As Republicans face a serious threat to their control of Congress, this has been a wild run-up to the election. The advocacy group, Media Matters for America has protested the attention given to Kerry’s “botched joke” in which he probably meant to suggest that poor scholarship (on the part of George Bush) led us to being stuck in Iraq. But the Mark Foley scandal has also hurt the Republicans, and an unending war in Iraq seems to call for different ideas.

But I cannot endorse the Democrats in this election. They have collaborated with the Republicans in the erosion of civil rights and in our continued involvement in Iraq. Historically, they’ve been as imperialist as anyone. And I am unpersuaded that their appeal to progressives is anything more than an effort to galvanize a group that has few substantial alternatives.

The lack of substantial alternatives, however, is not what persuaded me to register with the Peace and Freedom Party. It was a sickening realization that the Democrats are not an alternative to the Republicans, that they have, on the whole, continued a slide to the right that has led some on occasion to refer to them as Republican-lites. We have, as too many have observed, in fact a one-party state with slightly different groups of elites competing for power.

Here is how I intend to vote:

Janice Jordan for Governor. She is the Peace and Freedom candidate.

Stewart A. Alexander for Lieutenant Governor. He is the Peace and Freedom candidate.

Margie Akin for Secretary of State. She is the Peace and Freedom candidate.

Elizabeth Cervantes Barron for Controller. She is the Peace and Freedom candidate.

Gerald Sanders for Treasurer. He is the Peace and Freedom candidate.

Jack Harrison for Attorney General. He is the Peace and Freedom candidate.

Tom Condit for Insurance Commissioner. He is the Peace and Freedom candidate.

Marsha Feinland for United States Senator. She is the Peace and Freedom candidate. Dianne Feinstein’s positions on the issues have simply been too far to the right for me.

David Campbell for Member, State Board of Equalization, District 1. He is the Peace and Freedom candidate.

Mike Honda for United States Representative, District 15. There is no Peace and Freedom or any alternative party candidate listed for this district. Honda has responded favorably on many issues and has a 96% lifetime score from the ACLU.

Ira Ruskin for Member of the State Assembly, District 21. This is primarily in opposition to his opponent, Virginia Chang Kiraly, who describes herself as “liv[ing] the American Dream everyday” and as having “worked at some of the nation’s leading financial institutions.” She is clearly anti-union.

No choices or statements are offered in the Voter Information Guide for a series of judicial candidates: Yes for Joyce L. Kennard for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; No for Carol A. Corrigan for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, who switched to the Republican Party; Yes for Conrad L. Rushing for Presiding Justice, Court of Appeal, 6th Appellate District; Yes for Nathan D. Mihara for Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, 6th Appellate District; No for Richard J. McAdams for Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, 6th Appellate District; and Yes on Wendy Clark Duffy for Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, 6th Appellate District, who seems to have ruled appropriately in a few prominent cases.

Michele McKay McCoy for Judge of the Superior Court, Office No. 13. Both candidates in this race emphasize toughness on crime, but Tim Pitsker’s statement reveals a conservative bias. McCoy “teach[es] criminal law to police officers, law school students, and college students” and at least acknowledges a need for ethics.

Charlie Ahern for Member, Board of Education, Trustee Area 2. He is unopposed but expresses concern for “struggling children” and an awareness of social problems.

Jack Lucas for Governing Board Member, West Valley-Mission Community College District, Trustee Area 1. Only two candidates in this race actually have statements published in the Voter Information Pamphlet; both seem truly deplorable. One of Lucas’ fellow contestants, John Feemster seems to think that his “experience overseeing six General Electric power plants” has any relevance whatsoever to running an academic environment. At least Lucas, as an incumbent, is unlikely to make things worse. David Montagna seems to rely on a combination of community service and real estate work in his qualifications. I have found nothing of significance on Don A. Cordero, who lists his occupation as a college professor.

Buck Polk for Governing Board Member, West Valley-Mission Community College District, Trustee Area 2. His lackluster statement includes a claim to “a M.A. in Secondary School Administration from Stanford University.” His opponent, Mark Little has no statement published in the Voter Information Pamphlet and I was unable to find anything of significance on him.

Cynthia Chang, Steven Patrick Kahl, and Michele Van Zuiden for Governing Board Members, Los Gatos-Saratoga Joint Union High School District.

Karyn Sinunu for District Attorney. Her opponent, Dolores Carr, seems entirely too cozy with the law enforcement establishment.

Astonishingly, both candidates for Director, Santa Clara Valley Water District, District 1, have strong statements in the Voter Information Pamphlet. Rosemary Kamei is the incumbent. Ram Singh seems really to be whining about increased costs, rates, and taxes. I’m choosing Kamei.

No on Proposition 1A, which would further complicate the state budget process, apparently preferring an attempt to accommodate an increasingly unsustainable growth in automobile traffic.

Yes on Proposition 1B, which will fund numerous transportation projects, including mass transit.

Yes on Proposition 1C, which will attempt to address housing issues.

Yes on Proposition 1D, which will attempt to address school, college, and university building problems.

Yes on Proposition 1E for flood control projects.

No on Proposition 83, which seems to capitalize on sexual hysteria.

Yes on Proposition 84 for water quality and flood control.

No on Proposition 85, which would limit and delay access to abortion for minors.

Yes on Proposition 86 to make assault (second-hand smoke) more expensive.

Yes on Proposition 87 for alternative energy.

Yes on Proposition 88 for education.

Yes on Proposition 89 to try to reduce the influence of money in campaigns. There may be a problem in that it would only provide smaller amounts of funding to “minor” party candidates.

No on Proposition 90, which appears to favor private property rights over those of the community.

Yes on Proposition A to ensure that people have a say in zoning.

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