Vote (early but not often)


    Of all the decisions any of you are going to make this election year, the most important by far is the Congressional race in which the incumbent freshman congressman Brad Sherman is being challenged by software mogul Randy Hoffman. The race transcends the two men involved. It really is a plebiscite on the question of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.

    A vote for Hoffman is a vote to impeach Clinton. A vote for Sherman is a vote to continue Clinton in office. That’s the way the vote is going to be understood and read in Washington D.C. The vote in our Congressional district and a few other similarly situated swing districts will send a message to both the House and Senate, and most certainly they’ll use it to help themselves decide the impeachment question. As for me, I wish Clinton had resigned, but I think it would be a disaster for the country if he were impeached, which is the reason I endorse Sherman.

    There is another race, a local race, in which I wish another incumbent had decided not to run. Our sheriff, Sherman Block, is a man who has served this county long and well, but he never should have run for re-election. His health is failing rapidly, the department is drifting and it needs newer, younger leadership. The only way to get that is to vote for former chief Lee Baca.

    Proposition 3.

    I got this wrong last week. This is actually a proposition to restore the partisan primary, but I still have the same opinion. If Sen. Burton and Bruce Herschensohn can agree, it’s probably a good idea. Vote Yes.

    Proposition 4 — Trapping Practices

    While most of us who wish to protect wildlife abhor the use of leghold traps and poisons, this proposition would do little to ensure more humane methods for the licensed trapping of fur-bearing animals, currently permitted under state law, and the management of rogue animals.

    State Fish and Game officers currently use cage traps wherever possible to remove and relocate bears, mountain lions and other predators that have killed livestock, domestic animals or that threaten humans. Landowners are permitted to shoot any such animal that poses a threat. Wildlife experts say this proposition would ban tools needed to conserve threatened and endangered species and force cruel alternatives to control problem predators, including traps that kill. And the cost to taxpayers of enforcing this law is prohibitive. Vote No.

    Proposition 6 — Horses

    This is another unneeded measure sponsored by animal rights activists with good intentions. It would ban the transport of horses to slaughterhouses where the meat would be used for human consumption. California has no such plants. There is no law prohibiting the use of horse meat for pet or human consumption, nor should there be, even though most people find this repugnant. Vote No.

    Proposition 7 — Air Quality Improvement

    If we want clean air, we’ve got to be prepared to pay for it, so this rather modest proposal sounds like a sensible proposition to me. Vote Yes.

    Proposition 8 — Public Schools

    This is the governor’s proposition, and he absolutely hates the California Teachers Association. This rather convoluted measure is an attempt to make their lives miserable. It is nasty, badly thought out and takes power and authority away from the local school districts and centers it in Sacramento where it doesn’t belong. A definite No.

    Proposition 9 — Electric Utilities

    This one is so confusing, I certainly can’t figure out its impact. So follow that old adage, “When in doubt, vote ‘No.'” This is absolutely the kind of very complex issue we shouldn’t have to deal with on a ballot proposition.

    Proposition 10 — State & County Early Childhood Development Programs

    This is the Rob Reiner proposition, and I think the extra money from cigarette taxes will do wonders to help the children of California. The proposition could be better written, but the opposition arguments are typical tobacco industry palaver. Vote Yes.

    Proposition 11 — Local Sales & Use Tax Revenue Sharing

    Hopefully, if this passes, cities will get together and jointly share revenue from the “Big Box” retailers, and those same retailers won’t be able to play the cities off against each other quite as easily. No one knows if it will work, but it’s worth the try. Vote Yes.

    Proposition A — The MTA

    This is Zev Yaroslavsky’s proposition to stop the subway. The MTA has become just about the largest pork barrel in the history of Los Angeles and is rife with corruption. It’s got to be cleaned up and stopped, and this is the only way to do it. Vote Yes.

    School Elections. I must confess I have a terrible way of evaluating school elections, since I frequently don’t know very much about the candidates. I want board members who at least know that Malibu exists and then consider us in their decision making process. I look to see who advertises their candidacy in the local Malibu papers. I don’t care which paper. I just want to see that Malibu crosses their radar screen and the best measure of that is where they put their money. Based upon that rather primitive analysis, I calculate:

    For Santa Monica Community College Board of Trustees

    Joe Girard

    Carole Currey

    Herb Roney

    Dorothy Ehrhart-Morrison

    For SM-Malibu Unified School District

    Karen Paris

    Tom Pratt

    Pam Brady

    Julia Brownley

    Most of all, get to the polls, and make certain to vote Yes on all the justices.