Senate US Election 2012: Down the ballot

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    So, the presidential election has it's own thread, but there looks like there may be some interesting things down the ballot, between congressional races, other elected offices, and even propositions. There aught to be some interesting stuff here, so what's going on, either national stuff that you think should be important (like control of the Senate), or merely stuff that'll be local for you that you'd like to discuss?

    Personally, I'm most watching two of California's propositions. Prop 34 would get rid of the death penalty in California and change all the sentences into life in prison without the possibility of parole. I hope, greatly, that this will pass. I'm also watching Prop 37, trying to label food for being genetically-modified, unless it doesn't need to be labeled, and I'm hoping that one doesn't pass.

    Apparently, there's also a chance my incumbent congressman could loose, aparently. He's facing increased criticism lately, and apparently had one of those discount Countrywide loans, among other things. It would be a big surprise, as he's a Republican in a very Republican district.


    Any other noteworthy things going on on ballots below the presidential race? (And lets leave the presidential discussions to the other thread)
  2. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Two congressional races, one in which I'm fairly certain the House GOP incumbent will probably keep his seat (as unlike his collegues in other states, he hasn't opened his mouth and shot himself in the foot). And the other one is a hotly contested Senate race between two former Governors.

    There's also a ballot inititive to at least study bringing Light Rail into my city, so I'm kind of hoping that one passes on Tuesday.

    Also Mayor and city council races in my area.
  3. Crix-Madine Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 7, 2000
    star 4
    Massachusetts Senate race - dead heat between Elizabeth Warren (D) and Scott Brown (R) who currently holds the seat.

    Organizing and polls favor Warren at the moment but not nearly enough to say definitively one way or the other. Will come down the wire.

    My personal prediction: President Obama wins reelection, appoints Senator John Kerry as SECSTATE and MA holds a special election to fill his seat. Whomever loses the race on Tuesday wins against an unknown challenger, meaning essentially both these candidates will win election to the United States Senate and serve together.
  4. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I'm divided between voting for a Democrat or a Republican for Rhode Island's 1st Congressional District. I'll be watching the recorded debates sometime over the weekend, but I'm leaning towards voting for Doherty the Republican, even though my internship last time was a volunteer in Cicilline's campaign.

    Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is sure to win re-election.

    The ballot questions are mostly for infrastructure here, and legalizing more forms of gambling at the state-designated casinos, I'll be voting yes for most if not all of them.
  5. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I gave a begrudging vote to Prop. 34 a.k.a. the SAFE California Act. Life without parole is an awful, inhumane sentence, but at least it gives the person some chance of getting a reduced sentence or an innocent person being cleared. That can't happen if they're dead, and anti-death penalty groups agree. I'm also uncomfortable with its "tough on crime" stance outside of the death penalty abolition-- I guess to make it more palatable to the general, local news-watching populace?

    In my city there's Measure W (couldn't find an informative unbiased source so **** it), which is an initiative to develop Coyote Hills, one of the largest open spaces left in Orange County. It's been owned by oil companies (Unocal and Chevron) and this fight has been going on for decades. I'm adamantly opposed to it, but Chevron's going full force with its pro-W campaign. I don't think I've seen so much poured into a local issue before. It's insane.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Nov 2, 2012
  6. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'd definitely like to see additional prison and justice system reforms.... but I think it'll be progress if it gets passed. Californians vote pretty conservative when it comes to things like sex offenders, three strikes, all sorts of things like that.
  7. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    There's just no pleasing you is there?
  8. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Yes, I can't be pleased. I ask for the impossible-- a fair, equitable justice system that gives everyone a chance at rehabilitation, if not redemption.
  9. Todd the Jedi Mod and Sitcom Dad of SWTV

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 5
    @Crix-Madine Hey, another Mass native. I got to vote early, and color me (not) surprised that one of the questions dealt with marijuana again. I actually voted for Brown. I think he's been doing a decent job, better than a lot of republicans in the senate.
  10. Aytee-Aytee Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 20, 2008
    star 5
    They have their Chance. The problem is that most of them are far beyond saving and you know it.
  11. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
  12. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I knew you were always an idealistic hippy at heart... :p
  13. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    I am indeed an idealist. I don't see that as conflicting with bitterness and disappointment.
  14. Platelet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 2
    PA elects a Senator this year, but I believe Bob Casey (D) is favored for reelection.

    I will be watching and hoping to see Michelle Bachmann lose her house seat, and ditto the two Senate guys who made those abortion comments.
  15. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    So, something else to watch.... Washington, Colorado, and Oregon have legalizing marijuana on the ballot. Maryland and Washington will be evaluating if same-sex marriage laws will remain, Maine will be considering if they'll undo the restriction they put in place a few years ago, and Minnesota has a ban on same-sex marriage. I believe that if same-sex marriage gets the voter approval in Washington, Maryland, or Maine, this'll be the first time voters have supported it.
    Summer Dreamer likes this.
  16. MrZAP Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 2, 2007
    star 5
    I've been watching most of the Propositions on the CA ballot pretty heavily, but especially 30, 34, 38, and 39. I've personally spent time campaigning for 30 and 34, and have been doing more low-key things to get out the vote for 39. 38 mostly matters because it and 30 are mutually exclusive propositions and so can't both be put into effect.

    I agree with Evan on 34. I personally find life-without-parole abhorrent, because I think a prison system that puts punishment as a higher priority over rehabilitation is inherently broken, but it's still better than the death penalty, so I'll work with it. I'm anti-death penalty personally because I find it immoral and harmful to society, but there are also lots of practical reasons to get rid of it, mostly because of its economic inefficiency and risk of killing innocents (though this is a bit of a moot point for me since I think it's wrong to kill anyone, but it works well when talking to other people). I'm feeling more confident on this one than I once was; it's been an uphill battle but while it was once trailing in the polls it;s now very close, and some polls even give it a slight lead.

    Prop 30 is probably the most important for the state overall, regardless of where my personal attentions lie, and I do have a vested interest in it as well. For those unaware of it, it's an income tax increase for the top earning brackets, and a slight sales tax increase. If it passes it's expected to bring in between $5-9 billion annually (estimates vary dramatically), with most of the money going towards education. This is really important because since California is currently in a budget crisis the higher education system has been struggling to stay above water, and we literally can't pay the mandated amount for education (especially for community colleges) if 30 doesn't pass. 38, as another income tax increase, can't also pass, so if they both pass the one with more votes will win. 38 is an initiative focused on bringing more money specifically to K-12, which is noble in theory but has problems since it raises income taxes for everyone, including people well below the poverty line. And since the money is earmarked scheduled cuts to higher education in 2013 would still go into effect. Currently 30, while once doing quite well, is in a dead heat, and 38 is trailing.

    39 closes a tax loophole for multi-state corporations, with expected increased revenue of about a billion dollars annually (half that for the first year). Half of this money for the next half dozen years or so is earmarked for renewable energy and green job efforts, and a significant portion aside from that is supposed to go to education. This one is doing relatively well in the polls.

    Aside from these four propositions that I'm focusing heavily on I'm paying a decent amount of attention to several others. Like Lowie I don't want 37 to pass, though I originally did before I read more into it. I actually was going to vote by mail, and filled in my ballot but didn't mail it in. I did it mostly because I was having second thoughts about this proposition (as well as for 35, which I still have to read more on, and because of a couple of county measures). Anyway, as I read more about 37 I realized that it's just a really badly written bill, and would do more harm than good. I'm fine with labeling genetically modified foods, but there were certain exemptions that I thought didn't make sense, and certain things that weren't exempted that I thought should be, aside from the legal nightmare it could bring on. I'm all for food labeling and consumer rights in the GMO area, but only with a law that makes sense.

    32 is another important one that I'm strongly opposed to. It's just a disingenuous bill which claims to take corporations and unions out of campaign financing but only in a way that actually affects unions. I wouldn't mind a bill that neutered both, but this is just lopsided.

    36 is a modification of the three-strikes law which I'm for. It changes the law so third-time offenders with two violent crimes but then a third non-violent one don't automatically get life imprisonment. I think it makes sense and will clear up some space in our prisons.

    Besides the propositions I'm also voting in the highly publicized Congressional race between Brad Sherman and Howard Berman. Due to redistricting they're both incumbent Democrats vying for a new seat, so it's interesting to watch since they actually agree on most things. Sherman is soundly beating Berman in the polls, but I'm voting for Berman because when I did my research on the two I saw that while both of them had done plenty of good, Sherman's foreign policy stance seemed too aggressive for my tastes. If both candidates seem mostly good and agree on most things then you have to focus on anything that might be disagreeable.
    Last edited by MrZAP, Nov 3, 2012
  17. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'm relatively sure that third strikes situations don't result in an automatic life imprisonment. There's prosecutor discretion there.
  18. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    No, just 25 to life. That's all.
  19. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'd thought that there was prosecutor's discretion that allowed them to decide that they wouldn't hold it as a third strike. So while they could do third strike with some things, they don't HAVE to. Not saying that was a perfect system, just that it wasn't automatically, third crime, and now it's life, or even 25 to life.
  20. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Nope. It's mandatory (except with regards to drug possession, apparently). That's one of the problems with it.
  21. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
  22. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    Doherty might edge out a victory against the strong tide of Obama-Whitehouse in Rhode Island. Despite David Cicilline's issues in Providence--I would still cast my ballot for him. If you look at his overall tenure as Mayor--he took the helm of a corrupted city hall and turned it around. The economic calamity which faced Providence in 2010 represents the more systematic problems within the economy than any specific failure by the major. Beyond that, he has a strong record in Congress, is fluent on the policy issues, and will be a strong voice for manufacturing, labor, women's rights and human rights.

    When watching Brendan Doherty in debates, you get the impression that this guy doesn't know what he's talking about. He's a nice enough guy and he has certainly stayed on message about his Simpson-Bowles talking points...but there isn't much going on upstairs. He's an empty suit that would ultimately be voting for the most radical leadership of the house (those who use the debt ceiling as a hostage).

    Ultimate predictions: The President is re-elected, Sherrod Brown in Ohio, Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Donnelly in Indiana, Warren in Massachusetts, Kaine in Virginia, Kerrey in Nebraska, Duckworth over Walsh, Bachmann keeps her seat, Allen West loses his seat, Republicans keep the House, Democrats keep the Senate
  23. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    I can't see it passing here in CO, the way the proposition is written it sticks a ton of things in the state constitution that have no business being in the state constitution. I voted for it anyway.
  24. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I think I saw that polls have it in the lead, potentially. But who knows, California tried something about legalizing marijuana, and that one went poorly. Because California's propositions are basically the land of broken dreams.
  25. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 6
    Oh. Well, shows you how closely I've been following those, then. :p