Recommendations for Feb 5, 2008 Primary Election

Raymond Lutz makes his suggestions for this election cycle:

President of the United States

Barack Obama
Our club's straw poll overwhelmingly chose John Edwards for the Democratic Candidate, and if he had stayed in the race (as he said he would) then I would be suggesting Edwards. Although I consider Edwards to be the better candidate because of his progressive values, I think Obama is the way to go in this primary. Here's why:
  • Obama was very proactive against Blackwater. He asked Rice for an explanation of why the Blackwater mercenary soldiers were given immunity after the September 16th massacre in Nissour Square, Baghdad. He also investigated the use of illegal gas by Blackwater security contractors. Although neither resulted in any action by the government so far (that I know of). Clinton made no statements at all.
  • Obama is an excellent orator, and I believe he will bring a new approach to the operation of this country. I don't have the confidence that Clinton will use that new approach.
  • Clinton has "baggage" and she is not progressive enough for my taste. She was on the board of directors of Wal Mart, for example, and took lots of campaign money from big-pharma. Were it not for her husband being the President, I don't think Hillary would rise to the level to be considered for President, like her as I do. (I even stood in line for a few hours to have her book signed.)

Proposition 91

This has been revoked even by the proponents and is only here as an artifact of the election process.

Proposition 92

Although I am for improving college funding, I don't think this is the right approach. First of all, reducing college fees by $5 is the least of the college students worries. Books are between $100 and $150 PER CLASS. My son is taking four classes and his books are nearly $600. Reducing each class by $5 per unit is like doing nothing at all. This just a cover to lock in a portion of the budget which will reduce funding for K-12, which I feel is more important to stress. Prop 92 does nothing more than lock in the budget percentages.

To make college more affordable, it would be smarter to attack the cost of textbooks. The use of new versions each year should be reduced to allow used books to be utilized. Especially for subjects like calculus which have been the same since Newton first developed it in the 1500s, the only reason to go to a new version is to make more money for the textbook publishers.

Proposition 93

Although I think the approach to this by the Democrats in power was quite unethical, prop 93 essentially increases the length of terms of legislators in our state government. Although some really bad Republican legislators would be termed out this year (and Prop 93 would extend their tenure) allowing members to server longer terms is good for State government.

Term limits was instituted as a means to gain some turnover and reduce the power of the incumbent. When terms are too short, the staff members become more powerful, and lobbyists gain more control. Longer terms will allow those members to get more experience and stand up to powerful lobbyists.

What we need instead is to fix the gerrymandered districts which make our districts noncompetitive.

Propositions 94-97

These were difficult to decide. First, we acknowledge that Native American cultures were abused and treated as slaves, then scuttled off to undesirable tracts of land and left in poverty. Only recently have the tribes found a means to prosperity.

With that said, the gaming industry preys upon the addicted gambler, with 75% of casino revenues coming from just 10% of their customers, and those gamblers continue to bet their savings and net worth to dust. But if such gambling is available in locations as close as Vegas, perhaps keeping the money in the state is wise.

The gaming agreements do not allow unionization, and this was one of the key issues discussed at the Democratic Executive Board. They finally took a neutral position.

In the end of this balancing act, the scales tip toward giving the tribes the decision. Except for only a few tribes, they are behind these measures.

Proposition D -- Cajon Valley Union School District

The schools in El Cajon valley are aging and in serious need of repair and upgrading. They recently closed Ballantyne school because the distribution of students in the valley, and now many of the other schools are over extended. However, the point made in the East County Californian is a good one. The enrollment in these valley schools has been dropping. Should we close any of the schools instead?

-- Raymond Lutz - 03 Feb 2008
Topic revision: r2 - 04 Feb 2008, RaymondLutz
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