A Progressive Alamedan

Various writings from a resident of Alameda regarding the political scene. The local perspective of local, state and national politics and a few other odds and ends of local concern. May not be particularly interesting to people outside of the Alameda area.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yesterday's Winners: Democrats, Corporations, Arnold

Well needless to say I'm pretty pleased with the results of yesterday's election. I spent the evening (late into the evening) at Jerry McNerney's victory party with many friends as we watched the results come in nationwide on TV, and in Jerry's race by watching Eden (stalwart staffer and EB4D leader) scribble numbers with a felt-tip marker on the back of campaign signs, taped to the wall. High-tech all the way! It was amazing to be in the center of a winning campaign and part of a nationwide sweep. Just amazing, especially considering two years ago, nobody would take on Richard Pombo until Jerry McNerney stepped in at the urging of his son. And now he's a congressman. Well, soon!

I'm of course pleased with the local Alameda results, in which the Democrats essentially trampled the Republican slate. It's a bit deeper than that of course; I hope to have a post later with more thoughts.

So yes, Dems won big across the nation and locally. But the other big winner, at the state level, if you think about it, is the corporations. They managed to stop a lot of really beneficial propositions from passing: 86, 87, and 89. It breaks my heart. I think that this is why we have a representative government; from feedback I got from people, most people just can't deal with the intracacies of these propositions. We the people are not lawmakers. We are clearly influenced by multi-million dollar ad campaigns financed by the corporations. We just don't have a fighting chance, so it really seems that only non-controversial ballot measures seem to pass these days. (It's really too bad about 83; it had backing of Dems and Republicans when it should have gotten some decent opposition once people realized that, like 90, it is deceptive.)

I especially regret the loss of proposition 89. I hope that it can come back to the state legislature in some other form and have another shot. Otherwise, the corporations are just going to keep winning. It's an incredibly uneven playing field.

While Democrats did well overall in governor's races, it saddens me that we have to put up with another four years of Arnold. Here in Alameda County, of course Phil Angelides won big. But there are a lot of "red" counties that just don't get it. Perhaps Arnold is unbeatable. Maybe a democrat stands a chance once his term expires. (It was great to see that most of the other state races went strongly Democrat; I'm elated that Debra Bowen will be our new Secretary of State, and also very pleased about John Garamendi being elected as Lt. Governor.)


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