BY INGA BARKS Contributing columnist
I'm not sure of the count of county supervisor candidates, but I think the list vying to replace Jon McQuiston alone brings the figure to 50. OK, maybe not that many. But there are a goodly amount fighting for your vote right now.
As Republican and Democratic (and third party) voters are coming to the reality that the dye is cast in terms of presidential candidates, let us not forget that our votes are necessary at the state and local level. This year, races for everything from state Assembly to Congress are under the new rules ushered in by Proposition 14. The open primary! Yay!
The passage of Proposition 14 is not only an argument against signing petitions for ballot measures without the necessity of being informed, but brings a new era in California voting to light.
I'm not trying to get all "wonky" on you with the details of Proposition 14, but the long and short is the people of this great state decided that it would be in our best interests to have EVERY candidate known to man on the ballot. Gone are the days of Republicans and Democrats (and third party) getting a ballot that listed the choices within their party. Now our congressional, statewide, state Senate and Assembly races will be just like the current listing of county or city races. We'll see every candidate in every race. Yay!
So, for you Democrats in a Republican-leaning district, this means that if the top two vote getters are Republican, you are stuck with two Republicans aaaaaaaaaalllll the way to November. If they are both Democrats, you're stuck with your own blood bath aaaaaaaaaalllll the way to November! Same goes for you Republicans. Third party voters? Well....let's face it. Since you are rarely, if ever, top two vote getters, you don't count. Sad but true.
Which is why I recommend that EVERYONE do a write-in vote for Inga Barks.
I have no money, no campaign headquarters and no slogan aside from the one I stole from a dear friend: "I promise to do NOTHING."
Now, stop laughing and think of it. At the local level you could do worse. I know more about local government any day than incumbent Karen Goh, and unlike Tim Tarver, wouldn't ask citizens to pay taxes for services that I personally refused or neglected to pay. Unlike my friend former state Sen. Roy Ashburn, I would NEVER vote for a tax increase. EVER. So...write me in for ANY supervisor seat.
As for the Assembly, since I will endorse McQuiston, I need not challenge him but you can write me in nonetheless. I personally adore Shannon Grove but am not beneath going after her record as a bomb thrower. I'd be a bomb thrower as well. It's just that MY bombs wouldn't be self-serving.
On the subject of bomb throwing, I also don't want to be a write-in against state Sen. Jean Fuller, who I think is an all-together decent human who could enjoy retirement should she want, but has chosen serving the people of her district instead. She ain't politically sexy, but she represents her district well and isn't seeking higher office or the next move on the totem pole (which makes her unique at EVERY level of Kern County representatives).
Could I be a congressman/woman? Why not? Congressman Kevin McCarthy has made it to the highest places in government with my-same experience. I've denounced tax increases. I've pushed laws. I've annoyed lawmakers until they vote the way I wish. I've raised money. I've spoken the language of those who vote. I can survive on charm, sprinkled with substance.
And I, too, have great hair.
Now...I would vote for McCarthy myself, but let's not be distracted by that. In an open primary election, I could get ONE vote and if I'm in the top two, I win the primary! So...a write-in vote for me might just get me to Congress!
Of course, I'd have to beat a major political machine that has managed to beat even beloved rivals at this game.
Which is why my slogan would be "I'll do nothing." I wouldn't try to talk you into believing my pap, nor would I preach the party line (which is why my career would be short-lived).
In all seriousness folks, the long and short of it is despite the pre-determined choices for president, you and I are very important in the upcoming choices. Not just with candidates at all levels, but also with potential ballot measures on everything from tax increases for the poor, middle class and rich, but potential ballot measures on a part-time legislature, marijuana regulations and who knows what might come up in the coming months.
All I can recommend is that a write-in vote for Inga Barks for citycounsupervisassemblysenatcongressman is a vote for getting nothing done. And THAT my friends, might be a nice change.
-- Inga Barks, who hosts a talk show on KMJ AM 580, is one of three community columnists whose work appears here every Saturday. You can email her at email@example.com. These are Barks' opinions, not necessarily The Californian's. Next week: Ric Llewellyn.