Editorial - Room with a View

Room with a View: non-partisan primary ballot

Orange County Breeze does not endorse candidates. As editor, I get to mouth off about my own preferences, but those are the opinions of a single voter. Your opinion might differ. That’s one reason why we hold elections. Another reason is to keep us from rioting. Holding a civil debate over political issues seems so last century.

I am registered as “no party preference” because none of the political parties match my desires closely enough to warrant my membership. Each and all of them have something that I object to.

That means the “practice ballot” in this year’s sample ballot & voter information guide for me is shorter than for someone registered as a Republican, or Democrat, or American Independent, or Green…

I am spared the anguish of choosing a box for party-nominated offices, like President, or member of a party’s central committee.

On the other hand, I do get to vote for so-called voter-nominated offices — these are the top-two races where, depending on how the votes come out, there might be two Democrats or two Republicans to chose between in November.

I really dislike top-two voting.

But we’ve got it until more voters than just myself decide to vote out Democrats, who enjoy reducing real choice to fake choice.

The first office I get to vote for is the 47th Congressional District. Alan Lowenthal will win, because that’s how the “non-partisan” redistricting committee drew the lines after the 2000 Census. Guaranteed safe Democratic seat, unless the coronavirus selectively wipes out liberals west of the County line. (No, I am not actively wishing for that, and shouldn’t even have to deny it.)

I will not vote for Alan Lowenthal. I will vote for Amy Phan West or John Briscoe. Neither will win. But this is a top-two primary, so whoever comes in second will earn the privilege of being pasted by Alan Lowenthal in November.

The second office I get to vote for is the 29th State Senate District. This was shaping up to be a match between ousted recalled former State Senator Josh Newman (a Democrat) and incumbent State Senator Ling Ling Chang (a Republican). It’s not really a rematch because Chang was voted in only because Newman was recalled over his support for the increase in the State sales tax on gasoline. To make things interesting, a second Democrat, Joseph Cho, is also running. I will vote for Ling Ling Chang because there are way too many Democrats in Sacramento already. Their number must be lowered.

The third office I get to vote for is the 65th State Assembly District. Incumbent Sharon Quirk-Silva voted for AB 5, the legislation that implemented an absurd court ruling blowing apart employment law. At a recent neighborhood talk, Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva admitted that AB 5 is a mess. That admission doesn’t erase her vote supporting it. Every single Orange County Assembly member voted for it, including Tyler Diep, a Republican who ought to be voted out along with Quirk-Silva. So I will be voting against Sharon Quirk-Silva — which means I’ll check the box next to Cynthia Thacker, a Republican. Never heard of her. But she didn’t vote for AB 5.

For some more information about Orange County elected officials, visit our Orange County Elected Officials, Election Cycle 2019-2020 web page.

The fourth office I get to vote for is non-partisan — judge of the Superior Court, office number 4. Only one name appears: Tony Ferrentino. He has a website, ferrentino4judge.com. I’ll have to read what’s there and decide whether to check the box or leave it blank.

A single proposition appears on the ballot, and is sure to confuse because it’s Proposition 13. No, not THAT Proposition 13! Proposition numbers get re-used, although maybe this one ought to be retired like the jersey number of a famous sports player. This year’s Proposition 13 authorizes the State of California to sell bonds for school modernization. This is a stupid grab for yet more money, with legislators hiding behind school children to mask the theft. The State budget is already huge, and the portion for schools is likewise huge. Let Governor Newsom and the State Legislature reorder their priorities to keep within the already capacious bounds of existing revenue. I will vote no.

Two Orange County measures qualified for the ballot.

Measure A would require a two-thirds vote of the County Board of Supervisors to propose a new tax, which would still need to be approved by voters. I will likely vote yes.

Measure B would allow Anaheim Union High School District to sell bonds for classroom updates, technology upgrades, and safety fixes. This should really be paid for out of the State budget, but the Governor has other priorities. Other local school districts have successfully managed bond sales. I will likely grit my teeth and vote yes, but only because the money stays local.

There you have it! Your ballot likely has additional items, or different offices. Start pondering now! Under the new voting scheme, you can already vote. It’s Election Month!

See you on the morning of March 4 for early results.


  1. You are the editor of a newspaper? Get out of the business. This “article” is devoid of journalism. Find a replacement who will add value to the debate. At the very least, join the policy of your employer and refrain from “mouthing off.”

    1. Author


      Thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

      This article is an editorial, and therefore personal opinion — as is your comment. It is not meant to be read as neutral journalism.

      Your comment provides no details on what you disagree with in the editorial. That makes it difficult to hold a civil debate, or a debate of any kind. Boiled down, you’re simply telling me to shut up. At least you weren’t quite so terse.

      Do you object to my no-party registration? To my stated dislike of the current top-two primary system? To my frustration over the 47th Congressional District being drawn as a safe Democratic seat? To my refusal to vote for Alan Lowenthal? (He’s a nice person. I disagree with his politics.) To my desire that the California State Legislature were more balanced rather than overwhelmingly Democratic? To my anger over AB 5 and expressed urging of other voters to vote against State reps who voted for it? To my distrust of State politicians to responsibly handle money attached to the March 13th Proposition 13?

      I am grateful that I can mouth off as much as I want to. You are likewise free to speak.

      But it would improve the debate if you would specify what you find objectionable and why.

      Again, thank you for reading Orange County Breeze.

      Shelley Henderson
      editor, Orange County Breeze

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