Election Selection 2004

Nov 1, 2004

Way back in 2002, I opened my votes on the coming election to the general public. I’ve decided to continue the tradition.

I have to say it was easier this time around. There are far less offices up for grabs. Finding information on each candidate was only a google search or convenient voter guide away. Below is my full ballot for tomorrow, Nov. 2nd.

President and Vice President: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney

This choice was the easiest of the lot. I’ve been exposed to the issues and I’ve had a lot of time to think about it. I feel comfortable with my choice. Here’s why.

I’m not a huge fan of the President when it comes to a lot of things. He spends way too much money. The government has grown in both size and power since he took office. These are hardly the acts of a conservative man. While we may agree on the issue, his plans for a constitutional ammendment on gay marriage is a waste of time on an issue that should be settled by the states. There are are other issues I’d rather consider when pandering to the religious right.

Does all of this matter? Not really. The War on Terror has center stage. It’s the issue that directly affects me and my family. It’s the issue that determined my vote this time around.

I’m of the opinion that President Bush has done good and, sometimes, great job of fighting terrorism. In the wake of the terrorist attacks on 9/11, we’ve shown resolve. We’ve chased terrorists into their holes. We’ve taken their money. Today we fight them on their soil, not our own. We’ve found a language they can understand: force.

You can argue that we’ve screwed the pooch in Iraq. I’d disagree. There’s some tough work to be done there. A declared enemy is gone. The efforts of our military have freed millions from an oppressive regime. We’ve done some good. We’ll continue to do some good.

On this issue, Bush wins clearly.

Kerry offers change. He promises cooperation. He expects France and Germany, the two missing pieces of our alliance against Iraq, to throw their hat in the ring just because of a changing of the guard. That’s very optimistic. I fear he doesn’t understand how international diplomacy thing works.

Kerry promises that he won’t turn the keys of our military over to the United Nations. He says he’s a moderate. I don’t believe him. His voting history and words betray him. We don’t need a global litmus test. We need to act like the most powerful nation in the world and, sometimes, we need to act in our own best interests.

I know only one candidate I trust to do that.

U.S. Senator: E.J. Pipkin

This choice was difficult. On one hand, Mikulski‘s long tenure in the Senate positions her well to protect the interests of Maryland. From what I’ve seen, she’s done exactly that. Her record on national defense can be questioned. Her commitment on issues of terror cannot.

On the other hand, Mikulski and I disagree a lot. Her opponent, E.J. Pipkin has done little to impress me and still wins my vote by default. I’ll take solace in the fact that he doesn’t stand a chance in hell. Four more years of Mikulski is par for the course.

Side story: I once met Mikulski at the state fair years ago. She was handing out banners. I expressed no interest in attaining one. What followed was an odd exchange of refusal. I didn’t realize it was her doing the solicitation. If I had, I would have been more receptive to her attempts to label me with a sticker. She gets my apologies. She still doesn’t get my vote.

Representative in Congress, District 2: Dutch Ruppersberger

Ruppersberger and I also disagree a lot. That said, we agree more than Mikulski and I. He isn’t a bad choice and is better qualified for the job than his upstart opponent. Hopefully, this vote will balance out my vote above.

Judge of the Circuit Court, Circuit 5: David S. Bruce, Michele D. Jaklitsch, Rodney C. Warren

The difficulty of this selection lies in the lack of information I have to make a decision. Who are these people? My guess is that the first three on the ballot will win. However, I’ll buck this sure to be trend and go for the incumbents.

Judge, Court of Special Appeals at Large: Joseph F Murphy, Jr.

This vote is for a continuance in office. Given that I haven’t heard anything bad about Mr. Murphy, I’ll fall happily in line.

County Question A: Purchase Contract Limits: Nay

In their second attempt in as many election cycles, the county wants to raise the minimum value of a purchase that they can make without having to open the purchase up for competitive bidding. I might not have a problem with a slight raise. However, they want to raise it by 2 1/2 times its current value. That’s too much. Do your homework, officials. Go get us a good price.

That’s it. With my choices made, I plan to hang around the TV a lot tomorrow evening. It’s going to be an fun race. If you are still undecided, feel free to print out the above and copy it down at the polling place of your choice. I won’t mind. Trust me.

by | Categories: politics |

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2 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Tina
    November 2nd, 2004 at 10:51 pm #

    Raising the minimum value required for noncompetitive bids: voted for, on the theory that this puts it more in line with the federal government’s minimum. Competitive bidding costs money – somebody’s got to get the vendors to bid, evaluate their bids, select a winner. Question is the break-even point where we gain more via competitive bidding than it costs us for the process.

    [I’m in an accounting mood again tonight. And this crosses interestingly with work stuff, giving me an actual opinion on one of those referendum items.]

  2. Ken
    November 3rd, 2004 at 8:41 am #

    Tina,

    Even though the ballot item says that the county would require 3 quotes in that now vacated 10,000 to 25,000 range this time around, a reasonable middle ground, they still didn’t sway me. My problem is less with the concept and more with the amount of increase. They more than doubled the amount and I’d argue that the county and the federal government should work on different pay scales. That’s too aggressive an increase.

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