Monday, May 14, 2012

Voter's Guide for Travis County * May 29, 2012 Republican Primary Election

The titles, candidate names, and wording of propositions (in black) is all copy/pasted from the Sample Ballot, with the Spanish deleted. My comments inserted in Burnt Orange.

May 29, 2012 Joint Primary Election

Preference for Presidential Nominee
  • Jon Huntsman
  • Rick Santorum
  • Mitt Romney
  • Ron Paul
  • John Davis - You never heard of him. I never heard of him. His website could use a new Director of Graphic Design. But at least he makes noises about thinking the right way, and he is definitely putting forth an effort.
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Charles “Buddy” Roemer - Seriously? You have a NICKNAME on the ballot when you are trying to be the frikken PRESIDENT already? Oh, plus he served four terms as U.S. Congressman (1981-1988) as a Democrat! No, my friends, just no.
  • Michele Bachmann
  • Uncommitted
As usual, Texas is late enough in this process not to matter at ALL. Half these jokers already dropped out, and the other half you never heard of except the guy with the money. Vote for whomever you like; John Davis seems promising. Well actually he seems like a miracle compared to the others still in this race, but his chances are slim, at best. I will probably be writing in a vote for myself this coming November. Because he is the Not-Romney still officially in the race, I will vote for John Davis in this primary.

United States Senator
  • Craig James - regardless of how good his political talk is, his walk is sports and he is one of the more-despised famous people in this race. If you feel like throwing away a vote because you like him, vote Craig James. A scandal-laced past and a hated current are enough to steer me clear of him. So is building your life around a game suited for teenagers. Two strikes, he's out.
  • Curt Cleaver - You're running for Senate, not Preacher there amigo! Not the worst one on the ballot, but not my pick.
  • Ben Gambini - nominally running, practically not so much. His campaign website is one paragrah and says to check back in coming days for more information . . . and it was put up a MONTH ago. One must dig even to find a survey to which he responded. You gotta do better than that, Ben. Come back when you are serious about running for office.
  • Lela Pittenger - we need women like this stirring up the base, keeping people awake and getting them into the voting booths. Certainly she would be a better choice than "wobbly Kay" who is fortunately quitting the seat Mrs. Pittenger is seeking. But we need good MEN running the country and good WOMEN not-abandoning their 1-year-old sons to serve in the Senate.
  • David Dewhurst - 90% of the time I like him, but he's let the True Conservative banner down enough to let it drag underfoot. Over any Democrat, he is probably a better candidate.
  • Ted Cruz - Please vote for Ted Cruz on May 29th. To save myself lots of typing I will direct you to this endorsement of Ted Cruz by Lawrence Person's Battleswarm blog. I agree with most of it in regards to not only Cruze but also Dewhurst, Leppert and Addison.
  • Tom Leppert - I like everything I see here and here. We could do much worse, but read the above-linked article on Cruz to see why we could possibly also do much better.
  • Joe Agris - I want him to try again to get the House seat from Houston. He would like to be a Senator the same as me, and he has apparently put out the same amount of effort as me to get elected. You have to play to win, and he isn't doing either in this race.
  • Glenn Addison - I like him, except that he has something strange going on with his face. The eyes are the window to the soul and his are . . . off, somehow. If he got the nomination I could happily vote for him, but he won't because he is running a small-potatoes campaign.
District 17, United States Representative
  • George W. Hindman - another barely-ran candidate. Hint: if the "key differences" page on your campaign website only lists three, and only one makes your opponent look bad . . . and you are running against the incumbent . . . you lose.
  • Bill Flores - Cast your primary ballot for Flores - he doesn't suck too bad, is not the lesser of two evils, and talks the talk.
Railroad Commissioner
  • Warren Chisum
  • Becky Berger
  • Joe Cotton - the only way you could tell he is even running, is that he is on the ballot. You have to try if you want the office and he ain't trying.
  • Christi Craddick
  • Roland Sledge
  • Beryl Burgess - One step up from Cotton, Burgess has a website. It is a cursory attempt, with one page he might have written himself. Plus he's old. He graduated from college when my father was born. Nothing against old people but a six year term is possibly more than he has left! P.S. the website is apparently all he has done to campaign as far as I can tell. Like Cotton, running in name only.
This is a contest between solid candidates, but I think I will give my primary ballot to Becky Berger.

A woman? But aren't you a horrible sexist racist bigot homophobe?

Yes, of course, I'm pure hate to the core of my Angry White Male heart, but sometimes you have to pick the right man for the job - even if he is a woman! But seriously, I don't have any good solid criticism of any of the remaining four on the list so I will have to think about this one a bit more. or maybe just flip a coin. Minor grievances: Craddick is YOUNG to be holding power, and she has a hint of the crazyeyes. Sledge is trying to be too cute by half. Chisum has been in government for perhaps too long, but he is effective. Berger looks like the woman for the job, and I couldn't explain that to you without you being in my brain. Plus, I like that she has experience working both with AND against the Commission. They all have resumes that are a decent fit for the RRC. Vote for Berger.

Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired Term
  • Al Lee - Me, I judge a book by its cover and this guy's cover . . . . well he doesn't seem quite slimy, but maybe a little - oily? He might be the salt of the earth, but he doesn't seem to be running for this office. He is what I want to see: people who "think like us" no longer resting on the electoral victory we scored in 1994. "We" are standing up and Lee is running for something. But why a software guy running for the State's energy commission?
  • Greg Parker - I like him. I want him in public office, which he is. It seems like he wants to be in HIGHER public office, and as he is into energy issues to the RRC is a natural choice. Maybe his campaign is aimed at just being in higher office? He wants it, but does he want this, specifically?
  • Barry Smitherman - Please keep Commissioner Smitherman in his position. He was on the Public Utilities Commission and the Governor thought enough of him to put him on the Railroad Commission. He is in, and knows, the job. The experienced commissioners are leaving so there will be enough lack of experience running this show without losing someone who has been doing the job for part of a term already.
  • Elizabeth Murray-Kolb - Right off the bat, a woman-with-a hyphenated-name is a huge red flag warning. She also believes in anthropogenic global warming - that burning fossil fuels IS causing climate change. Strike two, big time. Strike three is she seems to have some sort of antipathy for the commission for which she is running to be a commissioner. She might be great at what she does now. Let her stay there.
Place 2, Justice, Supreme Court
  • Steve Smith - The man has a bitter look on his face on the front page of his campaign website. He lost to Willett before and probably will do again.
  • Don Willett - Hung out with the right crowd and got himself appointed, yes . . . and now he's been doing the job for EIGHT years without major controversy. That is reason enough right there to re-elect Justice Willett.
Place 4, Justice, Supreme Court
  • David Medina - I like him. He's a good conservative, and his pursuits (hunting, fishing, champion martial artist, etc) speak well of him. It's already his seat. Keep Justice Medina in Place 4.
  • Joe Pool, Jr. - Is a Methodist. I'd rather a nominal christian/maybe catholic than a methodist these days. Plus, half his website is in Spanish so strike 2. Strike three is that he appears only to be running so he can show 'em all that his wife's fines in a probate case were unjust. Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either. He's already a successful lawyer. Let him stay one, wherever he already is.
  • John Devine - Right there on his campaign website he has posted publicly opinions on a whole BUNCH of issues that are certain to come before the Court on which he wants to sit. Unless he's just angling for a bunch of recusals on related cases, this is a huge error of judgement . . . which, for a judge, strikes me as a problem.
District 10, Member, State Board of Education
  • Tom Maynard - Please vote for Tom Maynard for SBOE District 10. He puts time, time, and time into children to train them in more than just the core subjects. A country boy with good sense who made it big in the national FFA leadership, he has a breadth of experience that goes beyond the classroom. A teacher AND a leader and then some is the impression I get.
  • Jeff Fleece - Third pick but I'd go for him if he were the candidate. You have to like his background, just I'm not sure what it has to do with the Board of Education.
  • Rebecca Osborne - She has a doctoral degree in education administration. You can look for yourself and see where we have gotten with other people "educated" in education. She wants to make a difference and that's great. Let's allow her to continue making a difference in her current classroom. I endorsed her last time (2010) but this time Maynard is my top pick by a slim margin.
Place 3, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
  • Scott Field - Has worked for plaintiffs and defendants. Importantly (important to me!) he clerked at the Texas supreme Court, which is a huge advantage in experience over his opponent. Please vote for Scott Field for Place 3.
  • Madeleine Connor - a lawyer. Maybe even a good one. But she almost still has new-lawyer smell from graduation compared to Field.
Precinct 2, Constable
  • Al Herrera
  • Toby J. Miller
This is a tough one. Both these men seem like good choices. The coin toss* goes to Al Herrera, but I will be happy to get miller on the ballot as well. *no, not really! The current man in this office has to go. It will be truly astonishing if Ballesteros does NOT get on the Democrat ticket, considering his Democrat primary challenger is an "openly gay" male with no history of party involvement, but he is generally viewed askance, and is arguably only there because the Losertarians stole some Republican votes. This November will be interesting from President to Dog Catcher.

The following races are all uncontested on the Republican side. It won't hurt anything if you fill in the box by each name, and it might just scare a Democrat a little if you act like you know/support these people as early as this Primary election.

Place 6, Justice, Supreme Court: Nathan Hecht
Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals: Sharon Keller
Place 7, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals: Barbara Parker Hervey
Place 8, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals: Elsa Alcala
District 14, State Senator: Guy Fielder
Place 2, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District: Jeff Rose
Place 5, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District: David Puryear
Place 6, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District: Bob Pemberton
Sheriff: Raymond Frank
County Tax Assessor-Collector: Vik Vad
County Chairman: Rosemary Edwards


The state should fund education by allowing dollars to follow the child instead of the bureaucracy, through a program which allows parents the freedom to choose their child’s school, public or private, while also saving significant taxpayer dollars.

Please vote For school choice. The way it is now is stupid. We need changes like this.

Congress should immediately repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare) and reject the rationing of healthcare by government or the intrusion by the government into the doctor - patient relationship.

Please vote For repealing obamacare. It is in the running for the worst law to have been passed in the USA, ever. We need to ditch it.

Government should be prohibited from restricting the content of public prayer.

Please vote For Public Prayer. It is sad that this is even a question.

Out of control spending should be stopped at all levels of federal and state government through
constitutional amendments limiting any increase in government spending to be the combined increase of population and inflation, requiring voter approval.

I'm voting AGAINST this proposal. Yes, we need to stop spending. Why is there no proposal to put some teeth into the Tenth Amendment we already HAVE in the Constitution?

The Texas Legislature should redraw the court-imposed lines for Congress and State legislative districts in its upcoming session in order to remedy inequities.

So long as the Republicans control the Texas legislature, I'm For redistricting. Well actually I am for what I like to think is common sense voter district maps, which I commented on previously.

*With special lack of attention to the places where I don't live!

Generally speaking:
a) I’m glad I don’t have to think about Congressman McCaul any more
b) I’m glad they regerrymandered, because now you have to think, consider, and pick a new name instead of the same one you voted for the last five elections. Oh, wait, you didn’t vote in any of them so nevermind.

Vote For David is not to be considered an unbiased source! These are my opinions, take them for what you think they are worth. Mostly this page is here so I would have a place where my notes wouldn't get lost before the election . . . if you take a benefit from the hours of research I did, all the better.

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