And now, what you’ve all been waiting for: Avdi’s endorsements for the November elections.
I spent a few minutes educating myself on the candidates for my district and their positions this morning. Picking my candidate for a given office is usually pretty easy, so long as there’s a libertarian candidate, and she/he meets the most basic non-creepiness test, I vote for them. This isn’t blind partisanship; it simply reflects the fact that only libertarian candidates come even remotely close to matching my values. For me, 99% of the time all the other candidates amount to a choice between a sharp jab to the eye and a swift kick to the nuts.
Overall conclusion this year: it’s a sad, sad field out there, folks. There’s nobody to get excited about on this ballot. That said, here are my picks:
For President and VP
Micheal Badnarik and that other guy. He’s a bit kooky, but no more so than a lot of libertarians. Plus he’s articulate and at least a little bit pragmatic, and he comes in a bit lower on the opportunist creep scale than Harry Browne did. Plus, for an unknown, he’s doing pretty well – his book was recently #9 on the Amazon sales ranks. Which shocked me; I’m a realist about the popularity of the libertarian cause, and I am quite surprised there is that much interest in him.
Betsy Summers. I disagree with a few of her positions, and I’ve sent her an email asking for clarification on how she reconciles them with libertarian values, but for the most part I like her stances.
For Representative, 19th District
Either Nobody, or Michael Paoletta. Leaning torwards Nobody. You know, I don’t ask much of my libertarian candidates. Beggers can’t be choosers. All I ask is that they have some concept of what it means to be a libertarian, at least a tenous grasp on reality, and some notion of the meaning of the word “pragmatism”. And that they not be a total creep.
Paoletta’s answers on the Congressional National Political Awareness Test are not encouraging. Almost every option is unchecked, with snide comments at the bottom of each section about how it’s none of the govt.’s business. Okay, I can agree with that, but then why don’t you mark the positions which would reduce government’s role? The whole response has a snotty combativeness that rubs me the wrong way. For example:
“People like you that ask these questions are assuming the Govt. has these powers. You are not the solution you are part of the problem.”
Yes, there’s a place for saying “I object to the question”; but the campaign trail is not that place. There is no website to get a better idea of Mr. Paoletta’s positions, either. I may email him for more information.
State Representative, 93rd District
Nobody. The incumbent, Ron Miller, doesn’t provide enough info either on his website or to VoteSmart to judge whether I want him to keep doing the job. And while I’m amused by the idea of electing a Buddhist/Taoist environmentalist as representative of this very conservative area, Susan Savia‘s politics are too far from mine for me to vote for her in good conscience. Perhaps I’ll write myself in.