It's down to the wire now. Election Day is Tuesday, and we will find out if the reports of the Democratic Party's demise were premature or prescient. I think the truth is somewhere in the middle. Like any party in power during hard economic times, the Democrats will suffer some losses due to the short memory of the electorate. Somehow, the fact that the recession was brought about because of Republican policies has been forgotten in all of the noise. However, I don't believe it will be the bloodbath we have been hearing about for the last three months. We shall soon find out! Here is how I'm voting in some key races in California on Tuesday and why.
Governor: Jerry Brown
As the San Jose Mercury put it this morning, "...nothing is more important than electing [Jerry] Brown, because state government is the root of so many local problems...We need a political grown-up who speaks his mind, actually knows something and can broker a deal -- a nearly lost art in Sacramento." I reject the notion that a successful businessperson can come in and run the state. It's a completely different animal. What we need is an experienced politician who has dedicated his life to public service.
Senator: Barbara Boxer
Again, I am not impressed by wealthy businesspeople entering politics. Carly Fiorina is campaigning as an ultra-right winger, endorsed by none other than Sarah Palin. Need I say more? Well, I will. Barbara Boxer is often portrayed as an extreme liberal, but in reality, Senator Boxer is more balanced. She is a friend to Silicon Valley business, supporting important issues such as R&D tax credits to encourage innovation, cash repatriation to allow companies to bring overseas profits back to the United States for investment here, and opposing efforts to impose a tax on the internet. She also is a tireless advocate for women's rights.
Lieutenant Governor: Gavin Newsom
He had me at hello and his courageous advocacy for gay marriage.
United States Representative: Zoe Lofgren
The fact that she brought Stephen Colbert to Congress only makes me love her more!
Proposition 19: Undecided
It is very unusual for me to be undecided about anything on election day, but I really don't know how I am going to vote on this one. As a mother, I want to vote "No" to ensure that we don't send a message to our children that drugs are OK. As a rational person, I totally understand the arguments for voting "Yes". Marijuana is not as dangerous as alcohol or cigarettes. Criminalization only contributes to illegal activities such as gangs dealing drugs and the unspeakable violence in Mexico. Prisons are overcrowded and disproportionately with drug offenders. Legalizing could bring in much-needed tax revenue to the state. And I may have just talked myself into voting "Yes". We'll see.
Proposition 21-Increasing Vehicle License Fee to support State Parks: Yes
This is a no-brainer. Our state parks need saving, since Governor Schwarzenegger put them on the chopping block, and California cars will get free parking. It's a win-win!
Proposition 23 - Suspending AB 32, the green bill: NO!
We can't afford to take any steps back in the fight against climate change. It is real, and it is happening.
Proposition 25 - Changes budget vote requirement from two-thirds to simple majority: ABSOLUTELY!!!!
Every year, we go through the same ordeal of getting a budget passed. It is beyond ridiculous, and it is due to this unreasonable requirement of getting a two-thirds vote.
Proposition 26 - Requires two-thirds vote to approve fees: NO!
See above. This is just a scheme for businesses to avoid any new fees. The founders of this country believed in the simple majority, and I do too.
So that is how I'm voting. How about you?