The race for the Republican nominations for Governor and Senate have drawn, oh, about 99.99% of the state's political coverage, but all of the other state-wide offices also have primaries on Tuesday. I know in any given year, most people have no clue as to who, say, the State Controller is, but these offices are usually a springboard to bigger and better things (unless you're Bill Lockyear, and you keep going sideways), so they're worthy of some note:
Lieutenant Governor: I don't know much about the candidates, but I do know this: Abel Maldonado has no business running for state-wide office. He is the ultimate "moderate" Republican, the third vote who enabled the tax-and-debt budget "deal" that was rejected in May 2009's Special Election. Maldonado's price for his sell-out? A proposition on the ballot for open primaries. Naturally, Maldonado has picked up endorsements from the state MSM, who have also knocked opponent Sam Aanestad as a "doctrinaire conservative." Aanestad it is. SAM AANESTAD
Secretary of State: not really a hotly contested race. Damon Dunn's been on a comfortable cruise control for months. But you really should know about Dunn: Stanford grad, ex-NFL, self-made man, etc. Plus, he's got a genial humility that is very endearing. The GOP needs about a million more guys like this. DAMON DUNN
Controller: this is an office that has been filled by Democrat political hacks, so its credibility as a fiscal watchdog on the state budget and state pensions is about zero. Dave Evans is a small-town politico from the Central Coast, who is also a CPA. He is also a real fiscal conservative/limited government guy. Sounds good. DAVID EVANS
Treasurer: as there is only one Republican running, the choice is simple: Mimi Walters! Treasurer of Destiny! MIMI WALTERS
Attorney General: on the one hand, you could choose the state MSM approved LA district attorney Steve Cooley, who is a p**** on 3-Strikes and won't bring an Obamacare lawsuit. Or, you can bask in the warm Ed Meese-ian glow of John Eastman, a constitutional scholar, former dean of Chapman law school, clerk to Clarence Thomas, etc. He has the most impressive set of endorsements of any candidate I've seen this cycle. As with Dunn, the GOP needs about a million more guys like Eastman. John Eastman
Insurance Commissioner: this is another race that's virtually uncontested. Mike Villines has the best website of any GOP candidate this cycle, so that's something. Mike Villines
As usual, there are some state propositions on the ballot. My policy is to simply vote "NO" on all propositions, as I think they represent a real abdication of representative government. But, sometimes good ones get through, so I've been known to vote "yes" on occasion.
Prop. 13: LIMITS ON TAX ASSESSMENTS. would limit the property tax assessment for earthquake retrofit work. Actually, that's not a bad idea. Why the legislature didn't just approve this is beyond me. YES.
Prop. 14: OPEN PRIMARIES. right now, you can vote in a party's primary if you are a registered member, or are registered as "decline to state." But, that's not good enough for the good government types who think these sorts of process rules will break the stranglehold of (hiss) The Special Interests. Why Democrats should be allowed to vote in GOP primaries, and vice versa, is beyond me. It's not as if they're going to vote that way in the General Election. Blame Abel Maldonado for this. NO.
Prop. 15: PUBLIC CAMPAIGN FINANCING. would allow for the public finance of political campaigns, with financing apportioned according to a complex formula. I thought the state was out of money. NO.
Prop. 16: PUBLIC APPROVAL FOR LOCAL UTILITIES. Here in California, it is a progressive article of faith that municipalities should be able to run their own gas and electricity utilities. (Do other states have this problem? ) This would require 2/3 of voters to approve any such maneuver. Whatever. YES.
Prop. 17: CREDIT FOR CONTINUOUS AUTO COVERAGE. would allow insurance companies to give drivers discounts for continuously maintaining coverage. Again, the legislature couldn't approve this? You really need to involve the voters? And, why can't insurers do this now? YES.