Monday, October 30, 2006

Conductor Recommends

Since The Herald and othe newspapers like to weigh in on the candidates I will do likewise, so here's a peek at what my ballot will look like next Tuesday:

U.S. Senator: I'll be voting for the most hated woman in Florida, Katherine Harris. She doesn't have snowball's chance in hell but what the hey.

U.S. Congress: Lincoln Diaz-Balart

Florida Governor: Charlie Crist

Florida Attorney General: Bill McCollum, he's got the personality of a wet rag but he's conservative.

Florida Chief Financial Officer: Tom Lee

Florida Agriculture Commissioner: Ugh! Can you say citrus plants? I don't want the guy responsible for cutting every damned orange and lemon tree on private property to win. It's enough to make someone like me vote for a Democrat. Undecided.

Florida Supreme Court, retain R. Fred Lewis: No

Florida Supreme Court, retain Peggy A. Quince: Nope

Florida Supreme Court, retain Barbara J. Pariente: Hell no.

Florida Constitutional Amendment 1, fixed spending limits for state legislature: No. We elect these guys to make the right spending decisions. If they don't we should vote them out.

Florida Constitutional Amendment 3, raises the threshold for amending the constitution via referendum from 50%+1 to 60%+1 of: Hell no. The public has approved some ridiculous and expensive amendments to constitution in the past but another amendment which requires all future amendments to come with a price tag has already been enacted. I think people will be more careful about voting for these pie in the sky programs when they see the costs associated with them.

Florida Constitutional Amendment 4, sets minimum spending on anti-smoking programs: no way. I think the smoking settlement is ridiculous to begin with but I think the the legislature should do as it sees fit with the money they obtain from it.

Florida Constitutional Amendments 6 and 7, increases homestead exemption on property taxes for two narrowly defined groups, no sir. We are all equal under the law, or that's what I was led to believe. We need property tax relief for ALL property owners not just certain ones.

Florida Constitutional Amendment 8, protects property owners from certain types of eminent domain takings, YES! The Supreme Court said in the Kelo case that although there is nothing in the U.S. constitution that restricts these types of takings (for private enterprise, as opposed to public projects like highways and schools) that nothing prevents states and municipalities from restricting themselves. We need this amendment to protect our property from overzealous bureaucrats and greedy developers.


Alex said...

We are voting the same way in all the ammendments. Who says we can't find common ground? Hell, I may even vote for Tom Lee. I kinda like the idea of a maverick conservative watching over the purse strings. Do you remember when he called the Marlins terrorists?

Pete said...

Get ready to throw up. This is not a drill, I repeat this is not a drill. "New York to Unveil Fidel Castro Statue in Central Park"

Here's the Newsmax link to Fontova's essay:

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Is it too late to change my mind?

Srcohiba said...

interestingly Henry, we're close except on US Sen. and amendments. Nelson is tolerable and he did not filibuster some Judicial candidates. But Harris, I cannot vote for her if she was unopposed. Hence I voted for Bill and left the bubble for arza blank.

On the judges, i voted to retain all of them. (If you can't agree on the supremes, at least vote to retain the 3rd dca judges, esp. Leslie). All are fine jurists; and take it from one who actually reads their opinions for a living.

On the Fla. Supreme Court, all the judges deserve to be retained. They are all competent jurists. Also, none of them have authored any opinions that have made me cringe.

Amendment 1 I vote Yes. You can't trust these folks with the purse strings with no limits. Same with Congress.

Amendment 3 - yes. The problem with these amendments is that the constitution is being used as a way to subvert the legislative process. Much of what gets added are not appropriate to be added to the constitution. They need to be addded through the legislative process. Hence all the crap that got on the constitution the last election; min. wage, the lawyer and medical amendments; pigs; anti smoking; etc. The US Constitution is difficult to amend, and it's for a reason. The FLa. Const. should be difficult to amend as well unless you have a strong majority.

Number 4 - No. frankly, the anti-smoking commercials are a waste of money. that money could be used for better things, like overall education.

6 and 7 - yes, esp. with the old folks like my mom who need the help.

8 - yes (even though it is not needed under fla. law, but if it makes everyone happy, then so be it)

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...


Here's my issues with the propositions on which we disagree.

Florida Supreme Court: I'm not an attorney but I remember those 3 Supremes being very partisan during the 2000 election fiasco. The US supreme court ended up throwing their decisions out. I want fresh blood in there not some party hacks appointed 3 governors ago.

Amend 1: I don't like the idea of having a small group of legislators making decisions for the whole body when the legislature is out of session. And like I said I'm a fiscal conservative but I don't think spending limits are the answer. A more informed electorate is.

Amend 3: I could see raising the number of signatures to get something on the ballot but not the amount of votes needed. Again we shouldn't have to protect ourselves from ourselves.

6&7, I hear what you are saying but older people already get double the exemption and most older people are living in homes for many many years and thus their property taxes are capped at 3% increases per year. But if you are young and starting out in our housing shortage your neww property gets reassessed and you end paying the most taxes in a neighborhood where you may have cheapest/smallest house. That's what happened to me. Reject this amendment and let's have property tax relief for EVERYONE not a select sub-set.

8. Propery rights need to be enshrined in the constitution.

Srcohiba said...

They were partisan on the Bush v. Gore; the US Supreme Court was partisan on the same case. Depends on which side you were on I guess. But I don't judge them on one case as I don't judge the US Supreme Court judges on one case. Some I agree some I disagree. I have to look at the big picture. Under Florida law, appellate judges are not elected. They are subject to merit retention. There's a reason for that, to puportedly prevent the court from deciding cases on popular opinion rather than the law. Of course, that isn't always what happens, anywhere.

The judges have to retire by 65 anyway. Also, Jeb appointed a few good judges to the bench. It is well balanced.

On Amend 3 - If you recall, the reason the federal constitution made it so difficult to amend was to protect it from the tide of popular opinion. It's too easy to get > 50% and hence why our constitution in Florida is cluttered with amendments that are appropriate matters for the legislature. But once it's an amendment, then you're stuck with it unless you get another petition process and go through the same affair. 50+ percent should not be all that is needed for a slim majority to control the minority. A supermajority makes more sense.

Likewise, imagine if all you needed was a simple majority to override a veto.

I agree with you on capping the increases, and that should be the next law change. But for now, the old folks need the help. it's the least we can do for them.