Monday, November 03, 2008

Think National, Vote Local

So, tomorrow, citizens of the 50 states will vote, not just for president; but also for their representatives at the federal, state, and local level.

Many will also be voting for judges, sheriffs, corporate commissioners, school board members, and the other elected offices of state. Let's not forget that they have as much ore more of a direct impact on your life, as the president does. These are choices that should not be ignored.

Not only that, but remember, the school board member today, could be the VP candidate 12 years from now.

Obviously, I can't vote in your races, only mine; and I've decided to talk about who I'm voting for (or sadly, more often, who I'm voting against), and why:

President: As I've made clear, I'm voting against Obama, with the only realistic choice, McCain. If I need to explain that any further here, you haven't been paying attention

Congress: I'm a resident of the Arizona 5th congressional district, and I'm voting against Harry Mitchell, for the only realistic choice, David Schweikert. My preferred candidate (Anderson) was not chosen in the primary; but I don't object to Schweikert. On the other hand I object to more democrats in congress in general, and Harry Mitchell specifically. The man is a liar and a lickspittly for Nancy Pelosi.

State Senate
: I'm a resident of Arizona State District 17, and I'll be voting against Democrat Meg Burton-Cahill, for the only other choice (there are no third party candidates) Jesse Hernandez. In this case, I am voting this way because Burton-Cahill is an educational and healthcare socialist, and mildly negative on gun rights. She doesn't really do much, which I approve of, but what she does do is generally lefty in nature.

State Representative: I'm a resident of Arizona State District 17, and I'll be voting against Democrat Ed Ableser, because he is about two steps further to the left than Burton-Cahill, and is strongly anti-gun rights. He is a very strong eductaion and healthcare socialist, and supports illegal immigration.

I will also be voting against Democrat David Schapira; though I have far less of an issue with him politically than Ableser. He is more to the center on most issues, and I even agree with him (and disagree with the republicans) on many issues. Unfortunately, Schapira is against gun rights as well.

On our ballots we can make two choices, and there are two republicans and no third party choices. I will be casting my ballot for Republicans Mark Thompson, and Wes Waddle.

Sheriff: I especially want to note the race for Sherrif.

Joe Arpaio is wrong about almost everything, excepting that he believes in strongly enforcing criminal penalties, and opposes illegal immigration... Now. He didn't used to, because he wanted the feds to take care of it (a position I think is technically correct, but unrealistic for a Sherriff in Arizona). He is a self serving media hound, and places his own well being above that of his deputies; and of service to law and justice.

Unfortunately, his primary opponent the last three elections has been Dan Saban; who I once respected, but who has been shown to be just as opportunistic and dishonest as Arpaio.

I will be voting for the Libertarian candidate, Chris Will; in a futile gesture. I know that Arpaio will be re-elected until he decides to stop running, or until he is convicted of a crime and/or forced to resign in disgrace... both of which have a better than even chance of happening.

Other Notable Offices: I'm voting to give control of the Arizona Coporate Comission to the republicans, because I prefer the AZ Republican parties official positions on business regulation. I would vote for Libertarians here, but none are running.

I'll be voting for Libertatarian Rachel Kielsky for county assessor, and her husband Libertarian Michael Kielsky for county attorney; because I believe in their governmental and legal philosophies.

I'll also be voing of Libertarian Ernest Hancock for County Recorder, and David Hodges for Superintendant; simply becayse I want to see more libertarians in local elected office.

You'll note that whenever I didn't rank defeating the democrat a priority, I've chosen a Libertarian. In general, I beleieve the Libertarian party in Arizona best represents what we should do with government. Unfortunately, they have rarely produced viable candidates, in fact often running conspiracy theorist types.

Also they in general support open borders and a weak national defense. This makes them ideal for local offices in my mind, but unsuited to national offices.

I do have one problem with the AZ Libertarian party in general, and that is they support altering Arizona elections to a "reanked preference" votign system, which I believe is a bad idea (it's too long to go into why now). It WOULD result in more Libertarians being elected, at the expense of creating weak coalitions, and various negative incentives common to such systems (I've lived under one in Ireland, and it's a disaster).

Ballot Initiatives:

Also tomorrow most of us will be voting on a number of ballot propositions, which will generally have a greater impact on your life than the choice of president.

I'm going to go through the Arizona list here, and talk about how I've chosen to vote and why:

Proposition 100: "Protect Our Homes" - Constitutional amendment

Postion: Yes


Although in general, I do not support amendment of the constitution for what should be legislative matters; the state legislature has proven several times that they are willing to go around rules and prior legislation to increase revenue collection.

This amendment would make it impossible for the state to add any new taxes to the sale or transfer of homes.

In general I support restricting the authority of government to tax; and specifically in this instance, I believe that transfer taxes are regressive, and detrimental to the market.

Proposition 101: "Medical Choice for Arizona" - Constitutional amendment

Postion: Yes


This amendment would permanently prevent any form of socialized medicine from being made mandatory in Arizona, by preventing the legislature from passing any law denying someone the right to chose their own healthcare or health insurance provider.

In case you needed any more incentive; the only major group opposing this legislation, is the group that is pushing to establish nationalized or state sponsored socialized medicine in Arizona.

Proposition 102: "Marriage Protection Amendment" - Constitutional amendment

Postion: No


I believe the government should not legislate marriage at all.

I specifically believe that even if the government does have a legitimate interest in legslating on marriage, that it is a legislative matter not a constitutional one, and should not be addressed as an amendment.

Proposition 105: "Majority Rules" - Constitutional amendment

Postion: Yes


This amendment would require any ballot initiative which would require raising taxes, or which would raise taxes, to pass with a majority of registered voters, instead of just a majority of those who chose to vote on the initiative.

Importantly, it helps protect against the tyranny of the vocal minority in passing initiatives. As many voters are uneducated and unmotivated to vote for or against any particular initiative, this amendment would require that supporters of an initiative educate and motivate enough voters to actively support that initiative, rather than simply passively not vote.

This would make raising taxes and passing frivolous, wasteful, or confiscatory measures MUCH more difficult. A principle I always support.

Proposition 200: "Payday Loan Reform Act"

Postion: No


Well, first, I don't think the payday loan industry needs to be reformed. I think market forces will do a fine job as it is; or would if they were allowed to do so.

However, even if that were not the case, this initiative is a fraud. Although written and described to seem as if the law would improve the terms of payday loans, and those that take them; in fact this legislation would result in WORSE conditions and standards. It was written by the industry themselves as a trojan horse.

Proposition 201: "Homeowners Bill of Rights"

Postion: No


Again, the title of this initiative is misleading. They want to sell it as a "homeowners bill of rights", but what it really should be called is the "Trial lawyers association and construction unions wishlist against home builders and developers".

This initiative would for all intents and purposes put every independent home builder or general contractor in Arizona out of business.

The only way a builder or contractor could conduct business is with far more expensive and far higher limit liability insurance, and the backing of either a national union, or a large development corporation.

The immediate effect will also be to increase the cost of every new home in Arizona by $25,000 to $50,000.

This is one of the worst cases of rentseeking by attorneys that I have ever seen.
  • Prop. 201 will prohibit two parties from agreeing to resolve their disputes without going to court and hiring attorneys.
  • Prop 201 will forbid the defendants from recovering any attorney's fees, even if the case was frivolous or if they win.
  • Prop. 201 will allow prospective buyers to file lawsuits. They will not even have to own the home to file a lawsuit.
  • Prop 201 assures that all disputes, either large or small, go to court raising, costs for everyone.
This measure is supported by Arizona trail lawyers, and construction unions.

The bill is opposed by the national taxpayers union, the Arizona Citizens against Lawsuit Abuse, and the Arizona Builders Association.

That should be enough for anyone really.

Proposition 202: "Stop Illegal Hiring"

Postion: No


While other ballot initiative names might be misleading; this name could best be described as outright fraud.

Although the supporters of this initiative are trying to sell it as strengthening penalties for illegal hiring, this is in fact entirely false.

The only element that would be strengthened would be the penalties for deliberate fraud, and identity theft.

Meanwhile, this legislation would exempt 2/3 of Arizona businesses, including almost all Arizona farms, and small businesses; from the existing (and very tough) employer sanctions laws.

Additionally, for those few businesses not exempted by this initiative, it would raise the burden of proof to apply those sanctions; requiring the state to prove deliberate fraud on the part of business owners to apply sanctions.

This is one of the worst pieces of legislation I have ever seen; and I believe that the people proposing it, and advertising it, should be prosecuted for conspiracy to defraud voters.

Proposition 300: "State Legislator Salaries"

Postion: Yes


Although we have a part time legislature, and we want to keep it that way, I have no problem with our legislators being compensated better for their time. It will merely encourage those who do not want to be professional politicians, to consider running for our legislature, because they would not have to give up as much of their other potential income to do so.