Tag Archives: Elections

Hoosier Tuesday: Tully – Congressional hearings on Congress

Dirksen226It has been awhile since I sat down to write a Hoosier Tuesday column. Partly this is because politics in Indiana haven’t been all that newsworthy. There aren’t any competitive races, nothing with a national impact or appeal. But Matthew Tully’s column ends that dry-spell for us.

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Michigan Monday: Running ALL the races

In honor of the little race they had in Kentucky over the weekend

In honor of the little race they had in Kentucky over the weekend

Are you fed up with the government? Chances are, you are not as fed up as Daniel Burns is. But, unlike everyone else, he is doing something about it…and taking it to the extreme. He is hoping to run for not one, but FOUR offices this fall. He plans to file as a candidate for U.S. Senate, Michigan governor, Michigan House and Michigan Senate.

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Hoosier Tuesday: The perverted cycle

http://www.flickr.com/photos/electronicxx/4336495986/sizes/z/

Welcome to a Hoosier winter, the snow can melt just as fast as it accumulated

So, HJR-3 is behind us now. The Indiana legislature can move on to things they should actually be legislating (novel concept, that). Of course, during the time when everyone was spinning their wheels on HJR-3 they could have been spending it on some other areas where Hoosiers need help. I feel like taxpayers should demand a refund for the time the legislature wasted.

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Voter ID..ea

 

 

I Voted Today (But in Fitzwalkerstan It's Lost...

I Voted Today (Photo credit: Madison Guy)

 

With our latest election now in the rear-view mirror I thought it was an apt time to discuss the “voter ID..ea” (see what I did there).  Many liberals were up in arms in late October and early November in states that had so-called “strict” voter id laws (such as showing a driver’s license in order to vote) by saying this discriminated against the poor.  Conservatives on the other hand, were trumpeting the evolution of such laws as ways to cut down on voter fraud.  As if often the case, both sides have valid points.

 

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QP: What if we chose NOT to “Get Out The Vote”?

I saw an article yesterday that sparked a thought – what if both parties just didn’t Get Out The Vote (GOTV)?  Each cycle both the Democratic and Republican Parties spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours on their GOTV efforts.  While these efforts can be multi-year endeavors they really focus on the last few days before an election (be it Primary or General).  They also include huge pushes for voter registration and absentee voting.  I understand what compels each side to do this – they want to win.  Republicans are not calling up people who profile as Democrats or Liberals to vote – they are calling Conservatoires and the opposite is true of the Democratic Party – they are calling their base to encourage them to show up on Election day.  I even take part in these activities, calling from my local party HQ to encourage others to register and vote – whether in person or via absentee ballot.  I sometimes wonder why though.  Why do we (we being political parties) spend millions on people we have to down right BEG to vote?  What would happen if we just let those who were naturally motivated to vote go ahead and exercise that right then let the rest of society deal with the repercussions?

QP: What if we chose NOT to “Get Out The Vote”?

I saw an article yesterday that sparked a thought – what if both parties just didn’t Get Out The Vote (GOTV)?  Each cycle both the Democratic and Republican Parties spend millions of dollars and thousands of hours on their GOTV efforts.  While these efforts can be multi-year endeavors they really focus on the last few days before an election (be it Primary or General).  They also include huge pushes for voter registration and absentee voting.  I understand what compels each side to do this – they want to win.  Republicans are not calling up people who profile as Democrats or Liberals to vote – they are calling Conservatoires and the opposite is true of the Democratic Party – they are calling their base to encourage them to show up on Election day.  I even take part in these activities, calling from my local party HQ to encourage others to register and vote – whether in person or via absentee ballot.  I sometimes wonder why though.  Why do we (we being political parties) spend millions on people we have to down right BEG to vote?  What would happen if we just let those who were naturally motivated to vote go ahead and exercise that right then let the rest of society deal with the repercussions?

Where to Cut – Special Elections

The State of New York recently held a Special Election to fill the 26th CD seat vacated after the Congressman resigned for inappropriate behavior.  We may even see another one in New York given the recent actions of Rep. Anthony Weiner, although he has said he will not resign.  It seems that lately, due to scandal or political ladder climbing, at least one state endures a Special Election every year to fill a vacant House seat.  Some states, like Indiana in 2010 after Rep. Mark Souder’s admittance of an affair, chose to leave these seats vacant or use the General Election as the Special Election.  Each state can handle this situation different depending on their State Constitution and their Governor.

I would advocate that we fully do away with the Special Election.  While the House of Representatives is supposed to reflect the will of the people, the people generally are consistent (the exception being in new or altered districts created by redistricting).  How often do we see a member of the same party take over the seat in question, and depending on the situation, it could even be someone from the departing Congressperson’s own staff.  To me, this just screams of a waste of taxpayers money and time.  With elections every two years, the “people” have a regular chance to voice their opinion – whether it be displeasure or gratitude towards their U.S. Representatives.  I am sure the leadership of both political parties disagree with my stance as they constantly pour money into these special elections.  To them, the results for one Congressional District can be a barometer for the entire Nation…unless their candidate loses.

Perhaps a better way to handle sudden openings in a Congressional seat is to instead appoint a person to fill that seat, much like they do with the most Senate openings.  If a seat is held by a Republican, then a Republican should be appointed to fill the remainder of the term, the same goes if the previous office holder was a Democrat.  Furthermore, to eliminate any sort of “incumbency advantage” (or the reverse, having a GOP Governor appoint a weak Dem so they GOP can overtake the seat next time) I would advocate that the person who fills said seat not be allowed to run for that office in the next election.  While I understand there is a downside to this by creating a “lame-duck” office holder, they are only one of 435 and would not be viewed that much differently than some who have been in Washington for quite some time while accomplishing very little.

In the end, I think this would result in a savings to the tax-payer and would also not subject them to further politicking – which we know many Americans already are tired of.  We need to not waste money just because party leadership in Washington thinks it is a good idea.  If they really want a special election to serve a mid-session barometer, then the RNC and DNC should fit the bill themselves instead of leaving the tax-payers of the state holding the bill.