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.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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