Tuesday, November 08, 2005

PSA Time - Please Bear With Me

It’s Election Day and I’m going to be boring and talk about politics. But I hope you’ll all stick with me because this is the kind of stuff of which people need to take notice. Even if you don’t live in my state, take it all into consideration, because this kind of sneakiness goes on everywhere.

Riddle me this, Batman. There are five Issues up for vote today in my state. The ads place them all into neat little packages, but anyone who pays attention in life knows that a package known as an Issue is never neat nor little.

One Issue is publicized as bringing more jobs to the state. Who wouldn’t want that? But I looked up the Issue on line, because there's always more. Here’s what it’s really about. It OK’s spending tax money for uses other than the levied purpose. Give us your money for something specific – but we reserve the right to spend it on something else. Nice. It also approves the engagement of joint ventures with and/or lending credit to private entities out of public funds. Um, not liking that idea. It also approves a mysterious committee to doll out $500 million in corporate subsidies, on recommendation of an out of state reviewer. Excuse me? Oh, and here’s my favorite. It allocates state tax money to be used in stem cell research. "One of these things is not like the other..." Does that seem just kind of slipped in quietly? Regardless of how you feel on THAT topic, the very fact that it's squeaked in there arbitrarily ticks me off. In any case ... Doesn't sound so simple anymore. Hmmm ... (rubbing chin thoughtfully) ... No.

The rest of the Issues deal with political accountability reform. After the last few “big” elections everyone’s concerned with legitimacy in the system. But read between the lines, friends, and check this out.

One Issue proposes a 35 day window to cast an absentee ballot (of which you need no explanation as to why you need an absentee ballot) – and you can also cast a provisional ballot if your absentee ballot has not been yet accounted for at the time of election day. Of course the provisional ballot will be thrown out if the absentee ballot is received within 10 days after election day. Um, (sniff-sniff) what’s that smell? Legalized voter fraud? No.

Another Issue, one of three that would be state constitutional amendments (pay attention kids, that’s important!), would allow labor unions to funnel unlimited, undisclosed amounts of money into the political process through a new title wrongly labeled “small donor”. Please. I work for a union shop. There’s nothing small about union funds. It would also allow a wealthy candidate to use his own income to fund his campaign and not have to disclose that. But if a less wealthy candidate would earn funds legitimately to make it fair and even, he wouldn’t be allowed. Oh, that’s nice! Let me think about it for a minute. NO.

The next two Issues are my favorites. Yet another Issue would place official political accountability in the hands of an appointed panel, selected by the officials themselves. How convenient for the officials! Once appointed, each panel member is in for LIFE, and will hold no accountability to voters. The commission would also be granted unlimited power to spend tax money as they see fit, with no control by voters or other state leaders. And, my personal favorite, it would also remove the authority of the state court to review the commission’s activity. What the -- !!! NO!!!

The last Issue would end local control over elections and would create a statewide review board. This sounds not so bad, until you read on that the board would hold no accountability to voters, would eliminate the Secretary of State’s role in the system, and allows this new board to also have a “blank check” for tax spending, even if taxes would need to be raised to cover their choice of spending. Fantastic! NO!!!!!!

See what I mean? The ads will make it all seem so simple. But the Devil’s in the details. Big government, taking the power out of the hands of the people? Sounds a lot like socialism to me. You’ve got to read the fine print!

If you’re still with me, you rock. And I hope I’ve given you something to think about. I know this sounds corny to some, but it’s not only a blessing and a privilege but a duty to go vote. So please take some time today, to LEARN what your area’s Issues and candidates are all about, and go vote.

Back to my normal fluff next time, I promise. May God Bless America!

7 comments:

Ruben said...

Doing research on candidates and voting have become as important as getting physical examinations. These idiots are being given complete control over what happens with other people's lives so it's best to know everything about who you are electing.

A Spoon said...

guess that proves that not everything does what it says on the tin! :)

McSwain said...

I'm voting today--the issues in CA are pretty hot, and same thing--the ads try to tidy everything up, but... And out here, people aren't necessarily voting along party lines this time. I know I'm not.

martie said...

May God Bless the people as they try to figure out which way the government is heading!

Bainwen Gilrana said...

Good lord. What a ridiculous amount of corruption on one ballot!

The sad part is, probably so few people will take the time to research any of it and will just take things at face value.

Harry Yak said...

ever feel like they are all idiots and that it's like trying to decide if you want to be strangled or have your throat cut?

is it time for another revolution?

Bainwen Gilrana said...

The revolution will not be televised!