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EGP General Election Ballot Recommendations: Part 2

We keep hearing from various sources that many voters are so disenchanted with our political representatives they intend not to vote on November 4.

It’s being said that Latinos in particular are so disenchanted with President Obama and the Congress over their failure to secure immigration reform, that they will teach them a lesson by not going to the polls.

Not only are we bothered by the idea that some Latinos seem to believe that immigration reform is the only issue of importance to their community, but that they would give away an opportunity to help elect officials who could back them on immigration and other issues of importance in the future.

It’s a little like “cutting off your nose to spite your face,” as the old adage goes.

As a growing majority in California and a sizable population in the U.S., Latinos need to realize that the way to get respect and power they need to push through reforms they believe important is to influence the outcome of elections throughout the U.S. and not by becoming irrelevant because they are invisible.

Just as education is the way to success, registering to vote and then voting in sizable numbers is the only way to get the attention of those they help elect, and those whose election bids fail because they did not win over Latinos. We understand the fear or feeling of being taken for granted, but with greater numbers voting, that will change.

Therefore, we urge all those eligible to vote to go to the polls Tuesday in such numbers that elected officials won’t dare to disregard these voters’ opinions any longer.

So cast your voter this Tuesday November 4, 2014. If you don’t, remember you are partially responsible for the failure of our elected officials to act on immigration reform and other important issues.

We at Eastern Group Publications have taken time to research candidates and propositions to make ballot recommendations to our readers, we certainly hope it has not been an exercise in futility.

 

Ballot Recommendations

Statewide Offices

Governor

Our endorsement goes to our grouchy and elderly governor, Jerry Brown.

While we do not agree with all of the governor’s action, his record overall is one of promises made, promises kept: A timely and balanced state budget; more funding to severely financially strapped school districts and college districts, and to low-income schools.

While Brown has been reticent to act locally on immigration related issues, he did approve a bill to grant drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants beginning in 2015.

Brown’s ability to keep democrats in the legislature from blowing a state surplus after years of cost cutting due to Californian’s budget crisis, is a major accomplishment.

We agree with his philosophy of returning school budgeting control to local districts which can better judge how their budgets should be spent.

More important to our state is Brown’s ability to say no on issues others would shrink away from. —Vote Jerry Brown for Governor.

 

Secretary of State

Our endorsement goes to Alex Padilla whose record of more than 70 bills signed into law since he was elected to the state senate in 2006 is quite impressive.

Padilla was recently named one of 2013’s most effective legislators by “Around the Capitol,” which cited his ability to “cross ideological lines, take his bills and keep warring parties in the Caucus.”

Padilla chairs the Senate Energy Utilities and Communications Committee and the select Committee on Science Motivation and Public Policy.

We believe Padilla has the experience to be Secretary of State, which means he will be the state’s top election officer, and manage state business and nonprofit filings. We believe he will do a good job of ensuring transparency throughout the agency. ––Vote for Alex Padilla for Secretary of State.

 

State Treasurer

Elected State Controller in 2006, John Chiang has shown that he is independent, refusing to issue checks to any one until he is assured it is not only legal, but appropriate.

We admire his ability to act as a watchdog over taxpayer money, and that he has identified nearly $8.5 billion in misspent public funds.

Controller during the toughest economic downtown in the state since the depression, Chiang kept the state from defaulting on constitutionally secured obligations.

His efforts to reform the states public pension systems and prevent pension spiking makes him the most experienced candidate for State Treasurer. —Vote for John Chiang.

 

Attorney General

As the state’s top attorney and law enforcement official, Kamala Harris created the Mortgage Fraud Task Force and has secured billions of dollars for defrauded homeowners and the state from big banks and has brought about foreclosure reform to protect California homeowners. She has made fighting piracy and indentity theft a top priority. These are issues of everyday importance to Californians, who at any point in time could be the next victim. Therefore, we recommend, a Vote for Kamala Harris for Attorney General.

 

U.S. House of Representatives

District 34: Xavier Becerra gets our endorsement for re-election. He is one of the most respected members of the House of Representatives, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, a member of the Committee on Ways and Means and is ranking member of the Ways and Means Sub-committee on Social Security, one of the most powerful committees in the House.

He has worked to increase opportunities for working families and improve social security program for women and minorities.

He has also worked to strengthen Medicare and ensure its long-term viability. Let’s not forget that his seniority as a member of Congress is important to California’s influence on national issues. —Vote for Xavier Becerra.

 

District 40: Lucille Roybal-Allard has many first before her name; including first Latina elected to Congress, first Latina appointed to the powerful House Appropriations Committee, etc. Roybal-Allard serves on the Homeland Security and Health and Human Services and Education sub-committees, and is the co-founder of the bi-partisan congressional study group on public health.

She has sponsored measures to improve the health and well-being of women and children,  including in the areas of child labor in agriculture, the Stop Act on preventing underage drinking and the Security and Empowerment Act to promote personal Security for victims of domestic violence, among others.

She is one of the original co-authors of the Dream Act. Her expertise work on legislation for women and minors has earned her our endorsement. —Vote for Lucille Roybal-Allard.

 

District 32: Grace Napolitano is strong advocate for her district. In California, everything having to do with water is of vital importance, so as the top Democrat on the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power, Napolitano is in a position to bring much needed federal attention and assistance to the state’s many water issues.

She sits on the important Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and has been an advocate for rail safety. She is longtime advocate for the mentally ill. Napolitano’s seniority and legislative experience is important to California. —Vote for Grace Napolitano.

State Senate

District 24: Our endorsement goes to Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon. De Leon co-chaired Prop 39, the California Clean Energy Jobs Act. He helped reform workers’ compensation rules, lowering insurance costs for businesses.

In 2013, De Leon  worked out a compromise with Gov. Brown that led to the passage of AB 60 that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses, and this year he negotiated an expanded film and television tax credit to keep those industries in California.

In the past, he has authored legislation to protect college students. —Vote for Kevin De Leon.

 

State Assembly

District 49: Ed Chau is highly regarded by most of his constituents. The assemblyman serves as the chair of the Assembly Committee on Housing and Community Development and is also a member of the Committee on Banking and Finance, Judiciary Labor and Employment.

Chau has been a friend to consumers. He has successfully fought for legislation  to more effectively punish those who commit elder abuse; to protect the privacy of those who seek legal counsel; and to ensure better access to emergency housing for the homeless and mentally ill, among many other issues important to his constituents and all Californians. ––Vote for Ed Chau.

 

District 51: Jimmy Gomez has helped pass legislation to assist graduation for Community College nursing and allied health students. He successfully authored legislation to regulate the proliferation of massage parlors and to modernize California birth certificates to allow same-sex parents to better identify their relationship to their child.

While Gomez is one of the newer members of the Assembly, we believe his background as a UCLA graduate in political science and his masters in Public Policy from Harvard University will serve his constituents well. —Vote for Jimmy Gomez.

 

District 63: We are pleased to endorse Anthony Rendon for re-election based on his record of legislation to enhance the state’s ability to investigate financial fraud in local government, saving much needed local revenue. He successfully authored legislation to create a statewide financing program to retrofit commercial buildings, to bring transparency to water utilities in Maywood, and as chair of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee, pushed for more money for above and below ground water storage and for a statewide water bond that will provide $8 billion to preserve rivers, wetlands, water sheds and to build and repair the state’s outdated water infrastructure.–– Voter for Anthony Rendon.

 

District 58: Cristina Garcia now co-chairs the Assembly Legislative Committee, Ethics Committee and is a member of Human Services, Judiciary and Natural Resources and Utilities and Commerce Committees. Garcia is also assistant whip to the Assembly Democratic Caucus.

She successfully authored AB 256, giving educators authority to discipline students who engage in cyber bullying or harassment by electronic means on or off school campuses.

Garcia is an outspoken advocate of political reform and strengthening of the state’s ethics laws and regulations. She has introduced a wide-ranging package of bills on ethics and transparency, aimed at getting corruption and influence peddling out of elected office. While she has not been successful at getting all her elected colleagues on board on all the measures, we respect her willingness to take hard stands and call out bad behavior. —Vote for Cristina Garcia.

 

Central Basin Municipal Water District

Division 3: Our endorsement goes to Art Chacon for re-election. Chacon has helped expose corruption at the Central Basin in the awarding of contracts. He voted not to raise water rates and helped initiate cost savings of more than $2.5 million in waste. Chacon implemented key water projects with surrounding cities to help secure the regions’ future water supply.

Chacon also voted in favor of the largest sale of recycled water generating over $40 million. The district now has over $15 million in budget reserves. During Chacon’s tenure, Moody’s Corporation credit rating agency has awarded the district with Top A 3 rating for long-term investment, impressive given the recession’s devastating impact on local government agencies.––Vote for Art Chacon.