Well, it’s time once again to place our marks onto ballots and pretend that it actually makes a difference. The most important point to remember is that sometimes not making any mark at all makes the biggest difference.
Let’s get the easy one out of the way first:
US Senate: Mike Beitler. The only other choices are Richard Burr, who’s less fiscally conservative than Bill Clinton, and Elaine Marshall, who seems to think that printing more money will somehow work all of a sudden. Beitler, on the other hand, is truly for smaller government, including bringing our troops home and ending senseless, expensive, and failed policies like the War on Drugs. No contest.
US House: None. Let’s face it, it’s between Patrick McHenry–another pesudoconservative–and Jeff Gregory, who thinks that we can solve everything with magical tax cuts and not have to worry about cutting spending to match (also, worst website ever!).
Constitutional Amendment: Is it just me, or does anyone else think they should publish the exact text of the amendment on the ballot? Anyway, here it is. This is a bad idea for several reasons:
First, North Carolina has a lot of dumb laws on the books, making it illegal to do things like give someone an alcoholic beverage in a room where people are pretending to gamble (NCGS § 14-293) or stealing pine needles (NCGS § 14-79.1).
Second, a lot of people commit felonies when they’re young and make mistakes. Many of them develop into good, honorable people despite–and in some cases even because of–these mistakes.
The very concept of a system of individual liberty means that someone should have their full rights restored upon completion of their sentence. All of them. Including the right to seek public office, even sheriff.
A candidate’s background–including his criminal record–comes into play when running for office. The voters can certainly decide to reject a candidate because of his criminal record. (And if their choice is diminished in this, it can only be because of North Carolina’s hideously restrictive ballot access and election system.)
It’s also interesting that this is confined to the office of sheriff, and not (say) to County Commissioners or state legislators. How many legislators would we no longer have if this were the case? (I’ll refrain from making a crack about Commissioner candidate Loy Dellinger. His case was most likely a bad rap–which actually supports my points here, anyway.)
What it all boils down to is, I’m voting against the Constitutional amendment.
State and local offices below the fold.