My Primary Ballot Recommendations

So on Tuesday I’ll be voting in the Republican primary. I’ve spent some time figuring out who I’m going to vote for in the different races on the Lincoln County ballot, and thought I’d share it for anyone who might be interested:

President: Ron Paul. Duh.

Senate: Pete Di Lauro. If he can be trusted to his word (I have no other information to go on), he should be nominated because 1) he’s not Elizabeth Dole, and 2) he’s for bringing the troops home as quickly as possible. He’s also talked about reigning in the Federal Reserve by making it part of the Treasury (although it would be better if we eliminated it entirely, and we saw in the early 1800s the problems that can arise by mixing the Treasury with the banking system) and realizes our monetary policy is the source of our current economic woes.

US Congress District 10: Lance Sigmon. Let’s face it: it doesn’t take much to be better than McHenry. Not only that, he talks about cutting taxes AND spending (whereas most Republicans are just borrow-and-spend). He’s against gun control, which is good, but I can’t figure out what his policy on Iraq is (other than McHenry is a dooty-head). Still, all in all, an improvement over McHenry.

Governor: Okay, not Pat McCrory. A bad mayor would make a really bad governor.

Fred Smith’s been sending out fliers and copies of his (self-published) book, and I still don’t know what he stands for; someone who can use that many words and not actually say anything cannot be good.

Bill Graham has called for a gas tax “holiday;” make it permanent and I might like him. But he still needs to realize simple things, like the fact that water is a renewable resource and we in NC have one of the most plentiful supplies of potable water in the world, despite the “drought.”

Bob Orr? Don’t even get me started on his website…it should be submitted to “Web Pages That Suck.” Can we at least have functioning nav links? I can’t even use Google to get to the Issues page! At least he wants to “limit” corporate welfare, although “eliminate” would be better; why not make them compete for our money?

Elbie Powers will get my vote, even if I might have to hold one nostril shut to do it. At least he’s searching for profitable options other than tax, tax, and more tax. Add to that a fairly sensible education policy, and we could do a lot worse. If I can just get past his support for the death penalty…

Lt. Governor: Tim Cook may not say much, but what he does say I like. Greg Dority might as well be a cardboard cutout of a stereotypical Republican (and no, that’s not a good thing), Robert Pittenger’s website reads like a neocon manifesto, and Jim Snyder seems to be trying to distance himself from the neocons and McCain while not offering anything substantially different. I’m going with Cook.

Superintendent of Public Instruction: Eric H. Smith. Pure Libertarian. I think he’s the only Republican candidate running for any NC office who’s in favor of lifting the caps on charter schools.

County Commissioner: Okay, first off, not Patton or Moore; supporting the sales tax increase and the ridiculous tax-hike-in-not-much-of-a-disguise revaluation should not get anyone reelected. And not Funderburk or Mitchem, either; they had their chance.

I’m really glad to see the name Martin Oakes on the ballot. He’s been a rare voice of reason and sanity in Lincoln County politics for years.

As for the others, Louis McConnell thinks districting and growth “management” are both great, Clayton Mullis can’t seem to land on a position, John Sitzenstock’s answer for everything is more debt, and George Arena just loves the phrases “land use” and “adequate public facilities.”

So, although I get three votes, Oakes will be the only one I can place a mark next to.

Court of Appeals: If I could find where any one of them stated the Constitution is supreme and must be followed at all times, I’d vote for them. As it is, it looks like we’ll be sinking deeper into the quagmire. I’m not voting for any of them. EDIT: I’ve just been informed that Dean Pourier is a constitutionalist whom Eric Smith has endorsed. I trust Eric, so Pourier gets my vote.

Sales Tax Increase: NO!!! (Did you really need to ask?)

School Bond: Yeah, like we need another $44.6 million in debt. And notice that it specifically authorizes the levying of new taxes to pay off the bond and the interest. It’s just like the one in 2004. It may even be verbatim. It’ll just leave us with more Taj-Mahal buildings and students and teachers scraping for supplies. If you care at all about our children, vote no to this. And you may also want to ask yourself (and our county and state politicians), if we need new school buildings so badly, why won’t they just remove the caps on charter schools?

Anyway, that’s how I’m voting. Use the comments to agree or disagree with me all you want.

5 thoughts on “My Primary Ballot Recommendations

    • Libertarians aren’t on the ballot in NC…YET. I understand we just turned in enough valid signatures so we should be back on for the fall. In the meantime, I picked the Republican primary.

      Ron Paul is Libertarian everywhere except for immigration. Eric Smith is Libertarian through and through. Everything else was just damage control. If their platforms would increase liberty, I selected them. If not, I didn’t.

  1. Hey Shane, a few thoughts.

    I’m gonna skip over the whole Ron Paul thing.

    The stench of the county commissioner candidates is overwhelming. I can’t support any of the sitting commissioners mainly because of the anti-immigrant bill they passed last year that included language about how immigrants (read Hispanics) have “different health and hygine standards” from us European ubermenschen. I kid you not, go look it up.

    As for McConnell, Funderburk and Mitchem, they apparently are carrying water for Joe Kiser, who is still ticked off that his kid got fired from being county manager.

    As far as growth goes, don’t worry, if those three get elected, the libertarian dream of unfettered development will come true. Despite what he says, McConnell never met a developer he didn’t like.

    Martin Oakes has already sued the county and the school system, so I guess if he’s elected he at least won’t sue me for my tax dollars anymore.

    As far as schools Shane, I’d like to see more of these Taj Mahals you are talking about. And don’t say North Lincoln. Yes, it has a big lobby, but otherwise, it is built as plainly and cheaply as any other school. The problem with NL was that the board never walked the land before they bought it. If they had, they would have realized that it was a ridge with a creek that drops almost 1000 feet from one side of the property to the other. That’s why the school cost too much. Since then, the schools hired a guy to ride herd on the building process and make sure costs were not getting out of hand. As a result, the schools built since NL are more understated and less costly than the state averae I believe.

    I worry a bit about lifting the cap on charter schools. I’m not familiar enough with Lincoln’s charter school, but I worked at a charter in Washington DC. The guy who started it wanted to make money, and mismanged the whole thing. It closed shortly after I left. The real problem is that there are too many people moving in too fast and they expect to not pay any taxes and yet still get great services. That’s won’t work no whether the money goes to public schools or charter schools. Just some thoughts.

    • The problem, Chris, isn’t so much the Taj Mahals, but the attitude surrounding them. We’re going ANOTHER $44.6 million in debt (with the taxes that come from it) at a time when we absolutely don’t need to be doing it, so that we can have nice, fancy school buildings to show people who come and see the county–people who don’t largely see classes in session or know that most of the supplies were provided by the students’ parents or bought with the teacher’s own money.

      The Lincoln Charter School is EXCELLENT. My sister’s kids all go/went there, and I have Aleena enrolled for the fall. The point is about having a choice, which is why I support Eric Smith. If a charter school is badly managed, just don’t send your kid there!

      We are WAY overtaxed in this county, especially when compared to more developed counties. The idea shouldn’t be, let’s tax more so we can get more services, it should be, how can the money we have be more efficiently spent and what alternatives are there?

      At the very least, get the roads and the water/sewer where they should have been ten years ago…And what would be the big problem with letting people in the water/sewer district have alternatives such as well/septic or third-party services to ease the capacity problems? Or just privatizing the thing entirely?

      Oh, and as for the developer thing, what’s going on there is hardly libertarian. It amounts to corporatism, which libertarians are absolutely against. They use zoning to stifle most land owners while making sweet deals for their developer buddies. Land is land, and if a certain piece of land is more valuable it’ll be reflected in the sale price.

  2. I agree that many things could be done more efficiently. Trust me, I have some ideas on how to make the school system’s technology budget go a lot further. But overall, I think we do a decent job. As a teacher in this system, I just don’t see the books and supplies problem being that bad. I always had pretty much what I needed. The arts sometimes got shafted on books but that’s more the result of a focus on testing than misspent money.

    I REALLY agree with the water/sewer thing, especially allowing alternatives. I’ll keep my well and septic thank you very much. They are a whole lot less environmentally damaging than pouring slightly cleaned toilet water back into the river.

    The problem with water and sewer, and development as a whole *is* more related to “corporatism.” We built out the water and sewer to places that developers were interested in, but didn’t have the necessesary density. As any planner will tell you, density should be the main (if not only) thing that decides where pipes go. In Lincoln we overextended.

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