As you probably don't know, it's once again time to vote in Houston. Here's some info along with my recommendations. Election Day is November 8. Early voting runs Oct. 24 to Nov. 4. You can find your polling place here. Printable version of this voter guide here.
Mayor: Bill White City Council A: Dennis Carter City Council B: no preference, because I can find no information City Council C: Ray Jones City Council D: Ada Edwards (uncontested) City Council F: John Shike City Council G: Pamela Holm (uncontested) City Council H: Adrian Garcia City Council I: Carol Alvarado City Council At Large 1: Peter Brown City Council At Large 2: Jay Aiyer City Council At Large 3: they are both bad City Council At Large 4: Ronald Green City Council At Large 5: Michael Stoma City Controller: Anise Parker (uncontested)
Amendments There are 9 proposed Amendments to the Texas Constitution. Here's how I'll be voting:
1. For 2. Against 3. Against 4. Against 5. Against 6. Against 7. Against 8. Against 9. Against
If you want a really good in-depth non-partisan analysis, this is a great resource. If you just want the basics, here are my thoughts:
In general, the Texas Constitution is big and unweildy. I'm largely opposed to adding more language to it, especially when most amendments are nothing more than the pet projects of the big business special interest lobbies.
Prop 1: Allows funding for transportation alternatives. The wording is a bit hoakey, but it looks like it might help move heavy transportation (shipping) out of normal (people) traffic.
Prop 2: Denies marriage rights. Hell no. This is America, right? Civil Rights, anyone? Even if you don't belive in gay marriage, this amendment is unnecessary because of existing Federal law. This Prop is nothing more than red meat for social conservatives.
Prop 3: Says some economic development will not be considered debt. Looks like more Enron accounting to me.
Prop 4: Denies bail to people who commit a crime while on parole. This seems unnecessary to me. We have appropriate laws in place already for offenders. This seems like more slippery slope in a PATRIOT Act environment. Still, I could go either way.
Prop 5: Allows the Legislature to exempt commercial loans from usury (excessive interest). Again, this seems like a slippery slope, because your loan is up next.
Prop 6: Adds more members to the Commission on Judicial Conduct. Seems to add more hollow teeth to a toothless commission. I wonder who is going before it in the near future? I could go either way.
Prop 7: Allows greater flexibility in using home equity to pay bills. It sounds good, but I suspect it will be abused, and it will hurt people who already don't handle their money well.
Prop 8: Appears to give up public lands to private use. At a minimum, it seems to be making special considerations for private citizens at public expense.
Prop 9: Increases term limits on members of the Mobility Regional Authority (from 2 to 6 years). I could go either way on this one. Longer terms provide better continuity; shorter terms provide more accountability.