Monday, November 07, 2011

Quick 'n' Dirty SWNIDish Voter Guide

In response to the myriads of gentle readers asking for guidance on tomorrow's off-off year election choices, we break our blogging fast to supply the handy, dandy SWNIDish Voter Guide for 2011.

First up, Cincinnati City Council

Committed to the notion that free markets are the way to general prosperity, SWNID leans Republican. But in City Council elections, we are a decidedly choosey Republican. So from the GOP slate we endorse the following:

  • Amy Murray: super smart, super sensible
  • Wayne Lippert: from the impressive Portman stable, a financial advisor with the sense to help the city sort out public-employee pension messes
  • Catherine Smith Mills: also a veteran of the Portman staff, representing the best of GOP sensibility

And we reject the following who besmirch the legacy of Lincoln:

  • Leslie Ghiz: loud, inconsistent, a publicity hog, clearly trying to establish a public persona to run for mayor but without a political philosophy from which to govern
  • Charlie Winburn: on his second set of term-limited terms, Winburn still has no achievements on his record save the ability to sustain his own voice for long stretches without pausing to inhale

We fill out our slate with the following, still not voting the maximum nine so that our votes have a smidgeon more impact:

  • Kevin Flynn: attorney, dad, board chair of Drake Center, courageous overcomer of devastating injuries, sensible guy who knows how to make the city better, resident of Mt. Airy, our city's most pleasant neighborhood
  • Wendel Young: a work horse, not a show horse--shows up and supports good decisions and consensus
  • Cecil Thomas: retired cop who loves the city and views things sensibly, though apparently he needs to clean up some of the rental property that he owns
  • Chris Bortz: development-minded, pro-business, the kind who might actually bring jobs to the city, maybe a decent mayor in a couple of years

Meanwhile, we urge any and all not to vote for any or all of the following:
  • Mike Allen: publicity-hungry former county prosecutor who lost his old job through extramarital activity on a county-owned desk. We don't need to enable this guy's ego that is already enormous even by the standards of politics.
  • Chris Smitherman: the only person with more ego than Mike Allen in this race. Smitherman will use anything for self-promotion, and we don't say that lightly.
  • Roxanne Qualls: a nice lady who's been around for a long time with a lot of weak ideas that never get stronger. If you like the last twenty years of council governance, keep voting for Qualls. Props, Rox, for telling the Prez that the only way to pay for an Infrastructre-Bank-financed rebuild of the Brent Spence was with tolls, but we need to hear two sensible ideas before you'll get the SWNIDish vote.
  • Chris Seelbach: a protege of David Crowley, representing all the elements of the Democratic Party coalition that make it hard to vote for Democrats these days--organized labor, sexual orientation as protected class, etc. We can only be grateful that the Irish question has settled down to the point that he doesn't advocate his mentor's despicable position on that too, at least not publicly.
Then there's Cincinnati Public School Board. In a tremendous show of the political indifference that comes from frustration and contentment (yes, those exist together: many are frustrated with public education to the point of indifference; others see the district as well enough managed by its administration that the board is of no importance), four candidates are running for three seats. That makes this race a question of whom to vote against. And the answer is incumbent Eve Bolton, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers. If you can read, thank someone other than Eve Bolton.

Votes go to Chris Nelms, civic-minded man of faith; Mary Welsh Schlueter, highly informed mom with a powerful educational philosophy; and Alexander Poccia Kuhns, associate of Nelms who isn't Eve Bolton.

Now to the referenda:
  • Vote YES on Issue 1, to modernize the Ohio constitution regarding the state supreme court.
  • It's an emphatic, if pointless, YES on Issue 2. Public-employee unions are wrong for their members, not just wrong for taxpayers. Time to trim their power to a proportion where they'd have to deliver value to their members to stay in business. This will fail, but don't let it fail by much, or nothing will change for a long time.
  • We're voting NO on Issue 3. No, we haven't been away for a month learning to like ObamaCare. We just think it's kinda pointless to vote for a law that will have no constitutionality if it's passed. Well, you can make an argument that the law's success would make a strong political point that might offset labor's win on Issue 2 a little. So vote your conscience on this one. A YES on Issue 3 is OK.
  • We urge a YES on Issue 32, Cincinnati Public Schools levy. While we excoriate the district for explaining the case for the levy so vaguely, the district has exercised exceptional stewardship in the last five years, attaining an exceptional record for a large-city district with less expenditure than the current norm. While we think that public-school education is still too expensive, CPS will not waste much, and their current path is leading to good outcomes for several thousand kids who need to learn. It's expensive but worth it.
  • YES on Issue 37 will continue to fund indigent care in University Hospital and Cincinnati Children's Hospital, both valuable in light of Uncle Sugar's failure to liberate the healthcare system.
  • Issue 38 is for renewal of the children's services levy, and who wants less of that? It's a YES for all but the most reptilian of small-government conservatives, and even SWNID has warmer blood than that.
  • Issue 44 is a NO. This referendum empowers the City of Cincinnati to negotiate reduced electricity rates for its citizens. What's wrong with lower rates? Well, you can do this yourself, dear citizen. And you might get a better deal by choosing your own plan. And this bill requires citizens to opt out of the deal rather than to opt in. How'd we all do with that cable television deal in the 1980s? Happy with TimeWarner's monopoly? Glad for Dish and Direct for a little competition at long last? Don't make the same mistake twice!
  • Issue 45 is also NO. It's about gas aggregation. Same as above, especially as gas prices are falling through the floor thanks to humankind's latest technological advance, fracking. Trust the city to make a deal that misses the next price drop.
  • Issue 46 straightens out some filing deadlines for elections. Vote YES so we won't have to keep voting this.
  • Issue 48 forbids spendthrift politicians from investing in fabulously expensive streetcars to transport bar-hopping UC students to The Banks and back safely. If you think that inefficient, expensive, inflexible, limited public transportation is economically stimulating, you don't read this blog. VOTE NO!
See you next November, if not before!


Anonymous said...

A no vote on 48 allows the street car to go forward....

Anonymous said...

Why the blogging fast?

JB in CA said...

I think he's blogging slow.

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

Anon 1: You are correct--we gave wrong instructions on 48, indicating sentiment toward streetcar rather than response toward the referendum. Seldom wrong.

Anon 2: Because, as the French say, Plus ça change …. Everything one needs to know politically, culturally and religiously is somewhere on this blog now. Consequently, we experience ennui as current events cycle around. Why say it yet again? Think of SWNID as the voice of Ecclesiastes.

JB: Indeed!