Caitlin’s midterm primary 2018 voter guide

Caitlin Quinn
May 16, 2018 · 8 min read

So! Y’all are finally realizing the importance of voting. 2016 wasn’t so great, but we’re here now and we are realizing primaries matter and midterms matter and everything matters. Voting is the easiest, laziest form of civic engagement there is, so, if you’re a citizen over the age of 18, just VOTE. If only to cancel out a Nazi’s vote (seriously) you ought to vote!

This is just how I will be voting and a brief statement of WHY I’m voting that way; I’m not here to invite an argument, just trying to educate folks who know they lean the same ways I do. (Or, if you’re reading this and you hate me, vote the opposite way that I do and cancel out my vote! That’s your right.)

Short version comes first, longer version below.


Prop 68: YES

Prop 69: YES


Prop 71: YES

Prop 72: YES

Governor: Delaine Eastin (or Gavin Newsom if you really must, I’ll vote for him in the general election in November, I swear)

Lieutenant Governor: Gayle McLaughlin

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla

State Controller: Betty Yee

State Treasurer: Fiona Ma

State Attorney General: Dave Jones

State Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara

State Board of Equalization: Malia Cohen

State Superintendent of Public Instruction: Tony Thurmond

State Assembly: Dan Monte

Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools: Steven Herrington

Supervisor, 2nd District: David Rabbitt

Auditor/Controller/ Treasurer/Tax Collector: Erick Roeser

Clerk/Recorder/Assessor: Deva Marie Proto

District Attorney: Jill Ravitch

Sheriff/Coroner: John Mutz

Regional Measure 3: Yes

The slightly longer versions:

Proposition 68: issues $4 billion in bonds for parks, environmental protection, and water infrastructure. In my opinion, these are all areas that really do need money, and spending money means we have to raise it somehow. And we hate taxes, still, apparently. So, bonds it is! Vote yes.

Proposition 69: requires certain tax and fee revenue related to transportation be used for transportation purposes. Logical and boring enough, and transportation could really use the money. Plus, if we’re gonna pay this dang gas tax and the ever-increasing bridge tolls (not complaining) the least we can ask for is that the money go back into transportation! Vote yes.

Proposition 70: requires a one-time two-thirds vote to use revenue from the cap-and-trade program. AKA IT GIVES THE REPUBLICAN SUPERMINORITY ALL THE POWER TO ENFORCE A HUGELY IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION. Screw that, and screw them for trying to get it passed when they think y’all aren’t voting (you are, right?) VOTE NO. Don’t just skip it.

Proposition 71: changes the date for when voter-approved ballot measures take effect. Un-sexy but important. Lots of ballot measures are well-intended but don’t have a definitive start date, landing the state and other government entities into dangerous waters when a lawsuit may arise. Let’s just make it extra clear; this still gives times for the vote counts to be verified and all that jazz, instead of making it occasionally go into effect in November of the election year. Vote yes.

Proposition 72: Excludes rainwater capture systems from property tax assessments. We need to be encouraging eco-friendly, water-conserving housing, so this is the least we can do to encourage it being added to existing dwellings. Vote yes.

Governor: Delaine Eastin! Look, I know Delaine Eastin has a slim-to-none chance of winning. But she’s super rad. She wants universal preschool and tuition-free college, in addition to more funding for K-12 schools. DREAMY! She’s decidedly pro-repealing Costa-Hawkins (yay rent control!) and knows that a living wage and equal pay are critical for a healthy economy. Speaking of health, she’s a fan of universal healthcare. Plus, she was the first woman elected to be the State Superintendent. So while I’ll more-or-less gladly vote for Gavin Newsom (over Villaraigosa or any Republican) in the general election, I’m wholeheartedly in support of Delaine Eastin for governor.

Lieutenant Governor: Gayle McLaughlin! Similar to same policy priorities as my girl Delaine, plus she’s from Richmond and is a Green Party candidate! Hello! She’s in favor of a millionaire’s tax and against the privatization of prisons, jails, and other detention centers. She is in favor of public schools instead of the privatization of schools using public monies (ahem, charter schools) and in favor of a statewide public bank, WHICH IS SUCH A GOOD IDEA IN MY HUMBLE OPINION. Honestly, I’d guess that she and I agree on almost everything. So vote for Gayle McLaughlin for Lieutenant Governor (an admittedly useless position.)

Secretary of State: Alex Padilla. I think he has been doing an exceptional job, including making registration more streamlined and accessible. This is a very important position and although he is an incumbent facing no serious opponent, PLEASE do not skip this position. Vote for Alex Padilla.

State Controller: Betty Yee. She’s been doing a great job, she’s super lovely in person, and it seems like we haven’t collapsed into financial ruin just yet. I’m mostly kidding about that last bit — definitely vote for Betty Yee.

State Treasurer: Fiona Ma. She’s climbed up the ladder, and as the daughter of a CPA, I like seeing an accountant in a position like this. She has been accessible and approachable in my experience, and has deep ties to California. Vote for Fiona Ma.

State Attorney General: Dave Jones. I have no real qualms with the excellent job that the incumbent seems to be doing, but Dave Jones shares all the same beliefs and history of action as the incumbent while ALSO opposing the death penalty and having a strong belief in criminal justice reform with a focus on rehabilitation, which to me is extremely important to see in an AG, even though I realize they do not have a decision when it comes to sentencing. He also does have considerably more experience running a statewide agency than his opponent. So while I am happy with either Xavier Becerra or Dave Jones, I will be voting for Dave Jones.

State Insurance Commissioner: Ricardo Lara. Ricardo Lara has long been on the side of students and workers at the UC when we were struggling to get UC administration and the rest of his counterparts in the state government to take us seriously, so I have no doubt he will continue to stand up for the folks who need his support as Insurance Commissioner. I think Californians are starting to realize the necessity of a good Commissioner in light of the recent firestorms, mudslides, etc. I hope everyone will join me in voting Ricardo Lara for State Insurance Commissioner.

State Board of Equalization: Malia Cohen. Even though this isn’t the sexiest position, Malia has an awesome track record of supporting sanctuary cities and “ban the box” movements, yay, and she’s a Supervisor for the City/County of SF who is actually from SF! She was recently on the radio demanding a more thorough inspection and clean-up at Hunter’s Point before we try to build housing there, so I appreciate her. She wants to continue the work that Betty Yee and Fiona Ma are doing, so I will vote for Malia Cohen.

State Superintendent of Education: Tony Thurmond. NO QUESTION. His primary opponent a huge fan of charter schools/”school choice”/the DeVos agenda and is funded by all the big bad names we hate. Tony Thurmond has been an awesome Assemblyman for the district he represents and is head and shoulders above all competition — join me in voting for Tony Thurmond.

State Assembly: Dan Monte. Like I said in 2016… is it mean to say I’m STILL bored by Marc Levine? He’s in a safely liberal district, but he hasn’t done very much to take advantage of it. He did not even vote one way or another on the Farm Workers Overtime Bill, which in many ways is slimier than voting against it. It’s great that he’s against fracking, but that’s not particularly relevant to his district. He’s done a few good but easy things, and is not doing anything to address the housing crisis in the North Bay… HELLO??? It’s easy to be pro-environment in this district, I want to see what he does on other issues before I’m comfortable being represented by him. I will be voting for Dan Monte, who has experience outside the Democratic Party establishment (lol I KNOW WHY AM I LIKE THIS??) and wants to build more housing while keeping Sonoma and Marin counties environmentally conscious places to live. He has firm plan to push the Assembly to tackle the abominable healthcare system and reform our multi-payer mess of a “system.” He is also in favor of more funding for schools and tuition-free college, so I hope you will join me in voting for Dan Monte and seeing what we can accomplish in Sacramento!

Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools: Steven Herrington. He’s unopposed and I have no reason to be mad at him after a few years of limited interactions with Sonoma County Office of Education.

Supervisor, 2nd District: David Rabbitt. He’s unopposed and knows what he’s doing. He’s a little conservative for my taste, but no one is running in his place and he sure isn’t doing a poor job.

Auditor/Controller/ Treasurer/Tax Collector: Erick Roeser. He’s running unopposed and I see no red flags after a cursory google search; he’s the incumbent after being appointed by the Board of Supervisors after his predecessor retired.

Clerk/Recorder/Assessor: Deva Marie Proto! We need more young, qualified women to stand up to weird old men who feel entitled to an office. She has more experience and all the right endorsements. The only endorsement her opponent lists is that of the Sheriff… relevant, how? Deva Marie Proto has been working on making this office better for a decade but knows she has to earn her seat, because lord forbid a qualified woman coast to victory. Join me in voting for Deva Marie Proto.

District Attorney: Jill Ravitch. I think her opponent dropped out anyway (???) but she’s wonderfully helpful to the victims and survivors the agency that I work for serves, and so while I think her office is far from perfect, she is a great asset to the people I see every day.

Sheriff/Coroner: John Mutz. I have little to no faith in any candidate’s ability to change the system in this office, but all the people whose politics I trust the most are voting for John Mutz. I think he would genuinely try to bring social justice and community-building to the Sheriff’s office. If he does not make it through the primary, I will vote Ernesto Olivares in the general. Regardless, from what I can tell, any of these three men would actually be a dramatic improvement over the last elected Sheriff/Coroner.

Regional Measure 3: Yes! Measure 3 would raise bridge tolls (except the Golden Gate Bridge) a dollar per year, essentially, for three years. Scary, I know… but… INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS MONEY TO FUNCTION. It makes sense for the people who use it most to pay for it. Y’all don’t want taxes, so while tolls suck, it’s better than taxation in my opinion. Vote yes on Measure 3.

The whole federal government is highkey an embarassing shitshow so I’m giving it no more credibility than this:

Jared Huffman for Congress.

Alison Hartson or Kevin De León for Senate. But seriously, if you’re even CONSIDERING voting for the Nazi piece of scum, vote for the incumbent instead.