October 20, 2020

Conan Neutron, Esq.

Rocker, Talker, yeah… we get it.

Conan Neutron Voting Guide 2010 – California -> Alameda County –> Oakland

Conan Neutron voting guide: 2010
Oakland Mayor: Rebecca Kaplan
Governor: Jerry Brown
Lt. Governor: Gavin Newsom
Secretary of State: Debra Bowen
Controller: John Chiang
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer
Attorney General: Kamala Harris
Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones
US Senator: Barbara Boxer
US Representative: Barbara Lee
State Assembly, 16th district: Sandre Swanson
Superior Court Judge; County of Alameda; Seat 9: Victoria S. Kolakowski
Bart Director, District 4: Robert Raburn

Prop. 19-Legalize, Tax and Regulate Marijuana: YES!!!
Prop.  20-Congressional Redistricting: NO
Prop.  21-State Parks: YES
Prop.  22-Local government funds: NO
Prop.  23-Suspend Air Pollution law: NO! NO! NO!
Prop.  24-Close corporate tax loopholes: YES YES YES YES!
Prop.  25-END 2/3 REQUIREMENT FOR BUDGET:  YES! YES! YES!
Prop.  26-Polluter Protection: NO!
Prop.  27-Dissolve Redistricting commission: YES

Alameda County:
Measure F-YES

School:
Measure L- YES (soft)

City of Oakland Measures
Measure V- YES
Measure W- YES
Measure X- NO
Measure BB-YES

Oakland Mayor: Rebecca Kaplan
The easiest choice i’ve ever had since moving to Oakland in 1995. Instead of voting for a lesser of two evils, i’m voting for one of the most inspiring candidate i’ve ever had the pleasure to see, talk to, work with and vote for. All I knew going into this election cycle was that I wanted ANYBODY BUT DON PERATA. I also knew that Jean Quan is entitled, petulant, and obnoxious. I never knew how entitled, petulant and obnoxious until I had to sit through so long of hearing her talk. Sheesh. But dude, seriously Rebecca Kaplan is fantastic, she’s right about almost everything, but pragmatic too. A pragmatic progressive?!? Wha? wha? wha?
I’m talking about things like proper digitizing of public records to speed city hall efficiency, putting permit applications online. Ridiculously no brainer stuff that takes a pretty big brain to make part of your campaign. Also stuff like reforming Oakland’s preposterously outdated and draconian cabaret licensing so we can have new venues, bar and places to eat. I’m sick to death of people paying lip service to Oakland’s potential, I want somebody to deliver results… and after Ron Dellum’s shameful reign I think we’re due. I am straight up telling you, if you are not paying attention to Rebecca Kaplan, you need to, she is everything this city needs. And if you don’t live in Oakland but know somebody that does, tell somebody.

Here’s a video of her top 3 priorities at a debate I took:

I agree with Rebeccca too.
Anyway:
We have ranked choice for the first time EVER in this election. You should take advantage of this. But if your first choice isn’t Rebecca Kaplan, who is far and away the best candidate, then I’m as surprised as I am disappointed. It doesn’t have anything to do with the landmark of her being the first openly gay mayor in a bay area city, it’s because she’s the best damn person for the job. ’nuff said.

So since it’s ranked choice:
2nd Choice: Don Macleay
3rd Choice: Larry Lionel “LL” Young, a young dude to watch for, for sure

But really, it should be Kaplan 3 times.

Here is the important part:
*NOT* Don Perata or Jean Quan.
I cannot stress this enough, I dislike them both for very different reasons, but with a field so wide picking either of these clowns would be a major mistake. They are truly terrible, both… and I will go into detail if I must, but don’t vote for them because you “recognize the name”, they both are fatally flawed, and we have an excellent candidate in Rebecca Kaplan. I haven’t been this “all about” a candidate in a long, long time. She’s great. If you live in Oaktown and are not stoked about voting, I urge you to learn more about Kaplan and GET STOKED.

Governor: Jerry Brown
Let’s be clear, if you vote for Meg Whitman, I don’t want to know you. Sorry. I know I say a lot of mean things all the time, but it’s kind of true. I was hard on Jerry Brown when he was my mayor, really hard. I still disagree with some of the choices he made, but he’s been an alright Attorney General, and he’s the kind of guy that’s the good kind of career politician. He knows how to get stuff done. Also I get sick of Richie Rich types trying to buy California elections, that counts for Meg Whitman too. Jerry Brown is not a perfect dude, but Meg Whitman is a nightmare without a dream.

Jerry Brown all the way, no waffles.

Lt. Governor: Gavin Newsom
This is a soft endorsement.
Let me explain. I was very critical of Gavin Newsom when he chose to run for mayor, I think he did a fine enough job as mayor, but understand people in SF that are irked at him. He’s also a hell of a politician, and he’s shown, to a certain degree a willingness to learn and change. I actually think he could learn a lot from Jerry, so I endorse him softly… and mostly because of trepidation about his. For people, especially out of state people that think he’s some kind of progressive icon. Dude isn’t. Straight up. But here’s the thing: I don’t buy into the St. Maldonado thing at all. That guy skeeves me out. By the way, the Green Party candidate, James “Jimi” Castillo has his vocation as “Cultural Spiritual Advisor” that is damn hilarious. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything, but geez dude… typecast much? Whatever, i’ll vote for Newsom.

Secretary of State: Debra Bowen
Most people don’t pay attention to Secretary of State, I do. Debra Bowen might be the finest secretary of state in my lifetime. I talk mad trash about pubic servants just switching up jobs. Debra Bowen is the only one I look forward to moving to a position where she can really do some good. She’s smart, savvy and a great worker. You’d be a fool to pick anybody else. Easiest choice if you aren’t voting for Oakland mayor.

Controller: John Chiang
State controller protects the integrity of public funds. With a hell of a lot of public funds locked away, and with a constant budget crisis, this position went from… wha?? to VERY important. He was a voice reason on selling state buildings at fire sale prices (you sell HIGH, not low). When Schwarzenegger issued an edict to cut all state workers to minimum wage, he refused. That was the right move, it was a total ridiculous move when there was no budget. Strickland is not all bad, he sued the Davis administration to disclose details of the energy deals. Guess what? Public access to those records… aaaaand all that money went to Enron. He gets a thumbs up from me for that. But guess what? He supported a constitutional amendment to nullify national health care legislation. No excuse for that. Chiang wins.

Treasurer: Bill Lockyer
Oh Bill Lockyer, you’re still in public office eh?
If there’s a poster dude for the whole switching around offices thing, this guy is it. Straight up…termed out as State Senator, then Attorney General, then Treasurer. But! He’s showed some creativity keeping California safe from wall street and… well California. He’s a big advocate of California bonds, and weighed in with the cat herding in the legislature when there was no reason to. Oh Bill, I give you the Spock eyebrow every election, but this one you are getting re-election from me. I don’t have time to quibble about you, i’ve got an alphabet soup of state propositions to parse.

Attorney General: Kamala Harris
Kamala is against the death penalty and so am I.
Do you need more?
If the marijuana proposition passes Cooley might try to overturn it.
Maaaan, what staaaaate do yoooooou thiiiiink you liiiiiive iiiiiiiin?!?!?
F that guy. Kamala isn’t perfect, but I think she’ll be a great AG

Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones
This is right about where normal folks eyeballs start to roll back in their head… Lord, Insurance Commisioner?? What does that even DOOO?!?
Well guess what? The Insurance commissioner regulates the premiums that consumers pay for all insurance for home and vehicles and indirectly for businesses. The next insurance commissioner will also play an important role in implementing the comprehensive healthcare reform law. At the same time, the commissioner will have to guard against insurers acting up and reducing their offerings as new regulations come into effect. Villines was an aide on environmental issues with Pete Wilson. Yes, that Pete Wilson. Dave Jones is big into consumer protection. We could use that.

US Senator: Barbara Boxer
Barbara Boxer is one of the best Senators this state has ever had. Of our two Senators she is the one I get excited about voting for. She voted against the Iraq war, against FISA, and has been for some incredibly meaningful legislation. People count her out on every election. They always count her out and she always surprises everybody. Carly Fiorina is a passionate advocate against health care reform and an outsourcer (HP). Barbara Boxer is great, she’s a better Senator then you probably give her credit for. Vote against her at your own peril. In the top 4 easiest choice on the ballot for me.

US Representative: Barbara Lee
c’mon man, if you have to ask?? Barbara Lee speaks for me.
Against the Iraq war, the Afghanistan war and whatever war these fools want to involve us in next. She was against Stupak, all of Bush’s foolishness and quietly does her job in a fantastic way. She’s an inspiration, I wish we were related. I feel happy to have her as my congressperson.

State Assembly, 16th district: Sandre Swanson
Other than endorsing Clinton in the 2008 Presidential election, i’ve never found anything to make me too bummed out about the guy. I kind of wish he “went for it” a little more. Jim Faison is into offshore drilling and is super xenophobic about immigrants. No contest.
Sandre, you will win. Now do something important.
For serious. Do something important.

Superior Court Judge; County of Alameda; Seat 9: Victoria S. Kolakowski
At last! A judicial appointment/election I have some background in. Victoria is a great candidate. She also will be the first transgendered judge in California. Victoria is a skilled jurist, and most importantly *NOT* a former prosecutor like so many others are. A former administrative law judge who I have actually had the pleasure of hearing speak.

Bart Director, District 4: Robert Raburn
This is a twofer! You get to vote AGAINST Carole Ward Allen, who is the genius behind that Oakland Airport Connector boondoggle. And she basically is terrible. Raburn. Is part of the East Bay Bike coalition and has been very helpful in getting lots of really good improvements made. Downballot elections are decided on very few votes. Carole Ward Allen sucks, let’s replace her with somebody good.

State Measures:
Prop. 19-Legalize, Tax and Regulate Marijuana: YES!!!
Let’s be clear the level to which this affects me on a daily basis is nil. Schools and workplaces are still drug free, we get a revenue stream. This is a culture changer. The time has come, prohibition does NOT work. Local government can choose to tax this or not. If alcohol is legal and taxed, marijuana should be too. It’s about time. I understand that it is not a perfect proposition at all. I cannot forsee any scenario that could justify continuing prohibition for this, legalize it and tax it. We need the money.

Prop. 20-Congressional Redistricting: NO
But, but, but, our congressional districts are gerrymandered and… and… yes. This is true, and the incumbent protection racket gets a lot of people switching jobs constantly. I really dislike that. This sucks, right wing forces try to sneak one of these on to every ballot. Just because of that you should vote it down. It’s designed to reduce the amount of democrats and progressives in power. Now if I could *PICK* the democrats, we’d have a deal. A decent idea that has yet to be presented by a non-wealthy right wing activist.

Prop. 21-State Parks: YES
Vehicle registration fees are already kind of expensive, but if you can’t spare $18 to maintain clean beaches and awesome state parks, well… come on now… what kind of cheap skate are you?

Prop. 22-Local government funds: NO
Well intentioned, but no. The idea is to help local government out with immediate payments, but guess what gets to take the hit? Public education and other public services. Good idea, especially living in a city that is in a massive, massive budget shortfall, but yeah… not down with it.
First do no harm.

Prop. 23-Suspend Air Pollution law: NO! NO! NO!
Fueled by texas oil companies.
Do you need more?
ok, it basically repeals California’s global warming law and guts all of the progress we’ve made in gee and clean energy. F this proposition in the face!!!

Prop. 24-Close corporate tax loopholes: YES YES YES YES!
Republicans leveraged the 2/3 rule in 2008 and 2009 to force the creation of a tax loophole that adds $2 Billion a year to the states’s deficit. Yes, I said… TWO BILLION A YEAR. I pay until it hurts like every other tax paying citizen. The fact that these corporations don’t have to makes me want to reach for the pitchfork and the torch. Vote yes on this one please.

Prop. 25-END 2/3 REQUIREMENT FOR BUDGET: YES! YES! YES! A thousand times yes
Let me put it this way, if you vote no on this, you have no right to EVER, EVER bitch or complain about the state budget or deficits again. The fact is the need for a 2/3 majority was a “from hate’s heart I stab at thee” stratagem that has effectively crippled the state legislature. This. Must. End. A 2/3 majority is almost impossible the way this state is setup… I get a little embarrassed every year a budget is not passed. You should be too. This fixes that.


WOW, THERE ARE STILL MORE MEASURES AND PROPOSITIONS… I SURE AM GLAD WE HAVE A STATE LEGISLATURE THAT MAKES ALL THESE LAWS AND STUFF SO I DON’T HAVE TO LEARN ABOUT ALL THE BANAL MINUTIA OF EVERY ISSUE… OH WAIT…

Prop. 26-Polluter Protection: NO!
Oh good! Another proposition put on the ballot by right wing corporations. Man, isn’t direct democracy great? Anyway, this is all about undermining global warming law and making it impossible for corporations to actually pay for their cleanup costs.
Let me put it this way: Do you feel like BP was victimized and treated unfairly for ruining the gulf of mexico? Then vote yes! Otherwise this proposition can go straight to hell. NO!

Prop. 27-Redistricting commission: YES
dissolves the redistricting commission put together by prop 11. Like I said earlier, it’s a decent enough idea, just championed by fools, villains and jackasses. Dissolve these useless commissions! Tear it down and start over. If the conservatives of this state were to somehow gerrymander themselves into a majority you would never hear the end of the unconstitutionality of redistricting. Screw those guys. I don’t even know who these 14 people are, why should they have the say in redistricting? Prop. 11 was stupid and was enacted by people voting for something stupid. To hell with it!

Alameda County:
Measure F-YES
We need money, this raises utility taxes 1.0 percent, which includes cable.
Whatever, your damn cable television isn’t going to do you much good when somebody steals your damn wide screen TV.
Vote yes.

School:
Measure L- YES (soft)
Raise taxes to pay teachers more.
Look man, I worked in education for a couple years. It’s a rough damn job. Your kids are a nightmare for these teachers, and for my friends that are teachers, you are saints. There’s going to come a day when these kinds of measures can’t be the answer, in the mean time… i’d like the teachers to get a lil’ something. ok? It’s also easy for me to say because I do not own property. OUSD was so bad that the district got taken away… believe me those fundamental differences are still there and many people that ought to know better ignore best practices developed by charter schools (like my old employer). I understand if you would want to vote no, but I say yes.

City of Oakland Measures
Measure V- YES
Tax Marijuana to fund city coffers
Are you Effing kidding me? YES!
Dude, it’s a growth industry (heh.) and the city needs the money.
Where’s the argument?
Once it is legalized Oakland is going to become even more of a “mecca” for marijuana than it is now… let’s get some of that green! (so to speak.)


JESUS H. CHRIST WITH THESE MEASURES… OK A FEW MORE TO GO…

Measure W- YES
$2 telephone tax to city coffers.
Hardline phones.
I haven’t had a hard line phone in 6 years. City needs money, wha’chu gonna do?
I’mma vote yes not his one.

Measure X- NO
Supposedly to stop more layoffs of cops. Whatever. Only 75% has to be used for police and fire, there’s no guarantee that is where it will go. To hell with this. Have the stones to legislate city council. I’m supporting a lot of tax hikes for people that aren’t me, this isn’t one of them. $360 per single family residential unit is a lot.

Measure BB-YES
This is a big one, Measure Y was a thing that passed a few years back to establish after school programs for at risk youth… it works, it has good results. But guess what? There was a requirement for minimum police staffing levels. WOW, WHAT A GREAT IDEA IT WAS TO LAY OFF THOSE COPS! NOT ONLY DO WE GET A JUMP IN CRIME, WE LOSE A BUNCH OF MONEY. Idiots! Kaplan voted no, Quan and her ilk voted yes on that… to hell with them.
Anyway, I could see a no vote on this, but here’s the thing, we don’t need to be incarcerating these kids, we should really stop them from having to restore to this in the first place… most importantly it abolishes the minimum staffing requirements so the city can collect it’s damn money. Worthwhile.

Man, is that it?
Yes! yes, it is.
I don’t have any information on judicial appointments, sorry… I keep meaning to look that up every year… but there isn’t much to look up. Bummer, I know… but I’d rather get this out when it was useful than not. Call me a pragmatist like that I guess. Anyway, feel free to disagree… but I trust you, I’ve spent WAY TOO LONG researching all this stuff, so i’m not just shooting from the hip here.
I hope this is of help to all of you.
And if you like this or find it useful, *PLEASE* share amongst your friends.