It authorizes $4 billion in affordable housing bonds. We have a housing affordability crisis in California and this is a logical way to address it.
Prop 2: NO
It authorizes $2 billions in bonds, to be paid back by an existing tax on millionaires, to fund supportive housing for people with mental health issues. The Green Party believes this is a giveaway to building interests and that there are more economical ways to provide this housing. I’m unsure enough to vote against it.
Prop 3: NO
We just passed a water bond in June, but agriculture and dam interests are hoping we’ve forgotten. This one would authorize almost $9 billion in bonds to pay for specific projects supported by the interests behind this bond. The Sierra Club opposes it.
Prop 4: YES
It authorizes $1.5 billion bond for children’s hospitals expansions and retrofits.
Prop 5: NO
It provides property tax breaks for the rich. Bad idea.
Prop 6: NO
It repeals the gas tax. While I’m usually opposed to regressive taxes, the gas tax is used to fund transportation projects. Moreover, from an environmental/climate change point of view, we need higher gas taxes to discourage needless driving and gas-chugging vehicles.
Prop 7: NO
This proposition would have California adopt year-round daylight savings time. I wouldn’t oppose it if the whole country moved to it – but I don’t like the idea of being in a different time zone than the rest of the West Coast for half the year.
Prop 8: NO
This proposition essentially limits the profits commercial dialysis companies make to 15% over costs. The danger here is that this will lead companies to inflate costs in ways that would not benefit patients and to close clinics in areas where most of the residents are in public assistance. Dr. Ron Birbaum offers a solid analysis of the measure.
Prop 10: YES
It eliminates the state-wide prohibition on municipalities passing rent stabilization ordinances.
Prop 11: NO
It allows companies that employ paramedics to not pay them for breaks when they are on call.
Prop 12: YES
This measure sets minimum amounts of room for chickens, pigs and some cows. The problem is that the space allotted is still too low, but it’s higher than current regulations so it’s a step in the right direction.
The following recommendations (save for the one on Corrigan) come from progressive activist Carter Lavin. We deeply appreciate his taking the time to research these judges.
Carol Corrigan, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: NO
Update: After consulting with other attorneys, we’ve found out that Corrigan is often a swing vote in the Court, sometimes siding with the liberals and sometimes with the conservatives. California would be far better off is Newsom was able to appoint a more progressive justice. We therefore recommend you vote against her.
Original write up: As a Supreme Court Justice, Corrigan wrote two dissents to the Court’s finding that the California Constitution protected the right of gay people to marry. However, Corrigan also seems to be the first lesbian to serve in the California Supreme Court. She considers herself a moderate. We need to do more research on her record.
Leondra Kruger, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court: YES
Kruger worked for Obama, could go further but rules narrowly so as to not rock the boat
James Humes, Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 1: YES
Ruled that a potential employer can be held to have violated the Fair Employment and Housing Act by deterring a pregnant woman from applying for a job through lying to her that there were no openings.
Sandra Marguiles, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 1 : NO
Ruled to allow the state to perform warrantless blood draws on motorists in a wider variety of circumstances.
James Richman, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 2: NO
Ruled against protecting public worker pensions
Marla Miller, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 2 : NO
Tried to protect the Governor’s office during the CPUC corruption issue.
Also ruled against tenant protections/Ellis Act reforms in SF
Peter John Siggins, Associate Justice, Court of Appeal 1st Appellate District, Division 3: YES
Siggins was one of the justices who ruled that California’s prisons are overcrowded to the point of human rights violations
Prop 3 would authorize an $8.877 billion bond for water projects. While there are some good projects in the mix, most of the funding is earmarked for projects benefiting those that helped pay to get this massive barrel of pork on the ballot, including big ag and dam interests. The Sierra Club recommends a No vote. We just passed a water bond in June 2018 – let’s reject Prop 3 and come back in 2020 with a better plan. The California Democratic Party did not take a position on Prop 3. https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_3,_Water_Infrastructure_and_Watershed_Conservation_Bond_Initiative_(2018
Currently, property taxes in California are based on price at time of purchase, with a below-inflation annual increase. However, when people move and buy a new home, usually they will have to pay full taxes. Currently, there are exemptions for people over 55. Realtors put Prop 5 on the ballot to expand the number of exemptions.
California Democratic Party and unions oppose Prop 5, as nearly all the benefit would go to the rich, and schools and local governments would lose up to $1 billion a year each. https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_5,_Property_Tax_Transfer_Initiative_(2018)
Prop 9 is a *****ing dumpster fire that a billionaire paid to get on the ballot, only to have the courts declare it unconstitutional. Please don’t sign any more of his ballot measures to divide California into multiple states.
Prop 10 would repeal Costa-Hawkins, allowing cities to pass stronger forms of rent control, such as vacancy control (no rent increases between tenants), rent control on single family houses, and rent control on buildings built after 1995.
The California Democratic Party, tenant and community groups, and unions endorse Prop 10. East Bay for Everyone also endorses Prop 10, YIMBY Action was divided among Yes and No and did not reach a consensus. https://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_10,_Local_Rent_Control_Initiative_(2018)
These are our recommendations for statewide offices (including Board of Equalization). Unfortunately, no true progressive is running for any office. Our choices in most of these races are between a corrupt self-dealing politician and a more corrupt self-dealing politician. We indicate “lesser evil” choices by the use of italics. Note that because all of these races had a top-two primary, it’s not possible to do a write-in vote. So it’s either vote for one of the two candidates in each race or not vote at all. Please feel free to comment below with your views and choices.
We consider De Leon to be an establishment pay-to-play politician, with lots of skeletons in his closet, from potential me-too allegations, to involvement in shady and even corrupt political dealings. As a Senator, he took lots of telecom money which he paid back by killing a bill that would prohibit telecoms from sharing customers’ data. Moreover, he is completely ignorant of foreign policy.
There is much to dislike about Gavin Newsom. He has no moral compass, he is dishonest, he is opportunistic, he makes promises (like supporting single payer) that he has no intentions to fulfill, he is an elitist which little concern for the common man, he is willing to sell out immigrants and children for political points. The list goes on and on. Still, he is better than his Trump-endorsed Republican opponent John Cox. Please hold your nose and vote for Gavin.
Lieutenant Governor: Undecided
In this election we have a choice between a rich white woman with no qualifications and a history of supporting corrupt politicians or a corrupt politician. We spoke with Eleni Kounalakis at length and she is a nice woman, with a measure of noblesse oblige that would have her support social justice issues, but only as long as these don’t interfere with the real financial interests of the oligarchy. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, she bought herself an ambassadorship and if she’s elected now, it’ll be on the basis of her wealth and connections (made by her wealth).
Her opponent, Ed Hernandez, is a Latino optometrist-turned-politician who has risen by playing the old pay-to-play game (what you do when you can’t resort to a family fortune to fund your campaigns). He earned the support of the California Nurses Association by supporting SB 562, the single payer bill, and letting it passed through committee – but it’s not clear he’d have done this if he wasn’t running for Lt Governor and wanted the nurses on his side.
In all, we’re not sure which one is the worse choice.
There are no good candidates in this race. Incumbent Alex Padilla made a mockery of the office, one which requires integrity and a perception of neutrality, by openly campaigning for Hillary Clinton during the primary. Then, when thousands of voters throughout the state complained about voter irregularities, from having their party registration changed to having their names disappear altogether from the voter rolls, Padilla did nothing to investigate and fix whatever the problem was. He definitely needs to go.
Unfortunately, his opponent, Republican Mark Meuser, is an alt-right conspiracy theorist who should not be elected to dog catcher. As unlikely as it may seem that he could win, we can’t risk it and we must vote for Padilla.
Ricardo Lara is a problematic candidate. While he was one of the authors of the single payer bill introduced in the State Senate last year, he did little to make sure that the bill was actually passed. His seemingly corrupt pastactivities and his reliance on corporate donations also worry us. Moreover, he does not seem to have any relevant experience that would prepare him for this job.
However, his opponent is Steve Poizner, a former Republican now running as No Party Preference, who was Insurance Commissioner from 2008-2012. Poizner quit the job to run for governor in a far-right platform that denounced immigration (which he now, conveniently, claims he regrets). He is now running on a platform of opposing single-payer healthcare.
Marshal Tuck is a charter school executive, seemingly aiming to privatize our educational system even more. Tony Thurmond seems more interested in political climbing that he is in on the well being of students. Alas, we can’t risk having Tuck be elected.
Board of Equalization District 1: Tom Hallinan
Tom Hallinan correctly states that the Board of Equalization is no longer necessary and he’ll work to shut it down.
Board of Equalization District 2: None
San Francisco supervisor Malia Cohen is a moderate Democrat who has taken developer and AirBnb money and voted against measures that would maintain and increase affordable housing in SF. Her opponent, Mark Burns, is your run-of-the-mill right winger. Malia is the lesser of two evils, though as she’s a shoe-in to win, this is a race one can just skip voting on.
Vazquez is a progressive and supported Bernie Sanders but has been involved in shady self-dealing deals. His opponent, G. Rick Marshall, is an anti-tax Republican. While this is a safe Democratic district, Vazquez neglected to include a ballot statement which will depress the vote for him. We thus recommend that you vote for him.
Board of Equalization District 2: None
Here we have a situation where it’s not easy to discern who is the better of two evils. The Democratic candidate, 80-year old Mike Schaefer, is a perennial candidate that was once disbarred for dishonesty, deceit and fraud.
His opponent is another typical no-tax, defend Prop 13 protections of commercial property type.
If you are a voter, and in particular a Democrat fearing a Cox win as a second coming of Trump, you may be wondering whether to make plans to sell your house and move to the Nevada desert, or carry on as usual. While I’m not an expert on polls, I’m going for the second approach.
Probolsky Research, the firm that has good news for both Kevin De Leon and John Cox, is a private pollster out of Orange County. Probolsky was apparently commissioned to do a poll for some unnamed client, and added the questions on governor, US Senate and insurance commissioner on their own. According to a well known Democratic activist and political blogger from the area, Probolsky is a Republican outfit, probably polling on behalf of the Republican Party and released these numbers because “they need to buck up the spirits of Republican voters, even if it means misleading them.”
While the polling analysis website Five ThirtyEightrates Probolsky’s quality as a pollster with a “B”, its analysts generally caution against putting much weight on internal polls. Indeed, in poll taken in April 2018, approximately six weeks before the primary, Probolsky had Feinstein gather almost 39% of the vote with 28% going to De Leon. In the primary, Feinstein got 44% of the vote vs De Leon’s 12%.
None of the other three pollsters seem to have polled California races in the primary, but IPSOS gets an overall grade of B+ from Five Thirtyeight and is the only “public” pollster among the bunch, i.e. the one that does not work regularly for political campaigns. It’s also very well known, and polls internationally – which suggests they don’t have an interest in releasing polls bent a certain way. Vox Populi Polling, aka Pop Polling, is a Republican outfit seemingly working for private clients and apparently has not released polls since 2015. Thomas Partners Strategies has partnered with Optimus to do their polls, a firm that gets a C- rating from Five Thirtyeight.
In all, I’m inclined to disregard the Probolsky/Pop Polling/Optimus polls and give more weight to IPSOS. And it’s results are what I think we can expect in these races. IPSOS has Feinstein receiving 44% of the vote, which is exactly what she got in the primary. It has De Leon getting 24%, which is what the primary polls anticipated he would get. He ended up only winning 12% of the vote, but that’s probably because voters, once faced with the ballots, saw they had many more choices. What we can discern is that 24% of likely voters are firmly
against Feinstein. Meanwhile, IPSOS has Newsom get 52% of the vote vs Cox’ 40%. These numbers look reasonable as well. Republican Neel Kashkari received 40% of the vote in his race against Governor Brown in 2014 while Republican Meg Whitman got 41% in 2010.
Of course, anything can happen in a campaign – but with the mail-in ballots dropping in a couple of weeks, it will have to happen soon.