What did I learn Tuesday?
Irrelevance on the president
The Electoral College once again proved Californians, for practical purposes, don’t have a say on presidential politics. We also learned that the “majority rule” rule in democracy took a break for yet another cycle.
The result left two questions for me: How much better could Bernie Sanders have done, and how much impact did FBI Director James Comey have on the result? Of course, considering the quality of our pollsters, we’ll never know either answer.
As with President-Elect Donald Trump (thanks a lot, Mark Burnett and celebrity culture), a familiar name won the race for the District 20 seat representing San Benito County in Congress. Jimmy Panetta may have a blank track record to judge, but at least he has a snappy, familiar name.
Voters love anything new. They love agents of so-called change. That’s why we like to switch back and forth on party preferences in our presidents. After a while, what’s old looks new again. That was the case with Anna Caballero, who termed out of the Assembly but somehow found a way to get her former seat back without anyone noticing.
Mayor needs serious challenger
Keith Snow means well, but it’s unproductive for the city and voters to go through another campaign between Mayor Ignacio Velazquez and his habitual challenger. The mayor’s race needs another challenger, and the repeat act underscores a need to move the position’s term from two to four years. It’s well past time for Snow to turn his attention elsewhere.
Millennial, hometown power
The race between Hollister native Roy Sims and relative outsider Tim Burns for the District 4 Hollister council seat reflected the vast power of the millennial generation. Burns had a modest lead after mail-in ballot counts, but Sims jolted to a sizable win with help of poll voters, likely more hometown types in his age range.
Anti-growth in San Juan
The San Juan Bautista City Council race was a referendum against rapid growth. The two incumbents lost because they’re part of a leadership group that has promoted much faster growth in the Mission City than we’ve seen in generations. Voters had the final say.
Trust a doctor
San Benito Health Care District voters, likely influenced heavily by the nurses’ union that recently went through a long dispute with the board and administration, said it’s time for new leadership and picked Dr. Ariel Hurtado over longtime board official Gordon Machado.
Pass the bong
Locally elected leaders must finally look in the mirror and realize they’re more than two decades behind the times with their cranky, antagonistic, paranoid view of marijuana. And anyone against pot who drinks alcohol is absurdly hypocritical. Those people should expand their horizons (puff the magic dragon) and loosen up. After all, how many people die from using marijuana (hint: none) compared with alcohol?