Tuesday, November 06, 2012

MI Ballot Proposals: How I'm Voting and Why

(Feel free to copy my answers. Crib sheets are allowed in voting booths)

Michigan has six proposals on this year's ballot. I am voting NO-YES-YES-YES-NO-NO on them.

I have two main issues that drive my political activism. As a writer and artist, my number one issue is the right to freedom of speech. There's a reason our Founding Fathers made freedom of speech our first amendment. I've had my speech revoked from me once by my local politicians and police and it was the worst experience of my life. I don't wish that on anyone. My second main issue that makes me as passionate as I am is our fundamental right to Democracy. So it's especially upsetting to me to see democracy being attacked in any form. The very first proposal addresses the suppression of democracy as it has been victimized by the Emergency Manager Law. I support the law as it had originally been signed as the Emergency FINANCE Manager law, put into effect by Governor Granholm. But Governor Snyder has morphed the law into something it was never meant to be, in an overreaching tyrannical power grab and a way to break union contracts. Now Emergency Managers can take over a city and render its elected city board powerless. What this means is every person who voted in that city's election – no matter who they voted for – all of those votes were in vain because the officials elected to do a job can be ousted by an Emergency Manager on the request of the Governor. This is an insult to the very idea of what it means to be American. (On a side note, Debbie Stabenow's opponent Pete Hoekstra wants to repeal the 19th Amendment and go back to the time when state legislators choose the Senators to each state.) Is Democracy dead in Michigan? Why the hate?

So I urge you, if you vote on only one proposal, make it the first one. And vote NO.

The second ballot proposal is nearly as important, as it will protect workers' rights to collectively bargain and unionize and thereby thwarting efforts to make Michigan a “Right to Work (for less)” state. You might remember what Scott Walker did in Wisconsin? Let's try to avert such lunacy here by voting YES to allow collective bargaining rights to be safeguarded in our state Constitution. The naysayers are spreading falsehoods that unions will lead to repealing background checks for school employees and safety regulations for bus drivers, but that's a slippery slope argument. The right to unionize will only guarantee workers the right to bargain with their employers. What they bargain for will be whatever their employers will be willing to give them. Nothing less. Nothing more. Proposal 4 also addresses the right to collectively bargain, this time for home care workers, so I urge you to vote YES on that one as well.

Proposal 3 is to establish a higher standard for renewable energy. If it passes, electric companies will have to get 25% of their energy from renewable sources by the year 2025. These sources are clean and green – wind, solar, biomass, and hydrogen. Naysayers claim that electric costs would rocket, but the proposal buts a cap in place for the rates would not be allowed to increase more than 1% each year. I think that's a good investment for clean energy, so I vote YES to proposal 3. In the long run, it will save tons of money, and our environment. Michigan is a beautiful state. Let's preserve it. Thirty other states have similar measures on the books, and it's time we caught up.

Proposals 5 and 6 are less important to me, but I plan on voting NO to both.

How I'm Voting and Why

For President, as most of you already know, I'm voting to reelect President Obama. Notice I say President Obama and not Muslim Barack Hussein Obama the Kenyan Commie Socialist because he is Christian, and Hawaiian born, and as Commander in Chief he has so far not promoted or condoned any policy that requires the government owning the means of production, which is the true definition of socialism, just in case anyone is wondering. You still might be saying of course he's not all those ludicrous things, but why support him when the economy still sucks and gas prices are still bending us over at the pump? To which I say: You might be unaware that the private sector of the US economy has added jobs for 32 consecutive months, and overall since Obama took office in the middle of the Great Recession, more than 5 million jobs overall. (http://www.startribune.com/business/176942311.html?refer=y) I know that's nowhere close to Bill Clinton's 22 million jobs created, but it beats the hell out of George W. Bush's 2 million. Housing is also on the rise, manufacturing is back up, and gas prices, as always, are all over the map because their price is set by oil speculators on Wall Street more than simple supply and demand or anything a President can do. Unemployment is going down, albeit slowly but knowing history helps understand the complexity of recovering from an economic recession. During the Great Depression the only thing that saved us was spending our way out of it as a nation. FDR did just that, investing in America and creating jobs where there were none. Obama's stimulus was the same thing. Expensive yes, but it wasn't nearly the investment we needed to recover quickly from our Bush economic hangover. The fact that we're recovering at all is proof that the stimulus worked, even if it was watered down by Congressional Republicans. Could it have worked better... quicker, had it been bigger? Perhaps. But we'll never know for sure. Is there more work to be done with the economy? Of course. But Mitt Romney wants to return us to times of supply side economics, where the trickle down never trickles down, and the gap between rich and poor grows at a faster rate than it ever had in the past. He wants to lower taxes for the rich again, even though the last batch of tax cuts haven't even expired yet and were only supposed to be temporary.

It's about much more than economic policies, however. Obama supports my choices as a woman. The main reason I would never vote for Mitt Romney is because I'm a proud owner of a vagina. I only use the word vagina because earlier this year Lisa Brown, a Representative in the Michigan state house was barred from the floor for using that dirty term during an abortion debate. So I will say it again...

Vagina vagina vagina!

How does Mitt stand on my vagina? Very carefully, I hope! All kidding aside, Mitt has flip flopped so many times on the issues of choice and womens' reproductive rights, he's a regular hermaphrapolitician. Consider his actual quotes:

"I believe that since Roe v. Wade has been the law for 20 years, that we should sustain and support it."  -1994

As Governor, Mitt Romney would protect the current pro-choice status quo in Massachusetts. No law would change.  -2002 Governor platform

“I am pro-life. I believe that abortion is the wrong choice except in cases of incest, rape, and to save the life of the mother. I wish the people of America agreed, and that the laws of our nation could reflect that view. But while the nation remains so divided over abortion, I believe that the states, through the democratic process, should determine their own abortion laws and not have them dictated by judicial mandate.”  -2005

“It is one thing to end federal funding for an organization like Planned Parenthood; it is entirely another to end all federal funding for thousands of hospitals across America.... That is precisely what the pledge would demand and require of a president who signed it.” (During his campaign in 2011, while refusing to sign a pro-life list pledging to end federal funding for abortions)

“My view is the Supreme Court should reverse Roe v. Wade and send back to the states the responsibility for deciding whether they’re going to have abortion legal in their state or not.” - on the campaign trail

“My position has been clear throughout this campaign. I'm in favor of abortion being legal in the case of rape and incest and the health and life of the mother. “ - on the campaign trail

"There's no legislation with regards to abortion that I'm familiar with that would become part of my agenda."  -Oct 2012

So what does Mitt believe today, November 6th about my lifelong Constitutional right to choose? What will Mitt believe November 7th? How about January 20th when he'd take office if he were to win? Who knows? I can't trust him, and I can't take that chance. I do know that he would do everything in his power to stop funding Planned Parenthood, which would be disastrous for young, poor women who rely on it for a gazillion services (other than abortion) they provide like birth control and cancer screenings for the uninsured. Romney's right hand man, Paul Ryan is not so cryptic in his views concerning women and their health. Just last year he teamed up with Todd “Legitimate Rape Man” Akin to co-sponsor HR 212, the Sanctity of Human Life Act, which states that "human life shall be deemed to begin with fertilization." This bill would've made the IVF process that created Mitt Romney's twin grandsons illegal, which means Thanksgiving has to be awkward for them. And while in Congress, Ryan voted for HR 358, otherwise known as the Let Women Die Act that would allow hospitals to refuse abortions to women even if their life was in danger.

Let me repeat that. Even if their life was in danger!

We're not talking about an abortion of convenience. We're talking about a woman... any woman carrying a pregnancy to term, when something goes horribly wrong and abortion is the last resort to save the life of the mother. Guess what, women? If that happens to you, Paul Ryan doesn't care if you die.

I don't want that maniac a heartbeat away from the presidency! And someone damn sure better keep Eddie Munster away from my lady bits.

I also can't take the chance of Obamacare being repealed, as Romney has promised to do. I am one of those poor people who will finally get affordable health care in 2014. I guess I should be thanking Romney for creating Romneycare for Massachusetts when he was governor, the plan on which Obamacare was designed. But if Mitt has ate his own baby, so to speak, why should I vote for him?

Let's give Obama four more years, and Hilary 8 after that. Let's finish what we started, America.