Election: Sad News for Measure H, Great News otherwise
UPDATE: Just to clarify, Measure H ended up passing by a razor-thin margin after all the absentee and provisional votes were counted.
In spite of the measure H results, I couldn't be more pleased with the other results around the state. It looks like Measure 98 has been defeated (and measure 99 passed); I know a lot of people who will be elated with these results.
The other big local news is that Loni Hancock has defeated Wilma Chan in the primary race (and in this district, it's a virtual guarantee of a win in November). I'm sorry, fellow Alamedans who really wanted another Alamedan to hold that seat. I hope you can accept the results and unite behind Hancock in November. I know it will be hard to get behind her because of all the intensely negative campaigning by the Chan campaign — it must seem like we just elected Satan. Believe me, we didn't — we elected a progressive hero.
On the other side of the bay, Mark Leno trounced Carole Midgen and Joe Nation. This is also great news for progressives. Mark has passed some wonderful legislation. (He's also introduced some other wonderful legislation that was held up by Don Perata as a political move). I think he'll be a great replacement for Midgen.
Dennis Hayashi easily took the Superior Court judicial office. Most of us won't see any direct impact of this decision, of course, but I think we will have a sound judge in that office.
My only other disappointment — partial, at least, was the results of the race for the Democratic Central Committee in the 14th and 16th assembly districts. Here in the 16th, it looks like mostly the incumbents and "mainstreamers" won. Kathy Neal, Jon Stuart, Howard Egerman are the incumbents; the others, Darleen Brooks, Bonnie Wheatley, and Sharon A. Ball I don't know much about but at least they don't appear to be LaRouche types. In the neighboring 14th district, our Grassroots Progressives group had a partial victory, with grassroots incumbent Karen Weinstein the top vote-getter with Ces Rosales and Edie Irons making the top six — Congratulations! Incumbents Elizabeth Echols, Beverly Greene, and Maggie Gee were the other winners there. In this low-information race — you would be pressed to know who any of these people are unless you were canvassed by them or you had some personal connection or insider knowledge — the incumbents have a huge advantage. (It seems that people tend to vote for the incumbent lacking any other information.) I think that Edie and Ces were able to break through that barrier because they were tireless campaigners and have large personal networks. I just wish that there were some way for the average voters to find out about these office-seekers in future elections.
Well, it's time to take a breather everybody, because November's election is not that far away, and the battle is just heating up. The Presidential Election is Obama's to lose — and I think he could very easily lose if Democrats continue to be so cocky and divided — and there will be other battles at the local and statewide level as well.