My Blog List

People I Know

Eclectic Folks

Media Blogs

Politics, Policy Blogs

Page Rank

Check Page Rank of your Web site pages instantly:

This page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

Monday, November 06, 2006

VOTE, Dammit!

I was looking for some articles that said essentially that title, when I came across this Kids article, "Kids learn issues and value of voting" from September 30, 1998:
Several kids had trouble naming even one local candidate.
But they all had an opinion on President Clinton's troubles. "He's going to be impeached. He lied to everybody," said Liz Wagner, 13, of St. William School in Price Hill [OH].
She said she wished the president were up for election this year so she could vote against him.

I wonder, now that she can actually vote, what she thinks of the CURRENT President.

Anyway, when you're behind in reading the newspaper, people say to you, "Oh, I read that thing you wrote in the paper," and I say, "Say what?" The local paper has this Times Union Reader Network, and seven of us had our answers printed: "The most important race is the 20th Congressional District between U.S. Rep. John Sweeney ...and Democratic challenger Kirsten Gillibrand - alas, not in my district - because it's a competitive race, a lot more so than I would have imagined, which may influence whether the Democrats will capture the House."
This is a particular nasty race, in which the incumbent is, among other things, indicated in ads that his opponent is getting 88.4% of her campaign moneys from outside the district. Assuming that this is true, what percentage of HIS campaign money is coming from beyond the district? Truly, it's easy to imagine that most of the money to BOTH campaigns are coming from outside. Look at the map, and you'll see Albany, Schenectady and Troy just west of that indentation. With no competitive race in their/my district, those people who are seeing these ads are likely contributors to one or another candidate in the neighboring CD, not to mention the national Congressional campaigns from both parties. I won't even get into the 911 call that Sweeney's wife apparently made last December that the Sweeney camp is claiming the Gillibrand camp leaked to the press. Oh, here's another take on this race (Nov. 2).

I also wrote in the paper: "The most important issue is whether the Republicans can hold onto the state Senate. Based on his recent pouting, I sense the majority leader fears that this will not be so."

Then there's a school board election tomorrow here in Albany as well as the more visible races. In New York State, most school boards are elected in May, along with the vot on the budget. But in Albany, while the school budget, the library budget, and the library board are voted on in May, the school board race can get buried in the larger races of November.

So who to vote for? It happens that my wife heard one candidate, Mark Barth, speak, and she was very impressed. Then I find myself easily influenced by people who are involved, such as my friend Leah, who sent out a gushing endorsement for Mark Barth. Then my friend Leif noted that all the right yards (i.e., the lawns of the progressive folks in town) have Mark Barth signs. So, sometimes, I cede finding out all I can and end up up voting for people who people I trust recommend. Here's one good example of that. Still don't know who ELSE I'm going to vote for (3 candidates for 2 positions).

Also, Pete Seeger called to urge me to vote for the Working Families Party. O.K., his recorded voice. I will, but it's not because of Pete. Eliot Spitzer is cross-endorsed on the WFP, a peculiarly NYS thing, cross-endorsements. The number of votes each party gets determines the ballot position for the next four years. More importantly, it determines whether a political party is actually a recognized party or not. This is why the Green Party ran Al "Grandpa Munster" Lewis for governor in 1998, not because he would win, but because he would likely assure that the party would automatically be on the ballot from 1999 to 2002; he did. (The 2002 gubernatorial candidate didn't get 50,000 votes, but I think the Greens took some sort of legal action to stay viable.)

Tony Bennett also "called" me, to get me to vote for Hillary Clinton. Sorry, Tony, I have a number of your albums, I saw you at Tanglewood a few years ago with Diana Krall, but I think I'll be voting for a minor party candidate this year. Thanks anyway, Tony.

So, right now, I'm voting for 6 or 7 WFPs, 2 Greens, and 1 Democrat. Still don't know who I'm voting for in the comptroller's race, the incumbent Democrat Hevesi, who may be forced to resign for his improprieties, or Callaghan, the Republican, who all my friends in the know think would be TERRIBLE. The rationale for voting for Hevesi is that he (they fervently hope) would resign after being re-elected, or failing that, removed. In any case, the Democrats would be able to replace him. The technical word for this is YUCKY.
Your Vote Score: 26% Republican, 74% Democrat

While you don't always agree with the Democrat party, it's a pretty good match for you.
Do be sure to research each candidate. A liberal Republican or independent candidate might fit you better at times.

In another NYS Congressional race, the guy from the band Orleans ("Dance with Me"), John Hall, is running a surprisingly close race against Republican incumbent Sue Kelly. She won't be "Still The One" if Hall can defeat her. Hall, BTW, co-wrote one of my favorite songs recorded by Janis Joplin, "Half Moon".
Gay Prof worries that you won't vote. Lefty worries - really worries - that you'll vote, but it'll be stolen technologically. Meanwhile this Brit is just taking it all in.
Oh, I took that Don't Vote AARP test:
"You scored 350 out of 350 possible points, or 100.00%
Not only should you vote, you should consider a career in politics."
Well, thanks, but no thanks.


Roger Owen Green said...

this was forwarded to me:

> Every Reason to Vote for Hevesi
> (Please forward this article)
> Are you as appalled as we are at the ongoing debates about Alan
> Hevesi’s "ethical lapse"? It almost makes us ashamed to be
> Democrats--not because of Mr. Hevesi, but because other Democrats
> including Mr. Spitzer have allowed the "wuss factor" to override
> their good judgment. We are not saying that Mr. Hevesi did no wrong.
> He did--and he deserves to be fined, sanctioned, or whatever is
> decided. An ethical lapse is a far cry from criminal behavior. Ask
> Bill Clinton. There is every reason to vote for Alan Hevesi this
> coming Tuesday. Consider the following:
>> Where were/are we in our moral outrage when we have had to spend
>> hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars to provide "safety and
>> security" on 3 (three!) houses  (Garrison, Essex Co. and the Mansion)
>> for a governor who has spent more time in Hungary, Iowa, New
>> Hampshire and other states than he has here in the Capital of NY. He
>> has never lived in the Mansion. We still have to pay to maintain and
>> guard it. The Governor did not give a knee jerk reaction to all of
>> this--and neither should we.
>> Where is our moral outrage on the fact that we cannot get
>> legislation passed where mental illness is treated in the same way
>> as physical illness by our insurance companies. Mr. Hevesi should be
>> supported for trying to provide safety, security and privacy to his
>> wife in very difficult circumstances and not abandoning her. If we
>> did not have biased attitudes toward mental illness, maybe he could
>> have been more open and dealt with the security issue in a more
>> appropriate way. Where were his political friends then--especially
>> those who are abandoning him now? And where are the mental health
>> advocates weighing in on this?
>> Do you really think that Mr. Callaghan is a competent, credible
>> state comptroller? We do not. His fiscal and social ideas are about
>> as passe as his bowtie. As Saratoga County Comptroller, he was cited
>> for problems in his operation of the office. He made serious
>> "errors" in his mortgage application. And he is going to run the
>> state pension fund and audit others' books?
>> A vote for Callaghan is a vote for Republican extremism. The Empire
>> State Pride Agenda says that  “Christopher Callaghan has attacked
>> Comptroller Hevesi on several occasions for his office’s recognition
>> that marriages between same-sex couples performed in Canada must be
>> treated the same as any other marriage when it comes to NYS
>> retirement benefits and obligations...  ... Christopher Callaghan
>> needs to stop beating up on gay families to advance his campaign.”
> Keep in mind fellow Democrats--and others. Not voting for Hevesi is a
> vote for an extremely incompetent right-wing reactionary candidate:
> Callaghan. Let the Legislature decide what his penalty should be. He
> is a good man. He is not a criminal. And he deserves better from us.
> He has done his job well; he has served the people of NY well. This
> is more than his opponent is capable of. A vote for Alan Hevesi is a
> vote for the future of New York State.
> Oh... did we mention that not voting at all is a vote for Callaghan?
> Election day is Tuesday. Vote for Alan Hevesi as if your life
> depended on it.
> It may.
> Comments?
> Was this email forwarded to you? Would you like to get your own copy
> of our news and notices? (Sign Up here!)
> Visit us at

Anonymous said...

Insulting Our Troops, and Our Intelligence
Published: November 3, 2006

George Bush, Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld think you’re stupid. Yes, they do.

They think they can take a mangled quip about President Bush and Iraq by John Kerry — a man who is not even running for office but who, unlike Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, never ran away from combat service — and get you to vote against all Democrats in this election.
Let Karl know that you’re not stupid. Let him know that you know that the most patriotic thing to do in this election is to vote against an administration that has — through sheer incompetence — brought us to a point in Iraq that was not inevitable but is now unwinnable.

Let Karl know that you think this is a critical election, because you know as a citizen that if the Bush team can behave with the level of deadly incompetence it has exhibited in Iraq — and then get away with it by holding on to the House and the Senate — it means our country has become a banana republic. It means our democracy is in tatters because it is so gerrymandered, so polluted by money, and so divided by professional political hacks that we can no longer hold the ruling party to account.

It means we’re as stupid as Karl thinks we are.

I, for one, don’t think we’re that stupid. Next Tuesday we’ll see.

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

This Tuesday, there are three candidates running for 2 seats on the Albany City School Board. I am writing to encourage you to vote for both Mark Barth and Wayne Morris.

I have known Mark Barth for many years through his involvement in the facilities bond issue, his work on school budget votes, and as an involved parent of two children in the Albany City Schools. In addition to his long-standing commitment to improving our schools, Mark is an experienced educator who is currently employed by the State Education Department as an expert in the field of improving urban middle and high schools. His knowledge, commitment and eloquence will be welcomed additions to the Board.

I am also supporting Wayne Morris. Wayne has worked in the district and served on numerous district and school committees for over 20 years. As chairperson of the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee, Wayne has received the respect and appreciation of people across the district for his hard-work, careful deliberation, and commitment to improving the district. The following comment recently shared with me in an email is typical of the type of comments I have heard about Wayne:

"... I have worked with Wayne Morris on a scholarship ( for AHS students) fundraiser. He was highly organized, responsible, friendly and ran a great program. People raved about the event and about working with him. He was very modest about organizing and running the entire event. I enjoyed working with him, mostly because he did what he said he would do and always followed through. Thanks for giving him this support."

The third candidate is Ed Brown. Although I had supported Ed in his initial election 4 years ago, I regret that my experience on the board this past year prevents me from supporting him again. While I could go on for pages about my frustrations in serving with Ed this past year, let it suffice to say, he has been insulting and counterproductive. The lack of reference in his campaign literature to any of his accomplishments over the last 4 years speaks volumes in itself. His year as President has been unremarkable, except for the controversy it has stirred and the lack of definitive action.

I firmly believe that our district can address the many complex issues before it, including increasing achievement for all students, closing the achievement gap, ensuring a safe and nuturing environment for all students, and getting our fair share of state aid and charter school relief, without being divisive. We need to engage the community more, not exclude it, and in the process, have more productive dialogs and come up with creative solutions that the community, as well as district staff and the board, can support. I hope I will have your support in helping elect two new board members who are committed to engaging in such dialogs with me, other board members, district staff, and the community to help ensure we make better decisions and regain the confidence of the community in our schools and our board. Please remember to vote for Mark Barth and Wayne Morris this Tuesday.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Judy Doesschate