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ELECTIONS 2012

June 5 primary: The Times' endorsements

Our picks on candidates and ballot measures.

May 14, 2012
  • The Times has endorsed in all the June 5 primary election races on state and Los Angeles County ballots.
The Times has endorsed in all the June 5 primary election races on state and… (Los Angeles Times )

Most voters have by now received their sample ballots, and those who plan to vote by mail are sending in their applications. The June 5 election is underway right now.

It is noteworthy for several reasons. Los Angeles County voters will be selecting a new district attorney, and this is the first time since 1964 that there is no incumbent trying to hold onto the seat. The field is wide open. To win outright in this nonpartisan race, a candidate must get more than 50% of the vote. If no one does, the top two finishers face off on Nov. 6.

The rules are different for Congress and the Legislature. Although those offices remain partisan, under new reforms candidates may choose whether to mention their party, and voters may select any candidate in each race, regardless of party. And even a candidate who gets 99% of the vote will face a November runoff against the runner-up.

The Times has endorsed in all the races on state and Los Angeles County ballots. We have also endorsed in other races that we believe are particularly interesting or important. As for Assembly and state Senate races, we will determine where and whom to endorse in November, after the fields have been narrowed.

Below are summaries of The Times' recommendations in the June 5 election. We have published fuller endorsements on each in recent weeks; online readers can follow links to see those.

Los Angeles Superior Court:

Office No. 3: Sean Coen

Office No. 10: Sanjay T. Kumar

Office No. 38: Lynn D. Olson

Office No. 65: Andrea Thompson

Office No. 78: James D. Otto

Office No. 114: Eric Harmon

District attorney: Jackie Lacey. Most of the candidates for district attorney could serve competently. But Lacey inspires the most confidence because of her experience leading the office as Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley's top aide and because she has embraced policies that would be a departure from the steady but cautious Cooley era: more emphasis on alternative sentencing, a realistic view of prison realignment and a renewed commitment to environmental prosecutions.

Proposition 28: Yes. This measure provides a partial antidote to problems with term limits in Sacramento by reducing the maximum possible time any single politician can serve in the Legislature from 14 years (six in the Assembly followed by eight in the Senate) to 12 years — but allowing all 12 to be served in one house, or any combination of 12 years in the two houses.

Proposition 29: No. The problem is not new taxes on cigarettes but the creation of a state cancer-research infrastructure at a time when many basic needs are going unmet.

Compton Measure B: Yes. Compton voters should approve this charter reform to elect their City Council members by district instead of at-large. In so doing, they will make their government more representative.

Los Angeles County Measure H: Yes. This 12% tax on guests at hotels in Marina del Rey and other unincorporated areas has been in place for more than 20 years. Voters should ratify it to protect revenue for needed county services.

Los Angeles County Measure L: Yes. This 10% tax on landfill operators in unincorporated county areas has been in place for more than 20 years. Voters should ratify it to protect revenue for needed county services.

Congress, 30th District: Howard Berman. The race between Berman and fellow incumbent Brad Sherman is a result of redistricting reform. Both have served well, but Berman is the better choice because of his experience, his demonstrated willingness to cross the aisle in pursuit of good policy, and the clout his seniority gives California.

Congress, 44th District: Janice Hahn. Although Hahn is still a newbie in Congress, she is learning the ropes and is a better choice than fellow incumbent Laura Richardson, whose effectiveness is hampered by repeated questions about her ethics and her management style.

Congress, 26th District: Linda Parks. Voters in this Ventura County-based district must sort through a list of candidates that includes a far-right Republican and four Democrats. But their best choice is Parks, an independent who wants to broker the kinds of compromises that partisans now shun.

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