I am posting this mainly because I wanted to link to Smart Voter, which is a site I made heavy use of in figuring out how to interpret the various ballot items and vote accordingly.
And...I fully acknowledge that I am not teerming with civic wisdom, but I figure that by doing at least some reading about the ballot items and the positions of various folks running for office, I ended up voting less ignorantly than I would have otherwise. So thanks to the League of Women Voters for establishing Smart Voter as a resource, if anything, it's a great starting point when you are dealing with a lot of confusing language (as is pretty much always true for me when I try to read ballot measures).
I am not going to get specifically into how I voted on most items, as I don't feel like getting into arguments with anyone over a whole litany of things I can't change now that the ballot has been mailed off.
But I will say that I voted a big, resounding "NO" on Measure J, which is basically the San Francisco 49ers' (an American football team, for any international readers) attempt to build a stadium right here in my hometown of Santa Clara. The "Yes on J" campaign has been bugging the heck out of me for months, for one thing -- it's loaded with abject smarm and built-in guilt trips.
There are all these signs up all over buildings, and in people's yards, saying things like "Yes on J - Yes For Our Schools!" or "Yes on J - Yes on Jobs!", and while I understand that suggesting the (hoped-for) result of a proposed project is impossible to get away from entirely, I just find this instance of it to be ridiculous in its overconfidence. More to the point, the "YES" campaign's implied "you don't care about the CHILDREN if you vote NO!" sentiment just makes my eyes want to roll right out of my skull (in a manner of speaking).
Even the text of the measure ITSELF just sounds really...weaselly to me (no offence to actual weasels, who had nothing to do with this proposal):
Shall the City of Santa Clara adopt Ordinance 17.20 leasing City property for a professional football stadium and other events; no use of City General or Enterprise finds [sic] for construction; no new taxes for residents for stadium; Redevelopment Agency funds capped for construction; private party pays all construction cost overruns; no City/Agency obligation for stadium operating/maintenance; private party payment of projected fair market rent; and additional funds for senior/youth/library/recreation to City's General Fund?
That said, I suspect the measure will pass anyway. And I HOPE I am wrong in my sense that all the city will end up with is more debt and lots of excuses from the YES-ites. But I suppose only time will tell. I will be happy to admit my BS-sensor was mistaken if that turns out to be the case.
Oh, and for the record, I am not registered with a political party (guess that makes me an "independent", though certainly NOT an American Independent!), so I filled out the "non-partisan" version of the ballot. Which is, I guess, the same as the partisan ballots except that it doesn't include candidates for Governor, Secretary of State, etc.