President and Vice President - Barack Obama and Joe Biden
... That shouldn't be a surprise if you've been reading this blog...
The rest of these are things that only Florida voters or voters in my own district/county/area can vote on:
Representative in Congress District 9 - Bill Mitchell
State Representative District 60 - E. J. Ford
Property Appraiser - Ken Ayers
Tax Collector - Beverly P. Harris
Supervisor of Elections - Phyllis Busansky
Board of County Commissioners District 2 - Ken Hagan (REP - He is the only candidate. I will likely under-vote this.)
Board of County Commissioners District 6 - Kevin Beckner (Seriously, he's awesome.)
Shall Justice Charles T. Wells of the Supreme Court be retained in office?
Yes. Or No. (see comments.)
Shall Judge Chris W. Altenbernd of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge Carolyn K. Fulmer of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
No. I don't agree with her ruling in this case. It seems to me that the ruling is incomplete, as it doesn't take into account all the facts of the case, and unduly biased. (Others have found other questionable rulings besides this one - see comments.)
Shall Judge Morris Silberman of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
Shall Judge James W. Whatley of the Second District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
School Board Member District 7
Stephen Gorham - my dad, an educator of more than 35 years, says this is the guy to vote for, so I'm going with him without question...
Soil and Water Conservation District
- Despite this being a "nonpartisan" position, some of the candidates are advertising their affiliation, so I'm choosing to pass that info along since I can't find out much else about them...
*A.J. Brent - Libertarian, is for recognizing same-sex marriage and for a woman's right to choose... not that that has anything at all to do with the position he's running for...
Richard Van Epps - can't find out a thing about him, except that he's the incumbent...
*Jeffrey Ross Garbus - Libertarian, is for recognizing same-sex marriage and for a woman's right to choose... not that that has anything at all to do with the position he's running for...
Betty Jo Tompkins - Republican, vice-chairman of the Hillsborough County Soil and Water Conservation
* These are the candidates I'll probably vote for. I don't feel strongly in favor of them because I know so little about them, but can't say I know any more about their opponents that would encourage me to vote for them instead.
Proposed Constitutional Amendments
No. 1 -
Unsure. I'm doing more research on this one.
No. 2 - Essentially this is an anti-GLBT rights amendment which would write discrimination based on sexual orientation into our State Constitution. There is already a law in the State Statutes that prohibits homosexual relationships from being legally recognized as valid and binding, as in marriage, whether preformed in the state of Florida or another state or country. So - on top of being discriminatory - its proposal is also redundant.
No. 3 - Exempts improvements on residential structures that increase resistance to wind damage (as from hurricanes) or the installation of renewable energy sources (such as windmills or solar panels) from being considered as part of the taxable value of the property. So - essentially - this does not raise taxes for those people who choose to install hurricane shutters or solar or wind power generators and does not effect the taxes of any one else.
No. 4 - Exempts land held perpetually in conservation (and therefore not for development or other use) from being assessed property taxes.
No. 6 (there is no No. 5) - Assesses waterfront property based on its current use. I honestly have no idea why this is necessary, and isn't already provided for somewhere in state law, but... there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it.
No. 8 (there is no No. 7) - Requires the legislature to allow individual counties to levy an additional local sales tax to provide funding for community colleges. The tax would have to be approved by the voters, and, if approved by the voters, it will have to be reapproved after five years or it will no longer be assessed. The amendment doesn't require counties to propose an extra local sales tax, nor does it compel the citizens of counties that do propose such a tax to approve it.
These are not numbered, however, for ease, I'm going to number them in the order that they are listed on the ballot.
1. Veto powers to the County Mayor... Gives veto powers to the county mayor over the county commission, which may be overridden by the county commission by a two-thirds vote. The mayor will not be able to veto regulation of the county commission itself, zoning and planning or land use regulation.
2. Authorization of the county to continue to purchase environmentally sensitive land to protect it from development and damage. This continues an ongoing program to protect land that for various reasons is considered environmentally sensitive, either due to wildlife habitat, natural areas, water quality, and to protect sources of drinking water from damage and pollution.
As of October 29, 2008, I've disabled commenting on this blog post. I'm getting lots of comments, not all of them well thought out or polite (which have not been published), and I just don't feel like dealing with them showing up in my inbox anymore, if y'all don't mind. Thank you to those of you who have had thoughtful, helpful, polite comments. Please, do not try to send me comments on this post via another post which is open to commenting. Such comments will be deleted and not answered.