The California ballot this year is completely insane. I vote by mail, and it took me hours to finish. To those who don't vote by mail-- I strongly recommend printing out a voting guide and taking it with you on election day. Otherwise you'll be hosed. My picks follow. (G = Green Party candidate, D = Democratic candidate)
Update 10/25: in light of how close the Whitman/Brown race is, I am now recommending people vote a straight Democratic ticket for the state races. I don't like Jerry Brown, or Gavin Newsom, or the winner take all system we're stuck with. But enough people have warned me about the closeness of the state races that I'm regretting my decision to vote all Green. Don't let Meg Whitman win! It would be unbearable.
Page 1 front
Governor - D
Lieutenant Governor - D
Secretary of State - D
Controller - D
Treasurer - D
Attorney General - D
Page 1 back
Insurance Commissioner - D
Member, State Board of Equalization, District 1: Betty Yee - D
United States Senator: Barbara Boxer - D
United States Representative, District 8 (Congress): Nancy Pelosi - D
Member, State Assembly: Tom Ammiano - D
State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Larry Aceves
Page 2 front
Judicial: NO on everyone except Carlos Moreno - I'm opposed to voting for judges generally, thought about leaving these all blank. Governor appoints replacements, so if Brown wins he'll appoint replacements. All of these except Moreno were conservative appointments.
Page 2 back
Judge of the Superior Court, seat 15: Michael Nava
Member, Board of Education: Margaret Brodkin, Hydra Mendoza, Natasha Hoehn
Member, Community College Board - John Rizzo
CITY AND COUNTY (SF)
Page 3 front
Assessor Recorder - Phil Ting (unopposed)
Public Defender - Jeff Adachi (unopposed)
Page 3 back
Member, Board of Supervisors, District 10 - Kristine Enea (1st choice), Tony Kelly (2nd choice), Eric Smith (3rd choice).
Enea was the only one who wrote back when I wrote to Pot Hill Neighbors asking about this stuff. She also came out looking the best after I read through that d10 site that got sent out. Tony Kelly is loved by everybody else so he's runner up. Eric Smith = endorsed by SFBC.
Page 4 front
Prop. 19 - YES - legalize pot
Prop. 20 - NO - redraws congressional districts in the hopes of unseating longtime Democratic incumbents, funded by wealthy right winger
Prop. 21 - YES - vehicle surcharge for parks
Prop. 22 - NO - don't lock up budget anymore, I'm sick of this, these kind of props are why CA is ungovernable
Prop. 23 - NO - shady ass corporate backed bullshit trying to roll back CA emissions standards. funded by Kochtopus
Prop. 24 - YES - repeal biz tax breaks. we need the money, businesses need to shut up and pay their taxes. they use CA infrastructure, let em pay for it.
Page 4 back
Prop. 25 - YES - allow simple majority legislative vote to pass budget. yes, yes, for the love of god yes. makes CA more governable, stops the madness of requiring 2/3 vote just to pass the budget.
Prop. 26 - NO - another attempt to further lock up budget flexibility by requiring 2/3 majority to enact changes to state/local fees. backed by chamber of commerce and all your favorite corporate lobbyists.
Prop. 27 - NO - I'm in favor of rational attempt at redestricting, let em proceed (this one's iffy)
CITY AND COUNTY (SF) PROPOSITIONS
Page 5 front
Prop. AA - YES - vehicle registration fee increase to fund streets/transport
Prop. A - YES - I guess? earthquake retrofit subsidy?
Prop. B - YES - despite what SFBG etc say I believe SF Weekly's assessment-- health care costs should be shouldered by employees to a greater degree, despite alarmism this doesn't mean everybody suddenly has to pay way more-- just that they may have to think about cost when choosing plans.
Prop. C - YES - sure, anything to make Gavin's life worse. (or Gavin 2.0 whoever that is)
Prop. D - NO - only citizens should be able to vote. can't believe this is up for debate
Prop. E - YES - sure, what's wrong w/ election day registration? why not?
Prop. F - YES - anything that reduces all the shit we vote on is good
Prop. G - YES - Muni drivers get paid way too much, it's out of control. again got to go w/ SF Weekly on this
Page 5 back
Prop. H - NO - prevent elected SF officials from serving on democratic/republicans country central committee? why? sfbg says it's some Gavin shit
Prop. I - NO - polls open on sat = good, but privately paid for? wtf? so rich people can pay for poll station favorable to where their friends live, so their friends can vote saturday, but others can't? forget it
Prop. J - YES - clear up hotel tax loophole, businesses should pay taxes, city needs the money
Prop. K - NO - poison pill designed to defeat J, don't bother wading through the arcane smokescreen, this is just prop 'anti-J'
Prop. L - YES - see the whole Guliani screed below. note i'm on the fence @ this one, I mean what about sitting around eating food from a food truck? or sitting on sidewalk at a garage sale?
Prop. M - NO - this is just an 'anti-L' smokescreen. i like the idea but not the anti-L bit.
Prop. N - YES - we need the revenue
Voted straight Green ticket for most state races. Thought about not voting at all on the state races, but not sure the protest would have registered. see update above
Basically, I think CA's insane 'direct democracy' is the problem. Why are we voting on all this stuff? Why are we electing judges? Why are we electing people to roles we don't even know anything about? 99% of voters have no clue what State Controller does, yet we have to pick a new one. Ridiculous. I want a proposition to end all propositions.
Truth be told, I don't really care who's governor. I don't think it matters. That's why the candidates are so mediocre-- they all know the role is a joke! I do loathe Meg Whitman, so if there were danger of protest vote swinging things to her I'd have swallowed my disgust and voted for Brown. But he has a big lead in the polls so I can afford to go Green. (We need ranked choice voting at the state level. It sucks that we only have it in SF where the stakes are so low.) see update above
On the SF front, I'm tired of how dirty this town is & all the seediness of 16th and Mission. I've often thought (as have others) 'what this town needs is a fascist prick like Giuliani,' to come in and clean it up like he did to NYC. I often end up voting the opposite SF Bay Guardian, cos those guys are annoying/unconvincing and I'm tired of SF status quo. I know SF Weekly is corporate backed but they do much better at justifying their positions when it comes to SF politics. So I'm influenced by their screeds.
Note that some of these positions, esp. education board & judicial, were almost impossible to find info on. Couple of good links to check out:
http://www.sfbg.com/2010/10/05/endorsements-2010-state-races#comment-21301 - explains state judicial races
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/12/BALS1FN240.DTL - guide to education board candidates
http://wblakegray.blogspot.com/2010/10/endorsements-in-california-election.html - right of sfbg but not 'right'
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-times-endorsements,0,7118503.htmlstory - la times at least breaks it down in detail