Candidates Arnold Shwarzenegger and Larry Flynt surely haven't been asked the vital "Vi or Emacs?" question, and would probably give you a blank stare in reply if it came up. That's why Slashdot sent your questions to candidate Georgy Russell, not them. Georgy has opinions on important matters like coding tools, SCO, and MP3 downloading, not just humdrum stuff like the economy -- although she's not afraid to tackle that issue head-on, too.
1) Do you think the recall is fair? - by mjmalone
Do you think the california recall election is fair? I understand that a lot of Californians are unhappy with Gray Davis' performance, but he WAS elected by the people, if people dislike him then they can vote him out of office when his term is up. It seems unfair that Davis needs a majority of votes to remain in office, but a replacement candidate could be selected by a plurality. It is possible, and quite likely, that Davis will be voted out with 60% or fewer votes. That would mean 40% or more voters essentially voted for Davis, but he would not be the winner, one of the 400+ other candidates on the ballot would and in all liklihood that candidate will have received far fewer than 40% of the votes.
This whole situation seems like a gross abuse of a recall system that relies on honesty and virtuous politicians. Unfortunately California is no such utopia. By running in the election you have shown your support for it, how do you justify this support given the evident problems?
The aspect of this recall that I find most disgustingly unfair is the influence of money in politics. Californians should find it frightening that a wealthy Republican can buy himself another election. And if that isn't enough, we end up with an election where a series of other millionaires are taken seriously when they tell us they will govern for "the people." Perhaps worse than individuals being legitimized as candidates solely because of wealth, is a political system so heavily influenced by campaign contributions that lawmakers can no longer use their own judgment. This is at all levels of the Government, with the White House/Enron shenanigans being the perfect example. We also see it with Davis and Bustamante - who are owned by Prison Guard's Union and Indian Gaming. And if we look at less publicized issues, for example the high cost of Worker's Compensation, lobbying efforts and campaign contributions are to blame for the lack of response on behalf of the Legislature.
Requiring 50% to keep Davis seems unfair, when a replacement candidate could be elected with only 15%. However, the replacement candidate election could be fairer with instant runoff voting. Unfortunately people don't understand, and therefore don't trust, the instant runoff voting algorithm. If IRV were used, voters could be sure that the candidate *most* people wanted to win would win. It's a system where Ralph Nader could have maximized his vote without being a spoiler candidate in the 2000 election. (I encourage people to find out more about IRV at www.fairvote.org)
As for my candidacy, I am running in this election because Californians deserve a candidate who is willing to speak candidly to them about issues, such as the budget, the economy, and the death penalty, that other politicians only dance around. We need someone to show courage and take risks to promote change. This recall provides a unique opportunity for an "honest and virtuous" candidate to enter the race, and I challenge people to lend their support and make the first step in taking back the political process.
2) questions about the campaign - by garcia
I would like to know if you fear that two of your more controversial issues (legalization of marijuana and gay marriages) will be detrimental to your campaign? While I believe that as more and more "young" people run for and are elected to office, these items might come to pass, don't you think that it is a little early to be attempting to make these strides?
The controversial issues define this campaign. Realize that these issues are in large part controversial because they're avoided like the plague by mainstream politicians. Lacking the courage to convince people of their true beliefs, poll-abiding politicians choose the easy road. There is anecdotal evidence many politicians believe in gay marriage and ending death penalty, but are too cowardly to fight for those views. Bill Clinton came out after his presidency and so much as said he thought marijuana shouldn't be illegal! Good thing for us he found his spine a year after leaving office.
I don't see these as wacky issues. I've laid out my arguments for why death penalty is bad policy (it's costly, unfairly applied, and imperfect). I've explained why gay marriage is superior to civil union (marriage promotes fidelity and family values, and it removes unfair tax advantages for people willing to file a couple forms ). As for legalized marijuana, why is marijuana criminal when alcohol and cigarettes profit the government? I believe that when people are presented with intelligent and logical arguments, they will turn around. The problem is few politicians take the time to have intelligent discussions on these issues. Education on "controversial" issues is necessary to convince the electorate to make up or change its mind. I truly believe all of these issues will be passed someday. Politicians are wasting our time and money not passing them now.
3) Content vs. Tech - by stylee
California is considered the capitol of the content industry (RIAA, MPAA) and the technology industry (Silicon Valley). These two industries are at odds with each other over intellectual propery rights issues. They are probably also a large chunk of California's huge economy. Do you think you can balance the needs/wants of both lobbying groups in a manner that will be beneficial to both industries? If so how? I realize that this is mostly a federal matter as far as the law and politics go but there are many that believe that California kind of sets the standard for the rest of the nation to follow(at least economically and politically) so I am intersted in your ideas on this matter.
This is a federal issue; however I think that the RIAA in its aggressive pursuit of young mp3 down loaders demonstrates its lack of creativity. Can't they find a new way to make a buck? Besides which, concert prices are typically $40 or more! I haven't seen the numbers on this, but digitized music and video have certainly fueled sales of technology used in association with them. Additionally, kids and adults understand technology better as a result of digital music boom.
The RIAA, with the support of the government, should have approached the situation proactively long ago, and embraced digital music. They should still do this. If they can provide a reasonably priced, easily accessible digital music alternative, I think people will go for it. Right now however, it's cumbersome for the under 18 crowd especially, to buy stuff online, and they haven't worked out all the kinks surrounding the "rules" (e.g. burnable tracks, how long you can keep them, etc) of proprietary downloads.
I believe the role of the government should be to encourage technology companies and the RIAA to work together on the issue, as well as taking a look at it in terms of intellectual property rights of the artists. To me it seems that the RIAA is mostly concerned with their $$$ and not the rights (or $$$) of the musicians. Again, politics is hit with same problem - special/self interest ruling the legislature. And, with the looks of this ballot, anyone who wants to prevent prosecution of down loaders might want to think twice about voting for Arnie.
4) Hope to win or shake things up? - by Dark Paladin
With the names of such heavyweights as Arnold and lightweights like Gary Coleman (no pun intended - well, all right, it was), do you honestly hope to win, or are you making a Ralph Nader like point in forcing certain issues and ideas into the public's eye?
I hope to both win AND shake things up. Obviously the odds are long (Vegas has them at 100 to 1 - bodog.com/sports-betting ), but they are not out of reach. We've only reached a small percentage of voters and already received an impressive amount of support. Howard Dean was considered a long shot just a few months ago, now he's a front runner. To think a Georgy for Governor victory is impossible is to succumb to the jaded view that money is the only victor, and in effect solidify its reality.
5) Technology - by chrisgeleven
Why does your blog and web site, from what I can tell, not mention any uses of technology that you would like to see? Can you describe any protential plans to use technology to reduce costs or provide more benefits for the same price?
Check back soon. Technology is key to improving the efficiency of government, and though the government has come a long way (you can file electronically for some things on the Secretary of State's website) there is still more that can be done. As for problem solving, I like to speak in specifics rather than generalities, so it takes a while.
I am currently looking into the role of visas in technology companies and its effects on California's labor market, and investigating how we can encourage more wide spread use of open source software (both in education and businesses). I'm also trying to get some volunteers to develop apps that will aid in the voting process (check the website for updates or email if you're interested in helping).
6) the most important question - by Mothra the III
Boxers or briefs?
Boxer-briefs! But seriously, boxers, and Georgy for Gov boxers at that!
6A) Re:the most important question - by markhb
vi or emacs?
I'm so glad you asked!! Both. vi for quick editing, emacs (NOT xemacs) for coding projects. :q!:q!:q!
7) Do you think this election is Real? - by Voltas
With all the "Star Power" and the number of candidates that obviously are looking for media attention (I.E. Gary Colemen ), do you really thing that the candidates or the office really going to be taken serious when its all said and done?
Won't this whole election fiasco cripple anyone who actually wins?
This election does seem like it was dreamt up by Hollywood reality TV executives, but it is a real election, and it will go down as one of the most, if not the most, historical elections. After October 7, the fun will be over, and I'm sure the media will be bored by the daily details of Sacramento bureaucracy. The only thing that will cripple anyone who wins is his/her inability to lead. A candidate like Gary Coleman, who said he didn't want to be Governor, won't win (I hope). The interesting thing about Coleman, though, is that he was actually a president on Buck Rogers! Perhaps this is a case of the line between reality and fantasy blurring. "Hieronymous Fox, an 11-year-old child genius from the 20th Century is kidnapped for ransom by the sinister Roderick Zale. The boy is the President of the planet Genesia and his bodyguard fears that he will be killed because they cannot meet the ransom demand. Buck, Wilma, and the bodyguard then make separate attempts to rescue the boy." Maybe things will pick back up for the media in 2006, when Arnold Drummond can take another shot at it, and Willis can run as Lt. Governor.
8) Did you pay SCO? - by sharkey
Did you pay for your Linux licenses?
8A) Re: Did you pay SCO? - by El_Ge_Ex
If not, would you support strategic military action against Utah?
Despite the fact that SCO has launched an attack on many Californians, I don't think California will be declaring war on Utah, let alone the cowards at SCO. I'm not sure if my company plans to pay SCO, but I certainly hope they won't. SCO seems like they're running scared, using a lawsuit to boost revenue (kind of like the RIAA). Asking for $700 per license is extremely high, and should send a warning single to people that they are doing this to boost revenue and not simply out of fairness. If you check SCO's insider trading, people are selling like crazy. I think the open source community needs to educate people about the SCO case, and keep SCO's scare tactics from bullying weary individuals or corporations into paying them.
9) Who's in your staff? - by zoneball
A good leader must surround him or herself with the best advisors and experts within their respective fields. Who will you be bringing in to your campaign and administration, and what are their qualifications?
My "staff" is all volunteers. Their experience varies from none to work with local and state campaigns. I also have a professional photographer helping me, and a few people working on the technical side of things - website and video editing.
As for my administration, I plan to bring in people who have first hand experience with the problems on which they'll be working, and I would like to see diversity, in terms of both professional background and demographics (ethnicity, age, sex, etc.).
10) Do you understand... - by niko9
Do you understand Dselect? That program scares the poop out me. But I figure if you can handle dselect, you can handle being governor.
I have not used dselect. Hopefully you can find another litmus test for me!