Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Final Election Run-Down: "How Do You Govern?" (LINKS)

I finally had an opportunity to listen to last week's episode of And Then There's That, featuring one of my favorite state politicos - Comptroller Peter Franchot.  Early on in the discussion, Peter was discussing Washington gridlock and the nastiness of Congressional politics, wondering amongst all of that "How do you govern?"

What an interesting question; with a different inquiry on each emphasis:

How do you govern?
How do you govern?
How do you govern?

That question, in all three forms, will be all that's left come Wednesday (please let that be all that's left.  Pah-leeease).  After all the campaigning is done, and you've either fetched the golden ring, or returned to relative obscurity, how do you govern (yourself) (your office) (the matters before your deliberative body) (your constituents)?

That question applies to all of us.  Are you better known for what you're against than what you're for?  Have you kicked the tires on citizen engagement, or are you a "Facebook freedom fighter"?  Have you learned something over the past two years that you're passionate about and would rather not leave at the doorstep of November 7th?  How do you govern?

Here are some links to help you through today's ballot:

My thoughts on Board of Education: Gertler, Giles, Scott

This is an unpredictable race, folks.  Make sure to vote loud and proud this afternoon, and if you have a chance, maybe drop your favorite candidate a line to see if they need help working a poll.  I am disappointed that I will not be able to work a poll for the first time since moving back to the County, as I have a meeting (who'da thunk it?).  Please think hard on your vote.  Let's not swap out one controversy for the next.

Questions 1 & 2 (Orphan's Court): Lawyers are normally good at handling legal matters.  Vote Yes.
Question 3 (Removal from Office): Force corrupt politicians from office?  Yes, please.  Vote Yes.
Question 4 (DREAM Act): Never say no to education.  Vote Yes.
Question 5 (Congressional Redistricting): Save the Rabbit. Vote No.
Question 6 (Marriage Equality): All you need is love. Vote Yes.
Question 7 (Expanded Gambling): Money for nothing and the slot machines for free.  Vote No.

Howard County Charter Amendments:
Questions A, B, D, and E - Vote Yes.
Question C - Vote No.

I've never been one to hold a clipboard outside of a Giant asking people to sign, but it only takes a quick glance at Questions 5 and 7 on this ballot to appreciate the ability to petition laws for referendum.  As I was quoted as saying in The Sun, under this amendment, the threshold for signatures will continue to move further away while grassroots resources remain stagnant, particularly when one needs to mobilize within a matter of weeks in order to have a successful petition.

If you want to do away with the ability to post a law for referendum, I strongly encourage you to vote for this Amendment.  That is a reasonable position and one with a lot of thought behind it.  I just don't agree.

President: Barack Obama

There really is no use sharing this vote, other than to fully inform whomever clicks across this page.  If they think I'm a socialist "community organizer" (gasp!) with a deficiency in economics because I support the President, that may color their view of my endorsements above.  But I will tell you that I've given this vote a lot of thought, specifically seeking out Price of Politics after learning that it was critical of the President and his handling of the debt ceiling crisis.  I have immersed myself in all of the Rove, TownHall, Newsmax, Fox News critiques that I've come across, only to leave more confident in my decision.  This isn't a vote against Mitt Romney.  It is a vote for the President.

I would go into my reasoning here (and actually just deleted the same), but I feel we have lost the ability to speak reasonably about Presidential politics.  Over the weekend, I posted an article on Facebook offering a different view on the Benghazi attacks than those put forth by Fox News and other conservative outlets.  It effectively ruined my weekend.  I'm not doing that today.

Please come out for the Isle of Sanity tonight at The Rumor Mill.  As an added consideration, my wife is from the Jersey Shore and will be participating in "Operative Fill the Subaru" to bring items up to families affected by Hurricane Sandy (so, no one gets named Sandra for the next ten years, right?).  If you wouldn't mind looking over this list and bringing along any requested items to tonight's event, it would make Jane very happy (my core goal in life):

Baby: diapers, etc./Food/Clothing
Kids: Clothing/Activities/Games/Toys (please no battery or electronic)
Adult: Clothing

Supplies: work gloves, batteries, flashlights, thermos, hand warmers
Pets: Pet food/bowls/collars/crates
Canned/nonperishable food/bottled water
Warm Clothing: Coats, hats, scarves, gloves, socks, thermal underwear (new please), sweatshirts, sweatpants, slippers
Medical: C Collars, roller gauze, bandages, disposable blankets, tape, rubber gloves, trauma dressings, band aids, peroxide, alcohol, slings, antibacterial ointment, ace bandages

We will also look to set up another drop-off later in the week, possibly at our house.


Nate Silver notes some last minutes surges in the poll numbers for Obama, placing a 91.6% likelihood that the President wins re-election tonight.

RCP's No Toss-up Map predicts a final Electoral tally of 303 to 235.  I don't agree.  I think Obama could lose Colorado and possibly Virginia (although the ground game there has been strong).  My prediction: 294 to 244.  Feel free to include your electoral projections below.

Interesting news came out yesterday that while Democrats across the State have encouraged voters to "Vote Yes on 4, 5, 6, and 7", Peterson Cos., the beneficiary of expanded gambling in National Harbor, has dropped $270,000 into a "sample ballot" initiative urging voters to Vote No on 4, 5, and 6, but Yes on 7.  Just as interesting as Peterson going against the Dems is the fact that State GOP Chair Audrey Scott has put her face on a piece of literature advocating for Question 7.

On the heels of Sandy, we're expected to receive a "wintry mix" on Wednesday into Thursday that will also affect the Jersey Shore.  Please think of those families when you're sorting through unwanted sweatshirts.  (You're never going to fit into that Notre Dame hoodie again, let it go.  Tell yourself it shrunk.  It's ok).

Approximately 20% of all Howard County registered voters took advantage of early voting last week.  Jane and I thought we would give it a try Friday night, but the line out of the Bain Senior Center at around 8 pm was about 30-40 people deep.  I would much rather vote at my sparsely attended polling station this afternoon.

Kevin Enright has left the "best and the brightest" over at Team Ulman to begin work with the University of Maryland School of Medicine.  My only real interaction with Kevin was when I had an appointment to meet with the County Executive on the same day that there was a "liquid manure spill" on Main Street in Ellicott City.  I cannot share the words that were spoken on that day, but will only relay that the periodic updates provided by Kevin to Ken were hilarious.

Featured Blog Post of the Day: TJ makes it out from blogging hiatus to offer his perspective on the Election questions.  Always a great read.

That's all for today.  Have a great Tuesday voting for what you love!