Politics

Hello! Welcome to Kennita Watson's Politics Page!

I am a card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party, by which I mean that I subscribe to the Statement of Principles printed on the back of my membership card: "We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose." (emphasis included on the card). In slightly more down-to-earth terms, laws to force others to do what you think is a good idea are wrong: to force them to adhere (e.g., through legislation) to your religious/moral agenda, or to force them to support (e.g., through taxation) your social agenda, is wrong, even if you outnumber them. Persuasion is preferable to coercion in almost every case.

Takeaway message: It's all about the power! What else would induce presumably-rational men and women to spend full time for months -- well over a thousand hours -- and tens of milllions of dollars (in the case of the California governorship, sometimes forty million dollars, and in 2010, over 140 million!) to win an office that pays less than two hundred thousand dollars a year? One clear sign that government has too much power is that people are willing to spend so much time and money to get into it!
 

2010 Campaign - California State Board of Equalization

Largely a repeat of the 2006 campaign below, down to the issues and the incumbent. However, this year I was much more passive, not doing interviews, filling out surveys, etc., partly as a test of my baseline vote totals compared to my activity-driven vote totals. This year, the results looked like:
 
Result -- CA State Board of Equalization, District 1
Party Candidate Popular %
Democratic Betty T. Yee (inc.) 62.2
Republican Kevin R. Scott 32.1
Libertarian Kennita Watson 3.0
Peace & Freedom Sherli Berg 2.7

Interesting: I spent (significantly) less time and money, and garnered a (slightly) larger percentage of the vote, this year than in 2006. This suggests to me that approximately 3% of voters will select the Libertarian no matter what, and that no one else will, barring superhuman efforts.
 

2006 Campaign - California State Board of Equalization

Here are my answers to questions asked in an candidate interview conducted by the California Channel (in progress).

Since I'm not a professional politician, I'm not running an active campaign -- I don't plan to raise or spend money, partly to avoid the mountain of paperwork (and corresponding mountain of nosy questions about me and my contributors) that would result. I run to offer the voters in my district an alternative, and if perchance elected, I will serve to the best of my ability.

Break out the popcorn: here is a candidate statement that I recorded for The California Channel. Actually, it's only two minutes long (once it starts) -- enjoy! If the synchronization seems off, it's not just you. Take this video as proof positive that I don't do this professionally.

Right-click for some viewing options.

The results:
 
Result -- CA State Board of Equalization, District 1
Party Candidate Popular %
Democratic Betty T. Yee 65.0
Republican David J. Neighbors 29.2
Libertarian Kennita Watson 2.9
Peace & Freedom David Campbell 2.9

 

2002 Campaign - State Assembly

See here for my positions on the November 5, 2002 general election ballot propositions.
 
Result -- CA State Assembly, District 22
Party Candidate Popular %
Democratic Sally J. Lieber 58.4
Republican Stan Kawczynski 36.8
Libertarian Kennita Watson 4.8

 

2000 Campaign

(You can see my Previous Campaign Results below.)
 

Issues

DISCLAIMER:  I don't claim that my views on these issues are gospel, or even that they are all fully-formed.  At least in principle I am a Pan-Critical Rationalist, by which I mean that any view that I have is open to reasoned scrutiny and subsequent change.  So if you plan to vote for me because I hold a given fixed position, realize that if I discover or am convinced rationally that another position is in the greater interest of personal freedom and responsibility, I will embrace the new position.  However, I have thought out and discussed these positions and find that they have been fairly stable over time.

For details of the Libertarian Party's positions on issues, and a fair swipe at most of mine, see the Libertarian Party Platform.  In Issues and Positions, I expand on some issues that have been brought up in candidate surveys and forums. For my views on a number of issues and other things not directly covered here, see Musings -- Some of What I Think.

See here for my positions on the March 7th, 2000 primary ballot propositions.
 

Previous Campaigns

Here are the 2000 State Senate primary numbers:

March 2000 Primary Election: 13th State Senate District
 Candidate               Party   District total    Percent, party     Percent, total
 John Vasconcellos       Dem     92030             100.0%             68.7%
 John Longwell           Rep     35166             100.0%             26.3%
 John H. Webster         Lib      3768              55.3%              2.8%
 Kennita Watson          Lib      3048              44.7%              2.2%
 Votes Not Cast in Race  NA      17019               NA               11.3%

Here are the 1998 State Board of Equalization general election numbers, from the League of Women Voters' Smart Voter Project site:
 
 
Board of Equalization District 01
100.0% (6537 of 6537) precincts reporting as of the Semi-Official Canvass
District-wide Returns
Party Candidate Votes Party % Popular %
Democratic Johan Klehs (incumbent) 954,172 100.0 77.7
Libertarian Kennita Watson 274,540 100.0 22.3

 
State Assembly 23rd District 1986
John Vasconcellos (D-Inc) ? 67.7%
Lynn Knapp (R) ? 28.7%
Kennita Watson (L) ? 1.9%
Kerry Dean Williams (P&F) ? 1.7%

 
US House of Representatives 10th District 1988
Don Edwards (D-Inc) ? 86.2%
Kennita Watson (L) ? 13.8%

 
CA Secretary of State 1990
March Fong Eu (D-Inc) 3,592,566 52.0%
Joan Milke Flores (R) 2,775,888 40.2%
Kennita Watson (L) 206,462 3.0%
Theodore J. Nicholoff (AI) 134,120 1.9%
Evelina Alarcon (P&F) 127,111 1.8%

 
East Palo Alto Sanitary District 1992
non-partisan ~9% of vote (~18% needed to elect to one of multiple seats)

 
State Board of Equalization District 1 1994
Johan Klehs (D) 303,045 46.9%
Robert Strawn (R) 298,326 46.2%
Kennita Watson (L) 44,938 7.0%

Supporters

My campaigns have been conducted with the endorsement of the Libertarian Party, and the aid of many of its members. Supporting organizations include:

Some vote percentage information courtesy of www.joincalifornia.com .