Malibu Times Endorsements for the March 3, 2020, Presidential Primary

Arnold G. York

We have in Malibu three very competent and well regarded individuals holding our congressional, state senatorial and state assembly seats and all are most certainly worthy of reelection. We are fortunate we are represented by a political all-star team.

• For 33rd Congressional District, we endorse Ted W Lieu.

• For 27th State Senatorial District, we endorse Henry Stern.

• For 50th Assembly District, we endorse Richard Bloom.

Measure FD is designed to upgrade many things including the fire department’s equipment, communications capacity and emergency medical services. I know that many of you, like me, are not happy with the LA County Fire Department and their response in the Woolsey Fire, but denying them necessary equipment is not the way to improve things. We also have to show the insurance industry, which is now hesitant to write insurance in fire areas, that we are serious about doing something to improve the situation

•  We endorse Measure FD 

LA County District Attorneys

This is a battle between the current, competent incumbent Jackie Lacey, who is a longtime prosecutor—pretty much an old fashioned, hard-line prosecutor—which typically means opposition to any significant changes to the criminal justice system. There is a very interesting new challenger, George Gascon, who is a former assistant chief in the Los Angeles Police Department who left to become Chief of Police in San Francisco and then was appointed District Attorney for San Francisco County.

•  We endorse George Gascon 

Judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court 

I’m passing on to you the recommendations of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, which goes through a very exhaustive process of evaluating judicial candidates. They rate them “Very Well Qualified,” “Well Qualified,” “Qualified” or “Not Qualified.” You can check them out at LA County Bar Judicial Ratings 2020

• Office No. 117: Shannon Kathleen Cooley, uncontested/write-in only

• Office No. 42:  Robert ‘Bob’ Villa, “Well Qualified” 

• Office No. 72:  Steve Morgan, “Well Qualified”

• Office No. 76: A very unusual situation where candidate (plain old) “Mike Cummins” legally changed his name a couple of years ago to “Judge Mike Cummins.” It doesn’t seem to have worked and the bar found him to be “Unqualified,” whereas the other candidate, Emily Cole, is rated “Qualified”

• Office No. 80: Klint James McKay, “Well Qualified”

• Office No. 97: Timothy Rueben, “Well Qualified”

• Office No. 129: All three candidates were rated “Qualified”

• Office No. 131: Michelle Kelley, uncontested/write-in only

• Office No. 141: Lana Kim, uncontested/write-in only

• Office No. 145: Both Troy Slaten and Adam Montalban were rated “Qualified”

• Office No. 150: Both Tom Parsekian and Manuel Alejandro Almada were rated “Qualified”

• Office No. 162: Both Scott Andrew Yang and David D Diamond were rated “Well Qualified”

County Central Committee: No endorsements

County Measure R is a citizen-based attempt to reform the overloaded Los Angeles County jail system and to strengthen the Sheriff’s Civilian Oversight Commission. The proponents are obviously for it, but no other public officials seem to have gotten on board and I don’t know why. So, for now, we make no endorsement.

State Measure 13 authorizes bonds to build and modernize schools, community colleges and universities. (This has nothing to do with the old Proposition 13. Just a coincidence it was assigned the same number.)

     • We endorse a “Yes” vote.

Presidential Preference Primary

On the Democratic primary ballot, there are currently 20 candidates. Several have already dropped out of the race. The dilemma for Democrats is: do you vote for whom you prefer, or do you vote for someone you believe can beat Trump? This time, what California says actually counts, so you have to weigh this one carefully. The question is—do you vote with your heart or your head? 

P.S. Some people have asked me about the rules for the primary. We are now a top-two state in most primary races except for the presidential race. That means your Democratic primary ballot may list both Democrats, Republicans and “no preference” candidates. The top two vote-getters go on to the general election in November. That is so, even if one candidate gets over 50 percent plus one vote. That is so, even if both candidates are of different parties or of the same party. For example, you could end up with two Republicans running for a congressional seat if they were the two highest vote-getters in their primary. The primary rules are complicated and not the same for all the parties because political parties can set some of their own rules. So, I suggest you read your primary ballot package.