Monday, November 5, 2007

Go and Vote

Here in Louisville, November 6th is an important day. In case you're not sure where to cast your ballot, you can find out here. For a listing of all the candidates, look here.

But Derek, you may be thinking, I know where to vote and which candidates are running, but I'm not sure who I should actually vote for. Well, I'll take a shot at giving you a hand.

The highest office on the ballot is the Governor/Lieutenant Governor spot. On the Republican ticket, we've got incumbent Governor Ernie Fletcher (along with non-incumbent Rudolph). Click here to view Fletcher's NPAT report. This is the guy who initially ran on a "values and accountability" platform, and has since issued blanket criminal pardons for his administration staff, plead the 5th to keep from incriminating himself, been indicted by the grand jury (only to hide behind "executive immunity"), and been sued for violating state law regarding state university appointments. His campaigns and political strategies have made frequent use of homophobic bigotry, religious rhetoric, and fear tactics.

Opposing Fletcher, on the Democratic ticket is Steve Beshear (along with Mongiardo). Beshear is (big surprise here) yet another older white guy who seems to be in love with Big Oil, idiotic drug policy, and Neo-Con terrorism policy (basically, he's like a Republican). Click here to view his NPAT report. Considering the alternative, I think I know who I'll vote for, and with polls all year consistently favoring Beshear over Fletcher by a 20-25% margin, it would appear that we'll finally be kicking the crook out of the Governor's mansion.

You can look here to see the Fletcher/Rudolph campaign website, and here to see the Beshear/Mongiardo campaign website.

Easily the next-most important office (the state's second-most important job?) on the ballot this Tuesday is that of Attorney General. Democratic nominee Jack Conway is running against Republican nominee Stan Lee (no, not the cool one). Conway's an intelligent and competent candidate who has progressive and forward-looking ideas for the Attorney's office. Lee is, to quote Jim Welp, "Part creationist zealot, part sexist perv, [and] every time he opens his mouth, the 17th century comes spilling out." Evidently, Lee has repeatedly made use of comments and jokes on the campaign trail that insinuate his superiority as a candidate based on (you'll never guess) his facial hair. The choice here is a no-brainer. For a good overview of this race, see the article I linked at the beginning of this paragraph, or this recent CJ comparison.

You can look here to see Conway's campaign website, and here to see Lee's.

Other than the other offices up for election this year, the obvious choice for next most important thing to vote for must be the Library Referendum. You can view the official pro-Library site here, and the best opposition site appears to be this one. The best article I've read, investigating the pros and cons and trying to fairly represent both sides of the issue, was this one by Stemle/Redding of LEO. My take? Dude, it's the Library. Seriously, vote yes.* To quote Jim Welp again, the library is an "institution that is known to cut stupidity and generate intelligence, which evolutionary economists have conclusively shown reduces the ignoramus rate."

* Despite odd, anonymous calls to Bellarmine University, warning that "Libraries are anti-Christian!"

Another job on the ballot this Tuesday is that of Agricultural Commissioner. We've got Republican incumbent Richie Farmer, who's reportedly done a fine job since recovering from a rocky start. He's being challenged by Democratic candidate David Lynn Williams, who isn't supported by his own party and who was quoted saying "I don't ever write nothing down. I carry it in my head and then when I lose my head then I ain't no good." Oh, and he's set for trial in January on charges of menacing, disorderly conduct, and harassment. Hard call here: I think we should probably stick with Farmer.

Lastly, I'd vote Hollenbach over Wheeler for State Treasurer; neither Hendrickson nor Grayson for Secretary of State (they're both horrible and I refuse to vote for either one of them); and Eckerle for Circuit Court Judge.

Have fun at the polls tomorrow, wear your "I voted!" sticker proudly, and be sure to thank the kind folks who volunteer to run the polls year after year, allowing you to exercise your right to vote.

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