Oct. 31st, 2008

zuptd: (contented)
So, I finally started my ballot reviewing last night. I always go through a few days before an election and fuss through the various and obscure items to make sure I'm at least moderately informed on everything.

We actually have 8 choices for President/VP on our ballot. This is the first year since before I could vote that I can recall there not being any big angsting out there regarding third party candidates... Ralph Nader is on there, but he's not the Green candidate this time. The Socialists, Libertarians, and Constitution party are all represented. I'm 99.9% sure of who I'm voting for....as usual I've been displeased about my choices, but I'll probably never find a President that I'm 100% happy with. I hope that whoever is elected surprises me with their performance as President (and even moreso I hope the VP surprises me, whichever that is....)

We have the usual 5 million judges to vote for. I'm doing my due diligence on them, as best I can anyhow.

It's also a County election year. I think I'm voting for Peter Lawson Jones for Commissioner. He's my favorite of the 3 current ones, so it's too bad that Debbie Sutherland is running against him, as she'd quite possibly get my vote if she ran against Hagan and certainly against Dimora. One thing I appreciate about Lawson-Jones is that he seems to genuinely listen and take into account the feedback people give. He came to a town hall panel thing about the Ameritrust Tower (an ugly but significant piece of architecture here in Cleveland...the only existing skyscraper designed by noted brutalist architect Marcel Breuer.) He really seemed to be interested in the opinions of people about whether or not to demolish it. The fact that he was interested in hearing from people especially the planning community and that he was willign to consider that feedback in his decisions is very important to me.

Jim Rokakis, the County Treasurer is running unopposed, but I just wanted to say that I also have a high opinion of him due to his study and advocacy for issues surrounding the foreclosure crisis locally. My impression is that he's a very thoughtful and good elected official.

We have 6 state constitutional amendments on the ballot. I urge people to vote yes on Issue 2. That renews the Clean Ohio Fund, which has been one of the great statewide success stories. It issues bonds that are used to fund brownfield remediation and open-space and farmland preservation. It has had very measurable economic impacts and has good effect in both urban and rural areas.

I'd also encourage a yes vote on Issue 5, which caps interest rates for "Payday Lending" institutions at 28%. Currently these places are able to charge something like 300% interest, and have had a very harmful debt effect on people who are desperate and economically vulnerable.

I'll be voting no on Issue 6, the casino thing....I'm sorry, but I just have no desire to see casinos here in Ohio.

Then finally we have a bunch of amendments to the Cleveland City Charter....mostly basic stuff, although one would reduce the number of City Council members (it would apportion one seat per 25,000 people to be revised after each census.) This would reduce the council from 21 to 17 in the short term, as population has been falling for some time in the city. This is probably a good thing, so I'll be voting in favor.

Oh, and people in California especially, and Florida and Arizona also, I think. Please do not amend your constitution to ban same-sex marriage. Make sure to vote and make sure you vote the correct way on those measures. I am hopeful that more states will grant marriage rights to gay and lesbian couples in the coming years, and constitutional amendments would be a huge setback to that.

That's my election thoughts...I hope that everyone gets out there to vote this Tuesday!

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