The ‘Deep Slate: June 2008 Edition

[Ed. Note: 10/31/2015: This “post” was originally a pair of emails (“LIST” & “DETAILS”) I sent to my friends on 06/03/2008. I have posted it today in 2015, and backdated for archival/search purposes]

LIST:

Hey folks – as usual – I’m sorry this is so late. I was up til 4am working last night & just couldn’t get it together….

(I’ll send this out NOW and the DETAILS ASAP – but just in case anyone wants my opinions before lunchtime voting – here ya go)

(my apologies if you get this multiple times & if you don’t want to get this type of stuff from me, just let me know)

Hey folks –
So here is my ‘Deep Slate for the June 2008 elections.
– This email contains the endorsements in a super-simple list – easy to print!
– The whys & wherefores are in a second email entitled: “DETAILS:…”. I’ll send that out shortly.
– Please feel free to forward this far & wide…. IF YOU GOT THIS FROM A FWD & want more details – send me an email deepATdeeptroubleDOTcom
– NOTE: Not all your ballots will contain all these issues/races – it depends on where you live

To find your polling place:
http://tinyurl.com/yfbsg9
OR
415 554 4375

Go Vote TODAY!

The key is as follows:
• the more UPPERCASE – the more strongly I feel
• exclamation = don’t get me started!
• * = I don’t know a lot about it & went with the Guardian or California League of Conservation Voters

—————

State Initatives:
98: NO
99: YES

State Assembly: Tom Ammiano

US. Congress: Nancy Pelosi
STATE SENATE: MARK LENO
Judge: Gerardo Sandoval

SF Initiatives:
A: Yes
B: yes
C: no
D: Yes
E: YES
F: YES
G: No
H: no

Democratic Central Committee:
12 A.D.
– Michael Bornstein
– Doug Chan
– Emily Drennen
– Eric Mar
– Jake McGoldrick
– Trevor McNeil
– Jane Morrison
– Melanie Nutter
– Connie O’Connor
– Matt Tuchow
13 A.D.
– Bill Barnes
– David Campos
– David Chiu
– Chris Daly
– Michael Goldstein
– Robert Haaland
– Joe Julian
– Leslie Katz
– Rafael Mandelman
– Aaron Peskin
– Holli Thier
– Debra Walker

DETAILS:

Hey kids – so yes – I’ve been swamped so you haven’t seen much of me. I have a big work deadline in the next few weeks & so I have been buried – however, in July you will get sick of me 🙂

Anyway – here is this June 2008 episode of the ‘Deep Slate – Please DO go vote today!
—————–

(my apologies if you get this multiple times & if you don’t want to get this type of stuff from me, just let me know)

These are the details of my ‘Deep Slate endorsements, to see it in simple list form see the other email entitled: “LIST:…”.

Thanks again to the number of folks who have asked me for my opinions. I know I say it every time but it is quite true: I really am honored. Any questions or flames can, of course, be addressed to me….

Ok – so to figure out how to value (or devalue :-)) my opinions you should know the following:

• My opinions come from my experience in local politics over the past 12 years & the tons of candidate interviews I’ve done with the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters & all the lobbying I’ve done at City Hall, etc etc…. As you know I don’t get a dime for this, I’m a software engineer by day, and a political activist in my spare time.
• The 3 biggest “norths” of my political compass are environmentalism, social justice issues & good government (reform type) issues.
• I’m President of the San Francisco League of Conservation Voters & on the Board of Directors of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. While my views are definitely shaped by my activities in these organizations, my endorsements do NOT represent the views of these organizations.
• I’m basically an idealist, an optimist, and a humanist.
• In some of these races it is a matter of picking between flawed options….
• Ballot measures are REALLY a bad way to govern. Most of the things done in ballot measures SHOULD be done in the normal legislature, where they are easier to fix if they turn out wrong. Another problem is that you have to boil complex issues down to yes/no votes – which rarely is a good idea. But this is what we have, so keep in mind that some good ideas make bad ballot propositions & a lot bad ideas can be made to be sound like good sense in ballot initiative form because the devils is often in the details. And also note that often, these measures are grey – there is often a lot of balancing going on…..
• 90% of my experience & knowledge is about local issues – so understand that state issues are a little greyer for me unless I say otherwise. Thus some of the endorsements (as marked) below are taken from compiling what the California League of Conservation Voters, the SF Bay Guardian, and the Sierra Club have had to say.

The key is as follows:
• the more UPPERCASE – the more strongly I feel
• exclamation = don’t get me started!
• * = I don’t know a lot about it & went with the Guardian or California League of Conservation Voters
————————————-

State Initiatives:

98: NO

This one is easy. An attempt to kill rent control by pairing it with something that is billed as a defense of property rights. NO NO NO

99: YES

Again easy – this one clarifies current eminent domain law, but also is fundamentally a poison pill to stop 98. YES YES YES

State Assembly: Tom Ammiano

I wish I had more to say, Tom is a friend and a leader. He has been a great progressive voice for a long time in SF, I could go on and on. But even more fun is that he is running against a Republican woman who I went to high school with. She was NOT a nice person then. I’m skeptical she is one now.

US. Congress: Nancy Pelosi

State Senate: MARK LENO

This is unfortunately a hotly contested race. Truth be told, we would do well with Carole Migden or Mark Leno (or probably even Joe Nation) as our State Senator. Mark & Carole both have great voting records as progressives. That being said, I really come down strongly in Mark’s camp – he’s a friend who has been a great vote on environmental issues, and has actively pursued environmental and other progressive measures that have meant a lot to me. Also I’ve always been impressed with his ability to talk to people he disagrees with. Good stuff. Carole has been a great vote, but her financial irregularities (& some scary voting irregularities) leave me troubled. VOTE FOR MARK

Judge: Gerardo Sandoval

He has been just an OK supervisor, but he will be a much better Judge than the Wilson appointee he is running against.

SF Initiatives:

A: YES

An attempt to work around the evil that is Prop 13. Parcel tax for landowners to pay teachers. Great in that it gets money to teachers in SF, who are badly underpaid. Weak in that all landowners small ones and big companies, pay the same. But nonetheless this is in balance a VERY GOOD THING. Vote YES.

B: yes

A compromise fiscal measure to limit SF City retirement benefits to reasonable requirements, balanced with improvements for long time employees to make the unions happy. Sounds reasonable. Yes.

C: no

This is a bit of a slippery one & honestly I could see voting either way. Basically, it is an attempt to close a loophole in benefits law whereby someone who has committed a crime could still collect their pensions (normally they can’t), if they happen to be on disability. So this law says “no they can’t”. But the law says that if they are convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude” – which tends to be pretty broad. Historically some jurisdictions have classified “gay” as a such a crime. Lame. Also this covers misdemeanors as well – which seems pretty harsh. So no.

D: Yes

This one is toothless but a good thing. Advisory measure: Appoint diverse people. Always nice. Does little. Yes.

E: YES YES YES

This one is great 🙂 It is an attempt by the Board of Supervisors to take the always lame-but-powerful Public Utilities Commission (they who control our water, power & waste disposal) and make it less of a dumping ground for the Mayor’s political hacks (The political hacks who continue to avoid clean and renewable energy and other progressive eco-friendly measures at the behest of PG&E). This measure would set some criteria to who gets placed on the PUC (qualifications other than “gave a lot of money to Gavin”, or “worked for PG&E”) and would allow the Supes to confirm/deny the Mayor’s appointees. This is GOOD. The amusing part is that Newsom is against it of course, saying “The last thing we need is more politics at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission,” heh heh. So two faced. So cute! Look up his ousting of the the PUC General Manager Susan Leal for being a little too indepenent minded for his political tastes just a few months back. Wow. Nice one Gavin. YES YES YES

F: YES

This is an attempt to make the Lennar Corporation Bayview Proposal (G) less of a giant public giveaway by requiring 50% of the homes to be affordable. Lennar says no way, which means that this is actually probably a poison pill to sink Prop G. But either way I think it is a good thing. G is weak at best, evil at worst. Yes on F.

G: No

This is the massive proposal by the Lennar Corporation to get a giant chunk of the Bayview & get to redevelop it. The good news is that it would build a lot of new housing, and hopefully kick start some kind of renovation and help for the blighted Bayview. The bad news is the how & the details. I hate that this is the proposal we have to so something so necessary. In balance, it just puts way too much in the hands of the Lennar Corporation & I don’t like it.

The plans they are developing are heavy on car-oriented development (lots of strip-mall-style big-box retail) and they get a lot lot lot of land for free with only decent guarantees for making the new developments affordable. That being said most of these sub-projects would still go before the Board of Supes and the Planning Commission for review, so we could fix them their maybe. But then there is the whole issue of how this is being done: All of this could be done at the Board of Supes in a controlled and reasonable fashion, without such a large public giveaway. All that *needs* to be on the ballot is the part of G which overturns the older (& lamer) Brown-era ballot measures which effected the project site (Candlestick Park to be specific.) So in the end – vote No & hope we do better.

H: no*
H is another one that sounds pretty good, but is really just political payback from Newsom aimed at Peskin. It is ostensibly a straightforward measure designed to disallow city officials from soliciting contributions to campaigns they control (like ballot proposition campaigns, which they are often involved in). The big downside is that it doesn’t really define “control” & thus makes it just slippery. The Guardian argues that it is harder for Board of Supes members to say they don’t “control” campaigns for measures than it is for the Mayor, and I’ll go with that. Vote No.

Democratic Central Committee:
I feel strongly about the bold ones.
12 A.D.
– Michael Bornstein
– Doug Chan
– Emily Drennen
– Eric Mar
– Jake McGoldrick
– Trevor McNeil
– Jane Morrison
– Melanie Nutter
– Connie O’Connor
– Matt Tuchow

13 A.D.
– Bill Barnes
– David Campos
– David Chiu
– Chris Daly
– Michael Goldstein
– Robert Haaland
– Joe Julian
– Leslie Katz
– Rafael Mandelman
– Aaron Peskin
– Holli Thier
– Debra Walker

Green Party Central Committee:
– Razzu Enge

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