It is time to vote

Jeff vonKaenel

If you are making over $400,000 a year and believe there is nothing wrong with the country going to hell in a hand basket, then please don’t read this column.

This column is for the 99 percent of Americans who are not making over $400,000 a year, so we can protect ourselves from those who are. And between now and June 5, we can take an important step by voting in the California primary.

I urge you to vote, not because it is your civic duty. Although it is. I urge you to vote because there are people out to screw you. The richest one percent of Americans now own 40 percent of America’s wealth, the highest percentage in the last 50 years. And that’s before their tax cut. And they want even more. Voting is one way to protect yourself.

You can protect yourself from a criminal justice system with one set of rules for the white-collar criminal and another set of rules for everyone else. You can protect yourself from a future without enough housing, clean air or affordable education.

While the super-rich can pour billions of dollars into campaign donations and lobbying to control the political process, we have more people. A lot more potential voters. But this only matters if we vote. It only matters if we vote for candidates and propositions that will help protect us.

I’d like to offer my own personal recommendations for your June ballot, starting with the Sacramento City Council.

During my 28-year tenure in Sacramento, this is the best mayor and city council combination that we have ever had. They are working together and actually getting things done. I’ve been particularly impressed with Jeff Harris and Jay Schenirer. We should return all four incumbents.

The three best Sacramento Supervisors are on the ballot. Phil Serna, Don Nottoli and Patrick Kennedy all deserve your support. Kennedy is the only one with opposition. Let’s return all three.

Our Sacramento County sheriff’s and district attorney’s races are receiving national attention, as did the police shootings of Joseph Mann and Stephon Clark. Both our sheriff and district attorney need to go. We need reform. And we need to send a clear message by supporting Milo Fitch for Sheriff and Noah Phillips for District Attorney.

The other important local race that is receiving national attention is the 4th congressional district race, where the truly awful, rude and tone-deaf Republican Tom McClintock is in a hotly contested campaign. My vote here goes to the candidate endorsed by the Democratic party, Jessica Morse. We should rally behind her, in part because this election could determine which party controls the House of Representatives. It matters.

On the state propositions, please vote for Proposition 68, to raise $4 billion for parks, the environment and water projects.


The super-rich throughout the country are trying their hardest to prevent you from voting. They are eliminating polling stations so poor voters have to wait hours to vote. They are implementing “voter fraud” measures, designed to suppress voter turnout. They are restricting voting days. And they are gerrymandering. The super-rich are afraid of democracy. They know how important your vote is.

Do you?

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About the Author

Jeff vonKaenel
Jeff vonKaenel is the president, CEO and majority owner of the News & Review newspapers in Sacramento, Chico and Reno.