Wednesday, October 20, 2004

The Android's Dungeon Endorses!

I have to fill out my absentee ballot, so I thought I'd share the research I did to come to my decisions. So long secret ballot -- take that, Australia!

President


I think Jon Stewart summed it up best: "If one guy drove me into a ditch and said, 'Don't worry, I know how to get us out of this,' I'd give the keys to a 7-year-old." The Android's Dungeon recommends a vote for John Kerry.

U.S. Senator


Let's take a look at an article about the Mikulski/Pipkin debate, since I, like 99% of Marylanders, didn't watch it. Let's see. Pipkin criticized Mikulski for voting to raise taxes "350 times", opposing the Medicare prescription drug bill, and opposing some of Bush's court nominees. On the first charge, if he's using the same math Bush uses to count how many times Kerry has voted to raise taxes, he's lying. Also, even if she has, we have a deficit spiraling out of control, so maybe we should send her back to keep trying. On the second charge, the prescription drug bill was a big waste. The Bush administration covered up the bill's true costs. Finally, the Constitution gives the Senate the task of approving judicial nominees. Inherent in that is the right to disapprove. If Mikulski says she voted for 95% of the Bush nominees, that seems a bit high. The Android's Dungeon recommends a vote for Barbara Mikulski.

Representative


We've got the second most powerful Democrat in the House representing us. Why mess up a good thing? The Android's Dungeon recommends a vote for Steny Hoyer.

Judge of the Circuit Court


"Vote for No More Than Three"? Conveniently, there are only three people on the ballot. I tend to think judges should stay in office unless they embarrass themselves significantly. In fact, I'm not sure we should be voting on them. So I Googled the candidates to see if I came up with anything embarrassing. I didn't find anything embarrassing -- well, not for them, but I think the State of Maryland should be embarrassed for misspelling "Judge". The Android's Dungeon doesn't really care how you vote on this one.

Judge, Court of Special Appeals


This one is a "for continuance in office" that passes the Google test.

Ballot Questions


Questions A-E are for approving bonds allowing the county to borrow money for roads, libraries, public safety, county buildings and community colleges. The League of Women Voters directs me to a web site where I can look up the text of these bills. Unfortunately, the text just gives a list of projects and refers me to the county "capital program" for details. I can't find the county capital program on-line. They're making this too difficult. In general, I'm going to vote no. But the roads need help, and I find it hard to believe that libraries can't use the money, so yes on A & B, no on C, D & E.

Questions F, G, H and I are a big mess, but it's basically explained here. The key here is Question H, which will add 2 at-large seats to the County Council. Seems reasonable enough. But it will also make the top vote-getter from the two at-large seats the Council Chair. That seems a little pointless. Question G will overturn that second provision. Question F will amend the term limits rules to prevent my council member from running for one of the at-large seats. I hate term limits, so no on that. Question I will make the at-large members non-voting members. This is just a big waste of time. So yes on G & H, no on F & I.

Question J reduces the number of hours the county can hire temporary employees for. If they want me to vote for this, they need to explain it better. No on J.
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