By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Governor: Phil Angelides
Sure, it's nice when Arnold Schwarzenegger swings left, if only to watch the GOP gnash its teeth in outrage, as if Schwarzenegger's the governor of just Orange County. But Schwarzy seems to swing left only when there's an election afoot—perhaps because Cali actually has two million more Democrats than Republicans. Has Angelides run the world's greatest campaign for governor? He has not. He's been hobbled by a lack of funds (his nasty primary race with Steve Westly ate up mucho cash), a few tone-deaf choices, and a just flat-out moronic staff. But the rap he gets from assholes like John and Ken on KFI is simply made-up. He's not a "stiff," and he's not a "loser." He's a funny, wonky, charismatic guy, and if that's not important to you (it is), he's done a hell of a lot of good with the state Treasurer's office. We no longer invest our state pension fund, for instance, in companies that incorporate in a post office box in Bermuda just so they don't have to pay for the same services the rest of us shell out for—services, by the by, that Schwarzenegger wants to put on our credit card yet again. If you want to be fiscally conservative these days, vote Democrat: we believe in paying for the things we consume instead of running up the debt for our kids, and yours. Leave that kind of theft to Schwarzenegger and Bush.
Lieutenant Governor: John Garamendi
The kids call him "Handsome John Garamendi," and our mother gets so shy when she sees him at events that she leaves the room like a shadow before we can turn and introduce her. But he's not just handsome. He's a Democrat too!
Forced out of the race to replace Gray Davis in the recall so that snooze-with-Cruz Bustamante could be the Dem standard-bearer (yargh!),Garamendi went with the wishes of the stupid party. Currently our insurance commissioner, he's a longtime public servant and an aggressive watchdog for consumer rights. We'd like to see what he can do with the Lieutenant Governor's office; we doubt he'd be satisfied just going to funerals. Maybe he'd be like a Dick Cheney . . . for good!Also? He's running against Tom McClintock. Whatever.
Secretary of State: Debra Bowen
We're guessing you guessed right!
Controller: John Chiang
We really know nothing about John Chiang, the Dem in this race, but we know that his GOP opponent Tony Strickland is head of the California chapter of the Club for Growth. That's the outfit whose national head, Grover Norquist, says things about it being cool that more and more of the Greatest Generation is dying off every day because they were all socialists who demanded the New Deal. He also said he wanted to get government down to the size where we could "drown it in a bathtub." We don't know: we like schools and roads and public health centers that keep people from smearing their tuberculosis on our kids. How about you?
Treasurer: Bill Lockyer
He's married to Orange County's own Nadia Marie Davis (Lockyer)—a hottie who as a lawyer herself helped get local boy Arthur Carmona out of prison after a robbery he didn't commit. So, Lockyer's got awesome taste in wives. Apparently there's a Republican running against him, and we wish for form's sake we could recommend a Republican in some race—anyrace—but we really recommend you just vote the straight Democratic ticket.
Attorney General: Jerry Brown
When former governor (and mayor of Oakland) Jerry Brown bigfooted our own beloved state Senator Joe Dunn out of the race for AG, we were really, really mad. Dunn, a trial attorney, led the Enron hearings and is an intelligent, capable, principled man; we like to think he would have run the office like New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, going after corruption in all its squiggiest forms. Jerry Brown, on the other hand, while possessed of an excellent brain, just seems to be looking for something new to do. So, when word came that the GOP was trying to get Brown off the ballot—citing a provision that an Attorney General must be admitted to practice for five consecutive years before being allowed to take office, and Brown had let his state bar dues lapse until 2003—well, we were about ready to kill someone. For this, Brown forced Dunn into a losing bid for Controller? Anyhoo, a state judge denied the GOP's lawsuit, and nobody will be killed. By us. For now. As for Brown's opponent, Chuck Poochigian? Yeah, we got nothing.
Insurance Commissioner: Cruz Bustamante
Cruz Bustamante may be the single most useless person in the state of California, and we honestly don't know why the Democrats still keep nominating him to shit. However, anyone who votes for a Republican to oversee the insurance industry gets what he deserves, and by "deserves," we mean "Chuck Quackenbush." Remember him? And remember how the GOP was just shocked—shocked!—to find out he was taking money from the insurance companies he oversaw (and whom he'd let slide on their obligations to homeowners following the Northridge Quake)? And that he was putting that money into a big happy slush fund he used for trips to Hawaii, or something? Where he then moved? According to the San Diego Reader, he's now a sheriff's deputy in Florida. Awesome. So, vote for Useless for Insurance Commissioner. After all, he has lost a bunch of weight!