Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My July 31st Voting Guide, Part 1

Consider this my little "civic duty" of the week. In the interest of trying to feel like I'm a "semi-informed voter", I've been doing some research into the various races for the upcoming July 31st ballot. I'm focusing on the Republican ballot, because that's the one I'll be using. I'll italicize my personal choices in the list below. For the first round, here are the Republican nominees for Public Service Commissioner and the House of Representatives.

See also Part 2, on County races, Part 3, on Issues questions, and Part 4, where I get back to the U.S. House Race.

For Public Service Commissioner (To Succeed Chuck Eaton)
CHUCK EATON (Incumbent)
I don't know much about either candidate, but what little I know about Eaton is positive, and the little I know about Reid is negative. On Eaton's side, he seems to support building more nuclear plants and lowering costs of energy production. I like that. On Reid's side, he's running on a Republican ticket, but he's got a 10-year history of voting on the Democratic side, plus a $250 contribution to Obama's campaign. I'm not saying people can't ever change sides, but there's not enough here for me to believe it.

For Public Service Commissioner (To Succeed Stan Wise)
STAN WISE (Incumbent)
I'm having a hard time telling what's what here. 

  • Davidson's web site claims an endorsement from an Atlanta Tea Party leader, which is a plus in my book, generally speaking. But it's proving to be hard to verify that endorsement.
  • Davidson says that elected regulators shouldn't be able to get gifts from the companies they are regulating.
  • Wise says he favors caps on gifts for elected officials.
  • Davidson says that 90% of Wise's campaign contributions come from utility companies. A fact-check news article said that it actually appears that these are individual contributions from employees and law firms connected to those utility companies. That's not as bad as if it were from the actual companies, but it's not good either.
  • On the other hand, there's some odd business about Davidson's academic credentials. She claimed in sworn testimony to the PSC that she had a BS and MS from University of San Francisco. As it turns out, it looks like she performed all the course work for those degrees, but never actually received them.

Bottom line: Georgia was recently ranked as the most corruption-prone state in the country, according to the Center for Public Integrity. This might just have to be my "shake things up" vote. Whoever wins, I want them to be sweating, and thinking about how they can look better for the next election.

For U.S. Representative in 113th Congress From the 3rd Congressional District of Georgia
Flanegan and Kingsley are both attacking Westmoreland "from the right", which is quite ambitious, since Westmoreland is already ranked as highly conservative. Flanegan and Kingsley are both talking big time about how they want to replace the IRS with a new tax code, along the lines of either FairTax or 9-9-9. News Flash: Westmoreland was there first. As tough as it is to get fired up about Westmoreland, and as much as I'd like to "clean house" in DC, I'm generally comfortable with Westmoreland's voting record. He's certainly got a better record than our Senators, in my opinion.
Update: After reading some more, and thinking it through, I'm changing my mind on this one. (I was on the fence to start with.) I'm going to vote for Kingsley, and I wrote another blog post just about this race. See Part 4 to follow my reasoning on this.

1 comment:

Danny Dolan said...

A good friend sent me this extra information for the U.S. House race:
Just an FYI, I've know Chip Flannagan (running against Westmoreland) for years and recently have heard him "speak" at a couple of meetings (9/12 meetings) and I hope NO ONE votes for him. He's a nice guy but he has less knowledge of what he would be getting in to that my 13 year old granddaughter has. In example "If I'm elected, the first thing I'm going to do is institute term limits". I don't know if he doesn't realize the (1) it's been tried several times and (2) it has to be voted on - a junior representative can't just say "this is what we're going to do". And he goes on and on like that.

That's good to know about, I think. I know a lot of good folks who are gung-ho on term limits, I like the idea myself, and it sounds great on the campaign trail, but I agree that pinning hopes on them just isn't going to work. By the time we get enough good candidates in to actually vote in term limits, we'll have enough good candidates that we don't actually need term limits.