Thing is, the City of West Hollywood, with a population of ~37,000, it's about the size of my school; and the elections feel just like Associated Students elections only for real life. I had no clue who I was voting for on those elections either!
The campaign promises read eerily similar too: "Vote for me A.S. Treasurer, and I'll end the war in Iraq!" I always wondered if I'd turn on the news and hear:
"In other news today, the President decided to withdraw the troops from the Middle East today, citing a strongly-worded letter he received from the Associated Students Treasurer at San Diego State...."
I always wondered what those elections prepared them for. Now I know they go on to be City of West Hollywood City Council members.
I do still miss voting on City of L.A. issues—at least the elections felt bigger than you. Although we have a great city (the governmental response to most things is actually mind blowing), it's just so tiny in comparison.
I really do want to make the right choices here, but so far, as far as I think I've gotten is I've ruled out two people: I'm not going to vote for Sal Guarriello. My reasoning is questionable though. I saw his campaign sign up in the window of the cigarette shop down the street yesterday (this is why I don't vote absentee). That's probably not really a good way to choose a candidate, but being I'm for curbing public cigarette smoking in pretty much any and all ways possible, their endorsement kind of puts him in the negative column.
I'm also not going to vote for Steve Martin. I still remember him at a Matthew Shepard memorial the day after he'd passed away, using it as a pulpit on which to politically grandstand. It felt so horribly inappropriate and ill timed that I've not forgotten it.
There seems to be a pro-development v. anti-development feel to the people running, so I don't think I'll vote for either slate. Get them both in so they can maybe find a balance. I'm generally in favor of development, but no one seems to do anything about traffic when it happens (reference, "C'mon... how could putting a Target on La Brea and Santa Monica Blvd possibly hurt traffic?")
Maybe I'll vote for Abbe Land (I like her face); John Heilman (seems to be doing a good job as the current mayor); and maybe even Patricia Nell Warren. Her idea of universal health care at the city level is just batshit insane (city health care?). But, hey, sometimes batshit insane is just fun. Plus, she's just so damned cute.
Now, even if I miss out on the important L.A. city things, I still get to vote on county issues and initiatives. So now, I just need to figure out who to vote for for Member of the Board of Trustees Los Angeles Community College District Office 5. I think I've narrowed it to Roy Burns or Georgia Mercer. Although... Hanna Hajjar does promise to eliminate government waste. I think I hate government waste!