Below is a list on how I voted on the Federal, California and Santa Monica matters, along with a brief explanation of why.
FEDERAL AND STATE OFFICES
United States Senator
It is great that we get to choose between two good Democrats for Senate – Attorney General Harris and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. There is a lot to be said for Sanchez who voted against the Patriot Act and the Iraq War, yet has a record of working across party lines.
While I disagree with Harris on the death penalty, I have been impressed with her work as Attorney General and she has regularly been featured as a “Hero” on Cyber Law & Business Report’s annual list of Heroes and Zeroes. She is poised to become a national figure, whereas Sanchez’s infamous debate dab suggests she might not be quite ready for prime time.
United States House of Representatives – 33rd District
In replacing the retiring Henry Waxman, Ted Lieu had huge shoes to fill but right away he had an impact as one of the leaders of the freshman class of Congressmen. He drew attention for challenging government surveillance and participating in the House sit-in on gun violence. He has also done a great job at reaching out to the district in person and through Town Halls.
California State Assembly – 50th District
Richard is a friend who has done a great job in his first term in Sacramento.
As a general principal, I am a proposition skeptic and do not always think that propositions are the best way to resolve complex issues.
Proposition 51 – School Bonds
Proposition 52 – Medical Funding
Proposition 53 – Statewide Vote on Revenue Bonds
Proposition 54 – Legislative Transparency
My biggest concern about Prop 54 is over the requirement that legislation be online for 72-hours before a vote. I was concerned that this might gum up the system, especially near the end of a legislative session. But what won me over was finding out that the proposition is supported by the League of Women Voters of California, the California State Conference of the NAACP, several Chambers of Commerce, and major city newspapers like the San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Times, Mercury News, and LA Times.
Proposition 55 – Extends Expiring Education Tax
Proposition 56 – Cigarette Tax for Health Care
Proposition 57 – Sentencing Reform
Proposition 58 – Bilingual Education
Proposition 59 – Overturn Citizens United
Yeah, yeah, I understand this is an advisory vote, but it is an important statement to make.
Proposition 60 – Condom Use in Adult Films
Proposition 60 is the poster child for what I hate in propositions. As aptly summarized by the San Jose Mercury News:
Proposition 60 is one of those measures that might seem like a good idea until you actually read it.
Its basic premise is requiring adult film actors to wear condoms during sex. Not unreasonable. But what we really have here is the daft idea of giving a California porn czar the power to override the state attorney general.
I was all set to vote in favor of this until I read the details.
Proposition 61 – State Prescription Drug Purchases
This is simply taking advantage of the VA’s negotiating power to get a better rate on state prescription drug purchases.
Proposition 62 – Death Penalty Repeal
The death penalty has been an expensive failure in California.
Proposition 63 – Background Checks for Gun Sales
Responsible gun legislation, plain and simple.
Proposition 64 – Legalizing Marijuana
Sunday’s 60 Minutes on cannabis reform piece boiled the issue down to a choice between a failed system that has needlessly loaded our jails and a “Brave New World” where we do not have all the answers and which requires further study. Prop. 64 moves us forward and funds research on cannabis.
Proposition 65- Carryout Bags
This is one of those sneaky propositions masquerading as good public policy but really is designed to protect industry. You want to know what industry that is . . .
Proposition 66 – Death Penalty Streamline
I favor repeal not speeding up the process that already leads to innocent people on death row.
Proposition 67 – Plastic Bags
Santa Monica is a beautiful city that is getting overrun by development and jammed with traffic. The city has a reputation for being difficult to do business in and recently forced several businesses at Santa Monica Airport to shut down (including Typhoon which had been there for years) to set up a losing battle with the Federal Aviation Administration over shutting down the airport when the FAA has a long-term lease. So I am voting against every incumbent on the City Council.
I wrote in Phil Brock and voted for Terrence Later (he backs a dog beach), Armen Melkonian (even though I oppose his LV initiative) and Mende Smith (how often do you get to vote for a poet).