My thoughts on voting. Polls open in about half an hour. I don't expect I'll change any minds with this post this late in the game, but I'm at least going to state my thoughts for the record.
Hard to comment on anyone's who aren't my own. Lots of voter guides on page 1 about races of all stripes, local, or otherwise.
NC General Assembly:
If the GOP gets the state Senate, then we we'll have gov spending their time on & successfully implementing a constitutional amendment to ban gay couples from getting married. Its redundant w/ our law that already bans it, its mean spirited, & the state constitution isn't the place for that debate. The Dems here are also key in supporting pilots of election reform stuff that I support, in taking the lead on animal welfare legislation, environmental protections, and the like. If there was any place where I'd say vote on party instead of candidate, it would probably be here. The House is socially conservative with both parties that I don't really care which way it goes GOP or Dem, but I'm not a fan of them unanimously oppose compressive sex ed even with the parents parents permission, & opposed the anti-bullying bill (measures to train teachers to increase awareness, improve responses etc). The GOP unanimously opposed because while it covered any kids being bullied it mentioned gay ones specifically in a long list of groups. In so doing they actually didn't represent their constituency well (see support for anti-bullying bill poll of North Carolinians below)
Due to Raleigh/Wake's large population & a requirement of equal number of constituents to representative (equal representation) its hard to comment on them all. See voter guides page 1.
Marshall is the best choice. She beat the DSCC (national dems) supported candidate in the primary, and has taken some stances against the President. As such she's independent for a Dem. Also at 65 she's not going to Washington to build a life long career. So she wont be beholden to special interests & has a career of fighting them actually. The Libertarian isn't bad either (noncompetitive though, only polling at about 2%, but a vote here can serve to represent values & help with party building). Richard Weir is the Green Party US Senate write in candidate. Again non-competitive, but an option for value expressing & party building. Basically my advice is anyone but Burr.
Why not Burr:
|"Economy - When he was first learning of the severity of the recession he told his wife to go to the ATM day after day taking out all the money it would allow b/c he was convinced that in a few days "if you put a plastic card in an ATM machine the last thing you were going to get was cash" which earned him the nickname Bank Run Burr. And, after his meeting with representatives from Goldman Sachs, who then gave the max allowed contribution to his campaign, he took a strong stand against Wall Street Reform. In fact Burr has gotten more money from out of state that in state for many years now, this year is no different. We know who he represents.|
Environment - He tends to rate horribly here. According to Wikipedia: "Burr has generally received low ratings from environmental-protection organizations. In 2007-2008, for example, he received a rating of 0% from Environment America, 12% from the League of Conservation Voters, and 29% from Republicans for Environmental Protection." And he's taken plenty of cash from big oil like Haliburton, BP, and others which is reflected in his voting record.
Gay Rights - He's against repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell and favors an amendment to the US constitution to write in a ban of gay marriage which even his Libertarian opponent has called him out on for wasting government time/money on trying to rewrite the constitution with more of his social conservatism.
Obstructionist - Even with the military. In addition to participating in filibuster threats, he held up Duckworth's nomination to a key position in the office of veteran affairs despite her strong qualifications. He specifically also let generals travel from Korea and Hawaii to Washington DC for a meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee and then canceled the meeting as a part of a larger party wide effort of obstructionism to not even let meetings happen. And his recent efforts have attempted to block unemployment relief and small business support efforts.
War - Burr says we still need several more years of war. Whereas Elaine has challenged President Obama on amount of conflict we're involved with.
Washington Incumbent - This one might not be a big deal to everyone, but I know for some people they don't like politicians who have been in Washington forever, and Burr has been in Washington for nearly 2 decades. But after nearly 2 decades it’s hard to name any big Burr accomplishments unless you want to count his attempt to make flag burning illegal?
Women's issues - He voted against Franken's anti-rape amendment which passed with many Dem & GOP votes. He also voted for domestic violence to continue as a pre-existing condition. He’s anti-choice and he voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Carolina - Burr introduced this: 3. S.RES.110 : A resolution congratulating the University of North Carolina Tar Heels basketball team for winning the 2008-2009 NCAA men's basketball championship. Sponsor: Sen Burr, Richard [NC] (introduced 4/22/2009) "
Always kind of hard to decide. I sometimes feel like all their websites & questionnaires say "I support justice" and there is no voting record to analyze the way there is for other elected officials. But the voter guides & questionnaires on page 1 might be helpful.
State Constitutional Referendum to ban felons from being sheriff:
I voted against the ban. Tthere are some stupid reasons why you might count as a felon, that shouldn't really preclude your from running for Sheriff for your entire life. Obviously the best solution would just be to get rid of those stupid reasons, but its still something to think about. Another concern is that I believe on some level people can change and rehabilitation is possible, and this measure is sort of a stand against that. In general I think an issue should rise to a high level to warrant amending the state constitution, and I'm not sure that this does. I totally get the argument for keeping criminals away from power. But I'm so sure this measure will overwhelmingly pass, that given my concerns, I'd rather it not pass so unanimously.
Main take aways
The two most important things I feel are:
1) Don't Vote for Burr. Whatever that means to you. Marshall (Dem), Bietler (Libertarian), Weir (Green). Even if he wins, it needs to be without a strong mandate, enough that he has to seriously consider ever vote knowing they're being watched, and enough that he is viewed as vulnerable next election cycle (at which time he'll have spent 22 years in Washington)
2) Don't Vote GOP for state Senate. Even if you're straight ticketing for the GOP, I'd hope that one doesn't do that here. I see this one as even more important than number 1.
11/2/2010 5:54:34 AM