How to vote and why.

By Daniel Brockman, 081026.

Election, Petaluma, Sonoma County, November 4, 2008.

 

Office

Vote

Why

President and Vice President

Barack Obama, for President
Joe Biden, for Vice President

Obama favors higher income taxes on wealthier persons than on the less wealthy. Opponent McCain favors existing structure of higher taxes on the less wealthy and of higher taxes on incomes derived from labor than on incomes derived from investments. Obama favors lower taxes on “middle class” taxpayers than at present.

Obama favors ending the war in Iraq and pursuing Osama bin Laden. Opponent McCain pursues victory in Iraq but not end.

Obama favors negotiating with govts with which the US govt has disagreements. Opponent McCain would not negotiate until other party fulfills non-negotiable demands, and would resort to war if the other party doesn’t comply with preconditions.

Obama favors structural change in US health care system to assure health care for everyone at a reasonable price. Opponent McCain favors retaining existing structure and subsidizing health insurers by $5000 per insured family.

Opponent McCain is Republican, and therefore allies himself with persons who advocate war crimes and abridgements of human rights.

United States Representative

Lynn Woolsey (Democratic)

Supports agenda of Barack Obama. Backs public transportation. Tolerates gays. Favors strengthening provisions of Fair Labor Standards Act and allowing workers to take leave to care for children and ill family members. Libertarian opponent supports general issues, without specifics.

State Senator

Mark Leno (Democratic)

Democratic.

Member of the State Assembly

Jared Huffman (Democratic)

Libertarian opponent makes no case for himself.

State Propositions

Vote

Why

1A – High-speed train

Yes

Green, relatively inexpensive transportation (relative to cars and airplanes). Economic enhancement bridging among communities with stations.

2 – Confinement of farm animals

Yes

Consumers worldwide will prefer foods of California origin, because farmers would produce those foods humanely. Farmers’ price improvements will more than offset increases in expense. Economic benefits to the state will more than compensate for the costs of administration.

3 – Children’s hospitals

Yes

State funding for medical costs.

4 – Notification of abortion to parent of minor

No

Existing law suffices. Ethically, we should choose the liberty of the mother in reluctant preference to the life of the unborn baby. Socioeconomically, a “no” vote will lead to the more frequent birth of babies whose mothers don’t want them.

5 – Nonviolent drug offenses

Yes

Decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana. Reduces prison populations and parole caseloads. Provides treatment for drug abuse.

6 – Police funding and criminal penalties

No

Creates a number of new crimes, although existing law suffices. Contains some good provisions, but also many bad ones. A collection of unrelated provisions better considered as separate proposals.

7 – Renewable energy generation

No

A collection of provisions better considered as separate proposals. This proposition contains some good provisions, such as applying uniform rules to public and private utilities and provides a response to global warming. However, it includes profound constraints on energy production and use, the effects of which are uncertain and possibly quite harmful.

8 – Prohibits same-sex marriage

No

Discriminates according to sex regarding eligibility for equal treatment under the laws.

9 – Victims’ rights and parole

No

Existing laws could be improved, but they suffice. This proposition contains some useful improvements, such as return of property not needed for evidence. However, it contains many provisions for which the value isn’t apparent, and some that may prove unconstitutional.

10 – Alternative fuels and renewable energy

Yes

Subsidizes consumers for use of “natural gas and any fuel that achieves a reduction of at least 10 percent carbon intensity...”. Subsidizes development and production non-fuel energy sources. The law has some drawbacks, but generally takes a favorable direction on energy policy.

11 – Redistricting commission

Yes

An attempt, with likely success, to reduce the gerrymandering of political districts, by removing the decisions from the legislature to an appointed commission.

12 – Veterans Bond Act of 2008

Yes

Benefits military veterans at little net cost to the state.

City of Petaluma Office

Vote

Why

City Council

Tiffany Renee

Promises bike path improvements. Doesn’t actively promote road widening for automobiles and Rainier connector.

City Council

Spence F. Burton

Promotes emergency services and improvements of playing fields, and does not campaign for cross-town connectors.

City Council

<none>

You get 3 votes for City Council, but only two candidates don’t intend to squander money on the Rainier connector while the city neglects bike paths and lays off city employees. Vote for Renee and Burton and deny your vote to the others.

Petaluma Health Care District

Robert C. Hill

We have a surplus of well-qualified candidates for the Health Care District.

Petaluma Health Care District

Liz Close

 

Petaluma Health Care District

Gordon S. Besses

 

Local Propositions

Vote

Why

K -  (Petaluma) Limit water rates

No

Unwise. Would cause water shortages by constraining the price. Existing rates correspond to the cost of water and sewer services.

Q - (SMART) Sonoma and Marin Counties passenger train service

Yes

Builds and operates bike path and passenger railway from Cloverdale to Larkspur. Creates substantial economic bridge for communities where there are stations.