Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Observer Ballot Endorsements!


Another year, another election. But this likely low-turnout election has a ton of interesting races that will help to shape the future of our region for a long time.

We will replace Henry Waxman in Congress, who has been there for forty years. We'll also pick the successor to Zev Yaroslavsky, who has served ably as County Supervisor for twenty years, as well as the folks who will replace scandal-ridden Sherriff Lee Baca and even-more-scandal-ridden Assessor John Noguez.

Remember, the lower the turnout, the more your individual vote counts!

Here are our picks for the June 3rd election:

Governor: Jerry Brown

Love him or hate him, Governor Moonbeam has been a good fiscal steward, keeping both Democrats and Republicans in line, helping to bring the state out of fiscal calamity. He deserves another four years.

Lieutenant Governor: Gavin Newsom

Bright, young, and green, Gavin is a bit of a bad boy, but has performed ably as Lieutenant Governor. He deserves to be reelected.

Secretary of State: Pete Peterson

Pete is a local guy, based at Pepperdine University, who has spent his career trying to come up with bipartisan solutions to increasing citizen participation in government. He deserves a shot to take his life passion to a higher level.

Controller: Ashley Swearengin

This is a strong field, but we tip to Swearengin, who has strong local government experience and who will help to bring some fiscal sanity back to broken Sacramento.

Treasurer: John Chiang

Smart and personable, John Chiang has the know-how, experience, and brains to do this job well.

Attorney General: No Endorsement

Kamala Harris is the strongest candidate here, but she does appear to be too beholden to certain Sacramento special interests.

Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones

Jones is bright, principled, and a fighter for consumers. He has earned your vote perhaps more than any other statewide elected official.

Board of Equalization: No Vote

Jerome Horton, the uncontested incumbent, is one of the least impressive elected officials around. Don't waste your time by voting for him.

Congress: Matt Miller or Ted Lieu

Miller is smart, independent, and full of good ideas. Ted Lieu is an experienced legislator. Either would be good members of Congress.

Senate: Ben Allen

Ben is a talented local school board member and Santa Monica native. He's been an excellent leader for our community, and he's ready to take his leadership to the next level. We enthusiastically endorse Ben for the State Senate.

Assembly: Richard Bloom

Richard had a mixed record as Mayor here in Santa Monica, but he has been an able legislator. His opponent Bradly Torgan is smart and a nice guy, but Republicans have become totally irrelevant in the legislature. We endorse Richard Bloom.

Judges... We've spoken with respected members of the bench and attorneys, and checked the Bar Association's ratings. Here are our recommendations:

22. Pamala Matsumoto

48. Hold your nose and vote for Charles Calderon because the alternative is even worse

54. Shannon Losnick

61. Jacqueline Lewis

72. Chris Frisco

76. Alison Estrada

82. Ann Park

87. Steven Schreiner

90. Serena Murillo

97. Songhai Armstead

107. Emma Castro

113. Steven Klaif

117. James Pierce

138. Donna Armstrong

157. Andrew Cooper

School Superintendent: Marshall Tuck

Tuck has the intelligence, integrity, and spirit to make a difference in this relatively lame position. Tom Torlakson is lackluster and not what our schools need right now given the enormity of the issues at play. We endorse Tuck.

Assessor: John Morris

We need someone with smarts and independence to fix up this broken office. John Morris will provide the right balance of skills and independence. He also is the furthest of the primary candidates from the corrupt former incumbent Mr. Noguez.

Sherriff: Jim McDonnell

McDonnell gets high marks for his leadership at the Long Beach Police Department. Please don't vote for any of the insiders who got us into this mess in the first place.

Supervisor: John Duran, Bobby Shriver, or Sheila Kuehl

All three have their strengths and weaknesses. All are smart. All have been able elected officials. Sheila has more relevant experience. Bobby has energy, passion, and local commitment, though he can be erratic at times. Duran is the dark horse, just having picked up Eric Garcetti's endorsement. He deserves a look too.

Proposition 41: Yes

Help for veterans' housing-get more vets off of our Santa Monica streets and into supportive housing.

Proposition 42: No

Take a closer look at this proposition. It looks like a good idea, but it's actually a money grab by Sacramento that will hurt local governments significantly.


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