I've decided it's time to start taking stands on issues that I'm concerned about and stop playing the games of who's "electable". To that end I've decided the amount of money spent on political campaigns is obscene. With that in mind I've decided I'll only be supporting candidates who have agreed to the voluntary spending limits. In the gubernatorial race this eliminates the Democrat and Republican candidates as neither agreed to the voluntary spending limits, with Whitman (R) spending over $140 million of her personal fortune (the voluntary limit is just under $13 million). I'm tired of politicians that simply buy their way in to office by out-spending the opposition. Politics should be about policy not wealth.
Also on this subject, I've decided I'm only going to vote for candidates with the guts to fill out the VoteSmart.org Political Courage Test. It's an unbiased (as much as possible) questionnaire designed to elicit direct responses of positions on important issues. If you won't answer a non-partisan survey about your political positions I will assume it is because you want to play political games and tell different groups different things based on what they want to hear.
So let's look at the candidates that still remain in my race.
Carlos Alvarez (Peace and Freedom) - I disagree with his plans to increase spending on pretty much everything but also reducing taxes on pretty much everything. There's just no rational way that this works. You get increased funding or decreased taxes, not both. He's against merit-based pay for teachers which I'm in favor of (I get evaluated on my job performance, shouldn't teachers?). However he does support putting money into infrastructure upgrades, which I agree with.
Chelene Nightingale (American Independent) - Goal is to decrease all taxes and eliminate all income taxes. I don't see this as remotely rational. However, some of her responses actually show thought and consideration. Unfortunately, she also seems to believe the government shouldn't enact any regulations (environmental in particular) over businesses, and I think that would lead to epic abuses.
Dale F. Ogden (Libertarian) - Well, I can at least say he couples his slashing of funding with slashing of taxes as well. However, "greatly reducing" funding of K-12 education is not a step in the right direction in my opinion. He also believes that SWAT teams shouldn't exist. Now, you can argue all day about if SWAT teams are over-used, but I think their existence is necessary (sadly). He also seems to believe that the government shouldn't be regulating industries (environmentally in particular) and I've already responded to that in Nightingale's writeup.
So, those are the primary-winning candidates who agreed to voluntary spending limits and filled out the Political Courage Test. And this is what annoys me about politics, it always seems to be about trying to pick the person who will cause the least amount of damage (in one's own opinion, of course) than picking the person who could do the most good.
I don't know who I'll vote for in this race. I will probably end up purposefully not voting for anyone.