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Editorial: Alex Padilla is the standout option for U.S. Senate

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With handle of the U.S. Senate at stake this year, Californians encounter a alternative amongst an incumbent symbolizing the values of most residents, a Trump backer who still issues the 2020 presidential election outcome, and a a person-problem billionaire.

It’s an easy choice: Voters should really continue to keep U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla in the upper dwelling of Congress. They must cast two votes for him — to proceed serving the remainder of Kamala Harris’ expression and for a new six-yr stint starting up upcoming year.

Gov. Gavin Newsom picked Padilla, a Democrat, to swap Harris right after she was elected vice president. Padilla, the son of immigrants from Mexico and an engineering graduate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, had served on the Los Angeles Town Council and in the state Senate just before initial winning election in 2014 as California’s secretary of state.

All through his tenure as elections chief, the condition noticeably boosted voter registration and moved to its existing near-universal mail balloting. Padilla was arguably California’s most effective secretary of point out in additional than 40 decades.

His election practical experience and vote when he arrived in Washington to impeach Donald Trump for fomenting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection stand in sharp contrast to his two main major opponents in the subject of 23 candidates: Mark Meuser, a Republican Social gathering legal professional nonetheless attempting to litigate 2020 presidential election irregularities, and billionaire Dan O’Dowd, who did not bother to vote in 50 percent the 12 statewide elections due to the fact 2010.

Padilla vs. Meuser

The variances between Padilla and Meuser, who also confronted off in the 2018 secretary of state election, go substantially even more. For example:

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• Abortion: Padilla defends a woman’s appropriate to opt for. Meuser supports the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected reversal of Roe v. Wade and argues for also overturning selections supporting contraception accessibility and defending exact-intercourse marriage. Meuser would leave those difficulties to point out discretion.

• Local climate adjust: Padilla supports accelerating the U.S. force to lessen carbon emissions. Meuser says he’s uncertain whether or not guy-built climate adjust is genuine and wants California and the nation to improve oil extraction.

• COVID: Padilla has been vaccinated and boosted and supports vital general public wellbeing mandates to stem the spread of lethal viruses. Meuser will not say no matter if he’s been vaccinated and opposes governing administration public health mandates.

• Guns: Padilla supports strong gun-invest in background checks and renewal of the federal assault-weapon ban. Meuser opposes the ban and could not identify any gun policies he would guidance.

This is a preference concerning two diametrically reverse candidates. And in a point out in which Democrats outnumber Republicans by 2-1, the consequence of this race would generally be a foregone conclusion.

Just one-challenge billionaire

But there’s O’Dowd, the founder of Environmentally friendly Hills Software, which serves companies these types of as Lockheed, HP, Boeing, General Motors, BMW and Toyota. O’Dowd suggests his share of his Santa Barbara-primarily based firm is value additional than $1 billion and that his coin assortment provides $300 million to his individual fortune.

O’Dowd is crusading from Tesla, which he states creates unsafe self-driving autos, and to close hacking vulnerabilities in software package made use of to run the nation’s electric power grid, hospitals and millions of cars and trucks. Hackers, he claims, can eliminate much more folks than an intercontinental nuclear bomber. 

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He has expended $2 million on campaign advertisements that hence considerably focus on Tesla fairly than tout his candidacy, and states he ideas to invest more. California is littered with rich candidates with minor or no political encounter who have flamed out in statewide elections. Just request Al Checchi, Michael Huffington and Meg Whitman. But, as Arnold Schwarzenegger shown, the appropriate combination can direct to achievements.

What will make O’Dowd distinctive is the magnitude of his wealth and his monomaniacal focus on 1 problem. Moreover the protection threat from hackers, he won’t answer queries about any other policy subject matter.

He’s a registered Democrat — while it is unclear why — who concluded last in a a few-way celebration main for U.S. Senate in 1994 in which, he suggests, he solely targeted on his opposition to Hillary Clinton’s wellbeing treatment plan. Outside of that, voters know minimal about his values.

He evidently is not extremely interested in making use of his wealth to assist other folks a lot less fortuitous. Questioned about his philanthropy, the billionaire could remember only a single contribution his spouse manufactured of about $500,000-$1 million to help children of troopers killed in Iraq.

Californians should be insulted by his candidacy. With the Senate evenly divided, there is too substantially at stake in this election to let some prosperous dude toy with the democratic approach to advance his singular agenda when refusing to talk about other crucial difficulties.

Voters will very likely see a great deal of O’Dowd’s tv adverts, but they should not be fooled. The obvious alternative in the June 7 election is Padilla. Vote for him — 2 times.

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