Thursday, May 27, 2010

Recommendations from Dan Kalb

Check out comprehensive June ballot recommendations from Dan Kalb, who serves with me on the Board of the League of Conservation Voters of the East Bay. I don't agree with him on everything (I think he's more of a straight environmentalist and party Democrat than I am), but I respect his analysis and judgment. I agree with him entirely on the state propositions, and he and I sat on the same board that came up with some of these endorsements for Alameda and Contra Costa County races. I haven't reviewed the state offices in detail yet, but Dan's endorsement will make a difference.

You can find his endorsements on this google doc.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Yes on 13+15. No on 16+17. Leaning NO on 14.

YES on 13
This seems like something we shouldn't have to vote on. But it was supported by a unanimous vote of the legislature, no one bothered to write a "NO" argument, and it looks like just a technical fix. Too bad previous constitutional amendments mean that we have to vote on this.

Leaning NO on 14
I can see the point of a reform that might make it more likely that we get legislators who work well together. I'm not bothered by the perceived threats to the parties, major or minor, nor do I think we should worry about people "hiding" their party affiliation. But I don't think this -- how we elect our legislators -- is California's problem. Our problem is the 2/3 requirement for the budget, our too-long state constitution that's been amended too many times to insert too many requirements that hamstring our ability to make sensible decisions. This is yet another constitutional amendment. I'm open to advice, but I'm leaning NO.

YES on 15
Tax lobbyists to pay for fairer elections and reduce the influence of money in politics. What could be better? See CalPIRG's analysis. Oh, and BTW -- this is a statute, not an amendment. That's a good thing, 'cuz it means it can be fixed more easily if there turn out to be flaws in it.

NO on 16
Definitely NO to a proposition to a constitutional amendment that would require a 2/3 vote before a city can do local green power. And definitely NO to a PG&E campaign to maintain its monopoly on power. Check out a video by some friends, or CalPIRG's analysis.

NO on 17
This is too detailed and too complicated a measure for us to have to vote on. I can't tell -- would it hurt military families or help them? Would it help seniors or hurt them? If this is a serious problem, this should go through the legislative process and get the kinks worked out.