2014 General Election Voting Guide
Disclaimer and Point of View:
I am a 46 year old, Catholic, white, male living in South Orange County, California.
I like my babies born, my murderers dead, my taxes low, my border fence high, the gate wide but the path to citizenship narrow.
I think the USA is the greatest force for good the world has ever known.
I like my government small, my military big, my country proud, my leaders humble, my speech free and consider those defending it priceless.
I think we have first class politicians and second-class leaders.
I think there is more that unites us than divides us but it doesn’t sell as well.
I think our future is brighter with a strong America in it.
I think every one is entitled to their opinion and mine as a bonus.
To my Republican friends, here is the voting guide you requested.
To my Democrat friends here is the opposition research you dread.
A Word from the Author:
For those who don’t know, I sometimes blog at RJDJR.NET. My voting guide will be posted there with interactive links so that you can read and research as you see fit.
In May I wrote the piece I include here. This is a reflection of my evolution and insight into what values and priorities help shape this voting guide.
THE GRAND OL' PARTY: MORE OLD, LESS PARTY, HARDLY GRAND
May 15, 2014
Straight from GOP.com;
It began in a little schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin, in 1854. A small group of dedicated abolitionists gathered to fight the expansion of slavery, and they gave birth to a Party dedicated to freedom and equal opportunity.
The name “Republican” was chosen, alluding to Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republican Party and conveying a commitment to the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Low taxes, sound money, regulatory restraint: these were among the commonsense economic policies established by the GOP that brought about decades of prosperity after the Civil War.
The Party’s core principles of freedom and equal opportunity are as relevant today as at our founding, and they are the roadmap for American renewal in a new and interconnected world.
What went wrong? How can a party of life do so little for the health and well being of its citizenry? How can a party of liberty oppose the freedom of gays to marry? How can a party that believes God gave all humans the right to pursue their happiness do so little to help immigrants doing just that?
President Reagan rightly criticized the Democratic vision for governing America saying;
“Two visions of the future, two fundamentally different ways of governing – their government of pessimism, fear, and limits, or ours of hope, confidence, and growth.”
When we speak of health care we speak with pessimism and fear, not hope and confidence.
When we speak of 'the family' we speak with fear and limits, not confidence and liberty.
When we speak of immigration we speak with pessimism, fear and limits, not hope and growth.
Let's change the dialogue.
When we speak of health care let us make clear it is not a right but it is the right thing to do - albeit, differently. In a way that breeds competition and innovation and better results for healthier lives.
When we speak of marriage and family let us be clear the state's interest in the peoples domestic arrangements is limited to protecting individual rights and protecting the state. Gay marriage is neither a threat to individual rights or the state. Whether the union is blessed and holy is justly outside of state purview.
When we speak of immigration and amnesty let us ask forgiveness. We left the door open. We left food on the table. We let those seeking shelter, find it. To speak now of deportation is sinful. We created the problem by not being proactive to ask the immigrant to carry the burden of our mistake is wrong and un-American.
When we speak of America's role in the world, that is when we speak with hope and confidence - and we win on that issue.
When we speak on simplifying the tax code, lowering taxes and reducing debt we speak with confidence and hope of growth - and we win on that issue.
When we speak of limited government we speak with hope and confidence and liberty - and we win on that issue.
We need to change the dialogue. We are losing followers because we are no longer leading.
2014 Voting Guide
Issue: Governor of California
The Immigrant vs The Incumbent
More of the same vs Someone new to blame
Unions vs You N Me
Which One of These Is Not Like All the Others
Recommendation: Neel Kashkari (R)
Boom Goes The Dynamite…
Why Not Brown? Jerry was Governor of CA from 1975-83 during which time he approved 96-98% of the legislation that crossed his desk. With Jerry as Governor our Democratic State Legislature and the Unions, which make their tenure possible, have a blank check. I don’t think this has worked well for California and to continue it is to continue the destruction of the once Golden State.
Why Kashkari? He is smart, brash, young, energetic and hard working. He killed Brown in the debate. He isn’t owned by the Unions and he would put balance back in our system of checks and balances.
Issue: CA State & Local Offices
Republican vs Democrat
The Lesser of Two Idiots
The Party > The Candidate:
Recommendation: Republican (R)
Dennis Prager recently wrote a column entitled ‘Don’t ‘Vote for the Candidate’ in which he made what I thought was a compelling observation and change in voting philosophy.
“Obamacare provides an excellent example of why "voting for the candidate" is an act of self-delusion. Every vote for this medical and economic transformation of America came from Democrats in the House and Senate; and every Republican, even the most "moderate," voted against it.”
Legislation is no longer about representing the people, its about politics. Politics is no longer about leadership, it is about partisanship. Voting is no longer about People, its about Party. As Prager points out the Moynihans and Liebermans are gone and their type will not be allowed back on the inside. Republicans do it to their members all the time by titling their own a ‘RINO’ should they express a different point of view. The Left has done a better job of keeping out their DINOs and work in a coordinated fashion as a block.
Therefore I am recommending a straight Republican ticket. There is merit, even if you are a Democrat, to vote this way in our statewide election. That is, strong opposition produces better outcomes. A bad bill shouldn't survive a hard fought battle but can easily become a law where there is a weak or as in CA a non-existent opposition.
Save the Republicans - Save the World.
Lieutenant Governor - Ron Nehring
Secretary of State - Pete Peterson
Controller - Ashley Swearengin
Treasurer - Greg Conlon
Attorney General - Ronald Gold
Insurance Commissioner - Ted Gaines
State Board of Eq: 4th Dist - Diane Harkey
US Representative 49th District - Darrell Issa
State Senator 36th District - Patricia ‘Pat’ Bates
State Assembly 73rd District - William ‘Bill’ Brough
Judicial Votes: (Based on who appointed them & Judgepedia.org)
Supreme - Goodwin Liu - Vote NO
Supreme - Mariano Cuellar - Vote NO
Supreme - Kathryn Werdegar - Vote YES
Appellate 4th - Terry O Rourke - Vote YES
Appellate 4th - Gilbert Nares - Vote NO
Appellate 4th - Alex McDonald - Vote YES
Appellate 4th - James McIntyre - Vote YES
Appellate 4th - Thomas Hellenhorst - Vote NO
Appellate 4th - Kathleen O Leary - Vote NO
Appellate 4th - William Rylaarsdam - Vote YES
Appellate 4th - Richard Aronson - Vote YES
Appellate 4th - David Thompson - Vote NO
Appellate 4th - Richard Fybel - Vote NO
Judge of Superior Court Office 14 - Kevin Haskins
General Election State Ballot Measures
Issue: Proposition 1 (BOND REFERENDUM)
Summary: Water Bond $7.5 Billion for Water Quality, Supply, Treatment and Storage
Narrative: We have water problems in this desert called California in which we live. The problems seem to me to be primarily storage and allocation. I would vote for $7.5 Billion to be spent addressing just those two issues. In this case, the funds would be used to manage water supplies ($2.7B), protect and restore wetlands ($2.3B), improve water quality ($520M), and increase flood protection ($395M). Thus only about 1/3 of the money would be used to solve our two big problems.
Vote No. Bond = Tax: in this case another $360M Per Year for the next 40 years. In a state where the Governor brags about a potential $850M surplus - this is a lot of money.
Issue: Proposition 2 (LEGISLATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.)
Summary: State Budget & Budget Stabilization Account
Narrative: Sit down, I have some bad news. Our great state has for the last 40 years overspent and under-saved. We have about $300B in outstanding debt - NOT INCLUDING UNNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITIES. This provision amounts to spit in the ocean but it points us in the right direction by setting aside 1.5% of general revenue in the Budget Surplus Account. That money MUST be used to pay down debt and unfunded liabilities.
Vote Yes. Potentially we could pay down $5.5B/year for the next 15 years - at which point the debt payment requirements expire. Chipping $82.5B off our debt is a good start.
Issue: Proposition 45 (INITIATIVE. STATUTE)
Summary: Healthcare Insurance, Rate Changes
Narrative: You know how the last time you got your auto insurance bill you said out loud in a voice filled with excitement and wonder, ‘wow, I can’t believe how much the Insurance Commissioner of CA saved me this year!’ Well now the same Insurance Commissioner of CA wants to do the same for your health insurance - and of course by ‘do the same’ I mean do nothing.
What keeps the price of goods and services in check is competition. Thank Mercury & Geico for keeping auto insurance rates in check - not the commissioner. We need a ‘Geico’ of health insurance but all these regulations and agencies are stifling healthy competition. We already have three (yes three…3, the number just above 2) insurance regulators in CA: CA Dept of Insurance, CA Department of Managed Health Care & the new kid on the block, Covered CA Exchange. Giving the Insurance Commissioner (an office we voted to create in ’88 - my first election) even more power is such a bad idea even Covered CA opposes it.
Vote No. I only wish voting No would repeal our 1988 vote to have an insurance commissioner and the ACA that spawned Covered CA - an ironic title if ever there was one. However, a NO vote will only help maintain what little competition remains in health insurance.
Issue: Proposition 46 (INITIATIVE. STATUTE.)
Summary: DRUG & ALCOHOL TESTING OF DOCTORS, MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE LAWSUITS
Narrative: Tonight on ESPN it’s the GRUDGE MATCH OF THE CENTURY!! Two parties will enter the Octagon but only one party will be left standing. Get your popcorn and soda and sit back because its going to be a long violent ride when the…..LAWYERS vs DOCTORS begins!!
This is the sneakiest most disingenuous proposition I have covered in my voting guides - and that is saying a lot because I think Prop 1 is pretty disingenuous.
Forget about the drug testing of doctors - that is the pretense for this bill. That’s the sheep’s clothing that gets the wolf in the pen thingy where the sheep are. I’m a city slicker.
The wolves are the lawyers. They want money and sheep. Mostly money. There are two ways to get money in a personal injury (PI) lawsuit: Economic Damages & Non-Economic Damages aka Pain & Suffering. There is no limit on Economic Damages. There is a $250,000 limit set on Non-Economic Damages or that is to say, no matter how much pain, no matter how much suffering the most you can be awarded is $250,000 - per the 1975 MICRA legislation.
Herein lies the irony of this bill.
If the lawyers had just come out and said, ‘hey, that $250K for pain and suffering is from 1975 and in today’s dollars would be equal to $57,600 and we think it should be inflation adjusted to $1.1M present day and annually going forward’ - I would have said, ‘Vote yes. That seems fair and reasonable.’ But they didn’t so I’m not saying that. Stupid wolves.
The lawyers didn’t do that. Instead they tied in mandatory drug testing of doctors, by hospitals - which are singled out as the party responsible for the testing. What if they don’t comply? What if they comply but mistakes are still made? Lawyers have a new group to sue - hospitals.
For good measure the lawyers tossed in that Doctors must report other Doctors. What if they don’t? Ta Da - another new group to sue.
Finally, to make it really worth their investment the lawyers throw in a requirement of doctors to check a state database of prescriptions to make sure that their patient isn't getting multiple prescriptions for the same drug like Oxytocin. What happens if a guy high on Oxy kills someone in a car wreck? Do you think he has insurance? No… BUT the lawyers know the doctors have insurance and assets so if they can pin some blame on them - ta da, they win again.
It’s these additional provisions that kill the bill.
Vote NO this bill is evil.
Issue: Proposition 47 (INITIATIVE. STATUTE)
Summary: CRIMINAL SENTENCES. MISDEMEANOR PENALTIES
Narrative: Crime is down in CA. That is at least partly due to our strict sentencing guidelines. Prop 47 would change non-violent felonies to misdemeanors. More importantly, as stated by
‘Prop. 47 would permit resentencing for anyone currently serving a prison sentence for any of the offenses reclassified in Prop. 47 as misdemeanors, and certain offenders who have already completed a sentence for one of those felonies may apply to the court to have their convictions changed to misdemeanors.’
So the car thieves, cat burglars, check forgers, ID stealers & drug dealers could be resentenced and released as misdemeanor offenders thus no longer requiring monitoring and supervision.
Vote NO I may change the introduction to my voter’s guide to include, ‘I like my criminals incarcerated.’
Issue: Proposition 48 (REFERENDUM.)
Summary: INDIAN GAMING COMPACTS
Recommendation: YES or NO or WHO CARES
Narrative: When whitey screwed the red man the one thing he gave them was land. Of course, it was barren waste land but they got land and eventually got approval to allow casinos and gambling on their land. A couple of tribes got very small allocations of land that are so remote that there is no room and it makes no sense to build a casino there. Two tribes have asked for an exception to the law that would allow them to buy new land and build a casino on it. I’m inclined to vote yes because it has seemingly been good for the tribes and a good source of revenue for CA.
However, if you believe in a slippery slope this is potentially precedent setting. While this purchase is of land in Madera County what stops a bigger more successful tribe from purchasing the Ontario Mills Shopping Center and building a giant casino there? After all, there is precedent for a tribe buying land and it becoming approved for gambling.
Vote Yes or No - It depends on how you feel about Indian gaming and the slippery slope.
Orange County / SJC Voting Summary
US Representative District 49 ………………. Darrel Issa (R) (Many of us were in Ken Calvert’s district but have been redistricted based on 2010 census data and new redistricting guidelines.)
State Assembly 73rd District. Diane Harkey
County Supervisor…………… Robert Ming
City of SJC City Council…
Kramer (Submarine Captain)
Frisch (Insurance Agent)