The stage is set for California's governor race. Democratic Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom will face off against Republican businessman John Cox in November. Cox earned the spot over former Democratic Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who had a chance to be on the ballot alongside Newsom. California has a "jungle primary" system that puts the two top vote-getters on the November ballot, even if they're from the same party.
Democratic former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa isn't admitting defeat in his bid to be the next governor of California. Villaraigosa pointed out that more than 100-thousand people in Los Angeles County were left off the voter registry.
Projections from today's primary show Villaraigosa didn't manage a top-two finish in the race for governor of the Golden State. He said his campaign has asked to extend the time that people can vote, and to make it clear how many people couldn't vote. He said his campaign will demand answers. Democratic Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom and Republican businessman John Cox are projected to have won the primary to appear on the November ballot.
California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein is advancing to the November ballot. Voters in today's primary overwhelmingly cast their ballots for the 84-year-old, who has served in the Senate since 1992. Feinstein is the oldest member of the Senate. Over two dozen other candidates are vying for the second spot, but a top contender is Democratic State Senator Kevin de Leon.
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Check out the KFBK coverage from election night with our hosts, Kitty O'Neal, John McGinness, and Mike Hagerty. Insight from political experts, reports on the candidates and propositions from one end of the state to the other. It's all here if you missed any of it on Tuesday night.
John's Primary Election Endorsements
Proposition 70: Greenhouse Gas Reduction Reserve Fund
You'll be asked to decide if state lawmakers should need a "super-majority" to spend the money made by California's greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.
Proposition 70 would require some future money from the state's carbon credit auctions to go into a special fund, where it would take that two-thirds majority to spend it.
Those behind it say it would protect California's efforts to battle climate change - and guarantee lawmakers don't divert the money for their own "pet projects."
Those against Prop 70 say it would actually take money away from programs that target some of the poorest neighborhoods - with the dirtiest air.
Strela Cervas with the California Environmental Justice Alliance says it's really big oil and corporate farming's attempt to undo the progress groups like hers have made.
"This type of super-majority-budgeting is a way for a minority of legislators to hold money and policies hostage," says Cervas. "In the past, two-thirds budgeting has led to budget gridlock."
Proposition 71: Ballot Measures: Effective Date
One of the propositions on Tuesday's June primary ballot will determine what happens with propositions on future ballots. The state Constitution says if a proposition passes, it takes effect the next day unless there's a specific date included.
The man behind Proposition 71 is Democratic Assemblyman Kevin Mullin of San Mateo County. He says with so many votes by mail, the Secretary of State should have the time needed to make sure ALL your votes are counted.
"This really is preventative, given the vote-by-mail environment and voting results happening later, after election day," says Mullin. "This is really a clean up of the constitution."
The only official "NO" on Prop 71 is Bay Area attorney Gary Wesley, who argues the measure is unnecessary because no prop can take effect until the election is certified.
Proposition 68: California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Protection, and Outdoor Access for All Act of 2018
You'll soon vote on whether to borrow $4-billion for things like drought preparation, contaminated water clean-up and parks for poorer neighborhoods. Proposition 68 would also provide grant money for environmental restoration, air quality and flood control projects.
Jay Ziegler with the Nature Conservancy says they're all critical.
"We also need more investments in the American River Parkway, more park access in the Foothills," says Ziegler. "Proposition 68 is ideal to meet those needs."
Republican State Senator John Moorlach of Orange County says we don't need to pay for these with a bond issue.
"Why has the state allowed our water to deteriorate?" asks Moorlach. "Where is the diligence to put something in the budget in a regular pay-as-you-go-basis."
Moorlach says California already has the highest debt of any state.
Proposition 69: Requires certain tax and fee revenue related to transportation be used for transportation purposes.
One of the five propositions on your June 5th ballot could serve as a first test for the gas tax law. Supporters of Proposition 69 say it'll make sure that money is actually spent on transportation. State Senator John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), who argued against the measure when it was in the Senate, calls it political sleight of hand to avoid spending limits.
"You use a cute title, [terms like] 'lockbox'," Moorlach says with a cynical tone toward Democrats across the aisle, "but we'll sneak around some rules. At times like this, when there's a little more tax revenue than anticipated, we can still spend it."
Michael Quigley, director of the California Alliance For Jobs, says the Gann Limit, which diverts money collected above the limit to education, was aimed at general fund spending, not at transportation funding, which is in a separate budget.
"By exempting transportation dollars, and protecting them from diversions from the legislature, we're going to make sure the voters get what they want."
Quigley says they believe what you want is all the gas tax money going where it was intended.
Proposition 72: Excludes rainwater capture systems from property tax assessments.
Environmental protection is usually favored by people on the political left, but there's one measure on your June primary ballot that also has something for those on the right: a property tax exemption if you add rain water collectors to your home. Those kinds of improvements often increase the value of your property, which then increases your property tax. The exemption for rain water collection that would be provided under Proposition 72 is similar to the one you get if you add solar panels to your home.
The man behind the Prop 72, State Senator Steve Glazer (D-Walnut Creek), says it's one of those investments that means long-term savings on your water bill, and it means more clean drinking water available because so much less would be used for watering plants in your yard.
Building those rain collectors without an exemption could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in property tax revenue, but Glazer says Prop. 72 even has the support of the League of California Cities.
"Putting in water infrastructure is very expensive," Glazer says, "and if they can reduce the demand on their water systems, it means that they can give these tax breaks and have it, at the end of the day, probably be a net benefit to the cities as well."
Because there are pieces of this proposition that appeal to people on all sides, there hasn't even been a hint of a NO on 72 campaign with days left before the vote.