Special Voter Guide

On The Ballot / The Nov. 4 elections are coming up. / Tribune News Service

By Matthew Salzer, Jovany Leon, and Katie Porter

For the upcoming Nov. 4 election, there’s plenty of decisions to make. Here’s a brief overview of what will be on the ballot, to help you make your decisions on Tuesday.

STATE – GOVERNOR
California Gov. Jerry Brown is seeking re-election for his fourth term. Brown is already the longest serving governor in the state’s history, serving his first two terms from 1975-83. Brown was re-elected in 2011, defeating Meg Whitman, following the expiration of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s term. Brown plans to continue working on the California High Speed rail system.

Opposing Brown is Republican Neel Kashkari, a banker and resident of Laguna Beach. A member of the Bush administration in the Treasury Department, Kashkari is campaigning to bring balance back to the California budget as well as scrap the high speed rail system in order to cut costs for the state, reported by the Associated Press.

CITY – MAYOR

Incumbent Mayor Miguel Pulido seeks his 11th term while facing multiple investigations from the Fair Political Practice Commission and Orange County District Attorney over a property swap with a local business owner in 2010. The probe began when Pulido failed to report the purchase of a Westminster home in exchange for a plot of land in Santa Ana, as required by state law. Pulido wants to continue his administration’s pro-business stance, as well as improving the downtown area.

Councilmember Roman Reyna is seeking his first term as mayor. Since he is running in the middle of his term, Reyna is not in danger of losing his council seat. Before being elected to the council, Reyna volunteered for various organizations such as the YMCA and worked for the Parks and Recreations department for 12 years. Reyna promises to create more after-school programs, invest more resources to small businesses and making sure the city is balancing its budget.

COUNTY – 46TH DISTRICT

U.S. Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D) is seeking reelection to the 46th District. First elected in 1997, Sanchez is a standing member of the Armed Services Committee who was directly involved in changing sexual assault provisions in the Uniform Code of Military Justice and is in favor of a strong border.

Running against Sanchez is Republican newcomer Adam Nick, a small business owner and immigrant.

DISTRICT – RSCCD TRUSTEE AREA 4

In the only contested trustee seat up for the 2014 General Elections, Board Vice President Larry Labrado is seeking re-election to the Rancho Santiago Community College District Trustee Area 4. Labrado began serving on the board in 1994.

There are two candidates opposing Labrado for the position. Robert Douglas, a business owner in Orange, and a Santa Ana College alumnus with experience as an educator, US marine and Orange County Sheriff. Trung Quang Nguyen, an attorney from Garden Grove, is the other challenger.

STATE PROPOSITIONS
PROP 1
If Proposition 1 passes, the state would create a $7.5 billion bond to improve the water supply infrastructure. While it would increase annual taxes by $360 million, for about 40 years, it could save local government millions of dollars in water projects over the next few decades, according to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office.

Procured funds would create new water storage facilities, fund initiatives to manage runoff from storm drains and allocate $725 million for a project to treat and recycle wastewater.

PROP 45
Prop. 45 would give the California Insurance Commissioner the authority to approve or deny health insurance companies’ ability to change their premiums. Right now health insurance companies can change the rates according to how they see fit.

The proposition is opposed by a coalition of health industry labor unions and small business associations who say the measure allows too much government regulation. The measure is endorsed by the California Democratic Party’s executive board.

PROP 47
Proposition 47 is known as the Reduced Penalties for Some Crimes Initiative. Should it pass, it will reduce specific drug and property crimes from to misdemeanor from felony offenses. The emphasis is that the measure benefits non-violent criminals, while those with a history of violent crimes would still have cases classified as felonies.

Support and opposition is split fairly even for the proposition. Opponents argue it would release criminals on to the streets. Proponents argue for the benefits in reducing prison populations.

COUNTY/CITY MEASURES

MEASURE E
If Measure E, also known as the Orange County Campaign Finance Reform Measure passes residents will decide who prosecutes elected officials charged with ethics laws violations.

The measure would shift responsibility from the Orange County District Attorney’s office to the California Fair Political Practices Commission. It would amend the Orange County Campaign Reform Ordinance.

MEASURE G
Measure G is known as the Orange County Supervisor Vacancy Charter Amendment. If it passes it would modify the way in which county supervisor positions are filled if one of the spots becomes vacant in the final year of a term.

The primary reason for the measure is to stop candidates who lose an election from assuming the office should a county supervisor leave. At present, candidates who have lost elections can, and do assume office when the elected officials leave. The measure keeps losers from taking over in place of the vacated election winners.

MEASURE BB & CC
Two competing initiatives on the ballot will allow medical marijuana collectives to operate in Santa Ana. Although legal statewide since the Compassionate Use Act was signed into law more than 15 years ago, pot shops were banned by the city in 2007.

Council-referred Measure BB and citizen-referred Measure CC seek to regulate the industry, which currently operates illegally. They offer different restrictions on businesses, patients and the city. If both win majority votes, whichever has the most “yes” votes will be enacted.

Measure BB would establish regulations such as operating hours, annual permit renewals and employee background checks. It creates a five percent sales tax, which will increase to 10 percent, to go towards funding police and code enforcement. Only patients 21 years and older would be allowed at the clinics.

Collectives must be at least 500 feet apart, 1,000 feet from schools, parks and residential neighborhoods. They are only permitted to operate in industrial zones.

Also noted in Measure BB’s text is the ability for the council to modify or repeal the statute without having to seek voter approval. Many city officials, including Mayor Pro Tem Sal Tinajero and several councilmembers, support the ordinance.

Opposing the city council’s proposal is a measure introduced by a CSUF political science student. Measure CC offers more lenient restrictions and allows for more accessibility to medical marijuana businesses.

Its provisions include a minimum of 22 dispensaries in the city with no maximum cap. Age limits would allow any patient 18 years or older to purchase marijuana there and the sales tax on profits would instead be two percent.

Location restrictions consist of 600 feet from K-12 schools, as in accordance with state law. Clinics would be permitted to obtain permits for industrial and commercial city zones.

A clause in the measure also prohibits the city from using national funds to enforce the Federal Controlled Substances Act and shut down clinics that operate within city rules and regulations.

The city’s current ban is largely unenforced. Self-promoted listings on Weedmaps.com show at least 60 dispensaries operating within the borders and dozens more mobile delivery services. Santa Ana zip code 92705 hosts the nation’s most clinics in one zip code, according to Leafly.