Recently, our town was disgraced by the actions of someone elected to be a voice for our community. With the primary election fast approaching, we are faced with eleven republicans and three democrats vying for this now coveted, vacant position. What makes matters worse is that the discredited former “representative” has decided to run as well. It baffles the mind as to what goes through the thoughts of those, whom have been taken down by their own actions that actually reason it as wise to test the polluted waters that they themselves tainted. Albeit, that the costs of the additional ballot language will be annoying, we need to focus on the issues that matter most to us. We need to deliver the message that this is not a position that we are willing to throw back to the wolf in sheep’s clothing; and show that we are focused on the issues.
I usually don’t voice my political views, because I’m not about the fight. My views regarding politics, what works and what doesn’t, comes from years of working in local government and dealing with many government entities throughout my life. I don’t have a lot of faith in those that sit in positions of power, because there have been many times where I have seen self-serving people convince their voter base that they are about the good of the community; however, if the true story be told, it was always a “What’s in it for me?” agenda, hidden strategically behind sarcasms and bullying of those that would stand against them. I have little regard for those that don’t follow the rules.
I invite you to read Sean Cantwell’s blog post, “Watching the State Rep Debate So You Don’t Have To” for a candid review of the recent Tea Party gathering of the folks that want to fill this recently, abandoned seat. I invite you to go to the websites of the multitude of candidates and review their history; look at the way they have voted before on issues of concern and look at their attendance records. We want someone that actually shows up to represent us; not find excuses for ignoring the process. Pay close attention to what they, as your proposed-representative, believes is important versus what you, as their constituent, considers significant. Gun control, term limits, marijuana, minimum wage and road repairs are all issues that we all have a common concern about.
For me, personally, I think that it should be harder for people to get guns. Although, I believe that we have the right to bear arms, I don’t agree that they should be easy to get. This however, brings other issues to the table; in the form of mental patient rights. We don’t want psychologically unstable people to get guns, yet we are not allowed to know a person’s mental background without their permission. Not all mental illness would negate someone from owning a gun; so there would be the issues of discrimination lawsuits, should the powers that be decide that one’s mental health record must be disclosed in order to be a gun owner. I am not sure what the process is to have a gun; however, I do know that gun companies keep a record of each gun they produce and those identifiers should be in a nationwide database that identifies the owners of each gun purchased. This wouldn’t be the cure-all because, obviously you can’t track all the guns that have been circulating for years; however, it could be an honest start at accountability.
I also believe in term limits. No one should be able to make a career out of politics. We don’t want people pushing their beliefs on us, yet we are willing to keep someone in office on the upwards of fifty years and expect growth.
As for marijuana, my opinion is based on years of watching people get killed by alcohol consumption. I have never heard of a fatal car accident attributed to cannabis and we don’t have support groups to specifically target marijuana use. I find it odd that we accept that our doctors are prescribing drugs such as Xanax, and Oxycodone to our children, yet when a parent wants to try cannabis oils to stop their children’s seizures everyone is up in arms. I look to the states that have made marijuana legal and I see a surplus of cash in the states’ coffers; as well as a decrease in the amount of prescription drug overdoses within those states. Therefore, I would be wary to vote for someone whose stance is a throwback to the 60’s when our government was experimenting with the likes of LSD.
In regards to the minimum wage issue, I understand that it is impossible to survive on a minimum wage job; however, I also understand that a move to raise the minimum wage to an unrealistic amount will virtually tank our society. When everyone that receives the minimum wage increase, it will not increase the wages of those that are not considered minimum wage eligible; those that are already making fifteen dollars an hour will still only be making fifteen dollars an hour. Many will say that this will put more money into people’s pocket. My question is, for how long? The higher minimum wage will cause increased prices for small business to be able to afford the significant wage increase; leaving the recipients in a higher tax bracket and in actuality making less than what they were making before. Those that don’t experience the increase will be forced to pay the higher prices incurred by this change. I understand that we need changes; however, changes that are not well thought out can result in stepping backwards as opposed to moving forward.
As for our roads around the state, I feel that we have had our fair share of state funds over the past two years; however, if we are going to be able to fix the roads state wide, we need something other than another tax increase. We need to look to the states that have set benchmarks that we need to consider. Maybe we should consider not cutting off our nose to spite our face in regards to marijuana legislation and accept that this may be a viable way to get our roads fixed and have more funding for our schools.
I don’t expect people to agree with me; however, I do expect the voters to do their homework. The law does not state that you have to vote for every seat on the ballot. If you don’t know whose running, no law says that you have to actually select anyone. How many times have you voted for someone in a school election or elected a judge for the higher courts and not known anyone that was running? Many vote a certain party because that is the party that their family has voted for decades; others vote because their friends say “so and so” is the best candidate and few vote from doing their homework. When we do this, we find ourselves in our current situation, wondering what the hell went wrong and slinging arrows at those that didn’t get it right.
We all have the right to vote; however, many do not realize the responsibility that comes with that privilege. We owe it to ourselves to know the candidates, question their ethics and expect transparency. We owe it to our community to make responsible decisions that are void of personal gain. We owe it to our nation to start paying attention; because those that end up in the highest ranks in government started on the ground floor of their municipality.
WEBSITES OF CANDIDATES for State Representative in November 3, 2015 Special Primary Election
R-Jake Davison (http://davison4rep.com/)
R-James L Dewilde (No website)
R-Rick Guerro Jr (http://rick82.com/home)
R-Gary Howell (http://electgaryhowell.com/)
R-Ian Kempf (https://www.iankempf.com/)
R-Allan J Landosky (No website)
R-Jan Peabody (http://www.janpeabody.com/)
R-Sharna Cramer Smith (No website)
R-Chris Tuski (http://christuski.org/)
R-Russel C. Adams (No website)
R-Todd C. Courser (http://www.toddcourser.com/)
D-Eric Johnson (No website)
D-RD Bohm (No website)
D-Margaret Guerrero DeLuca (http://electguerrerodeluca.com)