So here we are, with twelve hours to go in the race to destroy California. I see hits to this page are going up again as voters hunt for some information about the candidates - any candidate but Ahnold.
For those who care (and even those who don't), here are my recomendations:
Question 1 - The Recall - Vote NO. There is no great love for Gray Davis in this household. We know that he's a political weasel of the highest order, but he was fairly elected - twice. Since that re-election he has committed no crimes that would warrent a removal from office. The recall is motivated by spite politics only. Passing the recall will not help our state's financial situation, it will only further plunge us into a world of politics over policy.
Both major parties are responsible for our current crisis by pretending the tech bubble would never burst. They must now work together (along with the non-aligned) to fix what they've done to us. Giving them fodder to continue bickering and playing recall games only puts off the inevitable, and digs the hole deeper. Put an end to this BS now, vote NO on the recall.
Question 2 - Who should be governor, should the recall pass? - My vote is for Peter Miguel Camejo, the same as it was eleven months ago when Davis was re-elected. Of the five or six "major" candidates (so dubbed by the lazy media), there were only two who were honest, principled, decent people, who put their beliefs above political expediency. Of those two, Camejo is the one who is not a right-wing reactionary.
Of the "minor" candidates there were several that impressed me over the last few months, and for whom I considered voting. They include (but are not limited to) Dan Feinstein, Christopher Sproul, Georgy Russell, and Garrett Gruener (now out of the race). If we had instant run-off voting in this election, I would put a mark by each of their names. They had new, fresh ideas and handled themselves in an honerable manner, and ran great campaigns. I hope to see them each run for office again sometime.
Proposition 53 - Dictates 3% of General Fund revenue to fund state and local infrastructure - No. In a quick read, it sounds like a "why not?" situation, but there are a few problems. The first is simply, there's so little of the state budget that is discretionary already - and this is a huge source of the budget problems we have - that locking in amounts for certain projects limits the flexibility we need to manage in lean times, such as these. Also, infrastructure projects are typically bond financed, not General Fund. It may make sense to stop building with debt, but again, is this the right time? My third question is simply about what the funds can and cannot be used for. I don't think this is a tragedy should it pass, but my recommendation is that we vote no.
Proposition 54 - CRECNO, ban the gathering of race data by the state - HELL NO! Don't be fooled into thinking this is a vote about creating a "color blind" society. This is simply about destroying the data gathering to say whether or not racism exists. Without this data we have no way of knowing whether crimes are hate motivated, if housing, employment, or educational discrimination exists, or even whether or not certain health problems are related to race.
The need to collect this data for a variety of reasons - not just to support affirmative action - is legitimate, and plays a vital role in much of our public policy. This is not about us all getting along without regard for race; it is about being willfully blind to real problems, and blocking possible solutions from being developed. CRECNO is a dangerous public policy, and we must all vote NO.