Election Day is upon us. Many readers have voted already. Good, and that is “good” however you voted. Voting is an extraordinary right, and one that far too many people ignore.
Before I make some highly partisan comments about the election—my blog; my perspective, but comments are certainly welcomed—I want to stay with voting for a moment. Paul Hogarth wrote We Want Everybody to Vote, but Republicans Explicitly Don’t for Daily Kos on October 31. It dovetails with Crazy Tea Party Congressman Suggests Only Property Owners Should Be Allowed to Vote, written by Justin Baragona for Politics USA on May 20, 2014, featuring Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), and The Conservative Case to Limit Voting by Zachary Roth for MSNBC, from back in February. (Friends on the right: the Roth piece is balanced, nuanced and worthy of consideration, so don’t let the MSNBC thing get you.)
Centuries ago, voting belonged to the wealthy alone. Not now, but the arguments for such an approach are real and, when made well, they provide interesting fodder for discussion. Unfortunately, what we have now is a proxy war, where alleged fraud supports “more hoops for have-nots.” (Here’s Simon Maloy for Salon a few days ago, taking down voter fraud maven Hans von Spakovsky in Hans von Spakovsky’s “Voter Fraud” Fraud: Creating a Panic over a Minor Problem.) So, let’s dump phony voter fraud claims (and bad laws that follow), and have a real debate about voting, what it means, in whom the franchise should be vested, a set of fair and uniform rules, etc. There’s too much at stake here to see the crap we see every season!
On with the show. If you’re in Arizona, Fred DuVal is a good man and a friend from high school. That he didn’t scam a bunch of ice cream franchisees should be enough to pick him over his opponent, but he’s also decent, experienced, very capable, and well-respected within the state’s business community. To take back Arizona we need leadership from people who have stepped back for too long, and even if those people are Republicans—many are—we need them. Vote for Fred!
Terry Goddard and Felicia Rotellini are dedicated public servants, running for Secretary of State and Attorney General, respectively. The jobs they seek require leadership skills and technical expertise. They’ve got both, and their opponents don’t.
David Garcia is a serious man, running for Superintendent of Public Instruction. He has support from Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, a respected Republican, former superintendents Jaime Molera (R) and Lisa Graham Keegan (I), and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry, among many others. This job must be filled by someone who cares about education and getting it right, for the greatest damage to our state in the past 20+ years comes from the collapse of our schools.
For Congress, in the hotly contested races affecting metro Tucson, Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick deserve another two years. They’re not perfect, but they’re much, much better than their opponents. Note: My comments have nothing to do with the fact that Martha McSally came in second to my third in the celebrity spelling bee.
I’m happy to share my views on judges up for retention, but for obvious reasons I need to do that privately. On the propositions, if you’re in Pima County you know we need a new animal shelter. Really, and it will say nothing good about us if we’re not prepared to take care of domesticated animals who cannot help themselves.
In other jurisdictions, I have only a few observations. I’m close to Wisconsin, as our daughter lives there, Ms. J and I met there, and we have many friends there/from there. Governor Scott Walker has taken a fine state with good values down the wrong path. Vote for Mary Burke.
In Colorado Mark “Son of Mo” Udall is in one tough battle. I’ve known Southern Arizona Udalls well for almost 50 years. They’re fine people, honest and direct, with great values. That Congressman Corey Gardner—he’s the one who claims, now, he does not and never has supported the personhood bill he sponsored—may win is a shonda!
Finally, there is the gubernatorial race in Georgia. Republican Governor Nathan Deal has a fight on his hands, running against Jason “Jimmy’s Grandson” Carter. Nathan Deal is dirty, and here’s a good summary. I worked hard for Congressman Mo Udall when he ran for president in 1976, and being for a Carter still smarts, even 38 years later. Still, vote for Jason Carter.
Finally, wherever you are, and no matter which side you’re on, vote!
P.S. Even if the night turns ugly for Democrats, listening to a concession speech by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell would make it all go down a bit easier!