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With the US Senate controlling the stakes this year, Californians face a choice between an incumbent representing the values of most residents, a Trump supporter who still questions the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, And a one-issue billionaire.
It’s an easy decision: Voters should put US Sen. Alex Padilla in the upper house of Congress. He must cast two votes for him – for Kamala Harris to continue to serve the remainder of her term and for a new six-year term starting next year.
Gavin Newsom chose Democrat Padilla to replace Harris after being elected vice president. Padilla, the son of Mexican immigrants and an engineering graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served on the Los Angeles City Council and state Senate before winning his first election as California Secretary of State in 2014.
During his tenure as election chief, the state greatly promoted voter registration and moved to its current near-universal mail voting. Padilla was arguably California’s best Secretary of State in more than 40 years.
His electoral experience and votes when he arrived in Washington to impeach Donald Trump for inciting the deadly January 6 Capitol rebellion contrasted his two major primary opponents in the field of 23 candidates: Mark Meuser, a Republican still lawyer. Tried the irregularities of the 2020 presidential election, and filed a lawsuit against billionaire Dan O’Dowd, who hasn’t bothered to vote in half of 12 statewide elections since 2010.
Padilla vs Meuser
The differences between Padilla and Meuser, who also faced the 2018 secretary of state election, go back a long way. for example:
• Abortion: Padilla defends a woman’s right to choose. Meuser of the US Supreme Court in Roe v. Supports Wade’s anticipated reversal and also argues for reversing decisions supporting contraceptive access and protecting same-sex marriage. Meuser would leave those issues to the discretion of the state.
• Climate change: Padilla supports intensifying US pressure to reduce carbon emissions. Meuser says he is unsure whether man-made climate change is real and wants California and the nation to increase oil extraction.
• COVID: Padilla has been vaccinated and enhanced and supports the public health mandate needed to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. Meuser would not say whether he has been vaccinated and opposes a government public health mandate.
• Guns: Padilla supports stronger gun-purchase background checks and the renewal of the federal assault-weapons ban. Mauser opposes the ban and cannot name any gun rules he would support.
It is a choice between two completely opposite candidates. And in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-1, the outcome of this race will usually be a foregone conclusion.
one issue billionaire
But O’Dowd is the founder of Green Hills Software, which serves firms such as Lockheed, HP, Boeing, General Motors, BMW and Toyota. O’Dowd says his stake in his Santa Barbara-based company is worth more than $1 billion and that his coin collection adds $300 million to his personal fortune.
O’Dowd is fighting against Tesla, which he says produces unsafe self-driving cars, and to close hacking vulnerabilities in the software used to run the country Power grids, hospitals and millions of cars. He says that hackers can kill more people than an intercontinental nuclear bomber.
He has spent $2 million on campaign ads that so far target Tesla rather than touting his candidacy, and says he plans to spend more. California is full of wealthy candidates with little or no political experience who have raged in statewide elections. Just ask Al Chechi, Michael Huffington and Meg Whitman. But, as Arnold Schwarzenegger demonstrated, the right combination can lead to success.
What sets O’Dowd apart is the magnitude of his wealth and his monomaniacal focus on one issue. Aside from the security threat from hackers, he won’t answer questions about Any Other policy topics.
He is a registered Democrat – although it is unclear – who finished last in the 1994 three-party primary for the US Senate, in which, he says, focused entirely on opposition to Hillary Clinton’s health care plan. Did. Moreover, voters know very little about his values.
Apparently he is not very interested in using his wealth to help others who are less fortunate. When asked about his philanthropy, the billionaire can recall only one contribution of $500,000-$1 million made by his wife to help the children of soldiers killed in Iraq.
His candidacy should be an insult to Californians. With the Senate evenly divided, much is at stake in this election that some rich men may tinker with the democratic process to advance their singular agenda while refusing to discuss other key issues.
Voters will see plenty of O’Dowd television commercials, but don’t be fooled. There is a clear choice in the June 7 election. Vote for him – twice.