Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Grant McMicken for Superintendent of Public Instruction

I'm filling out my sample ballot, dutifully checking what I can find online about the candidates. I won't bore you with a candidate-by-candidate breakdown, and since every election is a compromise, I have a hard time actively endorsing any candidates or positions.

The one low-budget no-chance candidate who really seems inspired, though, is Grant McMicken, a candidate for the non-partisan Superintendent of Public Instruction. Check out his website. He's the wacky but smart and very dedicated math teacher who's come up with a comprehensive, innovative, and sensitive plan to really fix public schools. Maybe his plan wouldn't all work, but dammit, our schools are in rotten shape and someone needs to demand that schools educate our kids better.

I've also heard from several reliable sources that Assemblywoman Judy Chu, running for the Board of Equalization, kicks ass, as does her husband Mike Eng, who's running for her vacant Assembly seat. And in this debate, Debra Bowen seems much more on the ball on voting issues than her opponent, Deborah Ortiz.


So I went in to vote at my local polling place, the parish office of the Catholic church across the street. After passing by multiple signs posted informing me that it was a polling place, and that electioneering was prohibited, there was a big 24" x 36" framed poster of Pope Benedict XVI right outside the door to the polling room. Nice. (Unfortunately, I cannot vote in papal elections.)

Update #2:

Oh, and by the way, I went with Steve Westly over Phil Angelides, essentially because Phil, though I've heard he's a smart guy and a quick wit, is pretty much your central casting More of the Same candidate from the Democratic Party and Steve, the former CEO of eBay, seems more innovative. Also, he's perceived as being more centrist, which may be an advantage for his thankless next task of trying to beat Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I don't really buy the Angelides = developer = environmental scourge angle; in many ways his Laguna West was forward thinking, but in talking about land development, that can be a pretty relative term. There were good planning ideas in Laguna West, but the notion that it was anything but another sprawl-contributing bedroom community was naive, to say the least. (Not to say that New Urbanism itself is all it's cracked up to be, but that's an argument for another day.)

Trivia: Jackie Speier, candidate for Lieutenant Governor, proudly notes that she was wounded investigating the Jonestown cult in Guyana back in 1978. Maybe she'll go after the Scientologists.


At Thursday, June 8, 2006 at 4:51:00 PM PDT, Blogger Ryan said...

How pathetic is the California Democratic Party? Maybe Angelides will make a fine governor, but he comes across as another uninspired bureaucrat, if a little smarmy and arrogant.

Villaraigosa and Newsome need to step up soon, because that's a collection of losers.

At Friday, June 9, 2006 at 9:43:00 AM PDT, Blogger Adam Villani said...

I have a classmate who worked for the state Democratic party, but I never really grilled him about the fundamental uninspiringness of most of the Democratic politicians. He did say that Judy Chu was "a rock star" (so why did she move from the Assembly to, of all places, the boring ol' Board of Equalization? Maybe she's gearing up for State Treasurer or something) and that her husband Mike Eng sounded like "a Baptist preacher."


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