Loading...

Endorsements 

Comments

Also check out our handy print-out voter's guide.

Alongside several endorsements, we’ve run this illustration, signifying that our choice in the particular race is the lesser of two evils or just one of life’s gloomier compromises.

The New (Not Necessarily Improved) Rules of the Game

Related Stories

  • How to Vote 8

    You know the incumbents. So our June 3 voter guide is about the other stuff - like a comedic race for judge featuring candidates so bad the bar association finds both "Not Qualified." One is Charles Calderon, who L.A. Weekly previously reported as one of the worst legislators in California. There's...
  • Warning, Warning

    The U.S. Geological Survey has an amazing earthquake-warning system, and it works. The problem is, the system is still a prototype, and only a precious few people and institutions are privy to the warnings. The issue is cash. Experts say it will take a $38 million upfront investment and $16...
  • Marianne Williamson Aims to Defeat Henry Waxman 8

    Marianne Williamson doesn't like most articles about her. She seems to remember every slight, every snarky subhead that called her a shaman, a prophet, an ex–lounge singer. "The press creates a caricature," she says. Take, for example, the most recent headline from The New York Times: "Marianne Williamson, New-Age Guru,...
  • Cali Lives Strong

    Californians spend more in federal taxes than they receive back in services. And the same can be said for healthcare. According to an analysis by personal finance site WalletHub, California barely makes the top 20 (number 19) among states when it comes to "return on investment" (ROI) for healthcare costs...
  • We Wish We All Could Be Caprice's Kind of California Girl

    “This is myself with my best friend at the time, frying my skin," says the across-the-pond celebrity Caprice Bourret while looking at old photos, nibbling a scone at high tea at the Culver Hotel. "I used to be such a California girl. I used to fry. Hawaiian Tropic, no sunscreen at all."...

It’s been less than four weeks since New Hampshire voted, but somehow the California primary is already upon us. This year’s primary not only comes three months earlier than ever before; it’s also been re-configured. For the first time in a presidential year, voters will participate in a blanket primary, in which all candidates of all parties will appear on every ballot and voters may cast their vote for any of them, regardless of party.

But before you decide to vote outside your party, you should know this: While the total votes cast for the candidates will be tallied and announced, only the votes of Democrats for Democrats will be counted in the apportionment of delegates to the Democratic Convention; likewise with Republicans. Despite passage of a California ballot initiative for open primaries, the two major parties have informed the state’s election officer that delegates selected by non–party members — for instance, by Demo crats who cast their ballot for Republican John McCain — will not be seated at the convention. McCain might get more votes than George W. Bush overall, but if Bush prevails on the Republican coded ballots, he will win every one of the state’s Republican delegates.

For every other office on the ballot, however, a vote is a vote is a vote. Republicans crossing over to vote, say, for Democrat Adam Schiff in his challenge to Republican Congressman (and former House Prosecutor) James Rogan will have their votes counted along with everyone else’s. Democrats crossing over to vote for Rogan will have their votes counted, too, though they risk spending eternity in the fires of hell.

That said, here are our primary recommendations:

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES — BILL BRADLEY

This year’s election takes place in a political environment unlike any we’ve known for many decades. For the first time in eons, the government is running a surplus, and is projected to do so for years to come. That means that the fundamental question for American public policy has become what to do with this unexpected bounty. The options range from cutting taxes on the rich (the Bush position), to paying down the debt and shoring up existing programs (the party line of both Gore and McCain), to initiating new programs — such as universal health insurance — to meet our vast unmet needs (the Bradley approach).

This doesn’t obviate, of course, the significance of the differences among the candidates on questions of choice, gun control, defense policy, environmental protections, campaign-finance reform and so forth. But when candidates agree on these issues — as Al Gore and Bill Bradley generally do — then the question of how we use the opportunity that our prosperity affords us becomes decisive. Bill Bradley’s priority is to use the surplus to reduce the grotesque inequalities that characterize our time. On this paramount issue, he’s the only major candidate who’s got it right — and the candidate who wins our support.

Now, if only he had a snowball’s chance . . .

Clearly, the man of the moment in American politics is Republican John McCain. To his credit, the Arizona senator has pushed the GOP toward the center of the political spectrum. Against the ferocious opposition of his Republican Senate colleagues, he has allied himself with Democratic progressives to fight for campaign-finance reform and controls on big tobacco. He has opposed Boy George’s proposal to return the projected budget surplus to the wealthy in the form of tax cuts, and he’s gone so far as to suggest that the government might even be able to spend that money wisely. Rejecting the mania for English-only, he’s been a staunch supporter of bilingual education. With winks and nods, he’s suggested he’s a more tolerant conservative than his rivals on issues of choice. And by beating Bush in New Hampshire and Michigan, he has shown that millions of rank-and-file Republicans want the GOP to lose its obsession with feeding the rich, smashing the state and censuring sex lives. McCain has pushed a sizable chunk of the electorate away from a politics of abject lunacy, which is no small achievement.

And if that were all there was to John McCain, we’d think long and hard about recommending him to our readers. Alas, there’s more.

McCain is a conservative Republican, an Arizona Republican, a Goldwater Republican — and while he shares some of Barry’s centrist heterodoxy, he shares even more of his right-wing orthodoxy. McCain voted 82 times in the course of his Senate career against bills securing a woman’s right to choose. He voted against legislation that would have protected physicians and women from violent assaults at family-planning clinics and doctors’ offices. Though McCain speaks reverentially of Theodore Roosevelt, his record on environmental protection couldn’t be further from T.R.’s. In 1998, McCain received a flat zero from the League of Conservation Voters — meaning he didn’t support a single significant environmental measure that came before Congress. On the Hill, and on the campaign trail today, McCain’s an unwavering opponent of gun control, voting against the ban on assault weapons, and even against legislation that banned the sale of guns designed to evade airport-security checks.

Related Content

Now Trending

Los Angeles Concert Tickets

Slideshows

  • Street League Skateboarding Super Crown World Championship
    On Sunday, Street League Skateboarding touched down in the Galen Center at USC as part of a four-stop tour for SLS's Super Crown World Championship. The L.A. stop determined the roster for Super Crown, airing August 24th on FOX Sports 1. The final eight are Nyjah Huston, Luan Oliveira, Torey Pudwill, Shane O'Neill, Paul Rodriguez, Chaz Ortiz, Matt Berger and Ishod Wair. All photos by Nanette Gonzales.
  • Comic-Con's "Celebrity" Autograph Area
    A sometimes overlooked (but still incredibly unique) aspect of San Diego Comic-Con are the celebs available to sign autographs, as well as the autograph seekers themselves. If you've ever wanted to meet the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld or the guy who played Michelangelo in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, chances are, as you wander the Autograph Area, you'll be able to connect with someone you didn't even realize you were waiting your whole life to meet! All photos by Rob Inderrieden.
  • Real Madrid Soccer Practice at UCLA
    Fans came out to greet world champion soccer team Real Madrid as they practice at UCLA. This is the first time that soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo has practiced with the team this year. All photos by Jeff Cowan.