Conan Neutron Voting Guide – Nov. 2016 – General Election


Vote 2016
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PRESIDENT
Hillary Clinton
SENATE
US Senate: Kamala Harris
CONGRESS
 US House, District 13: Barbara Lee
US House, District 17: No Endorsement (Honda v. Khanna)
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE
State Senate, District 9: Nancy Skinner
State Senate, District 11: Jane Kim
State Assembly, District 18: No endorsement (Rob Bonta)
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE
Office No. 1: Scott Jackson
AC TRANSIT DIRECTOR, AT LARGE
Chris Peeples
AC TRANSIT DISTRICT DIRECTOR, WARD 2
Greg Harper
EAST BAY REGIONAL DISTRICT DIRECTOR, WARD 2
Audree Jones-Taylor
BART BOARD OF DIRECTORS
District 1: Gail Murray
District 3: Rebecca Saltzman
Distrct 5: John McPartland
District 7: Lateefah Simon
CITY COUNCIL
At -Large- Rebecca Kaplan RCV
CITY ATTORNEY
Barbara Parker (Unopposed)
SCHOOL BOARD:
District 1: Don Macleay
PROPOSITIONS
STATE
51: No – School Construction & Repair Bond
52: Yes – Medi-Cal Matching Fees
53: HELL NO – Require Even More Bonds on the Ballot
54: Yes – Publish Bills 72 Hours Before a Vote
55: No – Extension of Income Tax on the 1%
56: Yes – Tax E-cigs & tax Cigarettes more.
57: HELL YES- Progressive Parole Reform
58: Yes – Allow Multilingual Education in Public Schools
59: Yes – Citizens United Sucks
60: HELL NO – Moralizing Crusade to Require Condoms in Adult Films
61: YES  – Prescription Drug Pricing Change
62: HELL YES – Repeal the Death Penalty
63: Yes – Gavin Newsom’s Vanity Gun Control Prop
64: HELL YES!!! – Marijuana Legalization
65: No – Redirect Money from the Disposable Bag Fee
66: HELL NO!!!! – Kill people faster with the Death Penalty
67: Yes – Protect the Plastic Bag Ban
LOCAL
Alameda County:
A1: Yes – Affordable Housing
City of Alameda:
B1: Yes – Extend Parcel tax for Schools
AC Transit:
C1: Yes – Mass Transit is cool
City of Oakland
G1: Yes – School District Parcel Tax
HH: Yes – Soda Tax
II: Yes – Maximum Lease time of city-owned real properties
JJ: YES!!! – Renter’s rights, and just cause, approval to raise rents.
KK: Yes – Pedestrian Infrastructure Bond
LL: YES!!!! –  charter amendment for citizen oversight of police department
BART
RR: Yes – More mass transit, uneasy
EXPLAIN YOURSELF!!!!
Vote 2016
PRESIDENT
Hillary Clinton
I’m so ready for this to be over, I truly am.
Look: I sucked it up and voted for Kerry / Edwards in 2004 and the third party choices were better that year and the Democratic Candidate weaker. Yet i’m still gnashing teeth because the primary and what Bernie built… look, you get it.
I don’t like Jill Stein, the anti-vaxx stuff is blown out of proportion (she really questions the FDAs role in it and approval, it’s a sane stance), but she is just annoying. She was in an annoying folk group, she plays those annoying hippie drums. She’s annoying! Like most of the things I dislike about the Green Party in one candidate, she’s ivory tower progressive personified, and the best thing about this cycle is that it’s made a Green Party candidate actually speak out on foreign policy beyond “don’t wage war”. As for Gary Johnson… come on… he has not fared well in this era of greater scrutiny. Enough said. Even Bill Weld knows what time it is.
So here I am, advocating for Hillary freaking Clinton. Yeah, I know.
Here’s why: we need to strike a blow for critical thinking, we need to strike a blow against what these years of Tea Party style over-represented white rage represent. It sucks that the champion has to be her, i’m sorry I’ve been listening to the arguments for her for years, I just don’t buy it. I yearn to be proven wrong.
I don’t know if Clinton deserves to win, but Drumpf and the Republicans *DEFINITELY* deserve to lose.
The one thing I LOVE about her is that she’s a ruthless tactician that won’t expect camaraderie and bipartisanship, she will treat it like the blood sport it is and give them the lack of mercy that they have earned. That, I look forward to, it’s been earned.
So that pisses off all of my Green and Libertarian friends, now let me irritate all of the Democratic party regulars and the beltway types I know.
Votes are earned, period.
If you don’t live in a swing state, vote for whoever you want and don’t let anybody guilt you otherwise. . Votes are earned, not transferred.
Don’t listen. IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN A SWING STATE.
If you do. Well, I’m going to ask you to suck it up.
I do think that an election where Clinton wins the electoral college and Drumpf wins the popular vote would be one of the worst possible scenarios I can envision, but don’t let anybody harangue you into voting for somebody you don’t want to. Me? I feel like we need to strike a blow for critical thinking, and insanely that means voting FOR Hillary Clinton.
She doesn’t need to be your favorite, she doesn’t need to be your ideal. You just have to realize that she is the bulwark against this heinous anti-intellectualism, sexist, racist, classist bullshit that we have going on. It’s not enough for that crap to lose, it needs to lose big.
That’s what this election cycle has done, the tire fire needs to go out. Drumpf’s supporters will not go away when he loses, neither will Drumpf… but we need a reset. Look: at this point i’m sure you made up your mind long ago, let’s just get this over with, ok?
She’ll probably be fine, let’s give her the benefit of the doubt and make sure we keep the progressive pressure on, ok?
SENATE
US Senate: Kamala Harris
Everytime I endorse Kamala Harris, I’m a little less enthusiastic about it. She’s so careful, so painfully preparing for the next step up. It’s really annoying. She’s by far the better candidate of the two Democrats. Sanchez would be acceptable in a purple state or red state… but for me she’s a little too nutty. I also wish it was Feinstein retiring instead of Boxer, but hey… we’re at, where we are at. I’m sure Harris will be a fine Senator that will situate herself nicely for whatever her next thing is.
Oh yeah, here’s what I said in June when these two faced off in the primaries:
“What’d I say last time?:
“An attorney general who is against the Death Penalty. Yes! Still pisses me off she has taken little action against the Federal stomping on the Marijuana trade, but she is a dece AG. I wish she would take a stronger stance against the death penalty and for legalization of the weed. But, she has her eyes on bigger things. That’s fine. She’ll be good at that too.”Yeah, that’ll do. If she gets the Senate seat expect to hear a lot from Kamala Harris for years to come.

I think it’s fantastic that in a sea of white men in the Senate, California has regularly had two ladies representing us. Too bad one of them is Feinstein. Heh.

Kamala is easily the best of a huge field, Loretta Sanchez would be a great candidate for like: Arizona or something. Not California. I think it’s just fine that some of the rowdier parts of the left are all worked up about Harris. The one thing that gives me pause is the Eastbay cell phone surveillance plan she supported. That sucks.
At least there’s no Schwarzenegger this time.”
CONGRESS
US House, District 13: Barbara Lee
How great that one of the most awesome and brave progressive voices is my congressperson. She’s great. Someday she will retire, and that day will be sad… until then!
US House, District 17: No Endorsement (Honda v. Khanna)
Honda has some serious ethics issues, Khanna is totally the candidate of new tech. That’s the way the district is going. I’m glad I don’t live in this district and have to make a choice.
CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE
State Senate, District 9: Nancy Skinner
I endorsed Nancy in June:
“I like Sandre Swanson, I’ve just never seen him do that much. It’s by a nose. Practically a coin flip with these two.
I hear a lot of talk about how Nancy Skinner both is and could BE a big Democratic leader though, and that’s what we need.
So i’m willing to take the plunge on this.
As an aside: I hate how people just switch around jobs with these statehouse roles. Annoying.”
State Senate, District 11: Jane Kim
Jane rules, look it up. She’s the real deal.
State Assembly, District 18: No endorsement (Rob Bonta)
I don’t like Bonta, i’ve gone on and on about it. I just think he’s boring, he’s a “loyal Democrat” for whatever that means. BAH!
SUPERIOR COURT JUDGE
Office No. 1: Scott Jackson
Barbara Thomas is a vocal and active critic of rent control, I saw and talked to Scott Jackson at a Bernie Sanders rally.
Jackson.
AC TRANSIT DIRECTOR, AT LARGE
Chris Peeples
Seems to get how utterly boned AC Transit’s finances are.
AC TRANSIT DISTRICT DIRECTOR, WARD 2
Greg Harper
Same.
EAST BAY REGIONAL DISTRICT DIRECTOR, WARD 2
Audree Jones-Taylor
BART BOARD OF DIRECTORS
District 1: Gail Murray
Her opponent Debora Allen has all the wrong ideas and takes money from anti-labor Senators.
District 3: Rebecca Saltzman
Great on the environment and seems to actually listen about racial justice and police accountability.
Distrct 5: John McPartland
I don’t like the guy, but his opponent is worst, another big time anti-labor zealot.
District 7: Lateefah Simon
Easily the best choice of this bunch, focus on making BART affordable, hold the police accountable and pretty darn good on labor issues.
CITY COUNCIL
At -Large- Rebecca Kaplan RCV
This one pisses me off, because Rebecca Kaplan is easily one of the best public servants I know, and just because she isn’t a rubber stamp for St. Libby and her tech agenda she has a well funded candidate in the likes of Peggy Moore trying to come after her seat. I still think she would have made  better mayor than Quan OR Schaff. Rebecca is always around to protect renters, to make sure the police aren’t running rampant and to generally be a force of extreme good. She does incredible work on a regular basis and doesn’t just do whatever the mayor wants. People (like the East Bay Times) get bummed out about her political ambitions. That’s foolish. She thinks big picture, and we’d be lucky to have her in any role.
Peggy Moore might very well be a great elected official at some point, but not this cycle and not this election. Kaplan not only doesn’t deserve to be fired, we NEED HER in there.
It’s RCV so you can also vote for Moore or Bruce Quan if you really want, but I left the other two spots blank in progress. Rebecca is the only one I want in there.
CITY ATTORNEY
Barbara Parker (Unopposed)
Well, that makes it easy doesn’t it?
SCHOOL BOARD:
District 1: Don Macleay
One of the most thoughtful and forward thinking guys i’ve ever met that run for public office. I met Don when I worked for Rebecca Kaplan’s mayoral run, he ran against her. He is honorable, has good ideas and is just downright great guy. The school board would be *LUCKY* to have somebody like Don Macleay on there and he deserves serious consideration and your vote if you live in this district.
This is the only school board election i’m weighing in on.
PROPOSITIONS
STATE
51: No – School Construction & Repair Bond
This one hurts, because we need it and we need it bad. However, it is costly and lacks protections to ensure that it will go to where it is truly needed. Construction companies will make out nicely, schools won’t. I’m with Jerry Brown on this. NOPE.
52: Yes – Medi-Cal Matching Fees
Use Federal dollars to pay for Med-Cal. That’s it. Seriously. It’s wonky and not-controversial. Vote Yes.
Easy.
53: HELL NO – Require Even More Bonds on the Ballot
COME. ON. Let me make this real simple, do you think there aren’t enough things to vote on in this election and every election? If that is the case, have I got the proposition for you. Look: to be a voter in California you have to do more research than a first year State Senate aide anyway, but this poorly constructed measure is going to make it even worse. This is nonsense. Not just no, but HELL NO.
54: Yes – Publish Bills 72 Hours Before a Vote
An excellent modernized good government procedure, it’ll dissuade the legislature from gutting bills at the last minute and let people know what these congress critters are up to. I mean, for Pete’s sake, with the amount of stuff we vote on every election i’m not sure what we are paying these people for anyway. Transparency sounds ok by me, there’s a lot of action that can be taken in 72 hours these days.
55: No – Extension of Income Tax on the 1%
Whaaaaa? What do you mean “NO”. As a good liberal aren’t I always supposed to support taxing the 1%. Well yes, but this was sold as a TEMPORARY tax for four years. Yeah, it’s still a problem… but people voted for it for that four year period. Here is what I wrote four years ago:
” Raises income taxes on top 2% for schools and vital services, quarter cent sales tax.
We love not paying for things in California! Schools are boned right now, I mean really boned. Sales tax is regressive, which I don’t care for. And I think the top 2% spend a lot of money NOT paying their taxes for the most part. But what the hell dude? State is broke. Sure could use those billions Enron defrauded California for ten years ago now, eh? Raise it. ¼ cent over 4 years is worth it.
That’s the key, worth it. And four years we have had this tax. It was sold to us as that time period though. A temporary tax, I love what it goes for but it is disingenuous to talk about it as “not raising taxes any more then they already are.” that is taking advantage of people’s short memories and the absolutely brutal amount of things we need to vote on every year. It also ties into a serious frame that right wingers have about taxation and the progressive left, that it isn’t tactical it’s punitive.
Maybe you disagree. The schools STILL need it and we still love to not pay for things.
I voted against it though.
56: Yes – Tax E-cigs & tax Cigarettes more.
Sin taxes bum me out. But kids are vaping, and lots of them. Teen smoking is WAY up.
I also personally find all tobacco usage deplorable and hateful.
Your mileage may vary. I know my vote was cancelled out in our household.
57: HELL YES- Progressive Parole Reform
Sensible criminal justice reform. This provides motivation for nonviolent offenders to better themselves. The scaremongers out there focus exclusively on the lack of clarity for who qualifies, but the fact remains that the “tough on crime” crowd went way, way, way too far. And why? Prisons make money. Period. This doesn’t just put criminals on the streets, it allows those that have worked to rehabilitate themselves and have shown good behavior to go before the parole board and have a chance at life. In 2011 the Supreme Court said that California prison conditions constituted cruel and unusual punishment. It’s a cold heart, or somebody letting themselves be ruled by fear that votes against this.
58: Yes – Allow Multilingual Education in Public Schools
ok, back in 1998 there was a really weird kind of xenophobix, proto-Trumpster propr that prohibited non-English languages from being used in public schools. The “speak English or die” crowd doesn’t want to admit that bilingual classrooms WORK. This prop allows educators and officials to make the choice of how they want to proceed with their methods. It should pass.
59: Yes – Citizens United Sucks
Absolutely non-binding and symbolic. But it does suck, sure! Let’s send a message about it… I guess.
60: HELL NO – Moralizing Crusade to Require Condoms in Adult Films
This is a big, fat HELL NO! So bad. Porn “actors” are already required to be tested for STDs every 14 days. The system works.
Again, I don’t even care about Porn, but making a state funded office that gets to be a porn magnate to approve who is and is not “doing it right.” that sounds like something out of a Parks and Recreation episode.
61: YES  – Prescription Drug Pricing Change
End price gouging by big pharma.
Man, look at who is against this, it’s a Murderer’s row of people like Martin Shkreli. Yeah, there are some unknowns here, but the orgy of profit that the pharmaceutical industry has been engaging in has to end. We have to send a message. Stand with me and Bernie Sanders and vote yes on this one.
62: HELL YES – Repeal the Death Penalty
The Government should not be in the business of killing people. Period. Full stop.
The only way you can rationalize the Death Penalty is if you think the justice system has never gotten it wrong. That has been proven untrue again, and again.
Life without possibility of parole is another big moral issue, but we need to step up and join other civilized societies and stop killing people.
63: Yes – Gavin Newsom’s Gun Control Prop
This really doesn’t do all that much, but allow Newsom to take credit for some other legislation that kind of does the same thing. I’m not even sure if this kind of gun control is the answer, but fuck’s sake… we have to do something. So, YES.
64: HELL YES!!! – Marijuana Legalization
Listen, the time has come. There are a lot of selfish and dumb arguments against it floating around. All almost exclusively by people who serve to profit from the way things are.
This isn’t how you do progress. FIRST you end prohibition, THEN you can amend the law to be what you want.
Anything else is utterly short sighted and selfish.
And saying you should let the legislature craft it? What a cop out! Why don’t you just stand over there and wait for Godot.
This is one of the best examples I can think of for the horribly flawed and frequently terrible direct democracy process and we are blowing it AGAIN.
This one is way better than the one we voted down, and i’m still hearing the same tired arguments against it.
Yeah, there will be some big box style folks competing, I wish there were anti-trust provisions.
Legalize it, tax it. Be on the right side of history.
END PROHIBITION AND REFORM THE LAW, THAT IS HOW GROWN UPS DO IT.
65: No – Redirect Money from the Disposable Bag Fee
No, this prop is a stalking horse.
66: HELL NO!!!! – Kill people faster with the Death Penalty
Insane, do you think we don’t kill people fast enough? Well! this is your proposition.
NO!
67: Yes – Protect the Plastic Bag Ban
Plastic bags suck. They are awful. Uphold the ban.
LOCAL
Alameda County:
A1: Yes – Affordable Housing
Property taxes will go up for this, but it makes affordable housing. I’ve never seen an affordable housing crisis like what is happening here. This will make it harder on home owners, but it needs to happen.
City of Alameda:
B1: Yes – Extend Parcel tax for Schools
Reauth a parcel tax that already exists.
A no vote means schools lose $12 million. It sucks that we have to fund the schools this way, but for this one we press on.
AC Transit:
C1: Yes – Mass Transit is cool
We need to invest in mass transit, we need to get more cars off the road where we can.
Again, with the parcel taxes… I feel bad for homeowners, but if you own property in the bay right now, you shouldn’t be in that bad of a spot.
City of Oakland
G1: Yes – School District Parcel Tax
There is literally no argument against this one. Yes.
HH: Yes – Soda Tax
I hate that this election has made me radicalized about something I DON’T CARE ABOUT. I don’t drink soft drinks. I haven’t in almost 20 years. We have been inundated with ads and mailers about the “grocery tax.”. NO! It’s a tax on soft drinks. Berkeley did it and it’s been a huge success. Yes, it’s regressive, but the campaign against it is so obnoxious that anybody even remotely contrarian would want to vote for it on general principle. I truly don’t care, but I want them to lose.
II: Yes – Maximum Lease time of city-owned real properties
Change city owned lease time from 66 years to 99 years. IT assists developers of affordable housing to more easily get the money they need to get the projects done. We need it. There is literally no argument against it.
JJ: YES!!! – Renter’s rights, and just cause, approval to raise rents.
This one is wonky, but worthwhile. Landlords need approval before raising rents more than COLA allowed in the city. Right now, Oakland has some of the weakest rent control in the bay and it shows. I know a lot of people personally that have been forced out because the rent keeps going up thanks to the dot com influx. Heck! If our rent was raised, we would have to leave. This is very necessary. An absolute YES!
KK: Yes – Pedestrian Infrastructure Bond
Sure.
LL: YES!!!! – charter amendment for citizen oversight of police department
OMG YES! Look: it’s been scandal after scandal with the OPD. They managed to go from being a sympathetic overworked agency, to seeming like something out of the Shield. I mean, the prostitution stuff? Three Police Chiefs in a week? Preposterous. Oakland always has it’s negatives amplified and it’s positives downplayed, but in this case it’s dead on. Citizen oversight NOW. Clean out the rot. ’nuff said.
BART
RR: Yes – More mass transit, uneasy
Yeah, I wrote uneasy there, because it makes me uneasy. $3.5 billion is a lot of money and frankly, I think the BART board can be kind of snakey. They the worst parts of a for profit entity and the worst parts of government. I totally get anybody wanting to vote no on it, and it was darn close to a coin flip for me. That said: public transit is important, so I said: Vote yes.