What Elections Are For

Elections aren’t about winning and losing. They’re not for candidates at all. Elections are for giving the voters a choice of peers to choose from so we can participate in running our society. Keep in mind that candidates are voters, too.

Some people quote complicated campaign theory about how to get elected and complain about third-party candidates stealing votes. Some even suggest that third parties should bow out and support ‘the big boys’. I am of the opinion that these people are rather lacking in ethics, don’t really believe in the democratic process, certainly don’t respect voters right to choose and may even feel voters aren’t intelligent enough to decide for themselves. That just might be me, though.

Published in: on October 5, 2014 at 12:49 am  Comments Off on What Elections Are For  
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Early Voting

Yes, I have my early voting packet. No, I haven’t voted yet. Yes, I’ll be dropping it off on election day. No, I won’t tell you how I voted (although you might guess with varying degrees of certainty, depending on how well you actually know me). Yes, I am waiting til the last minute to fill it out, but in the comfort of my own home, thank you. No, I don’t think this is a contradiction of intent or purpose of early/absentee voting.

While not the norm, it has happened that things occur in the last days of an election. Candidates die, get indicted, withdraw for other reasons or additional information comes out at the last minute. I don’t want to vote early (if I don’t have to) and then, before election day, find out that something’s changed that would make me want to change my vote and regret that I voted early.

I also like knowing that my vote actually got there. When mailing in my ballot I’m sure it got delivered, but did it get there in time in good condition to get counted? They have to be received by election day, no matter when it was postmarked. It’s rare that I get mangled mail, but it’s happened enough that I want to hand deliver my ballot whenever possible. If I cast my ballot at my polling place on the day of the election I know it got there, whether I got a fresh one and filled it out there or simply dropped off my early ballot.

Voting isn’t a privilege, it’s a right. Our employers must allow us time off to vote under certain circumstances (call your local elections office for details). If you make a mistake while filling out your ballot you have a right to ask for a new one. I’ve done this. My own little kids under foot can be a bit distracting, especially when filling out butterfly ballots in FL.

If you get to the polling place and find that some sort of irregularity gets in your way you do have the right to cast a provisional ballot. If you find yourself in this position don’t be shy, just be firm and follow through both on election day while casting a provisional ballot and in the days after in following up with the elections officers to make sure your provisional ballot is counted.

So, no matter how the election turns out, good luck to all the candidates and happy voting to all of us. No matter who we vote for we vote for the person we hope will make our world better.

Who I Represent

As an elected representative I would be duty-bound to represent everyone in my district. Not just those who voted for me. Not just those who agree with me. Not just the people I know or like or who agree with me… Everyone. Catholic, Mormon, Protestant, Jewish, Sikh, Muslim, Pagan, Buddhist, Atheist, Animist, Agnostic, practicing, non-practicing, Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, Independent, voter, non-voter, professional, laborer, unemployed, underemployed, self-employed, artist, retired, students, adults, children…everyone, even those I haven’t listed.

Published in: on November 2, 2012 at 6:16 pm  Comments Off on Who I Represent  
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Still Learning

This is the 3rd time I’ve run for office. Each time I learn a little more about politics, people and myself. The 1st time I had a campaign manager who was more experienced in politics than I was. He had worked on Jean Chretien’s campaign for Prime Minister in Canada. I had definite ideas about what I wanted to accomplish, project out to the world and why. I wasn’t always right and both George and I learned a lot. The 2nd time I ran on my own with help from random friends. I did better than the first time around and not as good as I’d hoped, since I still needed to find a job. Oh, did I forget to mention that running for office in 2010 was part of my job search after being downsized? Well, we do what we need to in this economy. This time, the 3rd time, I’m running with a campaign manager again. Now I’m the one with (some) experience and she’s the one new to politics, but she’s brilliant and catches details and nuances I miss. The cool thing is that we’re both still new enough to enjoy it, be excited at meeting new people and try to remind each other to just have fun when we get tired, frustrated or discouraged. At least if I don’t get elected this time I still have a job, albeit part-time. So, if I get elected Amanda will have something to add to her résumé, some experience if she decides to run for office, and I’ll have a full-time job for 2 years serving the people in AZ Legislative District 26. If I don’t get elected Amanda will still have something to add to her résumé and I’ll try again next time. No matter what, it’s an interesting experience and I keep meeting great people. You should try it some time! And when you pick up your ballot, if you see my name please vote for me and let me work for you.

Published in: on October 17, 2012 at 2:35 pm  Comments Off on Still Learning  
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Current Troubles

The economy, health care, insurance, jobs, crime, education, drugs, … no politician can solve all of our problems any more than the government has, although most promise to. All government can do, really, is mediate disputes (civil, criminal or business), manage and provide for public goods and services (such as schools, infrastructure, disaster relief, parks) and manage diplomatic relations between governmental entities. If they’re not doing that they generally just get in the way. OK, sometimes they get in the way even when they’re just doing their job! The point is, left to our own devices most people find solutions to our own problems just fine, thank you, as long as government stays out of our way. How many of us get to April 15th every year and think “man, what I could have done with that if I’d been able to keep it in the first place!” So, who can help you keep more? The BIG TWO haven’t succeeded so far, so let’s try an infusion of new blood. Throw some Libertarians, Independents or Greens at the State capital & DC. You could do it just for fun, to watch their faces in November. OMG!!! Not THEM! The BIG TWO are both concerned about their power base or they wouldn’t be fighting so hard to keep the two-party system, even if it means a Donkey loses to an Elephant or vice versa. People always fear the unknown. This Halloween let’s play a trick on the government and send new people in, the ones that have actually been working real jobs (or applying for them along with so many of you). Do you really think we’ll do worse than the career politicians? Don’t feel bad for them, I’m sure they’ll be able to get work as consultants, lobbyists, or other positions of influence. Just vote your conscience. It doesn’t matter if you vote for the winner or the loser, it matters that you vote for what you believe in. If more people did that we might see some real change. Could the other guys really do any worse than the ones that have been running the show so far? At least give us a chance to keep the BIG TWO honest and on their toes. And besides, if you vote for one of the candidates who doesn’t win you have more right to make your views known to them because you didn’t want them anyway! Vote outside the box, mix it up! Don’t vote blue or red, vote purple! Vote for one of the little guys and watch a few career politicians turn purple!

The Most Important Job

Ask most people what the most important job is and they might say Police, Doctor, Teacher…but a many often say Mother. If the most important job is raising good, ethical, intelligent, responsible children then why, as ‘just Moms’, do so many of us think we don’t qualify for other jobs? Jobs in service, sales, management, politics…yes, politics! Think about it. As Mothers we have to chauffeur, nurse, cook, clean and  manage financial/time/space/resource budgets. We put others first and somehow manage to pull off miracles, so why would anyone think someone who’s ‘just a mom’ wouldn’t make a fantastic elected official? We’ve proven  where our priorities are. Do you really want someone who will look to the future and make a better world for our children? Start electing Mommies! You know, I can think of a few Dads who would do a pretty good job, too. And while you’re voting, if you see me on the ballot…give me a chance to show you what I can do.

Left/Right…

I just heard someone say during an interview: “Left leg, right leg, same pair of pants…”. He’s right. We’ve been locked into the same dysfunctional systemic rut for too long, but there is an alternative. Maybe we should wear a kilt! OK, maybe ACTUALLY wearing a kilt wouldn’t be very fashionable, but you get the idea. Think outside the box, try something new and vote for old values, smaller government, individual liberties, personal responsibility.  Be American, vote for Liberty, vote Libertarian.

Voting

Normally I would not presume to tell anyone who to vote for, but since I’m running in this election I will ask you to vote for me…if I’m on your ballot. If you don’t know which Legislative District you live in don’t worry, just watch for:

STATE REPRESENTATIVE

LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 26

If you are in district 26 you will see my name and can vote for me and one of my other (very nice, actually) opponents. If you are in another district then thank you kindly for thinking of me and looking, but you’ll have to pick 2 other people. In this picture from the 2010 election I used a crayon because this is a sample ballot and I’m a mommy and the crayon was handy, but if you wait to do it in a booth on Nov. 2nd you’ll want to use the marker in the booth and if you do it at home on an early ballot you’ll want to follow the directions that come with the early ballot.

No, I won’t tell you who I’m voting for. I have met all the Libertarian candidates that appear on my ballot and I think they would all do fine jobs if elected, in case you were wondering about them. In races where Libertarians aren’t running I’ll consider who will work the hardest to preserve individual rights and liberties. You, of course, will have your own criteria. The important thing is that you do vote. The only vote you throw away is the one you don’t cast, so get out there  and celebrate your right to choose who represents you as a part of this Republic.

Diversity

Who is sitting in power right now? What is the general political makeup of our local, state and federal government? Pretty much Democrat/Republican. Is it any wonder why we have divisive racial and diversity issues splitting our society? Here’s an idea…promote diversity in government by voting diversity into government. Give the Libertarians, Greens, Independents and any others you see on the ballot that you feel might be worthy a chance. Vote out of the box. Personally, I’m most likely to vote Libertarian, but some Greens, an Independent and even a Democrat and Republican have impressed me. The worst thing you can do is decide not to vote your true opinion and vote with the crowd because you don’t want to vote for a ‘loser’. No, that’s wrong…the worst thing you can do is take one candidate’s advice and only vote for 1 candidate (in his race you get 2 votes, choosing 2 of the candidates on the ballot). The only vote you throw away or waste is the one you don’t cast. Make a decision, even if you have to flip a coin. Whoever wins, the winner represents you and you have a right to make your opinions known to them whether you voted for them or not (especially if you didn’t vote for them). Make this the country and government what it was meant to be: representative. Vote for diversity. And while you’re at it, vote for me!