One View: Down to the wire

Gordon Clayton

gordonBy Gordon Clanton

Mail ballots went out Oct. 8. Two-thirds of voters now cast their ballots by mail. Candidates and political columnists scramble to adjust.

Consider holding your mail ballot until Nov. 6. Then drop it at a polling place. You may learn something important about a candidate or ballot measure between now and then.

In previous columns, I urged YES on Props 30, 34, and 36 and NO on Props 32 and 38.

No on 31.

This grab bag of reforms includes some good ideas, but the measure is poorly written and unlikely to produce meaningful benefits. It is opposed by teachers, cops, environmentalists, organized labor, and the California Democratic Party.

No on 33.

The same Mercury Insurance Co. that spent $16 million on a similar unsuccessful initiative in 2010 is back with another self-serving ballot measure.

Yes on 35.

This measure would increase prison terms for human trafficking to protect women and children from being forced into prostitution.

Yes on 37.

The only opposition to this sensible measure comes from Big Food Corps (Nestle, Kellogg, Coca-Cola, Monsanto) who have spent more than $33 million. One need not be persuaded that genetically modified foods are bad for us to support transparency in labeling.

Yes on 39.

This initiative would close a loophole that allows out-of-state companies to avoid paying their fair share of taxes to California.

Yes on 40.

A YES vote supports the 2010 State Senate maps drawn by the voter-approved independent Citizens Redistricting Commission. A NO vote would overturn the districts. But the matter has been settled in court, so the opponents of the redistricting are no longer asking for a NO vote.

Yes on H.

Del Mar is one of several area cities voting on measures to regulate and tax medical marijuana. Although the use of cannabis is prohibited by federal law, California voters decriminalized medical marijuana in 1996. In 2010 Del Mar registered the highest (!) YES vote in the county (64 percent) for a measure to legalize recreational pot.

Religious right.

Remember Gary Kreep? He recently was elected to a San Diego judgeship because most voters were unfamiliar with his associations with Operation Rescue, the Minutemen, and the “birther” movement. Kreep’s candidacy was part of a larger movement in recent years to elect voices of the religious right, usually as stealth candidates, to various down-ticket offices including fire districts, utility districts, judgeships, and school boards. Several local elections feature candidates from the religious right or the Tea Party. Do your Internet homework.

Gordon Clanton teaches Sociology at San Diego State University. He welcomes comments at Previous columns available at: