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Stateside: Let it be M-e!

Stateside with Rosalea

Let it be M-e!

So, it’s nearly time for the election results. No. Not the super Tuesday primary elections, but the Starry Sunday Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences elections. I won’t be seeing it on a big screen at Oakland’s gorgeous Paramount Theatre like I did last year – that option isn’t available – nor did I have the wherewithal to get a ticket to one of the upmarket charity bashes in San Francisco.

I can’t bear to watch the ceremony live on telly, so maybe I’ll go to the movie instead and see if they flash results on the screen. And I’ll be sure to stay for the credits, on account of hearing a caller to a local radio station this week. She was saying how wonderful the music and the images are, but complaining about the theatre cleaning crew flapping their plastic bags noisily while they waited for people to leave.

Air New Zealand better complain to somebody – if not get its money back – at the ad agency they’ve used to put banner ads on sfgate, the on-line version of the San Francisco Chronicle. No self-respecting Ringaling wants to go to "Middle Earth". It’s M-e, M-e, M-e! I don’t get the print version of the paper, or have cable TV, or drive so I can’t comment on any other ads or billboards that might be around the area promoting the new cheap, direct flight.

Go to and type “Lord of the Rings” (complete with quotes) in the search box to see the variety of stories that include references to it.

But, of course, there is an election this week in California, so I have to also point you in the direction of some on-line material that will help you understand how complex the primaries are. It’s the voter information pamphlet that is sent to every registered voter by the Secretary of State. This isn’t the ballot itself, which is tailored to a voter’s residential address and party registration. The ballot has much more information on local measures and candidates.

Go to where you’ll find the VIP plus its supplement, containing information on Schwarzenegger’s budget propositions, which qualified to be on the ballot too late to be included in the other guide. The SoS also created a great website at and put a draft pdf version of the accompanying booklet on-line some time ago, for reader comment. Because it was just a draft, the title page of My Vote Counts was watermarked with the words “subject to court ordered changes”. It is my favourite piece of political art.

As always I recommend you check out the League of Women Voters Smart Voter website, and if you use the address of an empty lot I know of, you can get back the sort of information a real voter here would get. The web address is and the address to enter is 1725 University Ave, 94703. In the drop-down menu for Party, choose the bottom one Decline to State/Other/None – which, of course, is the default for elections in New Zealand, since you’re not asked!

You’ll see that you can’t vote at all for the folks who are running to be the ultimate candidate in the race for president, senator, party committees, but you’ll get the state, county and local city measures. Experiment with that Party drop-down menu. If you choose Democratic, you’ll come across a local controversy regarding the folks who are running to be on the Alameda County party committees.

It’s reported in the Oakland Tribune that a number of candidates who support “fringe” presidential candidate Lyndon LaRouche are running for local committees in a bid to try and take over the party. According to one of the candidates who’ll come up on the 94703 ballot for the Democratic committee, Larry Kushi, the Dems have sent out an email about this, and left his name off the list of candidates its OK to vote for, which implies that he’s one of the Lyndon LaRouche crowd.

Instead, Kushi supported Paul Wellstone, a famous progressive Democrat who died in a plane crash a year or so ago. All this information is available to you, just with a couple of clicks on links at the Smart Voter website. Ain’t democracy grand!


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