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(By Dave Bossert) The November 4th, 2014 mid-term elections are Tuesday and I hope that you will exercise your right to vote. There are too many people in this world who don’t have that right and are fighting, sometimes dying, for the privilege to elect a representative or participate in their communities or countries political process. Regardless of who or what you vote for, you should be engaged and understand the issues as well as who is running.

Those who just vote down party lines are missing the point of electing the best person for the job. I’ve heard some local Democrats say that they won’t bother casting a vote in the 25th Congressional District race because there are two Republicans running. That is sad and stupid at the same time. Surely you can pick between two candidates to represent you in Washington; write-in votes are not eligible pursuant to the election codes.

Last week I already said I was voting for Tony Strickland for the 25th Congressional seat. He is the best candidate in my view to represent us in Washington DC and based on his campaign he will work really hard for us. Those that are throwing stones at him have very little to hang their hat on. Frankly, I am more interested in a candidate that is more moderate, more willing to reach across the aisle and is someone that isn’t riding on his father’s coattails. Strickland is going to represent everyone in the district and that is evidenced by the fact that he has reached out to Democrats, submitted his candidate statement in both English and Spanish, and is working harder than any candidate I’ve seen in recent memory. That’s why one poll put him twelve points ahead of his competitor. Everyone likes to back a winner directly or indirectly!  

Like many voters, I actually vote for candidates in both parties. Again, it is about voting for the person who will or is doing the best job for the office they are holding. Certainly there are aspects or actions that some of these individuals have or have taken that I don’t always agree with but you have to evaluate it based on the bigger picture. For instance, I voted for Kamala Harris, a Democrat, as the Attorney General in the last election and I will vote for her again this year. She has done a reasonably good job even though I don’t agree with everything she has done.

Last election I voted for Republican Scott Wilk and he has my full support again this year. In fact Assemblyman Wilk has done a fantastic job in Sacramento in reaching across the aisle and working with Democrats to accomplish things and get bills passed. He is a reasonable guy who knows how to work within the system even when the other party had a super majority. Hands down Wilk is the best person to represent the 38th Assembly district and his Democratic challenger won’t even make a dent at the polls except from those Dems that just vote down party lines.

The one thing that I always find disturbing is that many people just go in to the voting booth and cast a vote for one of two candidates and forget everything else. That happened frequently in the 2008 election when hoards of first time voters went in and voted for Obama and that was it. Many of those folks likely regret that based on the last six years of an administration that has consistently lagged behind in taking necessary actions and when they do it’s too tepid; i.e. ISIS or Ebola. But the fact is there are various measures on the ballot that need to have your vote. Here is a guide to the ones in the November 4th election:

  • Measure 1- Water Bond; this is a general obligation bond to improve and strengthen the state water supply infrastructure. Unless you like to swing in and out of water rationing, this is a good bet. Vote yes!     
  • Measure 2- Requires annual transfer of State General fund revenues to pay down state debt. Paying down the debt this state took on during the financial crisis is a good thing and we need to manage the State finances better. Vote Yes!
  • Measure 45- Healthcare Insurance Rate Change Initiative Statue; requires Insurance Commissioner’s approval before health insurers can change rates. Vote Yes!
  • Measure 46- Drug and Alcohol Testing for Doctors in relation to Medical Negligent Lawsuits. We need tort reform not increasing the pain and suffering cap in lawsuits. Vote NO!
  • Measure 47- Criminal Sentences, Misdemeanor Penalties; requires misdemeanor penalties instead of felony for some drug offenses. We need to do this to reduce the prison overcrowding and it will save hundreds of millions of dollars. We have all seen or heard of individuals being locked up for years over a ridiculous arrest. Let’s have the sentence fit the crime. Vote YES!
  • Measure 48- Indian Gaming Compacts Referendum; if you want to gamble then go to Las Vegas! We don’t need casinos dotted everywhere throughout the State of California. Vote NO!  
  • Measure P- Safe Neighborhoods, Parks, Gang Prevention. This is nothing more than a tax on top of a Parks Tax we are already paying. Do you really want to pay another $23 per home parcel for County parks when you are already paying for parks? Of course not. Vote NO!
  • Measure S- Billboard Ballot Measure. Would you like to see twenty billboards taken down and replaced with one digital billboard? In this case, 118 billboards on 62 structures will be removed and replaced by 3 new double sided digital billboards. The money against this measure is coming from other billboards companies that do not want to see the measure pass as it will set a precedent. I’d prefer to see less billboards blight and don’t mind if twenty of the tattered billboards are replaced with just one digital billboard. It will make our Santa Clarita Valley look much better. Vote YES!

As far as some of the other State office holders are concerned look at the track record. The State of California use to opitimize the American Dream and people flocked to this state in pursuit of that dream. Now, more families and businesses are leaving the state beacuse it is broken, over regulated and has the highest rate of poverty. Need I say more; it's time for some change.

I hope that you will go out and vote at the polls or if you have your absentee ballot that you will fill it out and mail it in. When you do vote, please take the time to understand and vote on all the measures as well. If you don’t vote then you can’t complain later! Your vote does count.

Dave Bossert- Commentary

Dave Bossert is a community volunteer who serves on a number of boards and councils. He is an award winning artist, filmmaker, and the author of Remembering Roy E. Disney: Memories and Photos of a Storied Life. He also co-authored Disney ANIMATED  which was named by APPLE iPad APP of 2013. His commentaries represent his own opinions and not necessarily the views of any organization he may be affiliated with or those of The SCV Beacon.