My voting philosophy is pretty simple. Here are my general rules:
- Vote against the incumbent, if there is one.
- Don’t vote for a candidate of either of the two major entrenched parties.
These are not rigid by any means. I’ll make an exception if I believe in a particular candidate or if some other calculus suggests itself.
Of course, following these rules often means voting for someone I don’t know too much about, or voting for someone who has values that are antithetical to my own. But I’m OK with that. These candidates usually don’t have a prayer of winning anyway.
For the record, I don’t consider voting for a no-chance candidate to be “throwing my vote away.” It’s a protest vote. This is not a frivolous choice. Given the current state of affairs, I think protest is the only rational approach. When the top contenders do not inspire, there’s no other way to express one’s displeasure. I wish we had a “None of the Above” option in many cases.
If I follow those rules tomorrow, I might vote like this:
- Governor: Anthony “Tony G” Gentile is an independent who wants to raise the minimum wage. Or I might vote for the Libertarian candidate, T. Lee Horne III, who has this campaign video:
The rap is by Lil Nuke. How cool is that?
My electrician really likes Democrat Foster Campbell, who would appear to be an honest-to-gosh dyed-in-the-wool North Louisiana populist. I am tempted to vote for him.
However, it’s generally expected that Republican Bobby Jindal will win this race. I think the reason for his huge lead is that he ran four years ago, and lost to Blanco. She muffed it so badly during Katrina that voters wish they had a chance to do it over and elect Jindal instead. That’s my theory, anyway. Hell, I’d consider voting for him myself if he weren’t such a right-wing nutjob. I just can’t support anybody who wants to teach creationism in the public schools.
- Lieutenant Governor: Thomas D. Kates
- Secretary of State: Scott Lewis
- Attorney General: A toss up between Royal Alexander (Republican) and “Buddy” Caldwell (Democrat). The only other candidate is the absolutely unacceptable incumbent, Charles Foti.
- Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry: I guess I’ll vote for Mike Strain, one of three Republicans challenging the Democratic incumbent Bob Odom, who is accused of money laundering and falsifying records.
- Commissioner of Insurance: Egad. Democrat Jim Crowley, I guess.
- BESE, District 2: Tough one. Both Givens and Marcelle are Democrats. One is accused of corruption, the other favors privatization of the schools.
- State Senator, 4th District: Clayton Joffrion.
- State Representative, 93rd District: Rhodesia J. Douglas.
- Judge, Criminal District Court, Section A: I’m torn between Laurie White, a Democrat about whom I hear good things, and Gary Wainwright, who will be the only Green on my ballot but has been derided by some as an “asshole.”
- Judge, Municipal Court: Desireť Charbonnet.
- Councilmember at Large: Another tough one. I’d like to vote for Malcolm Suber. He seems to be the only serious people’s candidate. But since this is a primary, the following calculus comes into play. It’s very likely we’ll see a runoff between Clarkson and Willard-Lewis. I don’t like either of them. Who else has a shot at the runoff? Maybe Boulet, maybe Vassel. I was very impressed by his performance at the forum I attended. Plus I note that Vassel just left a comment on this very blog, and that strokes my ego. I may just vote for him. I don’t think Suber has a prayer to get into the runoff, more’s the pity.
Don’t forget there’s four constitutional amendments on tomorrow’s ballot. Here’s how I think I’ll vote on them:
- Constitutional Amendment 1: Supplemental pay protection. FOR
- Constitutional Amendment 2: Supplemental pay expansion. AGAINST
- Constitutional Amendment 3: Funding of state retirement systems. FOR
- Constitutional Amendment 4: Tax exemption for consigned jewelry. AGAINST
As a footnote, we’ll be back at our old polling place (Warren Easton High School) for the first time since the flood. It’s another sign of recovery and a nice convenience for us since it’s only one block from our house. You can check your polling location online.