Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Much Coveted Helpy-Chalk Endorsements, Nov 2008 Edition.

The national offices are easy: Barack! Dennis!

State offices

Attorney General: Richard Cordray (D)

Current state treasurer. Five time Jeopardy! champion. Website full of platitudes. But I'm voting party line here. Also has union endorsements and Strickland's backing.

State Senator, 24th district: Gary Kucinich (D)

Brother of Dennis. Webpage says "Coming Soon". Leading hits for him include nearly empty entries at Dkosopedia, VoteSmart, and Political Base.

Another party line vote.

State Representative: Jennifer Brady

We get fliers about this race delivered to our door almost every day. Most are attacks on Brady's opponent, Nan Baker, using hot button accusations like "She voted for tax people for ambulance rides!" The political attacks were so generic that the only way I could figure out who was the Democrat and who was the Republican in the race was by looking at the fine print on the sponsorship of the anti-Baker fliers. Turns out they were from the SIEU, so they are on our side. The Obama campaign has also been asking us volunteers to give little shout outs to Brady. So basically Brady wins on these and other endorsements.

But what are the issues here? Brady has been behind a lot of the educational initiatives that have been shaping my worklife, including the Seniors to Sophomores program and the state tuition freeze. I have mixed feeling about those. The intent is good, but they do require my institution to do more work for less money. Quick google searches are not getting me to the bottom of the ambulance tax story.

County Level Elections

I'm going to vote party line on these. Given the paucity of quick information to be found on the statewide candidates, I don't think I'm going to do well here either.

Now for the nonpartisan offices

State board of education: Richard Javorek

Endorsed by teachers unions and the Progressive Majority. Denounces overemphasis on testing on his website. The other candidate Robin C. Hovis is an "investment representative" originally appointed to the Board of Educaiton by Republican Governor Bob Taft.

State Supreme Court Justice, race 1: Joseph Russo

Check out the issue in this race. Russo, the Democrat,
proposes that judges be required to recuse themselves from cases involving people who donated to their campaign. What, this isn't required now? Nope. Not only that, but Russo's Republican opponent is against the recusal rule. The only justification she gives for her opposition in the article sited is that such measures have not passed in other states. The NYT has reported that the entirely Republican state Supreme Court generally sides with campaign donors.

State Supreme Court Justice race 2: Peter M. Sikora

The issue here is the same as in the race above. The Republican in this race, Evelyn Stratton, is quoted in the NYT article above as saying donations from business interests are there to counterbalance the big influence of trial lawyers. She also attended more that 50 fundraisers in her last campaign. This is a judicial system? Christ electing judges is a dumb idea.

Ohio 8th District Court of Appeals: Sean Gallagher, Larry Jones, Patricia Blackmon, Kenneth Rocco.

Party line vote.

Court of Common Pleas: Micheal Russo, Nancy Fuerst, Nancy McDonnell, Brenden Sheehan, Eileen Gallagher, Nancy Russo, Timothy Flanagan, Leslie Celebreze, Anthony Russo.

These are all Democratic candidates in uncontested elections. I voted against Sheehan, Jones, and Celebreze in the primary election, that
I previously liveblogged

The website that I used for the primary judicial elections does not have guides to the general election yet. Am I voting too early?

Ok, the contested Court of Common Pleas elections

Court of Common Pleas, contested race 1: Steven J. Terry

Terry is the Democrat and gets a nice write up from the Plain Dealer.

Court of Common Pleas, contested race 2, 3,4: Lynn McClaughlin Murray, Deena R. Calabrese, and Laura J. Gallagher

Party line votes. I went against Calabrese in the primary. Looking at my decisions for these two elections, I wonder if I depend too much on endorsements for downticket races. But what other resources do I have?

Court of Common Pleas, contested race 3: Lance Mason

Mason is currently a state senator, so there is a lot of information about him out there. He gets a 100% rating for his votes the past few years from from NARAL, Ohio Conservation Voters, and PIRG. He gets an F from the NRA. A few years back the Sierra Club only gave him a 50%. His ratings from business groups vary from 42 to 100%. He used to work for Stephanie Tubbs-Jones. Meh.

Ballot initiative #1: A constitutional amendment tightening rules on getting initiatives on the ballot: Yes

This was placed on the ballot by a democratic state representative, who said he was motivated by problems the elections board had verifying signatures. Can't find much else on this. The ability of citizens to put issues on the ballot is great when handled well (Oregon) and terrible when handled badly (California). Lets go with yes.

Ballot Initiative 2: Issue bonds to conserve and revitalize lands: Yes. Ohio needs more green space.

Ballot Initiative 3: Introduce language enshrining property rights in the constitution, specifically giving landowners more control over groundwater and access to adjoining waterways: No.

As a dirty fucking hippie, I am always wary of increasing property rights. Turns out Ohio Republicans introduced this amendment in exchange for support for the Great Lakes Compact. The Great Lakes Compact is a deal between all the states and provinces around the Great Lakes not to tap any of the lakes and sell the water to Southern California or Arizona, or other uninhabitable desert when the residents there realize that whole cities are not environmentally sustainable.

In any case, property rights over groundwater usually involves someone's right to shit in the drinking supply. No to this one.

Initiative 5: To shut down the slavemaster ghetto banks payday lenders. Yes.

Initiative 6: Build a casino: No

Casino economies generate cash quick, but they aren't equitable or sustainable.

Initiative 127: Bonds for the Library: Yes.

Ta da! Democracy.


Syd Midnight said...

Thanks for the endorsements, even if it's basically a party platform. I had most of my ballot figured out, but it was tough finding info about the 5th district school board candidates. As far as I'm concerned, Bob Taft is the kiss of death. And if they want to pass the water rights amendment, maybe they should make it a little bit more clear!

Anonymous said...

Hey, thanks for posting this stuff. I bet I'm your only reader in Poland (the country, not the Youngstown suburb). I'm an Ohioan (from the Wooster area) voting absentee.

I especially appreciate those links you gave to the articles in your Russo endorsement. Very interesting (even if depressing).