November 6, 2012 Travis County, Texas Voter’s Guide

As this is the Most Important Election of Our Lifetime, is this VoteForDavid’s most important Voter’s Guide EVAR?  Well if so we’re in deep trouble.  Or something.  I compiled this guide, like the others I’ve posted here before, for my benefit.  For a change, I didn’t post it for your benefit.  I hope you managed to muddle through without me.  Without further ado:

These are the notes I made for myself, for the races where I live, plus a couple for Travis County elections I have comments on.  You people are on your own for the rest.  Not that you will voted anyway.  The URLs are where I found the sample ballots.

http://www.traviscountyclerk.org/eclerk/content/images/sample_ballots/2012.11.06_G12_General_Bedsheet.pdf

Travis County Clerk Elections Division
November 6, 2012 Joint General and Special Elections

Straight Party  – Only if you are a fool.  I hit the straight party button because it filled in most of my selections for me.

President
This is a wasted vote, no matter how you cast it.  If you are a Christian you have nobody to vote for.  If you are an American and not a Christian, vote for Romney.  All the others are destined to lose or are evil, or both.  I voted for the Losertarian on the off chance they might get 5% of the total, and so we could theoretically have a third party with public funding . . . next time.

United States Senator
 Ted Cruz – REP – This is a no-brainer.

District 17, United States Representative
Bill Flores – REP – vote for Bill Flores.  His website is full of stuff that reads like election year soundbytes, but at least I agree with most of them.
Ben Easton – LIB – like most libertarians, goes too far toward the “Liberty” side of the equation.  Vote for him if you like this sort of thing.  Note: he will lose, because he is running a campaign on principles instead of money.  Sad but true.

Railroad Commissioner
Christi Craddick – REP – by process of elimination my vote goes to Christi Craddick.  Not a bad candidate, but this isn’t exactly a vote FOR.
Dale Henry – DEM – Old, too old.  Sorry old people.  He’s going to be 80-dead by the time the next election rolls around.
Vivekananda “Vik” Wall – LIB – a believer in glowbull warmening has no place on my Railroad Commission!
Chris Kennedy – GRN – it looks like the Green party is about as sophisticated at getting candidates to have campaign websites as the Libertarians were a few years ago (hint: not at all)

Railroad Commissioner, Unexpired Term
Barry Smitherman – REP – As I recommended in my previous voters guides, please keep Commissioner Smitherman in his position.
Jaime O. Perez – LIB – For a huge change, a Libertarian with a website!  Not a CAMPAIGN website, more of a blog/screed site where he denounces the evils of modern fiscal policy.
Josh Wendel – GRN – on the ballot, but apparently not running a campaign?  If you want to WIN, you have to RUN!

Place 2, Justice, Supreme Court
Don Willett – REP – please keep Justice Willett in his position on the court.
RS Roberto Koelsch – LIB – another Libertarian not taking campaign contributions is another libertarian who will lose.

Place 4, Justice, Supreme Court
John Devine – REP – the candidate who has been a judge.  Everybody else is a n00b.  This guy.
Tom Oxford – LIB
Charles E. Waterbury – GRN

Place 6, Justice, Supreme Court
Nathan Hecht – REP – Please keep Justice Hecht on the court
Michele Petty – DEM – says she likes to do what she thinks is right, regardless of precedent.  Not good.
Mark Ash – LIB
Jim Chisholm – GRN

Presiding Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Sharon Keller – REP – She’s there, let’s keep her.  She made a single controversial call and that’s about all the opposition has to say against her.
Keith Hampton – DEM
Lance Stott – LIB

Place 7, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Barbara Parker Hervey – REP – Please vote for Judge Hervey
Mark W. Bennett – LIB – Spouts off personal opinions on matters about which he might have to issue court opinions.  Horrible judgement for a JUDGE candidate.

Place 8, Judge, Court of Criminal Appeals
Elsa Alcala – REP – I’ll be voting for her this time.
William Bryan Strange, III – LIB

This is one of the few times I will put my check in the “R” box and move on.  Both seem to be decent candidates, with Judge Alcala having the slight advantage of currently BEING a judge.

District 10, Member, State Board of  Education
Tom Maynard – REP – I was for him during the primary, and I am still for him.  See my first 2012 voter’s guide for the reasoning.
Judy Jennings – DEM

District 14, State Senator
Kirk Watson – DEM – not the worst Democrat out there, but still somewhat typical.  I’m not a Democrat
Ryan M. Dixon – LIB – I’m voting FOR Ryan Dixon for District 14.  I’m also not a Libertarian, but I agree with a lot of what he has to say.

District 46, State Representative
Dawnna Dukes – DEM – not the worst Democrat out there but still a Democrat.  As long as Democrat = “social justice” and leftist policies in general, we need fewer of these.
Andy Fernandez – LIB – seriously?  He looks to be about 12 years old and is (surprise) a Libertarian without a website. 

For a change, I will NOT be casting a ballot for State Representative.  This is a shameful place for our State to be but here we are: a child vs. a democrat.

Place 2, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Jeff Rose – REP – is in the job and I haven’t heard anything bad about him.  Let’s keep him.
J. Andrew Hathcock – DEM

Place 3, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Scott Field – REP – His website reads like a judge’s should.  Bonus points for intentionally taking cases from civil litigation and appellate fields, and serving as a lawyer for defense and prosecution. 
Diane Henson – DEM – listening to her makes me a little sick to my stomach.  Looking at her doesn’t make it any better.  Video at HIS website.

Both are career lawyers, and she has been on this bench for a term.  I’m pulling out my “R” and “Y” cards and he gets my vote.  “Y” card: that chromosome, he has it.  Yes it’s sexist.  Deal with it.  He was my pick in the primary election too 😉

Place 5, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
David Puryear – REP – keep Justice Puryear on the job for six muryear.  Bad pun intended.
Karen L. Watkins – DEM

Place 6, Justice, 3rd Court of Appeals District
Bob Pemberton – REP – Keep Justice Pemberton on the court also!
Bryan Case – DEM

Sheriff
Raymond Frank – REP –seems like a solid candidate, if rather VERY old for taking on a new job
Greg Hamilton – DEM – I will be voting for Greg Hamilton AGAINYes, a Democrat, yes again.  He is in the office and seems to be doing a decent job, plus he has big ideas for the next four years.
Jaclyn L. Finkel – LIB – wow another Libertarian without so much as a website.  Way to get on the ballot, guys!

County Tax Assessor-Collector
Vik Vad – REP – I like all his talk about making this slice of the government more efficient.  Let’s let him try.
Bruce Elfant – DEM – If Vad were not running, I could vote for him with reservations.  Let’s be honest, it says something about your personality if you physically resemble a pig.
Mike Burris – LIB – a Libertarian with a website!  Oh wait, that’s the website for his 2010 run for Treasurer.  No, back to ‘another Libertarian without a campaign website’

Precinct 2, Constable
Toby J. Miller – REP – I would have been happy with either of the Republican candidates and will happily vote for Miller this November.
Adan Ballesteros – DEM – Almost anyone would be a better candidate than this guy.
Raul “Roy” Camacho – LIB – If there were no Republican in this race I would be all about voting for Camacho, but there IS a Republican in this race.  Here’s hoping Camacho doesn’t turn out to be a spoiler and give us Ballesteros again!

The Democrats have done quite a job of being the only ones running for various judgeships.  This sucks, but where were YOU when the primary season came and went?

http://www.traviscountyclerk.org/eclerk/content/images/sample_ballots/2012.11.06_G12_Other_Bedsheet.pdf

Travis County Clerk Elections Division
November 6, 2012 Joint General and Special Elections

For Austin Community College, Austin I.S.D., Round Rock I.S.D., Travis County M.U.D. No. 18, North Austin M.U.D. No. 1, Wells Branch M.U.D., Lakeside M.U.D. No. 3, Williamson-Travis Counties M.U.D. No. 1, Southeast Travis County M.U.D. No. 1 & No. 2, Tanglewood Forest Limited District, Travis County WCID- Point Venture, Westbank Community Library District, Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District

Remember as you read these proposed proposals, $1.50 per $100 of assessed property value is about $250 a year out of your pocket for EACH measure.  Do you really have that to spare?   If you can think of another way to accomplish the purpose for which they propose the tax, vote AGAINST it and let them try again the more-efficient way next year.

SOUTHEAST TRAVIS COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 1, CONFIRMATION ELECTION, SYSTEM FACILITIES BOND ELECTION, MAINTENANCE TAX ELECTION, PARK AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES BOND ELECTION, ROAD BOND ELECTION AND PERMANENT DIRECTORS ELECTION

This election is to decide whether the voters of Precinct 402 would like to have TWO new taxing bodies to take their money, and then they will all be voting themselves $31,106,650 worth of community indebtedness as well as an annual NEW tax of about $500/year for each family.  Level-headed individuals will vote AGAINST all these proposals.  They will probably all pass with a handy majority.

SOUTHEAST TRAVIS COUNTY MUNICIPAL UTILITY DISTRICT NO. 2 CONFIRMATION ELECTION, SYSTEM FACILITIES BOND ELECTION, MAINTENANCE TAX ELECTION, PARK AND RECREATIONAL FACILITIES BOND ELECTION, ROAD BOND ELECTION AND A PERMANENT DIRECTORS
ELECTION

This election is to decide whether the voters of Precinct 401 would like to have TWO new taxing bodies to take their money, and then they will all be voting themselves $46,522,233 worth of community indebtedness as well as an annual NEW tax of about $500/year for each family.  You may guess my opinion on this subject.

http://www.traviscountyclerk.org/eclerk/content/images/sample_ballots/2012.11.06_G12_Cities_Bedsheet.pdf

Travis County Clerk Elections Division
November 6, 2012 Joint General and Special Elections

For Central Health, Cities of Austin, Lakeway, Lago Vista, Jonestown, Pflugerville, Village of Point Venture, Village of Spicewood Canyon
 CENTRAL HEALTH TAX RATIFICATION ELECTION
All precincts
PROP. 1, CENTRAL HEALTH
Approving the ad valorem tax rate of $0.129 per $100 valuation in Central Health, also known as the Travis County Healthcare District, for the 2013 tax year, a rate that exceeds the district’s rollback tax rate. The
proposed ad valorem tax rate exceeds the ad valorem tax rate most recently adopted by the district by $0.05 per $100 valuation; funds will be used for improved healthcare in Travis County, including support for a new medical school consistent with the mission of Central Health, a site for a new teaching hospital, trauma
services, specialty medicine such as cancer care, community-wide health clinics, training for physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals, primary care, behavioral and mental healthcare, prevention and
wellness programs, and/or to obtain federal matching funds for healthcare services.

Please vote AGAINST Proposition 1.  The University has a billion dollars in the bank.  If they want a few hundred million dollars to build a hospital, let them write a check!  This will be, to put it bluntly, a combination of a hospital to serve homeless people and illegal aliens, and a research facility that the University could pay for out of pocket.  The SECOND largest hospital group in the city has come out against this.  Guess which hospital group benefits from it?  Hint: it rhymes with “diggest”

PROP. 3, CITY OF AUSTIN
Shall the city charter be amended to provide for the election of council members from 10 geographical
single-member districts, with the mayor to be elected from the city at large, and to provide for an independent citizens redistricting commission?

Vote YES on Proposition 3 if you like the idea of representative government.  If you like the bicycle lobby and the rich folks in Terrytown to continue to run your city into the ground, then vote No.

PROP. 4, CITY OF AUSTIN
Shall the city charter be amended to provide for the election of council members from eight geographical single-member districts, with the mayor and two additional council members to be elected from the city at large?

Vote NO on Proposition 4.  This is a head-fake by the people currently running the city to distract you from the better proposal in Proposition 3. 

PROP. 10, CITY OF AUSTIN
Shall the city charter be amended to provide a civil service system for most city employees who are not already covered by a state civil service statute?
PROP. 11, CITY OF AUSTIN
Adoption of the emergency medical services personnel civil service law.

Vote AGAINST Propositions 10 and 11.  Civil service laws = government employee unions.  If you think your city services suck now, just wait.  You haven’t SEEN inefficiency and poor treatment of the Citizen until you’ve seen the government employee figure out they can’t be fired thanks to a fat union deal on their behalf.

The next section (Propositions 12 through 18) is nearly guaranteed to all pass, because bond measures in Austin ALWAYS pass. This is a series of elections for Austinites to add $385 MILLION to their community indebtedness.   Most of it SHOULD fail, and the City should be made to do what it can with LESS money, not more. Buuuut that’s not who Austinites are, so:

LOL it’s all monopoly money anyway and it doesn’t come out of MY paycheck!  APPROVE ALL THE BONDS!!!!!

CITY OF PFLUGERVILLE GENERAL ELECTION
COUNCIL MEMBER, PLACE 3, CITY OF PFLUGERVILLE
Vote for one
Omar Peña – I almost didn’t take the time to read the other candidates’ websites to see what they had to say.  This guy, and this guy by a mile!

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