November 1, 2008

Official Ergo Dubito Voters’ Guide

Filed under: Politics — Bob Gifford @ 8:45 pm

Since I’m in the blogging mood, I thought I’d follow up my last post with the gory details regarding my votes this year.

Political Offices

I’m registered as a Decline to State, but for quite a few election cycles have been voting reliably Democrat. While there are some Democratic policy positions I’m not wild about, the GOP has been taken over by pod-people. Hence, I’m voting straight Democratic party line again this year:

  • President: Obama. He is an incredibly eloquent speaker, especially when he gets into his Black Preacher mode, but that isn’t what sold me on him many months ago. When you listen to him explain his positions in interviews and debates, it is clear that he is a very thoughtful, analytical person. Despite the rhetoric from the McCain campaign, he has a record of being very cautious, and more center-left than extreme liberal. After the last eight years, he is just what America needs.
  • US Representative: Schiff. He is the incumbent Democrat, and has done a good job with one exception: Schiff voted against the original financial rescue plan in what seemed to be a craven pander to liberal dislike of Wall Street. However, he voted for the revised bill a week later, so somewhat redeemed himself.
  • CA State Senate and Assembly: Liu and Portantino in what are admittedly straight line party votes. The California Republicans are almost exclusively pod-people, so it’s not a hard call.


We have to vote for judges in California in non-partisan elections. I have no idea who these people are, and I really don’t care to find out. So I outsource my decision-making to the LA Times under the assumption that they’ve done the research.


I consult several different sources for my votes on propositions, but generally am predisposed to vote No. Propositions have been over-used and abused in California and generally are a poor substitute for legislation by, you know, the Legislature. Having said that, here are my votes:

  1. High Speed Rail Bonds: No. A lot of smart people are in favor of these bonds, but I’m just not seeing that this is the infrastructure we need to be borrowing money for.
  2. Farm Animal Confinement: Yes. The LA Times is worried this will drive the egg business out of California because of the added cost of providing hens room to turn around. But then the South was worried about the economic impact of ending slavery 150 years ago too.
  3. Children’s Hospital Bond Act: Yes. Despite California’s dire budget situation, this money is needed to provide health care for kids on S-Chip and MediCal. The US health care system is totally dysfunctional, but we can’t stop investing in facilities to care for the least among us.
  4. Parental Notification for Teenage Abortions: No. My views don’t fall easily into the simplistic pro-life/pro-choice dichotomy, but this is just a really bad idea. We keep voting it down, and it keeps reappearing on the next ballot.
  5. Nonviolent Drug Offenses: No. A drug habit does not excuse someone from stealing to feed their addiction. Addicts need drug treatment, but they also need to be accountable for their actions, drug habit or not.
  6. Police and Law Enforcement Funding: No. A poster-child for all the problems with legislation via propositions. If it’s a good idea, let the state legislature pass a law.
  7. Renewable Energy Generation: No. Sounds good, but environmental groups are against it.
  8. Same-Sex Marriage Ban: No.
  9. Victims’ Rights: No. The purpose of our legal system is not to facilitate vengeance on the part of victims. In fact, an objective of the legal system is to replace the victims’ desire to exact vengeance with something else entirely: justice. This is a terrible idea funded by a guy with way too much money.
  10. Alternative Fuel Vehicles Bond: No. Again, sounds good, but my sources all say it’s just a T. Boone Pickens enrichment scheme.
  11. Redistricting Reform: Yes. We desperately need to change our screwed up partisan redistricting system, and the state legislature would never reform it on their own. Poster child for why we need ballot propositions.
  12. Cal-Vet Bonds: Yes. Homes for vets in this economy? How could we say no?
  • R. LA County Transportation Sales Tax: Yes. Opponents to an increased sales tax argue it will hurt economic growth in LA County, but this ignores the tremendous cost traffic and long commute times impose on us all. Improving transportation in LA is vital to our continued economic well-being.
  • TT. Pasadena Unified School District Bond: Yes. We are under-investing in our public schools and desperately need to turn it around.

Lost in all the above are my sense of which of these races really matter. Let me just note that we have signs for Obama and TT in our front yard, and I am volunteering for the No on Prop. 8 campaign.

1 Comment

  1. […] Official Ergo Dubito Voters’ Guide The California Republicans are almost exclusively pod-people, so it’s not a hard call. […]

    Pingback by Official Ergo Dubito Voters’ Guide at Republicans On Best Political Blogs — November 1, 2008 @ 9:06 pm

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