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A California Voters Guide by a Former California Elected Official

By Thomas Buckley, November 1, 2022 2:50 am

Obviously this a purely personal opinion for entertainment purposes only and your mileage may vary or appear larger in the mirror even if it’s not actually a doctor and hasn’t ever played one on television.

On the propositions, no. On the people, duh.

Done.

Hmm…One supposes one should expand on that a bit, so here goes:

THE PROPOSITIONS

Proposition 1 – The abortion thingy: The state already has laws – laws which ain’t goin’ nowhere, no matter what fear-mongering activists are saying – protecting the right to choose; this measure merely enshrines those in the California constitution.  Kinda – in fact it may do a bit more than that and put the kibosh on any attempt to in any form restrict “late-term” abortions for any reason, restrictions that a majority of Californians actually support. While Cartman’s Mom from “South Park” may find this wonderful – others may not.  NO

Proposition 26 – Sports betting, in person:  The California tribes that have casinos want even more money; this proposition would allow sports wagering (and certain currently-barred table games) to be offered at those casinos (and four horse racing tracks around the state.)  Personally I don’t really care that much how people waste their money, but passage could cause damage the incomes of strippers in Vegas because of decreased patronage, seriously drain historic card rooms in California, and upset sketchy neighbor who for some reason goes through a half-dozen burner cell phones a day and always seem to have A LOT of cash around except when they don’t and then look really really panicked.  NO

Proposition 27 – Sports betting, on the phone and online:  Again, I don’t really care how people waste their money and this would REALLY put the friendly neighborhood bookies in a bind, and I am loathe to the idea of scolding other people for their private habits, but the idea of literally putting a casino in everyone’s pocket raises all sorts of addiction issues.  Currently problem gamblers have to at least put in a little effort and a bit of time to blow through their kids’ college funds; this could allow them to do it while waiting on hold with the mortgage company trying to get an extension.  NO

Proposition 28 – Arts education:  Currently, California’s much vaunted public schools are guaranteed 40 percent of the state’s annual budget; this measure would plop on another billion dollars dedicated to arts and music education on top.  Sounds happy and fuzzy and fine?  Considering the absurdity of arts funding in general – https://californiaglobe.com/articles/art-is-racistaccording-to-the-california-arts-council/ and  https://thomas699.substack.com/p/sandwiches-against-racism  – and how woke the schools are I think we should be legitimately worried the kids will spend more time learning about how racist having only black and white keys on the piano is and that representational painting is the putrid spawn of a capitalist western colonial domination matrix (see graph in California Arts Council story above.) than practicing to get better.  And what’s the point, anyway – you can’t play the French horn with a mask on.  NO

Proposition 29 – The one about dialysis, again: Third times a charm, seems to think the union that has been pushing this – and losing at it – for years.  I’m not a doctor (see, now the disclaimer joke makes sense) but it seems that dialysis centers are already heavily regulated, safety-wise, and that the possibility of driving some of them out of business so a union can get a better contract is not terribly considerate to the patient who will die if they can’t go three times a week.  NO

Proposition 30 – Cleaner air and fewer wildfires and it has nothing to do with corporate welfare: The state is getting a reputation for comically mischaracterizing propositions – see 2014’s Safe Neighborhoods and Schools Act, also known as proposition 47 which dumped thousands of felons on the streets and gave rise to organized shoplifting mobs – and this one only bolsters that image.  What voters will be seeing on their ballots is:  PROVIDES FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS TO REDUCE AIR POLLUTION AND PREVENT WILDFIRES BY INCREASING TAX ON PERSONAL INCOME OVER $2 MILLION.  What its passage will actually do is hand over billions of dollars to companies like Lyft (a huge funder of the campaign) by providing subsidies to drivers who buy zero emission vehicles so that ride-share outfits can meet the state-mandated goal of having 90 percent of their fleets be green cars within eight years.  True, there is technically some money in it for fire fighting but that is literally by chance as it is clear the proponents were simply looking for anything popular/feel-good/non-controversial to provide a cover for this cash grab – they could just have easily said they money will go to making sure every pair of pants in California fit its owner perfectly and makes their butts look great – and if that had tested better in the focus groups they would have run with that.  NO

Proposition 31 – A confusing menthol ban:  So this is one of those sort of backwards yes/no propositions.  A NO vote means flavored tobacco can be sold in the state and a YES vote bans it.  The theory of the measure is that kids are attracted to the wacky vape flavors, etc. offered and will therefore become hooked to nicotine more easily than if they were forced to start smoking the old-fashioned way by huffing with their pals behind the middle school bleachers on a slightly bent L&M one of them stole from their dad.  I smoke.  I do not smoke menthols, so I have no wheezing dog directly in this fight, but the theory behind this idea should terrify anyone who consumes flavored anything.  NO

THE PEOPLE

GOVERNOR – Brian Dahle

Sometimes you vote for people, sometimes you vote against people, and sometimes you do both. Brian Dahle will be a better governor than Gavin Newsom (one only two statewide candidates to not agree to abide by the suggested campaign contributions/expenditures limits having learned his lesson from the recall that he needs to outspend his opposition literally $100 million to zero to win), that much is clear. First, Dahle is a human being, so there’s that.  Second, Dahle does not act like the pampered bastard offspring of smarm and oil and smug (it was a throuple, doncha  know? How modern!)  And, finally, there’s this:  

Gov. Newsom’s Blatant Dishonesty on California Public School Test Scores

Gov. Newsom Calls for Tax on ‘Windfall Profits’ on Oil Companies After Abandoning Gas Tax Pause

Gov. Newsom Signs Bill to Censor CA Doctors Accused of ‘Spreading COVID Misinformation’

Not bad for someone whose only been in office for four years.

While the polls show Newsom will likely prevail – sigh – it is extremely important that, at the very least, that victory be as small as possible to make sure he doesn’t get any psychological bump for his inevitable run for the presidency.

(Note – I reserve the right to completely change my mind and correct/retract this particular endorsement if and when that check from the Gettys clears.)

LT. GOVERNOR – Angela Underwood Jacobs

As a former city official, this one is easy – I would love to see a solid municipally-grounded person snag a seat at the larger Sacramento table.  Her opponent, the current Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, however is not only so enmeshed in the capital blob she probably helped build the table, she also has a funding advantage of about $4.4 million to about $200,000 and is therefore likely to prevail.  By the way, Underwood Jacobs is the other – besides Newsom – statewide candidate to not agree to the contribution/expenditure voluntary limits, though in her case it was almost certainly not because – like Newsom –  she would have and need waaaaaaay more money than the limit but rather because even sniffing the cap was/is unthinkable.  That’s too bad, but if she does well enough she could raise her profile for a future effort.

SECRETARY OF STATE – Ron Bernosky

A solid guy with an impressive private sector executive resume, Bernosky appears to be more about getting the job done than his rival, accidental incumbent Shirley Weber.  Weber, wholly beholden to Newsom because of her appointment to the job when Alex Padilla was gifted his senate seat, was a professor at UCSD and member of the local school district before being tapped by the egregious and uber-political Toni Atkins for a place in the Assembly in 2012.  She is a political creature in a job that – if at all possible – should be the least political of all of the statewide offices.

CONTROLLER – Lanhee Chen

This one has a real chance of winning.  Chen did very well in the open primary, has run an aggressive campaign, and would actually be really good at the job, while his opponent, Malia Cohen, has had to run away from her time on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (didn’t notice anything wrong, there, Malia?) and her personal financial issues, including a foreclosure and, more importantly, being dinged for not paying state taxes and filing state paperwork properly and in a timely fashion.  One would think that the state’s top accountant/financial risk manager should be able to comply with state Franchise Tax Board regulations, but maybe I’m being naïve.  While it is a “down ballot” spot, electing a Republican statewide for the first time since Arnold would send a clear message that the ground may be shifting a bit.  Also, the controller’s actual powers are surprisingly vast and include the ability to refuse to pay shady bills and to audit local government agencies – the Sacramento blob would not like Chen being able to do that even a tiny bit.

TREASURER – Jack Guerrero

Another Republican surprise may be lurking in this race.  Guerrero has proven a formidable campaigner while his opponent, incumbent Fiona Ma, is yet another San Francisco scandal fountain.  She has been sued for sexual harassment and discrimination by a female employee (who has publicly claimed Ma accepted improper gifts,) and almost lost about $500 million in state money on a shady COVID mask deal.

ATTORNEY GENERAL – Nathan Hochman

I’m not a lawyer, I’ve never even played one on TV (see? I did it again) and even I would be a far far better attorney general than Rob Bonta.  And Nathan Hochman actually is a lawyer – and a good one – so he would be even better.  Bonta, who was appointed by Newsom when President Joe Biden plucked Xavier Bockarrhea for something or other in DC, is a classic example of the Sacramento slime pit.  From moving in to protect his friend Sheila Kuehl by taking over her criminal investigation to oozing his wife in to the Assembly to his Gascon-philia to his backing of cashless “bail” to his “behested payments” problem – https://calmatters.org/projects/california-political-legislative-nonprofits-rob-bonta-wife/ – Bonta is a cobbled together Golem of the worst California politics has to offer.  The presumption of corruption that wafts into every room he enters alone should disqualify him for the position and, it appears like Chen and Guerrero, Hochman may, too, have a legitimate shot come next Tuesday.

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER – Robert Howell

While trying not to sound like a broken record, Howell’s incumbent opponent Ricardo Lara is yet another creature of the state’s Democratic nomenklatura.  And he has, like so many other Democrats on this list, a rather transient relationship with the concept of political ethics – https://calmatters.org/california-voter-guide-2022/insurance-commissioner/ricardo-lara/ – which includes saying he would not take insurance industry campaign money and then taking a whole bunch of it.  Howell is an unbeholden businessman who appears to want to focus on wildfire issues, protecting residents and taking to task companies and agencies that either cause them or fail to prepare for them properly.

For BOARD OF EQUALIZATION, which has four seats, I am only offering a single endorsement and strongly recommending Ted Gaines for the DISTRICT 1 seat.  A known entity with a solid history and, extremely rarely for a Republican, the incumbent, Gaines has served the state well.

SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION – Lance Ray Christensen

This is a tough one as the current job holder, Tony Thurmond, has done such an excellent job.  Test scores are up, under his watch the public schools opened quickly and efficiently once the minimal risk to children from COVID was understood, he has reined in the power of the various and sundry teacher’s unions, has worked tirelessly to curtail the woke insanity plaguing education, managed to stay aloof from the Sacramento blob during his years in the Assembly, and did not hire a friend who lived out-of-state for a $180,000 a year job as “superintendent of equity.”  Oh wait…none of that is even REMOTELY accurate…I’m sorry – stick with Christensen who, by the way, also has a real chance to take the seat and at least try to begin to lasso the hulking behemoth that is the California educational-industrial complex.

UNITED STATES SENATOR – Mark Meuser

Current Senator Alex Padilla is running on equity and abortion and the Trumpian threat to democracy, three things that pale in importance this election cycle to crime, inflation, energy, and the economy, the focus of Meuser’s campaign. Padilla is consistent and can be counted on to do as he is told by Newsom’s cabal, which gifted him his seat, so there’s that if you’re interested in continuing to vote for people who have nearly ruined the state.

And one last thing if you live in Los Angeles – this may be the last chance to get things right before the city tips beyond repair and the Valley and the Westside and any other neighborhood that can afford it say “to hell with it” and form their own cities and save what can be saved before the impending rubble –  https://thomas699.substack.com/p/la-city-council-debacle-not-just .

Karen Bass is a harbinger of the end time – Rick Caruso is a glimmer of hope for the future.  Vote for him.

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12 thoughts on “A California Voters Guide by a Former California Elected Official

  1. Well, Thomas. That makes 2 of us in agreement 100% and done. We will see how many others do the same or similar.

  2. Yes I will be doing the same.
    But Thomas you buried the lead, Newsom is not a human!
    “First, Dahle is a human being, so there’s that”😉

  3. Agree with the author and with every commenter.
    Enjoyed “this is a purely personal opinion for entertainment purposes only.” Ha.

  4. Identical to my votes. Unfortunately, it won’t matter. The public employee unions and their sycophant members have already purchased the outcome.

    “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”
    Winston Churchill

  5. Isn’t it funny how California voters will stand neck deep in shit and order another truck load of shit, I just don’t understand why these idiots in office keep getting voted in while the state goes to shit!

    1. It’s called Dominion Voting Systems…
      Its initials are DVS ( pronounced DEVIOUS) and it’s the insidious cancer that’s infected California elections for awhile now…
      Padilla signed off on a security test report that describes many security exploits that were explained away and then skated off to the DC swamp, so we need to get Bernosky elected as Secretary of State so a full forensic audit can be performed….and throw out Padilla’s Purchase….
      Devious, indeed….

  6. Ah, I was looking for this… I think in the future it would be wise to separate Proposition voting from the General Election, the issues are too important (ie. $105 billion obsolete train to nowhere). They’ve consistently used the Title, Description, and Verbiage of Propositions to trip people up, lacking honesty and integrity. Thanks for posting.

    1. Sorry, Save Ag, I didn’t go through them and stayed to statewide things (in part for sanity’s sake as there are about 2,200 judges in the state)
      Though Raymond’s response has a certain piquancy that should be admired…

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