Kelly’s Clinton County, MO Election Day Picks

November 3rd, 2008 11:59 pm by Kelly Garbato

Here I am, less than 12 hours from going to the polls, and I’m just now pouring over the Clinton County ballot and making my picks. Blame it on election burnout. Plus, despite all my blustering back in August, it looks like I’ll mostly be voting a straight Democratic ticket – there simply aren’t any left-wing third party candidates running in MO. McKinney/Clemente aren’t even on the ballot for president and vp – though Nader is – so it looks like I’ll have to write them in. I mean, jeez, if I’m going to “throw” my vote away on a third party candidate, I’d rather it be someone I actually like. Libertarians and Constitution Party members…not so much.

Anyway, my picks below. Since I did most of my research for the primary, I’ll mostly link back to what I wrote in August in order to explain my choices. At the end of this post I’ve also gathered links to various progressive scorecards and endorsements, so you can research your candidates and be your own decider person.

President and Vice President

x John McCain / Sarah Palin (R)
x Barack Obama / Joe Biden (D)
x Bob Barr / Wayne A. Root (Lib)
x Chuck Baldwin / Darrell Castle (Cst)
x Ralph Nader / Matt Gonzalez (Ind)

Though I’d rather vote my conscience as opposed to voting for the lesser of two evils, I’m still waffling. Every time CNN runs the AC360 segment on Supreme Court nominations, I freak a bit and start leaning towards Obama. Then I remember that he initially supported Roberts, and balk.

Ultimately, I suspect I won’t know how I’ll vote until I’m actually in the voting booth. I dislike the Dem ticket for a variety of reasons, some of which involve Obama’s policy positions (his flip-flopping on progressive issues such as FISA, offshore drilling, voter disenfranchisement in Michigan and Florida; his weakness on reproductive rights, including his support for restrictions on late-term abortions; his extension of Bush’s faith-based initiatives, etc.) , others which are more global and have little-to-nothing to do with the actual candidate(s) (i.e., the corrupt, anti-democratic nature of the two-party system; the rank misogyny that permeates the Democratic party).

Yet, the prospect of a McCain/Palin administration scares the red sauce outta me.

I plan on voting for the Green party by penciling in McKinney/Clemente, though I could still be scared toward the Obama/Biden ticket.

For Governor

x Kenny Hulshof (R)
x Jay Nixon (D)
x Andrew Finkenstadt (Lib)
x Gregory E. Thompson (Cst)

Jay Nixon, even though I’m not a big fan.

In August, I noted Nixon’s previous anti-choice platforms, as well as his “overzealous” stance on crime (including his wish to – ahem! – “Impose capital punishment for convicted international drug traffickers.” (!)), and concluded:

Come November, a vote for Nixon isn’t so much a vote for Nixon as a vote against the Republican nominee. I hate playing that game, but as Shark-Fu notes, a Dem Governor would have the power to veto the bullshit anti-woman measures that have been winding their way through the MO legislature as of late. (Two words: Matt Blunt.)

I wish Nixon had a solid liberal/progressive challenger in the primaries, but…not so much. So methinks I’ll vote for Nixon once, and rail against him if he proves to be a “moderate” Democrat (as they so euphemistically refer to themselves nowadays!).

I’d really love to vote for Carroll, but he’s giving me nothing. Protest vote, maybe? I don’t think there’s much chance Carroll will win – Nixon may as well be running unchallenged – so there can’t be any harm in voting for the unknown. Famous last words, eh?

I should also note that the Libertarian candidate doesn’t provide a socially liberal escape hatch come November. He’s better than Nixon on crime, but is also a misogynist godbag.

I actually did “protest vote” for Carroll in the primaries; he lost handily. Given my lack of options, I don’t have much of a choice but to vote for the least of several evils. Blecht.

For Lieutenant Governor

x Peter Kinder (R)
x Sam Page (D)
x Teddy Fleck (Lib)
x James C. Rensing (Cst)

Sam Page, who was my primary pick!:

On the Missouri State Legislative Election 2004 National Political Awareness Test, Sam Page supports the statement that “Abortions should always be legal,” with no additional restrictions. Under “Other or expanded principles,” he penciled in “Abortion should be rare, safe & legal.” A Hillary Clinton-esque answer provokes smiles from this crabby feminist. He also does well (IMHO) on the questions involving government spending, taxes, campaign contributions, elections, education, the environment, gun issues, health care and employment; and so-so on crime (e.g., is pro-death penalty and anti-medicinal marijuana; but supports increased funding for rehab and education).

For Secretary of State

x Mitch Hubbard (R)
x Robin Carnahan (D)
x Wes Upchurch (Lib)
x Denise C. Neely (Cst)

Robin Carnahan. *shrug*

For Attorney General

x Mike Gibbons (R)
x Chris Koster (D)

During the primaries, I voted Jeff Harris for AG; you can see how that went.

Of Chris Koster, I said:

Chris Koster was elected to the MO Senate in 2005…as a Republican. On August 1, 2007, he switched to the Democratic Party.

Both Dems and Repubs alike are calling this a case of “political opportunism”. Though I can appreciate Koster’s positions on some issues – he’s pro-stem cell research, has plenty of labor endorsements, and singles out worker’s rights and environmental protection as key issues on his campaign website – ain’t no way I’m going to vote for a new (as in, barely a year) Republican covert to the Democratic Party in the Democratic primary. A “moderate Republican”, as Koster seem to envision himself, as no place on the Democratic ticket.

Plus, his Democratic “pro-choice” credentials are less than inspiring.

So, it looks like I’m writing in Stephen Colbert or somesuch nonsense. Fuck, maybe I’ll just pencil in Jeff Harris, who I still *heart* with a vengeance.

For State Treasurer

x Brad Lager (R)
x Clint Zweifel (D)
x Rodney D. Farthing (Cst)

Clint Zweifel, who was my primary pick.

For U.S. Representative, District 6

x Sam Graves (R)
x Kay Barnes (D)
x Dave Browning (Lib)

Kay Barnes, if only because Sam Graves is a fucknut whom I loathe with every fiber of my being.

For State Representative, District 5

x Jim Guest (R)
x Mike Waltemath (D)
x Robert Christophel (Lib)

Um, actually, I think I’m going to vote for the libertarian candidate (who, incidentally, is the only third-party candidate running for state rep in my district). It’s not so much that I’m impressed by Robert Christophel’s credentials or policy positions, as I am repulsed by the Democratic candidate’s response to Project Vote Smart’s Missouri State Legislative Election 2006 National Political Awareness Test.

For example, in regard to abortion issues, Mike Waltemath checked the following:

X e) Abortions should be legal when the life of the woman is endangered.
X f) Prohibit public funding of abortions and to organizations that advocate or perform abortions.
X g) Require clinics to give parental notification before performing abortions on minors.

He didn’t support the statements that “Abortions should always be legal” or “Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape.”

Though reproductive rights – you know, the matter of my very personhood – is a litmus test for this baby-hating feminist, his responses to some other statements are alarming as well. Waltemath “Support[s] increased production of traditional domestic energy sources (e.g. coal, natural gas, and oil)” but does not “Support funding for open space preservation” and would not “Enact environmental regulations even if they are stricter than federal law.”

Pass.

Jim Guest sucks as well, so I guess I’m stuck with the only other option, who isn’t bloody likely to win anyhow.

For County Commissioner, District 2

x Larry C. King (D)

Ummm…do I have a choice?

For Sheriff

x Zephry M. Bingham (R)
x K. Porter Hensen (D)

The Dem incumbent, I guess.

For Assessor

x Jerry Howard D)

Stephen Colbert for Clinton County MO Assessor ’08!?

For Public Administrator

x Nancy (Stalder) Wingate (D)

Yawn.

For Coroner

x Kathleen Little (R)
x Sheldon L. Kenslow (D)

The Dem, I guess. I can’t find much info on either candidate.

Missouri Supreme Court Judge

Shall Judge Patricia Breckenridge of the Missouri Supreme Court be reinstated in office?

Though Patricia Breckenridge was appointed to the MO Supreme Court by Matt Blunt, he wasn’t happy about the choice. Blunt considered her the least liberal of the three choices handed to him by the Appellate Judicial Commission; subsequently, conservative groups charged the AJC “with secrecy and liberal bias.” So, while Breckenridge is a Blunt appointee, that shouldn’t necessarily be held against her.

A Missouri Bar survey of Breckenridge gave her a favorable rating, and noted:

Judge Breckenridge has a strong commitment to community service, including serving as co-chair of the Missouri Gender Fairness Implementation Committee, a member of the Missouri Task Force on Gender and Justice, and she was a Council of State Governments’ Toll Fellow. She is the past president and a former board member of Mattie Rhodes Center. She is a former board member of the University of Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Cabot West Side Clinic and Home Health Advisory Board in Nevada.

Her professional memberships and activities include being a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the Association of Probate and Associate Circuit Judges, the National Association of Women Judges, the Association of Women Lawyers of Greater Kansas City, the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, The Missouri Bar, and the American Bar Association.

On The Missouri Bar’s 2008 Appellate Court Evaluation Survey, attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Breckenridge greater than 4.0 on a scale of 5.0 in all nine categories.

Judge Breckenridge’s highest rankings were for treating parties equally regardless of race, sex or economic status and being courteous toward attorneys.

The committee also reviewed a sample of opinions authored by Judge Breckenridge since her appointment to the Missouri Supreme Court in 2007. Judge Breckenridge’s opinions are well-reasoned and organized, clearly written, and closely adhere to precedent as well as to constitutional and statutory law.

The Appellate Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee recommends that Judge Patricia Breckenridge BE RETAINED.

I can’t find anything which might make me disagree.

Constitutional Amendment No. 1

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to add a statement that English shall be the language of all governmental meetings at which any public business is discussed, decided, or public policy is formulated whether conducted in person or by communication equipment including conference calls, video conferences, or Internet chat or message board?

No. What do I look like, a xenophobe?

Constitutional Amendment No. 4

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to change provisions relating to the financing of stormwater control projects by:

* limiting availability of grants and loans to public water and sewer districts only;
* removing the cap on available funding and existing restrictions on disbursements;
* requiring loan repayments to be used only for stormwater control projects?

It is estimated the cost to state governmental entities is $0 to $236,000 annually. It is estimated state governmental entities will save approximately $7,500 for each bond issuance. It is estimated local governmental entities participating in this program may experience savings, however the amount is unknown.

I cannot for the life of me figure out why the state Constitution would need to be amended in order to change the financing of stormwater control projects. Does the state Constitution seriously deal with sewage issues? Like, for reals?

I don’t have much of an idea what this amendment entails, but I’m voting no, simply because water runoff seems too insignificant a reason to tinker with the gorram state constitution.

Proposition A

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

* repeal the current individual maximum loss limit for gambling;
* prohibit any future loss limits;
* require identification to enter the gambling area only if necessary to establish that an individual is at least 21 years old;
* restrict the number of casinos to those already built or being built;
* increase the casino gambling tax from 20% to 21%;
* create a new specific education fund from gambling tax proceeds generated as a result of this measure called the “Schools First Elementary and Secondary Education Improvement Fund”; and
* require annual audits of this new fund?

State governmental entities will receive an estimated $105.1 to $130.0 million annually for elementary and secondary education, and $5.0 to $7.0 million annually for higher education, early childhood development, veterans, and other programs. Local governmental entities receiving gambling boat tax and fee revenues will receive an estimated $18.1 to $19.0 million annually.

No. While limiting the number of new casinos in the state seems like a sound idea on its face, this will in effect create an industry monopoly. Plus, the elimination of a cap on individual losses is troubling. Although this proposition has received praise from teacher’s groups, is this really how we want to fund education in Missouri – by taking advantage of addicts with gambling problems?

Proposition B

Shall Missouri law be amended to enable the elderly and Missourians with disabilities to continue living independently in their homes by creating the Missouri Quality Homecare Council to ensure the availability of quality home care services under the Medicaid program by recruiting, training, and stabilizing the home care workforce?

The exact cost of this proposal to state governmental entities is unknown, but is estimated to exceed $510,560 annually. Additional costs for training are possible. Matching federal funds, if available, could reduce state costs. It is estimated there would be no costs or savings to local governmental entities.

No. Honestly, I couldn’t find much information about this proposition beyond the pro and con talking points. There already appears to be a similar program in MO which matches healthcare workers with those in need, so Prop B may simply create another layer of bureaucracy. Either way, I can’t vote for something I don’t fully understand.

Proposition C

Shall Missouri law be amended to require investor-owned electric utilities to generate or purchase electricity from renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, biomass and hydropower with the renewable energy sources equaling at least 2% of retail sales by 2011 increasing incrementally to at least 15% by 2021, including at least 2% from solar energy; and restricting to no more than 1% any rate increase to consumers for this renewable energy?

The estimated direct cost to state governmental entities is $395,183. It is estimated there are no direct costs or savings to local governmental entities. However, indirect costs may be incurred by state and local governmental entities if the proposal results in increased electricity retail rates.

UCS, NWF, Audubon and Save Our Environment.org have been emailing me nonstop in support of Proposition C. The League of Women Voters of Missouri, Missouri Votes Conservation, and the Sierra Club also support the measure.

It will “require investor-owned utility companies (AmerenUE, Kansas City Power & Light, Empire District, and Aquila) to buy or produce part of their electricity from eligible renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, biomass and hydropower. The requirement increases in steps from 2% of electric retail sales by 2011 to 15% by 2021, including at least 2% from solar energy.” Under Proposition C, Missouri will become the 27th state to enact a Renewable Electricity Standard (RES).

Fuck yeah, I’m voting for Proposition C.

Additional Resources

Scorecards & Endorsements

AFL-CIO – Working Families VOte 2008
http://www.aflcio.org/issues/politics/

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – ACLU Congressional Scorecard
http://action.aclu.org/site/VoteCenter?page=voteList

Darfur Scorecard
http://www.darfurscores.org/

Environmental Defense Fund – Green Energy Voter Guide, 2008
http://www.edf.org/page.cfm?tagID=28228

Human Rights Campaign (HRC) – Congressional Scorecard
http://www.hrc.org/11424.htm

Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) – 2008 Humane Scorecard: The 110th Congress in Review
http://www.fund.org/pdfs/2008_humane_scorecard.pdf

Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF) – 2008 Voter Guide
http://www.fund.org/voter_guide/

League of Conservation Voters (LCV) – 2008 National Environmental Scorecard
http://www.lcv.org/scorecard/

League of Conservation Voters (LCV) – Candid Answers ’08: Voter Guide for the Environment
http://lcv.candidanswers.org/

NARAL – Elections 2008 / Pro-Choice Voter Guides
http://www.prochoiceamerica.org/elections/elections2008/

National Organization of Women – NOW PAC
http://www.nowpacs.org/

Planned Parenthood Action Center
http://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/

RH Reality Check – 2008 Election and Reproductive Health
http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/election-2008

Secular Coalition for America – U.S. Congressional Scorecards
http://www.secular.org/scorecard/

The Sierra Club – Election 2008
http://www.sierraclub.org/politics/

Wikipedia – List of Barack Obama presidential campaign endorsements, 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Barack_Obama_presidential_campaign_endorsements,_2008

Wikipedia – List of John McCain presidential campaign endorsements, 2008
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_John_McCain_presidential_campaign_endorsements,_2008

Election Protection

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – Voting Rights (main)
http://www.aclu.org/votingrights/index.html

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – Know Your Voting Rights, State by State
http://www.aclu.org/votingrights/gen/36695res20080909.html

CNN Election Center 2008
http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/voter.hotline/

Election Protection
http://www.866ourvote.org/

Go Vote
http://www.govote.org/

Just Vote ’08
http://www.justvote08.org/

Our Vote Live
http://www.ourvotelive.org/

People for the American Way (PFAW) – The Right to Vote
http://site.pfaw.org/site/PageServer?pagename=issues_vote_landing

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