Friday, October 08, 2010

Early Ballot Time - 2010 General Election

All over Arizona, early ballots are reaching mail boxes (the ballot for my area is here).  Here are my picks (and there isn't anything here that will surprise any regular readers :) ):

U.S. Senate - Rodney Glassman.  He's got the energy and focus on the needs of Arizonans (and Arizona) that John McCain hasn't had for decades (if ever).

U.S. Representative in Congress (District 5) - Harry Mitchell.  He's got the energy and focus on the needs of his constituents, and has had it for nearly 40 years.  If the Rs in CD5 had any appreciation for public service and public servants, they'd have nominated him, too.  (Not an unheard-of happenstance.  In Massachusetts in 1982, Republican Silvio Conte won both the Democratic and Republican nominations for Congress in MA-CD1.  He went on to win the general. Back in a time when public service was valued instead of vilified. [page 18 of the linked .pdf] :) )

Governor - Terry Goddard.  He's got the intelligence, experience, and wisdom to move Arizona out of the economic abyss that it's in.  And he's got the quiet fire necessary for dealing with the R extremists in the legislature who are less interested in serving Arizona than in adhering to a nihilist ideology.

State Senator (District 17) - David Schapira.  Focused on Tempe and Arizona's education system.  He has an established track record.  Will work "across the aisle" when doing so will help the district or Arizona's students.  Will fight like hell when doing so will help the district or Arizona's students.

State Representative (District 17) - Ed Ableser and P. Ben Arredondo.  Both have been teachers and community activists in Tempe/South Scottsdale, Ed for most of a decade and Ben for *many* decades.  Ed is the more liberal of the two (Ben being a reformed former Republican), but both are totally focused on their constituents (Yes, there is definitely a pattern in my picks, and it isn't just the partisan affiliation.)

Secretary of State - Chris Deschene.  Will fight for the rights of all voters, not just his party's.  That fact alone puts him head and shoulders above his opponent, but he also brings an educational background that includes mechanical engineering and a law degree. 

Attorney General - Felecia Rotellini.  She's got the smarts, the integrity, and the tenacity to protect Arizonans from predators of all stripes, whether they are smuggling cartels or Wall Street fraudsters.

State Treasurer - Andrei Cherny.  A former assistant AG and an economics policy wonk extraordinaire, he is eminently qualified for the job of safeguarding Arizona's public monies.  The fact that, unlike his opponent, he isn't an indictment for financial fraud waiting to happen is just gravy.

Superintendent of Public Instruction - Penny Kotterman.  Career teacher, teacher trainer, school administrator, education policy advocate, for over 30 years.  Her opponent has spent most of the last two decades trying to destroy public education in Arizona.  'Nuff said.

Mine Inspector - Manuel Cruz.  He has the educational and professional background in mine safety that a job that is supposed to ensure the safety of miners *should* have.  Not in the pocket of industry lobbyists, unlike his opponent.

Corporation Commissioner - David Bradley and Jorge Luis Garcia.  Two former legislators with long and distinguished track records of fighting for their constituents.  Their opponents have long and not-so-distinguished track records of fighting for Big Business, no matter what state it is based in.  The Arizona Corporation Commission is meant to protect the interests of Arizonans by regulating and overseeing utilities, railroads, and securities in the state.  Bradley and Garcia are easy choices here.

Maricopa County Attorney - Michael Kielsky. He's a Libertarian, someone I would normally never vote for, but I always vote for the better candidate.  There's no Democrat on the ballot for this brief term (2 years instead of the normal 4) and the Republican on the ballot is openly allied with Joe Arpaio.  I've been told by some people who are more familiar than I am with Bill Montgomery (the Republican in question) that they think he will probably at least try to appear as neutral, but Arpaio spent hundreds of thousands on ads in the primary race, and incurred thousands more in fines for violating campaign finance laws for doing so.  Can you say "quid pro quo"?

I don't think Kielsky will win, but a strong showing could send a message to the Democrats who have all but given Montgomery a free pass.

Maricopa County Clerk of Courts - Sherry Williams.  Smart and energetic, with a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Information Systems.  She will bring the background and integrity that the clerk of *any* court should have, and that Maricopa County so desperately needs (a Maricopa County official elected countywide with some integrity?  Be still my beating heart...)

University Lakes Justice of the Peace - Meg Burton Cahill (no website available).  The retiring state senator has a master's degree in Public Administration and a strong background in the law from her time on the Senate's Judiciary Committee.  She will make a fine addition to the Maricopa County bench, where her wisdom and experience will stand her in good stead against the pressures that can/will be brought to bear on folks in that position.  Ask the current holder of the office - he was Joe Arpaio's "go-to guy" when he needed some sketchy warrants signed for his jihad against the county supes.

University Lakes Constable - No race, so no vote.  Joe Arredondo (R) will win.

Central Arizona Water Conservation District (aka - the Board of Directors of the Central Arizona Project) - Arif Kazmi and Jim Holway.  Both have strong academic, professional and personal backgrounds in water resources management.  Both were among the five candidates endorsed by the Arizona Republic, and while the other endorsees of the AZRep are strong, these two are stronger and should be "double-shotted" in order to maximize their chances of election.  There is a slate of "Tea Party" candidates running to try to put the management of a major part of Arizona's water delivery system on an ideological basis, not a professional basis.  They should be completely shunned.  In a desert like central Arizona, water literally is life.

School Governing Board member, Scottsdale Unified #48 - I have absolutely no clue.  Decision by elimination time (and I may be doing the eliminated candidate a disservice, but this is the best I've got in this race):  Denny Brown (newby) and Dieter Schaefer (incumbent).  There is limited info available on the candidates that I could find in a quick search, but while I have some reservations (i.e. - Schaefer was the only candidate who responded to a questionnaire from the extreme RW organization The Center for Arizona Policy), but the third candidate, Pam Kirby. touts a resume that looks good (lots of PTO involvement) but seems to be more purely ideological than the others.  Plus the endorsement of Scottsdale City Council member Bob Littlefield didn't help.

Bond question, Scottsdale Unified #48 - Yes.  Over the short-term, the legislature cannot be counted on the fund the state's education system, whether for classroom needs or infrastructure needs.  Long-term, there could be legal ramifications because while relatively affluent districts like SUSD can use bonding to fund an adequate education system for their students, many poorer districts cannot.

City of Scottsdale Council Member - Ned O'Hearn, Linda Milhaven, and Wayne Ecton.  All three care deeply about Scottsdale and its future, and aren't tied to any particular ideology beyond that.  Dennis Robbins would have received my fourth vote if a fourth seat was up for election this time around, but he wasn't quite strong enough a candidate to make it into the top three.  Bob Littlefield...I like Bob personally, but I'd never vote for him.  He definitely is tied to that certain nihilist ideology that permeates the AZGOP, he just covers it with a "good ol' boy" facade.  Guy Philips is definitely not ready for prime time.  He doesn't hide his obeisance to ideological orthodoxy, but he doesn't even have the redeeming value of knowing that ideology well.  If he were elected to the Council, he'd need a staffer with cue cards set up in the back of the City Hall Kiva to tell him how to vote on issues.

The next set of issues concern City of Scottsdale ballot questions, info here.

City of Scottsdale Bond Questions 1 and 2 - Yes.  They're for infrastructure, and I'm a big fan of infrastructure.

Proposition 411 - NO.  A charter amendment further restricting the City's ability to use condemnation to acquire property.  Looks harmless on the surface (must adhere to state law, which is already required), but includes vague language like "all reasonable options have been exhausted."  A recipe for frivolous lawsuits.

Proposition 412 - NO.  A charter amendment intended to prevent the City from ever paying to participate in organizations like the Scottsdale Chamber of Commerce.  Part of Mayor Jim Lane's ongoing tiff with the CofC, possibly related to the fact that they didn't endorse him in 2008.  The charter is a document to define the structure of the City's government, not a tool for petty political retribution.

Proposition 413 - Close, but NO.  Currently, the City's charter allows citizens to petition the Council and requires the Council to consider any matters brought to its attention within 30 days, which can be difficult considering the timing (right before summer break) or complexity of some of the issues.  This charter amendment would remove the thirty day limit entirely.  My problem is with that.  Make it 45 or 60 days, but don't remove the obligation to hear matters in a timely manner.

Proposition 414 - Probable YES.  This charter amendment would clarify the duties of and separate the offices of the various City Charter Officers.  This one stems from the tendency in recent years to combine the offices of the City Manager and City Treasurer.  God help me for agreeing with the Lane/Littlefield clique on *anything*, but they're right on this one - the treasurer of any organization should be an independent officer, one whose oversight is as far up the org chart as is practicable.

It's not perfect, and it's a powerplay by the Lane/Littlefield clique, but when Lane installs a campaign contributor into the office of treasurer (and he will!), there will be a movement to put specific experience requirements into the charter for that particular job.

Proposition 415 - Probable YES.  A charter amendment to clarify that the Mayor and Council shall not have direct control of a City employee's hiring/firing, except for those who work directly for the Mayor and Council.

Proposition 416 - Probable YES.  A charter amendment that looks like a "housekeeping" measure clarifying how the Council may act/enact under specific circumstances.

Proposition 417 - Probable YES.  A charter amendment that looks to be a "housekeeping" measure related to the appointment and terms of judges on the City Court.

Judges for the Arizona Supreme Court, Court of Appeals - Division One, and Maricopa County Superior Court - I haven't heard of any of them, which is a characteristic that I want in judges.  Court judges are like baseball umpires - if you've heard of them, then they probably messed up big-time.  I won't be voting to retain/not retain any of them.

Statewide ballot propositions - Previously covered here.  Summary: NO on all measures proposed by the legislature, and YES on the one (Prop. 203, Medical Marijuana) sent to the ballot by the citizens.

Whew!

Later...

8 comments:

Taylor Young said...

You can get information on the judges appearing for retention on the ballot at -->
http://www.azjudges.info/

Jerry Joslyn said...

Thank you for this excellent resource for ballot measures. I must disagree with your choice for U.S. Senate, however. Jerry Joslyn, the Green Party candidate, clearly won the debate.

Thanks Again,
Jerry Joslyn

katie said...

Write in Lujan for County Attorney. I know it won't count, but will a vote for Kielsky really count either?

cpmaz said...

Jerry,

While I respectfully disagree with your assessment of the debate, if you agreed with me, you probably wouldn't be qualified to be a candidate. :)

Katie,

Good idea, but too late. Already voted and mailed back my ballot.

A vote for Kielsky won't make much difference in the short-term, but a strong showing by him (say, >30%) might give some of the solid Ds pause before they decide to give a free pass to an R candidate in a significant race (and MC Attorney *is* significant).

Ann said...

Thank you very much for posting this. I agree with nearly all your recommendations.

I voted yes on Prop 412. Arizona has a long history of corporate welfare--in fact it goes back to before Arizona was a state. The railroads were seeking free land by promising economic prosperity, which didn't exactly happen in proportion to the corporate welfare they received. So the framers of the Arizona constitution devised the gift clause to prevent government from giving away the common good for private gain. As you probably know, municipalities have skirted the gift clause for some time, bidding against each other for cheap strip malls and other dubious "benefits." In January, the Arizona Supreme Court re-affirmed the gift clause while deciding the City North case. I think it's a good thing for Scottsdale's charter to be adjusted to uphold the state constitution. I also have a huge problem with business clubs and other private entities coming to government with their hands out for funding, and then turning around and lobbying that same government for favors or endorsing candidates. Sorry. If there's no direct, demonstrable public benefit, host your own fundraiser and stay away from my tax dollars.

I voted no on Prop 414. There are many good city managers who also happen to be the city's most talented financial officer. In fact, many came up through the finance ranks. City managers serve at the pleasure of the council anyway, and their authority over the day-to-day operations of the city is the basis for our council-manager form of government. So I don't have any problem with the way things are.

Also, from up here on the north side: a reminder for anyone who cares about education in LD8 to vote for just one candidate for Arizona House: John Kriekard. Even the Republic got that one right. And send Stuart Turnasky to the Senate while you're at it. They need some help, too.

cpmaz said...

Ann,

Prop 412 isn't targeted at subsidies (unless I'm totally misreading it) but instead at things like membership dues (which Scottsdale pays to participate in and partner with the Scottsdale C of C.

As for Prop 414, that one was close, and I fully understand your point. My support for it is based on the fact that human nature being what it is, an independent municipal CFO (aka the city treasurer) is usually appropriate.

Finally, I have to thoroughly support your suggestion of voting for Stuart Turnansky for Senate and only for John Kriekard for the House.

LD8 and the state need them. Desperately.

Lanny said...

Thank You For this blog. Being a Conservative, I wanted to make sure I canceled out one vote.

RIPE Creative said...

Thanks for this. Looks like we voted pretty similarly. I had Googled "School Governing board member, Scottsdale Unified #48" hoping to find some background but didn't find much either.