Tuesday is Election Day, and I expect you have made up your mind about whom and what to vote for.
But if you are still scratching your head and wondering, I thought I would share some thoughts with you, more or less in order of what I think is important.
(What I think is important is usually affected by my tendency to be a conservative, which you may rightfully disagree with if you are a liberal). It also is affected by the fact that I have spent more than a few years observing how we are governed, and let me say it does not give me a great deal of confidence.
First, let me say this: For the love of God, don’t vote for any more bonds or taxes. They require taxes to pay them back, and Californians absolutely don’t need any more taxes. It doesn’t matter what the bonds say they are for. You can bet the farm that the money will be appropriated for something else. The water bond is a good example of that larceny, mostly committed by Democrats. Most of us from around here who voted for that bond thought that more than $1 billion would be used to help build Temperance Flat Dam. Well, we learned in a hurry what absolute saps we were. Most of the money will be used to conserve fish to keep the San Francisco-based salmon fishing industry going. Which is an exercise in futility, because most of the salmon we eat are raised on fish farms, which don’t require much in the way of subsidies, at least not around here.
Here’s another shocker: transportation bonds and gas taxes hardly ever go toward the upkeep of roads, but toward subsidies for money-losing municipal bus systems to perpetuate the myth that bus transportation is better than freeways. When will we learn?
And please, please don’t ever again get sucked into voting to let felons out of jail early. For example, if you voted for Props 47 and 57, you belong in jail yourself for making life tougher for the law enforcement community, and the world less safe for ordinary folks.
Just to be safe, vote no on every measure on Tuesday’s ballot, especially the $4 billion parks bond. If you think a nickel of that money would wind up in parks, think “water bond,” and “road bonds” and “slow-speed rail.”
Here’s what Kiplinger Magazine says about taxes in the Golden State:
“When it comes to taxes, California is king. With a top income tax rate of 13.3 percent, California decimates the competition, and not in a good way — no other state has an income tax rate anywhere in the double digits. The pain doesn’t stop there for state residents, as California also claims the top rate for sales tax as well, at 7.25 percent; when combined with the average local tax rate, California sales tax hits 8.48 percent. Property taxes, at least, are not exorbitant, at just 0.81 percent.”
And guess which overtaxed state has the highest paid legislature. Yes, California. This state is definitely golden for the greedy guts who pass the unneeded laws and enjoy free drinks and hors d’oeuvres at cocktail parties. Their minimum annual pay: $104,118/year. Plus other goodies, and per diems of $183 per day, too. No wonder our taxes are so high.
In the race for governor, political pundits have been saying the two people who will emerge from the scrum will be Democrats, and that is probably because most people in California who state political preferences are Democrats.
Of the many Democrats who are hopefuls, only four actually have a chance, and among those only three are worth your vote: Antonio Villaraigosa, California State Treasurer John Chiang and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin.
All these three are lefties, but what can you expect in California?
Antonio Villaraigosa, the 41st mayor of Los Angeles, who also was a speaker of the California Assembly, has had the most public jobs. That means he has had his head in the public trough for a long time. But he did take the trouble to come to the Central Valley to campaign, which means he knows who we are and where we are, and that a lot of our people are Latinos who depend on agriculture for their jobs.
Another who could deserve a Democrat vote is State Treasurer John Chiang, who is widely regarded as the brains of the outfit when it comes to those who handle the state’s money. He also is the closest a liberal can get to being a conservative. And he is hugely respected in Sacramento.
Delaine Eastin is probably the most liberal of the three, as she is talking of providing tuition-free education at Berkeley, but she is not afraid of admitting her liberality, so you at least know who you’re dealing with.
A fourth Democrat who is considered to be among those with a good chance is Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, but vote for him at your own risk.
The first thing Gavin Newsom did when he became lieutenant governor, after a stretch as mayor of San Francisco, that smoking hotbed of liberality, was start running for governor. He began sending what turned out to be an endless series of emails begging for money like a San Francisco dumpster diver, and addressing the recipients of these missives as though they were idiots. Anyone who votes for him will prove him correct on that point.
There are two Republicans who have been campaigning hard, and while they face long odds, both stand a chance of being in the top two after all the votes are counted.
One of these is John Cox of San Diego, the other is California Assemblyman Travis Allen of Huntington Beach. Both are investment counselors. Both are conservatives in the mold of President Trump. But neither of them is getting any help from the California Republican Party, which has thrown in the towel and is trying to thumb a ride out of town.
Vote for Independent candidate Steve Poizner for insurance commissioner, who actually has held that job before, and was effective. His opponent, Democratic State Sen. Ricardo Lara, is likely looking for a way to extend his already larded-up pension, and probably couldn’t find his way around the insurance business if you gave him a map, a compass and a GPS.
As for state attorney general, it’s ABB: Anybody but Becerra, who is spending more time trying to start a civil war with the rest of the country than to actually run the California Attorney General’s Office.
And for superintendent of public instruction, vote for Marshall Tuck, who actually has a record of improving schools.