I’ve lived in open-primary states all my life — first Ohio, then Indiana, now Michigan — and have been immersed in GOP Nation for so long that I can’t remember when voting wasn’t complicated. To vote offensively, or defensively? How strategic does my ballot need to me? Vote for someone, or against someone else?
We have a primary coming up in just under a couple weeks. There are a few interesting races on the table, and apparently I’m not the only one who’s strategizing.
Our state house district is reliably Republican, but no longer a lead-pipe cinch. Six Republicans and four Democrats are running for the seat opened by a term-limited exit. Normally I’d vote in the Republican primary, just for that feeling of not being disenfranchised, but the U.S. congressional seat is in play, and that one’s more interesting.
The current occupant is the Detroit mayor’s mother, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, an imperious, high-handed dame who behaves as though the seat was bequeathed to her by God. Unfortunately, her son’s problems have many suburbanites slavering to punish him by booting his mom from office — at least, if I’m reading the sudden appearance of yard signs for her opponent, Mary Waters, along such unlikely thoroughfares as Lake Shore Road in Grosse Pointe.
Here’s Waters’ TV ad, with Mrs. K’s famous meltdown of a couple summers back.
And here’s how the mayor is greeted in his hometown by a crowd of hockey fans, certainly a heavily suburban crowd. This is a fairly restrained response, based on what I’ve heard in private conversations.
Today brings fresh outrage for the ‘burbs: The mayor’s being investigated for allegedly shoving a sheriff’s deputy, who was trying to serve a subpoena on his good friend Bobby Ferguson. This happened at the home of the mayor’s sister, who is married to Bobby’s cousin, and yes, others have noted that nepotism seems to be a theme with these folks.
Anyway, I’m not sure which ballot I’ll request. It depends on whether the Republican spot for the state House seat looks to be in serious play. I don’t think it is — I think it’s going to a nice blonde lady whose qualifications include “in line to be the first female commodore of the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club.” Oh, how nice. Meanwhile, Kilpatrick and Waters “sparred,” as they say, on a local public-affairs show last weekend, and the former sneered to the latter, “You couldn’t carry my bra.” And people wonder why I like living here.
Of course, it would help if one of the weeklies would cover the race, but they’re too busy covering a new swimming pool opening. (Headline: Splish, splash! Zero-entry pool opens)
Dunno if you non-subscribers can read this, but there’s an interesting piece in the WSJ today announcing the “end of the Reagan Revolution,” i.e., a return of government regulation. After a bellyful of Chinese lead, the mortgage-and-banking fiascos, collapsing freeway bridges and various other train wrecks, voters are saying, “You know, maybe the endlessly creative marketplace isn’t the best overseer for this stuff.” And I know you can read this AP piece about the same issue, in tighter focus:
WASHINGTON – One of the worst outbreaks of foodborne illness in the U.S. is teaching the food industry the truth of the adage, “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.”
The industry pressured the Bush administration years ago to limit the paperwork companies would have to keep to help U.S. health investigators quickly trace produce that sickens consumers, according to interviews and government reports reviewed by The Associated Press.
The White House also killed a plan to require the industry to maintain electronic tracking records that could be reviewed easily during a crisis to search for an outbreak’s source. Companies complained the proposals were too burdensome and costly, and warned they could disrupt the availability of consumers’ favorite foods.
The apparent but unintended consequences of the lobbying success: a paper record-keeping system that has slowed investigators, with estimated business losses of $250 million. So far, nearly 1,300 people in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Canada have been sickened by salmonella since April.
When we were in Cali, garden to the U.S., this was a very big story. Tomato growers were worried about losing their shirts while investigators tried to find the needle in the haystack. Meanwhile, consumers refused to buy tomatoes, restaurants pulled them from their menus and the nation twiddled its thumbs. Good thing the availability of our favorite foods wasn’t disrupted.
OK. Friends, I am looking out the window at what appears to be a lovely day. Time to exercise the Freelancer’s Option, and go enjoy it. Good weekends to all.