Governor: Jerry Brown. He just gets better with time! Here's hoping he acts boldly to straighten out the state's many remaining problems in his last term.
Lieutenant Governor: Gavin Newsom.
Secretary of State: Alex Padilla, Democrat, a good guy terming out of the State Senate. His relatively reasonable Republican opponent, Pete Peterson, is a breath of fresh air, however.
Controller: Betty Yee, Democrat, on the State tax board. Same deal as above - her opponent is another relatively reasonable Republican, Ashley Swearingen, moderate Republican mayor of Fresno.
Treasurer: John Chiang, currently State controller.
Attorney General: Kamala Harris, incumbent. She's a fighter for civil rights and criminal justice reform.
Insurance Commissioner: Dave Jones, doing a great job in this role.
Board of Equalization (tax board): Jermone Horton. Going with the Demo. party slate on this one.
US Representative, Congress: Adam Schiff, incumbent. Very smart, capable guy- impressive.
State Senator: Ben Allen. He's a public policy prof and school board member in Malibu. I think he has more practical experience than his fellow Democrat and opponent, the activist Sandra Fluke - whose claim to fame came when she was accused of being a "slut" by Rush Limbaugh for defending contraceptive coverage. She will go on to good leadership in some way or another - but I think Allen is readier to hit the ground running in the Legislature.
State Assembly: Mike Gatto, incumbent - an impressive, smart guy.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tom Torlakson, incumbent - but Marshall Tuck, an education reformer, comes in a close second. I'm torn between the need for reform and the need for stability in the schools. Our schools have become political footballs and we might need a break in order for teachers to focus on teaching, rather than on constant upheavals in the system.
LA County Assessor: John Morris - going with the LA Times endorsement.
LA County Sheriff: Jim McDonnell. I've been following the race closely due to my connection to the Justice Not Jails campaign supported by Progressive Christians Uniting. McDonnell is much more committed to reforming the county jails than his opponent, Paul Tanaka, who is associated with the very problems that need rectification.
LA County Supervisor: Sheila Kuehl. She's a veteran progressive state legislator - she knows the county inside and out - will hit the ground running. Bobby Schriver has the glam factor but not nearly the chops for the job. My only concern is that Kuehl might be too cozy with the public employees' unions... I'll be watching her on that score.
State Judicial Offices - yes on all of them - following the LA Times on these.
LA Superior Court: Lewis and Stein, following the LA Times. I trust the LA Times on judicial appointments for lack of any better source of information about them... which I find frustrating.
Prop 1: Water Bond - Yes. It's a long, complex, messy proposal but in the balance I think it's necessary to build and repair our state water infrastructure in a time of drought.
Prop 2: Rainy Day Fund - Yes. Not an entirely pretty proposal, but necessary for balancing the state budget over the long run - without the gimmicks that were used in the past, when tax revenue fell short.
Prop 45: Health Insurance Regulated by Insurance Commissioner - Yes. This will place health insurance rates under the jurisdiction of the State Insurance Commissioner. I hope it becomes one more step toward the elimination of the spectacularly wasteful health insurance industry and its replacement with universal, single-payer, government-provided health insurance.
Prop 46: Raising Caps on Medical Malpractice Suits: No. A blatant ripoff foisted on the public by malpractice attorneys who want to raise their take from lawsuits against doctors - thus raising medical costs for everybody.
Prop 47: Sentencing Reform: Yes. This would have a significant impact in reducing the number of people in state prisons for relatively petty crimes. It would reclassify various crimes from felonies to misdemeanors. It could have a ripple effect on other states, helping to reduce the obscene level of incarceration in this country. (I'm on the board of directors of Progressive Christians Uniting, which is heavily involved in this campaign.)
Prop 48: Indian Gaming Compact Changes: Yes, but reluctantly, as I believe that gambling is a cruel tax on the some of the most vulnerable people in our society. This prop. would even out the benefits of gaming for some of the poorer tribes in the state.
County of LA Measure P: No. I'm going with the LA Times on this one - looks like a poorly crafted measure to fund an ill-defined grab-bag of County expenditures with a flat parcel tax. I'll wait for a better-crafted measure in the future.