Who to Vote for on November 6: A Progressive’s Opinion

Every election Attorney Eric Kirk puts out a list of ballot recommendations. Here are his recommendations for our midterm elections.

Eric KirkProposition 1 – Affordable Housing Bonds – Yes

Would allow the state to sell 4 billion dollars in bonds for several affordable multi-family housing programs.  About half of it goes for low interest loans to construct housing near public transportation – “in-fill” housing (so no requirements for building parking to accommodate increased residency – I have a problem with this, but not enough of one to oppose the measure) with assistance to public and private projects for which the housing must remain low income for 55 years.  The measure allocates money for home loan/down payment assistance, for construction of infrastructure (again near public transportation, and some money for farm worker housing both rental and owner-occupied (I’m really skeptical that much of the latter would be generated).

Its what bonds are for.  The opposition is all about the problems with bond-indebtedness and taxes.

It won’t solve the problem by a long shot.  It’ll benefit about 50 thousand families, but it could also have some derivative positive effects for others in terms of stimulus and keeping home prices and rents down in a state in which homes are 2.5 times the national average in price and rent is about 50 percent higher than average.

But yes.

Proposition 2 – Bonds to fund housing program for mentally ill homeless – Yes

Apparently, the science says that the best way to combat homelessness is to provide homes.  Seems obvious, but really getting someone off the street and into a safe place has apparently worked wonders for the long term.  It doesn’t solve all problems, but is effective as a game changer in the lives of mentally ill and it’s not just a liberal pipe dream.  The data says it’s effective.

2 billion in bonds would be sold to go into the “No Place Like Home Program” which arose out of Proposition 63 which allocated money for mental health programs.  Currently there is a court decision pending as to whether the program is what voters had in mind when they funded mental health programs.  This measure would decide the matter for the courts.

It is supported by Mental Health America of California.  It is opposed by the National Alliance on Mental Illness which argues that it will divert money from actual treatment and fails to address systemic problems of zoning restrictions against such housing.  It also argues that counties are already required to provide housing and (by implication) that it should be covered by the general fund.

These points are well taken, but it’s one thing to argue that counties are required to provide housing.  It’s another to bring the housing into existence.  This should have been instituted years ago, but an attorney has hogtied it all in courts.  We need the housing.  We can fight for funding for the accompanying treatment.

Proposition 3 – yet another bond measure for water – No

This is a bond measure which was unfortunately cooked up behind closed doors by a coalition of lobbyists who ensured that the bulk of the money goes to very specific projects in what was basically a “pay to play” process.  The almond industry was heavily represented.  The Sierra Club is opposed.

California would sell about 9 billion in bonds for a long list of water related projects – all of which are needed.  Yes, we just passed one in June.  And we’ve passed a bunch of them – almost reminiscent of the never-ending prison bonds we passed in the 80s and 90s when the voting public was more reactionary.  But that’s the new reality.  We will probably have to pass a bunch more as climate continues to change, population here continues to grow, and as long as we continue to indulge water-intensive crops like rice, alfalfa, and almonds.  It’s the new reality, and even with these bond measures we are probably going to experience water crisis for the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, the opposition ballot statement was submitted by tax posse types who want more dams.  Proposition 3 is supported by conservative environmental groups like the California Wildlife Federation and Ducks Unlimited (hunting organizations – they do some good, but they have very specific agendas and earmarked Prop 3 projects support these jurisdictions).  The projects are concentrated in the Central Valley and it takes money from the Cap and Trade revenues for these limited purposes.

On the positive side, about a fourth of the money would be allocated for watershed restoration, and this is where the opposition, which doesn’t understand the science, misses the point when it says that the measure won’t add a drop of water.  Restoration would involve prevention of “sheeting” which happens after decades of clearcutting where the soil hardens at the surface for lack of trees and the water runs into the river and straight to the ocean instead of the “sponge effect” with the presence of trees in which the water is held and released more slowly throughout the year.  It would also help restore habitat and forest health to lessen risk and intensity of forest fires.

There are about 50 categories of grants with geographic specificity.  The Proposition was not generated in transparency.  It bypasses spending oversight processes.  It all but eliminates the “beneficiary pays” principle.  And very little of the money would be spent in coastal regions or the mountains – fixated on agricultural and other special interests.

Another 2 billion goes to conservation, rainwater retrieval, water recycling, etc.  It would include assistance with installation of low flow toilets and replacement of lawns with more water saving landscaping.  And there would be money for habitat restoration (particularly fish in the central valley), infrastructure upgrade (including the Oroville Dam, which almost came apart a few years ago), groundwater protection, and flood protection.  Yes, it probably tries to do too much, but it’s all necessary.

Yes, it would add to the bonded debt, and we just went to the well in June, but honestly if the provisions were more balanced and not so invested in the benefit of Central Valley special interests, I could get behind it.  I can’t.

Proposition 4 – bonds for children’s hospitals – Yes

Authorizes 1.5 billion in bonds for improvements and upgrades to a specific list of mostly nonprofit children’s hospitals with specific goals in mind as to expansion of services for underprivileged kids and with some money dedicated to education and research facilities.  Yes, much of the money will go to private non-profit hospitals, but it will expand services for underprivileged children – net effect.

It’s how building construction gets done.

Proposition 5 – Allows elderly to transfer their home tax rate to a purchased home – No

For anyone over 55 this would allow you to carry your current tax rate with you from your current home to your next.  So let’s say your home is assessed at $200,000.00 (reassessment is almost always lags behind market rate increases the way it’s calculated) and you manage to sell your house for $400,000 and you purchase a new home for $400,000.  You would carry your old assessment rate of $200,000 with you and only be taxed for that amount.

It makes sense to make it easier to move, but this was written by Realtors with profit motive and isn’t thought through in terms of fiscal impact or whether we really want to increase speculation and moving into larger homes at retirement.  And it contains no caps on applicable home values.  Elderly shouldn’t be trapped in a home which may be far away from family, adequate medical care, etc., but the answer is to press for policies generating affordable housing for everyone.  This is basically regressive and it’s kind of a new Prop 13 focusing most of its benefit towards rich baby-boomers.

Also, I don’t really like passing Constitutional amendments by ballot.  Sometimes we have to, but it’s too easy to change California’s Constitution.  It should be done sparingly.

Proposition 6 – Repeals gas tax – No

Would essentially repeal SB1 which puts a 12 cent tax per gallon on gasoline, 4 cents on diesel, and establishes a fee for non-emission vehicles (varies according to model – I have mixed feelings about it as I think we should have policies which facilitate the proliferation of non-emission vehicles, however, as it stands only wealthy people can afford them so it seems unfair that they don’t contribute to transportation costs and the imposition of the fees makes the gas tax just a little less regressive).

The proponents have made Prop 6 the anti-tax rallying call for Republicans struggling as they are losing any grip on California politics.  They are crying fowl over the recently passed Prop 69 which ensured that all gas taxes be devoted to transportation costs (makes common sense but I oppose earmarked funds as I believe the legislature should determine spending priorities), which deprived them of a key talking point.

I’m not generally in favor of sales taxes.  Unless they’re on luxury items they tend to be regressive.  But the 5 billion which the tax raised is essential, and it’s not all about roads, but also for public transportation development and improvement.  It encourages reduction in driving and therefor emissions, and promotes fuel efficiency purchases.

Prop 6 would also make it more difficult to raise revenues in the future, which is the “prop 13 element” selling point for the proponents in the red counties.  I think they make a mistake by evoking that association given the carnage of the extreme elements voters passed way back in 1978.

I also want to discuss economics here.  Both left and right do this.  They adopt simplistic economic views when it’s in their interests, and gloss over the complexities.  The proponents, some of whom should know better and probably do, imply that if the tax is repealed there will be a 12-cent reduction in gas prices and 4-cent reduction in diesel. But suppliers will charge “what the market will bear.”  The market currently bears prices which include the tax.  If suppliers can take that amount and convert it to dividends, they will.  This is not to accuse them of greed per se.  This is what they do.

On the demand side, “passing the tax on to the consumers” doesn’t work when the supply-demand curve is flexible.  In the 1990s when Californian’s passed a 25-cent cigarette tax it was assumed that addiction would render the demand curve almost entirely inflexible.  But the tax did lower consumption of cigarettes, and according to one study about 17 cents was absorbed by consumers while the shareholders had to accept 8 cents per pack less in dividends.  Gas consumption is actually more flexible.  Yes, everyone has to commute, but price increases do lead to more use of public transportation and fewer unessential drives.

Humboldt County traditionally has some of the highest fuel prices in the state, probably due to our remoteness.  Years ago when a local radio station aired complaints about the ridiculous prices, when local station owners were contacted about perceived price gauging, a prominent fuel distributor stated, “It’s what the market will bear.”  One gas station owner had promised to lower prices, it didn’t happen and he refused all further media calls.  Reporters and others suspected that he had been contacted by the larger distributor and everyone suspected collusion, but it couldn’t be proven for lack of direct evidence.  Assuming this was a natural occurrence, and there are other examples, it suggests that competition is not a huge factor in prices.  Therefore, one gas station will not take advantage of the 12-cent difference to undercut the competition – partly because it’s set by the supplier, and we have decades of evidence that suppliers do not compete with each other.  Collusion is one theory, but there are other very complex factors in fuel pricing.  Assuming they haven’t colluded, then consumers have nothing to gain by repealing the tax.  If they have colluded, they will continue to collude.

By the way, don’t be fooled by the names of the organizations listed in support of Prop 6.  The Latino American Political Association and California Women’s Leadership Association are conservative political organizations.

Proposition 7 – Permanent Daylight Savings – No

It would make Pacific Daylight Time official California time and I’m amazed that it’s taken so many decades before anyone bothered to do this.  It would not automatically make Daylight Savings Time permanent – it would be contingent upon federal action and require a two-thirds legislative vote.  But it would probably happen.

In my social circles I seem to be in the minority, but I like the switch twice a year.  I find the stroke and heart risks studies questionable.  I find the loss of productivity studies even more questionable.  There are studies which differ with both.

Right now my daughter has to be in Arcata at 7:00 am.  Getting her up when it’s dark is a chore.

I think it would be silly to be out of synch with the rest of the states (excepting Arizona and half of Indiana).  Will it take root in other states as California’s “right on red” policy did?

I don’t know.  Maybe.  But I remember walking to my baby-sitter’s home in the dark in the 4th grade to watch Jack LaLane until school time in November, and I was relieved when I could walk in daylight.  I honestly don’t remember Nixon’s energy crisis-inspired experiment a year later, but according to my fellow Prop 7 opponents, people didn’t like it.

I would rather deal with an early sunset than a late sunrise.  And I like getting the extra hour on the switchover weekend.  I don’t care as much about losing it in the spring, although it did stress me out in high school when I had less time to get my homework done as I invariably procrastinated until Sunday evening…

Point of information – if we were to simply do away with daylight savings time that would not violate federal law.  We need to wait for federal law to change in order to have year-round daylight savings.

Proposition 8 – Kidney Dialysis Price Control – Yes

Limits dialysis treatment prices to 115 percent of costs (includes costs of education, training, etc.).  Requires refunds and fines for violations.  Mandates reporting to confirm costs.  Prohibits refusal of treatment based upon source of payment including Medi-Cal and Medicare.

Endorsed by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, senior/retirement organizations, and veterans organizations, but opposed by the American Nurses Association (though notably the very progressive California Nurses Association is silent as of the date I’m typing) and CMA. I don’t take this lightly.  They argue that it will result in clinic closures, in the absence of additional funding, and could increase drive lengths for patients.  But we cannot have a system where dialysis patients can be refused treatment.  We just cannot do that.  So if the clinics need more money, then pols are going to have to figure out some funding.  Patients cannot be expected to pay 350 percent of costs, assuming that’s necessary.  Patients have died for the lack of ability to pay for care.

I mean, we should have similar regs for other life-threatening conditions, but we have to start somewhere until we have socialized medicine.  Not single payer which is merely socialized insurance, but socialized medicine.

Somebody forwarded an article to me claiming that the measure is intended punish non-union entities.  I don’t agree, but there’s nothing wrong with punishing entities which resist collective bargaining – sorry.

Proposition 9 – no longer on the ballot

It was a silly attempt to divide California into three states, and had it been allowed and passed, it wasn’t even the proper path to accomplish something like that.  California would have to cede two of the states (whichever two do not contain Sacramento I assume) which would become territories.  Congress would then decide the fate of those territories.  They may keep them as territories or make both into one state.

So it was going to be a waste of time no matter what the outcome.

Proposition 10 – Repeal of statewide anti-rent control law – Yes!!

I’ve just about had it with biased documents/wording coming out of government, but the official Election Guide describes the proposition as “expands local government’s enact rent control…”  Technically speaking this is true, but anyone who doesn’t know the history or read the analysis carefully will fail to understand that was this does is to dial back overreach from Sacramento in the horrific Costa-Hawkins law passed by developer and Realtor lobby-pressured pols to impose statewide restrictions on rent control.  Costa-Hawkins prohibits rent control for single-family homes.  It prohibits vacancy rent control.  And most egregiously it prohibits rent control of anything built from 1995 on – which was purely a gift to developers.

This is exactly the kind of legislation conservatives claim to hate – that which saps local control.  It puts a premium on tearing down older homes.  For the lack of vacancy rent control it assures gentrification and the destruction of working class communities.

It’s backed by a slew of progressive organizations (Including California Nurses Association, curiously not silent on this one).  But there is opposition from Alice Huffman of the NAACP who insists that the restriction is necessary to guarantee choices and encourage the construction of low-cost housing. I’m not clear if she’s speaking for the organization, or simply noting her affiliation for identification.  But the rest of the opponents are conservative organizations (yes, including United Latinos Vote) and the tax posse.

Proposition 11 – Exempts Private EMTs/Paramedics from Labor Code pertaining to Meal Breaks; Some Benefits for Employees – Sure, with reluctance

Prop 11 has no organized opposition, but I’m a little put off by the privatization of ambulance/paramedic services.  Isn’t the whole point to privatization premised on the notion that the private sector delivers certain services with more economic efficiency?  Then why are we being asked to provide special exemptions to make their industry more profitable?

Basically, the Labor Code requires uninterrupted meal breaks.  A lawsuit filed on behalf of employees established that it’s a violation to force employees to give up their meal break for an emergency.  The businesses lament that they are forced to serve anyone regardless of ability to pay and that Medicare and Medi-Cal patients generate compensation at below cost.  75 percent of all ambulances in California are private.  They are complaining about having to pay for extra employees to be on call while others are on their meal breaks.  Apparently, this is very expensive since you can’t just call someone in for a half hour to sit around waiting for someone else to eat.  It does seem like this requirement is a bit onerous since unlike most other industries they have no control over when their services will be of use.

But the proponents have thrown in some benefits which are intended to off-set the potential loss of breaktime, and the unions appear to be okay with it.  The benefits include crisis training (dealing with violence at emergency sites, etc.) and mental health treatment.  Some of it could be offset by charging private insurance companies more for their patients.

Proposition 12 – Increases Living Space for Chickens, Pigs, and Veal Cows – Yes

Humane Society proposal to increase the living space of the three types of livestock – laying hens, pigs, and cows to be killed as calves.  Currently all livestock in the state must have the space to “lie down, stand up, turn around, and fully extend limbs.”  Prop 12 would increase the space for egg hens from .8 of a foot to a full square foot per hen until 2022.  The cows would get 43 square feet which is about 7 by 6 feet.  As of 2022 the hens and pigs would be cage free – which can still be confined to indoors and I think hen space would be increased to 1.5 square feet, which is more than it seems – does allow for space between birds.  Pigs would get 24 square feet which is about 5 by 5 feet.  They would be “cage free” in that they could freely move about in a large building, but no guarantee of sunlight.

It’s something.

The opposition comes primarily from an organization entitled “Californians against Cages, Cruelty, and Fraud,” which the HSUS claims is a front group for farmers who have found loopholes around the existing anti-cage laws.  That’s pretty cynical if true, especially since in their ballot argument they fault the Humane Society for failing to negate those loopholes.  And over half of the rebuttal to the yes argument is dedicated to attacking HSUS for some sexual harassment issues which are probably true (quoting the National Organization for Women and creating the impression that maybe NOW also opposes Prop 12), but also wholly irrelevant to Proposition 12.  The opposition statements are really bizarre actually, reading more like Internet forum trolling than ballot statements.

In the meantime, it’s a step – backed not just by HSUS but also veterinarian organizations.  It’s opposed by corporate farm interests which curiously stood back and let CCCF write the opposition.

Did some research and apparently PETA is involved with CCCF.


US Senator – Kevin De León

I’m just going to drop my thoughts from the June primary.  The two main Democrats made it to the runoff.  Nothing in my opinions have changed since June.

First, I want to say that I find the argument against Feinstein that she should retire on the bases of her 84-year age to be ageist and sexist.  There is no indication that she is losing cognition and this kind of pressure was never put on segregationist Strom Thurmond who persisted as Senator past 100 years old.  It’s a double standard applied to older women.

But my choice of De Leon as the standard bearer of more progressive politics has more to do with her politics.  She is a military hawk, a consummate moderate on domestic issues, and a party functionary.  I blame the current Manhattanization of the SF skyline on her opposition to growth control in the 1980s when as Mayor of the City she never met a high rise she didn’t like.

De León is far from perfect.  His press conference for gun control in which he demonstrated a complete lack of knowledge of the weapon in his hand is an embarrassment which will follow him around for his entire career.  It also appears that the company behind the Cadiz Water Project (diverting water from San Bernadino to Orange County against many environmentalist and other concerns) bought his support with large donations.  And he is a bit of a suit.

But he supports single payer, has pledged to vote for Bernie’s Medicare for All bill, and has taken stands against aggressive foreign policy and for Palestinian rights which distinguishes him from the incumbent.  And he relies on grassroots support which makes him vulnerable to grassroots pressure.

Comparisons have been made to the HRC/Bernie race, but De León is no Bernie.

I expect that Feinstein will collect the bulk of the Republican vote and win, but I wonder if she will take the majority of Democrats.

Governor – Gavin the Suit

Gavin Newsom will probably be President someday.  He’s basically Bill Clinton, complete with charm and third way vagueness to is politics.  I’m not enthralled.

But Cox is a Trumpster complaining about rivers being allowed to run into the ocean and the gas tax.

Both are clichés.  One is much worse than the other.

Lt. Governor – Ed Hernandez

Neither of the Democrats was my first choice for this largely useless office, but Elen Kounalakis is endorsed by the mainstream of the Democratic Party, the National Organization for Women and the California Federation of Teachers, while Ed Hernandez is endorsed by the California Teacher’s Association, Planned Parenthood, and a slew of unions.   She’s not as centrist as HRC, but Hernandez is not as progressive as Bernie.  But he is more progressive than she.

Secretary of State – Alex Padilla

Padilla is a boring semi-progressive technocrat, but is Republican opponent’s big issue is “bloated voter rolls” with veiled accusations of voter fraud committed by them.  I’m not for bloated voter rolls, but enfranchisement doesn’t even appear to be in his vocabulary.  Padilla will probably win and run laterally next time around – maybe for Attorney General.  He’ll be just as boring then.

Controller – Betty Yee

Betty Yee is another of those names you will only see every four years as she runs for statewide office for a living.  She’s boring too, benefitting from her Republican opponent, who is, surprise, for the gas tax repeal and against high speed rail.  Oh, and he’s also against rivers reaching the ocean.  None of this has anything to do with the Controller’s job of course.  She’s for… I’m not sure what she’s for.  Does anybody know what she’s for?  I guess she’s against climate change, although even that’s not completely clear in her statement.  She’s “managed your cash” well, or so she says, and I guess that’s what a controller is supposed to do.  I guess maybe she’s supposed to be boring.

Treasurer – Fiona Ma

You know I actually kind of like the Republican Greg Conlon.  He talks about his qualifications, which are substantial.  His backing from former Secretary of State George Schultz who was ecumenical enough to join the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in the unveiling of the Herman Plaza VALB monument.  He’s the only statewide Republican candidate not ranting about the gas tax or the rivers.  If he manages to win, it won’t be the end of the world, as moderate Republicans are kind of a dying breed.

But Fiona Ma, though fairly conservative by SF standards when she was on the Board of Supervisors, is a bona fide progressive for the most part once she was no longer representing old SF Sunset District culture.  She worked hard to detoxify children’s toys.  Who wants toxic children’s toys?

Attorney General – Xavier Beccera

First, the Republican Steve Bailey comes right out as “dangerous experiments” against Props 47 and 57, and AB 109 – all attempts at criminal justice reform with mixed success.  His answer is, of course, to reclaim California’s status among the highest incarceration rates in the country and world which has done so well for us over the past few decades.

But Beccera isn’t all that much better when it comes to “law and order.”  He defeated his primary Democratic challenger David Jones by pressing on Jones’s opposition to the death penalty, suggesting that a prosecutor who takes that position is unfit for the office.  On the positive side, Beccera has taken on white collar crime more aggressively than his predecessors and he has taken legal actions against Trump initiatives, and on behalf of the Dreamers.  He has so far defeated Trump with regard to the latter’s attempts to weaken air quality standards and restrict access to birth control.  He is aggressively defending SB 54.

The choice seems pretty clear.

Insurance Commissioner – Ricardo Lara

One of the few candidates I endorsed who made it into the runoff.  Again, these are my comments from June.

Lara is the son of undocumented immigrant parents who is a bona fide progressive.  Supports single payer.  Authored the Super Pollutant Reduction Act which enacted the nation’s toughest restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions. He passed legislation aimed at restorative justice and protecting children from abuses in the criminal justice system.  Helped pass the bill ensuring medical care to undocumented children. Introduced a bill which would prohibit state contracts with companies helping to build Trump’s border wall.  Seems like a good advocate for consumers and possibly a future contender for Governor, Senator, or the Presidency.

I will just note that his opponent Steve Poisner does warrant an honorable mention.  He did a decent job as Insurance Commissioner a decade ago, when he was Republican.  And his reasons for leaving the GOP seem honorable.

But Lara is the real thing, and may be more willing to buck the insurance industry on key issues.

Superintendent of Public Instruction – Tony Thurmond

Again, I’m just going to recycle my June thoughts.

Progressive in all the right ways, though a bit of a suit when it comes to politics.  He was part of the progressive coalition in Richmond, but didn’t get support from the Richmond Progressive Alliance because he took corporate donations.  Still he’s done well by at-risk students, immigrants, the environment, and other progressive constituencies.  Known for establishing funds for effective needle-exchange program and HIV prevention.  Also, he’s black, Latino, and Jewish which I think gives him an exceptionally broad range of experience and perspective.

Board of Equalization District 1 – Malia Cohen

Malia Cohen seems cool enough. Her Republican opponent rides with the tax posse.  I’ll vote for her, but I really don’t care because the Board of Equalization is a zombie body.

I wish I could vote for the Democrat in District 2 – Tom Hallinan.  He has one platform pledge – to close the Board of Equalization down.

There’s a guy running in District 4 who say he’s worked for Bob Hope, Frank Zappa, and Debbie Reynolds.  I’m assuming as a lawyer. He’s a Democrat, but also a member of the tax posse.  Weird.

Okay, I guess I have to explain – the Howard Jarvis (prop 13) group is the tax posse and they vote against everything tax.  They seem to want to take over the Board of Equalization.  Whatever.

Associate Supreme Court Justices

The way this works is that each Supreme Court seat has to be confirmed every 12 years.  If a resignation and replacement takes place before such a term expires, there is an initial confirmation at the next election for a Governor which will confirm for the remainder of that term (either 4 or 8 years).  There are eight up for confirmation this election.

Leondra Kruger – yes to confirm – the second youngest Supreme Court Justice in California history – she came on and I think threw the balance in favor of a decision which was decisive in my appellate win! And yes, progressive consumer issues were involved.  It turned around a bunch of cases in which personal injury plaintiffs against health care providers were caught unwary of landmines in the law – I’ll be happy to tell the story to any who wants to hear.  She was appointed by Brown in 2015 and I certainly appreciate most of her decisions given my legal and political philosophies.  She has made a couple of law and order decisions which concern me, but she’s mostly progressive.  Example – she sided with conservatives on the court who upheld a law which make it difficult for arrestees who were not convicted to have their DNA removed from the database.  I did look more closely at the decision and her decision was based more on procedure than substance.  But she did side with the conservatives against the liberals.  It happens sometimes.

Carol Corrigan – yes to confirm – Not the worst Justice I’ve seen.  She was appointed to the Appellate Court by Governor Pete Wilson in the 90s and later to the Supreme Court by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but passed through Democratic Party run legislatures with ease. She upheld a plastic bag ban, and wrote a decision which held that emails with public officials are subject to sunshine laws. But a couple of decisions have irked me. In one, a kid threw some fireworks into some dried vegetation which led to a fire which burned a home.  But instead of merely being charged with criminal negligence, he was charged with arson, and the Supreme Court, with Corrigan’s vote, upheld the arson conviction on the basis of “intent.”  Federally, “intent” actually means to start a fire.  The Supreme Court ruled that “intent” means to intend to do the act which starts the fire, even if you didn’t mean to start a fire.  I see that as result-oriented activism.  Another decision she was a part of reduced equitable relief by eliminating quantum meruit (unjust enrichment) as a cause of action.  It runs against centuries of common law eliminating a major tool of justice when a formal contract wasn’t reached.  She also dissented against the Supreme Court decision which ruled sexual orientation a suspect class for discrimination.   

However, it’s considered bad form to oppose confirmation on the basis of disagreement on particular cases.  So I had to consider whether these disagreements amount to an opinion that she is unfit for her position as Justice.  Although there are other people I would prefer to have in her place, I just can’t say that she’s unfit to serve.

We also have two Associate Judges of the First District Appellate Court to confirm.

Justice Sandra Margulies – Yes

I’m in receipt of a progressive activist’s recommendation of “no” based upon the expansion of warrantless blood draws, and although I find the decision problematic, it’s not really an “expansion.”  It simply allows a cop to testify to meet an “expert” threshold of admissibility so that they don’t have to call the drawing techs themselves, and I don’t know that it’s going to make a huge difference.  Plus, a defense attorney can still raise doubt.  It’s really a technical issue.

But her decisions are consistently pro-consumer, and the First District with her decisions have upheld progressive Insurance Commissioner decisions and liberalized the interpretation of the five-year statute of limitations to prevent unjust dismissals of consumer cases.

In any case, I find no evidence of incompetence.

Justice James Humes – Yes

Doesn’t seem to be any controversy from a progressive point of view.

Justice James A. Richman – Yes

Nobody has written anything about this guy.  I had to include the “A” to have him come up on my google search.  He was appointed by Schwarzenegger in 2006.  So no reason not to confirm him.  I guess.

Something called “progressive California” says he ruled against protecting public pension plans, but I can’t find the case.

Justice Marla Miller – Yes

“Progressive California” is also advising a “no” vote on her for protecting the governor in the CPUC corruption issue – so I researched and it does appear that she was involved in trying to reverse a Superior Court order granting a document production request, but the Judge had retired and nobody else at the Superior Court wanted to follow the order or buck the retired judge’s order and it looks like it was a mess.  There is no rational for her order, but it was an extraordinary writ and it’s really impossible to judge based on the media accounts.

She did, along with Richman, uphold a major fine against PG&E for reporting failures.

She was appointed by the Governor in 2014.

Justice Peter John Siggins – Yes

Progressive California likes that he was the Judge who made the ruling against the California Prison System re overcrowding – ordering the release of prisoners.  He was just appointed by Brown in July, so no real record to consider.

Justice John Streeter – Yes

Apparently advocated well for immigrants while in private practice.  He also signed off in my favor on my recently decided appeal – and it was a very pro-consumer decision.

He was appointed in 2014 straight from private practice – never served as a judge.

Justice Alison Tucher – Yes

Also just appointed in July of this year.  Apparently did a lot of pro bono work in private practice.

Justice Barbara Jones – Yes

Is supported by Progressive California despite being appointed by Governor Pete Wilson because she made a good labor decision favoring the Raiders Cheerleaders for wage theft.  Apparently, the cheerleaders were paid a fixed sum per game and she ruled that the Raiders had to pay minimum wage hourly for games, practice, and community appearances.  Seems like a good decision and I find no controversy.

US Congress – Jared Huffman

Not always impressed with Huffman’s mainstream positions, and very dissatisfied with his endorsement of Ryan Sundberg over Stephen Madrone.  But Madrone won in the end and Huffman is about as progressive as can be elected in our district at this time – and he only has one opponent at this time.  I like Dale, but he’s not fit for Congress.

State Senate – Veronica Jacobi

Much more progressive than Mike McGuire.  McGuire’s okay too. He’s done pretty well by the North Coast.  Except for the Sundberg endorsement.  McGuire will win, but she presents an opportunity to make him feel less secure in his office.  No pol should feel secure.

Assembly – Jim Wood

Again, my thoughts for June.  Add to this the Sundberg endorsement.

I really wish there was a progressive alternative as Wood was instrumental in blocking California’s chance at a single payer system.  He’s basically a moderate party functionary.  But there is a Republican in this race and he’s obsessed with the usual – opposes the gas tax and supports deregulation.  You go to his website and the home page has a big red sign which reads “Freedom,” and it makes me think of the final scene in Braveheart with Mel Gibson raising his fist to the cry… It was a bad movie and Heath is a horrible candidate.  And Wood is more vulnerable to movement pressure.

Eureka Mayor – Susan Seaman

She is the most progressive of the three candidates (though Heidi Messner has been good on the council).  She announced in August and was at my door before I even knew who she was.  I’m really impressed with her ever since.

Eureka City Council Ward 3 – Natalie Arroyo

Really smart, really passionate, and really together, and up against two very conservative opponents.  I’m listing her first because I live in her ward and will actually get to vote for her.

Eureka City Council Ward 1 and Ward 5 – Leslie Castello and Kim Bergel – Normally I don’t endorse candidates or causes not on my ballot, but I’m actually working hard for a progressive sweep in Eureka.  Both Leslie and Kim are phenomenal. I haven’t agreed with everything Kim has done, and probably I won’t agree with Leslie all the time.

But this is an election about realistic economic vision and how we address social problems of homelessness and drug addiction.  The opposition is obsessed against needle exchange because of some rough edges which have resulted in some errors, but which are being addressed, and the fact is that the needle exchanges save lives just about everywhere it’s implemented.

The other big topic of emotion is the current plan to convert one of the three lanes on each of H and I Streets into bike lanes, slow down traffic a bit, and make it safe for the high school students to cross while improving the aesthetics and desirability of homes on both streets.  As Jana said, “We don’t need boulevards through that part of town.”  As we both drive the streets nearly every day we also have a stake, and we are pro-bike lanes.

And I get to vote on three local ballot measures.

Measure I – .25 percent sales tax increase

20 years unless renewed.  Specifically, for roads, and the roads are a very pronounced problem right now as Public Works is years behind due to limited resources.  There would be an oversight committee.  Even Marion Brady voted to put it onto the ballot.

I don’t like sales taxes.  They’re regressive.  But it’s the only revenue tool the city has other than parcel taxes which are also regressive.

Measure K – Yes.

I wrote it.  Here’s one of my pieces submitted to the papers or blogs.

This November, Humboldt County voters will have the opportunity to pass Measure K, which will remove any active involvement by county authorities in federal immigration enforcement.  Sanctuary is a much misunderstood and misrepresented concept.  It does not interfere with immigration enforcement.  It simply prohibits the dedication of local resources to unfunded mandates which serve only to prop up scapegoating national politics.  The threat by ICE, the President, and other aspects of the federal government to punish Sanctuary jurisdictions violates the spirit and letter of the 10th Amendment and state sovereignty.  The “voluntary” Joint Task Forces being pushed by federal statute and politics become mandatory if states and local jurisdictions are forced to participate either due to threats of funding cut-offs or claims that laws which refuse the cooperation are illegal. And to date, all attempts to mandate local involvement in immigration enforcement have been ruled unconstitutional.   

It is true that the federal government has Constitutional primacy when it comes to immigration law.  States and local jurisdictions cannot interfere with lawful federal immigration enforcement.  But as established by court case in the 19th century pertaining to the Fugitive Slave Laws, states are under no obligation to participate in the task forces.  ICE has its job and local authorities have theirs.

Moreover, the very federal statutes which establish the Voluntary Task Forces explicitly state that no reimbursement shall be made to local jurisdictions which expend local resources to those efforts.  The price tag is often significant.  The conservatives of our communities have often lamented the centralization of political power in Washington DC (and Sacramento) which requires actions of local governments sans funding.  Nothing in a Sanctuary ordinance prevents local law enforcement from consulting with ICE if separate crime is involved.

But Measure K offers much more than most Sanctuary ordinances.  There are numerous families which include non-citizen parents with naturally born citizen children. Among other things, the Sanctuary Measure would mandate parental decision-making rights for those parents separated from their children by arrest and/or deportation.  Whatever feelings one may have about the parents’ choices in entry to the country, these families are now integral to local communities and the welfare and successful upbringing of the children are of paramount importance.  Preventing the break-up of families is essential as a matter of values, but also community interest.

The media and certain political figures have placed ridiculous emphasis on “criminals, drug dealers, and rapists” to quote one famous politician.  But this refers to an extremely small subset of the undocumented immigrant population as statistically speaking a foreign-born non-citizen resident, whether documented or undocumented, is less likely to commit any crime – probably because they have much more to lose than a citizen.  Most undocumented residents are here to work.  You do business with them directly or indirectly every day.  They are your coworkers.  Your neighbors.  They may be your friends.  Their children attend school with yours.  You have cheered at school and youth sport events alongside undocumented parents of your children’s teammates.  Some of your friends may be undocumented – it’s not something people talk about.  They may be Latino, Asian, European, or Canadian.  They each have an individual story which accounts for their undocumented status, and their explanations may change hearts as to whether they are people who disrespect the law.  Necessity, dreams, children, and other individual circumstances often generate difficult choices.

In the meantime, it is important to your own interests that every member of a community feel safe to contact the police to report a crime, fire, or other emergency.  It is important to your health that everyone obtain medical evaluation and treatment when ill.  It is important that the millions who live here undocumented obtain education, job training, and feel they have a stake in the communities of which they are a part.

Conservatives locally have objected to local regulations and general plans because they do not pertain to “the reality on the ground.”  Whether you support the choices these millions of individuals have made, the “reality on the ground” is that they are here and integral to your community.  If they were to disappear tomorrow, you would feel the consequences of the loss – to economy, society, and community.

And they are part of your community.  When one part of a community is compromised, the whole community is compromised.  Please vote yes on Measure K as an affirmation of community.

Measure O – Half-cent sales tax renewal – Yes

Renews a sales tax which raises about 12 million a year for general purposes and is essential.  Yes it comes without a sunset clause and I’m not a fan of the way the Measure Z advisory committee was stacked with stakeholders, but we need the money – bottom line.



  • “The opposition is all about the problems with bond-indebtedness and taxes.”

    Got that right! Vote NO! on all propositions that fund projects with bonds! The projects may be needed but funding with bonds is fiscally stupid…

    • Bless you for saying that. For all the complaining about the income gap between rich and poor, the Government seems to be determined to pay more and more to the rich. Since they all make income from government bonds tax exempt in some way or another, the rich are made richer.

    • Citizen Too: I agree 100%. it is DANGEROUS to fund government on credit. Because every time we do, we decrease the amount of the general fund available to pay for government (because the general fund gets tied up paying interest) and therefor we are forced to turn to this credit government. What a downward spiral. and that interest typically goes to the 1% who also do not pay their fair share of taxes.

      I consider myself a very progressive voter, but i do not stand for fiscal irresponsibility. Progressive does not mean fiscal irresponsibility. All bonds should be rejected unless there is an emergency.

      Passing #8 on Dialysis price control will cost people’s lives. Eric may have enough income to buy sufficient insurance to protect himself and his kids from the outcomes of this, but many others do not. Humboldt County sees a higher than average number of liver patients who benefit from dialysis. Medical costs and insurance needs control, but not one disease at a time where each subgroup can be picked off like this.

      and #5 the property tax for the elderly. voting no on that is voting against the needs of this community. it is decidedly not progressive to ask people pay more land tax as they move into town after getting old enough that living on the land is no longer advisable.

      mostly I agree with your candidate choices. However, with regard to the Justices, I would have been better served had you told me why you do or do not like their legal reasoning. That they make decisions that benefit your clients is less useful information than if you tell me how they apply the law. The judiciary is supposed to be apolitical, Kavanaugh notwithstanding.

      I’m going to vote no on the road tax and yes on measure O. Roads need repaired, but Measure O continues Z. and Measure z funds have been shared in all kiinds of ways that cover safety. There has to be an end to the taxing somewhere. if we need more money, lets get rid of some county administrators. I have worked for the County. They WASTE money paying too many administrators who need more job in their job description.

      • Currently people are being priced out of dialysis, even when they are insured. They are either dying or going into bankruptcy.

        And Proposition 5 doesn’t do what you think it does. You might want to reread my analysis, as well as the ballot guide.

      • Respectfully,

        Pretty sure the 1% are paying state taxes in CA. We do collect a pretty good chunk from them and from business. I’m not anywhere near that level but let’s not take the money and insult them at the same time. Fair’s fair.

  • Are you kidding? He wrote all this shit, and we will vote against anything he is for, and for anything he is against , we are for. And since we are forced to pay $25 billion to support illegal aliens, we would have incredible roads, and a better state. As far as automobile pollution, the auto does not make a pimple on the ass of the container ship pollution. The auto produces 68,000 tons of pollution a year. there are 170 million cars on earth. There are 90,000 container/ tanker ships. They produce 270 million tons of pollution a year. Globalization? Bad, filthy pollution. Not to mention the electric car produces far more pollution that the fossil fuel counterparts. Not to mention Tesla getting money from the taxpayer to keep him in business. Shut that down now, if he can’t do it alone, fuck him. Q 17

    • People the world over are fighting against globalization, they all want their countries back from the cabal’s.
      This is a dorky video, but it helps us to see how we have united in spirit, WW, to fight the NWO of one govt/one religion/one huge mess of crap. It ends stronger than it begins, so hang with it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWAgIVNzHKs&feature=youtu.be

    • Hey Stuber you rock and that is exactly what I was thinking.

    • *Sigh* Really,

      The worn-out “Illegal aliens cost a fortune” despite all the evidence they put in far more than they take out? And for gods’ sake where are you pulling those carbon figures out of, Sean Hannity’s ass? I can’t even look at that dumbass Q BS.

  • Thank you for doing my due diligence for me. I will write down every proposition and vote the opposite of you.

  • Worst Lawyer in Humboldt. I guess no one goes to his blog so he has to waste bandwidth here

  • Each time a proposal says “will raise x billions” , think “will take x billions.” Then decide if the Government has earned your trust.

  • So he is the one behind all these deceptively-worded propositions? He should be prosecuted for tampering with the election! It should be a requirement for these measures to be plainly worded, with a simple this is yes, this is no instead of the double talk present in these!

    • oh so true. news papers are required to be written in 5th grade english… so that the vast people can understand whst is happening…… why shouldnt laws and tax code be required to be written the same way ? ….

  • Nice to see that he is just voting party line and not thinking too hard about it [sarcasm].

    So TIRED of these bond measures that rest on property owners; its becoming a burden to the lower/middle class holders — just tax everyone across the board and make it fair … every man, woman AND child or tax some product that people can either support by purchasing or avoid the purchase OR better yet — donate the $ to that project! If they get the monies — its a go! Don’t raise enough money, oh well … keep saving those nickels and dimes!

  • Progressive = communist. This traitor is as red as they get. If you believe anything he says I have a nice collective I want you to join in Soviet Union, comrade. Actually, HSU is closer ….

    Speaking of that Maoist diploma mill ….

    When I was a post-bach student in 2004 my red prof was railing against W. He would go on and on wasting class time. I agreed that Iraq should not have been invaded, but this was too much. We fell hundreds of pages behind in the text. I complained to the dean to no avail. The guy figured out I was the person filing complaints and graded me down! I predicted he would become head of the department. That is exactly what happened at Mao U.

    I voted for Bush. He was re-elected. I have voted independent or Republican ever since. This November is about correcting the evil deeds of “progressivism,” of taking our nation and state back from the Clintonian 60’s/70’s hippies/liberals. This is a civil war, folks.

    You are either with us or you are against liberty. God bless and save America from “progressives.”

    “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” – Nathan Hale

    • I consider myself a progressive on most points though not all. And, I think I’ll stick here. I love it. I’m inclusive on my website of all points of view, even ones that want people of differing points of view to leave. I think America is big enough to hold some progressives and some folks who think they should leave.

      • Does that mean you are actually going to post some Republican opinions on the elections?

        • I would. I have made offers before for people to send me conservative or other viewpoints. But only Eric has taken me up on it for the whole ballot. There are however multiple viewpoints offered for various ballot options in the Letters to the Editor section. http://kymkemp.com/category/letters-to-the-editor/

        • Kym has always let my stuff on, I am a Trumpian, conservative and republican. I too want kym here. She is right, there is plenty of room for all thought. Look how many diverse thoughts there are on just this article. Perhaps we could stop and think for a moment about what we say, but still get your point across. Maybe we could have a “I just don’t give a shit day”. Or, I will be as nice as I can while telling you how fucked up you are. Something like that. But really, we are fortunate that we have this platform to say our stuff, and we aren’t arrested or tortured like you would be in a communist or socialist country. If you want to get a conservative piece put here, write it. She will post it.

    • Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution is commonly called the Guarantee Clause. It reads, “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.” This clause guarantees that the federal government will assure and provide these three protections to all State governments:

      What happens when we break a compact/contract? We reverse back to the original owner, which, in the case of States, was held in trust by the Federal Govt. Territories are under the jurisdiction of he who holds the trust. It would be the Feds job to send in the cavalry to safeguard the territory, to keep the peace in cities and on the borders. There is nothing that would make the red states happier than see Calif regain their composure and save the Republic. It goes without saying that nothing would make them happier than to kick them out of the union if they don’t.
      (that’s the simplified version of what I’ve read).
      Revoking Calif’s Statehood Status, depends on what Calif does or doesn’t do.

      We are a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy.

      I Forgot to add that I agree with your post, well said Mayflower Man.

      • Actually, the intiative system is democracy – not associated with a republican structure.

        • Pretty much true. Democracy offers some protection from various tyrants except the mob. Republics offer rights that are a protection against various tyrants including the mob. In a time when people can be shouted down by mob aggression, thuggery and mudslinging, rights give the public a breather to recover their sanity.

          • I’m much less concerned about “the mob” whatever that is, than the ruling classes which maintain control of “the republic.”

            • “I’m much less concerned about “the mob” whatever that is, than the ruling classes which maintain control of “the republic.”
              Democracy is mob rule.
              Republic is abiding by the Constitution which is the Supreme Law of the Land.

              : highest in rank or authority
              the supreme commander
              2 : highest in degree or quality
              supreme endurance in war and in labour
              — R. W. Emerson
              3 : ULTIMATE, FINAL
              the supreme sacrifice

              The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.
              The DNC, GOP, LP, and all the parties are not the Supremes.
              The parties can promote to their hearts desire, but all Laws have to be in pursuance of the Constitution.
              Those who hold office take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the USA and the Constitution of their state. The states all take an oath to abide by the constitution before joining the union. Joining the union is voluntary.

              • Yes, I took high school civics too. And then I started reading and moved a bit beyond.

                • Beyond:
                  Definition of beyond (Entry 2 of 3)
                  1 : on or to the farther side of : at a greater distance than
                  beyond the horizon
                  2a : out of the reach or sphere (see SPHERE entry 1 sense 4b) of
                  a task beyond his strength

                  A great distance away from the Constitution, I’d say.

            • If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a hundred times, it’s not politicians that are ruining America, it’s lawyers and lobbyists. Chiseling at your human rights every single days, as long as they get paid for it

            • Prop 8, Prop 187.

          • Our Constitutional Republic does not ‘offer’ rights. It instead S E C U R E S our inalienable rights. The govt was created to act as a guard to S E C U R E our inalienable rights. Whenever the govt fails to S E C U R E our rights, it is the right and the duty of the people to change out the old guard with a new. All guards take an oath to S E C U R E our rights by vowing to abide by the Constitution which was created to keep the guards in line.
            It’s up to the people to replace the corrupt and those who wish to harm our country and our rights.

        • You are saying that initiatives are a work around the Constitution that secures a Republic in every state?
          I don’t think you know the meaning of “a Republic form of Govt”.

          • I think you misunderstand the concept. A republic is a system in which you are represented by a designated figure in the social decision making as opposed to a monarch. A democratic republic is where the social gets to choose its representatives. A constitution is almost always a part of it, but then it’s also always a part of democracy or pretty much any other system. It is not what defines a “republic.”

            A democracy is direct social decision making – where the general public doesn’t merely choose representatives by is directly involved. The initiative system – introduced in the US by the progressive movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is democracy in that it is direct social rule.

            • A Constitutional Republic places on ballot only the issues that are in pursuance of the Constitution. We use the democratic process for voting on Constitutional stuff only.
              People have rights. Rights are inalienable. They are not granted, nor can they be stripped away, not even by deceptive ballot. If you trick me into stealing my car, it’s still MY car.
              States have powers. States cannot grant rights anymore than the Feds. All govts are limited in pursuance of the Constitution.
              All unconstitutional laws, acts, treaties., are repugnant to the constitution and are to be considered null and void.
              Just because it came to be, doesn’t mean it’s lawful or right.

              • A republic may or may not incorporate property rights. Again, a republic is simply a form of government in which decisions are made by representatives of the people rather than the people themselves or a monarch. It may be democratic, or it may not be. It may acknowledge individual rights, or collective rights, or both, or neither. It may involve a constitution – in fact all of them do .

                By the way, do you understand that you do not actually own real property? It belongs to the sovereign. The constitution only guarantees you the value of the property, not the property itself which can be claimed at any time under eminent domain. What you own is a tenancy in a property. It even says so on your deed.

                • You are saying that the people have no power except to vote for whatever the representatives put on the ballot for them to vote on? That’s more akin to a People’s Republic, not a Constitutional Republic. While all countries basically have a Constitution, it’s what’s written in the Constitution that matters.

                  A Constitutional Republic has representatives that collect the voices/votes of the people to vote on issues that fall inside the scope of what’s Constitutional. If it ain’t Constitutional, it doesn’t go on the ballot. (lawfully). There are different types of Republic’s. A people’s republic, is much different from our Constitutional Republic, as most know.

                  “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
                  Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” — Benjamin Franklin

                  Eminent domain must pay compensation. There are patents and there are deeds. There is Real Property and there is Real Estate and other terms. Many terms.
                  All acts, deeds, laws, have a clause that reminds the people that new acts or laws do not over ride prior laws (Grandfather’d in clauses). The new laws, acts, are for post laws for properties that are new to the state to divide up and sell to private parties. It can be confusing.

                  A link to a page that explains what a democracy is, in words that even a child can understand: http://americanbuilt.us/governments/republic.shtml#democracy

                  Same site, about Republic: http://americanbuilt.us/governments/republic.shtml

                  The two mingled together is called an Oxymoron, among other things.

                • Additionally, all this back and forth is nothing but a distraction from my original post stating that ll the other states are so unhappy with California that they’re hoping to revoke Calif’s statehood.
                  I’ll not slip further away from my original post on this.

    • I’m with you Mayflower Man!

  • whew, thanks for going through all that Eric, i sure wasn’t going to.

  • Thank you! I had parsed my way through the ballot materials and find am reassured to my conclusions pretty much consistent with the ones above – but I was wondering about Gavin The Suit. He didn’t bother submitting anything to the information guide and I thought it was a bit arrogant.
    Let’s not make him a President, though. Let’s make him a VP instead and put actual Progressive in the White House instead.
    Just thinking out loud here…

    • Newsom couldn’t submit anything because he refused to abide by the fundraising limitations which are required. And it’s not even that he needs the money to win this election. He wants to have it to dole out to other campaigns so he has allies when he runs for President And at some point he will probably run for President.

      • I heard him, for the first time, speak in detail recently, during the debate with his Republican opponent for Governor. Newson was slick, slick slick. Not necessarily wrong. Just quick, (coming across as) well informed and articulate. He has the skills, just seemingly not the heart.
        Eric. Do you think his (then) cutting edge support for gay marriage, way back, was just a political move, or compassionate and/or with foresight? He certainly got attention for it.

  • I am with Rollin and Mayflower man in that I will cancel out every one of this idiot’s choices. Calls himself progressive, HAHA, more like regressive. And to call Kim Bergel phenomenal is a real joke. She is so DUMB she would think phenomenal starts with an F. She and Austin Allison couldn’t make a functional brain between the two!!

    • Austin is not up for reelection until 2020. But Kym will probably win in November. I’m seeing a lot of lawns with Kim signs shared with conservative signs, but I’m not seeing that Bonino has done anything to court progressives. He’s a nice guy, but just too conservative for Ward 5.

    • Oh, and be careful about using me as a “reverse barometer.” Contrary to the comments above, several of my positions break from Democratic party lines. But I’m not telling you which.

  • This is what the term progressive now means. This is totally liberal and what is ruining our state and country. This man is wrong on everything he spoke of. Please vote, but use common sense, thanks.

  • Pingback: My Ballot Recommendations at Redheaded Blackbelt | Sohum Parlance II

  • Not PC, but often correct anyway

    Thank you for the article! As I was going down the list of measures and candidates I realized I was voting exactly the opposite on every single recommendation you made. The only exception is that I’m going to vote yes on measure O. And if I lived in Eureka I would vote for Susan Seaman. I wouldn’t call her Progressive as much as open minded. She actually listens and thinks for herself.

    I guess that means I’m not a Progressive…

  • Im actually surprised Eric thinks Gavin will become our president (lol). What a joke! I figured he would say it would Harris or even poccohountis or better yet how about Maxine waters. Why would America want anyone similar to a Clinton? The biggest mistake modern day America made was not re-electing bush 1. Vote commen sense. John Cox for governor.

    • Clinton presided over 8 straight years of economic expansion. I’m not a fan, but it’s the fact.

      Yes, I think Newsom will be President some day. Won’t be my first choice, but not everybody listens to me.

  • How do you distinguish theft from taxation?

    Measure O TAX extension, like Measure Z TAX, lacks evidence for the claim. The criminal parasites are drowning in irredeemable paper. AND their greed is unquenchable. Safety? Really? A man was beat to death in Garberville’s Town Square15 months after Z went into effect. Z was sold to the people, especially SoHum, as Safety – Deputies in Garberville’s substation. How long did that take? 15 months.

    “The County” UNINCORPORATED, using their “General Law” rules, cannot impose taxes in (the seven), incorporated cities –Trinidad, Arcata, Blue Lake, Eureka, Ferndale, Fortuna and Rio. The City Councils of those seven cities knowingly sold their communities down the river, and plan to keep on riding the people for all their worth – harder, longer, faster – forever on.

    It’s not how you vote – it’s who counts the ballots. Carolyn Cunich (37 years!! County Clerk-retired), will count the ballots, just like in June. Nov. 6, 2014 w/witnesses, i asked her for a copy of her bond (to cover her lie-ability while in office). As she reached for the telephone, she said, “I’ll call over to the records office and there will be a copy waiting for you when you get there.” Having previously checked the public records for her bond, i knew she was full-o-sh!t. The Bond couldn’t be found in any office @825 Fifth Street.

    I also asked her who added the second “And Other Essential Necessities” object to the title of the ballot? She laughed and said, “Oh, the Attorneys added that.” Later the same day i asked Douglas Strehl, then Fortuna’s Mayor, the same question regarding Z’s added “Essential necessities,’ he also laughed, and said, “Oh they added that so it would pass (as ‘General Tax”), w/majority votes instead of (the required for a “Special Tax) 2/3rds.”
    Golly, fiction is funny. ha ha.

    There can be one object in Tax title PERIOD

    Good news Eric, i recently read that Attorneys CAN save their souls – not District A’s tho.

    • Measure K – another mythical monster from the lower end of the gene pool. I.E. – Not in a county’s subject matter jurisdiction. DUH.

      What peeps don’t get, is; THIS IS NOT AN ECONOMIC $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ evolution. As soon as someone defaults the conversation down into “money, money, money, money” -slave-speak language, a piss-poor try of communicating a subject the know-it-all knows nothing about, run as fast as you can in the other direction.

      The Enemy’s Army Marches 10:10
      Can these paid-skaggs vote in November here in America? No. But, we cannot fix it if we all believe a lie.

  • Without going into debate on Eric’s progressive reasoning behind the props and candidates, I take issue with the most critical ballot initiative, in my opinion, Prop 6.
    This leads us back to the Passage of SB-1 a year or so ago. A huge multi billion dollar tax increase that most Californians did NOT hear about, much less get to vote on. It is a regressive tax that has hit the middle class and working poor of this state the hardest, the people that can least afford it. Unless you live and work in a huge city where mass transit may work, you have to commute by auto, and regardless of where you live, everything you eat or use is transported by diesel powered vehicles. Contrary to what the state wants us to believe, this is not a simple $.12 / gal gas tax. It a has raised diesel taxes by more than $.20/gal, plus a total of 5.75% excise tax, storage fees, added Transportation Improvement fees to your vehicle registration, and much more. In a state where we encourage electrical vehicles, we have added a $100.00/year Zero emission fee to those who do the right thing. Some say, the RICH can afford it! Well, how about the single mom that is struggling to feed her family, and spent her hard earned money making payments on her fuel efficient electric transport? The rich could care less about $5.00/gal gas, and $1000. registration fees, but for the working stiff barely making it from pay day to payday, an extra $700 /year fuel bill and another $200 bucks a year registration fee can mean less food on the table. The Governor and State legislators making over $150,000 / year are becoming the elite and have forgotten the little guy. This is also, NOT just about repairing roads. We vote more road taxes every few years, and we forget they always use the money for something else, and ask for more. Are we gullible or what? SB-1 includes establishing a whole new bureaucracy, built in annual increases for life, based on the consumer index, robs the revenue from the Off Hwy Vehicle Trust Fund and divides it up with the general fund and the State Parks and Rec fund. It allows for discretionary spending for sound walls, a congested Corridor program, including provisions for funding dedicated bike lanes, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, preservation of open space and critical habitat protection. I guess this is how we will fund the new Great Redwood Trail, after starving out the North Coast Railroad Authority. All of that is wonderful, but don’t hide it under the guise of a road repair bill. People are smart if you tell them the truth, let us vote on something we need, road repairs. Lets fix that first, then do the other things next. Read SB-1, and learn:

    We have an opportunity to repeal SB-1, after it was crammed down our throats. It has and will continue to raise the costs of everything needed for living in California. I just returned from a trip to the mid west, and gas and diesel prices are a dollar cheaper per gallon when you leave California, and the roads are much better. Where is the money going? Please VOTE YES ON PROP 6, to repeal this huge tax increase and start over, with a vote of the people.

  • On the way to economic failure.

    Who cares what some shysty lawyers gonna vote for that’s his opinion,me I’m gonna vote mine!!!! Definitely gonna be no on measure o because our local law enforcement has become a band of maurading extortionist theives.was a Democrat but after all the local governments extortion,the stealing of our Constitutional riperian water rights,and taxing us into the ground think I’m starting to look at becoming a Republican.its hard to pick because there all out to rip us off for as much as they can Evan when you pay your share they invade your home&property without a warrant,make up environmental lies,extort and fraud you into the ground.when is enough taxes and fees gonna be enough.slavery is alive and well in California it just doesn’t discriminate with coler or gender anymore.every 2 years this state wants to take a little more,and a little more. what about giving the people a little of there income to survive and have a decent existence or does the state and county WANT IT ALL!!!!!

  • Eric is a man who volunteers a lot of time in our community to make it better in way he believes in. That is to be lauded. If you are conservative and ethically doing the same, as Eric is, you are due similar praise.
    Issues and candidates are often complex. That Eric has taken the time to do the research, and compose his thoughts in a cogent, accessible way, is time invested, for no financial gain.
    Notice the people in your community and lives, who make the effort, like Kym and Eric, and those who don’t. Then decide who believe, appreciate and praise.

    • Thank you Ben.

      I’m hoping a more conservative person does ballot analysis in the future. I would read it.

      • http://savecalifornia.com/election-center.html
        here you go. read away.
        9 REMOVED FROM THE BALLOT (While the People’s “3 Californias” initiative qualified for the ballot, you can’t vote on it since Prop. 9 was unconstitutionally yanked by the California Supreme Court.)

        • Completely misconstrues Prop 10 – I don’t know if it’s deliberate or they’re just listening to the money, but Prop 10 doesn’t “establish” anything. It simply restores the ability of cities and counties to pass meaningful rent control measures.

          It’s kind of funny when one side or the other advocates local control and the other doesn’t.

  • Wow! If I knew that the parks were getting some of the money I would have incorporated it into my analysis! I actually think that’s a good thing if it’s about trails which might reduce auto traffic. Is that really true?

    I agree that it’s a regressive tax and I would prefer that we have more progressive taxes and pay for all or most of the stuff, but again, such a tax is either supported by the market or not. Apparently people are willing to pay it even beyond basic transportation needs.

    Our roads require more repair because we have much more traffic than the midwest. Much, much more.

    • hey eric did you listen or did you not know that the gas tax goes into the general fund and if every penny from the gas tax went to roads then we could talk about more taxes. p.s. we supposedly have a surplus so why are we still taking money from the existing gas taxes into the general fund?


    We are Non Partisan – A partisan person is “one who is blindly or unreasonably devoted to party positions.” Therefore a partisan cannot possibly serve the Constitution. George Washington warned us against political parties. He said, “they only succeed in pitting one group against another.”

    The cause of the grassroots movement is the awakening to our constitutional crisis, for grassroots engaged in partisan politics further serves the demise of our constitutional republic. The evil genius of the progressive movement is their exploitation of partisan politics, which they created, to subvert our Constitution.

    Grassroots groups are natural and spontaneous, whose primary objective is to reinstate the Constitution: to be partisan would be counter productive.

    The traditional power structures are orchestrated and designed to harness grassroots movements. “They must always be suspect” and will be proven corrupt, if they are partisan – divisive and take control of choosing candidates.

    Grassroots are founded locally; control is local and most events are local. To collaborate with distant groups is necessary for unity, but events become distracted by them, you are no longer grassroots.

    “A Nation of sheep will soon have a Government of wolves.” — Edward R. Murrow

  • Yet again, no on almost everything. Except for the removal of time change. That would be a welcome yes. Yes on Measure 0. I would prefer a property tax over sales tax but it is what it is. No on all the bond funded nonsense.

    Proposition 6, I voted no despite it being a repeal of SB-1. The transportation omnibus, I think it’s called. That can has been kicked down the road for a long time. That affects us everyday. Costs have ballooned to the point that maintenance has been minimized. I know some of it’s going to used for mass transit and the bullet train to nowhere. But a good chunk of it better go to road, rail, and other routes.

    • It doesn’t remove times change. It allows the legislature to change the dates of daylight savings time and make it permanent IF Congress changes their law to allow it. When and if Congress changes the law will be the point to amend the California Constitution based on what the change is and what our neighboring States chose to do. Trusting the legislature to make the choice without further input is risky. Right now, if we simply wanted to stop having to change time a couple of months of the year, we could have chosen to remain on Standard Time like Arizona. The only thing this Prop does is allow the legislature choose a date and time for permanent Daylight Savings Time if Congress decides to change the law to allow it. Which is not something that looks eminent.

  • Thank you Eric for the work you do reading and thinking about the issues. I just listened to Thursday Night Talk and appreciated your’s and Chuck’s opinions and comments about the political landscape. Peace be with us all in these troubled times!

  • Thank you very much for this. I really appreciate the effort and analysis, and hope others do as well.

  • Jemma Jorel Lester

    Thanks for this comprehensive review, I couldn’t find hardly anything about the judicial candidates. Looks like I wasn’t the only one, but I do appreciate your analysis!

  • Kim Bergel’s vision for America:

  • Pingback: Don’t Just Say Yes: How to Vote in California’s Judicial Races – Progressive California

  • i didn’t read through comments to see if you got this already but here’s an article on JAMES A RICHMOND regarding the pension repeal. http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-me-pension-legal/
    hope it helps. and thanks for your guide!

  • It is a joke when you hear liberals talk about fiscal concerns, being that they vote for every bond measure they see and every big spending Socialist/Communist on the ballot.

  • Thanks for this thoughtful summary. I was able to review your logic and opinion and found I was diametrically opposed and would vote oppositie of everything you recommended. Keep up the good work. Only 1 trillion of unfounded pension liabilities and growing!

    • Everything? Careful about that. The Democratic Party took an opposition position on three of the ballot propositions. I won’t tell you which.

      • Anti troll league

        Since they reviewed your logic, they already were careful. Maybe it says more about that than it does about the party line thinking you attribute automatically to opposing thinkers.

  • Pingback: NEC Opposes Water Grab Proposition – Vote No on Proposition 3 | NEC

  • My Plan on Tuesday:

    Governor: Gavin Newsom
    Lieutenant Governor: Eleni Kounalakis for California Lt. Governor
    Secretary of State: Alex Padilla
    Controller: Betty T. Yee
    Treasurer: Fiona Ma
    Attorney General: Attorney General Becerra
    Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara
    Member of State Board of Equalization, 3rd District: Tony Vazquez
    US Senator: Kevin de León for U.S. Senate
    US Representative, 32nd District: Grace Flores Rep. Grace F. Napolitano
    State Senator, 22nd District: Mike Eng
    Member of State Assembly, 48th District: Blanca E. Rubio (only one running)
    Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony K. Thurmond
    Assessor: Jeffrey Prang
    Sheriff: Alex Villanueva

    Judicial: CA Supreme Court: NO on Carol A. Corrigan, she is against marriage equality and went against the US Constitution.

    Prop 1: Yes (funding for existing affordable housing programs)
    Prop 2: Yes (funding for housing people with mental illness.)
    Prop 3: No (Shifts costs of water to CA taxpayers)
    Prop 4: No (Uses state money for private funding)
    Prop 5: No (I don’t have a strong opinion on this one but it does decrease funds to the State)
    No Prop 6: No (Heck no! We need to fund our roads and mass transit)
    Prop 7: Yes (I could go either way but it would be nice to not have to bother with changing the clocks. If schools are concerned they can change the time that school starts.)
    Prop 8 (2018): Yes (I researched this one the most. Prop 8 was the most difficult one for me. But I’m against a health system based on maximizing profits. Almost anything we can do to move away from that is a good thing. The dialysis companies are ruthless. It sickens me that they have been encouraging patients to leave their publicly funded health care and move to private insurance resulting many of them in debt.)
    Yes on Prop 10: Yes (There should not be a blanket statewide ban on rent control. Let the cities decide what is right for them. )
    No Prop 11: No (Eliminates workers protections. No wonder AMR is pushing this)
    Yes on Prop 12 – Prevent Cruelty California: Yes (I only buy free range eggs. I support the humane treatment of animals.)

    County W: No (No more added to property taxes please. I have to pay taxes on money that I pay in state taxes on because of that ridiculous GOP tax bill the Federal government passed. It is not fair to keep making it worse.)

    Local School Board: Adrian Greer & Paul Naccachian

    There are a lot more judges as well.

    • Corrigan isn’t actually against marriage equality. She is an out lesbian. She dissented on procedural grounds. She’s actually pretty good on a number of issues.

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