Here is a joke: the Sacramento Press Club held a debate among candidates for California lieutenant governor.

That’s the whole joke. No punch line needed.

Follow up one liner: only 5 of the 11 candidates showed up.

11 candidates! Get it?

11 candidates for a job that’s a joke.

California doesn’t need a lieutenant governor. And if it insists on having one, it shouldn’t have people with any accomplishment or ambition in the job. The best possible lieutenant governor would be yours truly, as I’ve occasionally explained, because I would use the job to do nothing of consequence. By the way, shame on the Press Club for not inviting me to participate, though I would have turned down the invitation, because debates are too much work.

And in terms of replacing a governor who dies or quits, that could be easily left to the attorney general or the secretary of state, as is the procedure in other states.

But one small word about this debate, because there was a joke within a joke. According to a CALmattters account, the focus of the debate was…. Wait for it … campaign finance!

The candidates fell all over themselves saying they wanted to get big money out of politics, and weren’t being compromised by donors. Which is very funny because the only real reason to have a lieutenant governor’s race is for politicians to build a base of donors who give them big money and thus compromise them when they run for important offices.

In other words, the whole campaign is just a combination of cash grab (by the candidates) and advance graft planning (by the donor class).

This is true also of other statewide offices below governor – they are mainly fundraising vehicles. California would be better off appointing treasurers and controllers and insurance commissioners. The only statewide office that might best stay elected is Secretary of State.

On Election Day, please feel free to skip voting in the lieutenant governor’s race. And if you feel some strange compulsion to vote, write me in.