When we read about politics and elections in our newspapers, we often read about national issues and polling data. We hear pundits and commentators talk about "hot button" issues that are the things that drive individuals to the polls.
I read the papers, and sometimes those national issues are the "hot buttons" for me. Sometimes they aren't.
I thought that today I would talk about the issues that mean the most to me this election day.
The War In Iraq:
For those of you that have been paying any attention to the things that I have written over the past few months, you already know that I am not thrilled with this action at all. In the Virginia Senate race, I plan to vote for the person that opposes the war. The candidate I am voting for is not what anyone could call a physical or moral coward. He is a combat veteran (Marines rule!), and a former Secretary of The Navy. He knows from whence he speaks regarding war... and war planned and executed poorly. He knows we need an exit plan, pronto. He is a prolific author, whose books had a profound effect on me as a young man. He is the father of a Marine that is currently serving in Iraq.
In Northern Virginia, as some of you readers can attest to. The traffic situation is atrocious. We live in an area where the Federal Government is the largest employer, and following closely behind the government are the companies that support the government, non-profits, associations, etc...
The Virginia counties nearest to Washington, DC (Arlington, Fairfax, Prince William, Loudoun and The City of Alexandria), all have populations that leave their homes in the morning to commute via the woefully inadequate roads to go to work in or near, Washington. Unfortunately, we live in a state that has major anti-tax issues.
Well, guess what? Roads cost money, and since the state government doesn't want to spend any money trying to relieve some of the transportation problems, federal funding is required. The candidate that supports bringing more federal transportation dollars to this region is Jim Webb.
The Marriage amendment:
In Virginia, we are being asked to vote on the following amendment to the Commonwealth Constitution:
Question: Shall Article I (the Bill of Rights) of the Constitution of Virginia be amended to state:
"That only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this Commonwealth and its political subdivisions.
This Commonwealth and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, significance, or effects of marriage. Nor shall this Commonwealth or its political subdivisions create or recognize another union, partnership, or other legal status to which is assigned the rights, benefits, obligations, qualities, or effects of marriage."?
And we need this why? This is homophobia in drag (so to speak), to suggest that my marriage or the marriage of any other heterosexual couple will be threatened by gay people. Further, it will render domestic violence laws moot in cases of heterosexual couples that cohabitate, but are not married. Additionally, it will prohibit any future legislation on this issue.
I'm voting against those that support this assault on the legal protections of all the Citizens of our Commonwealth.
The long and the short of it, my friends, is that I will be voting for the full slate of Democratic candidates and initiatives during this election cycle. The Republican House and Senate have got to go!
So... if you live in Virginia, please have a look at these candidates, and consider giving them your votes:
Jim Webb for Senate
Shawn O'Donnell for Congress
Sharon Pandak for Chair of the Prince Wm. County Board of Supervisors