23 May June California Primary Voting Guide
Two of the worst days of the year every other year are Primary voting day, and November voting day. Now, I am supposed to say that it is a beautiful day for democracy and our Constitutional form of government and freedom and red, white, and blue and cats and dogs and blah blah blah when free citizens get to freely vote. And in most states, I can see why that sentiment would be prima facie acceptable. But in California, there are two reminders every other year of how God-awful the political environment of the Golden State has become. Now, responsible citizens who make an effort to be informed (i.e., those who do not watch any of the Real Housewives shows) should vote, and I have always taken this duty very seriously. But that does not believe the cesspool of candidates I usually have to choose from, or the milieu of a reckless city and state ballot propositions have to make me happy.
Californians will face their turn in a couple of weeks, and I thought the following recommendations would be useful.
There are only two Congressional races I feel passionate about in Orange County (because they are contested): The 48th district (my own), where 30-year-in-office incumbent Republican, Dana Rohrabacher, finally has a very good chance of being unseated, and then the 39th district in North OC where Ed Royce’s retirement has left a vulnerable vacant seat. Let me start with Dana.
I really could not make up a better caricature for what I despise about the cesspool of politics than Dana Rohrabacher. I do not mean that in six years (which seems like enough time to find out where the coffee maker is) he has not accomplished a single thing in office. I do not mean in ten years. Or twenty. I mean that in thirty years Dana Rohrabacher has done nothing to earn his paycheck – nothing. There is nothing I loathe more than people in this game for a paycheck. It is bush league. It is immoral. And it can be systemic. In Dana’s case, it goes above and beyond anything I have ever seen. No meaningful legislation in thirty years. No substantive committee work. Nothing. Just a cog in the machine that we call the “swamp,” and that we said we were going to drain. No Republican who takes that rhetoric seriously can support Dana Rohrabacher. His kissy-face with Vladimir Putin and defense of Julian Assange are disqualifiers, in my opinion, but not the basis for my ire. His corruption is. His dozens upon dozens upon dozens of taxpayer-funded trips around the globe are. I want solid and thoughtful conservatives in the House, but I also want people who will work for this great country. Dana is clipping a paycheck, one he desperately needs, and he barely makes any effort to hide it whatsoever. There is nothing better that can come from the 2018 midterms than for Dana Rohrabacher to be gone.
Well, it is a heavily Republican district, for now, so the most likely way for that happen is for a Republican to be in the top two with Dana. The candidate who would be by far the best choice to serve us in the U.S. Congress is Scott Baugh. Scott is a very dear friend of mine and was a co-founder with me of Pacifica Christian High School. I have good friends I loathe politically and people I cannot stand personally who I admire politically. So fear not my own objectivity. Scott is one of the finest people I know, a devoted servant, committed leader, and one who genuinely cares about the principles that make this country great. He has endured the nastiest, most dishonest, most desperate attacks I have ever seen in this campaign. Not a word of it has been true. Pure lies. Disgusting libelous slander. But Scott Baugh getting in the top two will ensure a race of Scott vs. Dana in November, and then I have every confidence in the world that the man milking taxpayers for global vacations will be gone, and a reformer and ideologically coherent servant will be serving us. But Scott has to make the top two. Vote Scott Baugh in CD-48, no matter what.
The race in CD-39 is also important. Republicans lose the exact opposite of Dana Rohrabacher in Ed Royce, who has been deeply involved in the most significant committees in the Congress in leadership positions. His disappointing retirement has opened the door for Shawn Nelson, who has dutifully served on the OC Board of Supervisors for many years, to run for the race. Two other Republicans are running – Bob Huff, and Young Kim. I am extremely confident a Democrat will win this seat if Shawn Nelson is not our nominee. I am also extremely confident that Shawn Nelson will make the kind of Congressman we desperately need. He is honest, savvy, detail oriented, empathetic, and capable. He is ready for the task. Vote Shawn Nelson in CD-39, no matter what.
On the gubernatorial side, I will vote for John Cox. I secretly hope the top two will be Gavin Newsom and Antonio Villaraigosa because at least then someone might have a chance to beat Gavin Newsom. I would certainly vote for Jerry Brown over Gavin Newsom, let’s put it that way. But I do think a Republican in the top two is better for the state than two Dems, and John Cox is the only Republican who can viably do that. It is obviously not a winnable seat in November.
I fervently ask you to vote for Mari Barke and Dr. Lisa Sparks for the OC Board of Education – true reformers who care about the civil rights that are education matters.
State Assembly: In the 74th, I will vote for Matt Harper. In the 72nd, Greg Haskin is the absolute choice.
District Attorney: Tony Rackauckas has been a solid public servant and serves with the right motives, for the right reasons – enough said.
I do not support the SD-29 recall of Josh Newman even though I loathe the gas tax and loathe Josh Newman. But recalls are, to me, a cop-out waiver of responsibility for the voters in our republic, period.
68 – No, no, no, no
69 – No (it is not what it seems)
70 – No
71 – Yes
72 – Yes (don’t really care)
I welcome you reaching out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on particular races or local concerns I failed to address. Happy nose-plugging – I mean, voting.