Few surprises at the polls
CARLO CAVALLO places his ballot at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building on Tuesday morning.
Once all the ballots had been cast and counted there were few surprises in statewide offices and propositions on Tuesday night.
As expected, Democrat Mike Thompson beat Republican Randy Loftin handily to win a seat in the House representing the 5th District. And incumbent Sen. Diane Feinstein (Dem.) carried the coast, missing only Orange County, to defeat Republican challenger Elizabeth Emken. Lois Wolk (D) defeated Republican challenger Frank Miranda handily to retain her state Senate Seat. In the state Assembly’s 4th District, Mariko Yamada (D) defeated John Munn (R). Valley resident Gina Cuclis knocked off incumbent Alex Bantis for the Area 1 seat on the Sonoma County Board of Education.
Other races were still too close to call and may not be decided for weeks. In the 10th Assembly District race, Mark Levine (D) claimed an upset victory over Michael Allen (D), though with more than 1,600 votes separating the candidates district-wide and absentee ballots still to be counted, Allen had not conceded.
Sonoma County voters disagreed with the overall outcome on Proposition 37, which sought to label some genetically modified foods. Almost 52 percent of Sonoma County voters voted “yes” on the measure, but it failed, losing statewide.
Proposition 34, the effort to repeal the death penalty, also failed statewide but was popular locally, with 56.6 percent of Sonoma County voters affirming the measure though it lost by more than 500,000 votes statewide.
The effort to reform California’s Three Strikes Law, among the strictest in the country, was successful, with a majority of voters voting “yes” on 36.
Gov. Jerry Brown and many others breathed a sigh in relief with the “yes” vote on Proposition 30, providing temporary taxes to fund education (see related story at right). The measure just slipped through with 4,959,206 votes for it and 4,241,246 against it. The Molly Munger-backed Proposition 38, which would have directly contradicted Brown’s initiative, lost by a wide margin.
Proposition 31, the state budget amendment that sought to establish a two-year state budget and change some fiscal responsibilities, failed to get a majority of votes. A controversial bill, Proposition 32, seeking to eliminate political contributions by payroll deductions that targeted mainly unions was also voted down.
A measure increasing penalties for human trafficking, Proposition 35, passed with an overwhelming 81 percent of the vote.
Proposition 33 was a measure funded almost entirely by billionaire George Joseph, the founder and chairman of Mercury General Corporation that tried to lure voters with the promise of lower insurance rates for drivers with clean records. But many feared the measure would have had the effect of deregulating insurance rates, and it was narrowly defeated.
The so-called “Business Tax for Energy Funding” measure, Proposition 39, which imposes a single method for multistate businesses to determine
their tax bases, passed by a wide margin.
Voters reaffirmed the new state Senate districts created by the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission by voting “yes” on Proposition 40.