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SN&R endorsements for the November 6, 2012, election

To find SN&R's full endorsement related to the upcoming election, go to

Local races

Sacramento City Council District 2: Rob Kerth

Rob Kerth’s served this neighborhood—and the city as a whole—for a long time. He knows how to get things done.

Sacramento City Council District 4: Steve Hansen

Steve Hansen has a unique, specific vision for how a burgeoning arts and entertainment scene in Midtown and downtown can serve as catalysts to power economic growth and redevelopment.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District board member: Michael Picker

Michael Picker will bring unequaled expertise and a rich history of leadership to SMUD’s board. He has advised Govs. Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger on renewable energy and knows how to develop viable green-energy products for Sacramento consumers.

Measure M: No

If Measure M passes, the resulting commission will likely resemble a kind of larger, messier doppelgänger of the city council itself. In the absence of real leadership, is more always better?

Measure T and Measure U: Yes

Measure T will help the city curb illegal yard-waste dumping and also make the roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists. Measure U will raise the city’s sales tax by half a percent—from 7.75 percent to 8.25 percent—over six years. Sacramento city services—police, fire, libraries and solid waste—have experienced unprecedented cuts, and the estimated $28 million in added revenue from Measure U will go a long way to ensuring these fundamental services are preserved.

Measure Q and Measure R: Yes

Measure Q would approve a bond to raise $346 million to pay for new classrooms, science labs, heating and air conditioning, and bathrooms in schools. Smaller bond Measure R will raise $68 million for playgrounds and athletic and kitchen facilities. The measures are a smart and needed investment in Sacramento’s education infrastructure.


Proposition 30: Yes

Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 calls for a temporary, quarter-cent sales tax (from 7.25 to 7.50 percent) and personal income-tax increase for Californians earning more than $250,000. Passage of this proposition will prevent an immediate $6 billion in further cuts to schools, provide billions in new school funds, prevent more tuition hikes, protect public safety by halting further cuts to cops and firefighters, and save billions in future prison costs.

Proposition 31: No

This attempt by good-government groups simply does not fly. Proposition 31 would make cuts and austerity the “go-to” method for dealing with our problems when what we need is a governor and legislature free to consider both cuts and revenue creation.

Proposition 32: No

This measure is a familiar attack on unions by a core group of super-rich Republicans, like the billionaire Koch brothers. Without the influence of union spending in elections and in the lobbying realm, giant corporations would hold even more power and influence.

Proposition 33: No

Conceived and funded by 91-year-old billionaire George Joseph, founder of Mercury Insurance Group, Proposition 33 would allow insurance companies to discriminate against the young and the poor and drive up costs up for everyone.

Proposition 34: Yes

The Savings, Accountibility, and Full Enforcement for California Act—a.k.a. the SAFE California Act—which seeks to replace the death penalty with a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, is a long-awaited fix for a system that SN&R has always argued is enormously flawed, practically as well as morally.

Proposition 35: No

Human trafficking is already illegal. If the penalties aren’t severe enough, they can be changed in the Legislature. What’s more, we’ve seen no real data—other than the anecdotal evidence put forward by the law-enforcement agencies and nonprofits that stand to gain—that this so-called crisis exists.

Proposition 36: Yes

We’ve all heard of criminals, convicted under the state’s three-strikes law, who were sentenced to 25-years-to-life in prison for stealing a loaf of bread. Proposition 36 would make things more equitable by requiring that the third strike be a serious or violent felony. The state would save nearly $90 million annually in prison costs.

Proposition 37: Yes

A company should not be allowed to label a food product “natural” if it contains genetically modified organisms. Companies such as Monsanto, General Mills, PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and others shouldn’t hide ingredients from consumers. But those companies have donated more than $32 million to the No on 37 effort.

Proposition 38: No

Multimillionaire civil-rights lawyer Molly Munger’s Proposition 38 is not the schools fix it claims to be and would create many more problems than solutions. Also, passage of this measure would mangle Gov. Jerry Brown’s attempt to fix our budget crisis. A vote for Proposition 38 is a potential vote against Proposition 30.

Proposition 39: Yes

This measure would close an unjust and costly corporate-tax loophole which gives an advantage to out-of-state corporations and create new jobs in the “green” sector. What could be bad?

Proposition 40: Yes

A yes vote would safeguard the state Senate districts that were drawn up by the Citizens Redistricting Commission in 2011, following the process established by California voters in 2008.

U.S. House of Representatives

District 3: John Garamendi

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi deserves another term. His challenger, Republican Kim Vann, supports the political agenda of the “do nothing” Congress which has been so ineffectual in Washington, D.C., these past two years.

District 4: Jack Uppal

In this suburban and foothills district, fiscally conservative voters with a moderate view on social issues can look to tech businessman Jack Uppal as the sort of Democrat who will best represent their interests.

District 7: Dr. Ami Bera

The local physician would enter Congress as a bright but independent Democrat. His opponent U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren is far too conservative to represent a district that incorporates huge swaths of Sacramento County.

District 9: Jerry McNerney

Throughout his three terms in Congress, U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney has shown himself to be an worthy representative. He’s a moderate Democrat (despite his Republican opponent’s claims in television ads) and deserves another term.

California State Assembly

District 6: Beth Gaines

Since voters in this district clearly want a far-right conservative, we urge them to elect Beth Gaines.

District 7: Roger Dickinson

Serious, thoughtful and pragmatic, Roger Dickinson resoundingly deserves a second assembly term.

District 8: Ken Cooley

As opposed to Peter Tateishi (an employee of ultraconservative U.S. Rep. Dan Lungren), former Rancho Cordova city Councilman Ken Cooley takes a moderate approach, favoring realistic pension reform and a sound combination of budget cuts and revenue increases.

District 9: Richard Pan

Richard Pan has proven himself to be a smart, responsive and compassionate legislator during his first term.


U.S. Senate: Dianne Feinstein

We don’t always see eye to eye with longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein, but she’s rock solid on many issues we care about.

President: Barack Obama

America faces colossal challenges. This is no time to go backward. We must allow the president to continue leading us forward.