Did you know that when an informed person participates in voting, that person becomes an activist?
If there is an election in your locality today, take action: VOTE. Given the recent spate of Republican woes — Tom DeLay’s alleged dirty dealings, Scooter Libby’s indictment, Bill Frist’s blind trust, the continuing investigation of Karl Rove — today’s polling may be a minor referendum on Republican power in the US.
Be sure to keep your eyes on New Jersey’s contentious gubernatorial race between Democrat Jon Corzine and Republican businessperson (and “Bush’s man”) Doug Forrester. And Virginia’s, between Democrat Tim Kaine and GOPster Jerry Kilgore — the race will prove whether the damaged Dubya, who stumped for Kilgore, can still sway votes. Both contests are expected to go down to the wire.
Also meriting your attention: Seven states are considering ballot initiatives. In Texas, voters take on a redundant and cruel proposed constitutional ban on gay-marriage that threatens far more than Lone Star queers. Bigotry is on the ballot in Maine too, where people are considering whether to repeal the state’s antidiscrimination law. Meanwhile, California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger will see his self-proclaimed “people power” put to the test as voters tackle four controversial proposals to cap state spending, boost Ah-nuld’s budget-cutting muscle, rein in state-worker unions, and take away lawmakers’ redistricting power.
The Associated Press reports that spirited mayoral races are under way in New York, Detroit, Houston, Boston, San Diego, and Atlanta.
In New York City, Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg held onto a clear lead against Democratic underdog Fernando Ferrer, who campaigned with the Rev. Al Sharpton and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.
Ferrer, the former Bronx borough president, had spent only about an eighth of the more than $66 million that the billionaire mayor has funneled toward winning a second term.
In Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino hopes to set a record for the longest serving mayor in city history, while challenger Maura Hennigan wants to become Boston’s first elected female mayor.
Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was seeking another term while fending off allegations of misspending. Kilpatrick blames the fiscal problems on his predecessor, Dennis Archer, for whom challenger Freman Hendrix worked.
Allegations of ballot improprieties also have surfaced. A judge ordered Detroit election officials to oversee absentee voting after finding problems with the way the city clerk organized the effort. …
In San Diego, Donna Frye, a surf-shop owner and Democrat, was staging an uphill battle against Republican Jerry Sanders, who enjoys strong backing from the city’s business establishment.
So, take on the role of activist. If it is election day in your corner of the world, vote — and encourage every progressive you know to do the same. Barring the nefarious efforts of cheats and election thieves (they know who they are), voting is one sure way to make your voice heard. Get busy before the polls close.