It's been a little while since I've posted a blog. Sorry about that! I would love to post more frequently but life just seems to get in the way! Nevertheless, Tuesday, November 2 is here and it's time to vote! I often get asked by my friends for my recommendations, so with the understanding that these are simply one man's opinions, here's how I'm planning to vote:
Lieutenant Governor: "Jay" Dardenne - I'm unfamiliar with his opponent, but according to the Louisiana Family Forum's Voter Guide, her responses reveal her to be an opponent of many of the family-friendly values and positions that are important to me. While Dardenne is not nearly as conservative as I'd like, he has done an efficient job as Secretary of State.
U.S. Senator: David Vitter - Vitter's public failures in his personal life have been embarrassing to our state but his consistent conservative positions have earned him my recommendation over his opponent who would not meet with constituents and has shown himself to be much more liberal and a supporter of "big government" than I can support.
US Representative: Rodney Alexander - I've met Rep. Alexander on several occasions and have found him to be very approachable to his constituents. He's also helped the City of Pineville on several occasions, including helping us get a new fire truck. I don't know anything about his opponent but I feel Rep. Alexander has earned another term.
School Board: Julie McConathy - Mrs. McConathy is running for the school board for one reason alone - her children. I believe she will bring a much-needed parent's perspective to the board that sometimes seems to overlook the issues that are important to parents and focus on staff or administration priorities. She has a big job on her hands, if elected.
1. FOR - This amendmet would require that any increase in the salary of statewide elected officials, public service commissioners or legislators could not take effect until the beginning of the next term.
2. FOR - The state collects severance taxes in each parish and returns 20% those taxes to the parish for road and bridge repairs, up to a certain cap per parish. This amendment raises the cap per parish, allowing those parishes to use tax monies generated within their parish for road and bridge repairs.
3. FOR - This amendment would allow each parish to call for a local election to double the homestead exemption of disabled veterans with a 100% service connected disability. Parishes would have the option to call for local elections to honor the disabled veterans in their community.
4. FOR - This amendment would limit the amount of property tax increase unelected taxing authorities could enact after the reassessment that happens every four years.
5. FOR - This amendment would allow homeowners who have faced extreme hardship since the hurricanes of 2005 to receive up to a 5 year extension of their existing tax assessment and homestead exemption benefits.
6. FOR - This amendment would require all public retirement systems to get legislative approval before altering or raising benefits. Several retirement systems have significant financial problems because of a lack of oversight, which this amendment would correct.
7. AGAINST - This amendment would weaken property owner rights and make it more expensive for delinquent property taxpayers to redeem their property from past-due taxes.
8. AGAINST - This amendment would weaken property owner rights by allowing goverments to expropriate properties for "health and safety" reasons, clean them up and sell them to third-parties without allowing the original owners or heirs to purchase the property.
9. FOR - This amendment would require that workers' compensation cases be handled like other civil matters on appeal and be heard by appellate judges and now administrative hearing officers. While it may slow the appeal process, it would provide more due process.
10. AGAINST - This amendment would require defendents (who are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty) to waive their right to a jury trial at least 45 days prior to the beginning of a trial. This could negatively affect an innocent person's defense.
Well, there you have my recommendations. I don't expect everyone to agree with me but I do offer these suggestions after thought and prayer. The most important thing, whether you agree with me or not, is that you VOTE!!! As a reminder, here's a great video on our voter responsibilities by David Barton of WallBuilders: