Voting Like It Mattered

By Jim Smith

While some countries, including Egypt, Greece and recently France, are making a change from their old regimes to, well, something else, here in Venice we are stuck with the old “same old, same old.”

The ho-hum on your June 5 ballot will include candidates for U.S. President, Senator and Representative, as well as a California Assemblymember, assorted local officials and some questions (ballot measures) for you to answer.

If anything on the ballot is remotely important, it is denying Carmen “Nuch” Trutanich the opportunity to do even more damage as County District Attorney. Wrong-way Nuch is currently our L.A. City Attorney, where he spends his time fighting medical marijuana, homeless people and other issues of concern in Venice. Just vote for anyone else on the ballot for District Attorney. There will be a runoff.

This election will be conducted under the “Top Two” process which denies third parties their right to contend in the November election. That means this is your only chance to vote for Peace and Freedom, Greens and Libertarians, since the rules are rigged against any of them ever becoming one of the top two vote-getters. But in this election, you are permitted to vote for any candidate of any ballot-qualified party regardless of which party it is to which you belong. That is, a Republican can vote for a Democrat or vice versa, or for any third-party candidate.

Depending on your point of view, you might want to vote for Marsha Feinland (Peace & Freedom) or Gail Lightfoot (Libertarian) for Senator instead of multi-millionaire Dianne Feinstein. For Congress, you can vote for veteran politician Henry Waxman, whose district now includes Venice. Despite never having represented us, he will be listed as the incumbent on the ballot. Alternatives to Waxman include Bruce Margolin, a Democrat and lawyer, who represents those of us who have been busted for pot. Or you could vote for a Topanga Green, David Steinman, or for a Venice Libertarian, Steve Collett.

Waxman was one of the sponsors of a 2006 Postal Reorganization Act that plunged the Postal Service into billions of dollars of deficit by requiring that 75 years of future retiree medical care be paid in ten years. He has also turned a deaf ear to pleas from the community to use his Congressional clout to save our historic post office. A lower vote for Waxman than expected in Venice might get his attention.

What about the judges? There are several schools of thought on voting for judges. Some people won’t vote for anyone who might later put the voter in jail or prison. If you believe in affirmative action to help overcome white male privilege, then you should vote for the women and people of color who are running. If you want a reasoned analysis of why you should vote for a judge, you can consult political activist Jackie Goldberg, as the Beachhead has in past years. Her picks for the June Primary can be found at: http://bit.ly/N9HiyB.

Most of the candidates have web sites where they tell (in theory) what they stand for. They can all be found at: http://bit.ly/KYxR2A. You can find your polling place location at: www.lavote.net/LOCATOR. Polls are open Tuesday, June 5 from 7am to 8pm.

Whether you vote or not, remember that these people have exceptional power over us, and at the federal level, over the entire world. On June 6, the day after the election, let’s dedicate ourselves to a complete overhaul of a system that serves to protect the power of the 1 percent.

Categories: Elections, Jim Smith, Politics