Now get voting!
This election is the most important one in your lifetime. Get thee to a voting booth!
We wholeheartedly endorse Sen. Barack Obama for president. Here is a man with the potential to become a groundbreaking figure in American political life. He is one of few leaders today who might succeed at cutting through America’s conspicuous inability to solve its most pressing problems—the global economic meltdown, global warming and a mounting health-care crisis. Obama has a brilliant mind, a sound temperament, and understands firsthand the value of education, hard work and good timing. He had the judgment to stand against the war in Iraq from the start. He will cut taxes for working families and build a green-job workforce in America. We endorse him without hesitation.
Incumbent Rep. Mike Thompson has served the sprawling 1st District (stretching from Davis up to Del Norte County) since 1999. He has shown himself to be a smart, effective representative in Washington, D.C., on issues as varied as climate change, immigration and the war in Iraq. Thompson deserves re-election.
Vietnam veteran Bill Durston is the standout choice in the race for Congress in California’s 3rd Congressional District. A Marine-turned-emergency-room physician, Durston opposed the wrongful war in Iraq from the beginning and would work to bring our troops safely home from Iraq. His opponent in this race, incumbent Dan Lungren, is a career politician who has always been in lock step with the Bush administration. Vote for Durston.
We strongly urge voters in the 4th District to give Charlie Brown a seat in Congress. A career Air Force officer and a veteran of the Vietnam and the Gulf wars, Brown embraces a moderate conservatism that well suits this district, where a growing number of voters are registered as independent or “decline to state.” Brown has the appeal—and the credentials—to offer the 4th District outstanding representation in D.C. We strongly recommend the election of Charlie Brown.
Doris Matsui has represented her district with intelligence and care. Though we sometimes wish she would venture out of lock step with the often timid Democratic Party line, for the purposes of this general election, we believe she should be returned to Congress.
In her two terms representing the 8th Assembly District, Lois Wolk has proven herself to be a dedicated and effective legislator. Her work to encourage sound water policies—as can be evidenced by her bill to promote regional planning when it comes to flood control—has been particularly effective. Wolk’s opponent in this race, Republican Greg Aghazarian, is running an aggressive campaign against her, but he does not deserve to win. We urge you to cast a vote for Wolk.
We are delighted to support Mariko Yamada in her bid to represent the 8th Assembly District. Though we favored her opponent Christopher Cabaldon in the primary election for this seat, in the current field she is the standout choice. Yamada is a smart, straight-talking progressive with a long history of community activism and social work. We have no doubt that Yamada will champion the causes we at SN&R feel most strongly about. Vote Yamada in this race.
Here is one of the smartest, most dedicated progressive politicians in the state. Those of us who live in the Sacramento region should count ourselves very fortunate to have Dave Jones representing our district. We wish him re-election outright.
Stretching from Elk Grove to Amador County to Stockton, the 10th Assembly District has experienced a stunningly high rate of foreclosures due to the sub-prime mortgage scandal. The district needs a new leader to grapple with this and other issues, and it has found one in Alyson Huber. A Democrat and attorney from El Dorado Hills, Huber grew up in poverty and put herself through college. She is young and would be new to public office. But what she lacks in experience, she makes up for in brains and attitude. We urge a vote for Huber.
Superior Court Judge, Office 6
We support the recall effort that is underway to remove Judge Peter J. McBrien from the bench. The California Commission on Judicial Performance has admonished him in the past, and his erratic behavior has recently been spotlighted by the commission once again. For the purposes of this election, we urge readers not to vote for McBrien. Instead, consider a vote for Elk Grove attorney Matt Smith who has qualified as a write-in candidate for the judgeship.
Tough times are ahead; the city’s economic base is already feeling the pinch. While Kevin Johnson has shown a great deal of energy and a laudable commitment to the city of Sacramento in his pursuit of this office, we haven’t seen him demonstrate the sensibility it takes to govern rather than campaign. His recent efforts to raise votes by pandering to legitimate fears about crime—and to police unions—have been over the top. We also remain unconvinced that Johnson’s problems related to the St. Hope corporation are resolved.
The coming tough economic times are going to require a calm and quiet dedication from our city’s leader—a knack for building coalitions and a policy wonk’s attention to detail. That’s what Heather Fargo has given Sacramento in her previous terms, and we expect more of it in the future. We endorse Fargo for mayor.
West Sacramento Mayor
West Sacramento has—so far, at least—dodged the worst of the economic bullet. Incumbent Mayor Christopher Cabaldon is more than partially responsible for the decent shape West Sacramento is in, as well as for the steady growth it has experienced in the last few years. West Sacramento voters would be wise to keep Cabaldon in the mayor’s office. He obviously has a good grasp on the job and loves his city.
Sacramento City Unified School District Board
This candidate’s heavy involvement in neighborhood organizations gives him a solid base from which to represent the area. Donald Terry’s previous work with SCUSD’s policy advisory board will enable him to hit the ground running, and his work with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization makes clear his commitment to youth. Terry is our choice for this area.
Theresa Saechao offers youthful energy and enthusiasm aplenty, but she also brings along practical experience from her anti-gang work. In addition, her active connections to previously under-represented sections of the city’s Asian community would be a welcome addition to the board. Of three excellent candidates in this area, Saechao is our choice.
This candidate combines experience in child development with experience in the arts, having worked in both fields. It’s a win-win combination for the school board, and we recommend the voters of Area 5 embrace her well-rounded perspective.
Los Rios Community College Board
We strongly urge votes to return all three incumbents to service on the Los Rios Community College Board. Each has shown a deep commitment to maintaining and improving services at our community colleges, which are the bedrock of higher education. The community colleges in our areas remain strong in spite of state budget cutbacks and tough economic times, and the members of the board are part of the reason for that success.
Area 3–Terry Cochran
Area 5–Pam Haynes
Area 7–Kay Albani
SMUD Board of Directors
Nancy Bui is smart, young and will carry forward the progressive, green tradition that SMUD has typically followed these last couple of decades. Bui has the endorsement of most SMUD board members and several board members of the Environmental Council of Sacramento. We strongly support her election to this seat.
Measure M: YES. The Los Rios Community College District has asked voters to approve $475 million bond to help our burgeoning community-college district to meet its substantial growth needs. Basically, Measure M would help the district continue to build “minicampuses” (all attached to a parent community college—Sacramento City College, American River College, etc. Though fundamentally about education, this measure can also be seen as a jobs-creation bill—one that will help produce the region’s high-tech and health-care workers of the future.
Measure O: YES. While text messagers—especially the young—may resent paying an additional use tax, this is a fair and necessary source of revenue for the city of Sacramento. In fact, had it not been for a lawsuit challenging the city’s right to tax this utility, we’d already be paying the moderate amount requested. While voting for a tax measure is difficult in rough economic times, this one makes sense.
Proposition 1A: YES. Some argue that the global financial crisis and worsening state budget should make us vote no on propositions that come with a price tag. We disagree. Now more than ever is the time to support the breakthrough innovations, especially ones that will create jobs and attack the climate-change crisis by getting people out of their cars. This $9.95 billion bond to help build a high–speed rail system in California is a great long-term investment for the state. Bring on the bullet trains!
Proposition 2: YES. This moderate animal-rights measure would halt the overly cruel confinement of farm animals in California, especially chickens, calves and pigs.
Proposition 3: YES. This $980 million bond for private and public children’s hospitals will serve to take pressure off the state’s besieged public general hospitals.
Proposition 4: NO. Studies clearly indicate that such “parental notification” laws do nothing whatever to decrease teenage pregnancies or abortions.
Proposition 5: YES. This measure expands rehabilitation programs so as to treat violent and nonviolent offenders differently. It will reduce prison overcrowding and will pay for itself.
Proposition 6: NO. This tough-on-crime measure will create new law-enforcement bureaucracies, cost a billion dollars and continue to pack our already overcrowded jails and prisons.
Proposition 7: NO. However well-intended, this measure would not help California fight for more renewable power. It is opposed by dozens of organizations who have championed a “green agenda” for decades.
Proposition 8: NO. We believe all adults have the fundamental, constitutional right to marry the partner of their choice. We strongly oppose this attempt to overturn last June’s court decision allowing gay couples to marry.
Proposition 9: NO. This “victims’ rights” measure comes with a huge price tag, and it’s ultimately unnecessary.
Proposition 10: NO. This $5 billion bond would have California subsidize natural gas over other deserving alternative energy sources. It doesn’t make sense.
Proposition 11: YES. If done in conjunction with campaign finance reform and an end to term limits, this redistricting effort would put an end to the undemocratic manner in which incumbents and political parties now shape districts and control who is elected.
Proposition 12: YES. The $900 million bond to help veterans buy homes is a great deal for the state. Vote yes.