Firenza Xuan Pini Gets My Vote
I changed my mind after watching the League Of Women Voters 2nd state assembly district candidate forum on KEET TV last night. You'll recall a few days ago I was considering voting for perennial Green and Peace & Freedom Party candidate, Pam Elizondo. Not now.
I started watching about 15 minutes into the show. Wes Chesbro was a no- show. The candidates present were Democrat Tom Lynch, Green Pam Elizondo and Democrat Firenza Xuan Pini.
Tom Lynch seemed most in control of the situation and most comfortable with the camera. To his credit he brought up the state workers' pension problem at least twice, saying it was an unsustainable system that needed fixing. He wanted to "rework" government, or something along that line, and come up with a system that worked.
Maybe that's why Chesbro didn't show up as he holds a fair share of the blame for that pension crisis? That might have been an awkward subject for Chesbro to deal with.
Overall, I'd say Tom Lynch "won" not so much for points made but for the way he handled himself.
I'm always amused by Pam Elizondo. This time her "save the earth" line got tiresome, if not scary, after hearing it over and over again. She frequently went off- topic with her answers, giving the same generic "work to save the planet" line no matter what the issue.
She seemed the most familiar with the Richardson Grove alignment, albeit from the wrong side. She said she'd actually participated in protests at the Grove and thought it was horrible they were going to cut all the trees down, or some such. She obviously has no idea what the project really entails but I'll give her credit for at least being there.
Her closing statement went off- topic, as usual, with a rant about the military industrial complex, war, and such- not exactly a state assembly issue. I decided I wouldn't be voting for her although I suppose we could do worse than have her in the state assembly taking up time discussing international relations.
My favorite turned out to be Democrat Firenza Xuan Pini. I was surprised to see what seemed to be a mostly white girl with a name like that. If she was asian at all, it must have been just a small part of her.
Firenza was a disaster in handling herself and making points. I'd say she was probably the worst I've seen as far as candidates stumbling in a forum. She had trouble articulating her response on just about every issue, often forgetting her line of thought entirely. At least once she couldn't recover and ended her statement rather than trying to continue. I wouldn't have blamed her for getting up and leaving the forum as bad as she was at maintaining her train of thought.
But she did manage to say some neat things. On some medical oriented question she said she didn't want the government coming between doctors and their patients. That was good. What really caught my attention was when she said she thought the state legislature should be part time. Yikes! This, from a Democrat?
Despite her barely making it through the forum, I'd prefer her over any of the others. After all, public speaking is just one aspect of the job. Aside from her public speaking issues, it's hard to find out anything else about her.
She doesn't seem to have a campaign web page. A cursory search of her name came up pretty much empty. She hasn't even taken advantage of the free Smartvoter candidate web pages the League Of Women Voters offers. One of the more amateurish candidacies I've seen in my time.
Firenza Xuan Pini gets my vote for 2nd district, state assembly on June 5.
Addendum: I finally found a campaign web site for Firenza. Short and sweet. Still looks good to me. Perhaps a closet libertarian?