Voting Voting Voting

November 3rd, 2008 by Editor B

Got my sample ballot. Let me take a look at this thing. Fourteen items all told.

Louisiana Secretary of State
Precinct Ballot Data Inquiry
Ballot for Election Date: 11/04/08
Parish: Orleans Precinct: 04 05

Presidential Electors
1 to be elected
Democratic Party, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Democrat
Green Party, Cynthia McKinney, Rosa Clemente, Green
Republican Party, John McCain, Sarah Palin, Republican
Constitution Party, Chuck Baldwin, Darrell Castle, Other
Independent, Ralph Nader, Matt Gonzalez, Other
Louisiana Taxpayers Party, “Ron” Paul, Barry Goldwater, Jr., Other
Prohibition, Gene Amondson, Leroy Pletten, Other
Socialism and Liberation, Gloria La Riva, Eugene Puryear, Other
Socialist Workers Party, James Harris, Alyson Kennedy, Other

I believe Cynthia McKinney is the candidate who most reflects my values. However, I am considering voting for Obama despite his conservative authoritarian stance, because of other reasons, some of which I mentioned last week. I’d kind of like to be able to tell my daughter I voted for him.

U. S. Senator
1 to be elected
Mary Landrieu, Democrat, Ballot # 1
Richard Fontanesi, Libertarian, Ballot # 2
John Kennedy, Republican, Ballot # 4
“Jay” Patel, No Party, Ballot # 5
Robert Stewart, Other, Ballot # 6

Ugh. I’m not particularly a fan of Landrieu. But the smear campaigns against her by the Republicans are so over-the-top, especially the allegation that she voted to give Social Security benefits to illegal immigrants, that it makes me want to vote for her. I hate voting for incumbents, though. I can’t find any information about Patel or Stewart. The Libertarian guy sounds OK:

Fontanesi said that, if elected, he would work to end the deployment of U.S. troops in Iraq. He said the war “has squandered far too much national treasure and pointlessly placed U. S. troops in harm’s way.”

So I think I will probably vote for him.

U. S. Representative, 2nd Congressional District-Democratic Party
1 to be elected
William J. Jefferson, Democrat, Ballot # 13
Helena Moreno, Democrat, Ballot # 15

I can’t vote in the Democratic primary because I’m registered Green.

Judge, Criminal District Court, Section F
1 to be elected
Yolanda J. King, Democrat, Ballot # 77
Robin Pittman, Democrat, Ballot # 78

I see the Ring endorsed King. That’s almost enough to make me support Pittman.

District Attorney, Criminal District Court (Reg. & Unexp.Term)
1 to be elected
Leon A. Cannizzaro, Jr., Democrat, Ballot # 93
Ralph Capitelli, Democrat, Ballot # 94

I voted for Williams in the primary. He has endorsed Capitelli so I will probably vote for him. It’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Update: Reading the Laura Maggi’s account I’m now leaning to Cannizzaro because of his approach to diverting low-level, non-violent offenders into special rehabilitation programs. It’s a well-known fact that Orleans Parish Prison is stuffed with low-level, non-violent offenders while murderers kill with impunity. I still think it’s a toss-up on which guy is better. Thanks to Adrastos for the link.

CA No. 1 (Act 935-SB232), 2 1/2 terms in 3 consec.terms not appt/elect
1 to be elected
FOR
AGAINST

I’m generally for term limits. But both the Times-Picayune and the Bureau of Governmental Research are against this amendment. When a government watchdog group come out against term limits, it gives me pause.

CA No. 2 (Act 937-SB296), Extra Session – 7 calendar days prior
1 to be elected
FOR
AGAINST

Two more days notice for special legislative sessions — are you kidding me? For a matter of two days we’re being asked to amend the constitution? I’m voting against this and would like to slap whoever championed it in the first place.

CA No. 3 (Act 931-HB183), Legis.-temp. successor ordered active duty
1 to be elected
FOR
AGAINST

Against. If a legislator is called up to active duty, he or she should resign and let a new election be held. This is rare; it’s only happened once in the last 36 years.

CA No. 4 (Act 932-HB420), Increase gen.severance tax allocat.to parish
1 to be elected
FOR
AGAINST

Give parishes a greater share of the tax revenue (already being collected) for mineral exploitation in their boundaries? OK, sure.

CA No. 5 (Act 933-HB461), New Prop. purchased / replace prop. sold
1 to be elected
FOR
AGAINST

This seems vague and confusing. I’m against.

CA No. 6 (Act 936-SB295), Remove certain restrictions on blighted prop
1 to be elected
FOR
AGAINST

Basically this backpedals on an amendment from two years ago. This makes it easier for government to resell blighted property. I’m for it.

CA No. 7 (Act 934-HB584), Contributions to post-employ. benefit funds
1 to be elected

FOR
AGAINST

Ugh. Complicated financial stuff I don’t pretend to understand. BGR is for it.

PW CC – HRC Amendment, HRC Amendment – City of New Orleans – CC
1 to be elected
Parish Propositions Text
YES
NO

Oh, yes. A master plan with the force of law. A formal citizen participation program. I am definitely in support of this and encourage everyone in Orleans Parish to support it. Don’t be dissuaded by those who say we’re being asked to approve a plan that doesn’t exist yet; that’s a specious argument.

Update: Much more eloquent thoughts on the proposition from Celcus and Karen G.

Mid-City Security Dist., Parcel Fee – City Council – 6 Yrs.
1 to be elected
Parish Propositions Text
YES
NO

Hmmm. A bit conflicted about this one. My neighbors have organized this. There’s a website which answers a lot of questions people might have.

On the one hand, these special taxing districts are not good policy. I don’t like the notion of paying extra for a basic service that should already be in place for the entire city. I don’t like the security district concept; I think New Orleans now has 31 of them. But on the other hand, such security districts are never voted out of existence, so presumably people like them. And I want to support what my neighbors have worked for.

If you live in Mid-City check out the FAQs and make up your own mind.

As I always, I welcome any informed and thoughtful comments on any of the matters on our ballot.

One Response to “Voting Voting Voting”

  1. Anthony Says:

    B.

    I will tell you why I oppose the Master Plan Charter change.

    Because the fear of being zoned out of existence is real because it has happened before.

    If you wonder why many of our storefronts are empty it is because simple economics dictates that no one will spend a penny on a building they cannot use.

    So, when my family’s storefronts are zoned out of existence, it makes it hard to trust zoning. Particularly when this measure comes from the NIMBY wing of our city who is prepared to shout NO at any new development.

    If this master plan does not enshrine as it’s primary goal economic development, this city is DONE!!!

    THERE IS NO HISTORIC PRESERVATION WITHOUT ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

    If there is no money to fix anything there is no historic anything. And if there are no jobs there is no one to live in anything anyone might want to preserve anyway. I know we have a lot of people here who “moved in for the funkiness and stayed for the decay” but those of us born here have seen everyone else who wanted any chance at economic success move away. The one thing this city does well is tell people NO and we want to make it easier. And when we have run off all business, and all the people have followed them who is going to be here?

    This process will not take money out of the zoning process, it will simply increase the number of people who need to be paid off. Some days it seems as if it is a game, whereby they restrict what you can do with your property and make you pay for the pleasure of doing with a building what it was designed for. The current restrictive CZO probably bought more politicians houses than any other document in our city. Remove the restrictions and you remove the money.

    We can wait until the plan is written to see if it protects our interests. We don’t have to write this process a blank check. As anyone who was involved in the UNOP process or BNOB process knows, everyone can participate but eventually someone decides. You can input all you want, in the end we are going to have a plan that everyone may find unacceptable.

    It’s strange to get worked up over zoning but I have seen the destruction that restrictive zoning has brought to my city. More people have left New Orleans over projects that didn’t happen and lack of economic opportunity than have EVER left because an “inappropriate project” was built nearby.

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