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!