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October 30, 2004

On the Local Ballot

Marc Comtois has posted thoughtful explanations of his intended votes. Firstly, I have to say that I'm glad to be in a different district. Marc's choice for U.S. Congress is incumbent Democrat Jim Langevin or Republican challenger Chuck Barton. In a state that no national Republican strategist counts on for numbers, I simply couldn't pull the lever for Barton, and here's why:

On social issues, Barton differs from most conservative Republicans.

"I am very moderately pro-choice," he said. "My belief is that (abortion) is a very difficult, personal issue that the government should stay out of." And Barton, an Episcopalian, said that he would "probably" not vote for Bush's proposed constitutional amendment that marriage be exclusively between a man and a woman. "I'm not going to fall in line with all national Republican stances," he said.

In contrast, Langevin is on the National Advisory Board of Democrats for Life. In the state government, Rs are needed just to derive any benefit from the friction of a two-party system — not so at the federal level.

Marc also goes through the spending bills on the ballot, and I have to admit that he's done his homework better than I have. Still, I consider my vote little more than a protest gesture, and moreover, I think if we're going to get Rhode Island government under control, people are going to have to learn that we can't allow our representatives to spend on everything but the basics and then go back to the till crying about how essential the basics are. To be honest, it strikes me as a con.

We need money for roads? Put up toll booths so people can see their income draining. Let people truly face the prospect of having to go forty miles out of their way because there's no money left to fix a bridge. Funding requests on my ballot get NOs down the line. Rhode Island is so deep in the blue that there will be plenty of opportunities to vote for infrastructure investments before we've managed to bring some parity (and sanity) to the statehouse.

Posted by Justin Katz at October 30, 2004 7:28 PM
Rhode Island