Democratic Voter Alert: There Are More Options Than Jerry

Like GOP voters in the Republican primary for governor, Democrats have many more options to choose from than their most visible gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Jerry Brown.

Counting Brown, there are seven Democratic candidates for governor. There are also seven GOP contenders, three Peace & Freedom candidates, two American Independents, two Green Party candidates and one Libertarian for a total field of 23.

Other than Brown, the only Democrat who has a campaign committee on the Secretary of State’s webpage is Richard Aguirre, a retired third-generation San Diegan whose signs appear on the occasional Sacramento telephone pole like those   at W St. and 26 and H St. and 30.

 Richard Aguirre

Richard Aguirre

According to the Secretary of State, Aguirre has raised $21,830 of which he contributed $15,830. His biography says he was successful enough in “flipping real estate” that he can now retire.

An additional $6,000 was contributed by Steve Zank, president of La Jolla Realty Advisors, Inc. and

The centerpiece of Aguirre’s candidacy is his “New California Prosperity Plan,” which would eventually give Californians free water and power and, in doing so, allow for tax cuts.

While Aguirre outlines the details in a video on his website, the basic idea is that three state solar panel factories will be created, financed by a one-time $400 property assessment.

The panels would be installed on residential homes. Besides supplying its own power, each house would generate $300 of surplus power each month. At 10 million homes, Aguirre estimates that will create $3 billion worth of surplus power each month that can be sold to commercial and municipal users.

Profits from those sales would be used to create a series of desalinization plants whose surplus water could then be sold to Mexico and neighboring states, boosting the state’s profits to $8 billion a month.

Those profits would then be used to reduce and eventually eliminate the state’s taxes.

He also favors universal single payer health care and the construction of not-for-profit state hospitals in each major city. A healthcare plan costing $50 per month would be made available to all Californians.

Aguirre has a far more ambitious high-speed rail proposal than that currently being contemplated by the state. He would link the state’s major cities – starting with Redding in the north, heading west to Eureka then south to Sacramento and including Monterey, Fresno, Santa Barbara and other cities before its southern terminus in Aguirre’s hometown.

In addition, he would partner with automakers to create electric solar cars and legalize the “12 million illegals who are already a part of our system.” Charging them a $2,000 “back tax fee,” will not only bring “these people into the system to pay future taxes and healthcare, but will bring in $24 billion immediately to balance the budget.”

Aguirre admits his campaign is an uphill fight.

“We’re going to need every vote we can to beat Jerry and his corrupt corporate machine and his corrupt special lobbyist machine,” says Aguirre before telling potential voters, “It’s our vultures and we can make it happen.”

On YouTube he has posted a biographical video set to U2’s song “One Life.”

There’s some conflicting messages on Lowell Darling’s campaign webpage with it caricature of the candidate by Vangelis Pavlidis.

Lowell Darling

Lowell Darling

Darling endorses Brown apparently in part because an initiative he was attempting to qualify for the ballot to lower the approval threshold for taxes and a budget fro two-thirds to 50 percent plus one has failed to qualify for the November ballot.

However, Darling says he plans to vote for himself June 8 and urges others to do so too to show “support for returning to the democratic simple majority rule.”

Between now and 2014, when he hopes to qualify his initiative, Darling says he will explore franchising the office of governor as a reality television show.

He notes that 32 years ago when he first ran for governor, “California laughed” when he proposed implanting a video camera in his forehead so that Californians would be able to see and hear everything he did as governor.

“Total transparency,” Darling says.

Now, he argues, the idea makes perfect sense.

“Think of the money Arnold could have earned for California in the last eight years,” Darling says.

Here’s how Darling envisions it working:

“On GTN (Gubernatorial Television Network) when the governor looks at a Coke, the viewers see the Coke, money automatically transfers from Coca Cola to the state treasury.

The New York Times profiled him in March 2010.

Reflecting the diversity of the Golden State, viewers can translate Vibert Greene’s website into 20 different languages.

His candidacy, he says is about the “big three.” Those are: “vision, leadership, management, commonsense.”

Greene’s theme appears to be this:

“I Get It: Improve the Economy and our Standard of Living.”

To do this, he proposes as several GOP candidates for governor do, that regulations be streamlined. He also pledges to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Within his first 30 days in office, Greene pledges to “enact sweeping policy changes and sponsor legislation that increase salaries and benefits for schools, security, healthcare and low-income workers.”

Clicking on the “Biography” tab on his website does not lead to another link. However, Greene’s homepage said his campaign began in 2006 out of dissatisfaction with “status quo politicians.”

Another website says Greene is a Newark, California mechanical engineer currently working as a “utilities engineer” for the California Public Utilities Commission.

“Husband. Father. Teacher. Engineer. Inventor. Volunteer. Californian,” is how Greene describes.

Charles “Chuck” Pineda Jr. has run for statewide office before. He garnered almost 250,00 votes in a 1982 run for lieutenant governor and was a Democratic candidate for governor in 1986.

Chuck Pineda Jr.

Chuck Pineda Jr.

He was also a candidate in the 2003 recall of Gray Davis, receiving 887 votes, according to CNN.

A defender of labor unions, Pineda, a Sacramento parole board judge, advocates diverting “hundreds of millions of dollars from prison building to keeping our children out of the criminal justice system and educational programs that produce students that can compete worldwide,” according to his website.

Like Aguirre, he advocates construction of more desalinization plants.

He favors a unicameral Legislature but to “stamp out corruption and graft,” he proposes imposition of a racketeering statute on lawmakers.

“There is little distinction between bribery and lobbying at the present time.”

He vows to return money “taken from the blind, disabled, and the elderly by the present administration ASAP!” and add at least four lanes to both Interstate 5 and Highway 99.

Peter Schurman, a Sacramento non-profit organization consultant and the founding executive director of MoveOn.org, has withdrawn from the race and endorsed Brown.

Brown, Schurman says, has started “to demonstrate the kind of leadership we’ll need to win in November and to get California working again.”

Joe Symmon of Rancho Cucamonga runs a non-profit. Education is a priority for him.

Joe Symmon

Joe Symmon

His website — “Symmon Says” — notes that he is a man of “deep faith,” citing one of his favorite Bible passages, Corinthians II, 5:17.

“Joe’s favorite Biblical heroes are Joseph, David, Daniel, and Abraham because of the enduring spirit and resilience that these patriarchs were able to demonstrate.”

He intends to do more recycling and re-using of water, offer more community-based programs for youth, expand public transit, increase carpooling, reward investment in energy efficient technologies and make communities energy self-sufficient.

He vows to end the state’s deficit and wants to lower incomes and sales tax rates.

Nadia Smalley of Hawthorne is a write-in candidate who, according to the League of Women Voters’ Smart Voter website besides being a “homeless advocate, special needs advocate, labor/farmer advocate” and “civil rights advocate” favor legalization marijuana.

“Marijuana is our #1 cash crop. Marijuana will solve our budget crisis,” says Smalley, who also adds she puts “family first.”


Filed under: Politics


  1. And Californians wonder why the rest of the country laughs at them!

    Comment by Curmudgeon46 — 6.07.2010 @ 5:44 pm

  2. Richard Aguirre is actually on to something…TOTAL energy independence. The grid and large, centralized energy generation and distribution systems make California and the rest of the nation totally vulnerable, not to mention dependent on corporate/municipal machinations. Everyone assumes the grid is inevitable…it isn’t. True alternative energy is that which is site-specific, in place and generated from renewable resources using appropriately-sized conversion technology.

    I predict that Jerry will win and at some point co-opt Aguirre into his Administration in some manner.

    Comment by Robyn Boyer — 6.08.2010 @ 8:25 am

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