Most of my readers don’t live in Maryland (and certainly not my district/county), but I just spent some time researching my ballot, so I figured I’d let you know how I’m planning to vote. Maybe someone from Maryland District 8 will stumble upon this post and use it as a voting guide. I’ll be posting more about the Presidential election soon. (I know, I know, time is running out!)
President: Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala (Green).
(2nd choice: Libertarian Gary Johnson.) If a party manages 5% of the vote nationally, they will qualify for public funding in 2016 and possibly get into the debates. If you are voting in a swing state, there are arguments to be made for voting for either Obama or Romney, since it could effect the outcome of the election. Maryland is solid blue, so there’s really no good argument for giving your vote to either of the two propaganda parties. I like Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson, but Gary Johnson would also be a good choice if you prefer a smaller government. You can watch a debate between Stein, Johnson, Anderson, and Virgil Goode on Youtube here, and decide for yourself. (Anderson and Goode are only write-in candidates in Maryland.)
US Senate: Dean Ahmad (Libertarian).
I prefer not to support the corrupt fund-raising machines that both of the two major parties now represent, but sometimes an exception needs to be made for a particularly stark contrast between candidates. Democratic incumbent Ben Cardin, who haschampioned anti-whistleblower legislation, is clearly not deserving of such considerations. Besides, he is projected to win in a landslide. Dean Ahmad of the Libertarian Party is endorsed by Gary Johnson and, according to wikipedia, his platform includes, “bringing U.S. troops home, restoring civil liberties compromised by the ‘war on terror,’ working for federal government fiscal responsibility, and ending corporate welfare.” Good enough for me. (No liberal candidates are running.)
Representative in Congress District 8: George Gluck (Green).
(Second choice: Libertarian Mark Grannis.) I prefer the Democratic incumbent Chris Van Hollen to the Republican Ken Timmerman, but the difference between them doesn’t warrant supporting the corrupt Democratic Party. Supporting the Green Party is more important than keeping Timmerman out of congress.
Judge Lynne Battaglia continuance: Yes.
I don’t think Judges should need to campaign for their seats. Besides, Battaglia voted for gay marriage and seems quite laudable.
Judge Stuart Berger continuance: Yes.
I’m not sure who this is, but it would take more than a simple disagreement for me to vote against a judge. If he did anything despicable enough to justify voting him out of office, I think I could have found it after a few minutes of googling.
Board of Education: Jim Doolan and Cynthia Foley.
The other two candidates want to cut school spending, which I consider to be a mistake.
Questions 1 and 2 (Judge Qualification): Yes and Yes.
This is endorsed by the Baltimore Sun. Frankly, I did not do enough research here to form my own opinion, but the Sun’s article was convincing enough for me.
Question 3 (removal of convicted elected officials): Yes.
Get corrupt politicians out of power as quickly as possible!
Question 4 (illegal immigrants pay in-state tuition rate): Yes.
Immigration policy is a mess. Hopefully we can get it sorted out. In the meantime, I prefer to support this problematic band-aid of a law rather than cause unnecessary hardship to qualified students. Hold your nose and vote for it.
Question 5 (congressional districting plan): No!
Gerrymandering is one of the most blatant types of political corruption. The Maryland Democrats brazenly gerrymandered the districts for this year, and it turns out that I have the opportunity to voice my disapproval in the ballot box. I don’t intend to miss that opportunity. Hopefully it will get overturned.
Question 6 (civil (gay) marriage protection act): Yes.
The description says it “protects clergy from having to perform any particular marriage ceremony in violation of their religious beliefs.” However, this referendum’s main purpose is to reaffirm gay marriage in Maryland. The concessions to clergy actually seem reasonable. It seems heavy handed to compel clergy to officiate gay marriages, and besides, who would want their marriage to be officiated by some religious dolt who disapproves of the marriage, anyway?
Question 7 (casino gaming expansion): Yes.
Quite simply, adults should be able to do whatever they want unless it infringes on others’ rights. Not only is this a fundamental principle of liberty, it’s also good policy. Trying to prohibit such activity merely sends the business underground, as with alcohol in the 1920′s and other drugs today. This principle of liberty overrides any social ills that may result. That said, I have no problem with forcing casinos to fund gambling addiction education or other measures that mitigate any cultural damage gambling my cause. For me personally, this referendum has the potential to drastically improve my life because it will allow poker in casinos. I’m a professional poker player, and currently I have to drive all the way to West Virginia to play. (Anyone know any good underground games nearby?) (13)