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My California General Election Voting Guide

Once again I’ll post my voting guide here for those who are too lazy to do their own research, or if you just want my perspective on different candidates and initiatives.

President of the United States – Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party).  I was fervently involved in the Ron Paul campaign in both 2008 and 2012.  That being said, Ron Paul is no longer running, so I’ll be voting for Gary Johnson who was always a close second for me after Dr. Paul.  Many out there in the liberty movement are split over who to vote for, as some will be writing in Dr. Paul and some will be voting third party for Gary Johnson.  I am in the third party camp because I think it sends a stronger message as a protest vote, and it sows the seeds for a potentially stronger LP in the future to challenge the two party duopoly.  For instance, if Johnson can reach the 5% threshold, then in 2016 the LP can have almost universal ballot access plus access to the war chest that is the Presidential Election Campaign Fund.  For more insight into this, check out this article here: 5% can change the world.

As a preface to this next section of candidates, let me say that I am not a fan of Prop 14 and the top 2 primary system we have today.  As a result we are forced to choose between two terrible candidates in many races and don’t have a better third party option.  That being said, here’s how I am voting for these following offices:

US Senate – Elizabeth Emken.  There were around 14 candidates in the primary for this race, and probably 10-11 of them were better than these two options we are given.  I voted for Rick Williams, the Liberty Republican of the race, but sadly he didn’t make it. That being said, Dianne Feinstein is an entrenched, out of touch, and snobby politician that has been in the Senate for far too long and needs to go.  The damage she has done will take years to reverse.  However, given that are state is heavily democratic and Emken is a political neophyte, this race sadly was lost before it ever started.  I’m not sure when we’ll ever see another non-Democratic Senator in CA again.

US State Representative, 24th District - If the race were going in Capps’ favor, I would choose to sit out of this race.  However, it looks like it’s going to be a tight one that might be going to Maldonado’s favor, and in that case I’m doing the unthinkable and will be voting against Maldonado.  Ironically, this is one of the prime cases where I hate Prop 14, and Maldonado is the author of that very bill and is benefiting from it as a result.  In order to get Prop 14 to pass, Maldonado back-stabbed his party, his constituents, and the taxpayers of CA by voting for the largest tax increase in CA’s history (earning Abel the first ever “Richard Rich Backstabber Award” from the Americans for Tax Reform).  He was the one Republican to break party lines for this vote, and in return he got the liberals endorsement of his pet proposition 14, which ultimately was meant to get more moderate candidates elected (ie Abel Maldonado).   These days Maldonado tries to hide from his past and pretend he is a champion of small businesses and conservative values.  The true Abel is a man without principles, who will do anything to get more power.  Everything he has done in his past has been to set the stage for winning this 24th district race and becoming a Congressman, no matter what costs.  This includes Abel “winning” the SB County GOP’s endorsement through parliamentary trickery even though the vote was clearly not in his favor.  A complaint was then filed to protest this mockery of an endorsement meeting, but it fell on deaf ears.  Thus if Abel is elected, he will likely become another entrenched politician and will work to keep gaining more power, while screwing us at every chance.  He needs to be sent back to his ranch where he can work on sorting out his business’ tax issues with the IRS.  On the other hand, if Capp’s is re-elected, this will likely be her last term since she is 76 years old and her district is now officially competitive once again.  Then in 2014 we can work on getting a true liberty candidate elected.

State Senator, 19th District – Mike Stoker.  Our state is facing a fiscal disaster thanks to politicians like “Taxin’ Jackson.”

State Assembly, 37th District – Rob Walter.  Das Williams is owned by the unions.  Rob Walters is actually a libertarian Republican, and his yard sign motto is “Less Government, More Freedom.”   I can get behind that.

Santa Barbara Unified School District – H. Edward Heron.  Ed is a conservative incumbent, and thus far has seemed to be a good steward of the school district’s money and finances.

City of Goleta – Ed Easton?  Would prefer more candidates here, but sadly only Democrats pulled papers for city council.  Is Goleta really that ultra-liberal?

State Propositions

I agree with the CA-RLC’s endorsements for these initiatives, which can be found here: http://www.rlcca.org/y/2012/files/201209_voter_guide.pdf.  Given that, I will also state my own reasoning for voting the same way.

Prop 30 (7 Year Tax Increase) – No.  I am always against tax increases.  Voluntaryists believe that taxes are theft, no matter who does it and for what purpose.  I am a believer in this libertarian philosophy and the non-aggression principle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntaryism).

Prop 31 (State Budget Hodge Podge) – No.  This is one of the most deceptive propositions on the ballot, and even the state GOP mistakenly endorsed it (our SB County GOP, however, did not).  This proposition contains a lot of insidious UN Agenda 21 language written in it, and this must be stopped.  Agenda 21 is a broader topic, so to save myself time writing this I’ll just recommend you research it online if you are not yet familiar with it.  It’s one of those conspiracy theory sounding ideas turned to a reality.

Prop 32 (Paycheck Protection) – Yes.  This prohibits unions from using payroll-deducted funds for political purpose.  Given that CA is not a Right to Work state, meaning that in order to work for certain jobs or sectors you must join a specific union, this prop is needed.  Ultimately, the best solution to this issue is making CA a Right to Work state, but given that unions control the state and this is not likely to happen for many years, Prop 32 is a step in the right direction.  There are some sections I will admit I’m leery of, such as prohibiting corporation’s contributions to candidates, but overall I think the bill takes us forward.

Prop 33 (Car Insurance Rate Flexibility) – Yes.  Gives insurance companies more freedom about how they can set their prices.  In a free society, insurance companies shouldn’t need to ask permission from the government about how they can set their prices.  Given that we are a so far off from a free market in CA, this prop is a tiny step in that direction.

Prop 34 (Abolish Death Penalty) – Yes.   The RLC voter guide has a good explanation to this that you should read.  I’ll also throw in my two cents by saying that as a libertarian Catholic, I was raised to believe that life should be protected at all levels, be it for the innocent and the guilty.  Thus, I’m pro-life, anti-war, and anti-capital punishment.  In general I distrust the government and find it incompetent at most levels, and in addition to trimming down most of its power, I think it should also be stripped of its ability to kill criminals.  I view capital punishment as an archaic and barbaric practice, and this is one of the few areas where we’re lagging behind most of the civilized countries in the world in terms of human rights.  In a lot of cases where the death penalty is used, victims not only do not feel a sense of closure, but their pain becomes worse (http://ejusa.org/learn/victims).

Prop 35 (Human Trafficking Penalties) – No.  This is already a serious crime and stiffening the penalties will do nothing to further prevent it.  This also creates more invasive government programs.

Prop 36 (Reform Three Strikes) – Yes.  Right now CA’s three strikes law is too harsh, and needs to be returned to it’s original purpose, which is throwing repeat violent offenders in jail for life.  Throwing non-violent repeat offenders into jail for life is pointless.

Prop 37 (GMO Labeling) – No. Even though I am leery of GMO’s, I don’t support using government force to make business’s comply with their own labeling standards.  This is not a voluntary solution, which is already out there in the free market.  Also keep in mind that Obama appointed Monsanto’s VP as Senior Adviser to the FDA, which will likely have a say in how products are labeled.

Prop 38 (12 Year Tax Increase) – No.  Refer to Prop 30 reasoning :-).

Prop 39 (Tax Treatment for Multi-State Business) – No. Refer to Prop 30 reasoning :-).

Prop 40 (Redistricting Referendum) – Yes?  This would approve the new state senate districts, many of which have just been re-gerrymandered.  But overall I think the new lines might be slightly better.

Local Initiatives

Measure A2012 (SB Unified School District) – No.  Refer to Prop 30 reasoning :-).

Measure G2012 (Goleta Agricultural Land Protection Initiative) – No.  Allows the collective of Goleta voters to overturn a decision of a private land owner.  More specifically, if a land owner has a parcel zoned as agriculture wants to change it to something else like commercial, they currently need approval from the city council.  This measure would also require approval from the voters in addition to the city council.  Both instances are socialist ideology.  Owners of private property should have the ultimate say in how their land is used.

Measure H2012 (Goleta Transient Occupancy Tax Measures) – No.  Refer to Prop 30 reasoning :-).  I will also mention that these kinds of transient occupancy taxes are particularly insidious because it doesn’t affect our local constituents directly, but soaks more money from those visiting our city via vacation or work.  Ultimately this will hurt private business as the cost of renting rooms will continue to increase.

One Response

  1. Stephen Pratt for Goleta City Council 2014

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