mithriltabby: Flashing biohazard symbol over a donkey-elephant chimera (Politics)
Max Kaehn ([personal profile] mithriltabby) wrote2018-10-27 10:02 pm

Hold Your Nose and Vote on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

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-Nominated Offices


Contests for statewide office explained by the San Jose Mercury.

United States Senator

This is a difficult decision for me, because I’ve been very irked with Feinstein in the past: she voted for the Iraq War at a time when her colleague Barbara Boxer had the sense not to, and has supported mass surveillance of American citizens, released a draft bill that was deeply ignorant of the realities of encryption, and prefers to toe the line for the MPAA rather than her constituents. On the other hand, she has seniority in the Senate and a seat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and if we replace her, we’ll have two fairly junior senators. Meanwhile, de León removed the top staff from a Senate committee that, in a previous session, blocked one of his priority bills, headed the committee that killed a bill to provide whistleblower protections to legislative employees, and given that his roommate had a sexual harrassment scandal suggests he might have skeletons in his closet. It may be sufficient that she feel the pressure from her own state— she has changed her positions, recently switched to opposing the death penalty, for instance, and softened her stance on recreational marijuana, and she unilaterally released the Fusion GPS testimony. For all my misgivings about Feinstein, my misgivings about de León are greater, so I’ll vote for Feinstein.

United States Representative

Member of the State Assembly

Nonpartisan Offices


The LA Times says the Supreme Court justices should be confirmed.




Some good background on the city council election by Richard Mehlinger Jr. The Silicon Valley Voice reports on the financing of the race. For me, climate change is the biggest issue; I have lived in Sunnyvale for 20 years, and hope to do so for another 50, and I’m voting for the people that I think will make the best long-term plans to deal with it.


  • Director, El Camino Healthcare District. Vote for no more than two.
    • Peter C. Fung. Incumbent. Voter’s Edge. Endorsed by the Santa Clara County Republican Party.
    • James Davis. Voter’s Edge.
    • Mike Kasperzak. Voter’s Edge. Endorsed by the Democratic Club of Sunnyvale. When he came out to the club, he said his concerns were maintaining community control over the hospital (a for-profit company that bought three hospitals in the area filed for bankruptcy and he doesn’t want that happening here); he wants to make sure it can ride out the upcoming recession and maintain control for people rather than corporate interests; to make sure the hospital is prepared for Medicare-for-All when it happens; and to operate with as much transparency as possible. (The last 2 CEOs left and no one can talk about why because it happened in closed session.) He has endorsements from the mayors all four constituent citie,.
    • George D. Ting. Voter’s Edge. I like the principles stated on his web site.

Measures Submitted to the Voters


The propositions explained by the San Jose Mercury and Mother Jones. The Courage Voter Guide has a grid covering the propositions.



  • Measure K: Hotel Tax Increase. Ballotpedia.
    Supported by Opposed by
    This would raise Sunnyvale’s tax from 10.5% to 12.5%, matching our neighboring cities. Yes.
  • Measure L: City Council Vacancy Procedures Charter Amendment. Ballotpedia. When David Whittum resigned his council seat, the timing was such that the city was forced by its own laws to call a special election in August, even though his seat was up for election in November, costing the city $800k. This allows the City Council to appoint someone should that kind of expensive fiasco occur again.
    Supported by Opposed by
    Democratic Club of Sunnyvale  


calimac: (Default)

[personal profile] calimac 2018-10-28 08:46 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm afraid I disagree with you more than I have in the past. I'm puzzled at your distrust of those who have the money to spend on their campaigns doing so. All rich candidates do this; it isn't baffling. Kounalakis obviously wants to become Lt Gov for the same reason that Newsom did eight years ago. It's a reasonable ambition.

I'm sorry you fell for the propaganda regarding city council. As the opposition candidates explained at the LWV forum, which I think you missed, they don't want no growth, they want smart growth, smarter than what we're getting now. They oppose giving favored developers waivers of the General Plan. They oppose the current ratio of office development to housing development, finding housing more desirable. They oppose creating developments without fuller consideration of their effect on traffic and schools. These strike me as valid concerns which, at the least, deserve more representation on Council.
emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)

[personal profile] emberleo 2018-11-02 10:17 am (UTC)(link)
"Follow the money" is always wise. Asking why someone is spending it in certain ways is also wise. Not being able to find acceptable answers is in itself a kind of answer.

But perhaps more importantly, merely having money to throw at the campaign is not itself a sign of qualification. If all signs point to there being two candidates, and one got there by being liked and endorsed by enough people who thought they were good, and the other got there by throwing money they happened to have at advertising, only one of the two is showing themselves to be qualified by the process that got them there.

Is money in itself enough to *disqualify* someone? Obviously not.

But I don't blame anyone for tracking it.

Edited (typo) 2018-11-02 10:18 (UTC)
roseembolism: (Default)

[personal profile] roseembolism 2018-10-31 05:18 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you- I just wish someone did this for San Jose city elections
emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)

[personal profile] emberleo 2018-11-04 01:03 am (UTC)(link)
Can you elaborate on why you prefer Tuck’s approach? His opponent is supported by the vast majority of school employee groups, which seems like a pretty strong position...?

emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)

[personal profile] emberleo 2018-11-04 03:49 am (UTC)(link)
Hm, ok.

Thank you!

taeriel: (Default)

[personal profile] taeriel 2018-11-05 08:54 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a silly, naive question. What does it mean when a school bond measure says "... College district's measure authorizing $X in bonds, levying $13/$100,000 assessed value..."? Is this like a parcel tax, with money coming from home owners via their property tax bill? Maybe I am misunderstanding the math, but it seems if someone had a home with $500,000 assessed value that this would levy $6,500 from them?? I have to assume I have really gotten something wrong here.

Sorry for the silly question, but you were the first person I thought of when the question came up for me.
taeriel: (Default)

[personal profile] taeriel 2018-11-05 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah, thanks! You're right, I did my math wrong earlier. The previous measure had been $x per $1000. I applied the same formula and didn't catch that this one was per $100,000 until after copying out the text for the above post. I've always supported the school bonds as well - it just didn't make sense to me that this one seemed to be several thousand/parcel! Thanks for clearing it up for me!