Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ballot Ballet

In keeping with my tradition of shrugging off the sacred secrecy of the ballot, here is how I filled out my voluminous official ballot.

President: Obama, natch
Senator: Feinstein
Congress: Jackie Speier
State Senator: Jerry Hill. (I'm really happy for this one - he's been one of the best assemblymembers, and I think he'll do great in the Senate. I can see him going on to a successful statewide office, if he wants it.)
Assembly: Kevin Mullin
County: Warren Slocum
School Board: Joe Ross
Harbor District: Will Holsinger, Sabrina Brennan, Pietro Parravano. (This race has the best names!)
Prop 30 (Taxes): YES! (The most important thing on the ballot!)
Prop 31 (Budget): Yes. I think we've actually made drastic improvements to our state budget process in recent years, and this will extend that further.
Prop 32 (Gut Unions): No.
Prop 33 (Auto Insurance): No.
Prop 34 (Repeal Death Penalty): Yes. It won't pass, though.
Prop 35 (Human Trafficking): No. (Of COURSE this is a laudable goal, but not something that should be done through an initiative proposition! Geez!)
Prop 36 (Repeal Three Strikes): Yes. (We've had two decades to see its effects. They're bad. It's past time to fix it.)
Prop 37 (Label Genetically Engineered Foods): Yes. (I'm pretty torn on this one, but ultimately came down on the side of "More information is good.")
Prop 38 (Education Tax): No.
Prop 39 (Multistate Business Tax): No. (I didn't know much about this one; the Chronicle pointed out that the Legislature would be better equipped to fix this, and that way we can fund the general budget, instead of continuing California's insane love affair with special-purpose taxes.)
Prop 40 (Redistricting Senate): Yes. (I'm a HUGE fan of the citizens commission!)
Measure A (Tax): Yes. (It's well-designed and will help plug our structural deficit.)
Measure B (District Elections): No. (I actually think our county is governed quite well in the current system... I understand the arguments for switching systems, but I think it could make things worse.)
Measure C (Appointed Controller): Yes. (It's a technical role, we should select the most qualified individual, and not the best campaigner.)

As usual, my vote is mostly driven by my personal political philosophy and values, but I do rely on local newspapers and endorsements to help with the down-ballot offices and initiatives that are relatively unfamiliar to me.

If nothing else, publishing this stuff is an exercise in humility for me. Looking back through my previous posts, I'm reminded that I voted for Cindy Chavez instead of Chuck Reed for San Jose mayor. At the time, I was still suffering from a form of Stockholm Syndrome from my extended stay in Chicago, and fervently believed that endemic corruption was the path to a vibrant city. For the record, I was wrong on that election: Chuck Reed has done a really impressive job with the city, during an incredibly difficult recession. Which is another way of saying that I make no particular claims as to the correctness of any of my votes.

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