By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
He’s an unremarkable legislator but a generally reliable Democratic vote to offset Schwarzenegger and his more conservative fellow Republicans.
Dymally offers an unusual combination of experience, savvy and a feel for community populism — as evident in his hearings on the shuttering of hospital services in poor communities. At age 78, the crafty Dymally still has something to offer — as long as you make sure he isn’t also picking your pocket or cutting a side deal.
Gordon, the former mayor of El Segundo, is best known for opposing plans to expand Los Angeles International Airport, which is what you’d expect from the mayor of El Segundo. Gordon hopes to replace termed-out Democrat George Nakano. Gordon’s a solid Dem, and on good terms with local business interests, which probably helps him in this South Bay swing district that could go Republican.
Karnette is termed out of the state Senate and is seeking to trade places, more or less, with fellow Democrat Alan Lowenthal. Karnette faces tough opposition in this Long Beach–area swing district from businessman Steve Kuykendall. The Dems want to hold this district; Karnette, at least, offers voters a name they’ve seen on the ballot before.
Oropeza is a former Long Beach school-board member and City Councilwoman who brought consistently progressive views with her to the Legislature as well as experience with transportation and budgeting issues.
He’s an unremarkable legislator but a generally reliable Democratic vote to offset Schwarzenegger and his more conservative fellow Republicans. (Yes, that’s also what we said about Jerome Horton. Were you expecting a lineup of Abe Lincolns?)
Chavez moved up the line as an elected official, from local school board to La Puente City Council to the Assembly, where he’s a pro-business Democrat whose rĂ©sumĂ© is thin when it comes to progressive achievements.
The most intriguing thing about Calderon is that he managed to blow a huge campaign war chest on staff trips to Las Vegas, not to mention consulting fees and campaign contributions to other Calderons. It’s all legal, but enough to make our endorsement as tepid as possible.
Proposition 1A — YES
A good chunk of the taxes that shoppers and homeowners in Los Angeles — maybe even you — pay to the county, which are supposed to be divided up between your city (to pay for cops, sweep the streets, open more libraries, plan and redevelop blighted areas, run an arts program or two), your county (more public safety, probation officers, health, parks, etc.) and your school districts, is grabbed each year by Sacramento to balance the state budget. The county taxes pay for important things in Sacramento, too — roads and bridges, more health, more public safety — but the Legislature and the governor have to learn to pay with what they have, and plan accordingly. This initiative would allow a raid on local funds only if the governor declares a fiscal emergency and if two-thirds of the Legislature approves. And then the money must be repaid within three years. We urge a “yes” vote, to make sure a fair share of local taxes is spent on local things by local officials. Locally. Where we can keep an eye on them.
Proposition 59 — YES
Should the people have the right to find out what their public officials are talking about with each other, how they are spending your tax money and what’s in the various government files they have squirreled away? Uh, yeah. No kidding. Vote for this. It moves to the state constitution several key laws that protect public access to state and local government meetings and records. The only official opposition comes from a guy who says it doesn’t go far enough. We can deal with that later. In the meantime, elected officials need a little reminder that their business is your business.
Proposition 60 — YES
See Proposition 62.
Proposition 60A — NO
This proposition requires that proceeds from the future sale of surplus state property be used to retire the bond debt voters authorized in March. Using the money this way could result in slightly faster repayment of that debt, thus saving a few million dollars. Of course, it’s also possible that there would be better uses for this money. Making that determination should be the job of the Legislature, not the subject of an initiative. This measure doesn’t belong on the ballot. It’s just political fluff for its backers. Vote “no.”
Proposition 61 — YES
Nearly all the state’s hospitals are confronting critical infrastructure challenges, children’s hospitals among them. This measure funds $750 million in bonds for construction at children’s hospitals. That sounds good to us, even though a more wide-ranging initiative, say, to retrofit all hospitals for earthquake safety, would have been welcome.
Proposition 62 — NO
Is the center in California not holding? Are our Democratic elected officials too liberal, our Republicans too conservative? Some centrist politicos (Dick Riordan, Steve Westly and, now, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger) are proposing a solution that will surely help them and their ilk come election time, but at the cost of damaging the prospects for progressive change in California, and without really addressing the problem of Sacramento gridlock.