by Joe Courter
VOTE! It really matters, especially in local races. It will be a major upset thanks to Republican gerrymandering, but Marihelen Wheeler knocking out Ted “Little Millionaire” Yoho would be really sweet.
Please help this campaign if you can, in whatever way you can. Dumping Rick Scott and Pam Bondi would be beyond sweet; both of them are disasters on so many fronts. Crist and Sheldon will be vast improvements.
Regarding the Chief Financial Officer, a fresh start and new eyes on the books would be good, though I don’t know of any major complaints on Atwater. Kinda feel the same re Agriculture Commissioner. Many of you will have the chance to vote out Keith Perry and put in a strong progressive in — Jon Uman, another gerrymandered uphill fight. John Power will be an excellent replacement for Von Fraser; he worked with Von throughout his incredible tenure, and will carry on the practice of actively helping people avoid foreclosures.
Regarding the County Commission, bring along a pen and write in Harry Patterson for District 2 and mark the box for Ken Cornell in District 4. He will be a great replacement to Susan Baird and keep the county Commission moving in a positive direction.
There are a bunch of judges up for retention, and none of them are rated unfavorably by the Florida Bar; your call if you want to be cranky here. Side two of the ballot has amendments.
The “Springs” Amendment (#1) would be wonderful to get through so we can try and get a handle on the degradation of our state’s rivers and springs.
Amendment #2 is to increase the availability of medical marijuana. This would be a great life enhancer for persons with a whole variety of afflictions that the herb’s properties can help — pain, chemo-induced nausea, glaucoma, MS, ALS, etc. The times are changing — we need to have this state join the 21 others who’ve moved toward sanity regarding this safe alternative to drugs like Oxy-cotin.
The third amendment on judicial replacement is opposed by the League of Women Voters; that’s good enough for me. Vote No on #3.
Two things left, the County wants to put in a 1 percent sales tax for roads. Yes, it is a regressive way to raise funds, but since the revenue stream out of Tallahassee has dried up, money has to come from somewhere. Vote “FOR” this one.
The last is the non-binding straw poll regarding “corporate personhood,” a way of raising our non-binding voice against the Citizens United decision which opened the floodgates of corporate money into our elections. Kudos to the local activists who worked really hard to get this on the ballot, and vote YES!
There are 3 ways to vote:
1. An absentee ballot can be requested by registered voters from the Supervisor of Elections office either in person (111 SE 1st Avenue south of Bo Diddley Plaza) or by phone (352)374-5252 to have one mailed to you.
2. Early voting will run from Wednesday, Oct. 22, through Saturday, Nov. 1 at three locations — The County Administration Building, and the Millhopper and Tower Road branch libraries — from 8:30 am to 5 pm.
3. And then, of course, on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 4, at your designated voting precinct