Friday, June 6, 2014

The 2014 Torrance Election: Reflections

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Torrance, CA Pacific Railroad Bridge
How do we interpret the Torrance election results?

Torrance is now center-left? Probably.

Toyota is leaving, but Honda has pledged to stay, so far.

13% of voters showed up to the polls. Just 13%.

If anyone wants to sit down and have an adult beverage to discuss anything, it would be the astonishing and appalling voter apathy in the city of Torrance.

The voters were neither concerned nor angry about the direction of city hall, and those who voted sent back the status quo and politicians who agree with it.

A pensioneer: Retired Torrance police officer Geoff Rizzo

A progressive: Tim Goodrich

Two stand-pat political appointees:

Heidi Ashcraft

Kurt Weideman

And a union puppet:

Pat Furey

There is no nice way to put it. Furey got elected with union money, plus a divided GOP electorate between Tom Brewer and Bill Sutherland. A friend of mine commented that Furey will do good things for a key city constituency, but I doubt it. Union money talks, and politicians listen when they take it.

One voter commented: "Whose idea was it to let two Republicans run for mayor? That person should have his head put on a pike!"

I didn't believe that the split would matter, since Sutherland had fallen so heavily out of favor with most Republicans.

Do the residents of the city of Torrance understand that the swelling pension problems are not going away? Do the voters really expect the new council to make the right decisions to repair the city's crumbling infrastructure?

The incumbents did very little to reform the budget and spending. This election basically gives them a pat on the back, and they will be stand-pat politicians who will do more of the same.

A relatively inexperience city council must make difficult decisions, and those with experience do not take the gravity of the situation seriously. Not much accountability will emerge on this city council from the members themselves.
File:Torrance skyline.jpg
Torrance, CA Skyline
I did not support Geoff Rizzo because I did not believe that he would make the necessary pension reforms, either because he would have go recuse himself or he will vote his own interest. Maybe he will prove the cynics wrong.

Goodrich's agenda is now public, to those who care, which weren't very many. Solar panels for buildings will not save money or energy. His political ambitions are in full display, and he has the mold of another Ted Lieu, who wants to move from city to state to federal office.

Apparently, the basic political science stats determined the election. The incumbents were reelected, and the candidates with money bought their seats, too. What will voters do or say in two years? Will the roads be repaired? Will the pension issue have some semblance of reform?

One bit of cold comfort emerges from this race. Even the most liberal of state and city leaders have to face economic realities. They have to balance budgets. Will voters pay a higher sales tax to fund the massive pension liabilities?

Two years from now, voters can decide if they like the results of their poor choices for city council.

11 comments:

  1. Thanks, Earl! I appreciate the sentiment. More grace for me.

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    1. "9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." (2 Corinthians 12: 9-10)

      Keep it coming!

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  3. You are the dumbest person I have ever met. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID. Wait till the Hadley campaign releases their hit pieces on Murasutschi's endorsement of Goodrich. Now that he is elected to Torrance council the Hadley campaign will rally the troops against Muratsuchi. Thank you Arthur for helping elect a radical to the city council.

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    1. You sound like Tabakian or one of his clones.

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    2. We need political reform in Torrance. There needs to be a campaign spending limit. I don't see how it could be legal for any business contracted to the city to contribute to a campaign: Gerber Ambulence of course, but police and fire unions aren't financially neutral. According to the Breeze, Pat Furey got 40,000 from these sources.
      The coucil vacancy left by Pat Furey's election as mayor should be filled by the council candidate with the next highest vote count. A real estate broker who was running for council and bowed out, turning his funds over to Furey. Now Furey, according to the Breeze, is trying to appoint him to council.
      Appointees should not be listed as encumbents on ballots. This is an advantage and a lie.
      I 'm a Democrat and I'm shocked at the corruption allowed in Torrance politics. I always wondered how we got Frank Scotto and Dan Walker. I have my answer.
      As for ancient superstitions: religion and applied philosophy are the sweetest things around both for society and for individuals. Try not to let style obscure message. Some of the new faith's out there don't have the sanctimonious feel as many
      traditional practices. I'm thinking of: A Course in Miracles and Soka Gaki International. My practice is like a warmed mink puff inside my brain: such exquisite peace. I've been an uncommitted deist/agnostic all my adult life and I regret it now.
      It's always been a huge turn off that religious people seem to hate all other religions, and their lives are all about storing up morality points. And there "seems" to be a hatred for creativity humor, fun, beauty, intellectual pursuits, and intellectual honesty among religious people. But this needn't be so at all. It is a bias against religion.

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    3. The city of Torrance needed political reform, yet the few voters who voted voted for more of the same. They made that decision. Four years will bear out whether they care or not. As for me at this point, I am letting it all go.

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    4. I'm going to contact some of the candidates and others and see about changing the electoral process: like limiting campaign spending or not even allowing candidates to spend at all. It would pay for the city to just provide all public contact for the candidates while they are running. Just keep it simple and span a number of types of venues. The cost would be much less than the cost of the corruption

      It's hard not to feel frustrated and angry, but if we succeed in Torrance other cities can too. This is too indispensable to a healthy democracy not to.

      Voters may be made apathetic by a system which is unresponsive, regardless of the reason.

      I'm disappointed with the election as well, but maybe we can't fix a broken system by using that same broken system?

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    5. Just adding to the above statement: anyone who wants to get involved is welcome to contact me at jean.Wilkers@yahoo.com. Thank you for the use of your website Mr Schaper.

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    6. Just adding to the above statement: anyone who wants to join me in reforming the electoral system in Torrance contact me at: jean.wilkers@yahoo.com. Thank you for the use of your website Mr.Schaper.

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