Friday, October 20, 2006

How I Voted on November 7, 2006

How I Voted on November 7, 2006

Yes, there's some cognitive dissonance in that headline!

More accurately, I should say I voted absentee-in-person today in the 11/07/06 General Election. It was about 1:15 PM, so there's was nobody else in the Absentee Voting office (located on the 2nd floor at 300 N. Tucker).

I noticed they had cheesy little ES&S pen/paperclip promotionals for folks to fill out their paper absentee ballot application forms. It's kinda funny, since they did not pick ES&S for their contract, but Diebold Election Systems instead.

I voted absentee because I again plan to work for the Election Board as a Technical Specialist that day, hopefully at the same place I worked in August: Froebel Elementary School in the 20th ward. My usual polling place is Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, also in the 20th ward.

Here's how I voted. Most of it is unsurprising, but a few deserve explanations:

  • US Senate: Claire McCaskill
  • State Auditor: Susan Montee
  • US Rep Dist 3: Russ Carnahan
  • MO Rep Dist 59: Jeanette Mott Oxford
  • Collector of Revenue: Gregg Daly
  • License Collector: Mike McMillan
  • Recorder of Deeds: Sharon Quigley Carpenter
  • Circuit Clerk: Mariano Favazza
  • Judges: YES to all (The only ones who might be marginal are Circuit Judge Joan Moriarty and Associate Circuit Judge Barbara Peebles, whose ratings by the lawyers groups are below 70% to retain. But, I noticed systematically lower ratings for women, so I'd take these ratings with a grain of salt.)
  • Amendment Two: YES
    (While it has problems, it seems like the best way to keep the rightwing religious zealots at bay on the stem cell issue. It's not creating a "constitutional right" to anything -- in fact, state constitutions are MUCH more detailed than the US Constitution, and are amended all the time with specific provisions like this. Some idiot compared it to Dred Scott, which makes no sense whatsoever. Dred Scott lost his case in Missouri, and there was never any state constitutional amendment made in his favor. Not even close!)
  • Amendment Three: YES
    (While it also has problems, and tobacco taxes can be seen as regressive, it does offer the potential for restoring the cuts made into Medicaid by the Blunt administration.)
  • Amendment Six: YES
    (Why not exempt the VFW and American Legion from property taxes? I thought they already were.)
  • Amendment Seven: YES
    (Again, I assumed it was already usually the case that when you got convicted of a crime related to your office, you lost your pension. I guess not.)
  • Prop B: YES
    (I wholeheartedly support a higher minimum wage for Missouri, in line with that already in place in Illinois.)
  • Prop P: NO
    (Sales taxes are a fundamentally flawed, regressive way to fund anything. Don't get me wrong -- I'd love to see renovation and repairs made to the existing city recreation centers and swimming pools. But building a new suburban-style facility that costs a lot to use in Carondelet Park would not really service the low-income communities that need such facilities, and would undermine the viability of the historic Carondelet YMCA. Indeed, the Carondelet YWCA on S. Kingshighway has already closed their swimming pool.)
  • Prop R: YES
    (Of course, this proposition is too little, too late, because: 1) the cops and the civilian employees have already gotten their residency rule changed, and 2) it's a non-binding referendum just like the one done in the mid 1990s. Still, I'm happy to register my voice that yes indeed, I want City police to live in the City!)
  • Prop 1: YES
    (It comes up every few years, yet people keep voting it down. However, increasing the maximum fines the city can levy is one way to crack down on problem properties and the absentee landlords that manipulate the system ad infinitum.)
  • Prop 2: NO
    (I just don't see why we should expand the number of jobs available for mayoral patronage. What's wrong with having the mayor's secretarial staff being civil service? Even with this change, outgoing mayors will still find ways to 'slide' their 'excepted' position staff and department heads into civil service positions before the next mayor is inaugurated. It's a time-honored tradition that no rule can break.)
  • Prop 3: YES
  • Prop 4: YES
    (Both Props 3 and 4 will retain the civil service selection system, but provide a little more flexibility in selecting from among the applicant pool. Prop 3 broadens the traditional "rule of three" to the "rule of six" -- meaning the person who gets the job can come from among the top 6 candidates, not just the rather narrowly defined top 3.

    Prop 4 says that city employees do not get automatic promotions to other positions in a different job classification; they have to compete with outside applicants when the position is posted publicly. Right now, some folks work for years in the street department because they really want to become firefighters. Then when firefighter applications time opens up, they move to the top of the list. This seems unfair to qualified outside applicants. So, both proposals seem like wise steps.)
  • 5 comments:

    Doug Duckworth said...

    Joe,

    We should not fix Blunt's mistakes.

    He cut healthcare and he should pay the price.

    There is no reason for us to pass a tax in order to remove his accountability.

    samizdat said...

    With regards to Prop P, I absolutely agree that construction of another center in Carondelet is not a wise idea. After reading a guest commentary in the PD about it, I doubt that the City would have enough money to maintain all of the new construction and improve facilities. As well, considering that Marquette Park in my neighborhood already has a huge pool, it doesn't seem cost-effective to construct another just two or so miles away.

    Travis Reems said...

    I am pleasantly surprised to find opposition to P, and Doug's opposition to amendment 3.

    I do think you have the wrong picture of proposition 2, however. The President, Governor and other elected executives have the ability to select their staff, and so should the Mayor.

    On a lighter note, I almost wish for the sheer hilarity someone had mounted an opposition campaign to Proposition P with the slogan, "Vote NO for 'P' in Pools!"

    stlmark said...

    Re: prop P, you mention a suburban style rec center in Carondelt park. What does this mean, and have you seen drawings or plans?
    Thanks.

    Anonymous said...

    ^Like The Heights in Richmond Heights, a rec center with indoor pool, gym, fitness rooms and other amenities all under one roof surrounded by parking.

    If passed, Prop P would fund one such center in the eastern end of Carondelet Park and another in the eastern end of Fairgrounds Park.