Vote or die!

SN&R’s endorsements for the 2016 election

This presidential election feels like it’s been a million lifetimes in the making—certainly its impact could affect generations to come. It feels critical, it feels like a life or death moment for American democracy—and for once we can say that’s not just the rigged liberal media hyperbole talking. But come November 8, it’s not just about defeating a fascist-leaning narcissist with the impulse control of a toddler—it’s also about making some huge decisions locally and on a statewide level. Read on for SN&R’s recommendations on how to vote this Election Day.

United States President

Hillary Clinton

We get it, she’s not Bernie Sanders—but in the case of the world vs. Donald Trump this hardly just makes her the so-called lesser of two evils. Yes, she’s hawkish for a Democrat. Yes, she’s pretty centrist. Yes, we know about the emails. Enough with the damn emails already.

Clinton, despite her many flaws, is smart, tough, capable and more than qualified to lead this country and, as she’s shown repeatedly throughout this brutal, contentious election, she’s got the brains, compassion and, yes, temperament, to get the job done.

Sacramento County Board of Supervisors, District 4

Mike Kozlowski

While the architect and energy consultant does not have the political experience of Citrus Heights City Councilwoman Sue Frost, Kozlowski is a more pragmatic Republican who’s also been following the emotional and controversial flare-ups in District 4 more closely than his rival—and he appears more open-minded about the possible solutions.

Congressional District 7

Ami Bera

We’re inclined to abstain from filling in the oval on this race but if you must vote then we will, very reluctantly, tell you to vote Bera. Essentially, Bera’s like a political bear that hibernates for three-and-a-half years and only wakens for elections, while Scott Jones is simply a kinder, gentler D-Trump, inventing a border problem only he can supposedly solve.

U.S. Senate

Kamala Harris

Despite her 11th-hour pandering prosecution of Backpage, the Democratic attorney general is still more deserving of Barbara Boxer’s seat than tough-talking, debate-dabbing Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

U.S. Representative, District 3

John Garamendi

U.S. Representative, District 6

Doris Matsui

U.S. Representative, District 9

Jerry McNerney

State Senator Senate, District 1

Rob Rowen

State Senator, District 3

Mariko Yamada

State Senator, District 5

Cathleen Galgiani

State Assembly, District 6

Brian Caples

State Assembly, District 7

Kevin McCarty

State Assembly, District 8

Ken Cooley

State Assembly, District 9

Jim Cooper

State Assembly, District 11

Jim Frazier

Measure B, Sacramento County Transportation Tax


We’re not 100 percent on board with this half-cent sales tax for light rail, road repair, etc—voters already passed a half-cent transportation tax in 1988, which has been renewed through 2039. Another 30-year (plus?) sales tax is a tough pill to swallow, but improved roads and transportation are critical for Sacramento’s future.

Measure G, Sacramento City Unified Parcel Tax


This property tax expands programs and provides funds will raise $7 million annually for student counseling, tutoring and more for at-risk kids.

Measure L, Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission Act


It’s time to finally remove city council from the process of redrawing districts.

Proposition 51, School construction bond


This measure would benefit suburban neighborhoods over low-income ones; and, if approved, Measure G, will bring in additional funds for the kids who need it most.

Proposition 52, hospital fees


This initiative would prevent lawmakers from diverting money raised from the state’s MediCal hospital fee into the general fund. California hospitals paid $4.6 billion into this fund last fiscal year, $900 million of which was diverted.

Proposition 53, revenue bond restrictions


This is the GOP’s revenge for Gov. Jerry Brown’s bullet train, and a transparent effort at gumming up future endeavors.

Proposition 54, legislative transparency


This reform would require that the Legislature wait three days before voting on a bill after it’s introduced. More time means more preparation, more public awareness (and the opportunity for action)—and more transparency.

Proposition 55, income tax on high earners


This proposition simply extends the existing tax imposed in 2012 and allocates funds to health care programs, K-12 schools and community colleges.

Proposition 56, tobacco tax increase


This proposition, which adds a $2-per-pack to cigarettes and also taxes e-cigarettes that contain nicotine, is expected to generate upwards $1 billion, which will be used for anti-tobacco efforts and education, health care and public health programs.

Proposition 57, criminal justice


The law is partly aimed at reversing the fallacy that teens arrested in California need to be treated as hardened criminals by the state’s justice system. The proposition allows judges to decide whether juveniles should be processed as adults in court, rather than politically minded prosecutors. The law also allows for early parole hearings for prison inmates who demonstrate exceptional rehabilitation efforts.

Proposition 58, bilingual education


This proposition repeals parts of Prop. 227 which, for all intents and purposes, eliminated bilingual classrooms in 1998. This proposition gives local school districts more flexibility and authority in determining needs. We trust they’ll make smart decisions for California’s students. It’s time for the state’s public education system to catch up with its ever-diversifying population.

Proposition 59, campaign finance reform


This proposition doesn’t actually enact change—think of it more of as a call to action. Prop. 59 is an advisory measure that urges California lawmakers to act toward repealing Citizens United. At this point it’s mostly symbolic—and thus feels more than a little pointless—but if we’re casting empty votes for empty propositions let’s at least send the right message.

Proposition 60, condom requirement


If this were really about improving conditions for adult performers, we would be all about it. But this is a morality measure intent on driving out California’s sex industry and creating a new job for its proponent.

Proposition 61, state drug price cap


A qualified yes. The ballot language here is murky and poses a potentially negative impact on veterans, but, progressives—including Sen. Bernie Sanders—argue it will go a long way toward staunching prescription drug price bloodletting and, ultimately, help most consumers.

Proposition 62, death penalty repeal


It’s time to overturn the death penalty in California. The death penalty is wrong, morally speaking, but those with conflicted morals should consider this: the system is also screwed up beyond repair. Over the years, death penalty convictions have created a seemingly never-ending morass of costly appeals and other legal challenges. See also: Proposition 66.

Proposition 63, gun and ammunition control


We’re not talking about gutting or abolishing the Second Amendment, we’re talking about sensible gun control. This proposition does that by requiring a new series of checks and balances for responsible gun owners including new and improved permitting for consumers and sellers, new restrictions on bringing guns into the state, and the creation of a court process to order the removal of firearms from those prohibited from owning them.

Proposition 64, marijuana legalization


Time to legally smoke ’em if you got ’em. Also time to, among other things, allow people to grow plants (up to six for personal use), standardize retail laws and provisions, create a tax structure that benefits the state, resentence those already serving time on marijuana convictions and change or strike the records of those who’ve already done time.

Proposition 65, carry-out bag sales


This proposition redirect funds collected for the sale of carryout bags (10 cents each) to the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Fund. Sound good in theory? It’s not. Rather, it’s time for the state to catch up to the likes of Sacramento and San Francisco counties and ban the bags altogether. C’mon, how hard is it really to remember those reusable bags when you go grocery shopping? See also: Proposition 67.

Proposition 66, death penalty procedure


While this proposition aims to reform what is clearly a broken system, it’s simply time to repeal the death penalty. Period. Of note: If both Proposition 62 and Proposition 66 pass, the one with more affirmative votes prevails.

Proposition 67, plastic bag ban


This proposition goes further than Proposition 65, expanding on and upholding existing county-wide laws that ban single use paper or plastic bags. It allows retailers to charge for reusable and recycled bags.