Please use your vote

by Joe Courter

August 30 is over 2 months away at the time this is being written, and there won’t be another Iguana until after the election; but that’s the way the calendar and our production fall. You will find articles and ads in here, and we hope you will take them to heart and memory. If you want, save this and use it as a guide later.

Our city and county have benefited greatly from electing forward-thinking commissioners, but the work they do can be stopped or reversed with an election cycle where people don’t turn out. Election finance laws have changed, and with this election a lot more outside-the-area corporate money and negative advertising can be expected, especially against Byerly and Hutchinson. Negative advertising is designed to confuse and disillusion people, and drive voter turnout down.

In our pages you will see ads for Hutch, Byerly, Zadelas, Boyette and Roy. The first two we feel very strongly about, as articles make clear. Zac is providing a needed challenge to Sheriff Darnell. He worked under Darnell in the Sheriff’s Office, and was fired not long after he declared his candidacy last year after a domestic dispute with his now ex wife, also then a Sheriff’s Deputy and the aggressor in the altercation. We have an ad for William Boyette because at the last minute he asked for one, but we equally like Kim Barton for Supervisor of Elections, an office both work in. Either one will ably fill the shoes of retiring Pam Carpenter. Eileen Roy has been caught in a firestorm over the recent resignation of School Superintendent Owen Roberts, who had been receiving mixed evaluations based on a variety of actions during his tenure as superintendent. The broad publicity on the plagiarism charges against Roberts was but the latest of a lot of other things leading to the poor evaluations by some School Board members, but there was also a lot of support for Roberts in the community as well, and this has led to an eruption of below-the-surface frustration over long-standing racial disparity in our community, and likewise has led to a big backlash against Roy and fellow Board member Gunner Paulson. We hope cooler heads can prevail, because in the last week things got pretty mean-spirited. It is painful to see a split in the progressive community, hopefully in the coming months and after the election some greater understanding and unity can be achieved, but it won’t come without serious effort.

A number of races will not be on the ballot in August, with either candidates unopposed, or where there is no primary challenger and the race goes right to the November ballot. You’ll hear more about them in the September and October editions of Iguana. Most interesting among them is local downtown developer Ken McGurn stepping in to challenge Tea Party loonie Ted Yoho after Ed Emery had to pull out with heart problems. We wish Ed well, and sincerely hope Ken is up to the challenge, because Rep. Yoho is an embarrassment to our community.

In the race for US Senate, Marco Rubio has decided to jump back in after a weak performance in his run for President. There are a slew of Democrats running, the top three being Patrick Murphey (mainstream Dem), Alan Grayson (loosey-goosey progressive) and Pam Keith (black woman military vet outsider). Keith impressed me most at the Democratic Party dinner last year.

There will be a bunch of different races on your ballots depending on where you live. Do your best to research positions and endorsements. People died for the right to vote, and others, because of repressive laws, can’t vote because of a criminal record. And not voting is a vote for the people you disagree with. So vote. D

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