Jenn’s 2010 Voting Guide

Today is election day!

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know that today is election day. And, I’m urging you — please, take some time out of your schedule to go vote.

I’ve heard so many excuses about why people don’t vote. There’s only one good one: I can’t (because I’m not a citizen or I’m a former felon). Strangely, these are some of the most dedicated and passionate folks when it comes to politics; those who can’t vote know exactly how valuable a single vote is. But, there are so many people who can vote, who are registered to vote, who simply don’t vote. They simply don’t care enough.

Please care, and please take the hour today to vote. If every one of my daily readers were not a regular voter, but took the time to vote, they could decide a local election. Asian Americans may be a small community, but we can help to sway the margins of a big race, and sometimes that’s all that’s needed. We have so little political representation as it is — it’s time we stood up and were counted.

To that end, I’m putting up a short Voter’s Guide. It’s a little haphazard with some contested national races I’ve been following, and predominantly Arizona-focused because of where I live. Hopefully, it will help you decide some races.

Arizona

Governor
Terry Goddard (D) is squaring off against Jan Brewer (R). While I’ve been disappointed with how mediocre the Goddard campaign has been, I simply cannot abide another term of Jan Brewer, who seems hell-bent on running this state into the ground. Brewer has failed to balance the state budget, and she is in large part responsible for SB 1070. The better question we must ask is what Brewer has done right for this state. So, I’m asking you to please choose Terry Goddard.

Congresspersons
Gabrielle Giffords (D) is running against Jesse Kelly (R). Raul Grijalva (D) is running against Ruth McClung (R). Now, I’m not a huge fan of either Democrat in these races — Gabby is too moderate for my tastes, and I opposed Grijalva’s stance on the boycott (I don’t think a sitting Congressperson should advocate a boycott of his own constituents). But, Jesse Kelly and Ruth McClung are Crazy with a capital C. Just on women’s rights alone: neither candidate supports abortion, even under conditions of rape or incest. That’s enough for me: vote Giffords and Grijalva to help preserve women’s rights over their own bodies.

Attorney General
Felicia Rotellini (D) has run a great campaign, focusing on her legal background. Her opponent, Tom Horne (R), is prevented from trading by the Securities and Exchange Commission because he committed fraud. I think it’s clear which choice for the state’s top lawyer would be better.

Superintendent of Public Instruction
John Huppenthal (R) recently told us that his top priority would be to wipe out ethnic studies programs throughout the state, including at the university’s public universities. Meanwhile, Penny Kotterman (D) has had a long history of teaching and setting education policy. Although I supported Penny’s Democratic opponent, I also said that both of the Democratic candidates were far better candidates than the woefully unqualified Republicans. No matter how you stand on ethnic studies, please choose Penny Kotterman, even if only because she is actually campaigning on a platform of fixing education in this state, not on a wedge issue.

Propositions

  • NO on 106: This ballot measure attempts to reverse federal healthcare reform and is probably unconstitutional.
  • NO on 107: This is a no-brainer. I’ve talked about how this proposition will negatively affect the state’s economy, higher education, and battered women’s shelters. No, no, no!
  • NO on 109: This ballot measure does some sleight of hand with the Department of Game and Fish that is absolutely unnecessary and probably harmful to both hunting and wildlifeconservation efforts.
  • YES on 110: This measure appears to help conservation efforts and is endorsed by the Sierra Club
  • NO on 111: This measure gets rid of run-off elections. ‘Nuff said.
  • YES on 112: There’s both good and bad on this one. It moves the deadline for signatures up a month, to give the Secretary of State’s office more time to verify those signatures. It reduces fraud, but also makes it difficult on grassroots efforts. I tend to favour less fraud, because I think grassroots efforts will adapt.
  • NO on 113: This measure makes union participation more difficult.
  • NO on 203: This is medical marijuana. I don’t use pot, never have and probably never will. I’m unconvinced by the medical benefits of marijuana, hemp, or any oils made from them. I don’t like how this measure is a smokescreen for legalizing pot, and wish its supporters would be honest — this is the gateway legislation for the “gateway drug”. But, this is one of those polarized ballot measures where people know exactly where they stand already. So vote as you will.
  • NO on 301: Preserve the Land Conservation Fund!
  • NO on 302: This measure keeps the tax on cigarettes and gets rid of the children’s programs they fund. Heck no!

Nation-Wide

California (Governor)
Both Meg Whitman (R) and Jerry Brown (D) have been actively pursuing the Asian American vote this year. Brown is endorsed by several top Asian American community leaders, including Congressman Mike Honda. Meg Whitman has picked up 80/20’s endorsement. I worry, however, that Whitman’s seeking of the APIA vote is mere pandering, and that her support of our community is only as deep as the votes she thinks she needs to win. Threfore, I support Jerry Brown, because I think he has a demonstrated history of helping our community.

Delaware (Senate)
I know, I know — Christine O’Donnell (R) is not a witch. She’s crazy. She’s polling terribly. She’s not going to win. But, please vote Chris Coons (D). He’s not just the anti-O’Donnell vote, he’s actually a great, intelligent, reasoned progressive candidate. I’ve been pleasantly shocked with how well Coons has carried himself in such a “silly season” race. I would vote for him (if I lived in Delaware) just because I haven’t seen such a great representative of progressive politics in such a long time.

Nevada (Senate)
Please vote Harry Reid (D) over Sharron “Some of you look a little more Asian” Angle (R). I can’t understand how Angle is doing so well — she’s just plain psychotic.

Cross-posted: Blog for Arizona

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