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Were our dual endorsements too confusing?

We received a complaint this week from someone concerned that The Press Democrat dual endorsement in the races for the 2nd Assembly and 10th Assembly seats could throw off voters.

“I think the dual endorsement and the statement are misleading to voters, as they imply that voters will get to vote for two people. This is not the case.  . . .  I don’t care who you endorse, but if you cause one voter to vote for two candidates, you are disenfranchising them, since the dual vote will not count for either candidate.”

Disenfranchising them? Really?

Well, it was certainly not our intent to make this any more confusing than it is. So, let’s be clear. As it states on the ballot atop each contest, voters are to “vote for one” candidate. Don’t vote for two.

In most partisan races, including the 2nd Congressional District race, we only endorsed one candidate. But that is new. In the past, we have always endorsed two candidates in the primary – one Democrat and one Republican.

But this year, the election is different. This time voters will see the names and parties of all of the candidates on their ballot, not just the candidates in their party. That’s because this time the top two candidates – not necessarily just the top Democrat and the top Republican – will face off in the fall. The hope is this will encourage the election of more moderate candidates.

As we stated in our editorial on the 10th Assembly District race, it is our hope that the fall runoff will feature Assemblyman Michael Allen and San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine. That’s why we chose to endorse both of them – although voters can vote for only one.

Another way to look at our endorsement is like this: If you are a conservative or moderate voter, vote for Levine. If you’re more of a liberal, vote for Allen.

The same is true of the race in the 2nd Assembly District. As we stated, it is our hope that the fall run-off features Assemblyman Wes Chesbro and Sonoma County Planning Commissioner Tom Lynch. Chesbro would be our pick for those on the left of the political spectrum. Lynch is our pick for those more in the center or right – or just for those hoping to see pension reform.

As we noted in our editorial, we’re holding out on picking just one candidate in hopes that these legislators will come through with a package of pension reform measures this summer. During our candidate interviews, both Allen and Chesbro spoke optimistically that something would be coming out in August. We’ll see.

In the meantime, just vote for one candidate.

- Paul Gullixson

Click here to read our dual endorsement editorial on the local Assembly races.





18 Responses to “Were our dual endorsements too confusing?”

  1. Kris says:

    I’m a big fan of Lynne Woosley and I went with her endorsement of Michael Allen.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  2. Levine endorsed by Republicans says:

    Democrats should be concerned by some of Levine’s endorsements:

    Mike Harris (R) – Petaluma City Council member, Former Chair, Sonoma County Republican Party. Misses controversial votes and pretends he’s everybody’s friend while campaigning for McCain and Palin.

    Karen Nau (R) – Former failed Council member with not a lot upstairs. “We need more shopping opportunities” was her big answer to everything in the campaign…sheesh!

    Chris Albertson (D – in name only) – developer’s tool (majority of his funding from out of the area developers – Basin St. Merlone Geier, etc.) living on a 12K per month pension for sitting on his ass.

    Thumb up 4 Thumb down 4

  3. SoCo Voter says:

    To answer the question. Yes, endorsing two candidates on the same ballot will be confusing to a good number of voters. I am not saying the public would actually follow your recommendations, which they rarely do, but it sends the message that they can support two candidates on election day. Your explanation for why you did so in just two races makes no sense. The top two primary was set up to have the top vote getting candidates get to the general, not the top liberal and top conservative candidate. You should clarify.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  4. Lisa Maldonado's trash talk says:

    Hey if Lisa Maldonado is smearing Marc Levine, he must be a great guy! Vote Levine.

    Everyone knows that the only experience Allen had in public office when he ran for the Assembly was as a Santa Rosa Planning Commission for a year…and he was caught with his hand out taking a big bribe from the Sonoma County Water Agency during that very short period he was in office.

    Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

  5. Demosthenes says:

    Gunderson, you’re a joke. Please stop SPAMMING this website.

    Thumb up 14 Thumb down 3

  6. Sheryl says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if voters in SoCo made their OWN informed decision on this and didn’t give a crap about what the PD says?

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  7. As a candidate for CA State Assembly I’m OK with the PD being OK supporting the two richest candidates. What I find very, very sad is in all the State Assembly forums the PD has not sent one reporter to cover the forums or reported it in the news (we had one last night), while the IJ has been way more proactive.

    The State Assembly will change the lives on everyone in Sonoma county for better or worse on education, jobs, environment, pension so on and the PD’s response is so-what.

    Thumb up 10 Thumb down 11

  8. Sarkyfish says:

    Who cares who these clowns recommend? Everyone in California is a vote slave in a one party system; thus all Press Democrat recommendations are either redundant or irrelevant. In the progressive, media gulag of California every day is another bowl of mental mush.

    Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

  9. Doodles says:

    It’s not often I agree with Lisa M., but she’s right when she calls the PD on their hypocrisy. The PD makes their living demonizing public employees and getting everyone worked up over pensions, then turns around and endorses Michael Allen?? I guess they need him to win so they have someone to blame and something to gripe about. As always, the PD is good at contriving as “story” and passing it off as journalism.

    Thumb up 16 Thumb down 11

  10. Working Fish says:

    Based on Lisa’s comments definitely vote for Marc Levine whoever he is.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 9

  11. Camino Alto says:

    This only proves that PD endorsements are a game rather than something that actually could benefit the public at large. Most fail to see that the PD has a political agenda and endorses candidates that support that agenda. Nothing more. Nothing less.

    “…it is our hope that the fall runoff will feature Assemblyman Michael Allen and San Rafael City Councilman Marc Levine.”

    Well they are the two front runners so you’re playing the favorites. Whoop-dee-stinking-doo. Personally, this tree-hugging, 1% supporting, liberal won’t vote for either of those clowns. And none of the rest in that race interests me in the least. That includes you too, Doc.

    But PD endorsements are very important to me. I use them as a guideline as who not to vote for.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

  12. Graeme Wellington says:

    The Press Democrat absolutely, positively and without the slightest doubt suffers from the “View From Nowhere.”

    http://gigaom.com/2012/05/22/why-newspapers-need-to-lose-the-view-from-nowhere/

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

  13. ALLIANCE says:

    The PD endorsing Michael Allen?
    Since when do ‘news papers’ do that?

    Reporters or repeaters.

    Pretty amazing.

    Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

  14. Richard James Emory says:

    You can endorse the union hacks all day long. The new voting procedure is ment to and will ensure more democrat control in the North Bay and Sacramento. It is a total joke.

    Most people don’t ever look at the background or candidate statement before they enter the polling station. They go in and vote as they are told in the case of union members, or they vote party line in the case of non-union voters.

    With the new system it is chaos. Who is who is totally lost in the shuffle just as the democrats wanted it.

    All it does is ensure the incumbents get reelected and the others shouldn’t have bother to sign up and spend the filing fees.

    God bless the socialist system California has adopted. No to the two party or minority party system.

    Thumb up 9 Thumb down 12

  15. Fix the pension problem says:

    @Lisa, when Michael Allen does something about rising pensions and the cost to taxpayers then I may vote for him in the future.

    Here is a great article in case you missed it or are closing your eyes to it: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120520/ARTICLES/205201072

    And here is an editorial from the paper today that was RIGHT ON: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120522/OPINION/120529867/1043/opinion03?Title=PD-Editorial-Sharpening-the-focus-on-pension-mess

    Your response on how to fix this, Lisa/Michael?

    Thumb up 21 Thumb down 6

  16. Dan Drummond says:

    Paul,
    I’m more confused by your explanation. I’ve always viewed your endorsements as your selection of the best candidate (from your perspective anyways) in a given race. Your explanation now seems to be saying that instead of choosing the best candidate in a given race, you’re recommending conservative voters vote one way and liberal voters another. Ignoring for the moment that most voters probably shun such narrow lables, you can’t really have it both ways. Just as voters get but one choice, so too do you. Either you choose Allen or you choose Levine, or you choose Chesbro or you choose Lynch. Picking two comes off as indecisive, even though I understand what you were trying to do.

    Thumb up 17 Thumb down 4

  17. MOCKINGBIRD says:

    I was pleased that the PD endorsed Michael Allen. He’s the candidate that supports the community and its people. He isn’t anti-business either. He is a labor candidate but represents all families and small businesses when he’s working in the assembly. He has a proven track record going back years and years of supporting working families.

    I didn’t have any confusion about the double endorsement except I don’t understand endorsing Levine. From what I have researched on this candidate is that if you’re a working stiff Levine is NOT YOUR REPRESENTATIVE.

    Vote for Michael Allen and keep him doing what he’s been doing for Sonoma county (and now Marin County) working families.

    Thumb up 13 Thumb down 22

  18. Lisa Maldonado says:

    What’s confusing is your double standard for candidates. How do you reconcile your paper’s constant attacking of Michael Allen because he is “too close” to labor unions but completely ignoring that Levine is a shill for business and big box developers? How to reconcile ignoring the fact that Levine flip flopped and switched his vote on bringing Target into San Rafael and received a tidy little donation from the property owners who sold Target the land?
    How to reconcile that Marc Levine has no experience in public policy or even working for a living (he seems to be independently wealthy and has declared no income from employment on his candidate’s Statement of Economic Interests?) Once again what is obvious from your paper is the viewpoint that the business,developer and real estate interests and their 1 % have a right to be represented by opportunists such as Levine but that working people and unions should not have their voice heard at all in government. It’s sad and hypocritical yes, but it’s not confusing.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 27

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