?

This is an advisory vote on whether to change the LA County assessor from an elected position to an appointed position. Appointed positions could be subject to cronyism, but elected positions really are meaningless when people don’t understand what the office does or the qualifications. A yes vote means that we might see this on a future ballot, but it is advisory only. I think we might as well get it on the ballot, so we can really analyze the pros and cons.

Conclusion: Yes on A

County Measure B: Require Adult Film Actors to Wear Condoms

This would require adult film performers to wear condoms while engaged in sex acts, provide proof of blood borne pathogen training courses, etc. Violations would result in civil fines and criminal charges.

To me, this is “nanny state”. Adult film actors are simply that: adults. They are tested very very regularly, and and failure is well known and publicized. For the county to step in and attempt to monitor this is both silly and a waste of money that should be spent elsewhere.

Conclusion: No on B

Los Angeles County MTA Measure J: Accelerating Traffic Relief

This measure would continue the 1/2% sales tax for transportation projects for another 30 years. From my work on the highway pages, I’ve seen the good this money has done. Our infrastructure is crumbling, so there’s no doubt about how I’ll vote on this.

Conclusion: Yes on J


Well, that’s it. In three posts, I’ve gone through the entire ballot. Probably not surprising to those who know me, I’ve ended up supporting the Democratic candidates, although I did at least attempt to look at the positions of all the other candidates. I hope it has proved useful for you to read, as it has been for me to write and research. As I’ve said before, convincing arguments on any of these issues are welcome.



3 Replies to “California Ballot Analysis Part III: State Offices, County Offices and Issues”

  1. I just want to thank you for the small measure of thoughtfulness of mentioning that “most of you will have the opportunity to vote.” It would rarely have bugged me when I lived elsewhere…but the assumption of citizenship really bothers me here, when I’m not yet eligible to even apply for naturalization. (I believe I become eligible two months from today.) And so I want to thank you for remembering that not everybody is a US citizen.

Comments are closed.