Saturday, October 01, 2016

How To Vote In November

I received my sample ballot in the mail yesterday so will assume most of you got yours as well. I also think it's safe to assume you're confused by the ballot and are asking 'Fred, how do I vote on all these issues?". 

Not to worry folks. I'm here to help, so grab your sample ballots and a pen or pencil and follow along with me as I go through all the candidates and issues. If you didn't get your sample ballot, a simple notepad should suffice. Here we go:

U.S. President/ Vice President- This should be a no- brainer although I'm sure some will disagree with me for various reasons. Johnson- Weld is the clear choice. What better time than now to vote for a third party with two horrific candidates holding places in the top two parties?

U.S. Senate- Lorreta Sanchez. I was surprised to see Libertarian Party's perennial U.S. Senate candidate, Gail Lightfoot absent from the ballot. I went to the California Libertarians Facebook page and asked what gives and was reminded this was the result of our new "top two" prmary where the top two winners, regardless of party affiliation, move up to the general election. Candidates not on the top two are tossed aside.

This is the sort of race I might well not vote in since there's no appealing candidate but I have heard positive things about Sanchez earlier on- her being a bit of a maverick of sorts and sometimes voting against her party line. She also wasn't the choice for her party's endorsement which is a good sign. That's good enough for me unless I hear something negative I consider disqualifying. And, in a two Democrat race, it wouldn't take much for that.

 U.S. Representative, District 2- I recommend Dale Mensing, the Republican candidate. I believe this is the guy that works as a cashier in a Safeway or Rays in Fortuna or Garberville. That may seem disqualifying to some, but I think we need more average working guy types in congress. His opponent, Jared Huffman, is a life long politician having spent his whole life- as best I can tell- in government. Huffman's "experience" is not the kind we need.

State Assembly, Dist. 2- Ken Anton, the Libertarian Party candidate is the clear choice here. A self- employed geologist earlier on, he's looking at bigger and better things. His campaign signs actually say "protect our freedom". How often do you see a candidate mention that? That's especially important in this day and age.

He's run for this position before and I'll have to say I admire him. He's not like the paper candidates third parties- LP Included- often run just to get someone on the ballot. He drives around and makes the campaign rounds. The day he showed up here to drop off some signs I believe he'd drove to Crescent City and then Trinity County putting some effort into the campaign. He also went to the expense of submitting a candidate statement for the ballot. Something many candidates don't bother with. A great candidate we're lucky to have.

Next in line is the Eureka City Council Member. For Ward 2, Heidi Messner wins by default since she was the only one left in the race. Good enough for me. While I don't have to, I'll still mark off her box on the ballot. 

Eureka City Council, Ward 4- John Fullerton is the clear choice. I'll admit his conservatism is of some concern, but others on the council should keep that in line. His experience as an accountant should be particularly useful when crunching numbers in the city budget. Most council folk likely have to consult with city staff to understand the numbers. Fullerton should be able to get a handle on them himself and perhaps anticipate future budget problems.

Next we have the state wide ballot measures, some of which confuse me as much as anybody:

Prop 51- School Bonds- No. I see no reason to throw good money after bad and, if you're a homeowner, this amounts to a tax increase.

Prop 52-Medical Hospital Fees- No.  this is the one they've been running TV commercials on with doctors and nurses supposedly urging us to vote for it. That's enough to get me to vote against it if only because doctors and nurses would be the last ones whose advice I'd follow for anything other than medical advice. 

Make no mistake. This is a tax imposed on medical care that's funneled into other medical uses. Best pay it up front rather than trying to pretend it's free money that just showed up somehow as the commercials try to suggest.

Prop 53- Revenue Bonds- Yes. This requires statewide voter approval before the state can issue bonds. Seems like a no- brainer, although I have little confidence in the average California voter to judge the legitimacy of those bonds. We need look not further than the passage of bonds for the high speed rail boondoggle to see where voting on bonds gets us.

Prop 54- Legislative Transparency-Yes. This would require the state legislature to publish language of any bills on the internet at least 72 hours before it can be voted on. Billed as a legislative transparency issue, this supposedly will help reduce instances of bills being snuck through the legislative process before anyone knows it was coming. Makes sense although I don't know that it will function as advertised.

Prop 55- Tax extension- No-This extends the "temporary" Prop 30 tax increases of years ago for 12 more years. We'll likely never get rid of this temporary tax increase if we don't do it now.

Prop 56- Cigarette Tax Increase- NO- Increases price of pack of cigarettes by $2.00. No brainer, although perhaps not for most of you. For one, despite being a smoker, I wouldn't vote for this one if I didn't smoke, as I think it's immoral to levy a tax on someone that won't apply to myself. This tax goes after the poorest in our society and thus those least able to defend themselves from tax increases.

Prop 57- Criminal Sentence and Parole Reductions- A grudging Yes- Just like I voted for Prop 47, I'll grudgingly support this one which reduces sentences for supposedly non- violent crimes. There's some question as to what crimes are considered non- violent under this initiative but I'm chalking that up to hype the the lock 'em up and throw away the key crowd. We can't just keep locking more and more people up, especially for non- violent crimes.

Prop 58- Bilingual Education- No- I actually have no idea what this one does but am following the Libertarian Party of California Executive Committee's recommendations on it.

Prop 59- End Citizen's United- No- would force the state legislature to do what they can to ask the courts to overturn the Citizen's United decision. I don't have a problem with Citizen's United. Those that do are generally ones who want to limit businesses ability to spend money but not unions or others prone to support "progressive" causes. I say let everyone spend money for political purposes as they see fit.

Prop 60- Condom Requirement- No- Requires porn film actors to wear condoms. This is their business and the industry already has its own safeguards, although they aren't foolproof. If passed, this will likely add the porn industry to the list of businesses leaving California. 

Los Angeles passed its own version of this a while back resulting in a substantial reduction in film permit applications by the porn industry. Those businesses moved away from L.A. The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat has a good argument against Prop 60.

Prop 61- Prescription Drugs- No- Not too clear on this other than it being an attack on the pharma industry. As one newspaper recently pointed out, this could have the unintended result of raising drug prices.

Prop 62- Death Penalty Repeal- Yes- Replaces death penalty with life in prison. The death penalty seems unworkable in this state and has proven not to be a deterrent across the country. Innocents have been found to be executed. It's also been said it's more expensive to try and execute someone than just keeping them in prison for life, after all the appeals and such. Time to end the death penalty.

Prop 63- Gun Control- NO- This is Gavin Newsom's brainchild that wouldn't have stopped any of the shootings he uses as an example of the need for this law. Just another incremental attack on gun ownership that we've come to expect from Democrats.

Prop 64- Marijuana Legalization- ???- Those involved with the pot industry, or otherwise in the know, say to vote NO on this one as the result would be worse than the status quo. I'm tempted to vote Yes if only as a push back to all the arguments I've heard opposing. Besides, then I could grow my own pot. I might decide this one when I fill in my ballot.

Prop 65- Plastic Bag Revenue Redirect- No- Redirects store revenues from charges on plastic bags to environmental projects and other such things. This sets a bad precedent as those receiving the money will be encouraged to try and go after other sources of revenue or perhaps even levy more taxes that they can take advantage of.

Prop 66- Death Penalty- No- reduces the rights of defendants in death penalty cases in regards ability to appeal and such. Nope. Innocents have already been proven to have been executed. And we're talking about The State killing people. Those facing death by The State should always be allowed every option to defend themselves. Get rid of the death penalty and this wouldn't even be on anyone's radar.

Prop 67- Plastic Bag Ban- No. This is a referendum which means voters approve or cancel a previous act of the legislature. I hope I have this right but a No vote makes the plastic bag ban passed by the legislature null and void. A Yes vote continues it.

We need to stop trying to ban everything in this state. People make their livings making plastic bags and those "single use" plastic bags are anything but. I find them convenient for any number of uses. Vote No.

Whew! Now that was some typing. Now you're all ready for the election. Glad I was able to help. That's what I'm here for.


At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you drinking when you cast your sample ballot votes Fred?? Gee....I can tell you this for sure....NONE of the people you are voting for will win the election, with the exception of your local choice of Fullerton. Poor...Fred....Election Day, will not be a happy or satisfying one for you.

At 10:24 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Libertarians are used to losing, I've been losing since '92, we pretty much lose every day the state legislature is in session. But I wont' give up. As Churchill said: "we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills;
we shall never surrender,

At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee after the rant, I am thinking you are going sing "We Are The Champions"..YIkes!

At 12:47 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

To paraphrase thtt song: I am the champion, my friend. I'll keep on fighting til the end! I am the champion. I am the champion....

At 11:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That was well thought out & a lot of work.
I agree with most of your choices, except... I'm writing in Darrell Castle & his VP Scott Bradley.
Prop 57, is a hard one, I agree, but I'm going with no due to the warnings from Gail & others. It's time for some heavy jury nullification and for some of our own Bill making through the tenth amendment center, to accomplish it correctly.


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