Monday, October 25, 2010

Los Angeles Times -- Voter Guide -

Los Angeles Times -- Voter Guide -

Jerry Brown
California attorney generalwebsite:
Brown, 72, served as governor of California from 1975 to 1983 and has served as the state's attorney general since 2007. Brown has also served as California secretary of state (1971 to 1975), the state Democratic Party chairman (1989 to 1991), and mayor of Oakland (1998 to 2006). Brown promises honesty in the budget process, no tax increases unless approved by voters, and a return of authority and decision-making to cities, counties and local schools.
Times coverage:
» Brown's long political past cuts both ways
» PolitiCal: Follow Jerry Brown

Meg Whitman
Former EBay CEOwebsite:
Whitman, 54, served as president and chief executive of EBay from 1998 to 2008. She also held executive positions at Procter & Gamble, Hasbro, Stride Rite, Disney and Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD). Whitman promises to create at least 2 million private-sector jobs by 2015, cut at least $15 billion from the state budget, and improve education by returning control of schools to parents, principals and teachers; and expanding charters.
Times coverage:

Barbara Boxer
U.S. senatorwebsite:
Boxer, 69, is seeking her fourth term as senator. She says her single goal is "to get California back on track" by creating jobs and improving the lives of Californians. She says she has contributed to the Obama administration's efforts to increase jobs. She has been a lifelong advocate for environmental policies, and has worked to protect threatened parts of California. She chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, strongly backed the recently approved healthcare bill, would extend Bush-era tax cuts for 98% of earners, and supports an assault-weapons ban.
Times coverage:
» Boxer still quick to take the gloves off
» PolitiCal: Follow Barbara Boxer

Carly Fiorina
Former Hewlett-Packard CEOwebsite:
Fiorina, 56, served as president and chief executive of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005. She was also a senior executive at AT&T and its 1996 spinoff, Lucent Technologies, from 1980 to 1999. She is the only woman to have headed a Fortune 20 company. She promises to encourage economic growth and job creation with lower taxes and less regulation. She is against abortion and gay marriage. She wants to repeal and replace healthcare reform, and bring relief to Central Valley farmers by overturning water regulations protecting the Delta smelt. She wants to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open.

Lieutenant governor
Gavin Newsom
San Francisco mayorwebsite:
Newsom, 42, was elected mayor of San Francisco in 2003 and reelected in 2007. He was also appointed to the San Francisco city/county Board of Supervisors in 1997, elected supervisor in 1998, and reelected in 2000 and 2002. He plans to conserve California's natural resources and he opposes expansion of offshore oil drilling. He plans to keep the state's open spaces accessible, support the state's global warming law, and push for more state money for higher education and the reduction of student fees.
Times coverage:
» Newsom attacks Maldonado in first paid ad
» PolitiCal: Follow Gavin Newsom

Abel Maldonado
Lt. governor (appointed)website: abelmaldonado2010
Maldonado, 43, serves as California’s lieutenant governor. He plans to maximize the office's role in creating and retaining jobs through the Economic Development Commission; use university board positions to reinforce the role of higher education as centers of innovation for economic development; use the lieutenant governor’s seat on the State Lands Commission to enhance development of new and alternative energy facilities; and improve the state’s response to emergencies.

Attorney general
Kamala D. Harris
San Francisco district attorneywebsite:
Harris, 45, is a two-term San Francisco district attorney who previously worked as a prosecutor in Alameda County. She is running on a "smart on crime" platform, vowing to pursue white-collar and violent crime as well as to support greenhouse-gas regulations. If elected, she would be the first woman and the first person of color to hold the office.
Times coverage:
» Kamala Harris is a different kind of prosecutor
» PolitiCal: Follow Kamala Harris

Steve Cooley
L.A. County district attorneywebsite:
Cooley, 63, joined the Los Angeles County district attorney's office in 1973, becoming the elected district attorney in 2000. Cooley founded the county's public integrity unit, which prosecutes wrongdoing among government officials. His platform includes expanding the use of DNA for solving crime, defending the death penalty and prosecuting Medi-Cal fraud.

Secretary of state
Debra Bowen
California secretary of statewebsite:
Bowen, who is seeking reelection, took office after serving in the state Assembly and Senate. She has promised to improve the integrity of the elections process and make government more accessible to residents. Bowen, 54, has been examining the accuracy of voting systems in California.
Times coverage:
» PolitiCal: Follow Democrat candidates
» Times coverage: Debra Bowen

Damon Dunn
Former NFL playerwebsite:
A Stanford University graduate and former professional football player who owns a real estate business, Dunn is 34. He is campaigning on a promise to increase voter registration, make it easier for people to vote, and crack down on fraud in elections by requiring voters to show identification at the polls.

John Chiang
California controllerwebsite:
Chiang, 48, is finishing his first term as controller. Previously, he was an elected member of the State Board of Equalization. His priorities have been to upgrade the technology in the controller's office, return unclaimed property to state residents, and manage California's cash supply to ensure that bills are paid. Chiang oversaw the issuance of billions of dollars in IOUs that the state sent out last year, when lawmakers and the governor were unable to agree on action to address a cash shortage.
Times coverage:
» Chiang accuses governor of 'political tricks'
» PolitiCal: Follow John Chiang

Tony Strickland
California senatorwebsite:
Strickland has represented the Conejo Valley as both a state assemblyman and senator. The 40-year-old fiscal conservative and anti-tax crusader has been highly critical of Chiang's tenure as controller. Strickland says he would focus on more aggressively auditing state spending and "maximizing dollars" that the state collects in taxes. He would also use the controller's seat on the State Lands Commission to push for approval of offshore oil drilling near Santa Barbara.

Bill Lockyer
California treasurerwebsite:
First elected in 1973, Lockyer, 69, is California's most veteran state official. A former assemblyman, state Senate leader and two-term attorney general, he is running for reelection. He touts his record promoting green investment, pressuring lawmakers to adopt a balanced budget and pushing to lower interest rates that the state pays to Wall Street.
Times coverage:
» Lockyer calls for annual reports on public officials' pay
» PolitiCal: Follow Bill Lockyer

Mimi Walters
California senatorwebsite:
Walters, 48, is a former investment banker and Laguna Niguel City Council member. She was elected to the state Assembly in 2004 and ascended to the state Senate in 2008. She led an unsuccessful 2006 campaign to curb governments' eminent domain powers. If elected treasurer, Walters has vowed to limit borrowing and shrink the state debt.

Insurance commissioner
Dave Jones
California assemblymanWebsite:
Jones, 48, a three-term legislator, is an advocate for comprehensive healthcare reform. He has promised that his first priority would be making sure insurance companies don't take advantage of their customers. He has also promised to prevent companies from rescinding coverage when people get sick and to hold public hearings on major decisions. Before his election to the Assembly, Jones served on the Sacramento City Council and was a Legal Aid attorney.
Times coverage:
» Healthcare reform raises the stakes
» PolitiCal: Follow the Insurance Commissioner race

Mike Villines
California assemblymanwebsite:
Villines, 43, is a former Republican leader in the state Assembly who barely survived a close primary in June against a virtual unknown. He has promised to foster competition among insurance companies to help keep rates low, crack down on insurance fraud and hold the line on workers' compensation costs. Villines served three terms in the Assembly and, before being elected to the Legislature, was an aide to former Gov. Pete Wilson.

Superintendent of public instruction
Tom Torlakson
California assemblymanwebsite:
Torlakson, 61, a former teacher, emphasizes political skills honed during a long tenure in the state Legislature. He aligns seamlessly with the California Teachers Assn., his most monied supporter, on policy positions. He's reluctant to tie standardized test data to teacher evaluations, wants more accountability measures on charter schools and opposed the state's Race to the Top federal grant application, saying it mandated unproven reforms.

Larry Aceves
A longtime Democrat who re-registered as an independent, Aceves, 66, rose gradually through the ranks from bilingual teacher to superintendent of two small San Jose-area school systems from 1991 until 2006. He also headed the Assn. of California School Administrators, which has heavily backed his campaign. He emphasizes a comparatively nonpolitical, administrative background and has policy positions similar to Torlakson's.

Advocacy organizations:

» Marijuana legalization bill approved by key committee
Proposition 19 would make use of marijuana legal under California law, although it would remain illegal under federal law. Supporters say regulating and taxing the sale of marijuana would help raise money for cash-strapped local governments and save tens of millions of dollars per year on the costs of jailing and supervising marijuana offenders. Opponents say legalization would increase the number of teenagers and young adults who abuse the drug. As with alcohol, the legal age for buying marijuana would be 21, and it would still be illegal to drive under the influence.

Proposition 20: Congressional redistricting
» Opinion L.A.: Follow Prop. 20
Proposition 20 would remove from the Legislature the power to draw congressional districts, transferring it to an independent 14-member commission that is already set to redraw lines for state legislative districts next year. The commission has five Democrats, five Republicans and four members registered with neither party. District lines must be approved by nine members, including three Democrats, three Republicans and three from neither party. The goal of the measure's promoters is to eliminate gerrymandering -- the practice of creating politically safe districts.
» Opinion L.A.: Follow Prop. 21
Proposition 21 would charge Californians a new annual $18 fee for each car they register. The surcharge would be used to pay for upkeep of state parks and wildlife conservation programs. Vehicles subject to the fee would receive free admission and parking at all state parks. The measure would generate at least $250 million more for state parks and wildlife conservation, according to the nonpartisan legislative analyst's office.
» Opinion L.A.: Follow Prop. 22
Proposition 22 would prohibit the state from taking funds from local governments and other local agencies, including regional transportation improvement projects. The measure, championed by the League of California Cities and other local government groups, would also bar the state from delaying the distribution of tax revenue owed to local governments, even during a budget crisis. The California Teachers Assn. and other labor groups oppose the measure, saying it would force cuts in education and other state services.
» Opinion L.A.: Follow Prop. 23
Proposition 23 would suspend implementation of the state's landmark global warming law until unemployment in California drops to 5.5% or below for a full year, a rare occurrence in California. Backers of the measure include large oil companies, which stand to lose financially from the state's push toward less polluting sources of energy. Environmentalists and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger oppose the measure, which they say would set back efforts to curb greenhouse gases in California and elsewhere and undermine growth of the state's green sector.
Proposition 24: Business taxes
» Opinion L.A.: Follow Prop. 24
Proposition 24 would repeal about $1.3 billion in annual corporate tax breaks scheduled to begin taking effect this year. The tax breaks were approved as part of the state budget in 2008 and 2009. The campaign is funded by organized labor groups that argue the state cannot afford the tax breaks during the budget crisis.
» Opinion L.A.: Follow Prop. 25
Proposition 25 would allow the Legislature to pass state budgets with a simple majority rather than the two-thirds vote now required. It would not apply to tax increases, which would still require a two-thirds majority. The proposal would also penalize state lawmakers if they failed to pass a budget by June 15, causing them to forfeit their salaries and expenses for every day they fail to settle on a spending plan.
» Opinion L.A.: Follow Prop. 26
Proposition 26 would require a two-thirds vote, rather than the simple majority now required, for the Legislature to pass or raise certain fees for government programs. The measure would also prohibit local governments from raising some taxes without two-thirds voter approval. The head of the California Chamber of Commerce says the measure closes a loophole to protect consumers, but environmentalists say the measure is the work of big businesses that want to make it harder for government to charge them for the cost of protecting the environment and public health.
» Opinion L.A.: Follow Prop. 27
Proposition 27 would eliminate the independent commission that voters authorized to redraw state legislative boundaries and return that authority to the Legislature. Populations of districts for the same office would be equalized. Voters would have the power to reject district maps approved by the Legislature.

Third party candidates
Chelene Nightingale, American Independent
Laura Wells, Green
Dale F. Ogden, Libertarian
Carlos Alvarez, Peace and Freedom
U.S. Senate
Edward C. Noonan, American Independent
Duane Roberts, Green
Gail K. Lightfoot, Libertarian
Marsha Feinland, Peace and Freedom
Lieutenant governor
Jim King, American Independent
James "Jimi" Castillo, Green
Pamela J. Brown, Libertarian
C.T. Weber, Peace and Freedom
Attorney general
Diane Beall Templin, American Independent
Peter Allen, Green
Timothy J. Hannan, Libertarian
Robert J. Evans, Peace and Freedom
Secretary of state
Merton D. Short, American Independent
Ann Menasche, Green
Christina Tobin, Libertarian
Marylou Cabral, Peace and Freedom
Lawrence G. Beliz, American Independent
Ross D. Frankel, Green
Andrew "Andy" Favor, Libertarian
Karen Martinez, Peace and Freedom
Robert Lauten, American Independent
Charles "Kit" Crittenden, Green
Edward M. Teyssier, Libertarian
Debra L. Reiger, Peace and Freedom
Insurance commissioner
Clay Pedersen, American Independent
William Balderston, Green
Richard S. Bronstein, Libertarian
Dina Josephine Padilla, Peace and Freedom

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