June 2, 2014

My Los Angeles County Ballot, June 3, 2014.

Federal Elections

United States Representative; District 37: Karen Bass

Incumbent.. doesn't seem to vote much but the opponent appears to be your basic kneejerk 21st century GOP (the website has a lot of the same rhetoric — he also doesn't say much with regards to social issues and that is troublesome). So, yeah, another devil you know situation.


State Elections

Governor: Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown

Go, Jerry, go!

Lieutenant Governor: Gavin Newsom
I'm kind of lukewarm on Newsom, but his competitors aren't really showing up, so better the devil you know.

Attorney General: Ronald Gold
I don't find Harris interested in this job as anything more than a platform for higher office. I also disagree with how she deals with firearms regulation (we need better, improved and sane regulation, not punitive and illogical ones).

Controller: Ashley Swearengin
She turned Fresno's budget around as mayor. That kinda says something.

Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones
His opponent, Ted Gaines, thinks Covered California is out of control and so should be sued. I think the insurance commissioner needs to have health insurance as part of its purview much like auto and home insurance (which was said to raise costs when first voted on in the 80s, and I only see more competitive rates, plans and overall cheaper premiums because of it).

Secretary of State: Pete Peterson
I have to admit, this one was tough and I basically sided with the LA Times in that Peterson pulls slightly ahead of all the others simply because he is the least partisan.

Treasurer: John Chiang
Voted for and liked him as Controller and this is the next step.    

State Superintedent of Public Instruction: Marshal Tuck
I didn't vote for Torlakson and I don't recall him making waves, positive or negative. Considering that Tuck's more similar to who I did vote for (Aceves) this is the way I'm going.

State Board of Equalization; District 3: Jerome Horton
Voted for him before and this year the only candidate that's not a write in.
State Senator; District 26: Ben Allen
This is a tough one, as well, but I guess I'm biased for someone from my area, works in education but is a lawyer. That touches a lot of points for me moreso than the other top runner, the mayor of Manhattan Beach; I find her a tad less relatable and maybe too insulated. Still, I don't think I'd be disappointed with either one, which may mean that come November with these two the likely Top Two a bit more campaign information may surface for me to identify a preference.

Member of the State Assembly; Distrct 62: Autumn Burke
Another tough one, so again, I default to the one from my neighborhood.


County Elections

Assessor; County of Los Angeles: John Y. Wong
I'll vote for the guy I voted for last time.
Sheriff; County of Los Angeles: Abstain
I don't like the look of any of them. Maybe I'll know more tomorrow.

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 22: Pamala F. Matsumoto

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 48: Carol Rose

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 54: Debra L. Losnick

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 61: Jacqueline H. Lewis

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 72: Chris J. Frisco (uncontested)

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 76: Alison Matsumoto Estrada

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 82: Ann H. Park (uncontested)

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 87: Andrew M. Stein

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 90: Serena R. Murillo (uncontested)

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 97: Songhai "Sunny" Armstead

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 107: Emma Castro

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 113: Stacy Wiese

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 117: James B. Pierce

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 138: Donna Hollingsworth Armstrong

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 157: Andrew Cooper


State Propositions

Proposition 41 – Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Bond Act of 2014: Yes
Hard to say no to this one. We continue to pass these and frankly, we have to continue to do so as the number of veterans involved in US actions these past 12 years will only continue to increase. Enough lip service, more compensation.

Proposition 42 – Public Records. Open Meetings. State Reimbursement to Local Agencies : Yes
Transparency and accountability.

May 20, 2013

My Los Angeles County Ballot, May 21, 2013


Mayor; City of Los Angeles: Eric Garcetti

This is very telling about the voter demographics between Greuel and Garcetti. I'm staying Garcetti.

City Attorney; City of Los Angeles: Mike Feuer

Still the same: Nuch was all flash. So much for that vote, he's not getting it again.

Controller; City of Los Angeles: Ron Galperin

I wanted Ankur Patel as a maverick. Now I have to go with the non-insider.

Member of the Board of Trustees; Los Angeles Community College District; Office 6: Nancy Pearlman

Wanted Tom Oliver. Settling for Pearlman.

Proposition C Limits to Campaign Spending and Rights of Corporations: Yes

Corporations are not people. This documentary is way too repetitive and long, but it is very, very true.

Proposition D Medical Marijuana Regulation and Taxation: No

There should be regulation and taxation, sure. This, though, simply grandfathers in the extant shops and subsequently prevents the opening of other shops. Yeah, that's pretty stupid.

Ordinance E Medical Marijuana Regulation: No

Same as above.

Ordinance F Medical Marijuana Regulation and Taxation: No

Same as above.

March 4, 2013

My Los Angeles County Ballot, March 5, 2013

Mayor; City of Los Angeles: Eric Garcetti

I voted for Greuel for Controller; she hasn't imprssed, so why make her mayor? I'd have considered Perry but her personal financial history is weird and I'm still not all too clear on the damage caused by the loss of the South Central Farm. Garcetti's the last reasonable candidate standing.

City Attorney; City of Los Angeles: Mike Feuer

Nuch was all flash. So much for that vote, he's not getting it again.

Controller; City of Los Angeles: Ankur Patel

My wild card vote. I dunno, I like his chutzpah.

Council Member; City of Los Angeles; District 11: Mike Bonin

Rail, trolley, bike paths, go!

Board Member; Los Angeles Unified School District; District 4: Steve Zimmer

His opponent likes charter schools. I voted him in because he's anti-charter schools, so this is  a no-brainer.

Member of the Board of Trustees; Los Angeles Community College District; Office 2: Mike Eng

Member of the Board of Trustees; Los Angeles Community College District; Office 4: Jozef Essavi

Member of the Board of Trustees; Los Angeles Community College District; Office 6: Tom Oliver


Proposition LA-A; Neighborhood Public Safety and City Services Funding and Accountability Measure: No

Charter Amendment LA-B; Fire and Police Pension Plan: Yes

October 19, 2012

My General Election Ballot, November 6, 2012

Or: Another ballot in the life of a Rockefeller Republican.


President and Vice President: Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

Call it any name you want, cutting taxes to create jobs does not work. It didn't work during the Reagan era (trickle down, voodoo economics and my fave, Reaganomics) and it along with the dismantling of the Glass-Steagall Act by Clinton and a Republican congress are the cause of the recession and explosion of national debt. I will also never vote for a person who denies a woman's right to choose and opposes gay marriage. So economically, I'd rather go with what appears to have prevented a depression than bring back the policies that caused it in the first place; and socially, to not reverse all the gains made in the slow but progressive march towards true equality.

United States Senator: Diane Feinstein

I'm not that big a fan of Feinstein (I prefer Boxer) but her opponent's platform is pretty much the opposite of mine.

United States Representative, 37th District: Karen R. Bass or abstain

I'm new to this district since I was formerly in the 36th (reminder, ask Janice Hahn's office to stop sending me email) and Bass is the incumbent. Her opponent is a name and little else. I'm either just gonna go with the inevitable or abstain.

Member of the State Assembly, 62nd District: Steven Bradford

The new Top Two act has the contestants as two Democrats. Of the two, Bradford is the incumbent and more seasoned. Evans opposes "gay education" in schools, which I guess refers to the gay history education bill the state assembly passed last year. So, yeah. Easy pick.

County District Attorney: Jackie Lacey

It's who I picked during the primaries.

State Measures

Proposition 30 – Temporary Taxes to Fund Education. Guaranteed Local Public Safety Funding. Initiative Constitutional Amendment: Yes

Education is the best long term investment available for people and therefore for society. Without 30 the UC and Cal State systems will be forced to make cuts and increase tuition. The other proposition, 38, will still force UC and Cal State to make cuts and increase tuition. That makes 30 the better option.

Proposition 31 – State Budget, State and Local Government. Initiative Consittutional Amendment and Statute: No

This is what we need: an inflexible and convoluted set of restrictions and unilateral power designed to confuse everyone and solve nothing.

Proposition 32 – Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction. Contributions to Candidates. Initiative Statute: No

If you're going to deny group fundraising, deny it all, not just the one method by which a particular type of group uses. You are cutting the political power of unions but keeping that of corporations. Either keep them all or cut them all.

Proposition 33 – Auto Insurance Companies. Prices Based on Driver's History of Insurance Coverage. Initiative Statute: Yes

Last time this came up I voted no because it looked like Mercury was trying to sneak one through. While I am not sure how this will shake out, basing insurance purely on driver history and not including coverage history sounds old-fashioned. To equate it to healthcare, it's akin to pre-existing conditions limiting your choices. So yeah, any discount possible is fine by me. Mercury thinks they'll out bid everyone, I think they're being optimistic.

Proposition 34 – Death Penalty. Initiative Statute: Yes

Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age. I'm morally opposed to a death penalty as part of our system of laws. I think we're past that.

Proposition 35 – Human Trafficking. Penalties. Initiative Statute: No

This solves nothing. What it does do is just label everything a human trafficking crime and therefore a sex offender registry crime. It dilutes the definition as to make it meaningless. We already prosecute the other crimes that this proposition wants to make "human trafficking", so what is this really? Because it sounds like an attempt to pretend to show results in a statistic that has increasing numbers in human trafficking convictions.

Proposition 36 – Three Strikes Law. Repeat Felony Offenders. Penalties. Initiative Statute: Yes

It makes no sense to send a person to life in prison without parole for a non-serious, non-violent crime like felony petty theft. Moreover, there is no evidence that the law has curbed violent crime.

Proposition 37 – Genetically Engineered Foods. Labeling. Initiative Statute: No

Like Proposition 32, if you're gonna label, label it all. You want to know if you are eating a GMO? Congrats, you are. All your food is genetically engineered; the difference is where traditionally breeding was a big guessing game you now have labs that can target desired traits right in the DNA. Label them? Sure, whatever. But if so, label it all, including products that used transgenic food. Label beef because the cow ate GMO corn, for instance. So label it all or don't label it at all. To create a false division and call one side unhealthy and dangerous is insulting.

Proposition 38 – Tax to Fund Education and Early Childhood Programs. Initiative Statue: No

If this passes along with 30, the one with the most votes wins. This one will not prevent schools from reacting to the current recession quickly enough, so go with 30.

Proposition 39 – Tax Treatment for Multistate Businesses. Clean Energy and Energy Efficiency Funding. Initiative Statute: Yes

The current state tax code allows multistates to calculate either by sales in-state or by sales + property + employees. Obviously they'll use the cheaper calculation. This allows multistates that do not have property or employees in California to pay less taxes than business that have property and hire employees within the state. Stupid loophole. Put them all on the same calculation.

Proposition 40 – Redistricting. State Senate Districts. Referendum: Yes

Yes means keep the new lines and the folks who put this on the ballot and wanted you to vote no are no longer supporting this proposition. Nice wording, though, right? Most people vote no by default if they don't understand or don't read, so if you do that, you revert the lines and cost us $1 million in putting it all back to before.

County Measures

Measure A – Advisory Vote Only: No

I'm fine with the state assessor being elected and not appointed.

Measure B – Adult Film Health Permits. Require Condom Use. Fines: No

This affects under 300 performers and will cost the county $300,000 to enforce. Let the industry self-regulate. Wait, they already do, and there hasn't been an HIV case among LA County performers since 2004. So what's this all about?

Measure J – Accelerating Traffic Relief, Job Creation: Yes

In the three short years since Measure R I have such drastic improvement in LA I can't help but want to see what could be done in five instead of 20 years. I want mass transit, nicely paved roads and efficiently designed roadways and I want them now. If that means keeping the Measure R 0.5% sales tax increase another 30 year by changing the expiration date from 2039 to 2069, yeah, I'm fine with that.

  1. mom Says:

    thanks, sweetie…

  2. Add comment »

June 4, 2012

LA County Ballot, June 5, 2012


I love these. These are where we get to see how the mob, influenced by those who control sources of (mis)information, get to fuck around with the state constitution. If ever there was an example of where true democracy by ballot was dangerous compared to a republican ideal of representative government, it is the California proposition constitutional amendment system.

Proposition 28 Limits on Legislator's Terms in Office: Yes.

The previous term limits that force a politician to hop around Senate and Assembly is silly. Let them serve it all in one house and prove useful. 

Proposition 29 Imposes Additional Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research: No.

Ill-conceived, ill-timed. Why just cancer research? Because cigarettes cause cancer? Do they? Maybe they negatively affect health and promote the likelihood of cancer, but so do other things in life, and it's not just cancer. To target a single product and blame it for the ills of society is a bad tax. Logistically, this also creates a bureaucratic stupidity of a tax dole out, much like all other propositions that go for taxes, impositions and cuts alike. This one's just plain dumb.

Local Measures

Measure H LA County Hotel Occupancy Tax Continuation Measure – County of Los Angeles:Yes.

An extant tax that needs to be re-upped. Certainly. And no arguments were filed, so everyone's apparently okay with it.

Measure L LA County Landfill Tax Continuation Measure – County of Los Angeles: Yes.

Same as above; extant, no opposition.


President: Incumbent, dude, incumbent.

US Senator: David Levitt.

This is to see who goes "Top 2" in November. There are a gaggle of candidates, it's kind of insane. Feinstein is basically a shoe-in so it's a matter of who has to go up against her (and maybe spend a lot of $ to compete) and with the new "Top 2" it could be two Dems in the running. Since Feinstein is pretty much guaranteed one of the two for November, frankly the goal is to get a reasonable candidate to be the second. This means avoiding people like Orly Taitz, who still insists Obama was born in Kenya (frankly, why does this matter to a nation of immigrants, especially to someone like Taitz who is a Russian-Israeli immigrant?!). Should i just go Feinstein or find a reasonable opposition to make the race not just interesting but worthwhile? Who can do that for me? With 23 other candidates it's kinda hard to do the research. It didn't take long to remove the extremes on either end (though the number of far rights is disturbing) and ultimately, the only person who looks like he can give Feinstein a run for her money is Levitt.

US Represenative; District 37: ?

Well, what the fuck. Suddenly I no longer live in the beach district but have been lumped with the inland district. Screw you, Abbott Kinney fuckwads! Anyhow, the seat is uncontested. Karen bass (D) is the only one on the ballot. Abstain?

State Assembly; District 62: ?

Two Dems up for the job. Gee. Is this part of the "Top 2" thing, 'cause that just makes this ballot pointless as the real one is in November. Abstain?


On to the judges for Superior Court. Here is a handy website: http://www.judgevoterguide.com/ by Craig Huey. As the front page warns me against activist judges I know to eliminate any judges they recommend since the use of that term has been twisted to mean "advancing any political agenda… that is not mine" (yes, the last bit is what is implicitly tacked on to today's use of the term). Conversely, the LA Times tends to go for the other extreme. When the two agree, you know you've probably got a good one.

Judge of the Superior Court; County of of Los Angeles; Office 3: Sean D. Coen.

Definitely NOT Escalante, some pundit based on the resume and Huey's #1. LA Times wants Coen, a Deputy DA. The other two are a DV litigator and another Deputy DA, both of which are the most "activist" according to Huey, which biases me to like them. Interestingly, they're both from Golden Gate University School of Law. Frankly, I'd go with Coen, not because of the LA Times endorsement, but because he was an English major; for some reason that speaks to me.

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 10: Sanjay Kumar.

The incumbent is Kumar, a slim Huey fave but also vouched by the LA Times. Look, everyone likes him! This looks like a safe seat for him as Kim Smith's profile is slim and just lists him as a criminal prosecutor. Googling finds him previously running for Office 28 in 2010, and a bit of digging reveals… well, he's going for this seat as Kumar has a foreign-sounding name. Yeah. That sounds like a real biased dude for a judge.

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 38: Lynne Diane Olson. 

The incumbent is Olson. The new guy is Douglas Weitzman, a consumer rights attorney and graduate of Southwestern (hi, Sun) but from 1980 (!) and has been on the ballot repeatedly, last time in 2010 trying for Office 35. Not feeling him at all.

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 65: Andrea C. Thompson.

The prosecutors, tough one. LA Times and Huey both go for Thompson, but honestly, any of these three would probably be decent. 

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 78: James D. Otto.

Otto's the incumbent and endorsed by the LAT. Hueghey is highly marked on Huey's site so I've got warning lights flashing. Besides, you don't reward the incumbent's good service by ousting him.

Judge of the Superior Court; County of Los Angeles; Office 114: Eric Harmon.

I am intrigued that Brees is rated on Huey's site as absolutely dangerous and unqualified. LAT has all three as decent but goes for Harmon based on the number of felony trials… so the experience trump card. You know what this means… website design faceoff! Look they're all qualified, so now it's on aesthetic, okay? Harmon, the LAT favorite, loses early points due to a SPLASH PAGE. The other two lose points for using the flag as a banner (Brees) and a plethora as one of the rotating backdrops. Dead heat then. Endorsements page… why is Lee Baca listed for Harmon and Parseghian? Points off for double posting but Brees also loses for having all that great a list… plus his site is really dull. Let's just say he's out of it. Ultimately, Harmon's site is the easiest to navigate and go through, so there it is.


District Attorney; County of Los Angeles: Jackie Lacey.

LAT's pick is Lacey and they invest the most words to explain the position than any other candidate on their endorsement page. Also, her website (of three that had websites and therefore narrowed my choices down by half) was coded in jQuery while the others were Dreamweaver (hahaha) and Artisteer/Joomla, the latter's web consultants also put their own fucking link on the website, which is fucking tacky for a political site as far as I am concerned. So yeah, Lacey.

Supervisor; County of Los Angeles; Supervisorial District 2: Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Uncontested incumbent. He is either doing a really good job or this is a shitty job and he's the poor schmuck who still wants it. Either, way, go Mark.

October 20, 2011

Disney World, Day 8: Going Home

Of course the bus schedule is wrong and we just miss the bus to end up waiting a half hour for the next one. 

Of course there's a double front along the east coast and it looks like Miami is going to be a pain.

Of course it didn't matter as the flight from Orlando was coming from somewhere up north and was therefore delayed anyway.

Of course the airline rep was trying to get us on a later flight in Miami as we would miss the connection due to the delay, but did not say anything about getting us on a direct to Los Angeles flight leaving in an hour until I asked.

Of course even if we did get on that direct flight to LA it was too late for our luggage, which got to Miami and got delayed by the storm to where it was four hours behind us.

Of course the rep said the luggage would be delivered the next day and as we turned in early for the night the luggage got delivered and I had to walk out in my pajamas to get it.

Of course I am complaining over absolutely nothing and that all things considered it was a pretty painless journey home and the cats were happy and I was happy as I raided my wine fridge and began going through the backlog of shows on the DVR.

Of course, of course, of course.

October 18, 2011

Disney World, Day 7

Instead of going back to Hollywood Studios, Sun wanted to go back to Epcot, which was a good call, as we finally found Stitch and took pics with the little bugger.

We checked out the Canada Circlevision to pass the time and try to get in to Le Cellier for lunch, but apparently that's just not doable without a reservation. No small loss. We had a Moroccan lunch, visited the Innovention area to see how cool our bathroom could be, then chilled at the hotel until dinner.

Dinner was at Johnnie;s Hideaway, where our meal was comprised of escargot, stone crab bisque, cajun triggerfish, a perfectly cooked and seasoned filet mignon, and Sun's first key lime pie.

A slow, relaxed day in the midst of a rainy day, and frankly, just the right pace for our final day in Orlando.

It's time to go home.

October 17, 2011

Disney World, Day 6: Hollywood Studios

A late start found us having lunch in Downtown Disney at the Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant. Then began a convoluted journey to Hollywood Studios. As there's no bus from Downtown Disney to any of the parks, we tried taking a bus over to the Swan and Boardwalk, where we were told we could walk to Hollywood Studios.

We got turned around at the Boardwalk and decided to hop on a boat. By the time we got to the park we'd spent about 45 minutes. It probably would have been easier to walk back to our hotel area and catch the shuttle there.

It's kind of trippy, walking in a park designed to glorify Hollywood. Street corners with labels like Hollywood and Vine, Sunset and Gower, and so on made me smile a twitchy smile. We caught a Hollywood movie ride whose facade hinted at Graumann's Chinese, then walked off to the back lot for a tour and stunt show. We capped the evening with the Aerosmith coaster and the Tower of Terror, catching the Beauty and the Beast Musical along the way.

Tomorrow we'll go back and finish off the rest of the park.

October 16, 2011

Disney World, Day 5: The Animal Kingdom

We made sure to get up early as the park was scheduled to close at 7pm and we had reservations at Jiko at 7:50pm. Turns out… no worries.

The Animal Kingdom was fun, but let's face it, there's just not that much to fill the day. We did the safari ride, the Everest ride and the dinosaur ride. The only Fast Pass we didn't take was the rapids ride, mostly because I didn't want to smell like mildewy water all day.

Caught the Bug's Life show and walked all of the trails at the park plus watched the parade from the Dawa Bar in Africa, and still we were done at 5pm.

We took the shuttle bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge, had a cocktail, then enjoyed a birthday dinner at Jiko, the Cooking Place. Had the piri piri chicken while Sun went for a spicy shrimp curry. We had some dessert and they gave me an birthday creme brulee as well.

The pinotage wine we had for dinner was enough to put me to sleep on the shuttle bus to Downtown Disney. The walk from there to the hotel was a bit of a trial, as I just wanted to get my clothes off and relax.

Which brings us to now, where I sit, happy yet weary, thinking that thirty-eight years is not so long, and yet quite a long time.

Happy birthday.

October 15, 2011

Disney World, Day 4: Break

Today was a day of leisure. We did take the time to finally sit down and look for a Cuban restaurant and found one in walking distance, where Sun and I chowed down on some really good plates of tilapia and pork chunks.

Then there was a nap, then a hang out by the pool along with a drink, then another nap, and dinner at Andiamo Italian Bistro at the Hilton next door.

A nice, slow relaxing day to recover from two hectic days. Tomorrow is the Animal Kingdom, and as it closes early at 7pm we plan to get there when they open at 9am. Also, we have reservations at Jiko around eight to quietly celebrate the 16th of October.

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