Sunday, October 12, 2014

Florida 2014 Election: Sample Ballots and Reminder (UPDATE)

Just got mine in the mail from the County Elections office.  (UPDATE) If you need a Sample Ballot for your county, PLEASE visit the state map listing the county Elections' offices.  Each site should have a ballot on display for you to view.

Some of you may be voting by mail.  Some of you should plan ahead and vote during the EARLY VOTING cycle between October 20th to November 1st.  Some may be traditionalists and wait until the Day itself, first Tuesday in November which is November 4th.

The key thing is to VOTE.  GET THE VOTE OUT FLORIDA!  I don't wanna see 39 percent or 42 percent turnout this midterms.  I wanna see 76 percent!  I WANNA SEE 90 PERCENT TURNOUT PEOPLE.  Your vote, your voice, your POWER.  VOTE DAMMIT.

But, you might say to the computer screen, I don't know what to vote on!

Well, then, glad you asked, lemme help you out here.  Two basic rules:

That doesn't help us much, Mr. Blogger you say can you speel it out for us?

Sigh.  Fine.  Let's go through the ballot topics.  Federal first:

1) There is no Senate seat contested (per the 2/3 cycle), so wait until 2016 to vote Marco Rubio out.
2) Any Congressional district you are in that has a Republican candidate and a Democratic candidate, VOTE DEMOCRAT.  Any district you are in that has a Republican candidate and a Libertarian candidate, vote for a valid Write-In Candidate.  Any district where there's a Republican and a No-Party-Affiliate candidate only, vote for the NPA (unless you know the NPA personally as an -sshole, in which case sue the state for emotional damages).  Any district where there's a Republican candidate unchallenged, curse the Old Gods and The New and volunteer to campaign next election on the ballot because dammit you gotta vote that crooked Bent-For-Destruction GOP out of power.

If you're in District 9, vote Alan Grayson.  District 10, vote Alan Cohn.  District 17, vote Will Bronson.  District 3, vote Marihelen Wheeler.  District 12... District 12... BILIRAKIS IS RUNNING UNOPPOSED?!?!  DAMMIT DEMOCRATS, YOU COWARDS.  Whadda ya gonna do, let Bilirakis sit there in office until he retires to let his son inherit the seat the same way Gus inherited it from Mike?!  30-plus years of the same family running a little fiefdom in North Pinellas/West Pasco?!  DAMMIT.

Anyway, any seat where there's a Democrat and a Republican, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD VOTE DEMOCRAT.  Let Gus represent the GOP all on his loneso... whadda ya mean there's other unchallenged Republican seats?!  /headdesk


Next up, the Governor and state official races:

1) VOTE CHARLIE CRIST for governor.  He did a decent job as governor before (made efforts to protect the environment, played fair with the electorate, vetoed a bad and unpopular education bill), not a partisan hack like Scott nor a pocket-lining greedhead like Scott.
2) For Attorney General, vote George Sheldon.  Bondi has been a disaster as AG for Florida: pursuing bad anti-gay and anti-voter court rulings, failing to go after utilities for unfair price hikes, and refusing to pursue many of the conflicts-of-interest cases floating around our state government.  She's been Scott's partner in crime than representing the people's interests.  Sheldon can and should go after the utilities above anything else and will protect the rights of voters and the citizenry over the needs of any partisan in office.
3) For Chief Financial Officer... aaaaaaaauuugggggghhhhhh.  There's a Republican and a Democrat on the ballot, but the papers are complaining about the Democratic Will Rankin's lackluster campaigning and are noting that the Republican Jeff Atwater has actually done an honest job of things in Tallahassee.  Don't do this to me, Florida Dems...
4) For Agricultural Commissioner (which also covers consumer services for some reason)... dammit.  Democrats have another lackluster guy in Thad Hamilton running against Republican Adam Putnam who again has a solid record per the local papers.  Thing is... dammit dammit dammit, cannot vote for ANY Republican at any level of office, it just encourages the party wingnuts to be worse...  On the bright side, the Agriculture slot has a Write-In ballot space.  Find a viable write-in candidate and file a protest vote!

Now for the State legislative offices, both Senate and House:
1) What part of FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN have you not noticed yet?
2) For the Senate seats, there are almost no challenged seats, so there's few if any choices.  Of the 20 seats for election, there are only 5 challenges, meaning two Democrats and 13 Republicans are returning to Tall Hassle unopposed (!).  If there are ANY of those seats with a Write-In ballot choice, I recommend you fill in that Write-In as a protest vote against this ridiculous incumbency.
3) For the House seats, again there are few (less than 30 percent of them) if any challenged seats.  Again this is an insult to the voters that our state-level parties (especially the Democrats) are COWARDS when it comes to forcing incumbents to answer for their legislative sins.  Again, if there are ANY seats with a Write-In ballot choice, fill in the Write-In ballot as a protest vote and slap some fear into both parties.

For the Judicial Retention votes:

Remember last election, Rick "No Ethics" Scott and his buddies tried to actively vote out judges in order to fill those vacancies with his pro-Scott cronies.  It was the first time ever there was a partisan effort against the judges.  As long as Scott is in office, VOTE TO KEEP THE JUDGES (It helps that none of them up for vote have been embarrassments or crooked on the bench).

For the State Amendments on the ballot:

As I wrote earlier, we're down to three so it keeps it short and simple.
VOTE YES ON 1 to protect our wetlands and environment and water supply.
VOTE YES ON 2 to allow for medicinal marijuana and provide an end to the disastrous War on Drugs.
VOTE NO ON 3 to stop Rick Scott from preemptively packing the state courts with his cronies.

For any county-level or city-level tax referendums (referenda? damn my Latin which plural form fits...):

Vote YES on any tax hike program because F-CK YOU Grover Norquist.  Granted, this is more a knee-jerk reaction to the tax-cutting frauds dominating our discourse, but dammit too many of our public services at the county level are getting slashed and burnt here.  Okay, I'll relent: if the tax hike in question is a blatant attempt at lining someone's (a rich corporation) pockets, then don't vote for it.  But if it's for needed social services, please vote YES.

I think there's a rail funding program for Pinellas County on the ballot.  DEFINITELY VOTE YES on Greenlight, Pinellas County: our metro areas need alternative transit options.

Also, for the Pasco County Mosquito Control Board?   Seat Two has four candidates and I don't know a single one of 'em.  You're gonna have to vote for who you know, Pasco County.  (Update 10/25/14: there have been two people commenting that they found my article trying to figure out who to vote to be their Mosquito Hunter Expert, upset I didn't make a recommendation.  So I did some research to dig up any kind of newspaper list, and so far the Tampa Bay Times Recommends list... doesn't make one either!  Sorry, folks, you're gonna have to ask around about which of the four - Matthew "Skeeter" (?) Abbott, Bill Law, Niko Tzoumas, or Jerry Wells - to pick...)

Okay, voters reading this blog, that should help you make your informed decisions on Election Day/Early Voting/Mail-in Balloting.

GO VOTE.  Tell your friends to vote.  Tell your family to vote.  Tell your co-workers to vote.  If your co-workers say they can't vote during the workday, encourage your co-workers to vote on the weekend (including a Sunday October 26th!) during the Early Voting period.



Robin Barr said...

Well, THANKS A LOT! I'm trying to find info on the Pasco CO Mosquito Board candidates and I had to read through ALL THAT to find you don't know Jack!
But seriously, THANK YOU A MILLION!!!!! Just having moved south from a blue state I was feeling lonely. Your blog was informative and entertaining and I hope you have many more readers who will take the cue and NOT VOTE REPUBLICAN! I promise, next time around I will advocate for anti-Bilirakis.

Paul Wartenberg said...

Well, there's just so many candidates for Mosquito Control - five names on the ballot, right? I thought I counted 11 though, maybe 13, it was a prime number I think - that you just can't pick only one!

Seriously when I lived in Pasco it seemed so weird to have so many people running for a Mosquito Board (there's like 3 meetings a year, they vote on who gets to spray the smoke, they earn an annual paycheck) while our important offices - the congressional and state lege seats - are practically unchallenged.

It's sad that nobody even tries to offer an alternative to Bilirakis - both father and son basically run a political machine in North Pinellas/West Pasco - to where voter interest for Democrats have to be at an all-time low in that area. But there are a lot of disgruntled folks around there... if they could just find a candidate and make a solid effort...

slymet said...

Well you didn't really provide any info on the Pasco County Mosquito Control Commissioner candidates. So the link to this site was misleading. I will be voting early but not following most of your advice.

Paul Wartenberg said...

Just a reminder, I have a Comment Pending review policy in place: my blogs had a habit of getting Chinese spam. Seriously. I had SPAM from China, and I couldn't even understand what the SPAM was! So, if you post a comment please be patient for it to get posted...

That said, to Slymet, the thing about the Mosquito Board vote... it's a seemingly minor position that still requires an election (I was told there were complaints about appointees being corrupt years ago, so the county votes for the board now). Thing is, the newspapers for the area - Tampa Bay Times nor the Tampa Trib - haven't done any kind of recommendation sheet that I can find. Give me another day to do more research. Since we're doing early voting by now the newspapers HAD to have made a rec...

Paul Wartenberg said...

Okay, finally found SOMETHING from the Tampa Bay Times for their recommendations for the Nov. 4th general election. Unfortunately, they don't list the Mosquito Control Board on their recommendations!

Dave G said...

Wow - you are exactly what is wrong with America today. An ideologue that appears to have no clue about what made America great - diversity. Clearly you hate the Republicans more than you love America. Too bad. As an independent thinker, I prefer to vote based on substance not on ideology. Unfortunately neither party has many options when it comes to people of integrity, which is what many of us really want.

H.C. Cobb said...

I'm voting Republican straight ticket you useless liberal.

Paul Wartenberg said...

To Cobb:
Actually I'm former Republican and I prefer to consider myself a moderate. I'm one of those dreaded RINOs you and yours drove out of the party. My hatred for the GOP is more despair at how broken and dogmatic it has become.
Calling me a liberal just shows how out of tune and extremist you've become, 'cause everything in opposition to you can only be a "socialist" or a "marxist" or a "liberal". All complexity of issues boiled down to just the hate.
Well, now you know why my ranting here on the blog is so one-sided against Republicans: because I came from there, it's all you had to teach me and I learned it from you. The only difference is I hope my hate for you will protect the rest of the nation and the world from your ruin.