voting guides

May 202014

Here are my voting recommendations for the June 2014 election.  I’m a liberal Democrat, and the issues I’m most concerned about are good governance, transparency and accountability and the protection of human rights and civil liberties.   I only include competitive races for which I have a recommendation.


Secretary of State: Derek Cressman
The Secretary of State is responsible for elections in California. We need someone who is clean, ethical and committed to a democratic political process.  Derek Cressman headed a campaign reform advocacy organization and, among other things, wants to create a vetted multi-media online voter guide with actual useful information for voters.

Controller:  Betty Yee
Betty has the financial preparation and attention to detail that the office requires, plus she is committed to good governance and transparency.  Her Democratic opponent, Assembly speaker John Perez, has the arrogance to believe he should be elected just because of his current position and did not even bother to submit a ballot statement.

Measure 42: Yes
This will force City governments to continue making agendas for public meetings available to the public even if the state does not reimburse them for the cost.  It assures the public right to know.


Superintendent of Schools: Jeff Bowser or Helen K. Foster
I heard the candidates speak both at the interviews for the Democratic and the Oakland Tribune endorsements. They all did equally well on general issues, Bowser and Thomas have the best understanding of the financial situation. Karen Monroe will make it past June on the strength of her ballot designation alone. Naomi Eason is great but seems less prepared. Ursula Reed has done little to help schools while a San Leandro Councilmember, instead putting her efforts  into trying to get the communist Chinese flag to be flown over City Hall.

Measure AA: Yes
Not only should everyone have access to health care, when we don’t provide it for those who are most vulnerable, we endanger public health.


Mayor: Francisco Zermeño
Zermeño provides the best combination of love for Hayward, commitment to the community and ability to relate to everyday people.

City Council: Rocky Fernandez and Sara Lamnin
There are a number of good candidates, but I think these two have the greatest political experience and clearest progressive values to move Hayward forward.


CD 15: Ellen Corbett
Ellen is quiet but she’s a work horse, passing legislation that protects consumer rights and the environment. Her opponent, sitting Congressman Eric Swalwell, is a show horse with one intention only: remain in Congress at every cost, no matter how many ethical lines are crossed (including paying for delegates to vote for him and using congressional mail for campaign purposes). He has voted against civil liberties and opposes religious equality.

CD 17: Ro Khanna
Mike Honda is as true-blue a liberal as they come, and I’m very appreciative for his service,  but Khanna holds the same essential positions, only he does it with a greater, more thought-out foundation, more vigor and intelligence. Khanna has the potential to be the Democratic Party’s answer to both Paul Ryan and Ted Cruz and a true political leader for his generation and the country.


SD 10: Bob Wieckowski
Wieckowski is another quiet leader, turning out legislation that helps people without much fanfare. An ACLU-vetted bill to combat “revenge pornography” is just one of his latest accomplishments. The San Francisco Chronicle’s endorsement makes it clear why everyone should vote for this man.


AD 16: Tim Sbranti
Sbranti has done a good job of handling different interests in Dublin. While he’s not nearly as progressive as I, he’s the most progressive of the bunch.

AD 25: Teresa Cox

Teresa Cox is a fighter, she’s the first African-American woman to receive a degree in nuclear engineering, and she’s very smart, pragmatic and committed.  Those are all faculties that I believe we need in the Assembly. She is also less indebted to special interests that some of her opponents.

May 102012

These are my recommendations on the candidates that I believe fellow Democrats (and non Democrats for non-partisan offices) should vote for in the June 2012 elections.  I’m providing brief explanations of my rationale here, but please click on each candidate’s name for my complete analysis of their merits.

Download my handy Printable Voting Guide to refer to when you vote.

Alameda County Democratic Central Committee – 18TH AD

Vote for no more than 10 of the 11 candidates below. * denotes most progressive candidates.  + party chair, must be re-elected for the party to work smoothly.

*Pamela A. Drake
Jim Oddie
*Margarita Lacabe
Corina N. Lopez
+Robin Torello
*Michael Katz
Helena Straughter
Mario Juarez
Diana Prola
Linda Perry
*Howard Egerman

US Senator: David Alex Levitt

Dianne Feinstein has a terrible record protecting human rights and civil liberties.  Levitt, a computer scientist and former member of the MIT Media Lab, is intelligent, liberal and solidly anti-war.

US Representative: Barbara Lee

She’s the most progressive member of Congress, and the strongest voice for human rights and peace.

State Senator: Loni Hancock

A good progressive, plus she’s running unopposed.

Member of the State Assembly: Abel Guillen

Abel is the most progressive candidate running and he seems to be really committed to actual reforming this state, re-instituting the social contract and standing up against the 1%.  He has concrete ideas that could really go a long way on fixing California, such as establishing a state bank, and he hasn’t fallen prey to the political system yet.

Judge: Tara M. Flanagan

She is smart and a good legal analyst.

School Board: Geraldine Sonobe

She has a lot of first hand experience in education plus she’s shown a commitment to take her position on the Board seriously.

Prop 28: YES

We need more stability in both houses of the Legislature.  Plus, by allowing legislators to complete 12 years in one house, they will be relieved of some fundraising pressures and will make them less beholden to contributors and lobbyists.

Prop 29: NO

Prop 29 is a regressive use tax that will hit low income people the most – as they are more likely to smoke.  Only a small percentage of the funds collected by this tax will go intro programs to help smokers stop.