Only in Sierra Madre can the most doctrinaire Obama Democrat stand next to a Tea Party Republican and declare common cause in saving this town from the powerful outside interests and their local hires who want to take it down. This is one of the things that makes our community unique, and my respect is immense. Those who would wish to reduce politics here to what is seen everywhere else are no real friend to Sierra Madre.
There are also people like myself who have come to pretty much abhor politics as it is practiced in this state. California is not just one of the worst governed political entities in the United States, but perhaps in the entire Western Hemisphere as well. Record deficits and debt, woefully inept elected officials, among the worst schools in the nation, crumbling infrastructure, and a state legislature that approximates the corruption of a Third World Republic. What exactly is there to be happy about? Not a whole lot as far as I can tell.
So after fevered editorial discussions here at Tattler World News Headquarters it was decided that we would look elsewhere for candidates this year. Not to say that there aren't large party candidates that Sir Eric won't be voting for, because he does find some appealing. Or at least they piss off all the right people, which perhaps is the best that can be hoped for in these troubled times.
But the candidates we are listing here have interesting, if not at times eccentric, viewpoints. Certainly not the kinds of things you hear too widely discussed down at City Hall, or on the highly cautious Sierra Madre Patch. But are they any more daft than what you're hearing from the brand name candidates? That is for you to decide. I might or might not vote for any of them, but they at least do have something to say. Which is refreshing when compared to the focus group tested jargon and personality driven "issues" brought to us by the so-called major parties and their candidates. And at a considerable expense.
So here is what we found:
A Different Candidate for Governor - Chelene Nightingale (American Independent Party): "Although California is considered the 7th largest economy in the world, the state's population is experiencing the ill effects from the economic depression. Nearly 1,000 restaurants closed in Southern California alone due to both massive entertainment industry layoffs and lower tourism rates. In order for California to be economically restored, it will take a constitutional-minded leader to adhere to limited government, sound money, and free market principles."
A Different Candidate for Lt. Governor - Jimi Castillo (Green Party): "Jimi Castillo is the first Native American to run for the office of Lt. Governor in California. His tribal ancestry is Tongva, the original people of the Greater Los Angeles Area. Chief among his priorities are to establish a more affordable and accessible education system, reform the criminal justice system, assure California residents have access to clean, safe supply, of drinking water and that our groundwater is protected from pollution, preserve our oceans with their enormous diversity of life and functions, create a greater awareness of the rights of all indigenous peoples worldwide and promote full self-awareness on all Indian reservations, advocate children's rights, and set a standard of excellence in public land management to ensure we maintain a healthy environment in the future."
A Different Candidate for Secretary of State - Marylou Cabral (Peace and Freedom Party): "Marylou Cabral, 22, is the Peace and Freedom's Party's candidate for Secretary of State. Cabral is a student at California State University, Long Beach, where she is studying to be a public school art teacher. Cabral is the daughter of immigrants from Zacatecas and Sinoloa, Mexico. She has promoted the immigrant rights cause for years. She is adamantly against the corporate owners, ruling-class politicians and the racism, sexism, anti-LGBT bigotry and exploitation they promote. Cabral is a candidate struggling to build class unity in everything she does."
A Different Candidate for State Controller - Andrew "Andy" Favor (Libertarian Party): "California has one of the nation's highest unemployment rates and businesses continue to flee the state. Nobody in state government tracks why businesses are leaving California. Since the state controller is independent of the legislature and therefore is objective, it is my belief that the controller should track why businesses are leaving and report on what the state can do about it. Clearly California has seen competition from lower cost states such as Nevada, Texas, Idaho, etc. But that competition is nothing compared to the competition we face from other nations. As we go into the election season, voters need to realize that we cannot continue to keep going down the same path. We need radical reform of our schools, health care system, prisons and entitlements."
A Different Candidate for State Treasurer - Charles "Kit" Crittendon (Green Party): "The US military has grown to an immense size, much larger than the armed forces of any other country., with over 800 bases throughout the world. The "defense" (defense against what?) budget rises every year with practically no serious opposition in Congress. When there is no occupation, wealthy interests are served when "neo-liberal" economic policies benefitting transnational corporations are imposed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. These strengthen the wealthy elites of these countries by eliminating social services and weakening worker and environmental protections."
A Different Candidate for Attorney General - Bob Evans (Peace and Freedom Party): "Bob Evans of Alameda County running for Attorney General under the slogan 'Justice for California.' He believes that we need an Attorney General who will protect workers' rights, send corporate criminals to jail, and prosecute police crime. He would bring to the Attorney General's office the same determination to defend our civil liberties that he has shown over the last 37 years as a member of the Peace and Freedom Party. One clear way he differs from the Democratic and Republican nominees is that he has the courage to oppose the death penalty, despite polls purporting to show public support for it."
A Different Candidate for State Board of Equalization - Shawn Hoffman (American Independent Party): "There are some politicians, like Chuck DeVore, who leave no doubt that they are ardent supporters of the right to openly carry a firearm for the purpose of self defense. Some candidates will say they support the right but never seem to find time in their busy schedules to actually show up and defend the right. Recently, the police cheif for the City of Manhattan Beach and the President of the Hometown Fair had threatened arrests of those persons who lawfully attended the Fair openly carrying firearms. One candidate for office in California showed up carrying a sidearm to defend our right, Shawn Hoffman."
A Different Candidate for United States Senate - Marsha Feinland (Peace and Freedom Party): "I served as a Rent Board Commissioner in Berkeley and worked to pass the Just Cause for Eviction ordinance in Oakland. Housing is a necessity which we must provide for all. We must protect people who live in foreclosed properties instead of bailing out the banks. We need to place strict limits on all pollution now, to safeguard health and prevent climate disaster. The Senate Democrats promote a "cap and trade policy" which lets corporations buy and sell the right to pollute. Our right is to breathe and the future of our planet require(s) real regulation. We have enough wealth to provide quality housing, health care and education to everyone in California."
A Different Candidate for United States Representative - Randall Weissbuch (Libertarian Party): "Weissbuch, a Libertarian who compares his political beliefs to those of Texas Rep. Ron Paul, touted a platform of limited government. 'What it boils down to is to get the government out of our boardrooms, out of our bedrooms, and out of our wallet.'"
A Different Candidate for State Assembly - Robert Gosney (American Independent Party): "(Robert Gosney would like to...) balance our State Budget; Stop the water madness for Central California; Reduce government burdens on business to enable the creation of new jobs; Protect our border; Have our schools move from "Worst" to "First" in the nation; Improve our highways and infrastructure; Fight against any and all tax increases; Reduce the size of government and its expense; Reduce Workers Compensation costs and benefits; Immediate freeze state hiring, and salary increases for 5 years; Reduce the legislature to "part time" status, Celebration of traditional family values, Fight any effort by the state to raid the bank accounts of local cities and counties, (and) Protect Californians's 2nd Amendment Rights to bear arms."
Well, there you go. Some options should you decide to step outside the line and cast a protest vote this election. Polls show that 55% of all likely voters are unhappy with their choices this year, with the figure among independents at a whopping 68%. Maybe this is the year to show the powers that be you are tired of the way things are going, and next time you're hoping for something a little more inspiring?
Good luck to you in your voting selections. You're probably going to need it.