Tuesday, May 24, 2016

As of the last census, California had an estimated 2015 population of 38.8 million, and if it were a country, it would rank 35th in the world, with a larger population than Poland, Canada, Australia, Cuba and 160 other countries. California’s population is more than twice that of 139 other countries.

California has two female U.S. Senators (Boxer and Feinstein), both of whom are Jewish, and 53 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, of which 39 are Democrats and 14 are Republicans.

The important June 7th Republican Party Primary will result in having 172 delegates to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland July 18-21, including three per Congressional District, 10 at large delegates, and three others: the State Chair, a National Committeewoman, and a National Committeeman. There will also be 169 alternates. Including 159, three per Congressional District, as well as 10 delegates at large.

California is expected to have 548 delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 25-28, and of this total, 475 will be “pledged delegates,” who are allocated in proportion to the primary votes he or she receives. The remaining 73 delegates are “unpledged,” and not selected by the results of the primary, but by their status within the state party.

The mail just brought me “Nuestra Boleta e Guia de Informacion para el Volante” regarding ‘eleccion primaria presidential, Martes, 7 de junio de 2016,” and that “Las mesas electorates abren de 7am a 8pm.”

I am then told that “Lugar de vootacion en la contraportada,” and then there’s not only a phone number for further information in English, as well as “informacion en Español,” also available “impormasyon sa Tagalog,” and Chinese, or is it Vietnamese?

The above is found on the cover of the thick “Sample Ballot and Voter Information Guide.”

English and Spanish information was found throughout the Guide, in many cases side-by-side, starting on the inside front cover where half a page was devoted to me as “Estimado Votante,” — Dear Voter. More than half of the next page was in Spanish, as were all of pages 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and fifteen. For clarification, those were pages nueve, diez, once, doce, trece, catorce and quince. The next two pages were half in English and half in Español, as were the descriptions and qualifications of four candidates.

Ballot measures for both the Cabrillo Community College bond issue, for the parcel tax for my school district, and for the library bond, were also described in the two languages.

The booklet concluded with a Boleta de practica, which listed the candidates for president for three parties I was able to vote for as a registered Democrat — Democrata, Independiente Americano, and Liberario.

I was disappointed not to find the name of Enrique Peña Nieto of the Institutional Revolutionary Part (PRI) and others, who may be running for Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

There are thirty-four candidates on the ballot to replace retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. Each candidate is trying to become one of the two who garner the largest number of votes, for they will run against each other in November, regardless of their party affiliation.

There are 12 GOP candidates on the ballot, seven Democrats, two Libertarian Party members, one each from the Green Party and the Peace and Freedom Party. Ten said they weren’t representing any party.

Each candidate listed her or his qualifications in a thirty-two page booklet entitled, “California Presidential Primary ***** OFFICIAL VOTER INFORMATION GUIDE,” It included a short paragraph by Democratic candidate Akinyemi Olabode Agbede, who used up his allotted number of exclamation points as he started his pitch with, “Rescue America! Rescue America!! Rescue America!!!” Republican Jerry Laws simply wrote “Constitutionalist. Americanism.”

Ling Ling Shi, with No Party Preference, wrote that she would, “Run for God’s Heart and America’s Freedom,” while Democratic Massie Munroe is “practicing Christ consciousness,” and Tim Gildersleeve, with No Party Preference, starts with “I am a follower of Jesus Christ.”  Jason Hanania, with No Party Preference, lists his one qualification as “01100101.” It’s an admirable number. Republican Greg Conlon notes that he was both a pilot in the US Air Force, as well as being an Eagle Scout.

The first name listed on the official ballot is a Democratic candidate by the name of President Cristina Grappo, who if elected, would become Senator President Grappo. Sounds a bit confusing, but so is this election thus far.

Although the entire guide was in English, on the final page there were phone listings for additional copies in English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai and Vietnamese. This is what is sure to hacer una américa grande, otra vez.

Thousands of California residents elected to stay independent, but when they registered as such, they inadvertently became members of the American Independent Party (AIP). The platform on the AIP website begins with, “The American Independent Party gratefully acknowledges God as the Creator of all and appeals to Him for help in protecting all He has graciously given us. With all these gifts comes the right to use them justly. Hence all such rights are the gifts of God as affirmed in our Declaration of Independence. These include the right to life and liberty.” 

A poll conducted by the Los Angeles Times indicated that 73 percent of those who registered as an independent, did not know that they had registered for a political party. Once they realized this, 31,772 AIP voters left the party in the two weeks prior to May 1.          

Friday, May 13, 2016

Conventional Wisdom
In every state that held (or will hold) a primary or a caucus, truly concerned individuals try their best to get the vote out for their candidate. They could do so by attending meetings, soliciting door-to-door or on the phone, putting signs on their lawns, cars, windows, bumpers, or by wearing campaign buttons on their clothing.

In the final run, does the actual vote of the people really count in selecting each party’s candidate at the national convention?

On July 25-28, the Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia, with 4,770 delegates having 4,766 votes to cast for the party’s Presidential nominee. The wining candidate will have to get 2,383 votes, but will they truly earn them?

What’s So Super About Them?
Among the delegates are 715 unpledged delegates, whom nobody has voted for, and they are known as superdelegates. Twenty are distinguished party leaders, twenty-one are Governors, forty-seven are Senators, 193 are Representatives, and 434 are members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

These Democrats Have
One Thing In Common
The people in the following paragraph, whose names you may not recognize, are among the 438 members of the Democratic National Committee, who have 434 votes at the Democratic National Convention.

They are Rafael Anchia of Texas, Stuart Appelbaum of New York, Belinda Biafore from West Virginia, Rosiky F. Camacho MP, Emelia S. Chargualaf MP, George Wallace of Virginia, David Worley of Georgia, Jose R. Rodriguez of Texas and Mannie Rodriguez Colorado, Andre Ramirez of Nevada and Rion Ramirez of Washington, Javier Morillo-Alicea of Minnesota, Gilberto Hinojosa of Texas, and Marcia Fudge of Ohio.

Actually, there are two outlanders in this list, for Rosiky F. Camacho MP and Emelia S. Chargualaf MP, who each own one superdelegate vote, are both members of the House of Representatives of the Twelfth Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature, a U.S. Commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean, with a population of 53,855. As you well know, their commonwealth is a very important part of our democracy, and perhaps they should each have several votes.

All for Hillary

All of the aforementioned superdelegates have one thing in common; they all endorse Hillary, as do a total of 502 superdelegates. Only 41 endorse Bernie, and only Daniel Hynes has said he would endorse Martin O’Malley. An additional 171 superdelegates are not endorsing any candidate, yet.

The distinguished party leaders include current or former presidents, current and former vice-presidents, former congressional leaders, and former DNC chairs. Among those favored few are former vice-presidents Al Gore and Walter Mondale, and former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, along with current President Obama and current vice-president Biden.

First in War, First in Piece
Obama, Biden, Carter and Gore have not endorsed any candidate, while Mondale and Clinton have endorsed Hillary. It is imperative for William Jefferson to vote thusly, if he wants to have any chance of being the first First Man.

Who’s On First?
As of Friday the Thirteenth of May, Clinton has 2,240 delegates including 524 superdelegates, while Sanders has 1,473 delegates, including 40 superdelegates. This means that there are 1,052 delegates not yet allocated for either candidate.

I Pledge Allegiance, Too
Superdelegates are "unpledged,” and they can decide which candidate to support. But if they want to feed at the Democratic Party trough, they are loathe to do anything rash, like vote for Martin O’Malley or Bernie Sanders, for their vote may haunt them when moneys and political favors are available.

Pledged delegates can change their vote if no candidate is elected on the first ballot and can even vote for a different candidate on the first ballot if they are "released" by the candidate they are pledged to. Superdelegates, on the other hand, can change their vote purely of their own volition.

It’s All Narishkeyt
The Yiddish word “narishkeyt” in the broadest sense means “nonsense,” and if ever a political system is full of narishkeyt, where the will of the voters is semi-meaningless, it’s here and now. To quote a man who will make America grate, “The system is rigged.”