http://pleasantonweekly.com/blogs/p/print/2012/06/04/why-its-important-to-vote-this-tuesday


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By Roz Rogoff

Why it's important to vote this Tuesday

Uploaded: Jun 4, 2012

There's no suspense in the Presidential primaries. We all know who the Democratic and Republican candidates are. Even if you prefer someone else, it won't make any difference in the primaries. Still there are some good reasons to vote this Tuesday and exercise your responsibility as a citizen.

If you are not happy with your party's choice for President, you can lodge a protest vote for one of the other candidates. For example, Ron Paul is on the Republican ballot as are Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich. Mitt Romney has more than the 1144 delegates needed to win the nomination, but you can still vote for one of the others to show your support for them or opposition to Romney.

President Barack Obama has opposition on the Democratic side too. The names of his opponents are not familiar to me, and all three are write-in candidates, but they provide an alternative to Obama if that's what you want.

A protest vote against the already nominated isn't a strong reason to head to the polls on Tuesday, but there are other contests where your votes could have more value. The two Propositions, 28 and 29, are not sewed up yet. I endorsed "Yes" on both, but 28 isn't one I'm going to the mat for. If you don't like it, vote against it. If you think it would improve how our State Assembly works, vote for it. I'll vote for it, but I won't be crushed if it fails.

Proposition 29 is a different story. I don't know why anyone, other than a 2-pack-a-day smoker, would vote against it. It would add $60 a month to his or her smoking habit and maybe force him or her to cut back or quit.

I never developed a taste for smoking. My father didn't smoke. My mother thought smoking was necessary to be socially acceptable. She served cigarettes at parties with silver Ronson table lighters and Wedgewood ashtrays. That was hospitality in the 1950s and '60s.

I tried to smoke when I was in college. Cigarette companies handed out free samples with four cigarettes in a small pack. Whenever I tried to smoke my friends laughed at me because I looked stupid with a cigarette. I didn't like smoking, but I liked being around smokers. I like the smell of second-hand smoke.

I grew out of that after a few years. In the late '70s I shared an office with a smoker. I asked him to stop or move and he said he was there first and I had to put up with it or move. That was when smokers still had rights.

The political tables have turned and smokers are being shut out of their offices and even their own back yards. Proposition 29 doesn't ban smoking and doesn't infringe on smokers' rights, but smokers shouldn't pass the buck onto taxpayers to take care of them if they get cancer.

The buck stops where it should in Proposition 29, with the pack of cigarettes, and that money goes to finding a cure for cancer. It is important to vote YES on Proposition 29. It could save lives and would certainly save money. The only flaws are in big tobacco's attack ads.

Contra Costa County Supervisor Gayle Uilkema recently died of cancer. She wasn't a smoker.

She requested memorial donations go to the American Cancer Society. The American Cancer Society is one of the sponsors of Proposition 29. Donate your YES vote on Proposition 29 in her name and in the names of any other cancer victims you know. Of all of the votes on Tuesday's ballot this is the MOST IMPORTANT. It will save lives!

Supervisor Uilkema endorsed Danville Mayor Candace Andersen for District 2 Supervisor. I also endorsed Andersen. Unlike the Congressional Top Two primary, if one candidate for Supervisor gets more than 50% of the primary vote, he or she will be the winner.

Governor Jerry Brown is waiting until after the election to appoint someone to serve out Supervisor Uilkema's unexpired term. If one candidate is the victor, than he or she should be appointed. If there are two candidates in the November election, neither should be appointed, but that's still up to Governor Brown.

I believe voters should make that decision now, rather than handing it over to the Governor next week. So if you want Mrs. Andersen to win, as I do, be sure to vote for her on Tuesday. If you prefer one of the other candidates and want to be sure there's a run-off in November, then vote for one of them on Tuesday. Win, lose, or face a run off, Candace Andersen will be my guest on my Blogtalkradio show on Wednesday, June 6th at 11:30 am.

Last but certainly not least is the race for 15th Congressional District. Democrat Pete Stark has represented District 13 since 1973. He's challenged by another Democrat, Dublin City Councilman Eric Swalwell, and decline to state Chris Pareja. The Top Two will face off in November, but the Tri-Valley could make the difference in which Top Two are on the ballot. So this is another important reason to vote on Tuesday.

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