Prelude to Elections

Today is the last day of October, so that means that a week from now, we’ll all be off voting in our respective polling places, (trying) to steer the course of our nation. I’m not any sort of a pundit or activist, but particularly for those of you in Wisconsin, I thought I would offer my opinions on some key races that are coming up next week. This post is less about steering your vote, and more about gaining additional perspective.

If you ask me, both Jim Doyle and Mark Green are, frankly, dickwads. I can’t ever remember a campaign that talked less about issues. Politics has become a subsidiary of the entertainment industry, and this race is a shining example.
“Governor Doyle, what is your position on stem cell research?”
“Well, let me tell you that my opponent wants all your grandchildren to die of cancer…”

“And Congressman Green, how do you propose to increase retention of college graduates in the state?”
“Yes—did you know that my opponent takes weekly field trips to Tijuana and drives busloads of illegal immigrants across the border to inflate diversity statistics at UW campuses?”

Anyway… I am likely to vote for the Green party candidate, Nelson Eisman. At least this way, I’ll be able to sleep at night over the next four years… Here are links for all three candidates:
Jim Doyle
Mark Green
Nelson Eisman

Attorney General
The way I see it, this official should be free from the constraints of politics as much as possible. The Attorney General’s job is to uphold the law and work to eliminate crime. This is all that should matter. Given that position, I’ll probably vote for JB Van Hollen. The biggest reason for my decision here is the fact that Kathleen Falk was an assistant AG for 14 years. To me that says, “well-acquainted with politicking.”


US Senator
Herb is running basically unopposed. It seems like he’s about as vanilla as you can get as a US senator. He hasn’t done anything in particular to distinguish himself, but I guess he hasn’t really screwed up, either. The most that I know about The Senator is that he’s been there 18 years, and likely to be in for another 6 at least. But, when you’re worth 800 million bucks (pun intended), why the hell not get more visibly involved with an issue like, oh, I dunno, limiting wage increases for Congress? on the Senate race

Question 1
“Shall section 13 of article XIII of the constitution be created to provide that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state and that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state?”

So what we’ve got here is a preemptive strike against non-heterosexuals who would like (deservedly so) social equality with everyone else. I think Kevin was the first person who said to me (and I’m paraphrasing) “LBGTQ issues are the civil rights movement of our generation.” How true.

Creating laws to undermine a person’s civil liberties because you don’t agree with their lifestyle is EXACTLY the same as insisting that people whose skin is a different color sit in a different dining room, or go to a different bathroom, etc.

The reason that this proposal is even on the ballot is because it’s a lightning-rod political issue designed to get ultra-righties to the polls. People who think it’s a good idea will try to scare the ignorant into thinking there’s some sort of subversive homosexual entity in Wisconsin that’s going to start marrying their dogs on November 8.

The fact is, this amendment is wrong, it’s mean-spirited, it goes against the separation of church and state, and above all, it is completely unnecessary. This from on the proposal:

“Under present Wisconsin law, only a marriage between a husband and a wife is recognized as valid in this state. A husband is commonly defined as a man who is married to a woman, and a wife is commonly defined as a woman who is married to a man.
… “A ‘no’ vote would not change the present law restricting marriage to a union between a man and a woman nor impose restrictions on any particular kind of domestic relationship, partnership or agreement between unmarried persons.”

So if you’re a hate-mongering homophobe, by all means: vote yes on this one.

Question 2
“Should the death penalty be enacted in the State of Wisconsin for cases involving a person who is convicted of first-degree intentional homicide, if the conviction is supported by DNA evidence?”

Less controversial, and I recommend taking a look at on this topic as well.

Finally, a more general comment on something that has begun to more significantly influence my political ideology over the last 12 months or so: If you’re into the RSS as a news-delivery medium, subscribe yourself to this feed: AP Science Feed

The thing is, politics is a game that’s on TV for our amusement. It is in both parties’ interest to foster an adversarial atmosphere because we get too wrapped up in hating the other side to notice anything that’s actually going on. None of this will make a goddamn bit of difference if we destroy the planet in the next 50-100 years. So watch the research that’s happening, listen to the reports, and if you actually do care about the world that your kids and your grandkids will be living in, take some responsibility. Ask the people that represent you to do the same.

Tomorrow, back to regularly scheduled minutiae.

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