Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Voted

I mailed my ballot in today. Washington is predominately a mail-in ballot state now, only a few counties have walk-in polling stations, all the rest use mail-in ballots. I live in one of the former counties where they also mail you a ballot to alleviate taking time out to go to the polling station. Besides I forgot where I put my voters card.

Anyway, I'm an old-fashioned independent progressive liberal of the 1960's mindset on many issues but not all issues where some I'm a moderate, some a realist, and some a conservative, which means I can and will have strong views but not always mainstream and not always following any party line or rhetoric. That's what the 1960's taught my generaion, be yourself.

So, to all the pollsters, how did I vote? Well, I vote the candidate, but these days, it's not voting for the best one but the lesser of evil ones. Politics is so corrupt no elected official at the national level (and many at the state and local level too but less) is clean, let alone squeeky clean. The corporations in many industries, like energy, healthcare and health insurance, drugs, environment, and down the list, have made contributions to all members in Congress and even the President.

The corporations and industries (through trade organizations and lobbyists) learned the lesson to spread the money around and make sure everyone in Congress has some of your money and you have access to them to express your interests, and if necessary, warn of not voting their way. Hell, they sometime put staffers inside some member's office, sometimes draft parts of legistlation, or provide the material the representative or senators uses.

In short, many corporations own Congress through their money, their trade organizations, their lobbyists, and the perks they provide. And now with unlmited campaign financing, their PAC's to run attack ads against their opponent or promotion ads to show their candidate supports their issues and views. The system in Washington DC they long argued was broken is totally in pieces, never to work right again.

Once just Congress was owned, now the campaigns are owned by corporations. Ok, extremist view maybe but not far from the truth and reality this year. Even President Obama's campaign got money from the corporations, including the energy corporations like BP. Why do you think he wasn't as hard on them as the public wanted? He's a pragmatist and realist to know you don't piss off your campaign contributors.

You can piss off the public but not the money source. But I've wandered from the point, how I voted. I did vote mostly democratic but some of them got my vote for the lack of a better candidate. Both weren't great, one was just less worse. And the issue votes, like the referendums and initiative measures?

Well, six fo the nine got no votes, including both 1100 and 1105. I don't want private enterprise controlling and operating the liquor industry and sales, outside of what's already legal with beer, wine and similar drinks. I'm happy with the state running things to keep liquor under control from people and especially teenagers. I realize they, adults who like to drink and teenagers who want to drink, will still get liquor, but I don't want it so readily available.

And while all those proponents of either cites California as a good example, using costs and prices, I lived there for 6 years and saw it's effects too. There isn't a small town, even down to just a blink-and-you'll-miss-it ones where you can't buy liquor. It's easier to buy liquor in California than almost anything else. That's because of the profit margin. And you can bet underage access isn't fully enforced.

With the other conroversial issue, income tax, I voted yes. Yes, I voted for an income tax for those earning over $200K. Since I've never made that much money, it's no skin off my nose, and I don't mind the rich paying more to help the rest of us. That's what the social contract is for, pay proportionately for your income. You use the same services, drive the same roads, and so on, so you can help the less fortunate who need the money more.

I don't expect this measure to pass, the public outcry is too much for it too pass, but I can make my voice heard and my vote count. So if you don't like how I voted, then vote. You can't be heard or counted until you do.

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