Sunday, May 18, 2014

Send In the Clowns

Don’t blink.
If you do, you might miss the California primary election, which will take place on Tuesday, June 3
Miss it and you won’t be alone. According to one analyst, a 25 percent turnout would not be improbable.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. In 2012, voters approved a new primary system, in which the top two vote-getters advance to the general election regardless of political party. It was intended to encourage greater turnout. It has not.
Lest we conclude that our fellow citizens of the Golden State are a bunch of knuckle-dragging, gimlet-eyed know-nothings, consider that a Gallup poll released this past week found that just 35 percent of registered voters nationwide are more excited than usual about voting in November’s midterm elections.
Breaking news? Hardly. Midterm elections generally generate a lot less enthusiasm than those in a presidential year. The 35 percent who said they are “more excited” are probably candidates, their family members, party apparatchiks and bumper sticker manufacturers.
Then there is this factor: Thanks to the 2012 elections and the never-ending slugfest between President Obama and the loyal opposition, Americans are suffering from a major case of political battle fatigue. And they intend to take a nap.
Too bad. Those who have decided to sit this one out are missing out on a veritable parade of — how shall we say it — unique personalities who reveal themselves on this year’s sample ballot.
Take the governor’s race. Incumbent Jerry Brown has an approval rating of nearly 60 percent among registered voters, according to a recently released Field poll.
So who’s lined up to take on this formidable opponent?
Republicans include Glenn Champ, a registered sex offender who spent more than a decade in state prison, convicted of crimes including voluntary manslaughter and assault with intent to commit rape. He explains that he “found the Lord when I got arrested for picking up the prostitutes.”
Also running is Tim Donnelly, is a state assemblyman from Twin Peaks and a Tea Party favorite. To call him a firebrand might be soft-selling it a bit.
When first elected to the Legislature, he announced that “I’m going there to reach across the aisles to the enemies of freedom and annihilate them and pound them into the ground and take back our power.”
Shortly afterward, he was caught by airport security with a loaded handgun registered to an 83-year-old woman.
He certainly stands up for his beliefs, calling for stricter immigration measures and more liberal gun laws. But in a state with a largely Democratic legislature and one that historically has voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, he might find it useful to be moderate in word and deed. He doesn’t have to mean it. After all, he’s a politician.
Donnelly’s chief rival is Neel Kashkari, a former U.S. Treasury Department official whose social views — he supports same-sex marriage — are more moderate.
Donnelly recently ran afoul of his own party leadership for suggesting Kashkari supported the United States submitting to the Islamic, Shariah banking code.
However, Kashkari is Hindu, not Muslim. An honest mistake. We all know that people with funny-sounding names are extremists.
Other gubernatorial candidates include Janel Buycks, a nonpartisan minister from Lakewood, who claims she has Jesus Christ’s endorsement. And then there’s Democrat Akinyemi Agbede, a Fresno doctoral student and self-proclaimed “super-genius” who wants to ensure that “the beautiful smiling faces of the people of California will forever be permanent.”
Who should appear in the Attorney General contest but Orly Taitz. Perhaps you would might best remember her as the Queen of the Birther Movement.
Among many other things, Taitz alleges that President Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as president. She claims he was born in Kenya and that he falsified his Selective Service papers and his application to the Illinois bar.
“I believe (Obama) is the most dangerous thing one can imagine, in that he represents radical communism and radical Islam: He was born and raised in radical Islam, all of his associations are with radical Islam, and he was groomed in the environment of the dirty Chicago mafia. Can there be anything scarier than that?”
Well, yes, Orly. Guess who?
She is one of seven candidates, including incumbent Kamala D. Harris.
Now on to the judicial selections. Let’s face it, few know anything about the candidates for the bench. Many folks skip the entire category when voting.
But what’s interesting here is the occupations of the candidates for judge of the Superior Court. In 15 races, the candidates listed their profession as sex crimes prosecutor, child molestation prosecutor, gang homicide prosecutor, criminal gang prosecutor, government corruption prosecutor, sexual predator prosecutor, gang murder prosecutor, major narcotics prosecutor and violent crimes prosecutor.
How many lawyers does it take to prosecute the scum of the earth? Apparently a lot.
And while there may be a bit of hyperbole at work here, it’s ultimately a sad comment on our society.

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