Most of the time my Twitter Account and Blog will focus on National Politics. However, acknowledging that down ballot races are as important as those at the top and being a proud resident of Maricopa County my entire life, this Blog entry is for those of us in Maricopa County regarding who in my humble opinion are the best options and what ballot initiatives should be passed or denied and why. I suggest those of you from outside Maricopa County submit similar guides for your local jurisdictions. Couldn’t Hurt.
I’m voting Yes on Proposition 205 which will legalize recreational marijuana use in Arizona. My reasons are simple and backed by scientific and criminal justice data. Marijuana is not a dangerous drug. The cognitive effects on the body are no worse than alcohol. Further, the criminalization of Marijuana costs the State of Arizona hundreds of millions of dollars each year in arrests, incarceration, court costs and subsequent imprisonment or probation services for simple possession. This stretches the budgetary needs of police and Court institutions that could be better spent on crimes that directly impact the community in a harmful manners. Further, States that have legalized recreational marijuana have not only seen an increase in state revenues via taxation, there have been found to be a drop in Opioid addiction rates. Prescription Opioids and Heroin are clearly more addictive and dangerous than Marijuana. Legalizing recreational use and regulating it is a no brainer.
I’m voting Yes on Proposition 206 which will increase the minimum wage in Arizona from $8.05 an hour to $12.00 an hour by 2020 and will also establish the right to earn sick time from being employed. Although it is arguable a small increase, it is better than leaving it where it is. The argument that increasing minimum wages cause job loss is a provably false argument. In reality, you increase the minimum wage, employees have more money that will be spent generating more money through the economy which has the result of increasing net job growth as employers need more employees to handle the extra business. This has been proven time and time again. No validated study has shown any net job loss from raising the minimum wage. Again, another no brainer.
In Arizona, we have the right to vote on whether or not a Supreme or Superior Court Judge can keep their seats. I won’t go into the list for Maricopa County but I strongly urge voters to go to www.AZJudges.info for specific information on each judicial officer and vote accordingly.
For President I’m voting for Clinton/Kaine, Duh!
For U.S. Senator I’m voting for Ann Kirkpatrick. John McCain is way past his “sell by date” and has been far more of a hindrance in the Senate than an asset to the State or Nation. He still fixates on his hatred of Obama to the point he won’t support the once Centrist positions he took in the past to include immigration reform. Although Kirkpatrick is more of a conservative Democrat than Progressive, she still supports correctly the Affordable Care Act and is willing to work across the aisle to get things done as she’s shown in the House.
I live in Congressional District 6 and of course I’m voting for W. John Williamson who is the Democrat. Regardless which Congressional District you reside in, I strongly encourage you to vote for the Democrat over the Republican. The obstruction of the past six years is from Republican Control of the House. Any legislation for ordinary Americans is shelved in order to push Legislation for the 1% at the expense of ordinary Americans. There is no sign the Republicans in the House will change their obstructionist ways with Clinton so we must remove as many of them as possible.
As with the above, for State House and State Senate and for the same reasons, I’m voting for the Democrats. My State Senator currently is Nancy Barto who sponsored legislation that passed and became law requiring doctors to literally lie to their patients regarding abortions. Our House and Senate are filled with Tea Party extremists who focus solely on disproven ideology than the needs of the citizens. They all need to be replaced.
For Corporation Commission there are only two Democrats running, William Mundell and Tom Chabin. We need to also select a third among the three remaining Republican Candidates. Of them, Tobin is the least objectionable and in the pockets of predatory corporations in Arizona.
For County Board of Supervisors in my district there is only one Republican Candidate. This is sad because Maricopa County has some very qualified Democrats to run for office but few put their names in. Fortunately Bill Gates is too bad.
As with Board of Supervisors, we only have one Republican candidate for County Assessor. Fortunately it’s an office that really has no power.
For County Attorney I’m voting for Diego Rodriguez instead of Republican Bill Montgomery. Although Montgomery has done better than his predecessor by not licking Joe Arpaio’s ass, he has yet to follow through on investigating him or at least appointing a special prosecutor for Joe’s continued illegal racial profiling.
For County Recorder Republican Helen Purcell has been there for as long as I can remember. Other than some suspicious ballot issues from 2014 no real scandals. However, it’s time for a change especially dealing with a party like the Republicans who could very easily miscount votes in a County that’s turning Purple, so I’m voting for Democrat Adrian Fontes.
For County School Superintendent I’m voting for Michelle Robertson. Steve Watson is too much into privatization of Public Schools to the detriment of those living in impoverished areas.
For County Sheriff I’m voting for Paul Penzone. This is the most important race for Maricopa County. Sheriff Joe has been in office too long and has only helped himself out while giving racists in Arizona and around the nation a focal point to freely express their racism. Joe’s campaign is already launching debunked claims of Penzone being a DV abuser in response. Well because Maricopa County Tax Payers must foot the bill for County Officials undergoing criminal and civil actions, Joe has already cost us over $50,000,000.00 over his racial profiling issues and contempt of Court. This tab is expected to increase to $75,000,000.00 by next summer. The only card Joe plays is the racist card because he is a racist. He still contends he’s investigating President Obama’s birth certificate despite Trump now saying he was born here. As with McCain, Arpaio is well past his “sell by date” and must go. If he remains, our Board of Supervisors will either have to increase taxes or cut services. Since they are Republicans, they’ll cut services. Either way, Maricopa County citizens suffer with Joe remaining in office.
For County Treasurer, Joe Downs. For Constable, again we only have a Republican running named David Lester.
By the way, I’m not a fan of write-in or third party votes. In a Purple State like Arizona is becoming, write-in and third party votes are wasted votes that only benefits the extremes of the Republican Party. All votes are important.
Finally on my ballot is a “Question” whether Western Maricopa County should issue and sell bonds for school improvements in Western Maricopa County. Of course yes.
Your comments are welcomed to this voting Guide. Whether you agree with me or not, please get out and vote. No excuse for anyone of any party affiliation to not vote this year.