March 20, 2023

Conan Neutron, Esq.

Rocker, Talker, yeah… we get it.

Neutron Voting Guide – June 2016

It’s that time again, at *LAST* it’s California’s turn to vote.
So let’s get right down to it, shall we? My choices. With explanations below.

Do it… it’s important. Especially for the Presidential Ticket this year (amazingly!)

PresidentBernie Sanders
US SenateKamala Harris
US House of Representatives, District 13Barbara Lee
California State Senate District 9Nancy Skinner
California State Assembly District 18Write-in
Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 1Scott Jackson
Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 2Jennifer Madden
Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 14Margaret Fujioka
Alameda Board of Education, 3rd Trustee AreaRandy Reynaldo Menjivar

Prop 50: YES
Measure AA: No

Alameda County Democratic Party, Central Committee, Assembly District 18:
1. Randy Reynaldo Menjivar
2. Guillermo D. Elenes
3. Pamela Drake
4. Marlon Mcwilson
5. Diana Prola
6. Peggy Moore
7. Pamela Price
8. Margarita Lacabe
9. Mike Katz-Lacabe
10. Corina Lopez

President – Bernie Sanders
My MAN. Never has a Presidential candidate in my lifetime been so close to my actual political belief system. MOST DEFINITELY never has one that matched so closely gotten so far.

Robert Reich said something really smart:

Hillary Clinton, he says, is the best possible president for running the system we have. But Sanders, he argues, is the only presidential candidate actually trying to change the system we have into the system we deserve.

Perfect! Look: I’ve been a fan of this dude back from when he was just the mayor of Burlington, VT. Into the House and then into the Senate. I really never expected him to run for President, I didn’t think he would be into the hassle of it. However, one of the first things I thought of when I heard he was running was: “Hunh, he could win.” Senator Sanders has legitimately started a movement, and has made it so that California. One of the VERY LAST states to vote actually matters. All of this running against one of the best funded and most powerful non-incumbents in Presidential History.

He’s smart, he’s effective, he brooks no Tom Foolery and he’s managed to make people excited about good progressive policy with populist roots. In any other election he WOULD be the story, as we all know, he is just *A* story in this election.

Listen: I’ve gone on and on about Bernie Sanders and all the reasons to love him. I think most people have picked a side on this contest long ago and are ready to get onto defeating the heinous menace of Donald Drumpf no matter the outcome. However, we still get to vote, and for that i’m grateful. It feels amazing to be able to vote *FOR* something, and I hope he not only wins, but wins BIG. Showing that politics as usual just won’t cut it in the Democratic Party anymore.
Thank you Bernie Sanders for running, for giving people like me something to vote FOR and for perhaps starting an incredible new phase in the Democratic Party.

US Senate – Kamala Harris
What’d I say last time?:
“An attorney general who is against the Death Penalty. Yes! Still pisses me off she has taken little action against the Federal stomping on the Marijuana trade, but she is a dece AG. I wish she would take a stronger stance against the death penalty and for legalization of the weed. But, she has her eyes on bigger things. That’s fine. She’ll be good at that too.”

Yeah, that’ll do. If she gets the Senate seat expect to hear a lot from Kamala Harris for years to come.

I think it’s fantastic that in a sea of white men in the Senate, California has regularly had two ladies representing us. Too bad one of them is Feinstein. Heh.

Kamala is easily the best of a huge field, Loretta Sanchez would be a great candidate for like: Arizona or something. Not California. I think it’s just fine that some of the rowdier parts of the left are all worked up about Harris. The one thing that gives me pause is the Eastbay cell phone surveillance plan she supported. That sucks.

Remember, our weird ass rules has the top two vote getters going against each other. So it’s entirely possible we might be voting for two Democrats in the general too. If it isn’t Kamala vs. Loretta in the general, i’d genuinely be shocked.

At least there’s no Schwarzenegger this time.

US House of Representatives – Barbara Lee
One of my favorite Representatives in all of the House. She’s awesome. Easy choice, i’ve voted for her many times, glad to do so again.

California State Senate District 9 – Nancy Skinner, I guess? O
I like Sandre Swanson, I’ve just never seen him do that much. It’s by a nose. Practically a coin flip with these two.
I hear a lot of talk about how Nancy Skinner both is and could BE a big Democratic leader though, and that’s what we need.
So i’m willing to take the plunge on this.

As an aside: I hate how people just switch around jobs with these statehouse roles. Annoying.

California State Assembly District 18 – Write-In
I don’t like Rob Bonta, I think he is exactly the kind of person we don’t need in the state legislature. He doesn’t ever seem to actually do anything, but he seems nice enough and he sticks around long enough that you remember the name.

Here’s what I wrote last time:
“I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t know a damn thing about this Rob Bonta character. At least what he’s done in his current role. I’m sure he’s managed to collect his salary. I forget who I advocated for when he ran. This dude is my assemblyman though… and I barely know he is, and I pay attention to this stuff.

Ugh, the assembly can be important. Why do we have a dude in there who I immediately forget exists when I’m done typing about him? All I know about his opponent is that he’s an electrician that likes dams, and he knows he is doomed to lose. Great. Democracy in action. Vote for this dude or don’t… I don’t know. I can’t advocate either way.”

Haven’t really turned around my opinion then. I wrote in W. Kamau Bell because I think his show United Shades of America is incredible and i’m pretty sure he lives in the district.

Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 1 – Scott Jackson
Lim has the endorsements, that’s for sure.
I love that every candidate for judge says: “it is important for the judiciary to reflect the people which it serves.”
Every one, seriously.
It’s like being for kittens and puppies.
oh well, bay area problems.

How about this? David Lim is a sitting city council person in San Mateo. You know, not in Alameda County? I mean it isn’t against the rules, but does that strike you as something you’d be for?

Barbara Thomas did some pro-bono work for Prisoner’s rights and was a single mom that put two kids through college, but she’s also a very vocal and active critic of rent control in Alameda. So how do you think that’ll work if one of those cases come by?

Gotta go with Scott Jackson. Also: I saw him at the Bernie Sanders rally.

Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 2 – Jennifer Madden
Human trafficking prosecutor is a branding mechanism, not a job title. It’s annoying and political. Jonathan Van Ee is a public interests attorney and wants to bring the court up to date with modern technology, but doesn’t have any criminal experience.
So, I’m going to give the nod to Madden on this one, even if “Human Trafficking Prosecutor” is a seriously annoying and political.
It’s with reservations though.

Alameda County Superior Court, Judge Office 14 – Margaret Fujioka
She’s from Piedmont, AKA: Richie Rich-ville. In fact she was the mayor of Richie Rich-ville. That said, she’s a lady and not white. It’s nice to have a judiciary that reflects the population, isn’t it?

nobody else running, so that’s pretty easy.

Alameda Board of Education, Trustee Area 3 – Randy Reynaldo Menjivar
Alright, so… neither is bad. Ken Berrick is the incumbent, Randy Reynaldo Menjivar wants to shake things up and restore student services. Education is a mess in Alameda county, and while I do have my doubts that he can do everything he wants to, I don’t really see the current leadership doing that great of a job. Ken Berrick seems fine, i’m going with the Grad Student.

Central Committee, Assembly District 18 — Democratic Party (VOTE FOR 10)
Democratic Party Officials.
God damn, this is probably one of the most important pieces on the whole ballot and it’s a fight to get anybody to give a fuck about it. Myself inclusive. Perhaps that’s because i’ve wandered in and out of the Alameda County Democratic party over the years.
What do these people do? Basically: endorse candidates. The goal is to keep this thing clear of petty despots and fevered egos. Also for me, people that support establishment candidates that think everything is just fine. I’ve seen at least three mailers advocating for the currently sitting members, which is common. If anything, this election has proved that we need some new blood though.

Here’s who I got:
1. Randy Reynaldo Menjivar – I just talked about him, young cat, new blood
2. Guillermo D. Elenes – Renters rights activist
3. Pamela Drake – Wellstone Democratic club, Sanders Supporter, blogger
4. Marlon Mcwilson – Alameda County Board of Education member and west oakland resident
5. Diana Prola – Retired teacher, Sanders supporter
6. Peggy Moore – only Clinton supporter i’m putting on here. She was California Political Director for Obama in 2008 and 2012, good people.
7. Pamela Price – civil rights attorney

Maybes (but I put them down on mine)
8. Margarita Lacabe-Sanders supporter – Strident and outspoken, a little TOO MUCH some times, but very progressive.
9. Mike Katz-Lacabe-Sanders Supporter- Privacy Rights activist re: Surveillance and such, he isn’t for it. Kind of one-note but ok.

I got 9. I wrote in my 10th, because that’s how I roll! And 10 is a lot of people.

Most importantly: Here are who I have for hard NOs:
Mario Juarez – NO, dude is a realtor. Enough said.
Howard Egerman – NO , union dude… but haughty, no to Neal, rude to Bryon Parker
Jim Oddie – NO, Hillary Clinton supporter and Rob Bonta’s District Director, Hillary Clinton Delegate
Robin Torello – NO (Hillary Clinton DELEGATE), she’s the current chair of the ACDCC, which gives us lovely candidates like Rob Bonta who accomplish nothing

Probably no: Malcolm Uno (Environmental Justice Organizer) – put up by the standing establishment. slate, can’t find enough info about him.

Proposition 50: Suspending Legislators. YES.
This is the kind of stuff I love! This Proposition is on the ballot solely so that the
It allows state legislators to suspend their colleagues with or without pay with or without pay with a 2/3 vote. This is because of three state Senators who were in hot water 2014. Two of them were indicted, and are now facing various corruption charges. A third was convicted of perjury and voter fraud! (you know the straw man that so many right wingers rattle on about?) for lying about whether he lived inside his state Senate district or not.

But since there was nothing in place for this kind of thing, all three of them continued to get paid by the state! Hahaha! Isn’t that amazing?
Looking forward to watching this one win in a landslide, I’d love it if there were only three votes against it and they were all Leland Yee. HAHAHA!

Measure AA: Preserve the wetlands, parcel tax NO
What?!?!?! NO!?
Yeah man, the wetlands are very, very important and this addresses some seriously big issues, but it’s the wrong way to do it.

like the Guardian said:
“The tax would be levied and administered by the San Francisco Bay Authority, a public agency created by the California Legislature. The Authority is governed by a five-member board of appointees who are chosen by yet another appointee, the president of the Association of Bay Area Governments, which is itself on the verge of a hostile takeover by an autocratic state agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.”

Did you follow that? No? Ok, well let’s put it this way: Good luck trying to find anybody accountable for what the hell happens with this money. I’m not against Regional government, but fuckin’ A. We’re the bay area, we have *SO MUCH* Government already, most of which barely do enough to warrant their own pay. Nah, dude… vote no.
We need to deal with this, but not this way.

not on my ballot, but on my mind:
Ro Khanna – 17th District, US House of Representatives ethics. Ro Khanna, even though he is way too TECH for my liking, Honda has been INDICTED!
Len Raphael – Central Committee, Assembly District 15, Great dude. Plucky
Don Macleay – OUSD, District 1, the BEST dude. He would be great in this role.
Jesse Townley – Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board City, Jesse is great. He works at Alternative Tentacles. He’s a rocker. More punk rockers in politics please.

Jane Kim = State Senate, D 11, SF
Prop C – YES!

Otherwise refer to the League of Pissed Off Voters or the SF Bay Guardian, as per normal this down ballot crap almost ended me.