Monday, October 13, 2014

Castro Street Fair Election Endorsements

Campaign volunteers carrying signage for the upcoming November 4th election were everywhere at the Castro Street Fair a couple of Sundays ago.

There were also plenty of candidates in attendance, such as Daniel Flores above who is running for Superior Court Judge.

Local newspapers have chimed in with their election endorsements recently, and it's a tossup which publication's are the most egregious. The revamped San Francisco Examiner has been surprisingly progressive, and their articles explaining the various propositions by Joshua Sabatini have been excellent. Meanwhile the San Francisco Chronicle and the right-wing, gay Bay Area Reporter are in concordance on most issues and candidates, so you can't go far wrong by voting the opposite of their recommendations.

So here are some wildly biased endorsements from Civic Center, a resolutely non-commercial site which is not worried about either advertisers or being invited to the powerful insiders' table.

First off, vote for Daniel Flores for Superior Court Judge because my friend Michael Nava above says he's the best choice and I trust him.

San Francisco Supervisors David Campos and David Chiu have both been corrupted by power during their years on the Board, but I have seen Campos act out of conscience to do what is right, while David Chiu has behaved like an amoral snake since the day he took office and became Board President. Vote Campos for California State Assembly.

I know nothing about the candidates for SF Board of Education, so if anyone does, feel free to add your comments. My only maxim for the Community College Board is not to vote for any incumbents (that would be Anita Grier and John Rizzo) since they helped the institution get into the frigging mess it is today.

On races where there is only one choice, DO NOT VOTE unless you personally think somebody is an exceptional public servant. Jeff Adachi for Public Defender is the only person who fits that bill for me.

On the San Francisco ballot propositions, VOTE NO ON A. The $500 million bond is being sold as a cure to MUNI and city transportation in general, but as Joe Eskenazi writes in the SF Weekly, there is nothing in the language of the proposition that says anybody "shall" do anything, only that they "may." If there's anything we have learned about the City Family kleptocracy that runs San Francisco municipal government, it is that their word means nothing.

Proposition B, put onto the ballot by Supervisor Weiner who is in the photo below, uses "shall" language while indexing bigger budgets for MUNI based on rising population figures. Mayor Lee and his minions were furious and vowed revenge on future pet projects for the supervisors who voted for it, and Piedmont Poverty Pimp Randy Shaw has been howling that it might take money away from the millions he's receiving from the city to house derelicts in the Tenderloin. So VOTE YES ON B.

Proposition C extends the Children's Fund, a do-nothing, bureaucratic fiefdom, for another 25 years. VOTE NO ON C.

Proposition D is an attempt to extend the gold-plated, lifetime retirement health care benefits one receives after five years of San Francisco municipal employment to former Redevelopment Agency employees and their scam-infested successor agencies. It's amazing to find out they weren't already on the gravy train before this. VOTE NO ON D.

Proposition E is the soda tax, which is another nanny state tax on the behavior and wallets of low-income people, as if they don't get dinged enough already. VOTE NO ON E.

Proposition F asks the voters to approve new height limits at a development on Pier 70, and none of the usual suspects has voiced opposition to it. This is probably because the developers actually talked with the community first instead of going through the usual back channels in the Mayor's Office. VOTE YES ON F.

Proposition G is an anti-real-estate-speculator measure which imposes an additional tax if you're flipping a property before five years are up, "subject to certain exceptions." The local and national real estate industry is up in arms about this one. The legislation is more symbolic than anything else, but it might help cool things down slightly in this insanely overheated real estate market. VOTE YES ON G.

Proposition H is an attempt to stop the Fisher Family Foundation from putting in toxic artificial turf for soccer fields at the west end of Golden Gate Park along with invasive night lighting. Everybody has signed off on the plan at City Hall, so this election really is the last-ditch attempt by San Francisco citizens to stop it. VOTE YES ON H.

Pissed off at neighborhood opposition that ties up "improvements" at SF Rec & Park facilities, seven supervisors led by Scott Wiener want to amend the Park Code so Phil Ginsburg can do whatever the hell he wants without interference. If toxic soccer turf and pay-to-play private takeovers of public space strike you as okay, then vote yes. Otherwise, VOTE NO ON I.

Proposition J is a minimum wage increase that was watered down by Mayor Lee to take place over the next four years. Better than nothing, VOTE YES ON J. Also completely watered down by the Lee administration was affordable housing legislation spearheaded by Supervisor Kim. She caved under pressure from the Mayor's Office, and now we have a symbolic piece of legislation which will mean nothing to anyone. VOTE NO ON K.

Proposition L is a cri de coeur from Automobile Drivers feeling used and abused in San Francisco. It's a completely advisory measure demanding automobile drivers should stop being gouged in parking garages and at meters. I have always hated car culture, but they have a point, although a stupid one. The SF Metropolitan Transit Authority treats everyone like crap, and overcharges as much as the traffic will bear. VOTE NO ON L.

For the California State Propositions, I'm voting NO ON 1, Governor Brown's bloated Water Bond that is yet another attempt to drain the Sacramento delta for Southern California, YES ON 2 which creates a rainy day fund when there is a budget surplus, YES ON 45 for more monitoring of health insurance price hikes by the state, NO ON 46 which calls for the drug testing of doctors because workplace drug testing is completely invasive, YES ON 47 to charge felonies as misdemeanors for a whole range of nonviolent, drug related crimes, and NO ON 48 because we don't really need another Indian casino in this state. Happy voting!


Markley Morris said...

Thanks, Mike. This is helpful.

Michael Strickland said...

Thanks, Markley. Wasn't sure if anybody was paying any attention to it.

nancy namaste said...

You should do this on a regular bases as the Bay Guardian has just announced it's closing. One of the last of the liberal newspapers is shutting down and I don't think that there is any newspaper that can fill in the gap.

So it is your dharma to do just that.

janinsanfran said...

One of the consequences of being out of town since June is that I haven't thought much about most of these, aside from the important gesture of voting Yes on G and for Campos.

I suppose I must dig a little before casting my ballot, but I appreciate having a place to start.

Michael Strickland said...

Dear Jan: I was pretty clueless myself until I had to help my partner fill out his mail-in ballot, so I actually read the endless voter pamphlet. Again, the series in the Examiner by Sabatini is quite good, laying out who the supporters/detractors are, and what the possible consequences might be. And I forgot, but if somebody is living in District 10, VOTE FOR TONY KELLY rather than Malia Cohen, who has been a disaster for the last four years.

Hattie said...

I would go nuts having to deal with all those propositions. We have two state Constitutional amendments and a county proposition on our ballot, and that's it.