Day By Day

Monday, November 2, 2009

Repost: Tuesday is election day

Question 1: People’s Veto

An Act To End Discrimination in Civil Marriage and Affirm Religious Freedom
“Do you want to reject the new law that lets same-sex couples marry and allows individuals and religious groups to refuse to perform these marriages?”

I'm inclined to vote no despite the fact that the legislature and the Governor went against the people of Maine in passing this law. That's right the democratic process has twice rejected same sex marriage. For me it's more of an equality issue than a moral one. At the same time I object to the thought that a same sex couple could use legal means to force a pastor who objects to this to perform the ceremony. There really are more important things to worry about than same sex marriage and until this is fixed in stone it is never going away. 
Still slightly uncertain but leaning towards NO. No matter which way this goes I'm not convinced we'll put this behind us, more's the pity. 
Question 2: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Decrease the Automobile Excise Tax and Promote Energy
“Do you want to cut the rate of the municipal excise tax by an average of 55% on motor vehicles less than six years old and exempt hybrid and other alternative-energy and highly fuel-efficient motor vehicles from sales tax and three years of excise tax?”

The vehicle excise tax is one of the most regressive taxes in Maine. It's brutally expensive for the first several years and the rates were raised by the legislature in yet another round of "not tax increases, but fee increases" that seem to be the primary revenue enhancement method for the legislature these days. This question actually punishes the minor culprit in tax burden, the local town, not the State. Not only that but whatever group of gibbering morons that created the question had to throw in what I considered to be the absolute show stopper, exempting hybrids and highly fuel-efficient motor vehicles from the fees. I'm sick to death of the seemingly endless subsidies for hybrids when hybrids represent a future environmental disaster that we won't realize for 5-10 years, disposal of their highly toxic batteries. I'd also point out to the environmentalists and the rest of you prius class smug hybrid owners that the environmental footprint of making those batteries far exceeds the footprint of a conventional small car like a Civic or Corolla. This bill doesn't promote energy, no one 'saves' energy, at best we just use less, spare me the hyperbole. 
This one gets a resounding NO and someone should kick whoever included the hybrid exemption in the nads for including that provision. Had this rolled back the state portion of the tax AND not included the hybrid exemption I would have been all for it. 
BTW that ad that's been running on TV against this question, the one with the tow truck guy prattling on with typical brain dead class warfare rhetoric is offensive to anyone who can see beyond your 3rd grade emotional tirade. When I pay higher excise taxes on my new truck than you're paying on your piece of crap tow truck I'm covering your baggage you silly tool. Despite this disgusting piece of Marxist theater I'm still going to vote it your way.
No No No No NO!

Question 3: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Repeal the School District Consolidation Laws
“Do you want to repeal the 2007 law on school district consolidation and restore the laws previously in effect?”

I'm leaning towards yes, local control is always better. Of course this doesn't fix the real issue, the fact that the State Legislature still refuses to pay it's share of the cost of running our schools. 
Question 4: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Provide Tax Relief
“Do you want to change the existing formulas that limit state and local government spending and require voter approval by referendum for spending over those limits and for increases in state taxes?”

A resounding YES! Nothing else will get their attention. The State of Maine has one of the highest tax burdens in the US, that has been a major contributor to our State's 3rd world economy. The legislature refuses to address the tax issues, the Governor refuses to address the tax issues and it's been a problem as long as I can remember. Just say yes. Your grammy isn't going to starve, your kids won't be left without an education, the lights will stay on and the roads will get plowed but there's a good chance that the towns and the state will be forced to take a serious look at the crap we're paying for that doesn't do anything but feather someone's bed and it'll start to get cut. Without this there is no incentive for government to do anything but keep digging deeper into our wallets. You can't convince me that there isn't waste to be cut. 
yes yes yes a thousand times yes!
Question 5: Citizen Initiative
An Act to Establish the Maine Medical Marijuana Act
“Do you want to change the medical marijuana laws to allow treatment of more medical conditions and to create a regulated system of distribution?”

Like it or not medical marijuana is here to stay. With the federal government under Obama backing off (which is just about the only thing I agree with that Obama has done) on threats to Doctors and patients this makes sense to me. But I have always believed that locking up non-violent drug offenders was just about the stupidest thing we could do anyway. 
Question 6: Bond Issue
(Part A of Ch. 414, Public Laws of 2009)
“Do you favor a $71,250,000 bond issue for improvements to highways and bridges, airports, public transit facilities, ferry and port facilities, including port and harbor structures, as well as funds for the LifeFlight Foundation that will make the State eligible for over $148,000,000 in federal and other matching funds?”

Now for those of you who are wowed by the numbers please take a deep breath. Despite the fact that Maine would receive $2 for every $1 we spend, we still have to spend that $1. That means that a vote for this is a vote to increase your state debt burden and that means you will have to pay that out of your pocket in taxes. These days the coffers in Augusta aren't exactly bursting at the seams and given that the entire US economy, and especially Maine's economy isn't growing that this translates into money that won't be staying in your wallet. If you vote yes, you're voting to pay more taxes. It's really that simple. TANSTAAFL! "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch" get it? 
Question 7: Constitutional Amendment
(Ch. 1, Constitutional Resolutions of 2009)
“Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to increase the amount of time that local officials have to certify the signatures on direct initiative petitions?”

Yes. Anything that increases our ability to legislate from the ballot verses trying to get the attention of the two herds of political moonbats in Augusta is a good thing. Allowing more time to certify helps enable valid petitions and helps detect and turn down the cheaters. This is a no brainer, it's all good. 

Now that I've weighed in let me share my gut on what'll happen when the we vote

1. YES
2. NO
3. YES
4. NO
5. NO
6. YES
7. YES

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