2010 California General Elections

Student Opinions:

Emery Donovan, PO ‘12 Registered in California

The issue that is most important for me is definitely Prop. 23…which is going to repeal California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. The majority of the funding for Prop. 23 comes from Valero and Tesoro, two Texas oil companies, who paid to get this proposition on the ballot. The act creates incentives for green jobs and regulates carbon emissions. Basically, these corporations are trying to buy their way out of regulation. By repealing the act, it will allow oil refineries to pollute in communities throughout California, putting them at greater risk for environmental hazards and air pollution than they already are, which is huge.

The reason I changed my registration to vote in California was in order to vote against Prop. 23, because it’s the most important climate legislation in the country right now. It is one of the most blatant examples I know of corportations trying to buy their way out of regulations at the expense of communities. I was registered in Colorado before, but I changed my registration to vote on this issue.

In tabling…I was surprised how many people there were who weren’t registered to vote. Especially on a college campus, you’d think that students had learned about the power to vote and the importance of voting. But the majority were registered to vote and passionate about voting.

It’s definitely been interesting been talking to people outside of the college bubble. I’ve talked to a lot of people who are fed up and are not voting. It seems like a lot of Americans feel that way.

Raven Evans, PO ‘12 Registered in California

I might vote, but I’m not sure yet. I feel like I should catch up on everything before I vote. I’m also kind of in the sad group of people who thinks “voting doesn’t change anything.” So if I don’t, I will feel bad.

I guess Prop. 19 would be a big issue that people are talking about. I think immigration issues are very timely as well. I just feel like these issues affect more people than some of the other issues.

I think there is a very intimidating political culture at the 5Cs. Obviously there are a lot of liberal, left-wing things that are happening that are very popular stances. But opposing groups aren’t really heard as much, or aren’t taken as seriously. Maybe they’re intimidated by the large group of people who think that everyone thinks the way they do.

Janice Joo, PO ‘11 Registered in California

Props. 19 and 23 are the most important issues for me. I think Prop. 19 is relevant because so many people are using [marijuana] anyways. I don’t think it’s going to pass, based on the polls. I will vote “Yes” for 19, because the government should be able to regulate a substance that will be used no matter what.

Most other people seem to be talking about 19 and 23. I feel like there’s a lot of pressure to vote “Yes” for 23 on this campus, but I think it’s a good thing to support.

Kim Ngai, CM ‘14

This year I’m voting because I want to keep all the Democrats in office. I hope Barack Obama can get some stuff done on his agenda, in case he gets voted out of office in the next election cycle.

Steve Matsumoto, HM ‘12 Registered in California

I am voting in this election, and it’s my first November election. I think midterm elections are actually pretty important, and this one is no exception. For me, the biggest issues are governor and state senator. I think the biggest issues for students at the 5Cs would be governor and Proposition 23; a lot of student voters are very passionate about a ballot measure that could suspend air pollution control, and it seems like the campaigns of Meg Whitman vs. Jerry Brown are pretty intense as well. There are other issues that aren’t represented on this ballot, of course, but they will come up when they need to.

Matt McMorris, PO ‘12 Registered in Connecticut

I’ve just developed a general apathy. I just think all politicians are terrible, so it doesn’t really matter which one you vote for.

The state of political discourse at the 5Cs is awful, completely one-sided. Everybody seems incredibly close-minded, and they just want to hear you say what they believe. Nobody actually listens to what anyone else has to say. That’s why I’m apathetic.

My friends are mostly talking about Props 19 and 23. I also heard some radio ads about Meg Whitman. I don’t know who she is. I guess she’s running for governor.

Can we also talk about how politicians are dumb? I don’t want to vote for people that are dumber than me.

Nina Pincus, SC ‘13 Registered in California

I’ve heard a lot about Prop. 23—relaxing environmental regulations and allowing companies to put out things that are bad for the environment. They say the purpose is to lower the unemployment rate, but I don’t know if it will help much since California’s in such a bad economic state.

Prop. 19 will be interesting, if it passes, with regards to how strict the campuses are still going to be about all of that. It’ll probably change a lot of things around campus, even though it’s pretty prevalent as is—maybe it’ll be more open than before.

I feel like politics is not really talked about that much. For me, I feel like I’m not really up to date with a lot of today’s politics, just because none of my classes are really focused on it. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a bubble here, because I don’t feel I know much of what’s going on outside. I do still read the newspaper.

Jonathan Rice, PZ ‘13 Registered in Maryland

I’m pretty progressive…and I’d like to see more progressive issues being tackled. The social issues are big for me this election—issues that both sides have been avoiding. The inaction by this administration and by the Democratic Party has been appalling. I think the economy’s obviously important—as a student—but I don’t see it as an issue that either party has a solution to. I think the real solution is going to be time.

The 5Cs are different from other institutions, in that people are much more focused on the issues rather than the process. It’s a good model for America. People are much more interested in the issues than the candidates. At the same time, people are pretty polarized.

People do care. If we’re going by party line politics…there’s not a lot of independents. We’re pretty liberal here. It’s a strange environment, as far as a college campus goes.

I would say that all the propositions on the ballot in California—the ones that students care about—they’re all essentially social issue propositions. Prop. 19—for students it’s a social issue. As far as I’ve seen, people are essentially focused on those social changes, for better or for worse. What you guys [at TSL] are writing about are the social issues.

I’ve only lived in California since August 2009. Although I’ve spent a great deal of time here, I don’t know much about California politics. I feel more connection to my home state races. Would I love to vote on the propostions? Sure. But, I know the politicians in my home state. I meet all of them when they do the Fourth of July parade. I’ve met my congressman before in person. I feel a more long-term connection. My hear Maryland, and my vote as well.

Candidate Profiles:

Jerry Brown Believes we should keep the focus on green jobs, stimulating growth in the environmental and energy technology sectors. Wants to take a systematic and persistent approach to improve the education system, including a focus on higher education and overhauling the state testing program. Promises to ensure frugal and careful state spending. Thinks we should reduce air emissions (including switching to hybrid, electric, and alternative fuel vehicles), protect the coastline, and reduce dangerous toxic chemicals. Wants to reform the government employee pension system to reflect the current economic situation. Says he will take action to restore the Bay-Delta and meet California’s water needs. Determined to fight for civil rights, including protecting a woman’s right to choose and maintaining a diverse administration.

Meg Whitman Wants to reinvigorate California’s economy and help create two million new jobs by 2015 Will eliminate the small business start-up, factory, and capital gains taxes. Hopes to rid California of governmental inefficiency to get spending under control and maintain fiscal stability by instituting a spending cap. Hopes to fix our failing schools so all students can achieve their fullest potential by putting more money into the classroom. Will crack down on illegal immigration by securing the border, making it more difficult for employers to hire undocumented workers, conducting workplace inspections, and possibly deploying the National Guard. Opposes bilingual education or attempts to give driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants. Wants to promote clean energy, institute tougher penalties against pollution, and stop off-coast drilling until drilling technologies are safer. Will defend the death penalty, oppose gun control laws, build new prisons and oppose early release, and oppose the legaliation of marijuana.

Carly Fiorina Believes top priorities should be creating jobs and stimulating economic growth: cut taxes and reduce business regulations. Promises not to vote for any new or increased taxes on California’s citizens or enterprises. Wants to focus on getting water into the Central Valley to help family-owned agricultural businesses. Wants to focus health care reform on patients and quality care, including keeping decisions between doctors and patients. Opposes Boxer’s cap-and-trade legislation because it will lead to job losses. Believes we should secure our borders to stop illegal immigration, while developing visa and temporary worker programs. Wants to stay with our nation’s current allies and defend Israel, implement stronger sanctions against Iran, and prioritize defeating the terrorist threat in Afghanistan. Wants to provide reliable streams of funding to law enforcement, prioritize fighting drug abuse (including fighting the legalization of marijuana), and stop gang-related violence.

Barbara Boxer Fight to open international markets for California products, making sure the products are protected from diseases and pests, and ensure that federal farm policy treats California farmers fairly. Hopes to create thousands of clean energy jobs and boost California’s clean energy economy. Supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes both a path to citizenship and tougher border security Was a cosponsor of the DREAM Act and wants to increase educational opportunities for at-risk and low-income students, including making college more affordable. Emphasizes the importance of ending discrimination and disenfranchisement in the African-American and Asian-American communities: wants to increase educational opportunities and protect civil rights. Is an advocate of workers’ right to organize and fight for fair wages and benefits.

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