Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Voting Guide for May 2016 - Part 1, Federal Seats

Once again, it's time to write about our upcoming races! Long list of candidates to look over, let's get this show on the road!

Federal Seats
For United States Senate
In this race, Mary Kay Bacallo gets my vote. I see where she’s coming from, why she’s running, and I approve. She is a local/state education person going to Washington, to get Washington out of the hair of local and state education people. Isakson has been in party politics for too long for my tastes.

For U.S. Representative
  • Samuel Anders
    • Military background (Air Force), believes: “The stronger our military, the better our economy.”
    • Proposes a “flat tax” which is just another graduated income tax but with three rates (0%, 15%, 30%) and no deductions. Not a true flat tax.
    • Believes that bases should *never* be closed, because of the damage done to the local economy. (Even bases built for specific purposes that are no longer needed due to changing circumstances?) Also, believes that the military is not a branch of the federal government.
  • Mike Crane
    • Georgia Tech degree in Industrial Management. Career in construction.
    • State Senator
    • Strongly pro-life. Strongly against tax increases and illegal immigration. Supported by legislative history
  • Drew Ferguson
    • Dentist, former Mayor of West Point. Points to a very respectable record as mayor.
    • Issue positions: End ISIS, Term Limits Amendment for Constitution, 2nd Amendment, Iran is not to be trusted, take care of veterans, repeal Obamacare, secure borders, deregulate and control budget to encourage job growth, flat tax
    • Believes that the FairTax is a VAT (it is not)
  • Chip Flanegan
    • At least the second time running for Westmoreland’s seat. Last time around, I was willing to think about giving him a try to get Westmoreland out. This time around, we have many candidates in the running, and “not Westmoreland” is not enough to win my vote.
    • Big personal bio point is rebuilding a business destroyed by natural disaster and paying off enormous debt.
  • Richard Mix
    • Bio shows him as an entrepreneur who has built businesses in several fields. Boasts on not being a politician.
    • Describes himself as “fiscally conservative, socially moderate”. But even on social issues, seems to prefer more done by private and non-profits and less by government.
  • Jim Pace
    • Co-founder of Group VI (real estate developer and construction company, has done work for my church)
    • I know his son Jimmy and his family, great bunch, lots of kids! Deeply Christian.
    • Has pledged support for a balanced budget amendment and term limits for Congress, by constitutional convention if need be.
    • Similar pledge for repealing Obamacare.
  • Arnall "Rod" Thomas
    • Extensive biography on his web site. Grew up in Effingham County, GA. Vietnam vet. Former insurance agent, salesman, restaurant owner, Master Gardener.
    • “It will be necessary to increase taxes on the upper 1%” (direct quote from web site)
    • Pledges to live on a school teacher salary, and donate excess salary to community food banks.
    • “I will work hard to make sure our district gets its fair share of all the spending of the federal government.” Not to cut spending from the federal government, of course.
    • Also wants to forgive student debt.

Conclusion:
Outright no: Samuel Anders and “Rod” Thomas. For Anders, the assertion that military strength begets economic strength rubs me wrong. It is good to have military strength in a dangerous world, and good to have economic strength in order to build the future, but they are separate. For “Rod”, his belief that his job is to bring his district as much “federal money” as he can is wrong. If you want to “bring home the money from Washington”, have Washington stop taking the money away from me to begin with. And both are just wrong on taxes.
Reasonable second choices:  Drew Ferguson, Chip Flanegan,  Richard Mix, Jim Pace. Mix and Pace both have the “outsider coming into politics for the first time” appeal. Ferguson and Flanegan also both say good things, although Ferguson’s view of the FairTax is a disappointment for me. But the winner is…
Getting my vote: Mike Crane. In addition to having clear limited-government principles, he can point to a record at the state legislature which has shown him backing his words with actions.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

About bathrooms

I am shaking my head that this is even an issue. The world really is going downhill.

In a sensible world, people would be free to set sensible boundaries for whatever bathrooms are within their control, and decide for themselves how strictly to enforce those boundaries. If you have a shop, and you want to designate a single bathroom as "employees only", but you're willing to make an exception for the parent whose kid is doing the potty dance, that's cool. If you have a couple of single-stall bathrooms, and you put a "man-ish-shaped" sign on one and a "woman-ish-shaped" sign on the other, but you don't really care as long as people are being mature, that's cool too. Even if the signs aren't "enforced", I as a customer am generally going to follow them just because I think that's the sensible and courteous thing to do. And if a shop owner is going to be a jerk about it, well, I don't like to buy from jerks anyway. For schools and for libraries, let the administrators set rules that are simple and sensible and agreeable to local parents. There is no reason for a one-size-fits-all rule here.

But that's the thing that started this whole mess, at a city level. Charlotte decided to impose a one-size-fits-all rule. Even worse, their rule was, "no rules are allowed". Telling people that they are *not allowed* to set their own common-sense rules on their own bathrooms is stupid, overreaching, and a bad idea.

The State legislators saw that it was a bad rule, but they made the same mistake, just in another direction. They started by making a law, "Cities can't make a law like Charlotte's". But then they ended by making their own new one-size-fits-all rule. C'mon guys.