• Ballotpedia is my new best friend

    Hey! Didja know there’s more than just that terr’rist and the old guy running for something or other in November? It’s true! There’s also like a bazillion state ballot initiatives, constitutional amendments, referendums and demands for pie. Mmm…pie…

    Wanna know which ones are in your state? (This assumes you live in a state that gets no TV reception and have not been bombarded senseless by Jim and Jane “Real Concerned Citizen”™ harping on how putting your inky black X or pressing your Big Mac-stained forefinger on a peril-sensitive touch screen in just the right spot (or not) will end civilization as we know it!)

    Enter Ballotpedia.

    Now, all I have to do is remember my middle school geography, and after clicking on two or three places that might be my state, voila! I now know that Florida has six ballot initiatives left out of the original nine (three were pulled off by courts).

    Amendment 1 would remove language from the constitution that allows the Legislature to prohibit aliens from owning property. Stupid Martians. Always wanting a piece of the Everglades. I vote NO!

    Amendment 2 would ban same-sex marriage. Actually, it says “no legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized”…meaning even non-same sex partners who are legally shacking up would lose their benefits. Hey, just because they’re not the same sex, it doesn’t mean they’re not gay. I vote YES!

    Amendment 3 would make it such that property improvements wouldn’t affect its taxable value. That sounds dumb, but when you live in a really windy state (where they call the wind Hurricane Mariah and stuff), encouraging people to add hurricane and flood protection is probably a smart idea. Of course, that also wouldn’t stop me from adding some bling to my 115-room mansion in West Palm and dodging the tax increase. Woo! I vote YES!

    Amendment 4 would make land that is under perpetual conservation protection exempt from property taxes. Damned hippies. I vote NO!

    Amendment 6 would make waterfront land be assessed for taxes based upon its current use. So, just because I use my beach front property for a members-only casino and strip club, I gotta pay more taxes than a public dock or fishing zone? I vote NO!

    Amendment 8 would require the Legislature to authorize local option sales tax levies to go for community colleges. Yes, that’s right. Community colleges. Like we need more of those. I vote NO!

    So, you see this is a great way to figure out ahead of time where to make your mark. It might even make it through the machines all the way to the giant head that makes all our decisions for us. Who knows? You might even make it change its mind on something!

    Thursday, October 23rd, 2008 at 23:03
  • Ric The Schmuck
    Friday, October 24th, 2008 at 07:44 | #1

    There are only two of any consequence for us this time around. (I assume there are more, but they’ll just be the usual bond issues asking for more money for improving roads, bridges, cesspools, etc.)

    The first one is kinda interesting, deciding whether to repeal a tax that our dear Gov’ner wants to implement. He wants to tax beverages, of all sorts.

    “The tax package includes a new $4 tax on a gallon of syrup used to make soda in restaurants; a new 42-cent-per-gallon tax on bottled soft drinks, and, a doubling of the current tax on beer and wine, to 54 cents a gallon on beer and 65 cents a gallon on wine.”

    He wants to do this to fund the health insurance plan that the state funds. The health plan is a good thing, though it seems to mainly benefit state employees, but it supposedly is available for those who can’t get insurance through work, etc. Again, I like the program. But if you can’t make it work without taxing soda and beer, sorry, Gov… What’s next, taxing air?

    The other one is our annual fight against opening a casino in the state. This year they want to open one in Oxford, which is over in the western part of the state. You know, the part of the state where the mills have all closed… where they could certainly use a bunch of decent paying jobs. Yes, I know, casinos are EVIIIILLLLL…. and if we stop them here in Maine, no one from Maine would EVER travel down I-95 to visit all the casinos in Connecticut. Nope, never. (Except for all those bus tours. And the party-groups. And the regulars who talk about their recent visits.)

    People who are gonna gamble are gonna gamble. The state is, after all, in the gambling business, too, with lottery after lottery. Bangor opened a casino a couple of years ago, then they built a huge new building on main street this year. I live a block away. I have yet to see all the crime the casino would bring to the neighborhood. Let’s keep the taxes and the jobs local, thank you very much.

    Lastly, I have never been against technology. I, like most guys, enjoy gadgets and stuff. But voting machines scares me poopy. I am happy we still have paper ballots here, but our little state doesn’t matter as much in the big picture of the Prez. And you folks with your hanging chads… See what you can do about that this time, OK?

  • Ric The Schmuck
    Wednesday, October 29th, 2008 at 00:09 | #2

    Alright, people, I’ll stop posting, since it seems whenever I pop off on one of Sollys threads, it shuts down the whole she-bang.

    I can harass him anytime (and often do). He needs other people participating, and if my rambling is putting people off, I’ll cut it out.

    I’m NOT paranoid, I KNOW they’re after me!

    🙂

  • Thursday, October 30th, 2008 at 10:51 | #3

    Solly, I just KNOW you’re actually going to vote NO on 2… right?

  • Thursday, October 30th, 2008 at 10:52 | #4

    Your snark is just too clever for me by half. 🙂

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