Monday, January 14, 2008

California 2008 Primary Election - My Vote is In

I completed my absentee ballot and mailed it today. I voted for John McCain, and against all seven of the ballot propositions.

Although even the organizations who placed Proposition 91 on the ballot recommended voting against it because it was no longer needed, it was even easier to vote “No!” on several other propositions than on 91.

Propositions 94, 95, 96, and 97 (allowing four southern California tribes to greatly increase their slot machines in exchange for tax revenue contributions totaling less than one percent of our state budget) were the easiest to vote against on many grounds. Primarily, they would expand gambling, which I wish was still confined to Nevada (including getting rid of state lotteries). Gambling promotes wasteful and irresponsible behavior, and the gambling businesses are guaranteed profits while the gambling public is guaranteed losses. Indian gambling has been and will be a constant source of problems for the Indians and for society. While some tribes have become extremely wealthy, most tribes haven’t, but the dream of casino riches has stifled efforts of many “poor” tribes and individuals to improve because they are waiting for their casino “ship” to come in.

Our local Pomo tribe on the Garcia River is one of many whose casino ship will never dock, but many lives are being wasted while waiting.

It was also a pleasure to vote against Proposition 92, which foolishly cuts junior college student fees while creating another bloated state agency. It also commits what I consider the cardinal sin of budgeting by instituting a funding mechanism that removes control from elected government officials. This creates another sacred budget cow, one that doesn’t even need to ask to be fed according to its formula, regardless of the condition of other government programs and funding considerations.

Proposition 93 was the toughest for me to put the “No” to because I’m not a believer in term limits. I think the historic election of 1994, when the Republican tsunami powered by Hillarycare swept the arrogant Democrats out after forty years in power, or the milder rebuke of Republicans in 2006 to remind them of the consequences of acting like the Democrats prior to 1994, demonstrated that we already have term limits - it's called a ballot box. I voted "no" because Proposition 93 struck me as a dishonest attempt to fool Californians into thinking they were supporting term limits, when they would really be extending the terms of many powerful Democrats.

I voted for John McCain even though I've disagreed with him on many issues.

McCain-Feingold for starters. Man-caused global warming and the need for governments to get involved, for another.

But of all the candidates of either party, he's the most genuine and honest by far. He never told us that he was once for something before he was against it, or that he voted for something because the President or someone else fooled him.

When all the other candidates forgot they knew and said that Saddam had WMD while Bill Clinton was president, John McCain has stood by his guns. The current trend in Iraq bears out the wisdom of his position, and rewards him for standing up and being counted the whole time.

Finally, I look up to John McCain for spending 5 and a half years in a North Vietnamese prisoner of war camp, enduring treatment and conditions that violated the Geneva Convention every day, and coming out strong and ready to continue serving his country. The worst day John Kerry experienced in his four months of duty in the rivers of South Vietnam was infinitely better than the best day John McCain spent in North Vietnam.

The Democrats went for John Kerry as a war hero, and denigrated the proud and demanding service of George W. Bush flying dangerous fighter jets. Previously Democrats backed a draft dodger over two genuine heroes of World War II, George H. W. Bush and Bob Dole.

I hope that they get another chance to cast a vote to honor a brave American, John McCain, and that this time they do it. I've just done my own small part. I look forward to doing much more later.

I don't have to agree with every thing John McCain does to know he's still the best person for the job.

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