I’m heading out to vote, mindful of what a friend said about this election: I’ll vote with two hands, he said, one to mark the ballot and the other to hold my nose.

I’m looking at a political mailer that promises that Proposition 1C will provide “$5 billion immediately to help balance the budget without raising taxes. This will protect against even higher taxes and would prevent more cuts to schools, children’s healthcare, police and fire.”

What the mailer doesn’t say is that the $5 billion would be new debt – money raised by borrowing against future lottery proceeds. Whether you like Proposition 1C or not, this mailer won’t be confused with an honest accounting of what the measure would do.

Who writes these things? How do they sleep at night?

Oh, never mind. At least, this campaign has come and gone. Whatever happens in today’s vote count, hard times are coming for state and local government. After years of mismanagement from Sacramento, there was nowhere to hide when the economy soured. The hardships will be inflicted on millions of Californians who deserve better.

As the state rebuilds, we can only hope that the next election will offer more honest and coherent choices.