California Voter Guide 2022: Props, LA Mayor, Governor, and Everything in Between
In this guide I’m going to make a case for why you should vote, how to register, my general worldview, and explanations for how I’m voting. I highly encourage you to read my worldview section because it will help color why I am voting the way that I am. This guide covers everything California residents are voting on plus all the Los Angeles County stuff. If you are also a Santa Monica resident, be sure to checkout my Santa Monica Voter Guide 2022: City Council, Measures, and Everything in Between post.
You should vote because it’s the only thing that keeps society from falling to barbarism. Yes, your individual vote is unlikely to make a difference (though elections have been decided by one vote), but if nothing else it’s a great exercise to help you understand what your local and state government is up to. Especially in California where we vote on a lot of different props, it’s easy to become paralyzed and think, “I don’t know anything about these issues, how can I vote on them?” Well, take every election as an opportunity to spend a little bit of time researching what’s on the ballot and form your opinion. You don’t need to be fully versed in every aspect of every prop and every candidate. Google around, go to the candidates’ websites, read a little, and go with your gut. It’s more than most people do, with historical eligible voter turn out in CA under an abysmal 50%. Now, what the fook are we actually voting on? Ballotpedia has a great sample ballot lookup tool. Just plug in your address and it shows you everything that is going to appear on your ballot with some helpful info to boot.
Ok, let’s talk registration. If you are not registered to vote at your current address or don’t know if you are, head over to Vote.org and take the two minutes to make it happen. It’s extremely easy. The deadline for online and mail in voter registration is October 24th. If you miss that, you can still register in person at a voting location the day of the election, November 8, 2022. California mails every registered voter a ballot a few weeks before the election which also makes it super easy. You can vote in person as well, even before election day as California is big on early voting. Howto.vote is also a great resource to help you navigate the process.
Ok, you are down to vote and registered, let’s riff on my overall outlook. I’m going to give you my general worldview so it frames how I cast my votes. Hopefully it helps with your decision process. I’ll start with this: for the first time in the Golden State’s history, our population decreased year over year. That is a huge red flag. It decreased by a quarter of a million in 2021 and for our troubles, we lost a congressional seat. There is perhaps no greater indication of a state’s performance than whether the population is increasing or decreasing. It is obvious to me that California has serious work to do. Our taxes are some of the highest in the country; our housing costs almost 100% the national average; our state makes up 12% of the nation’s population but 28% of the homelessness; and our electricity and gas costs are over 50% the national average. It’s not just lower class folk that California forces out. There has also been a mass exodus of large corporations that have decided to pack their bags. Our state has a history of greatness. The poorest of the poor came here during the Great Depression for opportunity. The world’s most valuable companies have been built here. We need to get back on track. And listen, I’m not some radical who believes tax is theft and we need to starve the leviathan. I’m all for sensible taxes. The way we tax property here is obscene and a windfall to the older folk who already own it. I’m a fan of land value taxes. I’m a fan of increasing inheritance tax. But when our budget is the 12th highest per capita in the country and our government workers are the highest paid in the country, it is worth asking what we are getting for all this expenditure. Certainly it’s not competence. The ultimate meme of this is CA’s absolute and utter failure to build a bullet train between SF and LA. SNCF, one of the companies commissioned to help build it, pulled out of the project so they could focus on building in northern Africa, which they found less “politically dysfunctional.” You can’t make this up. For our well paid government officials we also get higher crime, expensive housing, homelessness in our biggest cities, and massive energy costs. I will be extremely skeptical of any new taxes given how highly we tax ourselves as it is and how expensive it is to live in this state. And listen, I understand these issues are complicated and that fixing anything meaningful isn’t easy. My only point is to convince you at the very least that SOMETHING needs to change. That’s why we educate ourselves and vote baby.
I’ve riffed on California specifically but let me share how I view governance in general. This will help color why I am voting the way I am. I am a classical liberal- not to be confused with how “liberal” is used today which describes a Prius driver with a “Resist” bumper sticker. I hold individuals, not groups or identities, in the highest esteem. I believe the individual is an extremely powerful and amazing force. And we should view government as a lever to unlock that potential, not inhibit it. Whether this is allowing individuals to push the boundaries on science, technology, business, art, speech, culture- doesn’t matter. The more agency we can give to each and every one of us, I’m game. I believe individuals have the inalienable right to make their own choices based on their own views of the world, regardless of whether I agree with those views and so long as they don’t inhibit the ability of others to execute their own choices. I believe individuals deserve to live with the consequences of their decisions, including not only the downside but the upside as well. I believe that science, technology, and business are the greatest forces for good humanity has and should be supported. I believe government should be in the interest of keeping markets fair and prevent incumbents from controlling sectors that prevent competition. I believe in the future. I believe that government intervention and regulation should be viewed with extreme skepticism. Perhaps no graph sums this up better than the one below. The top half is government restricted supply and government subsidized demand. The bottom half is free market technology. Let that sink in.
I believe politicians far too often, especially on the left, pitch themselves as saviors. They convince their constituents their destiny is the outcome of an election. They convince voters they should trust them to make their lives better. They are lying. They want you to rely on them for your survival. They want to be your savior. Don’t let them. We should care about voting. We should care who our elected officials are. But the agency you have as an individual will always be the most powerful force for good in your life. Politicians, the state, other people, will never be the answer. There is only you. And you are powerful beyond measure. We must be stewards of our government and take it with the utmost seriousness but we must retain our souls. We must retain our will.
Let’s start with the juiciest stuff- the props. These will appear on the ballot for every Californian. As always, Ballotpedia’s proposition guide offers great info on the ramifications of each prop as well as arguments for and against. I encourage you to check it out and do your own research. One more thing, as I’ve gone through the exercise of researching the props, there are two aspects that stick out to me. There is the change and how it is implemented, which are two different things. You can want to legalize sports betting but also think that the way it will be taxed is off the mark enough to vote no on the whole prop altogether. Just something to think about as you decide how to vote yourself. Anyway, here’s how I’m voting and why:
Proposition 1, Right to Reproductive Freedom Amendment
A "yes" vote supports amending the state constitution to prohibit the state from interfering with or denying an individual's reproductive freedom, which is defined to include a right to an abortion and a right to contraceptives.
A "no" vote opposes this amendment, providing a right to reproductive freedom in the state constitution.
✅ Yes. As it stands in CA, abortion is legal up until about 24 weeks. Later term abortions are only legal if the health or life of the mother is threatened. A vote on this either way functionally changes nothing about abortion in California. This just enshrines it in the CA constitution, which no other state currently does. The opposition argues this will allow abortion for any reason up until the due date, but I just don’t buy that. Fundamentally, individuals should be able to make these choices for themselves without the government mandating how they should act. Do I believe abortion should be legal up until the due date for any reason? No. But I believe there is a middle ground here. And I can hold space for those who believe this is infringing on the rights of an unborn individual’s life. But to me, that argument just isn’t enough. I do think the government should invest far greater in supporting parents to make both bringing a child to term and raising it as easy as possible. And abortion is hopefully a last resort. But leave that choice to the individual. This issue is messy.
Proposition 26, Legalize Sports Betting on American Indian Lands Initiative
A "yes" vote supports this ballot initiative to (i) legalize sports betting at American Indian gaming casinos and licensed racetracks in California; (ii) tax profits derived from sports betting at racetracks at 10%; and (iii) legalize roulette and dice games, such as craps, at tribal casinos.
A "no" vote opposes this ballot initiative, thus continuing to prohibit sports betting in California and roulette and dice games at tribal casinos.
✅ No. The only tax revenue from this prop would come from the four private racetracks in CA. The tax revenue coming from tribal betting “requires tribes at least pay the state for the cost of regulating sports betting at tribal casinos” but it does not require more than that. Fundamentally, I’m also against mandating that certain people can run certain types of businesses simply because of their genetic makeup, which is exactly what this bill allows for. If we decide as a society to make a certain business legal, there should not be barriers to entry based on ancestry. I’m also against tax advantages or money transfers to individuals based on their genetics. For what it’s worth, I’m also against religious organizations having tax advantages as well. The government should avoid enacting policies that benefit specific groups over others.
Proposition 27, the Legalize Sports Betting and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative
A "yes" vote supports legalizing online and mobile sports betting for persons 21 years of age or older, establishing regulations for the mobile sports betting industry, imposing a 10% tax on sports betting revenues and licensing fees, and allocating tax revenue to an account for homelessness programs and an account for tribes not operating sports betting.
A "no" vote opposes this ballot initiative, thus continuing to prohibit sports betting in California.
✅ Yes. Though the name of this bill is insulting. Just call it what it is, you want to legalize gambling. Don’t hit me with the “and Revenue for Homelessness Prevention Fund Initiative.” I like this over prop 26 because at least it is very clear about how it will be taxed. From Ballotpedia: “After deducting regulatory costs, 85% of the fund's revenues would be allocated to California Solutions to Homelessness and Mental Health Support Account for permanent and interim housing and 15% of revenues to the Tribal Economic Development Account, which would be established by the initiative to provide funds to Indian tribes for expanding tribal government, public health, education, infrastructure, and economic development.” I’m very skeptical of the CA government’s ability to address homelessnes by throwing more money at the problem. It takes more than just money. Look no further than San Francisco spending $56k per homeless person and the problem is only getting worse. Plus, being able to bet on an app rather than at in-person locations seems like more fun for everyone. I’m not a big gambler myself, and I am very open to rolling this back if we see evidence that in-app gambling is destroying our social fabric. But I just don’t see the evidence for that. Let adults engage in the activities they wish.
Proposition 28, the Art and Music K-12 Education Funding Initiative
A "yes" vote supports this ballot initiative to:
- require an annual source of funding for K-12 public schools for arts and music education equal to, at minimum, 1% of the total state and local revenues that local education agencies receive under Proposition 98;
- distribute a portion of the additional funding based on a local education agency's share of economically disadvantaged students; and
- require schools with 500 or more students to use 80% of the funding for employing teachers and 20% to training and materials.
A "no" vote opposes requiring an annual source of funding for K-12 public schools for arts and music education equal to, at minimum, 1% of the total state and local revenues that local education agencies receive under Proposition 98.
✅ Yes. From LAO: “Beginning next year, Proposition 28 would increase state costs by about $1 billion annually. This amount is less than one-half of 1 percent of the state’s total General Fund budget. The additional funding would be considered a payment above the constitutionally required amount of funding for public schools and community colleges.” Interestingly, I cannot find any opposition to this. And there has not been one dollar spent in opposition to this prop. Sounds like a reasonable way to spend money, it’s for the kids!
Proposition 29, the Dialysis Clinic Requirements Initiative
A "yes" vote supports this ballot initiative to require dialysis clinics to have at least one physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant while patients are being treated; report data on dialysis-related infections; and not discriminate against patients based on the source of payment for care.
A "no" vote opposes this ballot initiative to require dialysis clinics to have at least one physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant while patients are being treated; report data on dialysis-related infections; and not discriminate against patients based on the source of payment for care.
✅ No. This prop, along with other failed ones in the past, would put a bunch of restrictions on dialysis clinics. It’s being pushed by SEIU-UHW, a union of healthcare workers that, as far as I can tell, is simply trying to guarantee their job security and force dialysis clinics to hire a lot more staff. We are already in a labor crisis, and healthcare is already astronomical in cost. There is no way we should add even further restrictions to our already too big to function healthcare system. Frankly this appalls me.
Proposition 30, the Tax on Income Above $2 Million for Zero-Emissions Vehicles and Wildfire Prevention Initiative
A "yes" vote supports increasing the tax on personal income above $2 million by 1.75% and dedicating the revenue to zero-emission vehicle subsidies; zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, such as electric vehicle charging stations; and wildfire suppression and prevention programs.
A "no" vote opposes increasing the tax on personal income above $2 million by 1.75% and dedicating the revenue to zero-emission vehicle subsidies; zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, such as electric vehicle charging stations; and wildfire suppression and prevention programs.
✅ No. Support for this bill has been funded mainly by Lyft. It’s nothing more than corporate welfare to take tax payer dollars and give them straight to a corporation to help them electrify their fleet. It’s a noble goal, but it’s not the responsibility of taxpayers to subsidize a private company. The reason Lyft is funding this is because CA adopted a mandate that ride hailing companies must use zero-emission vehicles for 90% of their miles driven by 2030. This is an overly aggressive timeline that I see as impossible to meet. But we don’t fix that by increasing our top marginal tax rate which is already the highest in the country.
Proposition 31, the Flavored Tobacco Products Ban Referendum
A "yes" vote is to uphold the contested legislation, Senate Bill 793 (SB 793), which would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products.
A "no" vote is to repeal the contested legislation, Senate Bill 793 (SB 793), thus keeping the sale of flavored tobacco legal in the state.
✅ No . This isn’t about kids. It’s already illegal to sell tobacco products to individuals under 21, this doesn’t change that. This is about giving adults the option to consume flavored tobacco products if they wish. Mainly, this is about legalizing the sale of flavored vape products. We will know more in a decade, but at least right now all indications point that vaping is far, far, far, healthier than smoking actual tobacco. This could very well save many adult lives by getting them to switch from traditional tobacco products to a tasty vape. Plus, flavored tobacco products are currently banned, yet I still see them everywhere. The black market is thriving. Let’s just legalize this and move on.
Ok, that covers all the props. Now let’s talk about the elections that will be on the ballots of all Californians. We’ll start with the heavy hitting stuff like the Governor and Senate race. Then we’ll go into the less well known races like the Controller, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and the like.
Governor of California, Gavin Newsom v. Brian Dahle
✅ Brian Dahle. Gavin Newsom is going to win this election, make no mistake about it. Gavin is a Democrat, he beat back the Republican recall (I did not vote to recall him) and he has the confidence of his democratic base and the democratic establishment. But I can’t vote for him. As I discussed in my “worldview” above and I will repeat now: “It is obvious to me that California has serious work to do. Our taxes are some of the highest in the country; our housing costs almost 100% the national average; our state makes up 12% of the nation’s population but 28% of the homelessness; and our electricity and gas costs are over 50% the national average.” Newsom deserves some credit for his recent legislation he approved to increase the supply of housing, but he’s not the man to make the changes California needs. He’s ultimately gonna be more of the same. Even the LA Times, a very liberal leaning publication, has described Dahle as “likable, level-headed and highly respected by colleagues of both parties. He’s a fighter, but not a ranting demagogue.” Read up on Dahle, you just might find he’s our guy.
U.S. Senate California, Alex Padilla v. Mark Meuser
✅ Alex Padilla. Alex Padilla is going to win this election, no question. For similar reasons that Gavin is going to win. He’s a democratic senator in a heavily blue state. What’s sad though, is that his competitor, Republican Mark Meuser, shares a lot of feelings about CA that I do. But instead of focusing on these super important and complicated issues, I have to worry that this guy will not uphold democracy given the chance. His statements on January 6th just don’t cut it for me. He’s a Jan 6th sympathizer. And generally he feels a little too extreme in the way he communicates that I just can’t risk 6 years of him. Again this is sad. Because instead of focusing on CA’s energy crisis, housing crisis, cost of living crisis, I need to worry that some jackass Republican will mental gymnastics his way to thinking democracy and the rule of law are not absolute pillars that make this whole thing work.
California Controller, Malia Cohen v. Lanhee Chen
✅ Lanhee Chen. First things first no one knows what a Controller does, here’s a rundown, it’s an important gig: The State Controller is the Chief Fiscal Officer of California, the sixth largest economy in the world. She helps administer two of the largest public pension funds in the nation and serves on 78 state boards and commissions. These are charged with duties ranging from protecting our coastline to helping build hospitals. The Controller is the state’s independent fiscal watchdog, providing sound fiscal control over more than $100 billion in receipts and disbursements of public funds a year, offering fiscal guidance to local governments, and uncovering fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. So CA hasn’t had a Republican controller since 1975, so this is an interesting one to watch. Chen is a Republican, Cohen a Democrat, and Chen beat her handily in the primary. Chen uses much harsher language than Cohen does when it comes to holding our state’s purse accountable. I trust Chen to do a much better job. Also, it’s clear Malia Cohen is just speaking the dem talking points, this is straight from her campaign site, right at the top: “Malia Cohen is the only candidate running for State Controller who has a plan to uplift California’s women and working families.” Just throw the “uplifting women” and “working families” buzz words to absolve having to explain anything in detail. What does “uplifting women” even mean from the standpoint of the California Controller? It doesn’t matter, it’s just a smoke grenade. Lanhee Chen, godspeed.
Lieutenant Governor of California, Eleni Kounalakis v. Angela Underwood Jacobs
✅ Eleni Kounalakis. Jacobs doesn’t have a shot at winning, this election doesn’t matter much. But what is a Lieutenant Governor anyway? Under California's Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor serves as Acting Governor whenever the Governor is absent from the state, and automatically becomes Governor if a vacancy occurs in the Office of Governor. The Lieutenant Governor is also President of the Senate and votes in case of a tie. So I’ll give Eleni my vote but I’m not happy about it. Her campaign website is run of the mill Democrat establishment platitudes. She’s a cog. Jacobs advocates for how CA needs to improve, many of her points I respect. But she’s a nobody with no experience and it just doesn’t seem right to have her next in line for the top job in CA.
Attorney General, Rob Bonta v. Nathan Hochman
✅Nathan Hochman. Hochman has no shot at beating the incumbent Democrat Bonta. But I’m voting for him because he has solid experience, isn’t a Republican Trump worshiping hack, and is taking rising crime and homelessnes more seriously than Bonta. I will give Bonta credit for his work on pushing legislation to increase housing supply in CA, and I think he’s a reasonable candidate. But he is more of the same candidate. And that’s not what we need right now.
Secretary of State, Shirley Weber v. Robert Bernosky
✅ Shirley Weber. Main role of the secretary of state is to manage our elections. I’m fine going with the status quo here because Weber is the incumbent and frankly I don’t believe we need any change on the voting front here. There isn’t major fraud and our elections have been going on without a hitch. Plus, again, as the Republican contender in CA, Bernosky has no shot of winning.
Treasurer, Fiona Ma v. Jack Guerrero
✅ Fiona Ma. She’s the democratic incumbent, and as is CA tradition, she is going to win. Her opponent Guerrero is a Trump supporter which puts him as DOA in my book.
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond v. Lance Christensen
✅Lance Christensen. The superintendent is elected to a four-year term, serves as the state's chief spokesperson for public schools, and provides education policy and direction to local school districts. So this role isn't hugely influential, as most of the school decisions happen at the local and county level. And also, Thurmond will almost certainly win as the democrat. Because this individual doesn’t have a lot of power, I’m more willing to take a chance here. CA public schools are categorically, on the whole, horrible. Christensen at least wants to mix things up. He is interested in cutting bloat in the California Department of Education budget, he is pro allowing parents to take funding with them based on school choice, and he thinks parents should have a say in how their children are taught.
Commissioner of Insurance, Ricardo Lara v. Robert Howell
The state insurance commissioner regulates the insurance industry in California, including the auto, home and life markets
✅ Ricardo Lara. Lara accepted bribes from insurance companies and has used taxpayer dollars to pay for his apartment, plain and simple. His opponent Howell has no idea what he’s doing. There is no shot Howell wins so don’t spend too much time on this one. Lara, you are a scumbag and represent everything wrong with politics. May God have mercy on your soul, and here’s my vote.
Now onto the State Judicial. There are several judges that are running in what is known as a “retention election.” The only option is to vote “yes” or “no” on each judge to determine whether they should continue to serve. If a majority vote “yes” then they continue to serve. This is pretty much just a rubber stamp as it is very unlikely a judge loses a retention election unless they have done something that has caught the public's eye. My strategy here is to google each of the candidates and see if anything of note comes up. If not, I am simply voting to retain.
Chief Justice of California, Patricia Guerrero
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Goodwin Liu
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Martin J. Jenkins
✅ Yes. Interesting, he's CA's first openly gay judge on the supreme court.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Joshua P. Groban
Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division One, Frances Rothschild
Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Five, Laurence D. Rubin
Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight, Maria E. Stratton
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Two, Judith M. Ashmann
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Three, Luis A. Lavin
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Four, Audrey B. Collins
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Four, Brian S. Currey
✅ Yes. Interesting, he just authored a decision that overturned a ruling "that ordered companies owned by Rick Caruso to allow those who oppose his mayoral candidacy to express their views under certain guidelines at the Grove prior to the Nov. 8 general election."
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Five, Lamar W. Baker
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Six, Hernaldo J. Baltodano
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Seven, John L. Segal
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight, John Shephard Wiley
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division Eight, Elizabeth Annette Grimes
We’ve officially covered everything that is going to appear on every Californians ballot. What remains are district, city, and county level elections. I live in Santa Monica CA, which is located in LA county. If you live in that area many of these remaining elections will appear on your ballot as well. But more than likely many of them will not. Again, empower yourself to do your own research. Ballotpedia and the campaign websites for the candidates are great places to get a quick vibe check on each candidate. We have limited time, you don’t have to spend hours and hours researching. Honestly a few minutes of googling on each election and you will be far more informed than most voters and double again as informed as folks who don’t bother to vote.
Los Angeles Mayor, Karen Bass v. Rick Caruso
✅ Rick Caruso. I don’t live in LA proper, so unfortunately I won’t be able to vote in this race. But the issues at stake affect me greatly so I’m voicing my opinion. Caruso, running as a Democrat, is the only option here who I believe will address the homeless problem in LA and seek to increase the supply of housing as quickly as possible. I should point out I think both Caruso and Bass want what’s best for LA, and at the very least they agree on the two biggest issues in LA right now- homeless and housing costs. LA has had an establishment democratic mayor for the last 20 years. In that time housing costs have absolutely exploded because it is impossible to build here and the homeless problem has become far worse. Bass represents more of the same. She’s been a classic establishment Democrat her entire career and as far as I can tell hasn’t done much of anything. Caruso comes from an immigrant family who built his empire by, well, building. LA can thank Caruso for some of the biggest real estate deals in LA. He’s actually had to work for a living. Not just collect tax payer dollars with empty words. There is a great debate between Bass and Caruso, I watched the whole thing. Caruso handles himself very well and understands we need to support business in LA to support growth. And no one understands the absolute shit show that is permitting better than someone who has experienced it for decades. In the debate Bass sticks to the democratic talking points, using words like “diversity”, “houseless”, and “community.” These words don’t actually mean anything, they are just used as a magic wand to prevent having to truly discuss solutions to problems. And don’t even get me started on the “scholarship” USC awarded Bass. This was so clearly a bribe it makes my head spin. It’s a joke. Finally, Caruso understands what we need to do to allow small businesses to flourish in LA. The only economic opportunity comes from the success of business, nothing else matters. And if we don’t nurture our business environment, people will leave for states that will.
Los Angeles County Sheriff, Alex Villanueva v. Robert Luna
✅ Robert Luna. This is an interesting one. Villanueva has had a lot of shade and accusations of scandal thrown his way and has picked fights with other parts of the LA government. He was an upset win in 2018 and frankly just feels like someone that lowers trust in our police department. Luna has a solid track record as the chief of police in Long Beach, and I’m down to give him a shot. And fortunately, he, like Villanueva, believes homelessness and crime are major issues that must be addressed. I think he has a better shot than Villanueva at tackling these issues.
Los Angeles County, Measure A, Removal of Sheriff for Cause Amendment
A "yes" vote supports allowing the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, by a four-fifths vote, to remove the sheriff from office for cause, which is defined to include: violation of laws related to the sheriff's duties; repeated neglect of the sheriff's duties; misuse of public funds or properties; willful falsification of documents; or obstruction of an investigation into the department's conduct.
A "no" vote opposes allowing the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, by a four-fifths vote, to remove the sheriff from office for cause.
✅ No. I believe the sheriff’s department should be able to operate independently. Allowing the County Board of Supervisors to oust anyone they don’t like is counter to the ethos of checks and balances. Though the measure says clearly that the sheriff can only be removed for legitimate cause, I have little faith in the County Board of Supervisors to operate faithfully. Plus, this measure is a direct result of current LA sheriff Villanueva coming to blows with the Board of Supervisors. He will likely be voted out anyway so I see no reason to keep knee jerk legislation on the books that could be used to only allow sheriffs who legalize crime.
Los Angeles County, California, Measure C, Marijuana Tax for Unincorporated Areas Measure
A "yes" vote supports enacting taxes on marijuana businesses in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, including $10 per square foot for cultivation; a 6% tax on gross retail receipts; a 2% tax on testing facilities' gross receipts; a 3% tax on gross distribution receipts; and a 4% tax on the gross receipts of manufacturing and other marijuana business facilities.
A "no" vote opposes enacting taxes on marijuana businesses in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County.
✅ Yes. This isn’t a big deal. Selling cannabis in unincorporated areas of LA is currently illegal. When the county launches their cannabis permitting program in 2023, it will become legal. When that happens, we should have a means to tax it. That’s what this measure addresses. The revenue will go to the County’s General Fund with some caveats.
U.S. House California District 36, Ted Lieu v. Joe Collins
✅ Ted Lieu. Not a big fan of Lieu. He’s a classic Dem virtue signaler who doesn’t focus on issues affecting real Californians. During the flex alerts, an actual energy crisis in CA, he was tweeting about Trump. Absolutely tone deaf. But his Republican opponent is bat shit. Been following him on Twitter for awhile and just doesn’t have the temperament I want out of a politician. He is pro Trump for sure, posts a bunch of Biden memes, I just don’t see him as a serious candidate. Plus, there is absolutely no chance in hell Collins wins, so this race is irrelevant.
Las Virgenes Municipal Water District District 3, Lee Renger v. Gary Burns
✅ Lee Renger. What the fook is a water district? “A water district is a local corporate entity that operates and maintains a water supply system in one or more provincial cities or municipalities.” I can’t find anything of substance on these guys. Not even a campaign website. Renger is the incumbent, been there since 2005, so I guess it’s Renger.
West Basin Municipal Water District District 1, Harold Williams v. Carol Kwan
✅ Harold Williams. Same logic as above.
West Basin Municipal Water District District 4, Scott Houston v. Sanjay Gaur
✅ Sanjay Gaur. Ok we got an interesting one here! Both candidates have campaign websites at the very least: Houston’s and Gaur’s. Houston talked about free rain barrels to residents as an accomplishment. Gaur is talking about the over $60 million wasted over a desalination plant that was never built. That amount of money wasted is absolutely absurd. Frankly, it smells of corruption, fraud, or ineptitude on clinical levels. See, this is why it’s important to research before voting. Here is some random election most will never read about or care about. But this matters. Everything matters. Let’s go Gaur.
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors District 3, Robert Hertzberg v. Lindsey Horvath
✅ Robert Hertzberg. The supervisors are sometimes referred to as the “five little kings” because of their unglamorous but powerful jobs controlling an annual budget of nearly $39 billion in the nation’s most populous county. I like that Horvath has a record of increasing the housing supply, but to me she is dead on arrival with her decision to defund the police in West Hollywood. Her campaign website smacks of more of the same ultra liberal talking points. We don’t need more of the same. CA and LA governance is absolutely atrocious. I like Hertzberg. Reasonable guy who calls out the waste of the LA government.
A quick note before we riff on the judges. The DA of Los Angeles is George Gascón. He is a pro crime nihilist who seeks to destroy our great city in the name of compassion. I voted to recall in the latest recall election this past summer, and we barely missed the required votes. He was the DA in San Francisco for 8 years. I lived there during his tenure. That once great city is an absolute hell scape. Drug use out in the open, drugs sold out in the open, car break ins everywhere, and shoplifting galore. He has no sympathy for the victims of the crimes. He has tied the hands of our prosecutors. He is an absolute disgrace. To counter this lawlessness as much as possible I’m voting for judges who I believe are not only fair, but recognize that crimes have victims, and they deserve justice to be served. Fairly, but served nonetheless. And let me be clear. I fully appreciate the injustice of insane prosecution practices like the war on drugs. But if we don’t treat crimes like crimes, we will create a backlash that will swing way too far into overcorrection territory. We avoid that by electing sane judges who are fair but believe in justice.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Office 60), Abby Baron v. Anna Slotky Reitano
✅ Abby Baron. I don’t feel too strongly on this one, but Baron feels like she is more in support of victims of crimes than Reitano is. And that’s what we need to restore trust in our government and make our citizens feel safe.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Office 67), Fernanda Maria Barreto v. Elizabeth Lashley-Haynes
✅ Fernanda Maria Barreto. It’s not even a question. Let me take a quote from Haynes’ campaign website:
Together, the harmed, the offender and the larger community benefits and would be safer by addressing the true underlying problems and what needs to be done for everyone’s healing, wholeness, forgiveness, and redemption. Yes, please make the victim of a crime work with the criminal to address the underlying reason why they committed the crime in the first place. What an absolute and utter joke.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Office 70), Renee Yolande Chang v. Holly Hancock
✅ Renee Yolande Chang. Chang has solid experience with the DA’s office and a common sense approach to crime. Hancock feels way too pro defendant and not enough pro justice at a time when crime is increasing and people are feeling unsafe.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Office 90), Leslie Gutierrez v. Melissa Lyons
✅ Leslie Gutierrez. This is a tough one. Both look like solid options. But Gutierrez feels like she has more of a focus on keeping our streets safe. Which is what we need now more than ever.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Office 118), Melissa Hammond v. Carolyn Park
✅ Melissa Hammond. Plain and simple, Park lacks the required experience.
Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Office 151), Karen A. Brako v. Patrick Hare
✅ Karen A. Brako. Brako for sure feels like the underdog in this race, but Hare just feels like he is attempting to bring lawlessness to LA. The type that has destroyed the once great city of SF. Here’s a quote from his campaign site: The kind of justice that restores our community to wholeness, not only for those victimized by crime, but for those accused of crimes as well. Communities don’t need restoring. They need safety. They need to know that they can safely conduct themselves as Angelinos.
State Board of Equalization District 3, Tony Vazquez v. Y. Marie Manvel
✅ Tony Vazquez. The Board of Equalization is responsible for tax administration and fee collection. I actually dig Manvel’s takes on her campaign site. Taxes are absolutely out of control in CA. But she seems to just say that over and over without offering much substance. Vazquez is for sure more of the same, but he doesn’t seem unhinged.
Ok moving on. Besides the politicians that represent you in D.C., i.e. your two senators and representative, you also have representation at the state level. Most people don’t give a shit about this but you should. You have a state senator and an assembly member who represents you. You should look yours up and read their campaign websites. Hell, tweet at them, email them, let your voice be heard. They will be honored you even recognize their existence. I’ll cover the two that represent me
State Senate District 24, Ben Allen v. Kristina Irwin
✅ Kristina Irwin. Allen talks about plastic pollution. Irwin talks about rising crime, homelessness, government overreach, and high taxes. Let’s focus on the latter.
State Assembly District 51, Louis Abramson v. Rick Chavez Zbur
✅ Louis Abramson. Ah, not stoked on either of these cats. Reading their campaign websites is an absolute joke. Both of them talk a lot of bullshit. I see no clear policy action from either of them. Abramson is a professor who thinks he can “govern good” and Zbur is backed by the CA Democratic elite, which is to say absolutely nothing will get done. I’m truly torn here. But I gotta go Abramson because he at least speaks directly about wanting to increase home production much faster than Newsom’s goal. I expect very little from either of them. I might need to run.
This is what democracy looks like. It ain’t easy. Don’t give up. Keep fighting for better governance. Be aware of local issues. Fucking vote. “Ah, my vote doesn’t do anything”- please, don’t be a coward. Don’t be lazy. Thank you and God Bless the United States of America.
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