My wife brought to my attention the fact that May 2 is an election day in Ohio. I will be voting absentee next week. There are some primary elections that day as well as a couple local issues. No state constitutional amendments seem to be on the ballot. The general election is 2006 will be on November 7.
The local issues for my area consist of an additional levy for roads and bridges and a liquor license a motel and store.
Normally I like liquor licenses. A greater number of suppliers tends to make prices drop. This particular license though is for a store/motel that is frankly an eyesore in the community. It could use some paint and carpentry and looks like it could also benefit from some Raid.
Regional and State Candidates
There are no Constitution or Libertarian party members in the primaries.
United States Senate
The Ohio Senator to the United States is Mike DeWine. He was part of the gang of 14 that threatened to manipulate the Senate and decide which Supreme Court justices were “extremist”. DeWine is on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee and has his name on $91 million of CAGW’s pork barrel spending for 2006. His website (site now down) trumpets that he has brought $1 billion to the state of Ohio. Funny statement on that page:
And, nobody has worked harder than Senator DeWine to make sure Ohio schools receive their fare share of federal education dollars.
Other votes include additional gun restrictions, extending unemployment benefits another 13 weeks, funding health programs with cigarette taxes, and “hate crimes” legislation. Recently he voted in favor of granting illegal immigrants amnesty/guest-worker status/legalization. On the other hand he did vote not to raise the debt ceiling, a positive step in true fiscal accountability.
The challengers for the Republican candidacy are William G. Pierce, P.E. and David R. Smith. Pierce was a mechanical engineer who started his own successful engineering company in Cincinnati and then became a math teacher for college and high school students. Smith also earned a mechanical engineering degree, and with an MBA in Finance and a MS in Engineering Management, went to work for Proctor and Gamble as a finance manager.
Pierce has a better developed issues document than Smith and contrasts himself against DeWine on some points. The candidates have a lot in common: increased border security, reduce government spending, etc.
Smith is in favor of replacing the income tax with the Fair Tax, flat tax, or a consumption-based tax, which is pretty cool. Pierce wishes to keep the tax law stable so that it doesn’t play havoc with research and development planning.
I am curious as to what Smith means by “fostering higher morals among citizens are the real keys to reducing gun-related crimes.” in his statement on the Second Amendment. “Fostering higher morals” sounds like government expenditure to me. Pierce just says he won’t challenge the right to keep and bear arms.
Smith is in favor of drilling in ANWR and the coasts. Pierce makes no statement on economic policy.
U.S. House of Representatives
In my district there are four Democrats and one Republican, the incumbent Pat Tiberi. Feh.
Ken Blackwell is the frontrunner in the Republican primary, opposed by Jim Petro. Either one would probably be better than Republicrat/quadruple-misdemeanor Bob Taft. The big issue is Blackwells’ proposal for a Tax Expenditure Limitation (link dead). Blackwell wants state spending to be limited by a percentage over the previous year’s spending growth or an adjustment for population and inflation, whichever is greater. Petro is against it because he is afraid it would defund education and health care. Petro’s reasons for me don’t take into account the reaction of the market to the needs of the people. On the other hand I don’t like arbitrary spending settings where the rules are outside of the budget. The TEL is a band-aid for a budget hemorrhaging from legislative spendthrifts.
According to his website (link dead) Blackwell has cut funding to his own agency by 61% and fully funded one of his divisions through user fees rather than tax dollars. I like that kind of concept; it’s responsive to immediate demand. Petro’s chosen method to cut costs in higher education seems to move from a “K-12″ to a “P-16″ (preschool to college grad) system, “aligning standards, curriculum, testing, data systems and expectations among systems.” While a laudable goal in efficiency it doesn’t allow for unexpected needs and the monstrous amount of information such a system would need to collect and organize properly. I know I’m comparing an apple to an orange, but I’m just trying to gain a sense of their philosophies for making things more efficient.