How I'm gonna vote (Which I don't imagine is interesting to anyone.)

reese-witherspoon-as-tracy-flickListen, I'm just some dude you don't even know. I'm not renown for anything besides writing an article about Big & Tall fashion that was once cited as source material for the much more popular Wikihow entry on the same topic. I follow more people on Twitter than follow me back. But I have been known to offer up my unsolicited opinions on this blog and produce a podcast that's mostly about what people think and why (that I haven't updated in three months because I've been weary as shit while trying to manage my horde of children and getting more sleep). I figure if I'm going to go through all the effort of maintaining the semblance of a public profile for ZERO benefit, the least I can do is share my opinions on the upcoming election:
President and Vice President
I'm voting for Hillary Clinton because she's the only qualified candidate running for the office of the President. Don't even talk to me about Trump; child rapists have no place even walking amongst us in a free society, let alone able to push the button that nukes the next entity who makes him feel insecure. I voice full-throated support for people voting their conscience and don't knock others for supporting third-party candidates on principle, but Johnson and Stein are unserious candidates who would fail as miserably as Trump if they found themselves in any position of real power. There is a reason middle school basketball hoops are the same height as the NBA; there is no sense in kidding ourselves about what it takes to go pro. None of these other candidates can talk serious policy for more than 30 seconds, and all fall apart if you ask them to explain how they'd accomplish their goals in the real world. All appeal to some ideal (and ideological) utopia where everyone already agrees with their ideas and concepts like separation of powers do not exist. None of these lesser candidates would be ready on day one. I'd support Bernie because he was a serious candidate but he's no longer running. Hillary, e-mails and all, will be as good a president as most presidents. (If you know your history, you'll know if that is a compliment). I, for one, do not need a Christ-figure for president; I accept that people are flawed and, most of us, behind closed doors, say and discuss shit that would melt the ears of any delicate flower. She's done the work, is savage as shit, and if she brings even half the advisors and support staff that gave us the Clinton I administration, that, in turn, gave us the economy of the 90s, I'm good. Anyone who still tries to make the argument that Trump and Hillary are the same level of terrible is not trying to convince me of anything; they are trying to convince themselves.
U.S. Senate California
I'm voting for Kamala D. Harris because Loretta Sanchez dabbed at the CA Senate debate. Everything else just faded into the background at that point. Besides, our choice is Democrat or a Democrat; I'm going with the one who hasn't already made a fool of herself in public.
U.S. House California District 26
Am I voting for Julia Brownley because she is a Democrat? No. Am I voting for her because she's a woman? Not really, but I'm proud to say that, this year, in every single race where a woman is an option, I am voting for one. Am I voting for her because she's the incumbent...probably, (I'll explain later.) Listen, she vanquished Tony Strickland in 2012 and deserves another term. BONUS: Gotta do my part to help Dems maintain the seats they have so they can flip the House.
California State Senate District 19
Hannah-Beth Jackson looks like a grandma. Not my grandma, but someone's grandma. She's super awesome for lots of other reasons: environment, education, economy...all the "Es," but honestly, like she's the kind of grandma who might grab your arm and toss you over her body onto the ground if you accidently walked up behind her too quiet and, as she's poised to crush all the bones in your hand, her eyes come back into focus, and she realizes it's just you. She absolutely won't explain where she learned that. Guys, you had better vote for Hannah-Beth Jackson.
California State Assembly District 44
I'm voting for Jackie Irwin because Kerry Nelson doesn't even have a real website. A Facebook Group? You're going to have to try harder. Kerry, if that is your real name, do you know most of your images represented across the web are default avatars? EGGS for Christ's sake! I know we come from different sides of the political spectrum, but I'm for hire. I'd totally run your website for you and not even sabotage it. It's not too late, call me.
Ventura County Supervisor
Carla Castilla for Alliteration!
Board Member Oxnard School District Area 4
Both women, both Latinas, but I gotta go with Monica Madrigal Lopez because two years ago, my mom married a guy named Madrigal and took his last name, which makes me an honorary Madrigal and if I ever need a favor from the local school board, imma come calling. Maybe a cushy tech support position or the czar of something; whatever, you owe me.
Board Member Oxnard Union High Board of Education At-large
Two dudes, Gary Davis and Steven Hall, no ladies....Ugh, you guys are gonna ruin my streak. Wait a second; both will be elected to these positions due to lack of opposition. Yay! I'm voting for all women this year. ABSTENTION!
Oxnard Board of Trustees Area 1
There are only three political yard signs on my whole block, and all three of them are for Ruby Durias. I'll join my neighbors on this. Chalk one up to propaganda. (Nobody, even I, dared put up a yard sign for President, but my teenager's Bernie sticker-still-on her car gave us away.) Plus, I just finished Dan Carlin's Hardcore History Podcast series on the Achaemenid Persian Empire, and if Ruby Durias is a descendant of King Darius, (pronounced the same) father of Xerxes, I'd like to think I'm helping to continue the dynasty.
14591782 10209304630987312 7315113074271336193 nCity of Oxnard Mayor
Armando Sepulveda put his business card in my kid's Halloween candy and wrote his candidate statement in the third person. I'm gonna have to re-elect Tim Flynn. NO WOMEN? Streak ruined.
Oxnard City Council
Genevieve Flores-Haro is the only woman against 10 dudes. The ballot instructs me to "Vote for No More Than Two," so I guess that means I can vote for just one. Also, she's endorsed by the Ventura County Democratic Party.
Oxnard City Clerk
Tiffany Lopez (See a pattern?)
Oxnard City Treasurer
Al Jones (a dude)
Oxnard Harbor District
Here's my take on incumbents: I think if I'm not very familiar with a race or if I don't have an opinion either way, or if I'm torn between two positions (say, like someone who is still trying to make up their mind between Hillary and Trump) I think that one should vote for the incumbent or the measure that doesn't change things, or otherwise maintains the status quo. I am a progressive; I believe in change and improving the things we have, in trying new things, but what I don't believe in is change for change's sake. Change has to be worthwhile or at least better than what we have now. In a nod to conservative Americans, I acknowledge most change is bad change. Most experiments fail. I know that the balancing factor of all of that is inertia, (never regression) which is why I don't mind voting for the incumbent candidate, or for the position that doesn't move anything forward, particularly if I don't have many other details. The Ventura County Democratic Party wants me to vote for Laura Gallardo, but the incumbents are Manuel Lopez and Arlene Naomi Fraser. With no other info or opinions, I feel my vote is best served to maintain what we have. Either they haven't fucked up so bad as for me to hear about it in the news, a low bar sure, but seriously, how many can pass that these days? (Eh, Tim Flynn?) Or their opposition hasn't done enough to convince me that I should be more invested in this particular race. So I'm not ashamed to say I vote for incumbents, just because.
California Proposition 51, Public School Facility Bonds
UGH, this is a tough one...schools need so much, but I hate that we fund things with bonds. Things like school buildings should be budgeted and paid for with taxes, not bonds. Bonds are things rich people buy to fund things like building projects right away with the promise that we will pay them back in the future with interest. If the economy doesn't grow at a rate that increases the tax base to pay for the accrued interest on bonds, we either have to default on payments or raise taxes in the future to pay off bonds i.e. raises taxes to make sure people profit off government infrastructure. In California, nearly 60% of our infrastructure is paid for with bonds which means a measurable portion of taxes you pay is profit to investors, whose businesses stand to benefit the most from improved infrastructure. NO MORE BONDS. You want something nice, pay your taxes. (Oh, and quit blocking new taxes.)
California Proposition 52, Continued Hospital Fee Revenue Dedicated to Medi-Cal Unless Voters Approve Changes
Yep, Voters, should have a say if someone wants to redirect Medi-cal Funds.
California Proposition 53: Voter Approval Requirement for Revenue Bonds above $2 Billion
GRRR, again with the bonds. I know this prop to limit the issuing of bonds is funded by rich right wingers to limit their tax liability. (See, rich people know bonds eventually increase taxes) I don't support bonds, but ultimately I don't like being anyone's tool. Vote NO.
California Proposition 54: Public Display of Legislative Bills
Sounds nice on the face of it, but looks to usurp the right of the legislature to conduct special sessions. Plus nearly 100% of the funding of the yes campaign comes from a guy whose bio reads "...son of billionaire..." NOPE.
California Proposition 55, Extension of the Proposition 30 Income Tax Increase
Keeps temporary tax increases that fund children's health care and education to prevent teacher layoffs. YIP.
California Proposition 56: Tobacco Tax Increase
I favor taxes, but hate the idea of vice taxes for unrelated causes. Listen, you hate smokers, fine. Laugh in their face, look disapprovingly at them from across the room, outlive them by ten years, but trying to get them to quit from the ballot box seems shitty. Smokers are people who have such high anxiety, that having lungs full of burning smoke is better than how they feel right now. An extra $2 ain't gonna change that. I'M VOTING NO.
California Proposition 57, Parole for Nonviolent Criminals and Juvenile Court Trial Requirements
I fully support leniency for non-violent criminals, and I would like to end the practice of trying juveniles as adults altogether, but I'll take this step for now. VOTE YES.
California Proposition 58, Non-English Languages Allowed in Public Education
Si! Forcing kids to learn English before all other subjects at school puts them at so many other disadvantages; it's a crime. Why do you need to learn Math in English? Aye, Carumba. VOTING YES.
California Proposition 59, Overturn of Citizens United Act Advisory Question
Please California legislators, use all the constitutional authority you have to overturn Citizen's United. YES.
California Proposition 60, Condoms in Pornographic Films
It's been ten years since the last transmission of HIV on a porn set. The industry has worked it out by regular testing. This is a solution looking for a problem. They're trying to legislate morality from the ballot box by killing the mood, NOPE.
California Proposition 61, California Drug Price Standards
YEP. State agencies should get the same drug deals as the VA. Pharmaceutical companies have dumped over $100,000,000 to defeat this bill. To me, that speaks to the amount of money they plan to make or fear losing selling medicine to people who depend on state medical care. Our health is not a profit center. You wanna be rich? How about make a better phone than Samsung.
California Proposition 62, Repeal of the Death Penalty
YEP. I haven't always been against the death penalty, but I think our current justice system is too flawed to prevent accidentally killing innocent people. It can't happen again.
California Proposition 63: Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban
YEP. If we can't get gun control, I'll take bullet control.
Proposition 64, California Marijuana Legalization
I like the idea of legalization because of the potential revenue stream and decriminalization, but don't like that this is shaping up to hand this industry over to big corporations. Hmmmm Yeah, I guess.
California Proposition 65, Dedication of Revenue from Disposable Bag Sales to Wildlife Conservation Fund
If the stores are selling us bags, what do I care what they do with the money? Too close to telling business how to conduct business for no societal reason other than somebody's favorite cause. NOPE.
California Proposition 66, Death Penalty Procedures
Less ability for death row inmates to mount a defense. No, thank you.
California Proposition 67, Plastic Bag Ban Veto Referendum
YEAH, except now I have to figure out if can I take my Vons branded reusable bags into Whole Foods?
Ventura County Measure AA
Infrastructure improvements with sales tax, sure.
Ventura County Measure C
Extend SOAR another 30 years, sure.
Ventura County Measure F
Nope, a countermeasure to C promoted by the opposition.
Oxnard Measure D
Sorry. No bonds, pay taxes and funds schools with proper budgets to qualify for federal matching grants.
Oxnard Measure K
Limits development til 2030, Yes
Oxnard Measure L
Limits development til 2050, Yes
Oxnard Measure M
Repeal New Wastewater rates? Why Not.
gimme five teachers e
And with that, Like a baseball game where the away team is up by four at the top of the ninth, I'm gonna start walking to my car to avoid traffic. I'm exhausted by this election. Whatever happens, over 40% of Americans are going to wake up on the morning of the 9th of November feeling like they live in a country that doesn't value them and has seemly gone mad. Regardless of how much we have ridiculed the other side and questioned their sanity and intelligence, they are still Americans who are going to have a huge impact on everything that will come after. I will continue to ridicule the politicians who fail to embrace reason, and I will work to fight ideas and systems that I think are faulty but as best as I am able, I am going to stop ridiculing the people I disagree with. Unlike some of my favorite Christopher Guest movies, I believe in punching up. Satire, humor, and ridicule should be directed at the powerful, but not at our equals or those with less than us. To them, we owe respect, education, and compassion. Every one who, for example, supports Hillary Clinton, despite her flaws, has to acknowledge that it's possible to support a side even if the candidate gives you pause. People, every day, have to compromise their ideals to do what they think is best for themselves and their families. I can't knock the individuals. And like the Black Jeopardy sketch with Tom Hanks suggests, perhaps we have more in common than we realize.