You also might want to visit our last-minute cheat sheet, covering many Statewide and Local races.
UPDATE: For information on the November 2014 General Election, see our coverage here.
By Doug Porter
There are so many decisions to make. My voting district’s mail-in ballot for the June 3, 2014 election has 26 choices to be made. Opening that envelope made me realize I could no longer put off writing this series…
The fictional (activist) fairy on my shoulder says,“Say it loud & say it proud! Voting is the most fundamental duty of every citizen. Do it for truth, justice and the American way.”
The pretend (procrastinator) demon on my other shoulder says “Ugh. I’d rather watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer re-runs.”
So here we go…Today we’ll take a look at the top statewide contests. Actual SDFP endorsements will be in another article, though I doubt you’ll much trouble figuring out which way I personally lean.
Remember, California has a top-two primary system, in which the top two vote-getters, regardless of party, go on to the general election. You’ll note there are no GOP endorsed candidates for some statewide offices, due to a party rule against blessing candidates in races with more than one Republican running. (For even more of our June 2014 primary coverage, go here.)
♦ = party endorsement ♣ = labor endorsement ∇ = Dems for Equality endorsement
Governor – The Front Runners
Say What? It’s a shoo-in for Gov. Brown.
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
It tells you how completely California has become a one-party state that practically no one in Sacramento believes that a Republican can beat Gov. Jerry Brown in November. But GOP big shots think it is very important which Republican loses to Brown, 76, in November – former Treasury official Neel Kashkari or Assemblyman Tim Donnelly of Twin Peaks (San Bernardino County).
(Incumbent, Democrat ♦ ♣ ∇ )
Headed for his fourth term, walking just right of the line between the corporate and activist wings of the party. Your perception may vary. Seek immediate help if you start seeing his aura. He will win this primary. The only real question here is who will come in second.
If his last name was only Smith or Jones, he’d have a shot at using this contest to position himself for some opportunity down the road. He’s the “reasonable” Republican in this race, even if his TV commercials depict him swinging an axe at a toy train. Although Kashkari was born in the Midwest and served in the Bush administration, he’s an Indian (the sub-continent)-American and a Hindu to boot, which makes him one of “those people” in Tea Party parlance. Polls last month showed Kashkari trailing a convicted sex offender.
A certifiable right-wing nutjob. Former Minuteman leader, gun nut and purveyor of Tea Party conspiracy theories. Busted for trying to smuggle (he forgot) a gun onto a commercial airliner. He was the clear favorite at the March 2014 GOP convention. I think it would be great if Donnelly “won” (came in second) as it would likely suppress Republican voter turnout in November. And he’s not a racist.
(Business Owner, Republican)
He argues that his ten years in state prison following his conviction for intent to commit rape, assault, and voluntary manslaughter gives him the necessary experience to deal with politicians. I guess his arrest for loitering to solicit a prostitute qualifies him to deal with lobbyists. His no contest plea in a voluntary manslaughter case after running into a man with his car will prove he can be tough on opponents. Seriously, this guy is running around the state posing for pictures with a bible in his hand saying he’s found Jesus. And he’s polling in second place behind Tim Donnelly.
The Rest of the Pack
(Author/Community, Green Party ♦ Endorsed)
(Anti-War Activist, Peace and Freedom)
http://www.cindy2014.org (Yes, she’s That Cindy Sheehan)
(Doctoral student, Democrat)
Alama Marie Winston
(Project Funding CEO, Republican)
(Mayor of Laguna Hills, Republican)
www.andrewblount.com *Has withdrawn from the race, but is still on ballot
(Small Business Owner, No Party Preference)
(Minister/Business Owner, N0 Party Preference)
(Golf course operator, None)
Rakesh Kumar Christian
(Small Business Owner, None)
(Real Estate Investor, Republican)
http://aguirreforgovernor.com (Yes, he’s Mike Aguirre’s
brother nephew and OB resident. The GOP preference is what it says on the ballot)
(Psychologist, No Party Preference)
Say What? It’s a cushy job. Generally treated as a stepping stone in political careers.
The Lieutenant Governor of California is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch, and the first person in line to succeed the Governor of California. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years and is limited to two terms.
(Incumbent, Democrat ♦ ♣ ∇)
Former San Francisco Mayor, generally considered to be one of the rising stars in the Democratic Party. He runs a bit left of Gov. Brown on issues. Will win, big.
(Small Businessman/ Former California GOP Chair, Republican)
Via the San Francisco Chronicle:
Democratic strategist Sean Clegg, who advises Newsom, issued a statement on the announcement: “Ron Nehring has a curious resume for statewide office. He won zero statewide elections as Republican Chair while steering his party to the outer margins of irrelevancy with out-of-step positions on issues like marriage equality.”
(Scientist/ Small Businessman, Democrat)
George Yang –
(Software Developer, Republican)
(Student, Green Party)
(Security Guard, Peace and Freedom)
(City Commissioner/Engineer, Americans Elect/Reform Party)
Say what? Don’t let your eyes glaze over yet, the AG’s race is interesting & fun!
The Attorney General of California is the chief law officer of California and the state’s primary legal counsel. The attorney general “[sees] that the laws of the State are uniformly and adequately enforced” and prosecutes violations of state law through the California Department of Justice, which he oversees.
(Incumbent, Democrat ♦ ♣ ∇ )
Another rising star in the Democratic Party, who’s proven time and again she knows what’s expected of her if she wants to get ahead. For instance, she endorsed Bonnie Dumanis, ugh. Considering the rest of this pack, she’s an obvious shoo-in.
(Former State Senator/Attorney, Republican)
Via the Fresno Bee:
He proposed that state lawmakers who are found guilty of crimes that endanger the lives of others should face public execution by hanging, firing squad or lethal injection as a deterrent to others.
(Attorney/ 2012 U.S. Senate candidate, None)
The “Birther Queen”, who takes time out from her various careers as a lawyer, dentist and real estate agent to repeatedly file losing lawsuits challenging Barack Obama’s right to be president.. Taitz’s says that as attorney general she would prosecute state officials who ignored evidence that Obama fabricated his birth certificate. Who says politics has to be boring?
(Retired State Prosecutor/Attorney, Republican)
(Attorney/Small Businessman, Republican)
http://www.jaech.info/ (Best website avatar)
The treasurer is the state’s banker, directed to “receive and keep in the vaults of the State Treasury or deposit in banks or credit unions all moneys belonging to the state…” He disburses funds to cover state expenditures based on warrants from the controller’s office, approves state bond issuances, and manages the state’s investments, including state employee pension funds.
(California Controller, Democrat ♦ ♣ ∇ )
As State Controller, he gained fame by having the audacity to actually enforce a constitutional requirement holding that legislators would not be paid if they failed to pass a balanced budget by June 15, 2011. Hissyfits ensued.
(Businessman/CPA, Republican ♦)
He’s been running for various offices since 2002. Never won.
(Attorney/ Public Banking Author, Green Party ♦ )
Here’s where it gets interesting. John Lawrence’s article here at SDFP explains her crusade to take public monies out of private institutions, saving taxpayers a bundle. Good idea, I think.
Secretary of State
Say What? Come on, Stay Focused! We’re almost done for today! Besides, this is the one office where a Republican has a snowball’s chance in hell of being elected. California’s Secretary of State isn’t normally the most exciting office, but this year it’s shaping up to be the most interesting and important statewide race for the primary election.
(Make it through this and I’ll throw in cute cats photo- No fair peeking)
The California Secretary of State is an elected state executive officer established by the California Constitution. He or she serves as the state’s chief election officer, keeps the state’s key documents including the constitution and Great Seal, and keeps the state archives. Additionally, the secretary of state registers businesses in the state, commissions notaries public and manages state ballot initiatives.
(Voting Rights Advocate, Democrat)
This is the guy who filed the complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission that revealed the dark and dirty money from the Koch Bros. (and others) flowing into state elections back in 2012. If you care about reversing the effects of the disastrous Citizens United decision, Derek is your man.
(State Senator, Democrat ∇ ♣)
A rising Latino star in the Democratic party, with more name recognition than most. A likely winner if Democrats vote down the ballot.
(State Employee, Republican)
He’s literally been rubber-stamping slogans on dollar bills as a marketing technique.
(Software developer, Democrat)
His thing is internet voting.
(Political Involvement Educator, None)
After functioning as a consultant to the GOP, Schnur switched his registration to independent in 2011. His campaign slogan is “Politics is too important to be left to the politicians”
David Scott Curtis
(Designer, Green Party ♦)
He was previously the 2010 Green Party candidate for Governor of Nevada.
(Ex-state Senator, BUSTED)
Yee remains on the ballot but is no longer an active candidate. Along with 25 others, he was busted via an FBI operation involving drugs, guns and arranging murder for hire. He coulda been a contender…
Tomorrow: Congressional and State Legislature Races, State and Local Ballot Propositions.
Thanks to the efforts of Brent Beltran, the San Diego Free Press now has an on-line calendar of events. You can see events in the arts, performances and political gatherings of every persuasion by clicking on the ‘Calendar’ Tab at the top of the page. To get your event listed, drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org
On This Day: 1963 - Bob Dylan walked out of dress rehearsals for “The Ed Sullivan Show” when CBS censors told him he could not perform “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.” 1970 – Ernie Banks, of the Chicago Cubs, hit his 500th home run. 2003 – In Texas, fifty-nine Democratic lawmakers went into hiding over a dispute with Republicans over a congressional redistricting plan.
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