Electoral Selections: Georgia 2010

Without preamble, here are the ways I’m going this election season, and why:

Georgia State Constitutional Amendment #1: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to make Georgia more economically competitive by authorizing legislation to uphold reasonable competitive agreements?”

I will vote NO NO NO. This could also be stated, “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to make employees less able to control their own futures?” Sure, this is a boon for businesses, but I regard this as something that should be addressed through employee retention policies and not forcing me (and you can be forced after hiring to sign these) to sign a non-compete agreement that is so broad as to disallow me from working in my field of expertise.

Georgia State Constitutional Amendment #2: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to impose an annual $10.00 trauma charge on certain motor vehicles in this state for the purpose of funding trauma care?”

This is a tax levied on all owners of private automobiles. Yes, it’s a tax. Yes, I’ll vote for it. Trauma hospitals are important and motor vehicles provide a lot of the supply of patients to them.

Georgia State Constitutional Amendment #3: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to allow the Georgia Department of Transportation to enter into multiyear construction agreements without requiring appropriations in the current fiscal year for the total amount of payments that would be due under the entire agreement so as to reduce long-term construction costs paid by the state?”

Ahh, something of which I have expertise! Yes, I’ll vote for this one, and you should, too. This doesn’t change the obligation of the state in funding projects, doesn’t change the costs, doesn’t change how people get paid, it only changes the way the contracts are obligated from fiscal year to fiscal year. Sure, it has a downside if the DOT gets discombobulated and stops funding projects; there would be half-finished roads everywhere, but this is still a good idea. Vote for it!

Georgia State Constitutional Amendment #4: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to allow the Georgia Department of Transportation to enter into multiyear construction agreements without requiring appropriations in the current fiscal year for the total amount of payments that would be due under the entire agreement so as to reduce long-term construction costs paid by the state?”

This one is basically the same as #3. If you vote for 3, you should vote for 4 and vice versa.

Georgia State Constitutional Amendment #5: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to allow the owners of real property located in industrial areas to remove the property from the industrial area?”

I have no earthly clue about this one. I have to go find out.

U.S. Senate: Michael Thurmond (D). I’m voting for Commissioner Thurmond rather than for the incumbent Johnny Isakson (R) for social-justice reasons. I agree with Isakson’s positions on business and (somewhat) taxation, although he’s been holding the republican party line recently (“The Party of No”) however his positions on various social agendae I find repugnant.

Georgia Governor: Former Governor Roy Barnes (D). I’ve voting for Barnes and against former U.S. Representative Nathan Deal. I haven’t put much thought into the GA Governor’s race because when Deal announced his candidacy, he also took up the position of a Birther, which is one of my few political litmus tests. If you’re a birther, you are either ignorant or pandering to the ignorant, and I will not vote for you. This issue is dead dead dead.

On the other side of the coin, I’m also voting for Barnes for pocketbook reasons. I think he’ll be better for Georgia transportation funding than Deal would be. That spells continued employment for me.

Georgia Lieutenant Governor: Casey Cagle (R-incumbent). I like Casey. He’s done good stuff. That’s enough for me

Georgia Attorney General: Ken Hodges (D). I was going to vote for Sam Olens (R) the basis of the competency he displayed as the Commissioner of Cobb County, rather than his ideology. However, I realized that while I would support him in a run for Governor or Lt. Governor, I do not support him for Attorney General. He came out in the wake of the federal health care law as saying that if he were Attorney General, he would join the lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality. I don’t personally think there is any merit in that claim and I believe that this is a Republican fuck you to the American people. I don’t want him wasting my tax dollars on a frivolous lawsuit so Ken, you got my vote.

U.S. Rep: Tom Price (R-incumbent). Running unopposed.

State Rep: Don Parsons (R-incumbent). Running unopposed.

State Senator: Chip Rogers (R-incumbent). I actually need to do some research into his opponent, Patrick Thompson, but at this time I think I’ll be voting incumbent.

If you notice that there are a lot of things left off this list, it’s because I either don’t have an opinion yet, or haven’t done my research.

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6 Responses to Electoral Selections: Georgia 2010

  1. James Cronen says:

    “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to make Georgia more economically competitive by authorizing legislation to uphold reasonable competitive agreements?”

    Leading question much? You’d think they’d have to word these questions to be neutral. The other ones are actually written pretty well.

  2. Bill Ruhsam says:

    Jim: Yeah. I love the questions that are worded so vaguely that they could mean anything. For someone who is reading this for the first time at the polls, it’s useless.

  3. Bill Ruhsam says:

    Here is the money text: from http://qual.sos.ga.gov/BallotAmendmentsAndReferendums.pdf

    (3) The authority granted
    to the General Assembly in
    subparagraph (c)(2) of this
    paragraph shall include the
    authority to grant to courts
    by general law the power to
    l i m i t t h e du r a t i o n ,
    geographic area, and scope
    of prohibited activities
    provided in a contract or
    agreement restricting or
    regula ting compe ti tive
    activities to render such
    contract or agreement
    reasonab le under the
    circumstances for which it
    was made.”

  4. Cindy says:

    The state of Georgia has to amend its constitution to levy a 10 dollar tax?

  5. Bill Ruhsam says:

    Cindy: They don’t need an amendment to levy a tax; they need an amendment to levy a tax that the legislature can’t touch. This will be solely devoted to trauma center funding and can’t be re-allocated without another amendment.

  6. Keith says:

    The industrial designation one is apparently to allow owners of property to remove the industrial designation created by a “local amendment to the state constitution” 50 years ago; and make it part of a city.

    The “local amendment to the state constitution” was discontinued in the 80′s, so there’s no way for them to undo this without a state amendment..

    Overall, sounds sane to me.

    And there’s a state supreme court decision that says the text on the ballot only has to make it clear which amendment is being voted on. It can be completely misleading. (GAH!) Someone pulled up the history of amendment #1, and each revision of the ballot language was more, and More, and MORE misleading..

    Ugly.

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