The problem with the June 8th ballot is that the Democrats aren't fighting with each other.
I mean, it's great that Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer will emerge from the primary season unscathed, flush with money and ready to go after opponents who have been battered and beaten mercilessly in their own primaries. It's great that Steve Poizner drove down Meg Whitman's positives and made her look so bad that she's now behind Jerry Brown (who isn't even campaigning yet) in the polls. It's great that Carly Fiorina was forced so far to the right that she had to endorse allowing people on the no-fly list to buy handguns. The expensive and ugly GOP primary battles may have saved Boxer's job and put Brown in the governor's office.
But around the state, Democrats don't have as much reason to vote. Fiorina, Poizner, Whitman -- they're all spending millions to bring Republicans to the polls. There's no similar statewide GOTV operation on the Democratic side. So the electorate could wind up skewing considerably to the right -- and that's going to hurt us on the ballot propositions.
Johnny Angel and I were talking on our radio show today about the fact that Republicans -- those who aren't complete idiots -- ought to oppose Prop. 16 and Prop. 17. Those aren't partisan measures; they're just corporate scams. And nobody from any political party likes Pacific Gas and Electric Co. these days.
But the reality is, PG&E has aimed its Prop. 16 campaign directly at the heart of the more conservative electorate, with its anti-government message. And Mercury insurance has aimed its campaign at the better-off consumers who aren't likely to drop their car insurance any time soon. I don't see Prop. 16 winning big in any constituency -- but it will do better among Republicans.
So Democrats have to get to the polls -- and get their friends to the polls, and their families to the polls, and their neighbors to the polls, and a few dead people, too, if they can find them (just kidding, Arthur Evans, lighten up).
And in San Francisco, where there are no races for mayor or supervisor, it's easy to want to sit this one out -- but that would be a major mistake. The election for Democratic County Central Commitee alone is worth a trip to the polling place, since the makeup of that body will have a significant impact on the fall supervisorial races.
So you have to vote, folks. Here's our endorsements.