Having spent every available minute examining candidates and issues in detail, we now unveil at the eleventh hour the definitive guide to every contested part of tomorrow's ballot, at least if you vote in the SWNIDish precinct. To vote right and vote smart, vote with SWNID as follows:
POTUS and Sidekick: The election of Barack Obama and Joe Biden will be historic and entertaining respectively. We look for a turn to the left on all major issues, with quick reactions from the center and right that will once again demonstrate that Democratic party unity is an oxymoron. In those limited cases where Obama manages to do something (look for marginal tax rates to rise, trade deals to go sour, and military spending to be limited), the economic and geopolitical impact will be negative. We also regret that Obama looks unable to speak to the issue of race, where he once seemed to have the greatest potential as an agent of change. To reserve a place at the "I told you so" table, vote for McCain and Palin. But have the courtesy to remove your campaign paraphernalia, unlike the dinosaurs who still have their Kerry-Edwards gear on their cars.
US Representative, District 1: SWNID was ready a few weeks ago to vote against the venerable Steve Chabot because of his two votes against the financial bailout. Having heard him explain his vote--he wanted to pass legislation that would have rewritten upside-down mortgages as the root of the problem--we are reconciled to the principled conservative gentleman from Cheviot. Steve Driehaus is one of the many fiscally and socially conservative candidates that Democrats are running this year, but a dependable vote on all things conservative is hard to top. Chabot gets our vote, and we expect him to prevail.
Ohio Attorney General: Both major party candidates are well qualified and have good records of public service. We'll actually give the nod to Richard Cordray, the Democrat. We think that the clueless Ted Strickland is best served when his smarter friends, like Cordray and Board of Regents Chancellor Eric Fingerhut.
Ohio State Representative, District 3: Dale Mallory is most definitely the weakest link in the distinguished Mallory political clan. His first term in Columbus has been utterly undistinguished. But his opponent is the persistent Republican placeholder candidate Theo Barnes, who is amazingly on record endorsing the mandatory sick leave amendment that even its sponsors have withdrawn. Vote Mallory, simply because there's no real choice and Mallory is at least well connected.
Ohio Supreme Court Justice: Incumbents Maureen O'Connor and Evelyn Stratton are part of the conservative bloc of the Ohio Supremes. Their opponents, Joseph Russo and Peter Sikora, are connected to organized labor interests. Keeping Ohio open for business, which it barely is at present, requires conservative justices.
Judge, Court of Common Pleas: SWNID has little use for that mercurial fixture of Hamilton County Republican politics, Pat DeWine. His opponent, Norma Davis, is endorsed by loads of labor unions with little stake in common pleas judges except for general political gain. We give a reluctant nod to DeWine.
Judge, Court of Common Pleas: Fred Nelson has a gold-plated legal resume. Jerry Metz has the endorsement of the Democratic Party and lots of unions. Vote for Fred, who is superior in every way.
Judge, Court of Common Pleas: This is a tight one. Jody Luebbers is currently on this bench. She has a good record, good experience, a magic name in Cincinnati and the endorsement of the Democrats. Russell Mock is a municipal judge with a good record, good experience, no magic name and the endorsement of the sheriff and county prosecutor. We'll give the nod to the prosecutor's man.
Issue 1: This initiative will provide an earlier filing deadline for ballot issues. Vote yes to curtail the brinkmanship that's played with signatures for ballot initiatives.
Issue 2: This initiative will allow Ohio to issue bonds to pay for environmental projects, including brownfield cleanup. That's a necessary thing for an industrial state, and an appropriate thing for which to borrow money. Vote yes.
Issue 3: This constitutional amendment will guarantee property owners reasonable use of the water that runs under and next to their properties. Such measures are necessary in a time when state and local governments are happy to appropriate land for almost any conceivable use. Vote yes.
Issue 4: This would have been the amendment to mandate paid sick leave for full-time employees. What would have been better named the Send Jobs to Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania Act was withdrawn by supporters when Ted Strickland flipped from supporting to opposing the idiotic bill. So it's gone from the ballot. But note well: supporters said they had a pledge from Obama for a federal mandate for paid sick leave. We figure this will be among the many broken promises of the first one hundred days, but from little acorns . . . .
Issue 5: This is one of three mighty important ballot matters. Issue 5 will limit the terms of so-called payday loans. The loan companies complain that customers should be free to enter into contracts in which they are charged outrageous rates of interest, claiming that these rates are still better than bounced checks or credit card overages. We say that usury is usury and vulnerable people need protection from it. Vote yes. (Sorry, libertarians, we think government has a role in promoting virtue.)
Issue 6: Here's the second biggie. This noisy issue will establish a noisy casino near quiet Wilmington, Ohio. Forget all the noise about jobs being created. They'll simply be shifted from one casino to another, like it matters that it's in Wilmington instead of Rising Sun, Indiana. Gambling adds zero to domestic product. It transfers wealth instead of creating it. It is generally accompained by other vices when it arrives in a community. Always vote against gambling. Always. Even though we're already awash in it. No, no, a thousand times a thousand times no.
Issue 7: This initiative will limit the use of robotic cameras at intersections. We say vote no. Cameras take pictures of everyone, but only the bad guys suffer as a consequence.
Issue 8: This is the third big issue, on proportional representation on Cincinnati City Council. Brought up every so often by nostalgic members of Cincinnati's antiquated Charter Party, PR would use complicated mathematical algorithms to assign ranked votes to candidates for city council. The result, supporters say, is that candidates with a relatively small but dedicated constituency could be elected to council. We ask rhetorically, "And that is somehow a good thing?" For an example of PR, study the Israeli Knesset, certainly one of the most fractious political bodies in the world. Improvement for Cincinnati City Council will come when the charter is ammended so that a small number of members are elected at large and a larger number are elected from districts. Vote no on PR.
What to do in other precincts nationwide: Plug your address and zip into the SmartVoter ballot-bot and find who and what are on your ballot.
What to do Tuesday evening: Go to bed when they call Pennsylvania for Obama. McCain needs PA if he's going to thread the needle. Alternately, if North Carolina goes blue, go to bed. You'll need your sleep going into the next eight years. If Driehaus wins Ohio 1, watch out in the House. If McConnell loses KY, watch out in the Senate. But we think nevertheless that grassroots politics will make no majority safe for overreaching Democratic liberals. So go to bed.
What to do forever: Don't vote early unless you can't vote on election day. Stuff changes sometimes, so think gray until you have to make the decision. And don't sweat politics. What really matters transcends politics. All the political blather on this blog is little more than entertaining conversation around the water cooler.