Friday, October 31, 2014

Should Have Told You About What Happened Last Hallows Eve

I mentioned last year that I lost a close kitteh, Tehya.  Still miss her and I miss the other kitteh Page...

I don't think I told you about what happened the Halloween that followed Tehya's passing.

I was at my apartment complex at night, waiting for kids to trick-or-treat.  I knew there were kids who lived in the complex, there were families there... yet, nobody knocking on the door.  Had the pumpkins out, and the hall light on, and signage... and candies...  Nope, no knocking.

But sitting there next to the door, in front of the laptop as I was prepping for my NaNoWriMo novel run for another November, I heard a kitten crying.

At the base of the apartment stairs was this small tuxedo (black with white patterns) kitteh meowing and meowing.

I knew there was a cat colony who lived in the complex.  We were near the woods and the woods were near a bike path and the bike path was near shopping centers etc.  Lots of abandoned kittehs too, left to fend for themselves.

She was this tiny thing, hungry and meowing.  Since I wasn't getting any kids for the candy, I went out to the Publix down the street and bought a box of pouches, poured one out on a paper plate, and served it to her.

Three other feral/abandoned kittehs jumped out for the plate from the nearby shrubbery.

They kinda came and went.  The tuxedo kitteh and an older grey tabby stuck around and got friendly.  The kitteh was a rolly, body rubbing kitteh that I nicknamed Wiggles.  She was friendly and fearless enough to approach me without a problem.  She was eager to enter my apartment and check things out.  It was like she wanted to hang out with me on a professional and personal basis.

By Thanksgiving, after checking around the apartments to see if Wiggles was already claimed, I wrapped her up and took her to the vet and adopted her.  Gave her a more formal name of Ocean.  Ocean the Wiggle Cat.

Mal and his 5 siblings came later.  More on him in the next post.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Calling Out to the Florida Groups That Get Amendments On Ballot: I Got Ideas.

Okay, so I wanna get three amendments on the ballot for 2016 here in Florida.

  • First, if we can get an amendment that requires any Florida election for local, state, and federal offices to remain open for balloting until at least 55 to 60 percent of registered voters can submit their ballots.  Voter turnout sucks otherwise.
  • Second, if we can get an amendment that puts a None Of The Above option on each local and state elected office, and require that if the NOTA gets the most votes that a special run-off for that office be held with brand new candidates (and that NOTA remains on the ballot even for the do-overs just in case the parties decide to try to nominate someone worse).
  • Third, if we can get an amendment that guarantees every legal resident of Florida has a right to vote unimpeded by these -ssholes running around screaming 'voter fraud' when there's no f-cking voter fraud.  Okay, so the wording on this one needs to get cleaned up a bit...

It's doable under the Initiative Petition system.  The state allows an outside group - an established non-profit that can hold petition drives - to gather a certain number of signatures across the state (has to be state-wide, not all from one area) within a set time period (deadlines are a b-tch) for submission and approval by the state's State dept. (with approval/oversight by the courts to ensure the wording is easy-to-read and fits within legal parameters).

Thing is, I'm looking for the groups who are most capable and active in getting these initiative petitions going.  I think I find them on the websites but when I try to contact or send email, there's no reply back.

I tried FIVOrg but haven't heard back... if they emailed me I hope it didn't get filtered to the Spam folder, lemme go check...  And for that "None of the Above" option there was a Floridians for Political Choice group from more than a decade ago, but that's CLOSED probably defunct...

I might not be looking in the right places.

So if any of these petition groups are surfing the Intertubes and they come across this blog entry, can I just say DUDES AND DUDETTES CALL ME I GOTZ IDEAS.

If not, I'm gonna need to see if any of the kids I knew from high school that became lawyers can help out set up a PAC...

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

In the Onset of the Election Doldrums... STAY FOCUSED, FLORIDA

Welcome to the moment in the election cycle when it's the tail-end of the years-long marathon and the fatigue and anger are just blending into a mindless fugue state.

All the yelling and shouting about how bad Rick "No Ethics" Scott has been, and how tone-deaf and sadistic and corrupt the Republicans have been just blurs into a repeating loop of outrage where the outrage doesn't feel potent anymore.

This is the point where you gotta push past all that, to stay awake and refresh yourself with the understanding that this election is not over yet, that there's still the big day itself - Tuesday Nov. 4th - where voter turnout is still a key, still a necessity, still a priority for the Democrats and the No-Party-Affiliates to turn out and vote out the crooks like Scott.

If Scott wins, there's the fact he's going to use the next four years to f-ck the state of Florida even further.  THIS MUST NOT PASS, FLORIDA.  For the love of God, we've had 4 years of him killing jobs-worthy programs like the high speed rail, we've had 4 years of him ruining our employment benefits and social safety nets, we've had 4 years of him undercutting our schools and hospitals and child care services, we've had 4 years of him hiding his business dealings among his cronies with secret emails and refusals to answer questions, we've had 4 years of him avoiding our state's needs for Medicaid funding for our elderly and our families...  And Scott is still in this?

To hell with partisan bias, that mindset of voting for one party because you dare not think outside the lies and distortions of the party's reinforcement echo chamber.  LOOK AT THE STATE, people, LOOK AT THE DAMAGE DONE.  We're still one of the worst states for job growth and employment opportunities, we're still one of the worst states in getting our kids educated, we're still a state burdened with high utility costs and homeowner insurance rates, we're still coping with mass foreclosures and banks dragging in honest homeowners with bad paperwork...  Scott and the Republicans won't lift a damn finger about any of that, the Attorney General Bondi won't do a damn thing about any of that, and there's still enough Floridians willing and eager to vote for those frauds?

This is WHY Floridians need to turn out for these last few days of Early Voting (Saturday Nov. 1st is the last Early day).  This is WHY so many of us need to turn out on Tuesday Nov. 4th and vote for Charlie Crist for Governor and George Sheldon for Attorney General.  This is WHY Floridians need to Vote NO on Amendment 3 (regardless of who wins, that court-packing amendment is a disaster).  It'd be nice to have Floridians vote YES on Amendment 1 (to fund our environment cleanups) and YES on Amendment 2 (Medicial Marijuana is a necessity for treating the ill, and it brings us closer to a more just legal system).  Still and all, this is WHY Floridians need to vote for fairness, for a responsive government, for an end to the cycle of Republican obstruction and corruption.

And even if Crist and Sheldon win, there's still a lot of work after the election, because this never ends...

If Crist wins, there's still the fact he's up against a Republican-controlled Florida legislature: because rampant gerrymandering and Democratic cravenness pretty much left 65 percent of the state seats unchallenged.  That has to change for 2016: EVERY SEAT ought to be challenged, every illegal district redrawn to make the seats honestly representative of the residents of this state.

There's work to be done to get referendum amendments offered up in 2016.  We need an amendment to the state constitution protecting our residents' rights to vote (no more of this goddamn 'voter fraud' lie the Republicans keep shilling).  We need an amendment to the state constitution requiring a vote-count percentage of the majority of registered voters before an election can close (to ensure genuine voter turnout of an actual majority: this 24-to-39 percent turnout is KILLING US).  We need an amendment to the state constitution requiring competitive general elections or at least a None Of the Above option on the ballot when neither choice is acceptable.

The marathon goes ever on.  I know it seems tiring, but the other side won't rest and the greedheads and con artists running the show from their SuperPAC shadows threaten everything we should hold dear - our families, our children's futures, our jobs, our health - in our lives.

One more plea: GET THE VOTE OUT.  And for the Love of GOD DO NOT VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Friday, October 24, 2014

State of Florida 2014 Midterms: Early Voting in Tamarac

Used to live here in Tamarac, when I worked for the library system between 1994-2003.  I'm visiting today for personal reasons - to absent friends - but needed a place to wait for the afternoon services and so as a librarian would I made my way to the local branch.

I forgot a lot of the Broward libraries offer themselves up for Early Voting polling areas.  Tamarac branch no exception.

What was nice was running into a set of volunteers for the local and state issues on the ballots: you know, the sign-wavers standing outside of the 75-foot perimeter away from the front door.  Especially a group of pro-Amendment 2 canvassers:

Big props to anyone and everyone who's taking the time to canvass the polling places anywhere out there in Florida (and all other states) this time of year.  This is civic participation, this is the free speech and public assembly the Founders wanted for their posterity.

Inside they've taken a whole corner of the library floor to set up the polling booths, with an elaborate queuing line into a meeting room where the optiscanners and ID stations are set up.  I don't think I can take pictures of it, only to tell you that they've got more polling booths set up here than I've ever seen at any other Early Voting spot in the last 12 years.  And this is just Tamarac: the other libraries must be set up the same way.  Have to expect a lot of people, I suppose...

It's a cloudy day today, threatening to rain and all.  Weather gets to be like this in late October in South Florida.  Still, today's a good day to GET THE VOTE OUT FLORIDA!  Don't forget to vote YES on 1, YES on 2, NO on 3, YES on Crist and NO on every Republican from Rick "I Ain't Testifying Today, Judge" Scott down.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

If This Doesn't Make You Angry Enough, You're Willfully Allowing The Death of the Middle Class To Continue...

There's another chart or three detailing just how f-cked a majority of Americans are right now in this ongoing - yes, this ain't over kids - recession.

Here, take a look at this (via the Washington Post):
The dark blue line represents what we'd consider the Middle AND Lower Class here in the U.S.  Essentially the botton 90 percentile of families based on real average wealth (with wealth defined by income, equity, et al).  Starting off at the post-WWII spot of 1945, you'll see the three tiers of income - Bottom 90, Top 10, Top 1 Percent - all going upward during the 1950s and even improving for the Bottom 90 in the late 1980s and 1990s (when Reagan's income tax reforms kicked in, property values went up, new technology jobs started).

Up until about 2005-06, near about the start of the Great Recession that we're still in.

Everybody dropped.  Every market got hit - stock market, commodities, property market - and there was a massive downturn.  It looks like the downturn took a two-year, three-year dive before flattening out for the three years following... except for the 1 Percenter track.  Where the Bottom 90 AND the Top 10 Percenters flattened, the 1 Percenters went up, and went up sharp.

What the hell happened there?  Referring to that Washington Post article:
...The problem was that middle class doesn't own that much in stocks, but went into debt to buy lots of housing. So the housing crash turned their biggest financial asset into an albatross, wiping out their equity but not their debt. And the housing recovery hasn't done much to fix this, since it's struggled to move beyond the "nascent" stage.
Stocks, meanwhile, collapsed during the crisis, but came back soon thereafter. The middle class, in other words, missed out on the big bull market in stocks, but not on the even bigger bear one in housing. That's why the recovery has restored so little of the wealth that the recession destroyed. In fact, the bottom 90 percent have actually kept losing net worth the past few years, in large part, due to rising student loan debt...
Not all recoveries were made equal: the stock market flourished, the investment population flourished, the rest of us got screwed with debt up to our ears.

One thing I keep seeing from the hate-the-poor tweeters and Facebook posters on the Intertubes is how it's the poor people's fault they don't invest in the obviously-successful, will-always-go-up stock markets.  I keep replying when I can to let them know that not everyone can play the market: even a MENSA member like me can't make heads or tails of stock profiles and investment surveys.  Every poor person simply can't afford to pay into stock ownership, no matter how smart they are, because stocks themselves get expensive.  And most middle-class Americans didn't have much free money on hand to dabble either.  If the middle class invested in anything, it was in something tangible and focused: their homes, and they left the stock market stuff to their pension plans and 401(k)s.  For the 1980s and 1990s, the system worked after all: property values increased, and most Americans thought themselves well-off regardless of how much wealth they really controlled.

Which leads to the second chart from that Post article:

The Bottom 90 Percenters - 90 percent of ALL Americans - saw their percentage of the nation's overall wealth drop from over a 1/3 (37 percent) of everything down to less than a 1/4 (23 percent) of everything.  We never really had all that much, but we had enough to spread around and feel secure.  Now 90 percent of us aren't getting as much of the pie as we used to get.

Meanwhile, look at the Top 10 Percenters.  Sure, the 10-to-1 Percenters dropped as well, but not as sharp as the Bottom 90.  And the Top 10-to-1 holds 35 percent of the share.  Add that to the Top 1-to-.1 Percenters who hold 20 percent, and add again to the .1-to-.01 Percent (the REALLY rich) also 11-12 percent and then add the .01 Percenters themselves (the UBER rich) at 11 percent share and you've got 77 PERCENT of total wealth held by the Top 10 Percenters.  The Top .1 Percenters at roughly 42 percent - nearly double of 90 PERCENT OF ALL AMERICANS - of all total wealth.

We haven't seen income disparity like this since the days of the Great Depression, when the poor were REALLY poor and the rich were REALLY rich.

And this recession - where wages for the middle classes and the poor have stagnated for years, even more than a decade by now - isn't over yet.  Debt for lower-income families- for even what we'd still consider the middle class - remains crushing and getting worse.  We've taken some of the debt woes from healthcare finances out of the equation but not by much, and we're looking at increased debt woes from higher education costs.  Piling on-top of that is the fact our housing industry hasn't improved and the foreclosure problems - with banks still bad-faith actors - remain a threat.

So what if anything are we doing as a nation about the massive personal debts - mortgages, college costs, other costs - we have threatening what's left of our middle class?

Nothing.  Not a goddamn thing.

Angry yet?

Just a Reminder to All Florida Voters During This Early Voting Cycle

If Rick "No Ethics" Scott wins this November, and if prominent Republican governors like Scott "John Doe Investigation" Walker and Chris "BridgeGate" Christie either lose this November or end up indicted... then Rick "Medicare Fraud" Scott becomes a front-runner for the GOP nomination for the Presidency in 2016.

Think I'm joking?  If Scott wins, it will be even against all evidence that Scott has run a mismanaged and corrupt governor's office.  It'll be in a state where the enthusiasm for Scott isn't even all that great among the average Republican voters (and where the Far Right are more fixated on just winning at all costs against the dreaded Obama).  He would win in a state that voted for Obama twice and has a 500,000 voter advantage for Democrats over Republicans (if you're thinking "oh well maybe the 3 million NPA voters will all go for Scott," no f-cking way).  And winning in a state where the libertarian candidate (who would traditionally pull away votes from right-leaning candidates) is seemingly getting enough votes (8 percent, maybe?) to prevent anyone from getting a solid 50 percent or more turnout.

If Scott wins it will be due to his getting the wingnut factions of the state to turn out in enough numbers to overwhelm what should be, what has been a vociferous and angry left-centrist faction (the hostility I've seen on the anti-Scott webpages is on par to the hostility I've seen directed at Obama: I've never seen other former governors like Jeb Bush mocked and despised at such a level...).  While Scott's victory may be blamed on the Dems stumbling (oh GOD I hope not) over another centrist candidate, that won't matter to the Far Right.  They'll see a Republican governor who won re-election in a state Obama won.  They'll think he won on "the issues" of tax cuts, refusing Obamacare Medicaid funding, and being a swell example of a Randian "make the poor piss for their food stamps" CEO-turned-elected official.

Personally, hopefully, PRAYING that the voters of Florida are angry enough at a bad governor like Rick "Fraud Up The Wazoo" Scott to turn up in droves to drown out the Far Right voters, that Crist is good enough a campaigner to ensure that turnout for him and for the Democrats as a whole.  I am hopeful that we'll see Rick "WHAT PART OF MEDICARE FRAUD DID YOU KEEP OVERLOOKING REPUBLICANS?" Scott running in shame from the cameras after a decisive electoral loss on the night of November 4th.  But hope is one thing, reality another.  The polling has been up and down too much this year to feel comfortable about Crist winning.  WE NEED VOTER TURNOUT PLEASE GOD.  We need 4.5 million registered Democrats AND enough of the 3 million NPA to get out the vote saying "Go to Hell you Medicare Fraud" kicking Scott out the door.

None of us ought to wake up to seeing Rick Scott trolling Iowa for voters in Winter 2015.  /shudder

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Another Florida Folly

Even with all the general weirdness and madness of a last-minute campaign run for a hotly-contested gubertorial race here in the Sunshine State, we've got this going on as a distraction:
This map is from a coalition operating out of the City of South Miami.  City officials want to split off the southern half of the state so they can form their own, one that would do something about the climate change/flooding doom facing the coastline:
...(Vice Mayor) Harris told the commission that Tallahassee isn't providing South Florida with proper representation or addressing its concerns when it comes to sea-level rising.
"We have to be able to deal directly with this environmental concern and we can’t really get it done in Tallahassee," Harris said. "I don’t care what people think -- it’s not a matter of electing the right people."

The solution isn't that simple, crew.

I think I've argued in other articles about secession that the logistics of such a move - either to become an independent nation or a separate state - would be self-defeating.  While the move to become a state won't be as risky - the federal government is still there providing a foundation - there are still massive issues over revenue sources, property rights, and bureaucratic snafus.

First off, the existing state government has to sign off on this.  Considering South Florida is a major financial, trade, tourist, entertainment metropolis (Miami is one of the major global cities), Tallahassee may be loathe to give up that tax base.  That this coalition wants to grab the next two major metros in Tampa Bay and Orlando - as well as key metros like Ft. Myers/Naples and Lakeland - is going to leave North Florida with just Jacksonville, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Ocala and Gainesville (with J'Ville the only real metro).  Tampa is another major financial hub and seaport... Orlando has Mickey Mouse and global tourism money... South Florida is going to be taking a lot of money off the table and there's no way our current government will give up all of that.

The first thought I had when I saw the makeshift map up there was "why the hell does Miami-Dade want to include all the redneck counties between there and Tampa/Orlando?"  Reading that article helped spell it out: Orlando/Orange County is where Florida manages the water resources that South Florida needs.  But still, the logic of the map eludes me, because there's another thing that the secession types keep overlooking: even with a single state there are cultural and socio-political rivalries that prevent such clean break-ups ever happening.

Florida is not easily divided into two parts.  At best - at the very least - it can be divided into six territories.  If the state of Florida ever fractures it most likely go like this:

  • South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward, Miami-Dade, the Keys) - Everything from West Palm Beach down to Homestead is one big metro.  If you've ever read the Dredd comics, where they came up with megacities that engulfed entire states, you might get an idea what South Florida looks like: an uninterrupted chain of highways packed with suburbs, slums, business towers, and sports arenas.  The Keys from Largo to West may not be packed, but it's pretty much joined to the hip to Miami-Dade - literally, it's the only way in or out by car - and part of the same tourism appeal and Caribbean culture.  This might include Martin County, maybe even Saint Lucie...
  • Southwest Florida (Ft.Myers-Lee, Collier, Charlotte, inner counties south of Polk) - pretty much the last part of Florida to get suburbanized, and one with a lot of political-religious-social cohesion along the coastline.  The inner counties are mostly farmland and some of the least populated counties.  They'd have to choose between Miami-Broward-Palm Beach (an area they share little with), Tampa Bay/Polk County (same issue), or form their own faction (with Martin/St. Lucie/Okechobee Counties) surrounding the key geographic feature of the area, Lake Okechobee.  Taking their chances with Ft. Myers/Naples metro would be the likeliest move...
  • Tampa Bay (Pinellas, Tampa-Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Polk, Pasco, maybe Hernando Counties) - Defined by one of the key growth markets of the early 1980s that made Florida the 4th most populous state within a decade, not as big a financial market as South Florida but still a major trading port anchored by a coherent media market, healthcare industry, and sports franchises.  They'd get Sarasota County because the city of Sarasota is too close to the southern reach of the metro to split off with Port Charlotte-Ft. Myers-Naples...
  • Greater Orlando (Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Indian River, Volusia, Lake, maybe Sumter Counties) - the tourist Mecca.  Orlando brings in the people for the amusement parks, Brevard and Volusia brings in the beach tourists eager to visit Daytona and Cocoa Beach.  The South Florida group foolishly cuts off Seminole from Orange, despite the urban reach of Orlando overlapping Seminole as an outlying suburban circle of Purgatory. This faction could conceivably pick up Polk County if they make the right offer (more condos in Haines City!)...
  • Northeast Florida/Jacksonville (Jacksonville/Duval, every County east of the Suwanee River) - Where North Florida kinda becomes indistinguishable from the Deep South, and has more in common with Georgia than the urban centers of Central/South Florida.  Jacksonville would be the major seaport and business center, with Gainesville as the cultural/academic center.  There's little else up here except for horse farms and cattle.
  • Northwest Florida (Tallahassee, Pensacola, Panama City, sparsely populated Counties west of the Suwanee) - the other half of North Florida, the Panhandle.  Tallahassee is the state capitol and home of two universities (Florida St. the big draw), and then you gotta drive three hours and a time zone to get to Pensacola and that's pretty much it.  There's an airbase where they test UFOs and some decent southern-facing beaches, but that's it.  And if the state goes bonkers and splits up like this, there's a good chance Pensacola might just pack up and merge with Alabama, as that region has more in common with Mobile than Tallahassee...

Even the scenario I've painted here is unlikely: the state could easily fracture into ten parts as much as six, and there's little incentive for the sections to split off (yes, even for South Florida) because the costs of forming a new government - new elected officials, new government buildings, new bureaucracies to manage the graft - are just too damn high.  Mind, South Florida (just Miami-to-Palm Beach alone) might have enough financial muscle to pull it off, but barely.  The other parts of Florida would never afford such a move.

The other point of this proposed split is that South Florida residents are increasingly worried about the global climate change - the global warming in particular - that's due to flood out most of Dade and Broward Counties by 2020.  The costs of pumping out rising seawater from the sewers and streets are getting higher by the month: flooding is not happening during hurricanes anymore, it's happening during peak moon tides.  The response from Tallahassee has been to basically handle it as an ongoing crisis kept as far away from the news cameras as possible: but sooner rather than later the beaches that the state prides on won't even be there anymore, and boating won't be done on the Intercoastal, it will be done on Hwy 441.

But if South Miami/Florida thinks splitting itself off to form its own government will help matters, it won't by much.  They'll still have to cope with the costs of pumping and reinforcing flood walls, for one thing.  They'll have to contend with the fact our federal government - cough, oil-and-coal-paid-for pols with both parties, cough - is ignoring the problems of climate change altogether, something that a new state still won't be able to overcome.  And considering the map that the South Miami group is pushing, the new state government they'll form is going to include a lot of Republican-leaning red counties (Ft. Myers and Naples, Lakeland and Orlando and the infamous I-4 Corridor, the suburban outlets of Tampa and Pinellas) that might counter the more urban-leaning Democratic areas of South Florida itself (not to mention the conservative Cuban population in Dade/Broward mucking up matters).

Just chalk this up as another pipe dream by a local group of concerned citizens horrified that the leadership in Tall Hassle (the nickname for the corrupt capitol of the Xanth fantasy series whose map mimics Florida's) isn't working to answer their concerns.  A better alternative than wasting time and effort to forge a new state would be focusing on CLEANING UP the political mess of the existing state by voting out the corrupt Republican bastards who are ignoring climate change in the first place.

Alright, I'm off to bed.  Just remember kids, here in Florida we've got Early Voting going on, and you all need to GET THE VOTE OUT and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Early Voting In Florida 2014, October to November. GET OUT THE VOTE, PEOPLE

Early voting for the General Election (Nov. 4th) begins today here in Florida.  Polk County (the state officially begins Oct. 25th, but some counties can go earlier if they want).

This is it.

This is the election to get Rick "No Ethics" Scott out of office, and to vote Charlie Crist back as a Governor we can trust.

This is the election to vote against every Republican on the ballot to break the corrupt power this party has inflicted on our state the last 15-20 years.

This is the election to vote FOR our state's environment in Amendment One and to vote FOR our state to begin medicinal marijuana in Amendment Two and to vote AGAINST the rigged court-packing disaster in Amendment Three.

Early voting is simple.  It's for people who can't get off work or know they won't be available to vote on Election Day itself.  Voting hours (in Polk County at least) are 9 AM to 6 PM Monday through Saturday (yes! You can vote on Saturday in case you're working Mon-Fri always and forever), and 10 AM to 6 PM on the one Sunday October 26th.  Each county will list locations where they will have polling places that allow anyone from any part of the county to show up to vote (it does not require a specific precinct for you to use).  Last day of Early Voting in Florida will be November 1st (Saturday).

Bring every possible form of ID with you that shows a photo of you with Elvis shaking your hand, your primary address, blood type, birth origin, dog license cat license fish license, anything and everything in case you run into some a-hole trying to deny your RIGHT to vote.

Turnout for voting is key, people.  Small turnouts mean only the extremist candidates and extremist parties win.  The more voters, the more likely the common-ground common-sense votes carry the day.


And for the Love of God DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN.