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Comment of the Fortnight
8 November 1998
Election Wrapup

The results of the United States elections on 3 November 1998 are in. Here's how I voted on several of the races:
California Governor
I'm glad that Gray Davis (Democrat) won. He's a moderate, and he seems to have good ideas. Dan Lungren (Republican) was way too far to the right for my tastes.
U.S. Senator, California
I couldn't stand either of these candidates. As I understand it, Barbara Boxer (Democrat) is one of the least liked Senators, and I can believe it. She's the kind of person that gives liberals a bad name. I was about to vote for Matt Fong (Republican), but then the story broke that he gave US$50,000 to Reverend Lou Sheldon, an extreme anti-gay activist. I voted for Brian Rees, the Natural Law party candidate.
United States Representative, District 15
I really like Tom Campbell (Republican). He's virtually a libertarian; he's fiscally conservative but socially liberal. He has great appeal to the center, and I'm thoroughly pleased that he was re-elected.
State Proposition 10
This was an initiative that would raise the tobacco tax on cigarettes by US$0.50 a pack. The money would fund early childhood development and smoking prevention programs. I voted against this because of the "early childhood development" part. No, I don't hate children, and I don't love the tobacco companies. I just felt that it was wrong to tax smokers only and spend the money on something not related to smoking.

If 100% of the money collected had gone to smoking prevention programs or if it had been a general tax for general purposes, I'd have voted for it.

National View

I was absolutely thrilled to see that Jesse Ventura (Reform Party) was elected governor of Minnesota. He's no dummy, he's not beholden to either major party, and he's not owned by any big corporate interests. I see great things happening there.

Do you think that the Republican party will finally find the nerve to tell Dr. James Dobson, Rev. Jerry Falwell, Rev. Pat Robertson, and the rest of the radical religious right wing to go fly a kite? Had they delivered the voters, it would have been a different story, but as I understand it, they didn't get their constituency out there to vote Republican.

So what's this with Newt Gingrich (Republican) stepping down as Speaker of the House of Representatives, and leaving Congress as well? I can't see an ulterior motive, and I don't see why he'd have to fall on his sword for the Republican showing this time around. It's a puzzlement, to be sure.

Many people in Hawaii voted to allow the legislature to amend the constitution so that homosexual marriage can be outlawed. I'm amazed that so many people can be so terrified of the idea of two people falling in love and forming a committed relationship. How this can damage an existing relationship is utterly beyond me, but then I don't understand the high divorce rate among heterosexuals either. Of course, how could I, since I'm playing on the other team <grin>.

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