Larry Gilbert’s 2014 OC/CA Open Primary Voter Guide
Let me preface this voter recommendation guide pointing out that I am a fiscal and social conservative Republican. For those who may have forgotten, California voters approved a Constitutional Amendment based on the outcome of Prop 14 in June of 2010. This resulted in what is called an “open primary” election process, or the “top two”, regardless of party registration. This became a boost for moderate candidates. Prop 14 also eliminates write-in candidates in General elections such as 43rd CD Representative Ron Packard who won as a write-in candidate in 1983.
“Under California’s new open-primary system, all candidates for each office compete on a single ballot, and the top two vote-getters advance to the general election, regardless of party affiliation.”
“Top two” applies to the following Statewide officials. Governor, Lt. Governor, Sec of State, Treasurer, Controller, Insurance Commissioner, State Superintendent of Public Instruction and Attorney General. It also applies to: State Board of Equalization, State Senators, State Assembly Members, U.S. Senators and Members of the House of Representatives.
Registered voters can now vote for any candidate regardless of party registration. Simply stated, with multiple party candidates on a Ballot, only the top two in the Primary will appear in the General election regardless of party registration. We have already seen Republican vs Republican and Democrat vs Democrat with third party candidates being left out the process unless they finish in the top two Primaries.
The non partisan Orange County races are not impacted by Prop 14. If a candidate gets 50% plus one vote in the Primary contest they will win that seat. If none of them exceed 50% there will be a runoff in the Nov 4th General election between the two candidates with the most Primary votes. The one exception is the County Board of Education. The ROV just informed me that the candidate with the most votes in this Primary race becomes the winner regardless of the number of candidates.
My research on Prop 14 led to the impact of the Open Primary candidates and results in the 2012 U.S. House of Representatives races in the state of CA. This was the first General election where we could only select from the ” top two”. The result. Of the 53 House seats Democratic candidates won 6 of the 8 seats competing against other Democrats. While Republicans competing against other Republicans won the 8th and 31st CD, the Democrats won the 15th, 30th, 35th, 40th, 43rd and 44th Congressional seats.
The following recommendations are based on their voting records, my own experience with candidates, listening to them at debates, and a review of other conservative voter guides.
While some of my recommendations are not appearing on our Mission Viejo Ballot I have included them due to personal knowledge, relationships and support of their performance. This guide will not cover all 43 contests [with 159 qualified candidates] appearing on the OCVOTE listing.
Trivia. Unlike the 2003 recall election of Governor Gray Davis with 135 candidates there are only 15 qualified candidates in this year’s Primary contest for Governor.
- Governor. Tim Donnelly
- Lieutenant Governor. Ron Nehring
- Secretary of State. Pete Peterson
- State Treasurer, Greg Conlon
- State Controller. David Evans. Note: Ashley Swearingen supports High Speed Rail
- Insurance Commissioner. Ted Gaines
- Attorney General. Phil Wyman. “Senate Author “3 Strikes & You’re Out” legislation”
- State Board of Public Instruction. Lydia Guiterrez
- Board of Equalization 4th Dist. Diane Harkey
- CA CD 4 Tom McClintock
- CA CD 39 Ed Royce
- CA CD 45 no endorsement
- CA CD 48 Dana Rohrabacher
- CA CD 49 Darrell Issa
- CA CD 50 Duncan Hunter
- Board of Sup. 4th District Shawn Nelson
- Board of Sup. 5th District I support Robert Ming, the only proven fiscal conservative in this race
- State SD 04 Jim Nielsen
- State SD 34 Janet Nguyen
- State SD 36 Pat Bates..Uncontested
- State AD 65 Young Kim
- State AD 68 Don Wagner
- State AD 69 Cecilia Iglesias
- State AD 73 Jesse Petrilla
- State AD 74 Matthew Harper
- OC DA Tony Rackauckas
- OC Treasurer Shari L. Freidenrich uncontested
- OC Sheriff Sandra Hutchens uncontested
- OC Assessor Claude Parrish
- OC Clerk Recorder Hugh Nguyen
- OC Auditor/Controller Frank Davies
- OC Board. of Educ. Set #2 Tom Pollitt
- OC Board. of Educ. Seat #5 Linda Linholm
- Superior Court Judge Office 14 Ken Haskins
- Superior Court Judge Office #20 Helen Hayden
- Superior Court Judge Office #27 Incumbent endorsed by organized labor vs lesser known attorney
- Superior Court Judge Office #35 Jeff Ferguson
Prop 41 $600 Mil. Housing for homeless Veterans. You decide
From Sec. of State: Pro & Con:
Summary of Arguments FOR Proposition 41:
Prop. 41, the Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Act of 2014, redirects $600 million of previously approved, unspent bond funds to construct and rehabilitate housing for California’s large population of homeless veterans. This Act will construct affordable, supportive, and transitional housing for homeless and near homeless veterans without raising taxes.
Summary of Arguments AGAINST Proposition 41:
Proposition 41 would authorize the State to borrow (by selling bonds) $600 million out of $900 million in bonds previously approved by voters in 2008 for use by the CalVet Home and Farm Loan Program. The issue is whether such a diversion of funds is wise.
Prop 42 Public Records Act: My recommendation is a YES vote.
Opponents. Rural County Representatives of California
Arguments. Dan Carrigg of the League of California Cities expressed concern, but not necessarily opposition, for two reasons:
First, he argued that the legislature would be exempt from certain protocols. “In the constitution there is an existing different standard that applies to agencies other than the Legislature when it comes to these issues versus the Legislature. If this is good public policy, then why is the Legislature exempt”?
Second, he noted that “state mandates” are typically reimbursable by the state. However, Proposition 42 is not. “[The measure] potentially exposes the local governments to a growing assortment of additional requirements which will impose costs on local agencies for which they will not be able to recover their cost.”
Support. Contra Costa Times: “Timely access to government documents should not be a discretionary budget item subject to whims of elected politicians. But it is, as we saw last summer when the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown quietly gutted the Public Records Act as a cost-cutting move. They only reversed course after loud protests from media and good-government organizations across the state. After seeing the error of their ways, legislators placed Proposition 42 on the June 3 ballot to protect the law in the future. Voters should support it.”
The Desert Sun: “As we celebrate Sunshine Week — the newspaper industry’s annual celebration of transparency in government — The Desert Sun strongly encourages you to do so. Open meetings and open records are essential to democracy.”
The McClatchy Company, owner of The Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee: “Transparency is not optional. It is an absolutely essential basic service, like public safety, and must be factored into a city’s bottom line.”
The Salinas Californian: “But what’s important to us is that the voters make an unshakeable commitment to transparency. Vote yes on Proposition 42.”