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By Roz Rogoff

About this blog: In January 2002 I started writing my own online "newspaper" titled "The San Ramon Observer." I reported on City Council meetings and other happenings in San Ramon. I tried to be objective in my coverage of meetings and events, and...  (More)

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Not Endorsements

Uploaded: Oct 18, 2014

I'm writing this blog about the upcoming election. I'm not endorsing anyone, but I am saying whom I plan to vote for and why. I'm calling this blog "Not Endorsements," because I'm not telling anyone else how to vote. I have my opinions and you can agree with me or not, and that's fine. This isn't a major election year with any tight races that could affect state or national politics; so my preferences, whether they win or not, won't have a big impact on our lives for the most part.

In some cases I'm voting for candidates who probably can't win like Neel Kashkari, the Republican candidate for Governor. He was interviewed on KQED's Forum last week and I was very impressed with him.

But I'm not anti-Jerry Brown. Gov. Brown took on a tough task running for Governor again during the recession and has done a pretty good job of pulling California out of debt. Maturity does a lot for a person. Neither Jerry nor I are the same people we were 30+ years ago.

So Kashkari probably doesn't have a snowball's chance in a San Ramon summer of winning, but I'd at least like to see him finish with a respectable tally. Are kids drowning in California's schools? Not here fortunately, but yes, in many other parts of the State.

Rep. Eric Swalwell has the 15th Congressional District all but sewed up. After all he's been campaigning at our expense for the last two years. As I've said before I'm not impressed with Swalwell's performance in Congress, so it should come as no surprise I'm voting for Hugh Bussell. I voted for Bussell in the Primary and see no reason to change now.

Swalwell isn't terrible. I liked naming the Dublin Post Office after Jim Kohnen. I hope he follows through by naming ours for By Athan. By golly, let's get all the Post Offices in the District named for someone.

Now for our most contentious race, State Assembly District 16. With Assembly Woman Joan Buchanan termed out this year, two strong candidates are running expensive and "hard hitting," (i.e. mudslinging) campaigns.

I've known Tim Sbranti for a long time. I'm not a close friend, or even a close acquaintance, but personally I like him. He's a decent guy who stands up for what he believes in as a teacher and a CTA Union activist.

That's who he is and that's not a bad thing for him to be. However, that might not be a good thing to be for our representative in the State Assembly. Our Representative should represent us and not a particular group or segment of the District.

Catharine Baker is a moderate Republican. She's willing to cross party lines and work with Democrats to get things done. The current Republican Party booted out or chased away most of the moderates. We need to bring moderates back into the Party and Catharine Baker can set an example for more to follow. That's another reason I'm voting for Neel Kashkari.

I'm voting "Yes" on Propositions 1 and 2. I've already written my blog about why the Water Bond is important. So yes, I am voting YES on Proposition 1.

Prop. 2 is a no-brainer. San Ramon has had its own "rainy-day" fund since I moved here 17 years ago. It is prudent to invest in a safety net. That helped tide us over during the 2008 recession. It makes sense for cities to save for a rainy day and California should too.

So that's the sample ballot I shall bring to Walt Disney School in two weeks. You can agree with me, you can disagree with me. You can mix it up 50/50, but whatever you do, please VOTE!
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Total Endorsements , a resident of Castlewood,
on Oct 19, 2014 at 11:47 am

How ironic it is that you have titled this blog, "Not Endorsements," when clearly you are trying to influence our vote. I don't think this subject matter is appropriate for this blog.

Posted by Total Endorsements , a resident of Castlewood,
on Oct 19, 2014 at 11:51 am

Sorry, my first comment may have sounded a little harsh. I still believe what I said, but I thought I should also say that I have a tremendous amount of respect for Roz. It is just when I read this on blog entry, I was a little shocked because I never would have thought that Roz would try to use her power in this way...

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 19, 2014 at 2:15 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


Thank you for the compliment (?), but I have no "power" over you or anyone else (not even my cats. They do exactly what they want). I simply stated my reasons for my choices.

I don't consider these endorsements because I'm not telling anyone else how to vote. If you like my reasons so much that you are influenced by them, then go ahead and vote for my choices, but then that's really your choice.

I won't break out in tears (like Carl Rove) if they all lose, but I hope Catharine Baker wins at least. If you want to take that as an endorsement, and my influence over you is so powerful, then go ahead and vote for Baker. But that's still YOUR choice.


Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 20, 2014 at 10:47 am

I agree with Roz on the non-endorsement position. With my history in San Ramon, people often ask me about the candidates because they know I do my homework. Like Roz, I tell them my preferences and why, but I try not to denigrate their opponents in the process. I wish everyone would do the kind of research on the candidates and issues that they would do for any serious life matters, such as investments, medical issues, insurance, etc. Making decisions on the basis of who slings the most mud, or who spends the most on campaign literature isn't taking our voting privilege seriously.

Posted by Roz Rogoff, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 20, 2014 at 11:37 am


Politics today is all about scare tactics and big money. On a national level I get "Urgent!" emails from both parties saying the other party has raised $X millions of dollars and my $3 or $5 will make all the difference. It's a shame that our political races are less about which candidate is better qualified or will represent my positions on issues and more about who can raise the most money.

Posted by Not a Comment, a resident of another community,
on Oct 20, 2014 at 11:41 am

"I'm taking the high road," said the candidate. "Accordingly, I refuse to make an issue of my opponent's criminal record, his three divorces, his draft-dodging and the scandalous charge that he regularly commits sodomy with a parrot! No sir, you'll not hear such negative campaigning from me!"

Posted by mloliver, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 22, 2014 at 9:43 am

To "Not a Comment."

That would be funny if it weren't so close to the truth. Even if the candidate takes the high road, the party PAC's, over which the candidates have no control, will throw the mud.

Posted by Wade Westhoff, a resident of Danville,
on Oct 24, 2014 at 11:35 am

As parents who lost our 21 month old daughter to a matrix of medical errors, we have an obligation to report back to voters regarding Prop 46.

Medical errors are not some political tactic dreamed up by attorneys; they kill up to 440,000 people and injure 2.2 million patients each year. These preventable errors add over $800b in waste to our $2.4 trillion health care system. Increasing safety and reducing these errors in the first place reduces costs across the health system. It?s not the attorneys driving up costs.

Since it is impossible for doctors to ?do no harm? when "to err is human?, we must hold doctors accountable when they make mistakes that injure or kill a patient. Raising the MICRA cap for inflation is fair & reasonable. More damages go to the VICTIM, not the attorneys.

Health care costs have sky rocketed over the last 40 years, and it?s not because of the lawyers. Consider insurance industry avarice, with their breathtaking ?investment? of over $57 million (using our premium dollars) to defeat Prop 46. This is no question to preserve profits that have been made on the backs of medical error victims over the last 39 years

The next time you see a doctor; ask them if they want their doctor drug tested. If they say yes, there?s your truth. If they say no, get another doctor. Lucian Leape, MD, a professor at Harvard?s School of Public Health states ?The American public has accepted the idea that a physician works in the patient?s best interest. And most physicians do. But in the past 20 years, there?s more and more evidence that we have some definite problems.? There is so much evidence, that he now supports random testing of doctors.

The idea that doctors are pushing back on being mandated to use the CURES Rx narcotic database that has been around since 1997 should be insulting to all of us. CURES will still be around after the election.
Costco pharmacists are required to use CURES ? to identify both doctor shopping patients and dirty doctors dispensing narcotics into our society. Ask them for yourself.

Yes, no amount of money will bring our daughter back, but thank goodness there is money. It is just as important for the negligent party to pay damages to the victim they harmed as it is for the harmed victim to receive compensation. This is called accountability! And while it doesn?t always feel good, it offers an opportunity to learn from mistakes, so they are not repeated again. This helps improve patient safety and not just the doctor?s excuses. Don?t wait for patient safety, make it happen. Vote YES on Prop 46.

Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Oct 24, 2014 at 1:29 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.


Thank you so much for your comments on Measure 46. Fortunately I have not suffered a loss due to medical mistakes, but I did experience a minor mistake in medication when I was in the hospital after my accident. So I know these things happen and I was lucky my situation was not serious.

I did not comment on the propositions in this blog or my more recent ones about my car troubles, but I've been reading the Voter Information Guide and there are actually four Propositions, 45, 46, 47, and 48. I shall write my opinions of those next week. Some of the anti-46 commercials are quite distorted and easily rebutted with facts.


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