Malibu Times Election Day endorsements (continued)

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From the Publisher / Arnold G. York

Judicial

There was a time when I knew the candidates for Superior Court judgeships. But those days have long past with the exception of Cynthia Loo, who is daughter of Malibu resident Mona Loo, who I do know personally. Loo is an able and highly qualified candidate for judgeship in office No. 82.

As for the others, if they are a Superior Court referee or commissioner it means they’ve already been vetted by the others in the judiciary and found to be able or they wouldn’t still be around in those posts. I’m also deeply suspicious of any deputy district attorney running for judge who bills themselves as a criminal gang prosecutor, which always appeared to me to be kind of a racist appeal.

State Proposition 12, Veterans Bond Act Recommend a Yes vote

This is a $900 million bond ($1.8 billion with interest), but typically these costs are paid by the veterans taking out the loans.

County Measure R Recommend a Yes vote

Imposes a half-cent sales tax for traffic relief in the county. Anyone who drives into town, even occasionally, knows how desperate the traffic situation has become, particularly on the Westside and in the Valley. It’s almost impossible to drive downtown daily and even worse on a Friday or Saturday night. Hopefully this will provide some relief.

Santa Monica College District Board

The incumbents Robert Radar, Susan Aminoff and Margaret Quinones-Perez have done a very competent job and are deserving of reelection.

SM College District Bond

With the coming recession, more responsibility falls onto the community colleges like Santa Monica College to offer the most affordable education opportunities for career training and as an entry platform into the UC system. The $295 million bond is relatively modest and desperately needed as SM College will see its enrollment jump in these bad economic times.

Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board

I strongly support Ben Allen, one of the only candidates to express any interest or support for any of the Malibu issues within the school district. The district board is also badly in need of some fresh blood and I would highly recommend Chris Bley to you. He has deep roots in Malibu (I must confess he played Little League with my son, Anthony) and he is a very bright and thoughtful, and would be an independent voice on the almost incestuous board.

See last weeks endorsements below

State Ballot Propositions

Proposition 1A, High speed rail bonds: Recommend a No vote

With interest, this bond will cost $20 billion over its lifetime. It would be a bad decision in this tight fiscal year. It would be nice to have rapid transit linking the state, but it’s not essential and can wait for a better economic climate.

Proposition 2, Not confining farm animals: Recommend a No vote

This proposition seeks to make it a crime, punishable by a fine or jail time, for confining an animal in a way that some animal rights activist think is unfair. It has no standards and would lead to farmers being prosecuted for raising livestock. It’s a bad proposition, badly drafted and badly thought out, and being pushed by a bunch of animal rights people, vegetarians and vegans who believe that eating animals is cruel and think we should all be eating celery. There are already numerous laws on the books to prevent cruelty to animals.

Proposition 3, Children’s Hospital Bonds: Recommend a Yes vote

It’s strange to be saying that this $2 billion bond is relatively modest. I believe we should support it because the Children’s Hospital treats the most grievously ill children in California, and this is one bond that will directly save young lives and is well worth the cost.

Proposition 4, Parental Notification: Recommend a No vote

You would hope that the first person a pregnant teenager would want to talk to is her parents. If she doesn’t, it’s because their relationship is already strained and dysfunctional. The state has no business getting in the middle of an already dysfunctional parent-child relationship to try and fix it. It can only cause more grief.

Proposition 5, Nonviolent Drug offenses: Recommend a definite Yes vote

This proposition is long overdue. We have an inmate population of 171,000 in California and 80 percent are there because of drug-related crimes. It costs us an average of $46,000 per year for each inmate. Do the arithmetic. Most drug addicts generally give up drugs in their late 30s or 40s or are dead by then. It is in our interest as Californians to keep these addicts out of the prison system unless they’re dangerous to others. This proposition will actually save us money.

Proposition 6, Law enforcement penalties: Recommend a No vote

Every election sees another “get tougher on crime proposition.” This is such a typical proposition and would increase the current state spending level on law enforcement from $600 million per year to $965 million per year, a jump of 60.8 percent. Budgeting by initiative is a disaster, which is one of the reasons why the state is in such fiscal trouble. The passage of this kind of proposition only encourages every other group to come back with their own proposition to grab a piece of the state budget without having to go through the legislative process.

Proposition 7, Renewable energy: Recommend a No vote

This one is a bit of puzzlement. This proposition sets targets for renewable energy goals, which would appear to be environmentally friendly. Yet, all the main-line environmental organizations, including National Resources Defense Council, California League of Conservation Voters, Union of Concerned Scientists and many others, are against it. I have to assume there is something in the small print they’re all afraid of, so I would have to go along with their collective judgment and say vote no.

Proposition 8, Prohibits same sex marriage: Recommend a No vote

If this passes it would eliminate the right of same sex couples to marry. I have never been able to understand why some see this as a great threat to marriage and family. I know that same sex marriages sound strange to some people, but there was a time when interracial marriage was looked at in the same way. Time changes attitudes and I see no reason to go backwards.

Proposition 9, Criminal Justice / Parole changes constitutional amendment: Recommend a No vote

This is another let’s get tough on crime propositions that couldn’t pass legislative scrutiny. So it ended up as a ballot proposition and wants to enshrine this “get tough, essentially no parole” policy into the Constitution no matter what the cost and the cost is enormous. The cost of this, which virtually shuts down the parole system, could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars annually, according to the independent legislative analyst’s summary.

Proposition 10, Renewable energy: Recommend a No Vote

This is a $10 billion bond for alternate fuel vehicles and renewable energy that T. Boone Pickens is pushing and is, in the main, paying for the campaign. The difficulty is that Pickens makes some sense with this one, but it also may be a giveaway and more than we can afford this year. Reading about it doesn’t seem to clarify anything so I’m following my general rule. When there is an unresolved doubt, vote no.

Proposition 11, Redistricting: Recommend

a Yes vote

I believe that politicians should not be allowed to draw their own district lines, which is what happens now and is why almost every district in California is a lock for one political party or the other. Incumbents are almost never defeated because of the way the district lines are drawn. This proposition puts the line drawing into the hands of an independent commission. It’s not perfect but it’s a great deal better than the current method.

Proposition 12, Veterans Bonds: Recommend

a Yes vote

This would continue to fund low interest loans for the Cal-Vet program. We owe it to these young men and women who have made sacrifices for the rest of us. Even though this could cost up to $2 billion, historically the program has paid for itself.

On the individual candidates I endorse

Henry Waxman for Congress

Fran Pavley for the State Senate

Julia Brownley for the Assembly

I’ll make endorsements for the school board races and local propositions next week.