mithriltabby: Flashing biohazard symbol over a donkey-elephant chimera (Politics)
[personal profile] mithriltabby

As usual, I’ve done my research for the upcoming election and written up my notes to share with the rest of the class. I’ve given my conclusions, and invite you to come to your own. Even if we disagree on every issue, I’m happy if this saves you a headache.

Voter’s Edge are doing a good job of gathering funding information about candidates, so I’ll let them do the heavy lifting instead of linking directly to Follow the Money. I’ll still have one $ after the candidate for every digit of campaign funding, starting in the thousands place.

Party-Nominated Offices, Democratic Ballot

  • President of the United States: Voter’s Edge.
    • Bernie Sanders. Ballotpedia. $$$$$$ Endorsed by the San Francisco Bay Guardian. I agree with the Guardian here: this isn’t about putting Sanders in the White House; it’s about signaling to Clinton that the electorate are clamoring for an overhaul, not just small, cautious, incremental changes. Sanders’ numbers don’t add up, but none of the candidates’ do; the important thing is that he’s a reality-based guy who wants to import good ideas from the Nordic democracies where they’ve proven effective. (And if his being a democratic socialist makes you think of Cuba, Venezuela, and the USSR instead of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, go spend some time listening to a real Marxist, Leninist, or Trotskyite and you should get a fine earful about what they think of democratic socialists. Call it “Nordic capitalism” if your conservative friends are freaking out.) If something truly bizarre happens and he gets the nomination, I expect his numbers will get much, much better once every think tank is vying for his attention instead of Clinton’s.
    • Willie Wilson. $$$$
    • Roque de la Fuente. $$$$
    • Hillary Clinton. Ballotpedia. $$$$$$ Clinton is a master of realpolitik, working the system as it is. (For instance, Sanders can’t get any foreign policy advisors because all the ones in DC fear her revenge.) She’s too hawkish and too cozy with notorious war criminal Henry Kissinger for my tastes. The problem I have with Sanders’ candidacy is that he called for a revolution but didn’t bring one to the party: he needed about four hundred primary challengers for House and Senate seats to make his movement a revolution. I think the best outcome we can get from this election is that Sanders exerts considerable influence on Clinton for her to turn her realpolitik skills on the more achievable of the reforms he advocates. I expect to be voting for her in November, and I think she’ll be able to seamlessly take the reins from Barack Obama.
    • Henry Hewes
    • Keith Judd
    • Michael Steinberg $
  • Members of County Central Committee: vote for no more than six (i.e. pick one not to vote for). Voter’s Edge. It’s 2016 and almost none of these people have web sites to help voters make a decision between them? Really? I will amend this if I can dig up anything useful at the next Sunnyvale Democratic Club meeting.
    • Otto Lee. Former mayor of Sunnyvale.
    • Bill James. Incumbent.
    • Emily Thurber. Finding out anything about her is rather difficult, especially with a very unfortunate name collision with another Emily Thurber in Idaho; once I was informed she goes by the nickname “Emy”, it was much easier to find out that she’s a party stalwart.
    • Gilbert Wong. Incumbent. Also a former mayor of Cupertino whose second city council term ends this year.
    • Peter Y. Chiu. Has served on government boards and commissions.
    • Alyson L. Abramowitz. Incumbent.
    • Diane H. Rolfe. Incumbent. The only one to fill out their profile on Voter’s Edge. Received the Madge Overhouse Volunteer of the Year Award from the county party.

Voter-Nominated Offices

Measures Submitted to the Voters

Date: 2016-05-16 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, she's the Emily Thurber from Los Altos. I found an interview ( with her and her husband from Palo Alto Online.

Peter Y. Chiu has done a few things politically. (

As for Otto Lee, I thought he'd moved to Fresno. Now he seems to be back here again.

I'm voting for Honda above Khanna for the same reason I'm voting for Sanders above Clinton. One gets it, the other doesn't. I'm in favor of compromise, but not as the goal you aim for.

This questionnaire ( was immensely helpful with the Assembly candidates (although so ineptly laid out online that I had to copy and paste it in a Word document to read it all). It left me with even preference for Veenker and Berman, followed closely by Kasperzak, far above any of the others.

Why a progressive should consider my candidacy

Date: 2016-05-16 03:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ro khanna (from
Thanks Max for your fair mindedness and analysis. I have come out for the $15 minimum wage, for a universal basic income, for expanding the earned income tax credit, strengthening social security benefits, and free college tuition. I am also one of only a few federal candidates who does not take any PAC, lobbyist, or corporate money. I will be a strong, bold progressive voice in Congress and part of the Progressive Caucus. I also respect Mike's service. I was disappointed by the 627 page report and 6-0 finding of "substantial evidence" that his office gave faster service and favors to wealthy donors and broke federal laws. It just shows the need for the Disclose Act and campaign finance reform. We need to get the big money and special interests out of politics. -Ro Khanna
Edited Date: 2016-05-16 03:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-05-16 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I strongly disagree with voting for Sanders anywhere on June 7. He's made his point, Clinton has moved left on a number of issues, but what we really don't need is to go into the Democratic convention with Clinton not firmly in charge, because any sort of contested convention just weakens the Democrats vs. Trump.

Given that (against my expectations) most of the GOP has rallied around Trump, he's now a (barely) credible threat, and a divided Democratic party makes the threat of a Trump presidency far more real. Clinton already knows that many Democrats aren't satisfied, and as I mentioned in my post, given that she knows she has no hope of appeasing Republicans (either in Congress or among the public), what she needs to do is keep her base behind her, and after Sanders', that means keeping left.

Khanna-Honda race

Date: 2016-05-16 09:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Agree that Ro Khanna should highlight his progressive policy stances, which are clear. Because of that, there is a long list of Dems who agree that he “gets it” including Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Assembly member Rich Gordon, former State Assembly/Senate member Elaine Alquist, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, District Attorney Jeff Rosen, County Assessor Larry Stone and many local mayors, council/board members, along with the two largest nurses’ unions in the state (CNA and NNU), the Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), etc.

As an active Democratic party member, I wouldn’t support him if I didn’t feel comfortable being in that company.

Re: Khanna-Honda race

Date: 2016-05-17 03:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, the Argument From Authority! Honda has a long list of endorsements too.

Sure, Khanna has some admirable positions, and I'm not saying he's a terrible candidate. But this is between him and Honda. The same as with Hillary Clinton: many admirable positions, many sterling endorsements, but more establishment/corporatist influence than there should be.

Honda doesn't just have good policies, he gets it in a deep and visceral way that you rarely see.

Would Khanna report the US to the UN for running shady elections? Honda did. That's the kind of bold progressive cheekiness that wins my enthusiasm.

Date: 2016-05-17 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks very much for hunting up info on the country central committee election! You're the only place I've found that has anything... I agree that these folks ought to have websites.

I'd suggest voting for Kasperzak instead of Veenker for 24th State Assembly, because I think that his long experience in politics will make him more effective than her persuasiveness... Also I really like his position on the housing crisis.

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