“Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills, misery, ignorance and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation.”
— Robert Francis Kennedy

 

All it takes is one person to start a fire. All it takes is one person to make a difference. And all it takes is one person to change the world. Whether we look to Martin Luther King Jr. who sparked the civil rights revolution, Gandhi who took back India without force from England, or to Bush who managed to take our country to degrees of failure most Americans have never seen in their lifetime, all it takes is one person to make a difference. Come Nov. 4, you can make a difference.

In this issue, we have endorsed those we felt could help this country get back on track and moving forward. We have looked at their backgrounds, their supporters and their positions on the issues. We also looked at various State and local initiatives and decided to endorse those that would be for the greater good of our Ventura County and California. We feel our endorsements are vital to an economic turnaround and to restoring confidence.

By Michael Sullivan and Paul Sisolak

 

Candidates

President, Vice President
Our country is in the middle of meltdown, and we are in dire need of leadership that can turn this country around. More of the same is not the right choice. John McCain has demonstrated his love and service for America. He has fought for our country and has a venerable political career. But he does not represent the kind of change we need to move forward. He voted in lock step with the current administration 90 percent of the time which has set the country back socially, politically and financially. He recently showed an example of his decision making when he chose his vice presidential candidate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, a charismatic but inexperienced person who would fill the presidents shoes in the event McCain could not continue in the future. Most importantly, John McCain would continue to espouse the strategies of the past that must change if we are to resurrect our country: The mantra of fear, greed and war must stop.

Barack Obama, with his calming demeanor and outstanding poise during this time of crisis, has given this country a renewed outlook for the future well before election time. He exudes a confidence and vision that a worried America needs now to feel assured and get this country out of this mess. His devotion to making this a great nation where all can survive and thrive is exactly what we need. Voting for Obama and Joseph Biden is the best choice to restore hope and to change the present course. Obama’s insightful and refreshing ideas about health care, international conflict and the economy will help move our country out of darkness into the light. Obama wants to help the struggling middle class, to strengthen our military and redirect the effort to where known terrorists actually reside, and has created a plan to provide a universal health care system. These are a few of the well-thought strategies to make peace at home and in the world. Biden’s qualifications for Vice President make the democratic ticket an even more powerful one. He brings with him experience in international affairs, a longstanding political career and strong family values. A vote for Obama/ Biden is a vote for hope and change. We wholeheartedly endorse the democratic candidates. YES WE CAN

Vote for Barack Obama, Joe Biden

 

23rd congressional district
Longtime San Luis Obispo resident Matt Kokkonen may be tapped in to the needs of his home county with sound reserve, but when it comes to representing Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, comprising the remainder of state congress’ 23rd district, his lack of experience in the political arena is no match for Lois Capps’ longevity, popularity and connection with her constituency.

Capps has done so much in 10 years towards the advancement of civil and women’s rights, education, environmental improvements, health care and more for California, that re-electing her at this point is almost like just keeping up with mere maintenance of a district that is expanding and improving upon itself with each term Capps wins. Her support of tax incentives this year tied to the exploration of alternative energy sources, a point which Kokkonen opposes, is proof of legislation Capps takes straight to Washington.

She also continues to prioritize health care, strengthening her presence in Ventura County these past few months, and setting up a new local camp in Oxnard where such issues are important to its residents. Vote yes on Lois Capps for Congress.

Vote for Lois Capps

 

24th Congressional District
At this time, we can’t endorse either Elton Gallegly or Marta Ann Jorgensen. Gallegly has a longstanding political career as a staunch Republican where big oil companies always win his vote to push their agendas and the working class has few rights, i.e., voting against raising minimum wage.

But Jorgensen track record doesn’t bring much to the table either. While she is endorsed by many democratic organizations, she lacked commitment early on when she initially entered the primaries and then dropped out only to re-enter the race again. She has little experience beyond being an educator and a nurse to take on such an important position.

We can’t support either candidate and hope in four years from now we will have a more qualified candidate.

 

19th Senatorial District
In the race for state senate, the choice is obvious. Tony Strickland brings little to offer the district as a career politician digging deep in tobacco companies’ pockets to run his campaign. While he boasts his efforts on going green, especially with his wave-energy technology company, California environmental organizations say he is all talk and no walk. He has tried every trick to put down Hannah-Beth Jackson, yet she prevails with endless endorsements on both sides of the campaign trail.

Hannah-Beth Jackson is in touch with the people and supports the greater good for our community. Combined, her background in politics and as an attorney makes her a strong leader dedicated to our safety and well being.

Jackson has dedicated her life to protecting the public and the environment while producing results that benefit our families and businesses. With Democrats and Republicans alike backing Jackson, we know she is the best person for the job.

Vote for Hannah-Beth Jackson

 

Member of the Assembly
Pedro Nava’s opponent for a coveted seat on the state assembly, Greg Gandrud, has the drive to succeed someday up in Sacramento. An appointment to one state office — as the trails commissioner — seemed a natural after one term on the Carpinteria City Council proved too stifling for the ambitious politician.

That doesn’t mean the timing is right to offer a spot on the assembly floor to Gandrud, with a dissimilar view to the one thing the incumbent has developed a name for himself with: his reputation as an environmental crusader.

Nava stands firmly for what the majority of our coastal communities believes in and need to thrive in times of high gas prices and a coastline especially vulnerable to the prospect of resumed oil drilling. Punctuating Nava’s most recent term was providing the vital link as part of quashing a floating LNG gas terminal near Ventura waters, or his congressional clout with successful legislature opposing the lift of a long-standing oil drilling moratorium.

It would serve residents poorly to vote the incumbent Nava out of office when his third, and final, two years should be to continue work in progress and complete unfinished business in the 35th District, especially when his influence, accessibility and authority work where it counts the most: the state level.

A vote for Pedro Nava means renewed leadership where new leadership isn’t needed.

Vote for Pedro Nava

 

Member of the Assembly
A Bush republican to the bone, Audra Strickland has consistently placed her votes with big business interests at the expense of Ventura County’s low-income homeowners, the environment and healthcare. Given her penchant for prison building, her position on the proposed prison hospital in Camarillo is a NIMBY move if we’ve ever seen one. Her record along with the bullying we’ve seen from her staff paints a portrait of a self-servant, not a public one.  

That is why we are endorsing Ferial Masry. She is the progressive type of leader we need as our assembly member. She brings with her unique experiences living around the world and as a dedicated government and history teacher.

She stresses tolerance and pride in her students’ lives and backgrounds, attributes our community should continue to strive for. With numerous organizations and political activists backing her, we believe our decision to endorse Masry is the best for our community.

Vote for Ferial Masry

 

Mayor of Oxnard
While we appreciate all the hard work and good intentions of Tim Flynn, we believe he needs more experience to become Oxnard’s mayor, having been an elected official for only four years as an Oxnard council member.

Since Tom Holden has become mayor, he has made huge strides in reducing gang violence and crime. He has worked diligently with the city on cleaning up graffiti and has allocated funding for $82 million for street repairs. While we endorse Tom Holden, we believe he has a lot of work to do and needs to make government transparent to appease his constituents.

We believe he has helped transform Oxnard, but some things need to change, and the solution isn’t going to come from new development alone. The real problems include traffic, overcrowding, hundreds of foreclosures and the substandard housing issue.

We look forward to what both Holden and Flynn will do in the future.

Vote for Tom Holden

 

County Supervisor
Is “Familiarity breeds contempt” an apt statement when considering a local politician who’s been in office for 32 years? We respect John Flynn for his longevity and dedication to Ventura County, but sometimes a familiar face year after year on a political ticket prevails over getting the results we need. And nobody can sustain a perfect track record when the track is seemingly without end. Flynn’s abrasive and divisive tactics just aren’t getting the job done.

John Zaragoza has had his ear to the ground on issues important to Oxnard during his 12-year tenure on the city council and an impressive résumé to boot in a long career as a city departmental head. He’s cut a clear, specific path along this campaign trail on what parts of the Fifth District need fixing once and for all: infrastructure improvements, whether it’s the unending sewage and electrical problems for the El Rio and Nyeland Acres neighborhoods, or the blighted

Channel Islands harbor that needs renewal. Zaragoza has the sharp business acumen and spirit of collaboration needed to bring a fresh look to the district.

The county board of supervisors race this season dovetails perfectly with Measure T. We need reasonable term limits from our representatives, and in the Fifth District, we need new blood after three decades. Changing times call for a changing of the guard.

Vote for John Zaragoza

 

County Measures

Measures O and W
These measures sales tax increases for the cities of Oxnard, Port Hueneme, respectively
Bad timing for raising sales tax, or raising any kind of taxes; neither of the measures specifically outlines where the money will go, therefore making it virtually impossible to assure the respective citizens that their money will be spent in productive ways.

No on Measures O, W.

 

Measures Q, R and S
These measures would allocate funding through bonds for improving infrastructure for specific Santa Paula, Oak Park and Moorpark districts.

With all measures having nearly the same language, any time more money can be funneled into improving education, it deserves solid backing. Education has also been known to be the best solution to crime prevention. Voting yes would mean a better chance for today’s youth to get the education and direction they need to help guide them to a bright future. Although times are tough now, these bond measures will mean money can be accessed when needed.

Yes on Measures Q, R, S

 

Measure T
This measure would set term limits for the Board of Supervisors.

There is no reason someone needs to be in office for decades. Perhaps, such limits will attract new candidates and strong leaders. If they fail to meet the status quo, the former supervisor may run for re-election after just one term out of office. This measure would help prevent political stagnation, which happens because incumbents raise more money and have better name recognition, leading to re-election.

Yes on Measure T

 

Measure U
This measure would create the Camarillo Unified School District.

There is no justifiable reason for this measure to be on the ballot at the moment. Redistricting, moving children around, creating a new school board, housing students in portables while building a new high school — all of which will cost taxpayers millions of dollars — is just a bad idea right now. Camarillo just doesn’t have the resources to make this measure a reality. Nor does the state of California have the resources to fund new schools with a looming deficit in the current budget and the federal receiver forcing the state to pay for the prison hospital system. The reason for this measure is apparent, but the ability to carry out this measure is not.

No on Measure U

Measure V
This measure would mandate developers with projects of more than 5 units or 10,000 feet to improve traffic intersections within a 5-mile radius while certain public and non-profit development would be exempt.

Good in theory, but bad in action. The traffic initiative would curtail growth while making traffic worse in areas where certain development is exempt, including government and non-profit structures. If revised, this needed initiative to improve traffic flow may come to fruition. But as it stands now, it isn’t a well-thought-out plan.

No on Measure V

 

Propositions

Proposition 2
This proposition improves the standards for confining farm animals.

If we want the hens, swine and cattle raised for food to be treated in a more humane, respectful manner, as pragmatic consumers we should be able to choose our biases by putting, figuratively, our monies where are mouths are: buying free range, cage free, organic and so on. On the individual level it’s a noble approach, but hasn’t impacted the agricultural level enough, an unfortunate situation that’s turned our animal farms into dire animal factories.

A yes vote on Proposition 2 would reverse this in so many ways. By enacting stricter regulations in a few years’ time, the lessening of cramped animal confinement would be mandated in an industry that has left the physical welfare and dignity of its animals as loose options rarely taken advantage of.

With Prop. 2 in place, we can be assured that the meat and eggs we buy were produced from animals raised in conditions enabling them to fully spread their limbs, stand up freely, and socially interact with other birds, pigs and baby calves.

Support for Prop. 2 is peace of mind that the food on our plates originated from a cruelty-free environment.

Freedom of choice for farmers shouldn’t overrule what few freedoms farm animals have. They’re already giving up their lives for us; the least we can do is ensure the life they do have has been treated humanely with care.

Yes on Proposition 2

 

Proposition 4
This proposition requires a waiting period / parental notification before termination of minor’s pregnancy.

This proposition is a really, REALLY bad idea. No matter how much parents want to have control over their children, some just don’t. Making it illegal for a teen to have an abortion done by a medical doctor without notice to the parents will only lead to backroom abortions and infections. If teenagers can’t talk to their parents about their problems, forcing a law upon them won’t change that. Also, if a teenager has been having intercourse with a “sexual predator” and the girl hasn’t talked to her parents about her choice for a boyfriend, the chance of the girl telling her parents about her decision to have an abortion, legal or not, is also unlikely.

No on Proposition 4

 

Proposition 5
This proposition mandates rehabilitation instead of incarceration for nonviolent drug offenses and reduces parole time.

Once an addict, always an addict? Not true. But once a convict, always a convict. Many offenders get into drugs in their youth or as young adults, making bad juvenile decisions. As they get older and they become more civilized, leaving drugs in one’s past is vital to their future. While $1 billion will be spent every year on improving rehabs and building new ones, the long-term results would be billions of dollars diverted from the prison system due to successful rehabilitation efforts and fewer inmates, so says the analysis done by the state of California.

Yes on Proposition 5

 

Proposition 6
This proposition increases police and law enforcement funding by nearly $1 billion annually.

The problem is not that we don’t have enough police officers, or that they aren’t getting paid enough or that we need more jails. The problem is we are not spending enough money on preventative measures, i.e., education and family planning. Spending taxpayer dollars on initiatives to wherehouse more “criminals” instead of trying to help them before they become criminals is counterproductive and bad for our society.

No on Proposition 6

 

Proposition 7
This proposition would require government and privately-owned utilizes to increase renewable energy generation.

This proposition requires government-owned utilities to generate 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy by 2010, the standard currently applicable to private electrical corporations. The initiative further raises requirements for all utilities to 40 percent by 2020 and 50 percent by 2025. Private and government-owned utilities should already have a goal as such. The only way for this country to become independent of oil is by using renewable energy, and we shouldn’t have to force the issue. But alas, here we are. This is a smart and reasonable requirement.

Yes on Proposition 7

 

Proposition 8
This proposition eliminates rights of same-sex couples to marry.

This proposition is a regression for society. Homosexuals are just as human as heterosexuals and should be treated as such. If we deny their rights, we are segregating a certain class of people based solely on their sexual identity. This proposition is discriminatory and therefore, should be illegal. If this proposition passes, we just continue to propagate hate.

No on Proposition 8

 

Proposition 10
This proposition would provide funding through bonds to purchase alternative fuel vehicles and allocate money for renewable energy research

This proposition is good in theory, since hybrids are more expensive than a similar sedan, but this is a special-interest initiative. While the taxpayers will spend $335 million each year for the next 30 years, or a total of $10 billion, to help residents purchase alternative fuel cars, companies that provide the alternative fuel will make a fortune such as Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens who spent $3 million to put Proposition 10 on the ballot. In the law of supply and demand, prices of such cars will naturally come down as demand goes up, as long as there is enough supply. Educating the public about the importance of reducing our carbon footprint is fundamental to consumers making the switch and making alternative fuel cars more affordable.

No on Proposition 10