CN&R’s picks for Nov. 6
The Nov. 6 ballot is packed with important contests, from the local to the federal level. The CN&R editorial board has done its homework to make the following endorsements. Note: We are not weighing in on every race. As always, we urge voters to research candidates and issues and come to their own conclusions.
Chico City Council: Rich Ober, Scott Huber and Alex Brown
This election is a pivotal one for Chico. The conservative majority of the last four years has done a great disservice to the community—from its lack of progress on homelessness to its inability to foster civil discourse—and we were determined to endorse those we believe are best suited to change the city’s course on these and other important issues.
Rich Ober, Scott Huber and Alex Brown are the three progressives in the field. All are smart, articulate and open-minded. They have the temperament and willingness to serve all constituents—regardless of politics or economic status—and seek out best practices and data-driven approaches, rather than the knee-jerk ideological reactions that have divided the community of late.
It’s true that the council will switch to a liberal majority if just one of the aforementioned candidates is elected to the seven-member panel. We’re endorsing all three because they have the innovative ideas, experience and will to move the city forward.
Measure S (term limits): No
Mandates a two-year hiatus for Chico City Council members elected to three consecutive terms. The idea is that it will bring “fresh blood” to the council. Our question: at what cost? Historical knowledge and wisdom gained from experience are key to effective government. Moreover, taking away voters’ choice is fundamentally anti-democratic.
Governor: Gavin Newsom
Our choice is less an endorsement of the current lieutenant governor and more a rejection of his challenger. Republican John Cox has spent nearly two decades in the Midwest waging failed efforts to become a high-ranking public official. The change of scenery doesn’t change the fact that he’s not qualified for the job.
Prop. 1 ($4 billion affordable housing bond): Yes. We need additional housing now, especially for low-income residents. This is one tool to get us there, and a quarter of the funding is earmarked for veterans.
Prop. 2 (mental health money for housing): Yes. Allows $2 billion to be borrowed for use on supportive housing for mentally ill individuals with repayment from revenues collected via the voter-approved Mental Health Services Act.
Prop. 3 ($8.9 billion water bond): No. Calls on taxpayers to pay for regional water conveyance systems used by big ag. Our take: Private industry is benefiting and should foot the bill.
Prop. 4 ($1.5 billion for children’s hospitals): Yes. Funds upgrades at public and private nonprofit hospitals that provide a critical service to ailing kids, especially those with special needs who are enrolled in state programs, such as Medi-Cal, which provides abysmal reimbursement rates.
Prop. 5 (portable Prop. 13): No. Allows older and disabled homeowners to keep their lower property tax rate no matter how many times and where they move in the state. It would take money from public schools.
Prop. 6 (gas and vehicle tax repeal): No. Repealing the lawmaker-enacted fuel tax and vehicle fees means California’s crumbling transportation infrastructure—from highways to bridges to local streets—would not get the maintenance it desperately needs.
Prop. 7 (daylight saving time): Yes. Puts Californians closer to getting rid of that antiquated time tradition. The goal is to switch to daylight saving time year-round. However, that effort hinges on congressional approval, so this is just the first step.
Prop. 8 (dialysis clinic profit pruning): Yes. This one pits unions against two major dialysis companies raking in enormous profits from private insurers. There’s a complex gambit at play here, and the end result is increased insurance rates and insurers pulling out of health care exchanges. The measure caps the companies’ revenues.
Prop. 10 (expanded rent control): Yes. Repeals a law that widely prohibited rent control. It’s not a housing crisis cure. Rather, it allows local government to take up the issue.
Prop. 11 (paramedic break time): Yes. Makes a special exception in the labor code for private company EMTs and paramedics that requires them to remain on call during paid breaks, as a matter of public safety. This has long been the case, but a recent state Supreme Court ruling put companies at risk of lawsuits.
Prop. 12 (farm animal welfare): Yes. Mandates that eggs sold in the state are produced by cage-free hens, starting in 2022. Additionally, mandates sales of veal and pork products are from animals that were not confined.
Congressional District 1: Audrey Denney
Rep. Doug LaMalfa typifies the “do-nothing Congress.” The proof lies in his record—the three-term incumbent has voted against the interests of his overwhelmingly low-income District 1 constituents time and again. Moreover, he’s a dishonest, greedy Trump toady—regularly falling on the wrong side of history.
Audrey Denney, on the other hand, is nearly his polar opposite. She’s energetic, smart and resilient. Unlike LaMalfa, she is not under the thumb of corporate interests. We believe she has the best interests of North State residents at heart and will work hard in Washington to better our lives.
U.S. Senate: Kevin de León
This was a tough call for the CN&R—hence us waiting until now to make a final decision. In the end, after watching a debate with incumbent Dianne Feinstein, we’re going with de León. He and Feinstein don’t disagree on a lot—but we believe de León is better prepared to push back not only on bad state policy, such as the twin tunnels project championed by the state’s outgoing Democratic governor, but also on the disastrous plans of the demagogue in the White House (he’s called President Trump “soulless”; we agree).