Governor — Phil Angelides

Well, if ever there were a half-hearted endorsement, this would have to be it. Yes, we prefer Phil Angelides as the Governor of California over Arnold Schwarzenegger; however, we’ve almost never been so under whelmed by a political campaign. Where was Angelides’ fight? We must have missed it. Nonetheless, we’re tired of Schwarzenegger; we haven’t forgiven him for that astronomically price-tagged special election and we don’t care if he’s trying to look “green” these days. We urge you to vote for Angelides, even if you do so halfheartedly.

24th Congressional District — Jill Martinez

Our current Congressional representative, Elton Gallegly, has failed to represent his district on many counts, acting instead as an unquestioning representative of the current presidential administration. We are unimpressed by his ambivalence about whether to continue to hold public office, and by his unwillingness to engage in public discussion or debate. Jill Martinez, however, sports an impressive résumé more in tune with our county’s concerns: she campaigned for affordable housing as Ventura County Housing Authority’s Deputy Director and has been vocal in her localized concern regarding the Iraq War, supporting a stronger plan for the war and eventual pullout. She has also brought to the forefront the issues of affordable medical care and equal opportunities for education.

23rd Congressional District — Lois Capps

It’s hard to find anything not to like about Congresswoman Lois Capps. We spoke to her this summer after she returned home from visiting the Gulf Coast to mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. What she saw there, she says, galvanized her and her colleagues’ determination to right the wrongs within the government’s emergency response system that surfaced in the aftermath of the disaster. She takes care of the little things here in her district, but has the big picture figured out as well.

State Assembly 35th District — Pedro Nava

Democratic incumbent Pedro Nava’s record in the state Assembly speaks for itself. He has become an expert on disaster preparedness and, since his days with the California Coastal Commission, has been a tireless steward of the environment.

State Assembly 37th District — Ferial Masry

We liked her two years ago, when she ran as a write-in candidate for the 37th District. Masry’s passion and enthusiasm are hard to match and impossible to contain. We think she’d make a fabulous state Assembly member, much better than her opponent, incumbent Audra Strickland. Strickland, whose husband Tony is running for State Controller, toes the uber-conservative party line with a blind fierceness that is out of step with this district. Masry would bring fresh insight and a balanced approach to the state Assembly.

State Assembly 41st District — Julia Brownley

Fran Pavley, a woman we’ve dubbed California’s own Al Gore, leaves behind huge shoes to be filled and a legacy of environmental leadership. Luckily, Fran Pavley has endorsed Julia Brownley as a capable replacement, noting her “deep commitments to our communities and their environmental concerns and the needs of our schools.” We trust Pavley’s opinion.

Propositions

Proposition 1A — YES

Would force the $2 billion raised by a six percent gas tax to be used exclusively for transportation projects.

Proposition 1B — YES

Allows the sale of $19.9 billion in bonds to improve existing transportation systems.

Proposition 1C — YES

Allows the sale of $2.85 million in bonds to be used for affordable housing and rental assistance.

Proposition 1D — YES

Allows the sale of $4.1 billion in bonds to build and upgrade elementary and secondary schools and community colleges.

Proposition 1E — YES

Allows the sale of $4.1 billion in bonds to build and repair flood control projects.

Proposition 83 — NO

We’re all for putting sex offenders away for a very long time and for keeping convicted sex offenders away from schools and parks. But we don’t think Prop 83 is the way to do it. The libertarian in us is too offended by the idea of GPSing people. That’s scary stuff, and starts us down a terribly slippery slope.

Proposition 84 — YES

This one’s easy: The state could sell $5.4 billion in bonds to improve drinking water quality and flood control systems while green-lighting numerous new environmental preservation efforts. Clean water and flood protection are good things and a bond is a smart way to fund these much needed initiatives.

Proposition 85 — NO

The defeated Prop 73 repackaged, this law purports to be about protecting our daughters by requiring parental notification for abortions performed on women 17 and under. Sadly, this legislation would target young women who do not have a healthy support network in place and who, due to unstable or unsafe home lives, do not feel they can speak to their parents or guardians. Similar laws in other states have not decreased abortion; they have increased dangerous alternatives and out-of-state procedures.

Proposition 86 — NO

Prop 86 would place an additional tax of $2.60 per pack of cigarettes to fund various general public programs. With a $.87 tax per pack currently in place, the extra tax is excessive. In addition, less than 50 percent of the tax revenue would actually fund relevant programs: 43 percent to prevent smoking or to aid in quitting, and only 5 percent for relevant health research. Although the funds would be earmarked for worthy causes, not enough of them are relevant to smoking or tobacco use. We find it unconscionable to continually and disproportionately tax smokers for their addiction to what we think (and we’re checking into this) is still a legal product. * FYI: None of the Reporter’s editorial staff smoke.

Proposition 87 — YES

We really hate to say it, but when Bill Clinton talks, we listen. Seriously though, air quality issues, crippling dependence on oil, and a lack of alternative energy options — these are all problems that California faces, and Prop. 87 attempts to address them. We’ve got to start somewhere: A tax on California oil producers to establish alternative energy programs sounds like a good place.

Proposition 88 — YES

Our schools are overcrowded and under funded, and despite the Orwellian-ishly named “No Child Left Behind” Act, kids are being left behind. Something needs to be done. Prop 88 guarantees an additional $500 million for public education through a $50-a-year statewide parcel tax, which is a necessary and affordable investment in an institution that is failing too many children.

Proposition 89 — YES

Most people already think that campaign spending has gotten completely out of hand. Prop 89 reins in money that special interest groups pour into state campaigns and imposes new campaign contribution/expenditure limits. Publicly financing campaigns could finally give third parties a fair shot. What a novel idea!

Proposition 90 — NO

Prop 90 has been called the “protect our homes” initiative — and we’re all for that. The proposition does increase eminent domain compensation for property owners, prohibits seizures and limits the use of eminent domain to “projects of public use.” The problem is that’s not all it does. The practice of eminent domain does need to be seriously revamped, (which seems to be the one thing that those on both sides of the proposition agree on) but Prop 90 — which includes a clause that allows pretty much anyone to file suit by claiming that a new law or regulation has impacted the value of a property or business — could cause more problems than it solves.

Local Measures

Measure P6 — YES

Regardless of political persuasion, nobody likes higher taxes. But the nitty-gritty on P-6 is that an increase in sales tax from 7.25 percent to 7.5 percent would very likely spell the difference between life and death. And isn’t that worth the $2.50-tax paid for every $1,000 spent on taxable items? While the increase could be a challenge for those on low, fixed incomes, most of us could find enough spare change in our couch cushions to improve first-responder response times, make our streets safer and save lives in the process.