Editor’s Note: Cathedral City Mayor Pro Tem Greg Pettis who was a superdelegate to the 2016 Democratic National  Convention from California said two weeks ago he would reveal who he would endorse in state and federal races. He has revealed his picks.

He announced his endorsement for local races two weeks ago.

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WOW!  I took last week off due to some surgery.  What I thought should be relatively simple took three hours on the table and one in recovery.  Now I feel like a 61-year-old man who got run over by a truck but I’m ready to endorse.

I’m skipping national politics again this week and will focus on the upcoming state and federal races.  Vote my mail ballots are out now so now is the time give you my thoughts and suggestions.  I am not listing all the candidates, just those I am supporting.  I have respect for anyone who stands up and says I am ready to serve.  Thank you to all.

GOVERNOR =

GAVIN NEWSON

I have known Gavin since he was mayor of San Francisco.  I have hosted fundraisers for him here in the valley and he was the keynote speaker at my swearing-in as president of the Southern California Association of Governments.  He has always been a star, but one with intelligence, a willingness to push the edges and the one willing to fight for his beliefs.  My vote is solid Newsom.

LT GOVERNOR –

ED HERNANDEZ

I have known Ed for more than two decades.  Easy going, smart, willing to roll his sleeves up to do the real work of being a legislator.  He is an optometrist by training, been in both the Assembly and Senate and will help make the Lt. Governorship a real leadership role.  I’m with Dr. Ed.

ELENI KOUALAKIS

I have not met Eleni but have heard her speak.  She is smart, speaks well and has a great presence.  Having said that I don’t know what experience she brings to the table.  Her father, a millionaire many times over, was a major donor to the Obama campaigns and she was rewarded with an Ambassadorship to Hungary.  Dad is paying for close to two-thirds f her current campaign.  I’m not sure there is much substance behind the flash.

SECRETARY OF STATE-

ALEX PADILLA

Alex has served on the City Council of Los Angeles, President of the League of California Cities, State Senator and now just finished one term as Secretary of State.  Bright and articulate, he is working daily to get more people registered to vote and bring transparency to all election functions his office manages. He deserves another term.

TREASURER –

FIONA MA

Fiona is running to replace my good friend, John Chiang, who retired to run for Governor in the primary.  She has been a councilwoman/supervisor for the city and county of San Francisco.  She went on to the state Legislature providing a leading role in financial issues and women’s issues.  After the Legislature she went on to terms on the Board of Equalization.  Her knowledge is without question and her access to the public impressive.  She also is a mean karaoke singer.  I may not sing with her, but I love knowing she gets that you must have some fun in life to do the job right.  Fiona will make a great Treasurer.

CONTROLLER –

BETTY YEE

Betty is another of the strong, smart, hard-working elected officials that have moved up the ranks.  She has been Treasurer and is now running for her second term as Controller.  She is always checking the state’s bank accounts to make sure we are not over spending.  She has done a great job and will only show her talents even more in this next four years

ATTORNEY GENERAL –

XAVIER BECERRA

Xavier came to the AG’s office from Congress.  He replaced Kamala Harris when she became a U.S. Senator and Gov. Brown appointed him.  He has quickly grasped the job and made it his.  He is one of the leading legal lights fighting President Trump.  He is working to protect our environment and seacoast.  He has made working with the cannabis industry a bit easier and will continue that effort with the State Treasurer

US SENATOR –

DIANNE FEINSTEIN

I have had the pleasure to work with the Senator for several years on various projects, including the massively successful $1 billion in funds to State Highway 91 through Riverside and Corona, when I was Chairman of the Riverside County Transportation Commission and major environmental work that caused the Snow to Sand National Park.  She is strong, formidable and does the work.  Watching her in D.C. she is whirlwind of activity working as Ranking Member on both the Judiciary and Intelligence Committee.  At this juncture in time we cannot afford to give up seniority for a fresh face with a more liberal line.  She is noted as being “cautious” but she still believes in the old Senate that quiet calm discussions can lead to compromise both sides can work with.  My vote is with Dianne.

KEVIN deLEON

Similarly, I have worked with Kevin on the state level through my work with the Southern California Association of Governments.  He has been a true leader on climate and environment, immigration rights, along with LGBT issues and like Sen. Feinstein he is a strong opponent of military and semi- military weapons.  I have deep affection for Kevin and I know there will be a future for him politically in California or in Washington.  I only wish him the best.

INSURANCE COMMISSIONER –

RICARDO LARA

Ricardo is a state Senator representing the Bell Gardens area.  His opponent, Steve Poizner is a former commissioner who did a decent job when he was first elected, but that was in 2007 and much has changed since then.  Ricardo comes from the streets of Long Beach where his parents instilled in him a strong work ethic. He has put that ethic to use in the Legislature as I know he will in the Commissioner’s office.  He is a good guy and good friend.  California will only benefit from electing Ricardo Lara and I stand with him.

US REPRESENTATIVE –

RAUL RUIZ

I campaigned for Raul when he first ran.  I gave speeches, gave money and anything else the campaign requested.  I truly believed he could win against Mary Bono – and he did.  Over the last two years our personal relationship has lessened and I am more concerned about his long-time future.  I wish he would be in district with the public a bit more often.  I wish he would be one of the leaders in the House and not following the Speaker’s direction 80 percent of the time and vote with the Republicans the other 20 percent. He is not on high-profile committees but they are important to those who depends on them; the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I have not heard or read anything from him on the Indians in North Dakota, where the state Legislature has fundamentally shut out over 10,000 voters being ineligible to vote.  He has done a great job on Veteran’s issues, education, health care and housing.  I applaud him on those efforts.  Regardless of my personal feelings, Raul still votes more with the district than against and is certainly a better representative than Ms. Bono was.  I will be vote for Ruiz.

KIMBERLIN BROWN PELZER

This is a joke foisted upon us by the State Republican Party.  Ms. Pelzer has no experience other being a “former soap opera actress.” That is an honorable profession but doesn’t rank up there with a doctor who has saved several passengers on plane trips to and from Palm Springs to Washington.  The Republicans have many local officials with the proper training and resources who would have represented the party better; folks like Scott Matas and Linda Evans.  Pelzer, however,is not ready for prime time.

STATE SENATE –

JEFF STONE

In full disclosure, I worked for the Senator for one year at the beginning of his first term in Sacramento.  I was the field rep to the LGBT, labor and Democratic constituents and during that time I worked hard to educate Jeff on our differences of opinion on policy matters.  I have known him since he was a councilman, mayor, County Supervisor and now Senator.  He has always been a conservative but in his roles at the city of Temecula and with Riverside County, he was always able to put aside the partisan BS and help forge a compromise that works.  That Jeff left us in Riverside and I am afraid it hasn’t shown up in Sacramento.  He has become one of the more partisan voices in the Senate.  It is a shame as I wish everyone could see my friend Jeff as I did.  I still believe he is one of the smarter legislators but he needs to bring back his bipartisanship and lose the baggage of going more to the “right.”

JOY SILVER

Joy has been a whirlwind of activity since she announced her candidacy for the Senate.  She has lined up significant support from people I respect like Barbara Boxer and Senate President Pro Tem, Toni Atkins (D-San Diego).  She generated enough cash to put the race on the radar.  However, she suffers from a continual staff turnover, a leaning towards micromanaging the campaign, has not developed fully options for the problems the district has, nor left the east side of the valley enough and venture out to the western end – Temecula, Idyllwild, etc.  I do believe she can learn and her choices for chief of staff and Legislative Director will be critical.  The leadership in Sacramento will also be helpful in helping find her way.  Due to Jeff Stone’s bombastic style of conservatism and the possibility of what a Sen. Silver could do, I will be voting for Joy.

STATE ASSEMBLY, DISTRICT 56 –

EDUARDO GARCIA

There is no question that Eduardo is one of the top 10 legislators in the Assembly.  He works constantly on issues that affect us, most notably on the environment but on so many others.  He is easily accessible, willing to meet constituents in Sacramento or here in the valley.  He has embraced his district that runs through the Coachella, Palo Verde and Imperial Valleys.  We should all be thankful to have him as our Assemblyman.  I vote yes on returning Garcia to Sacramento.

STATE ASSEMBLY, DISTRICT 42 –

CHAD MAYES

One of the nicest guys in Sacramento. A conservative but one who is willing to work across lines to get things done – it is that philosophy that cost him the Minority Leader’s position.  I have known Chad from his time as councilman and Mayor of Yucca Valley, to his work with San Bernardino County Supervisor Rutherford and now in Sacramento.  He is much more to my right on issues, but he has integrity, opening to learn new things (I recall a lunch I put together with him and the late George Zander, Andy Linsky and a local transgender advocate.  He took the lunch, spoke to us for more than two hours and I believe walked not convinced but had his mind opened some.  Ultimately, he has the experience, passion and love of his district.  He deserves re-election.

DENI NTOINETTE MAZINGO

Chad Mayes’ opponent is a bright articulate woman who surprised everyone by coming in first in the primary, but with Republicans unifying around Mayes and the Democrats focused on Joy Silver, Deni’s job was made very difficult, maybe impossible.  She has a future in the party and politics.  She held herself with dignity throughout the campaign and applaud her.  Her time will come.

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, CA SUPREME COURT –

I won’t go into detail about these two recommendations.  They are incumbents on the California Supreme Court and are up on a retention vote.  Gov. Brown appointed both to the bench and have judged aporically and fairly.  I vote to retain these fine jurists

CAROL CORRIGAN

LEONDRA KRUGER

 

SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS –

TONY THURMOND

Tony is a strong proponent for public schools, believing that a free public education only strengthens California.  He will continue a fine history of strong Superintendents who work to educate and protect our children.  I endorse Tony.

MARSHALL TUCK

Marshall is a smart wealthy man who believes 100 percent in charter schools.  While this may help some, they have proven to be a disaster to more.  The rich get better schools while those poorer get less.  This is exactly the cycle that must be broken and Marshall is not up to the job.

COUNTY SHERIFF –

STAN SNIFF/ CHAD BIANCO

By far the most contentious race in the county, pitting the incumbent Sheriff against one of his underlings.  Sheriff Sniff has worked his entire career for this position and is finishing his second term.  He has done much to bring financial order to the department and to work with the Board of Supervisors.  He has appointed a strong body of diverse officials to his leadership team; women, LGBT, Hispanic, Asian and African American.  This alone will be his legacy when he does leave office.  He has developed new policies on handling trans people should they get in the law enforcement arena for whatever reason.  It’s been an honor working with him the last eight years and hope to do so for another four.

Chad on the other hand, has no history of support for minorities, in fact he was called to speak at a recent Palm Springs City Council meeting to answer accusations that he is homophobic that were leveled at him by a gay deputy.  We have no need to go back.  Law enforcement throughout the state and nation is changing and Stan Sniff will help us in our transition.  I do not believe Chad Bianco can do that.

DESERT HEALTH CARE DISTRICT, DISTRICT 4

SHELLEY KAPLAN

No doubt Shelley Kaplan has been the smartest councilman I have been able to serve with and it will be a HUGE loss to the city to have him go to the District. I am excited that he is in the race for what might be possible for Cathedral City having him on the board.  We have many health needs, (physical and mental) here in the valley and he will be able to get resources to us for badly needed programs.  As a higher education professional on the building and development side he will be strong voice in the renegotiation with Tenant Healthcare and their operation of Desert Hospital and JFK Memorial in Indio.  Shelley is a real public servant and I back his election 1,000 percent.

EVETT PEREZGIL

Evett has been a strong neighborhood activist in the Dream Homes Neighborhood and currently serves on the city’s Sister City Task Force.  She wants to help her neighbors and her city and I applaud her.  I just do not believe she is ready for such a critical valley position as Health Care District Board member.

PROPOSITIONS –

I’m happy to go over in detail with anyone on details but I am already over limit in my word count and probably put many to sleep.

1) Housing Assistance Bonds – YES

2) Existing Housing Bonds use expanded to use for mental health programs – YES

3) Authorizes Bonds to fund water supply & quality – YES

4) Authorizes bond funding construction for children’s hospitals – YES

5) Changes requirements for certain property owners to transfer their property tax base to replacement property – NO

6) Eliminates certain road repair & transportation funding – NO

This proposition is absolutely the most important on the ballot for Californians this year.  Voting yes would cost every city a tremendous amount of money for road repair and transportation uses.  In Cathedral City we have four major bridges being repaired or replaced by using these monies, along with the work being done at Dinah Shore and Date Palm.  None of this would be happening without the funds this proposition would take away.

7) Conforms California Daylight Saving Time to federal law – NO

8) Regulates amounts outpatient kidney dialysis clinics charge for treatment – NO

9) Removed from ballot

10) Expands local government authority to enact rent control on residential property – NO

11) Requires private sector emergency ambulance employees to remain on-call during work breaks – YES

12) Establishes new standards for confinement of specified farm animals – NO

I can be reached at 760-770-0340 or via email at greg@gregpettis.com

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