Escondido, CA

Crunch time for elections is approaching

Are you feeling the pressure? Well, if you are not a candidate for election to any office you don’t have any pressure. But, if you are running for office crunch time is approaching and believe me this coming election is like nothing we have ever seen before. Not that this is a critical election, because all elections are? But the conditions for campaigning are unlike any other election cycle. 

Local public forums attended by 20 to 100 people or more are non-existent. Just look at the recent national party conventions. They didn’t even convene as it was all virtual. As mentioned last week Escondido will have our own virtual candidate forums.

History time. For the first time since 1994 we will be electing three council members due to a vacancy in District 2. In 1996 we elected a Mayor for the first time as previous councils voted one of the members to serve as Mayor for one year offering each an opportunity to represent the City. The first Mayor, Sid Hollins, was elected for a two year term then the Mayor’s term became a four year term beginning in 1998. For the past 22 years we have elected but two council members every two years.

Of course we also have County, State and National elections under our consideration. One thing I want to stress are the 12 Statewide propositions on this year’s ballot. The California Attorney General is responsible for the title and language of propositions presented for a public vote. AG Xavier Becerra approves the language for all ballot propositions and this is the area of greatest concern for all of us. To be clear, Becerra happens to be the AG this year and every preceding AG has had the same duty.

So what is the concern? Well, I’m sure the AG has a large staff including some knowledgeable linguists to craft—what has happened in past elections—sometimes confusing explanations of what we are voting for or against. I’m always concerned when I read key words where the benefit of a given proposition is for the children or our health or the environment. Be careful of double negatives in the language as happened a few years ago. I would love to see a proposition that says the State will be taking less money from us if you, the voter, allow us to spend less. Yeah, I guess that is quite the pipe dream.

My comment to everyone is to READ, READ and READ again each and every proposition along with the arguments for and against before you make a decision. Ballot information packets will be coming to us shortly which will give all of us 30 plus days to do our homework. Over 20 years ago I worked as a polling place manager on four elections and I recall one elderly man came in with his caregiver to assist him. She read the ballot to him and he answered what she should mark. After the individual offices, she said, “here are the propositions.” Before she could say another word he commented, “vote no on all of them”. She said she hadn’t read them yet and he repeated in a louder voice, “I said vote no on all of them,” Sage advice I say.

Lately I have heard commercials from a company offering a pill to provide us with necessary fruits and vegetables to help us maintain good health. Then I thought, I already do that. You see, craft beer is made with natural grains so I’m good in the vegetable department and I supplement that with occasional chocolate since the cocoa bean is a vegetable. Since red wine is made with grapes I’m good in the fruit department. Guess I do not need that pill. Who knew?

In last week’s T-A was a feel good story about Andre Chappaz an Army veteran from WWII. Andre has been a regular participant in the Allied Veteran’s Council Memorial Day celebration held annually at Oak Hill Memorial Cemetery. He is so impressive wearing his old uniform and those high top boots. No midsection spread on Andre. He always looks ready for inspection. It would have been a nice touch to have photographed in uniform. I salute you Andre.

This week’s plate offering is KABAYOS. A Filipino word for horse.

*Note: Opinions expressed by columnists and letter writers are those of the writers and not necessarily those of the newspaper.

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