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Opinion

Endorsement: The complete list of L.A. Times endorsements for the Nov. 6 election

TORRANCE-CA-JUNE 5, 2018: Voters head to the polls at First Christian Church in Torrance on Tuesday,
 
(Los Angeles Times)

With the contentious and consequential midterm election looming, here are The Times’ recommendations in the races we followed. The final day to mail in a ballot is Tuesday. And no, there is no Proposition 9.

For the record:
11:15 AM, Oct. 23, 2018 An earlier version of this editorial misstated deadlines to request a ballot for the Nov. 6 election and mail it in. Oct. 30 is the last day to request a ballot by mail. Nov. 6 is the last day to mail in a ballot.

U.S. Senate: Dianne Feinstein

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Feinstein is a senator from a more civil and productive era of governance and has accomplished a great deal with that approach. California should reelect her and more candidates like her who know when to stand firm on matters of principle and when to negotiate to get things done. It is doubtful that challenger Kevin de Leon, unwilling by his own admission to compromise, would be nearly as effective in the Senate as it exists today. Read more.

Governor: Gavin Newsom

After his time serving California as lieutenant governor and San Francisco as mayor, Newsom has developed a broad and deep understanding of California’s policy challenges and a record of leadership in addressing them. Republican businessman John Cox, by contrast, brings a record of unsuccessful campaigns and few fleshed-out policy statements beyond the usual conservative tropes of rolling back taxes and regulations — and no experience in government. Read more.

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Lieutenant governor: Ed Hernandez

The job has few duties beyond governor-in-waiting. But Hernandez authored legislation of substance and knows his way around state agencies and the Legislature. He is better prepared to step into the top job than is Eleni Kounalakis, a Democratic Party donor who’s never held elected office but served as ambassador to Hungary. Read more.

Secretary of state: Alex Padilla

The incumbent has done a solid job and should be kept on for a second four-year term. Republican challenger Mark Meuser alleges that California and the nation have been corrupted by mass voter fraud — charges not supported by evidence. Read more.

Controller: Betty Yee

Yee has served well in her first term as the state’s bill-payer and auditor. She helped tame the out-of-control Board of Equalization, and she is trying to focus the Legislature’s attention on tax reform. Read more.

Treasurer: Fiona Ma

As a member of the Board of Equalization, Ma helped blow the whistle on the board’s cronyism and corruption and helped limit its powers. As treasurer, she can be expected to be a careful steward of the state’s financial portfolio and fiscal condition. Read more.

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Attorney general: Xavier Becerra

Gov. Jerry Brown plucked Becerra from Congress to fill the vacancy created when Kamala Harris left for the Senate. As California’s lawyer, Becerra has helped Brown lead the state’s defense against Trump administration attacks on public safety funding, clean car standards, affordable healthcare, immigration protections and net neutrality. It has been a good start, and voters should grant him a full term. Read more.

Insurance commissioner: Steve Poizner

Poizner was an able and innovative insurance commissioner for a four-year term that ended in 2011. The Republican-turned-independent earned a reputation as an advocate for consumers, not insurance companies. This isn’t the right job for rival Ricardo Lara, who lacks experience with insurance regulation. Read more.

Superintendent of public instruction: Tony Thurmond

Thurmond has an unwavering commitment to at-risk students and a deep understanding of the obstacles they face. He is a slightly stronger candidate than his opponent, Marshall Tuck. Read more.

Supreme Court justices: Yes

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Voters should retain each of the two high court justices on their ballots: Schwarzenegger appointee Carol Corrigan and Brown appointee Leondra Kruger. Each has served with distinction. Read more.

Court of Appeal justices: Yes

Retention is warranted for all 17 intermediate-level appellate justices in the Second District, which includes the county of Los Angeles and four counties to the north. The same is true for the justices up for approval in the Fourth District, serving Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Imperial counties. Read more.

Proposition 1 ($4 billion bond for housing programs): Yes

This bond is a worthy effort to alleviate the state’s housing crisis. It would finance mortgages at low interest rates for veterans to buy homes or farms, and it would help fund construction of apartments and houses for approximately 30,000 lower-income apartment dwellers. Read more.

Proposition 2 (Mental Health Services Act funding for housing): Yes

Californians already approved a “millionaire’s tax” to fund mental health services, but a lawsuit is keeping the state from spending the money on the most fundamental element of treatment for the homeless mentally ill: supportive housing. This measure clears that obstacle. Read more.

Proposition 3: ($8.877-billion water bond): No

Not all water bonds are created equal. This one would have all Californians pay for projects that would benefit only a few interests or regions, chiefly Central Valley agriculture. Read more.

Proposition 4 ($1.5 billion children’s hospital bond): Yes

The state’s low Medi-Cal reimbursement rates make it close to impossible for children’s hospitals to upgrade their buildings to meet state seismic standards. Proposition 4 helps fill that gap while also enabling hospitals to expand capacity to meet a growing need. Read more.

Proposition 5 (Property tax transfer): No

This measure is a gift to wealthy homeowners who want to move to new homes yet keep their old (lower) property taxes, and to the real estate industry, which wants more property transfers and the commissions they bring. Cities, counties and school districts would pay with reduced tax revenue, and the rest of us would pay with reduced services. Read more.

Proposition 6 (Gas and vehicle tax repeal): No

This latest tantrum from the anti-tax crowd would ensure that roads, bridges and other transportation infrastructure keep deteriorating. It’s a ballot measure only a pothole could love — and anyone who believes that a $130-billion maintenance backlog can be fixed by magic. Keep repairs and construction on track by voting no. Read more.

Proposition 7 (Permanent daylight saving time): Yes

Passage of Proposition 7 would empower the Legislature, by a 2/3 vote, to express its desire to shift to year-round daylight saving time. But an actual shift requires an act of Congress. Read more.

Proposition 8 (Fee caps at dialysis clinics): No

This is a union-organizing measure in very thin disguise, placed on the ballot by a healthcare workers union that’s having trouble organizing at two major dialysis chains. It would cap dialysis center revenues but do nothing to enhance patient care. It could well drive clinics out of business at just the time we need more, not fewer. Read more.

Proposition 10 (End restrictions on rent control): Yes

Proposition 10 would not impose rent control anywhere, despite what people on both sides argue. But it would repeal the state law that restricts cities’ ability to enact or expand rent control laws. Cities should have the option to consider such measures as part of their efforts to slow displacement when rents are skyrocketing. Read more.

Proposition 11 (Ambulance and emergency worker paid breaks): Yes

This measure would make clear that emergency responders for private ambulance companies must remain reachable during paid work breaks so that they can provide help when needed. It’s a sensible proposal that would maintain the status quo. Read more.

Proposition 12 (Cage-free animal housing): Yes

Proposition 12 strikes an important blow against needless animal cruelty by requiring cage-free quarters for egg-laying chickens and other animals being raised for food. Read more.

Measure B (Study municipal bank): No

This measure wouldn’t actually establish a public bank or empower the city to do any kind of study of the question beyond what it can already do. This may be the most half-baked measure to come out of City Hall in years. Read more.

Measure E (Align election dates): Yes

Measure E would align city election dates with state election dates. If you’re thinking you already voted for (or against) this, you did. But then the state changed its primaries from June to March, so the city has to change again. This time officials remembered to include language to make it unnecessary to go back to the ballot the next time the state changes its election dates. Read more.

Measure EE (Align election dates): Yes

Measure EE does for school district elections what Measure E does for city elections. The cost of not using the proper wording in 2015, when voters first made the change? $3.1 million. But here you are. Read more.

Sheriff: Jim McDonnell

It turns out that reforming the Sheriff’s Department is a long and complicated process. But McDonnell remains the better of two candidates to do the job, given his long experience leading large law enforcement agencies. Challenger Alex Villanueva has no such experience. Read more.

Assessor: Jeffrey Prang

The county assessor’s office fell into a period of chaos and corruption, but under Prang things have settled and the office is operating well. Voters would be wise to stick with him. Read more.

Measure W (Storm water capture): Yes

It’s hard to see how L.A. can avoid enormous fines for violating clean water laws, or get more of its water from local sources to replace threatened imports, without Measure W allowing more water on each parcel to soak into the ground rather than flow down paved streets and ultimately into the ocean. Read more.

Office No. 4: Alfred A. Coletta

Coletta is a well-regarded and experienced trial lawyer and would likely make an excellent judge. Read more.

Office No. 16: Sydne Jane Michel

A prosecutor with the Redondo Beach City Attorney’s Office, Michel is the better choice in this judicial runoff. Read more.

Office No. 60: Holly L. Hancock

Like most of the best judicial candidates, Deputy Public Defender Hancock is an experienced trial lawyer who exhibits the demeanor and expertise to preside over a courtroom. Read more.

Office No. 113: Michael P. Ribons

Ribons is a civil practitioner and the better of two choices for this seat. Read more.

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