Thursday, October 30th, 2008...11:53 pm

My ballot

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I will go over my ballot position by position.  For those of you outside of my district in NC, this may not be all that relevant to you, but it will reveal a little bit about my rationale about whom I vote for and why.

President: (Options are Obama/Biden (D), McCain/Palin (R), Barr/Root (L), and write in)

Obama/Biden isn’t even worth considering.  Pro abortion, functionally Marxist.  I have no faith that he will cease US interventionism abroad.  McCain/Palin are also not worthy of consideration.  McCain is a war monger who is an economic ignoramus.  I have no reason to believe that he will turn things around on abortion.  (That will be one of the first “bi-partisan” compromises he makes when he’s about to nominate a judge.)  Barr is by far the best of the three policy wise, if he can be believed.  Rather than the common “I’m personally against abortion, but..” line it appears that he’s publicly against abortion but his wife had one in 1983.  He went to Washington and was easily corrupted by the small power of being a congressman.  I shudder to think what would happen if he had access to presidential power.  Throw in the fact that he’s former CIA, and it becomes clear that I’m making a write in vote here. Vote: Ron Paul (write in): I know he’s no longer an active candidate for the office, but if you’re voting for a guy who won’t win anyway, I see no sense in voting for the lesser of two goods.  (Honorable mention Chuck Baldwin.)

U.S. Senate: (options are Kay Hagan (D), Elizabeth Dole (R), Christopher Cole (L), and write in)

Another case where the Republican and Democratic candidates are not even worth consideration.  Dole is horrible, and Hagan will be worse.  I spent a long time researching Chris Cole.  I do have some serious reservations about voting for him in that he is openly homosexual and supports gay marriage.  In looking at his positions, he believes that abortion is a state issue and opposes any federal involvement in the issue at all, whether it is funding, promotion, or banning at the federal level.  He does not disclose what he thinks the states ought to do.  As such, I think he would be far more likely to help end federally protected abortion than the “Pro-Life” Republicans in the federal government who want to keep abortion an issue forever by not stopping it.  He is really solid on everything a senator might vote on.  He wants to eliminate the fed, just about every federal department, and the income tax.  He essentially has the same positions as congressman Paul on federal issues with the exception of gay marriage where he believes in a very limited role of the Federal government anyway.  As Luther might say, I’d rather be ruled by a homosexual who rules like a Christian than by a Christian who rules like a homosexual.  Vote: Christopher Cole.

U.S. House District 13: (options are Brad Miller (D) and Hugh Webster (R))

I thought for sure that I was in B.J. Lawson’s district (4), but I found out to my horror when I received my ballot that I’m in district 13, where the candidates are Hugh Webster and Brad Miller.  Miller is horrible.  He voted for the bailout and is about as statist as they come.  Hugh Webster is a typical conservative who believes that liberals are the problem rather than bipartisan statism.  His biggest issue is to stop illegal immigration (presumably by making the state stronger.  His second biggest issue is that “it is imperative that we fight the War on Terror on foreign soil.”  Energy is a “national security” issue, and abortion isn’t even important enough to him to make his issues page.  No thanks, I’ll pass on this one since I do not have the opportunity to write-in.  Vote: Nobody

NC Governor: (options are Bev Purdue (D), Pat McCrory (R), and Michael Munger (L))

All of the negative adds between Purdue and McCrory are right.  They’re both crooks.  Purdue is worse on paper, but McCrory is more corrupt.  Michael Munger is by far the best of the three.  He’s really solid on annexation, eminent domain, and corporate welfare.  He’s good on election reform and victimless crimes.  He’s not great on education, believing that a government controlled system with the appearance of choice but still supported by coercive taxes (also known as “charter schools”) is the answer.  He’s bad on marriage, and horrible on abortion, which is a state issue.  Vote: Nobody

NC Lieutenant Governor: (options are Walter Dalton (D), Robert Pittenger (R), and Phillip Rhodes (L))

This was my hardest decision on the ballot.  I was able to dismiss Dalton after looking at his campaign page for about 30 seconds and Pittenger after 20 seconds.  (Pittenger’s website was easier to navigate.)  Phillip Rhodes has some really good positions—some of the best I’ve seen in a candidate running for office.  He is my favorite candidate whose name is actually on my ballot.  He is in favor of amending the NC constitution to get rid of the reconstruction-imposed stipulations, such as the eternal ban of secession.  He’s great on all the things that Munger is solid and good on, and better on education (believes on working toward a separation of school and state) and marriage (none of the government’s business, period).  However, on the abortion issue, he’s a wuss.  Now, it isn’t likely that Rhodes will win, or that Roe v. Wade will be overturned during his tenure in office if he does win.  However, I can’t bring myself to vote for a pro-choice candidate.  So it is with a heavy heart that I will have to leave this portion of the ballot blank.  Vote: Nobody

NC Attorney General: (options are Roy Cooper (D), and Bob Crumley (R))

Roy Cooper is on a crusade against “price gouging” gas stations.  He also demonstrated just enough backbone to take a stand on the Duke Lacrosse issue once it was absolutely no risk politically for him to do so.  Crumley rides an anti-gang, anti-immigration hobby horse and thinks more laws and law enforcement is the answer.  Vote: Nobody

Auditor: (choices are Beth Wood (D) and Leslie Merritt (R))

Beth Wood has endorsements from the AFL-CIO and the National Organization for Women.  Her auditing “won’t be politically motivated.”  Yeah.  Right.  Merritt was one of only three statewide Republican candidates to receive an endorsement from the NC Republican Liberty Caucus.   Vote: Leslie Merritt

Commissioner of Agriculture: (choices are Ronnie Ansley (D) and Steve Troxler (R))

I spent some time reading these guys’ websites.  They are pretty much indistinguishable.  Both seem to believe that government is the answer, so neither of them get my vote.  Vote: Nobody

Commissioner of Insurance: (choices are Wayne Goodman (D), John Odom (R) and Mark McMains (L))

This is a political office?  Really?  Good grief!  Goodman is Dwight Schrute.  The only way I’d vote for anybody here is if they vowed to abdicate once taking office or to work toward repealing all state regulation of insurance and then abdicate.  Sadly, Mr. McMains must be one of those Big State Libertarians.  The only position of his that is remotely Libertarian is the idea of repealing the workers compensation insurance laws. Vote: Nobody

Commissioner of Labor: (choices are Mary Fant Donnan (D) and Cherie Berry (R))

Anybody who is running on a platform other than elimination of the position will not get my vote.  Vote: Nobody

NC Secretary of State: (choices are Elaine Marshall (D) and Jack Sawyer (R))

Marshall is the incumbent and is endorsed by the AFL-CIO and the North Carolina Association of Educators.  I know whose interests she has in heart.  Oh, and she also posted hundreds of thousands of social security numbers on the NC Secretary of State website.  No thanks.  Jack Sawyer is the first Republican I’ve encountered on my ballot that actually wants to decrease the size of government and remove burdensome regulations.  I will give him my vote, but keep an eye on him if he’s elected.  Vote: Jack Sawyer

Superintendent of Public Instruction: (choices are June St. Clair Atkinson (D) and Richard Morgan (R))

As I have said elsewhere, a government-controlled school system is worse than a government-controlled press.  Both candidates want to increase the role and cost of the government in education rather than reduce it.  Vote: Nobody

NC State Treasurer: (choices are Janet Cowell (D) and Bill Daughtridge (R))

Cowell is endorsed by all the bad guys (AFL-CIO, NARAL, NC Academy of Trial Lawyers, etc.).  Daughtridge is certainly better, but he’s all about corporate welfare subsidies. Vote: Nobody

NC State Senate District 16: (choices are Josh Stein (D) and John M. Alexander Jr. (R))

Stein is a leftist.  Alexander is a “moderate” big-government Republican in the McCain mold.  Very similar to the presidential “choices.”  I’m similarly nonplussed.  Vote: Nobody

NC House of Representatives District 35: (choices are Jennifer Weiss (D) and Eric Weaver (R))

Weiss is a buddy of former Speaker of the House, felon, and current white-collar inmate Jim Black.  Weaver is worth a look.  I disagree with his positions on education and illegal immigration, but otherwise he’s solid.  I agree with him on enough that he gets my vote. Vote: Eric Weaver

County Commissioner District 4: (choices are Stan Norwalk (D) and Kenn Gardner (R))

Norwalk wants to find even more ways to tax people to “pay for growth”.  Gardner voted to increase property taxes and has some alleged shady conflict of interest issues.  He’s also in favor   Vote: Nobody

County Commissioner District 5: (choices are Harold Webb (D) and Venita Peyton (R))

You know, at first I thought based on the legion of typographical errors that Venita Peyton was going to ask me to wire money offshore in order to get an inheritance for some lesser prince halfway around the world.  But on the issues, she’s better than Kenn Gardner and she realizes that more government isn’t the answer and most of the important work to improve communities is done by private institutions rather than public ones, especially the church.  As you may have noticed, my vote is not easily gained, but I’m giving it to Venita Peyton.  Vote: Venita Peyton

County Commissioner District 6: (choices are Betty Lou Ward (D) and Larry F. Tilley (R))

Pretty bleak here.  Tilley is another pro-public education Republican who wants to raise taxes but spend the tax dollars “efficiently”.  Vote: Nobody

Register of Deeds: (choice is Laura M. Riddick)

One option?  I feel like I’m in the Soviet Union.  I couldn’t find out Riddick’s positions on anything, so I’m not voting for her.  I’m sure she’ll still garner the one vote necessary to win from somebody.  Vote: Nobody

NC Supreme Court Associate Justice: (choices are Robert H. Edmunds, Jr. and Suzanne Reynolds)

A pro-police state Republican versus a Democrat endorsed by the usual suspects.  I don’t buy this “Non-Partisan offices” shtick for a minute.  Vote: Nobody

NC Court of Appeals Judge (Martin Seat): (choice is John C. Martin)

This NC voter guide is lame.  Nothing about the candidates judicial philosophy.  I wish they had debates or something I could find on the Internet.  Martin is running unopposed.  He’ll win without my vote.  Vote: Nobody

NC Court of Appeals Judge (Wynn Seat): (choices are Jewel Ann Farlow and James A. Wynn)

Judge Wynn is endorsed by all the hard-left special interests.  Farlow pledges to be a strict constructionist and follow the law as written.  (I hope she is more of a Thomas Jefferson strict constructionist than a George W. Bush “strict constructionist.”)  I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.  She isn’t as overtly Police State as Edmunds.  Vote: Jewel Ann Farlow

NC Court of Appeals Judge (Tyson Seat): (choices are Sam J. Ervin, IV and Kristin Ruth)

Well, things get more and more interesting.  Here we have 2 Democrats running against each other.  Kristin Ruth gets most of the really hard left endorsements, but Ervin gets the NC Trial Lawyers endorsement and the State Troopers association.  Never vote for a judge who has been endorsed by the State Police. Vote: Nobody

NC Court of Appeals Judge (McCullough Seat): (choices are Cheri Beasley and Doug McCullough)

Beasley is endorsed by all the usual suspects on the left.  McCullough is the only candidate in the voter guide who included the word “liberty” in his personal statement, and is also not ashamed of his decisions.  He provided hyperlinks to decisions he has written, so he must not be ashamed of them.  I don’t necessarily agree with him on everything, but he seems to have a high regard for juries and is reluctant to overturn jury decisions.  Vote: Doug McCullough

NC Court of Appeals Judge (Stephens seat): (choices are Dan Barrett and Linda Stephens)

Stephens is endorsed by the teachers’ union and the State Troopers.  Barrett is campaigning on a platform of a conservative judicial philosophy that won’t attempt to legislate from the bench.  Vote: Dan Barrett

NC Court of Appeals Judge (Arrowood seat): (choices are John S. Arrowood and Robert N. Hunter, Jr)

Arrowood has the endorsements of the lefties.  Bob Hunter boldly states on his front page: “It has been my experience that the golden rule is the moral basis of all law.”  Now, I don’t think he’s necessarily a theonomist or anything, but he isn’t ashamed to state that just law has its basis in the Bible.  That’s a move in the right direction, even if he gets some of the particulars wrong.  Vote: Robert N. Hunter, Jr.

NC Superior Court Judge District 10B: (choice is Howard E. Manning, Jr.)

Manning was the presiding judge over Leandro v. North Carolina.  While he ruled that the state public schools were doing a poor job, he only set the stage for a bigger government role in education.  Boo!  Vote: Nobody

District Court Judges:

There are several judges running unopposed.  The NC Democratic Party endorses Monica M. Bousman, Eric Chasse, Lori G. Christian, Jane P. Gray, Robert Rader, and Deborah Sasser.  I won’t vote for them.  I can’t find enough out about Jennifer Miller Green to know whether to vote for her.  I didn’t like anything I found about Jennifer Knox.  With Brewer and Miller, I favor Miller slightly, but it’s really six of one, half a dozen of the other.  I enjoyed reading Walter Rand’s questionnaire for the Independent Weekly.  He appears to be the closest thing to a libertarian judicial candidate.  I’m not really interested or impressed by Jacqueline Brewer or John J. Miller III.  Voting for: Walter Rand

Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor: (choices are Fred W. Burt, William Cole, Robin M. Hammond, and Marcia Lieber)

Last and probably least on my ballot is the position of Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.  All of the candidates are big on government.  But (cha-ching) there is a write in option on this spot.  Because I wasn’t able to vote for BJ Lawson for Congress (grumble, grumble), I will write him in as Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor.  Lawson’s big on sustainability and small on government, so he’d be perfect for the job.  You may argue technicalities like Lawson not living in the district and thus being ineligible to serve for this position, but it’s my vote and you can cry about it.  It’s a symbolic vote.  Vote: B.J. Lawson (write-in)

And there you have it.  Hopefully I’ve voted for few enough people this time that I won’t regret whom I voted for.  Aside from the judges, Merritt is probably the only one with a likelihood of winning.


  • A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

  • Hey, thanks for this. It’s a good jumping off point for me in learning more about the candidates.

  • Thanks for the endorsement! FYI, I would prefer if we went back to the days before the government was in charge of most education, as they are doing a poor job of it, and tend to use the public schools as indoctrination centers. But there are MANY steps involved with changing this.

    For one thing, the North Carolina Constitution states, “The General Assembly shall provide by taxation and otherwise for a general and uniform system of free public schools…”

    As a person who strenuously believes in following the law of the land (The US and NC Constitutions,) I would have to abide by this. That does NOT mean that it cannot be changed, just that amendment of the Constitution would have to be voted on by the people. If you look at Article XIII, the bar to doing this is VERY difficult by design. basically, we would need to have the votes of 3/5th of the NC House and the NC Senate to even allow the people to vote on an amendment.

    Not that it is not doable, but it is likely beyond the scope of the two-year term I am seeking!

    That being said, I think that we need to be able to have a citizen-initiated ballot initiative process to keep the General Assembly from having such a stranglehold on the process of constitutional amendment and of the creation of other good and desirable laws (or repeal of bad and undesirable laws.)

    So, anyway, my short term goals involve increasing charter schools and firing everyone in the Department of Public Instruction unless they can actually show how they are useful to education, since they do not actually teach anybody anything.

  • Thank you for your comments and clarification, Mr. Weaver. You just went up in my book. The thing about that provision in the NC Constitution is that it is absolutely incoherent. There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch. Saying that it is the government’s job to provide free education is like saying that 2+2=5. Due to its self-contradiction, I believe that portion of the document does not need to be followed because it can’t be followed.

  • Ronnica,

    Glad to be of service.

  • As a Robert Heinlein fan, I am well aware of the phrase, “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” I wholeheartedly agree with that.

    But I think that what they are saying in this case is not “There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.” What they are saying is “There is a free lunch for some, and others have to pay for it.”

    Much of our government basically devloves to this:

    – A good or service is desired, either by the beneficiary or by someone who feels that they know better than everyone else.
    – The people who benefit from it or feel that they need to provide it to others can’t or won’t pay for it.
    -Government then has to find somebody to pay the bill.

    Best that we get government out of the equation altogether, in my opinion.

  • You’ve got some great comments….just confused at why you wouldn’t vote for Pittenger for Lt. Governor. He actually received an award for being Pro-Life at an NC right to life dinner I was at a few years ago.

  • Hi John,

    Thank you for reading and commenting. The thing about the Lt. Governor’s race is that Rhodes is better than Pittenger on about 90% of the issues. He is significantly worse on abortion. While abortion is one issue where the candidate’s position can keep me from voting for him when he is otherwise a very strong candidate (Rhodes), it is not the case that I will vote for an otherwise average candidate just because he is really good on the abortion issue. I’d just as soon not vote in a situation like that.

  • Hey, thanks for the voting guide! After reading it I just figured that voting for whoever you oppose was my safest bet! Thanks for making my time at the polls easier! 🙂

  • Joanna,

    In many cases I opposed all of the available candidates. I hope you voted for EVERYBODY I opposed and got yourself disqualified on several ballot items.

  • Well my dear, I think you of all people understand what it means to make “tongue and cheek” remarks hmmm? Let’s just say I’m happy with the canidates I helped elect. But enough political nonsense–It’s great that you were being active and trying to encourage political awareness–even if you were not on my side of the fence! 🙂

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