How could the Los Angeles Times oppose Proposition 35, the measure to combat human trafficking, when almost everyone else on the planet supports it? What were we thinking when we opposed Proposition 37, the measure to require labeling of genetically modified foods? What union got to us and persuaded us to oppose Proposition 32, the measure to ban union (oh yes, and corporate) contributions to political candidates? How do we even make these decisions? Where do we get off telling people how to vote? Don’t we believe voters can think for themselves?
Well, I’ll tell you. On Monday. At 10:30 a.m. at The Times' Google+Hangout. I’ll be speaking with The Times’ David Lazarus as he asks me about our endorsements and our decision-making process.
I’m a member of an editorial board that researches, interviews, deliberates, decides and writes recommendations each election season. And here in Los Angeles, we have a lot of those. We just had a statewide election in June; we have the current election; and as soon as it’s over, we’ll have a March 5 city primary for mayor, controller, half of the City Council, the city attorney and the school board and the community college board. Then the general election in May. And then just a few months off before the campaign begins in earnest for governor, attorney general, the other statewide offices, the Legislature and Congress, all over again.
For the Nov. 6 election, The Times made recommendations in all 11 statewide ballot measure contests, all three Los Angeles County measures and in a handful of elected offices besides. The propositions include three tax questions, three dealing with criminal sentencing and one each dealing with campaign finance, car insurance, state budgeting, consumer protection and redistricting.
The election is already underway, with an estimated half of California voters already marking and mailing in their ballots this month. The other half is expected to vote old school, at their polling places on election day. Of course we will be on pins and needles along with the rest of the nation to learn the outcome of the presidential race, but we vote for president by state, and it’s a foregone conclusion that this largely Democratic state’s electoral votes are going to President Obama. The big questions here have more to do with the ballot measures, and with local races such as the Los Angeles County battle between Jackie Lacey and Alan Jackson for district attorney.