Monday, June 02, 2008

RFK Memorial Primary In California Tuesday


The local primary the has me most worked up for tomorrow is an obscure judicial race that features a virulent racist clown attempting a stealth campaign to slip into office on a lot of misplaced Ron Paul energy. Be sure to vote for James Bianco. But for people concerned about other down ballot races, we asked local political pundit Zack Webber to give us a California run-down for tomorrow. His report:

Even though we voted in the Super Tuesday presidential primary back in February we haven't had the regular primary for other offices. This year they were split up so we would have more of a say in the selection of the President. The regular primary returns to its traditional first Tuesday in June.

Forty years ago in June was when Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated here in Los Angeles after winning the California primary. This was one of the tragic events in our local history which is sometimes forgotten and is worthy of being memorialized. (Go to the TX Book Depository in Dallas and there is a museum; go to the Ambassador Hotel and there is... no Ambassador Hotel.) RFK died running for office trying to continue his service to society. You don't have to run for President, but should at least honor his memory by voting this time. Also it would be good to pray or think positive thoughts for his brother, Senator Edward Kennedy, who is now fighting brain cancer. Make the democracy work by voting for and against whichever candidates or ballot measures you choose, even if you don't follow all my recommendations (but please vote NO on 98; more later...)

You get to vote in party primaries if you are registered as a member of the party. If you are a "decline to state" (nonpartisan or independent) voter you can ask for a Democratic Party ballot at the polls and vote for all offices except party county committees. I am only picking in Democratic races because I'm a Democrat and because we have more contested primaries than the smaller parties.

President: Kennedy, McCarthy or Humphrey? No, that was in February. If you need some presidential excitement you can follow the returns from Montana and South Dakota, the last two primaries of this year.

U.S. Congress: There are very few contested primaries for House seats (and neither Senator is up for election this time.) The most interesting primary is a Republican race in northeastern CA for the open seat of the disgraced, corrupt GOP Rep. Doolittle (CA-04). Two candidates have emerged from outside the district. One of them is from Ventura County (!!!) and the other from Sacramento. It is a nasty race and will leave the winner vulnerable to the local Democrat, "Good Old" Charlie Brown (who almost beat Doo last time even though it is one of the most Republican districts in CA). A new poll just out shows Charlie beating either of these extremist kook carpetbaggers.

In Southern CA contested primaries I like Mary Pallant in CA-24 (Ventura) and Russ Warner in CA-26 (Cucamonga, Monrovia and other parts of the IE).

[A little update from Howie recommending Debbie Cook to rid Orange County of Dana Taleban Rohrabacher, Ron Shepston as the Democrat to beat Gary Miller and Rita Ramirez-Dean to end Jerry Lewis' disgraceful tenure.]

California Legislature: In some cases there are more than one good candidate for each office.

CA State Senate: SD-03 (Marin, S.F.) Mark Leno is clearly the best of the three.
SD-15  Dennis Morris (write-in)
SD-19 (Ventura, Santa Barbara) Hannah-Beth Jackson
SD-21 (parts of L.A. County including Pasadena, Glendale and Burbank)  Carol Liu
SD-23 (more of L.A. including Santa Monica and the SFV) Lloyd Levine is my choice. Fran Pavley is also excellent. I know Lloyd better, but you can't go too far wrong here with either one.
SD-25 (more of L.A.) No endorsement
SD-33 (Orange County) Gary Pritchard 

CA Assembly: AD-27 (Santa Cruz, Monterey) Bill Monning.                  
AD-38 (Santa Clarita, Simi, SFV) Carole Lutness
AD-39 Felipe Fuentes  AD-41 Julia Brownley  AD-42  Mike Feuer  AD-43 Paul Krekorian
AD-40 (mid-SFV) Dan McCrory or Stuart Waldman. I like Dan McCrory, who is a communications worker and writer, as well as a Union and Native American activist. He doesn't have as much money as the frontrunners but is thoughtful and progressive. Stuart Waldman has the most experience in Sacramento, as a former staffer to Assemblymembers Bob Hertzberg and Lloyd Levine. The other candidates are Bob Blumenfield, who works for Representative Howard Berman, and Laurette Healey, who used to be an assistant to Steve Westly when he was Controller. Any of these people would be at least acceptable but Stuart and Dan are the better ones. This is another one of the races (along with SD-23) where I feel sorry for the postal workers who have to sort and deliver all the mailers. The candidates are better than all the crap they are sending out.
AD-80 (Imperial, Coachella)  Manuel Perez

Judicial Elections:  L.A. Superior Court   Office #4  Ralph Dau   #69  Harvey Silberman
#72  Hilleri Grossman Merritt   #82  Cynthia Loo   #84  Lori-Ann Jones  #94 C. Edward Mack
#95  Patricia Nieto  #119  Jared Moses   #123 Kathleen Blanchard   #125 James Bianco
#154  Rocky Crabb    Santa Cruz Superior Court  Ari Symons

L.A. District Attorney:  No Endorsement

County Supervisors:  L.A. Second District   Mark Ridley-Thomas
Santa Cruz  First District  John Leopold   Fifth District  Mark Stone

Statewide Ballot Measures:  only two this time

NO on 98 and Yes on 99:  Both attempt to correct the problematic U.S. Supreme Court "Kelo v New London" decision that allows local governments to condemn properties to be used for private purposes. 98 goes way too far in that it also would eliminate rent control and most land use and environmental regulations. This is a rerun of Prop 90 which was the worst thing on the 11/06 ballot. Prop 99 is limited to the problem of eminent domain abuse. It would protect owner-occupied residences from being taken by the government for private development projects. While it could be argued that it should also apply to business and rental properties, this is a reasonable measure that should be supported.

L.A. County Democratic Central Committee:  some recommendations (not a complete list...)
AD-38  Lyn Shaw, Jim Hilfenhaus, Isaac Lieberman, Lysa Simon, Carole Lutness
AD-40  Miguel Santiago, Erin Prangley, Jeff Daar, Marilyn Grunwald,David Phelps, David Hyman
AD-41  Margie Murray, Leah Hertzberg, Dolores Press, Julie Lopez Dad
AD-42  Dante Atkins, Brad Parker, Elena Ong, Ken Silk, Paul Koretz, Joyce Rubin, Laurence Zakson
AD-43  Adrin Nazarian, Tom O'Shaugnessy, Bob Silver, Karo Torossian

OK, that is my ballot for the RFK Memorial Primary. Be sure to vote on Tuesday 6/3 between 7AM and 8PM or send in your absentee ballot now (no later than Saturday's mail) or walk it into any polling place in your county on election day.

-Zack Webber

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At 12:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for putting this on the blog, with cool graphics and links and all! I wanted to encourage people to vote in this election because it will have extremely low turnout--which is sad, but inevitable because it is mostly low profile races. Too many people think that the only important election is for President, but other offices and ballot measures can have major impacts on our lives both positive and negative. In a low turnout election your vote counts for more--but I'd rather see high voter turnouts, especially this November.

At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I noticed that you didn't mention the contests with Ferial Masry in the 37th AD against Strickland. What is your opinion on that one?


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