Tag Archives: Election 2012

Undo The Mess In San Bernardino County

When the Board of Supervisors hired Greg Devereaux as to be the next Chief Executive Officer, the board gave up some of their responsibilities and obligations to him. Public employee unions and governmental reform advocates felt that was offensive where if they were going to modify the San Bernardino County Charter they should have the voters officially approve it. If the board wants to be beholden to Devereaux, they should have the voters approve the change.

The potential demotion in pay may be drastic from 150 thousand to 60 thousand, but it shows that voters are serious about their displeasure about the board and they will need to reform the system if they want their old wage back. Yes, the pay is going to be drastically reduced even compared to counties of our size in population. However the board can simply just restore their rights and obligations and have it where Devereaux would have to answer to the board not the board answering to Devereaux.

If the board refuses to discipline wayward high level county officials such as a county counsel and a public defender and just leave it for Devereaux and his predecessor Mark Uffer to handle it, then why give our board members full time pay when they fail to do their responsibilities.

When our county supervisors finally know how to eat with the big kids, we can restore the supervisors pay to their full wage.

Equality Should Be a Bipartisan Issue

Its unfortunate that Republicans basically oppose anything positive to LGBT people, even though Democrats sadly chase away businesses where they are moving to Texas and overseas for their business needs. I feel frustrated that Democrats may kill the business climate in California, but Republicans fail to understand that they do not live in Alabama.

No matter if it is Seth’s Law (AB 9), FAIR Education Act (SB 48) or Foster Youth: LGBT Cultural Competency (AB 1856) Republican Party legislators generally run from these issues like the plague even though there is more acceptance of the community in our state and nation.

Since equality organizations sadly put their eggs in one basket, it helps to create the climate where the Republicans do not want the votes from equality supporters. Due to Top 2, equality supporters can make a difference. We could vote for the less noxious of candidates when it is a two Republican race and make these candidates fight for our votes.

I am not expecting politicians to suddenly becoming allies overnight, but as what Bob Dylan wrote awhile back, “The Times They Are A-Changin”. I do not really want to vote for Norma Torres, but I feel like voting for the Republican Kenny Coble will be a tough sell for me. Sadly with no ability for a write-in vote I will leave my vote blank.

I want a politician that will help bring back business, leave our state in fiscal sanity and respect me as a person. If he or she can not support something as simple as Seth’s Law or make foster care a welcoming environment for youth who get rejected by society, then how can I trust them? I do not want to wait for California to end up declaring bankruptcy before we get Republicans embracing equality, but maybe that is what will need to happen.

As what I have stated earlier, politics is about addition. If Republicans openly want support and votes from equality campaigners and Latino voters we might see California finally shining again.

Libraries Not Jails

Cities such as Pomona, California are facing the cold reality that their public library will need to shutter their doors to balance their budget after draining their budgetary reserves for several years.

In Pomona it might be a critically fatal decision from the city council to close the doors down due to removing the benefits a library may provide for its community. A place where young people could get help for their homework, for people without computer access to get connected to the world, reading assistance to those who do not know how to read and other various services our libraries provide.

Unfortunately one of the first things Governor Brown did in 2011 when he became our governor again was to capitulate to the prison guards union to give them the best contract out of all the public service employees in our state. Perhaps if we were not in the business of jailing a sizable number of our population we would have the funds to pay for the public libraries. This is one reason why I am supporting three strikes reform.

Keeping our children off the streets is a positive aspect. Warehousing our youth in jails is an unproductive waste of money.

Some Words Are Very Unnecessary

I may agree with Dan Savage that Mitt Romney may not be the most exceptional candidate for president. I may agree with Dan as well that LGBT community organizations teaming up with Mitt Romney may not be a good thing for the community where they would be portrayed as house slaves.

I however disagree with Dan in the use of the f- word, that word used to describe homosexual people in a very derogatory matter. The f- word is just as infamous as its cousin the n-word. Even though we have the privilege of using the words as long as we are members of the respective demographic groups we need to strive for a higher standard and avoid using these words as weapons on each other even if people in groups such as Go Proud and Log Cabin may want to support Romney as their choice despite his retrograde viewpoints on the LGBT community.

Romney once said he would be even more friendly than Ted Kennedy on LGBT issues back in 1994, but it seemed it was a dog and pony show in order to attain power. Romney may have been somewhat consistent as governor, but to run for President he had to jump in bed with the National Organization of Marriage and buddy up with his friends in his church to donate money for Proposition 8 which angered many in the LGBT community.

Just as how our bullies when we were young used the f- word on us, we should aim higher and use better words instead of the pungent lexicon of the gutter. Dan Savage might have been similar to Howard Stern in his approach, but when you are one of the spokespeople for safe schools and end to harassment of young queer people, the f-word should be honestly avoided.

I do not know what Mitt Romney will pledge to Independents and other groups who might want to cross over for his campaign, but if Romney is going to go backwards for the LGBT community, it might be better to consider supporting other quality alternatives such as voting for Gary Johnson who values personal and economic liberty.

San Bernardino County Amendment

The members of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors may not be popular people to those who observe the politics of our county. Unfortunately we detonated a nuclear bomb to express our disgust with the board and we need to contain the fallout from this ballot measure.

San Bernardino County is the biggest county in the continental United States for those representing some of the vast districts of the board such as the first and third districts only the independently wealthy could sustain serving the people if this amendment passes.

People may not like the managerial style of Greg Devereaux, but thanks to his tenure in the city of Ontario he led the city to fiscal health in this horrid economy. When other cities are shutting down their city libraries or firing police officers, Ontario is doing very well.

I do recognize that labor unions are there to fight for their membership. However we can not give people candy land if there is no money to sustain the desired wage increases. We can not cannibalize our public agencies for the benefit of wage increases. People are desperate for jobs and having a job in this economy is a good thing even if wages are stagnant.

Government reform advocates may not be pleased that the board added Devereaux through backdoor methods, but maybe it is time for the county to officially add him on to the county charter by the voters. A Chief Administrative Officer is nothing new. Even the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has one to serve their board.

Personally I would have no objections to our Chief Administrative Officer, but I would like to make sure our board is doing duties at or comparable to other counties who pay their board members for a full time pay which have a Chief Administrative Officer.

I think the only things I would strike down from the de facto amendment the board passed in 2010 is the non-interference clause from SECTION 8. Section 12.0103 which has the clause stating that,

“.. Except, no member of the Board of Supervisors nor any member of his/her staff shall give orders to or instruct the subordinates of the Chief Executive Officer, either publicly or privately.”

I would revise the removal clause from 4/5ths to 3/5ths. But that does not seem viable because no one would want to apply for the job if I added that revision.

Problem is many governmental reformers detest how Devereaux as CAO basically can overrule a supervisor. A supervisor should have equal authority as the CAO. I can understand why public employee unions sponsored the ballot measure from the government reformers, when the supervisors surrendered their authority to Devereaux they felt that the supervisors lost their argument that they deserve full time pay.

I predict that the amendment will likely pass this November. But it might take the supervisors to sit at the big kids table and take back control from the CAO in order to get their full time wages back. As a growing county we will need the services of a skilled CAO/CEO official, but we should have accountability where they should answer to the board.

New California Ballot Measures for November 2012

Our Secretary of State Debra Bowen has announced that new ballot measures will appear on the ballots for the next election. The first one is the California Right to Know proposition that will require genetically modified food to be labeled so people would know what they are consuming when they shop at the local supermarket.

If crops are genetically engineered, they would be required to label the product to state it was genetically modified. People have the right and freedom to decide if they want to consume products that are genetically modified.

The next ballot measure to qualify is the Three Strikes Reform ballot measure to make sure that the third strike is not going to send someone to life in prison if it is not a severe crime. We are spending so much money we can not afford by supporting life in prison for stealing pizza. However if your prior strikes were for rape, murder or child molestation you will get life in prison for the non violent third strike.  This ballot measure will save around 10 million in the first year and around 100 million in subsequent years. This ballot measure has secured the endorsement of DA Steve Cooley of Los Angeles County.

Aside from these two ballot measures expect to see six more ballot measures.

A water bond measure, which was placed on the ballot by the Legislature.
A political contribution measure, which qualified through the initiative process.
An auto insurance measure sponsored by the founder of Mercury Insurance, which qualified through the initiative process.
A measure to repeal the State Senate District maps, which qualified through the referendum process.
A measure to repeal the death penalty, which qualified through the initiative process.
A measure to increase criminal penalties for human trafficking, which qualified through the initiative process.

Protest Against Top Two

Top two is making it where voters will have no choice this November. Are you a Republican in Congressional District 35, a Democratic Party supporter in District 31?  How about we send a message by spoiling our ballots? We can not get a write in candidate to run this November because write in votes will not count and they are not allowed, but we can spoil our ballots by voting for both candidates.

Joe Baca and Gloria Negrette Mcleod are basically identical in the eyes of a Republican, Bob Dutton and Gary Miller are basically identical in the eyes of a Democratic Party supporter, why vote for them?

I am thinking we need to spoil our ballots or even leave the races blank to show how voter choice was destroyed.

Turd Two Offering No Choice For Political Outsiders

No choice in November

The June Primary in California offers no choice for many Southern California voters in particular in the High Desert’s CA-08, Pomona’s CA-35 and San Bernardino’s CA-31.

First we go with CA-31, the district has an ethnic minority dominance while two white guys will be running against each other. This election will be an utter snooze fest for people who could care less about Gary Miller or Bob Dutton. The winning Republican Party candidate should face the reality if Democrats mobilize they are going to be in a world of hurt. This is going to be one competitive district for the rest of this decade. Unfortunately the Democratic Party has some individuals who refuse the consolidate which might give away the district to the Republicans indefinitely.

Gary and Bob have identical views on many issues, where just like in CA-35 it will be a contest of personalities. I would have to ask their views on issues such as indefinite detention of Americans and how would they deal with the drug war as issues to focus on. Non neo-conservatives are going to have a hard time determining who would be the best representative for the district.

In future columns I am going to do some investigative reporting. Voters need to know what their candidates stand on the issues. Perhaps we need a checklist and if your favorite candidate matches the positions you agree on vote for that individual. For Republicans in CA-35 and Democrats in CA-31 we need to know what these unknown individuals stand for so we can make the best choice. Due to top two, we have NO write in vote choice. We can abstain, but if we abstain we end up giving away our vote to the people who make a choice.

I am hoping to team up with Democratic Party supporters in CA-31 and Republicans in CA-35 to come up with a list of issues that they care about and see if we are going to have to vote on the superficial if our top two choices are identical? Is Bob Dutton easier on the eye than Gary Miller? Should we vote for Gloria Negrette Mcleod  because she is not as allegedly sexist as Joe Baca?

Credits: Image by Brian Ryman