Monday, November 02, 2009

Election Day Tomorrow. Blue Bexley Supports...

My policy here at BB is to confine myself to the candidates and issues appearing on the ballot in Bexley. You can view the Bexley ballot here, courtesy of the Franklin County Board of Elections. If you're in Franklin, and you'd like a sneak peek at your own ballot, search for yourself at this link, and then click on "sample ballot."

And so, on to the endorsements:

Franklin County Municipal Court: Mark A. Hummer. There are 7 uncontested races for FCMC Judge slots. I can accept arguments for and against voting in uncontested races. Do as you will for those 7. But in the one contested race, Hummer is the more qualified, has more non/bi-partisan support, is not the choice of the Republican Party, and is not seemingly attempting to pretend to be part of a famous Democratic family in order to weasel his way onto the bench. I'll be voting for him.

City of Bexley Auditor: Gary W. Qualmann. You'll have to write his name in, as there are no names on the ballot. For those of you who do not understand how write-in votes work (and I was well into adulthood before I was clued in), you can't just write anybody's name in and have it count as a vote. Candidates have to register as "write-in" candidates, and only write-in votes for those registered write-in candidates count (I know how silly it seems, but it kinda has to be that way...). So, your choices here are as follows: A) Leave it blank. B) Write in some random name, like your own. This is essentially the same thing as option A. C) Write in the name "Larry Heiser." Mr. Heiser, the incumbent, would have been running unopposed except for two things: His petitions did not conform to recently changed procedures, and having attempted to make the ballot left him ineligible to register as a write-in (This not only seems silly, I can't think of a good reason for it). Essentially, this yields the same result as options A or B, but seems like a more principled way of throwing away your vote. D) Write in "William G. Harvey." Mr. Harvey is currently Services Director for the city, and he really doesn't want to be auditor. He filed the paperwork to be a write-in candidate because he thought that not actually having an auditor in Bexley would be worse than being auditor. His name is still capable, however, of accruing votes. This would be a somewhat perverse vote, but for those who support the elimination of the auditor's position in favor of an external committee, this may be the best option. E) Write in "Gary W. Qualmann." Mr. Qualmann is a former city auditor here, and furthermore, actually wants the job. Good enough for me.

Bexley City Council (vote for up to 3 of 4): Jones, Lampke, and... Sharp. This race essentially asks you to vote against one candidate. I've met both Lampke and Jones due to their mayoral candidacies, and have, on balance, positive impressions of them both. I've been hemming and hawing on the Sharp/Weber choice for weeks now, but while I was half-dressed in my Scarecrow costume for Beggar's Night, Richard Sharp came to my door. I asked him "so... which of the incumbents should I vote against?" He considered the question, and I could tell he considered whether or not to actually answer it, and then proceeded to say that he'd encountered some voters who would be voting against Matt Lampke because... and some voters who would be voting against Rick Weber because... Not that he endorsed these positions, just that I had asked and such hearsay was the best he could do (half-wink). Then I told him about the blog, and he appeared a bit uncomfortable, but admitted he wasn't familiar with BB (don't worry, Richard, you're in excellent company), and recovered quickly without trying to push forward or pull back from our encounter. I admired that. So that's my slate.

Bexley Board of Education - Vote for up to 3 including Write-iN: DIANE T. PETERSON (write-in), Fey, and Snowdon. This is another election in which candidates were kicked off the ballot and prevented from becoming write-in candidates (notably, Michele Kusma, who came within a whisker of winning a seat two years ago) due to technicalities. I have positive impressions of Peterson (an incumbent) and Fey. I know less about Snowdon, but considering that she's running unopposed, we'll all have an opportunity to learn more.

State Issue 1 - Bonds for Veteran Compensation: Probably No. I'll be honest - I don't like borrowing an extra $200 million in a recession. I don't like putting a one-time funding request into the state constitution. Can you imagine a federal constitution that started something like "we the people, in order to form a more perfect union, do hereby authorize the state to issue up to two million...?" So I've got principled reasons to oppose this. But I feel a bit of unease, because I know that I personally believe that there are more compelling uses of $200 million dollars in this time of budgetary evisceration, and I wonder if my principles would be as strong if that weren't true. In 2006 or 2012 I might say yes. Tomorrow, however, is a no.

State Issue 2 - Livestock Care Standards Board: NO. NO. NO. NO!!! One of two things is true: Agribusiness wants this amendment passed because the democratically elected State House and Senate will otherwise pass overly-restrictive animal-rights protections with a veto-proof majority in opposition to the wishes of a majority of Ohio residents and to the detriment of Ohio Agriculture, OR Agribusiness wants this amendment passed because some agricultural practices are so noxious to the non-farming public (and even several farmers) that the only way to maintain them is to take away the power of the legislature and the electorate to regulate them in any way. You might guess, I find the latter more plausible.

State Issue 3 - Casinos: No. Simply put, every election year some gaming company or consortium attempts to spend millions upon millions of dollars in order to get their business plan written into the state constitution. If this issue passes, I may seriously look into a campaign to restrict "direct democracy" ballot access for Constitutional amendments. If you would like to see casinos in Ohio, and FWIW I wouldn't be opposed to casinos on principle, you should hold out for a deal that allows for maximum revenue accruing to the public and allows for local control over the casino placement process. In other words, vote No on Issue 3, and work to support HJR4, a vastly better casino plan that has been introduced in the Ohio House.

Franklin County Issue #4 - Franklin County Childrens' Services Levy: Yes. Remember how I said in regard to issue 1 that I have different priorities for limited resources? Making sure there is money to help abused and neglected children is one of them.

Bexley Issue #45 - Library Levy: Yes. There are a handful of institutions that give Bexley a true hometown feel, rather than the more urban or suburban profile one might expect. Near the top of any such list would be the Bexley Public Library. I can, and will, vote for this on purely selfish grounds: Friday is Taco and Movie Night at our house, and the movie almost always comes from the library. My daughter gets two stories before bed every night, and at least one is typically from a library book. I have read 15-20 books this calendar year - all but one were checked out from the Bexley Public Library. So it's easy to ask y'all to subsidize my family's education, enrichment, and entertainment. Is what's good for my family good for Bexley? In general, I'd hope the answer is yes, and in this specific case I hope I can get you to agree.