For what they are worth, here are my personal recommendations for the June 3rd California ballot. I do spend quite a bit of time reviewing competitive races before making my recommendations.
Feel free to comment, agree, disagree, forward, or ignore. But please Vote on Tuesday (polls open 7a.m.-8p.m.) or vote-by-mail if you already have an absentee ballot.
Dan Kalb’s Ballot Recommendations for the June 3, 2008 Election
CA State Legislature – St. SENATE:
S.D. #3 – MARK LENO – Three decent candidates; Mark Leno is the strongest of the three. He’s progressive, effective and easy to work with.
S.D. #5 – LOIS WOLK – Good Assembly Member; deserves election to the St. Senate
S.D. #7 – MARK DeSAULNIER – Strong environmental advocate in the Assembly. He will make an excellent St. Senator.
S.D. #9 – LONI HANCOCK – Two good candidates here. Loni stands out with her long history of working on important causes at all levels of government. She’s a leader in the `Clean Money’ reform effort and a strong environmentalist. She’s shown a strong willingness to stand up to Arnold against harmful budget cuts. Don’t be mislead by the negative independent expenditure mailings-they are mostly funded by tribal gambling interests that disagree with Loni because she fought to stop a huge new casino that was proposed in San Pablo (right down the street from where my mother lives); Loni Hancock is a firm advocate for effective public education. www.hancockforsenate.com
S.D. #11 – JOE SIMITIAN – Very smart St. Senator. He will be re-elected easily, deservedly so.
S.D. #13 – ELAINE ALQUIST – Deserves re-election. Has very strong environmental voting record.
S.D. #19 – HANNAH BETH JACKSON – Former Assembly Member with strong environmental record. She offers a good chance to put this seat into the Democratic column.
S.D. #23 – FRAN PAVLEY – Fran was the lead author on what are perhaps the two most important environmental bills this decade. She is a hard-working leader, a former school teacher, and has developed a national reputation on global warming issues. We need her in the State Senate. www.franpavley.org
S.D. #27 – ALAN LOWENTHAL – Excellent state senator with strong environmental voting record who deserves re-election.
S.D. #39 – CHRISTINE KEHOE – Excellent state senator with strong environmental voting record who deserves re-election.
CA State Legislature – St. ASSEMBLY:
A.D. 1 – WES CHESBRO – This former State Senator has an excellent record on most every issue. He is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, and will make an excellent member of the Assembly.
A.D. 6 – JARED HUFFMAN – Smart environmental leader in the Assembly. Deserves re-election.
A.D. 7 – NOREEN EVANS – Very bright legislator. Future chair of the Assembly budget committee.
A.D. 8 – no recommendation
A.D. 9 – DAVE JONES – Excellent state legislator. Very committed to helping low income and disadvantaged residents. Strong liberal voting record.
A.D. 11 – TOM TORLAKSON – Currently a smart state senator with a strong liberal voting record. He will return to the Assembly easily.
A.D. 12 – FIONA MA – Fiona has done an excellent job as a first-term legislator. She passed meaningful legislation and has an excellent voting record on environmental issues.
A.D. 13 – TOM AMMIANO – Tom has been an excellent progressive S.F. Supervisor. He will make a fine Member of the Assembly representing San Francisco.
A.D. 14 – NANCY SKINNER – Nancy Skinner is the best among a decent crop of candidates. Nancy is a long-time environmental professional with tremendous experience and a well-deserved national reputation on global warming issues. If elected, she will be only the 2nd environmental professional elected to the State Legislature. She is also a passionate advocate for protecting social services and for increasing funding for public education. She was active in her local PTA. Currently, she is an elected member of the East Bay Regional Parks District board (and a former Berkeley City Council member). She is also a `clean money’ campaign reform advocate. Nancy is endorsed by Loni Hancock, the Sierra Club and CA League of Conservation Voters, the MGO Democratic Club, NOW, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and several local labor unions, just to name a few. In my opinion, she will be an excellent addition to the State Assembly. www.nancyskinnerforassembly.com
A.D. 15 – JOAN BUCHANAN – Well-respected school board member. She offers a reasonably good chance to take this seat and put it in the Democratic column in November.
A.D. 16 – SANDRE SWANSON – Excellent first-term legislator. Chair of the Labor committee and a passionate advocate for reforms to unnecessary incarceration. Absolutely deserves re-election.
A.D. 18 – MARY HAYASHI – Will easily win reelection-deservedly so.
A.D. 19 – RICHARD HOLOBER – There are three decent candidates here on the Peninsula. Richard Holober is clearly the most progressive. A former School Board member, he currently serves as an elected member of the San Mateo Community College district and has always been a passionate advocate for students and public education. He is the executive director of the Consumer Federation of California and has experience navigating the hallways of Sacramento. He is a strong environmentalist, and consumer and labor advocate and he would be a hard-working legislator. While Papan or Hill would probably be okay, Holober would be better. He would also help facilitate strong relationships between organized labor and the environmental community. Well-financed business interests are spending independent expenditure money against him. Please vote Holober for Assembly in the 19th. www.holober.com
A.D. 20 – ALBERTO TORRICO – Incumbent who cares deeply and passionately about protecting and creating jobs as well as helping lower income residents.
A.D. 21 – IRA RUSKIN – Effective and well-liked legislator with a strong environmental record.
A.D. 22 – PAUL FONG – Elected community college trustee with a background in civil rights. He is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Democratic Party, and outgoing assembly member Sally Lieber just to name a few. He is the more progressive of the two leading candidates. Go to www.paulfong.org for more info
A.D. 23 – JOE COTO – Chair of the Latino Caucus. He’s a good legislator who wants to accomplish positive things. He also has a very good environmental voting record.
A.D. 24 – JIM BEALL – Very friendly freshman legislator who wants to make difference. He earned a top-notch environmental voting score.
A.D. 27 – no recommendation
A.D. 28 – ANNA CABALLERO – Very good legislator from Salinas. Willing to vote on yes on controversial bills to help the environment.
A.D. 30 – FRAN FLOREZ – Only Democratic candidate in the race. She will make an excellent Assembly Member; but she may have a tough time in November.
A.D. 35 – PEDRO NAVA – Excellent legislator from Santa Barbara; strong environmental record.
A.D. 40 – no recommendation
A.D. 41 – JULIA BROWNLEY – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.
A.D. 42 – MIKE FEUER – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.
A.D. 43 – PAUL KREKORIAN – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.
A.D. 44 – ANTHONY PORTANTINO – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.
A.D. 45 – KEVIN DeLEON – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election. He will be the new chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee.
A.D. 46 – JOHN PEREZ – Long-time community and political activist. He’s been a dedicated labor leader, environmentalist, and city commissioner. He will be an excellent assembly member
A.D. 47 – KAREN BASS – The new Speaker of the Assembly, Ms. Bass has earned a well-deserved reputation as a bright, dedicated, compassionate and effective legislator. She will make an excellent Speaker.
A.D. 49 – MIKE ENG – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.
A.D. 50 – HECTOR De La TORRE – Well-respected and effective legislator. Deserves re-election
A.D. 51 – CURREN PRICE – Excellent first-year legislator; well-liked-deserves re-election.
A.D. 52 – ISADORE HALL – Strong candidate for this open seat. He’s been endorsed by the Calif. League of Conservation Voters, L.A. City Council president Eric Garcetti, several state elected officials and dozens of community leaders.
A.D. 53 – TED LIEU – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.
A.D. 54 – BONNIE LOWENTHAL – Strong candidate for this open Assembly seat.
A.D. 55 – WARREN FURUTANI – Won special election in February. He’ll make a good legislator and deserves re-election.
A.D. 62 – W. AMINA CARTER – Very good first-year legislator. A more conservative candidate is challenging her in the Primary. Carter deserves re-election.
A.D. 65 – CARL WOOD – Former State Public Utilities Commissioner and passionate defender of consumers. This will be a tough district for a Democrat in November, but it’s worth a (long)shot.
A.D. 76 – LORI SALDANA – Strong environmentalist who clearly deserves re-election.
A.D. 78 – MARTY BLOCK – Strong, progressive candidate. Currently serves as president of the San Diego Community College District. Nominating Marty gives the Democrats a strong chance to move this seat into the Democratic column.
A.D. 79 – MARY SALAS – Very good first-year legislator-deserves re-election.
A.D. 80 – MANUAL PEREZ – More than one good candidate in this race. Mr. Perez has support among a number of environmental and social justice advocates. Let’s nominate him and try to take this seat back for Democrats in November.
Vote for all the Democratic Incumbents.
In district #4 – vote for CHARLIE BROWN and help him move this district into the blue column in November.
Alameda County Board of Supervisors:
District #4 – Nate Miley – Effective and compassionate Supervisor who deserves re-election
District #5 – Keith Carson – Same as above!
Oakland City Council
At-Large seat – REBECCA KAPLAN – Rebecca is exactly the type of person Oakland needs on the City Council. She is smart, progressive, experienced and accomplished. She will shake things up on the city council and move it in a more progressive direction. She is a former civil rights attorney, policy advocate, and environmental activist. She understands the variety of issues facing Oakland residents and will work hard to make Oakland a more livable city. She is currently an elected member of the A/C Transit Board of Directors. She is endorsed by the Alameda County Democratic Party, the MGO Democratic Club, the Sierra Club, East Bay Young Dems, Supervisor Nate Miley, and a wide array of organizations and community leaders. www.kaplanforoakland.org
District #1 – JANE BRUNNER – Smart, effective and experienced city council member. Effective mediator with progressive values. She has been a leader on affordable housing issues on the council.
District #3 – NANCY NADEL – Experienced, progressive city council member who deserves re-election.
District #5 – MARIO JUAREZ – Experienced community activist. He is trying unseat the more moderate incumbent who has been in office for a long time. I think it’s time for a change.
District #7 – CLIFFORD GILMORE – The incumbent is tied too closely to developers, landlords, and other business interests. Mr. Gilmore, on the other hand, is a long-time community activist and leader. He will make a very good city council member.
Oakland School Board
District #1 – JODY LONDON – Jody is the only candidate in this race with children in public schools. She is also the only registered Democrat in this race. She has been active in supporting funding for public education, an energy advisor to the school district, and an active member of her local PTA. She is endorsed by the Oakland Education Association, the Sierra Club, the Alameda County Democratic Party, the National Women’s Political Caucus, and dozens of local educators, parents, and community leaders.
District #3 – Olugemiga Oluwole – This is an open seat. Of the two candidates, Mr. Oluwole is my choice.
District #5 – Noel Gallo – Incumbent who deserves re-election
District #7 – no recommendation
Judge, Superior Court (seat #9) – Alameda County:
Dennis Hayashi – Dennis is a highly qualified public interest attorney. He is a former attorney with the Asian Law Caucus, and was director of the Office of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under President Clinton. He was also the director of the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. We desperately need more public interest attorneys as judges. He is endorsed by the Sierra Club, the Alameda County Democratic Party, and numerous state and local elected officials, as well as a handful of judges. Dennis will make a superb Superior Court judge. www.dennishayashi.com
Oakland City Attorney – John Russo – Deserves re-election.
Los Angeles County Supervisor (District #2)
Mark Ridley-Thomas – The more progressive of the two leading candidates, Ridley-Thomas is a former L.A. City Councilman. He is currently a State Senator. We will miss him in Sacramento, but he will make an excellent County Supervisor.
98 – NO – This is an extreme proposal that would cost taxpayers and local governments millions of dollars and make it extremely difficult to enact new land use, housing, and environmental protection laws. This is not merely about eminent domain-it’s about private interests versus the public interest. Wealthy landlords and their Republican friends spent millions to get Prop. 98 on the ballot to eliminate renter protections and hamstring local governments. Prop. 98 could also destroy local land-use planning, erode environmental protections and lead to higher taxpayer costs.
99 – YES – Prop. 99 is a genuine and reasonable eminent domain reform measure because it simply prohibits government from taking homes for the purpose of transfer to private developers. For more information, go to www.no98yes99.com
Local Ballot Measures
Oakland and Alameda County measures:
F – YES – Extends the existing Utility Users Tax for the unincorporated areas of the County only, to fund vital County services, including services to unincorporated areas (e.g., Sheriff, Libraries, Code enforcement), and altering the tax to include video and cable services. County libraries very much need these funds.
J – YES – This measure modernizes the existing telephone utility tax without increasing the current tax rate of 7.5%. It will tax telephone communications services in a uniform and equitable manner, regardless of the means of transmission or technology used.
Democratic County Central Committee – San Francisco
12th A.D. –
13th A.D. –
Democratic County Central Committee – Alameda County
14th A.D. (vote for no more than six of the following seven candidates):
Cecilia `Ces” Rosales
Andrea Laiacona Dooley OR Janet Flint
16th A.D. (vote for no more than six):
20th A.D. – VICKI COSGROVE