by Joe Courter
Regarding local election results, Alachua County saw a rejection of the transportation tax thanks to a drumbeat of mistrust and anti- tax sentiment, putting further behind the long put-off road work and a squeeze on other local programs.
But, on the plus side, Ken Cornell was soundly elected to the County Commission, and John Power elected as Tax Collector. Marihelen Wheeler ran well in the County, but with a gerrymandered district that is overwhelmingly Republican, she could not defeat Ted Yoho for Congress. Likewise, for Jon Uman’s loss to Keith Perry for State House. They ran strong, progressive campaigns, but the demographics and lazy mid-term turnout hurt their chances.
The non-binding straw ballot issue on corporate personhood was overwhelming favored; congrats to all who worked hard to get this on the ballot. Statewide, the Springs initiative passed. Lots of locally based work and support went into getting it on the ballot, and it’s a big win for the State. Kudos to all who made that happen. Medical Marijuana fell just short from passing Statewide, but that almost 58 percent said “Yes” shows people want it. Maybe some courage will be shown in the Legislature. Maybe…
The next issue of the Iguana in January will preview the March City of Gainesville election.
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.
Hello Gainesville and Gainesville ExPats!
The October 2014 issue of the Gainesville Iguana is now available online, and it’s got lots of good stuff (election recommendations, Hunter S. Thompson, The Fest, and more!). You can also pick the issue up at any of our distribution spots, which you can find here.
by joe courter
There’s Election Day, when all should cast an informed vote, and then there is the Process and all the varied ways one can participate in the build-up to the day(s) when votes are cast.
Those who don’t vote because of their disappointment in the national races hurt all those local candidates whose term in office will affect you directly and for whom your vote is significantly more powerful. Like I said last month, people died for their right to vote; it is not too much to ask for you to participate.
So on the big scale, where are we? On Nov. 6 there will be a Democrat and a Republican. We know them. There will be the Green party and the Libertarian Party, both small, principled and, as usual, ignored by the media. The proposed other third party effort – one Dem and one Repub in an online-determined primary ballot called “America Elects” – quietly collapsed in mid-May. That kind of killed the idea of a major third voice getting into the D&R party-controlled debates.
What we will have is a pretty sharp contrast between the disappointing but eloquent Obama and the less articulate and tied to a hard right party Romney. And a tsunami of right-wing money unleashed by Citizens United muddying the discussion to a point of potential disgust for most sane people.
It will be a long 18 weeks from press time in July to the vote. Money and greed have us in a bad mess. Military Madness has the world hating us.
Locally we have City and County governments hamstrung from Tallahassee budget cuts, trying to deal with the shortfall amid much squealing about paying taxes to make up for it by the Republicans (whose own party did all the cutting in Tallahassee in the first place). Add to that the poisoned political climate fostered by hate radio and the corporate media, which focuses on the simplistic and sensational.