The Times endorses selectively, on a case-by-case basis. Here are recommendations for Tuesday’s primary election.
Proposition 55: No. This $12.3-billion bond to build and repair public schools and colleges is fully justified, but the state’s financial situation is too precarious for approval of the issue now. If it fails Tuesday, it automatically bounces onto the November ballot. Vote no now; hope to vote yes later, when the state financial picture is clearer.
Los Angeles Unified School District Measure R: Yes. Unlike Proposition 55, this $3.87-billion measure provides a dedicated source, property taxes, to pay its debt. Los Angeles is using its existing bond money well, but after decades of neglect, the schools are still among the most crowded and dilapidated in the state.
Proposition 56. Yes. This measure, designed to end the almost annual budget stalemate in Sacramento, would lower the voting threshold for budgets, appropriations and taxes from two-thirds to 55%. California is one of only three states that require a two-thirds vote for such fiscal decisions. The result? Endless legislative deadlock.
Proposition 57 and Proposition 58. Yes. See editorial below.
L.A. County District Attorney: Steve Cooley. Incumbent Cooley can claim accomplishments that merit a second term. Although his decisions to shut down the Rampart and Belmont probes are as inexplicable as they are disheartening, Cooley has put in place sensible policies to guide prosecutors on three strikes and juvenile offenders.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judges:
Office 18: Miguel Dager
Office 29: Jeffrey Gootman
Office 52: Laura Priver
Office 53: Craig Jordan Mitchell
Office 67: Judge Richard Van Dusen
Office 69: Donna Groman
Office 72: Judge David Wesley. Wesley has been an outstanding judge and court leader. His three opponents, who are less qualified, were goaded into running by prosecutors after a nasty dispute last spring over late arraignments, for which the court and the district attorney’s office share equal blame. Wesley deserves reelection.
Office 95: Judge Dan Oki also faces a field of poorly qualified grudge-match challengers. Like Wesley, Oki is a respected veteran judge whom renegade prosecutors have unfairly targeted for last May’s arraignments foul-up. Oki deserves reelection.
Office 111: Stella Owens-Murrell