November 07, 2006

Vote Today

Here's how I voted:

US Senator: Kay Bailey Hutchison (R), the Devil I know. The Democrat is a typical social democrat who supports socialized medicine. The Libertarian wants to repeal the income tax (good, if futile) and compel citizens to buy health insurance instead. Wrong answer.

US Representative: Sam Johnson (R), one of the few candidates that I feel really good voting for.

Governor: Kinky Friedman (I), purely as a protest vote for the least-powerful position in state government. I wouldn't have felt bad voting for incumbent Republican Rick Perry, as he ranked second-best in the libertarian Cato Institute's "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors: 2006" list of American governors.

Lieutenant Governor: Judy Baker (L). This is the most powerful office in Texas state government, and should therefore go to the clear limited-government candidate. Dewhurst hasn't been bad, as Republicans go, and will likely get the job, but Baker says the right things about limiting the scope and power of government.

Attorney General: Greg Abbott (R). He was a good judge, and has done nothing I find objectionable in his first term as AG. The Democrat wants to step up antitrust enforcement (loses my vote), and the Libertarian candidate for this position is, in my opinion, a loon.

Comptroller: Mike Burris (L). He's been a state employee for 26 years, and therefore understands the nature of the beast. A certified internal auditor, I think he is best-qualified to root out waste and report on the fiscal condition of the state government.

Land Commissioner: Michael French (L). I wish I could vote to eliminate the office altogether. Barring that, a Libertarian vote is probably the next-best-thing.

Agriculture Commissioner: Clay Woolam (L). Seems a bit flaky, but not too much so. Better than either major party candidate, who both seem a bit too activist for my taste.

Railroad Commissioner: Tabitha Serrano (L). This misnamed office is the most powerful regulatory agency in Texas (it regulates the oil and gas industry) and should go to the outsider committed to smaller government. Aside from having the hottest name in the race, here's what she has to say about her office: "Heck! I'm not actually sure what a railroad commissioner actually does, so the first thing I intend to do is figure that out and then get the darn thing renamed to something that makes sense, or maybe do away with it entirely."

For the State Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals, I voted against every Republican (for the Libertarian if there was one, otherwise for the Democrat challenger).

Posted by JohnL at November 7, 2006 08:59 AM | TrackBack

Mike Burris? That guy still owes me money!

Posted by: Robert the Llama Butcher at November 9, 2006 08:12 AM

Sam Johnson? Other than cutting taxes, the man's record on everything from spending and subsidies to civil liberties and victimless crimes makes him the antithesis of what I would expect a libertarian to support.

John, I'm going to ask a question in a rude format, not because I want to score points or be hurtful, but because it is the clearest way I can raise my question: Is it possible that your libertarianism is not so much based on libertarian ideals, but instead on finding a "principled" justification for your dislike of taxes?

Posted by: Jeffrey Goldberg at November 16, 2006 08:46 PM

Jeffrey, I don't really think the question was all that rude. My vote for Johnson was realistically based on the assumption that the Democrat would be the greater of two evils, and the Libertarian was not one I could support. I have met Rep. Johnson, and he is a genuinely pleasant and humble person, who also happens to have endured and survived torture at the hands of communists. Pretty much a hero by any definition in my book. That helps offset the disappointing 47% score he got from the Club for Growth on the up-or-down votes on 19 pork projects.

I would love for more Republicans to oppose the war on drugs, especially at the federal level. Unfortunately, the Democrats with whom I side on general matters of social issues (gay marriage, abortion) also want to use the clumsy machinery of state to force citizens to pay for them. I support stem cell research of all kinds and oppose the "pro-life" opposition to embryonic stem cell research and human cloning, but that doesn't mean I think the taxpayer needs to foot the bill for the research.

And sometimes the Libertarians field absolute loons that I just cannot support. The Democrats remain too much in favor of activist government on all fronts to earn my vote. Politics is messy, and I rarely feel very good about the choices I can make.

I keep hoping for a neo-Whig or neo-classical-liberal party to form.

Posted by: JohnL at November 16, 2006 10:50 PM

Certainly it's fair enough treating Representative Johnson as the lesser or multiple evils. But you did initially say that he was "one of the few candidates that I feel really good voting for."

Personal character, and being a hero, certainly counts for something. But be careful of double standards, many people who support such heroes are also happy to vote for draft evaders.

As you note his dealings with pork and all of the social issues, puts him extremely far from the libertarian position.

Of course one can argue that stem cell research along with other subsidies should be eliminated, but that is not his position at all (he wants to increase subsidies to the oil and gas industries). Instead it is an example of the worst kind of abuses of government interference.

As you know, I'm not a libertarian, but consider myself a neo-liberal. But I think we all would like to see the public and politicians better understand the benefits and power of free choice and markets. Since seeing the news yesterday, I've been searching the house for my copy of "Free to Choose". I wish more people would read it.



Posted by: Jeffrey Goldberg at November 17, 2006 10:33 AM

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Posted by: vrmxl at February 24, 2010 08:00 AM
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