Today’s the day! Get out and vote. Once. 🙂 All kidding aside, this is a very important day. I’ve encouraged people to find out all they can about the candidates, which is not necessarily easy in the case of local races. A friend sent me his “voter’s guide” and because I agree with what he’s indicated, I’ll show you what he wrote below. I think he gives well-thought, informative reasons why you should or should not vote for particular candidates in Bismarck races.
Favor: Schwarz and Austin. Both have spent their 20+/30+ legal careers in the private sector, IN the courtroom (handling hundreds of criminal and civil cases).
Governor Hoeven and Schafer have tried to choose lawyers for judicial appointments with the most day to day experience of practicing law, so as judges they had a keen view of the impact their decisions had upon the men and women of North Dakota. Nearly all of their appointments followed that criteria (including two Supreme Court justices).
Grossman: has less courtroom experience, having spent most of the last 20 years in the attorney general’s office.
Feland: good courtroom experience, but almost exclusively as a prosecutor.
(I would add here that very serious allegations of misconduct have been documented against Ms. Feland in the Sandy Blunt/WSI case, which totally take her out of the running for me. -Cf)
Favor: Schwab. has been looking after the taxpayer and opposes doubling the sales tax. Looks to the private sector, and a fair playing field for all businesses in Bismarck.
Warford: advocated to double the sales tax last year. TIF funds were approved for quiet rail without another vote. Has served the public for 8 years for which we owe him a debt of gratitude. Perhaps 8 years is enough.
–Quist (promote fiscal responsibility and core responsibilities of government);and
–Schmidt (lower property taxes/no new sales taxes).
Askvig: lobbyist for NDEA; $500 contribution from DakPAC in Washington DC; voted for Obama and favors the new healthcare bill.
Smith: friends with the current administration (see campaign contributions– $250 from Mayor Warford); parroted a number of Warford themes of “bringing businesses to Bismarck”. No plan to lower property taxes.
Feldman: conservative; but there are only two open seats.
(Personally, I’m voting for Brad. Bummer we have more good candidates than open seats! -Cf)
Ebertz: pretty conservative; favors return of TIF, lower property taxes through economic development, but suggests the state should “send us all the oil money”.
Favor: Nieters and Schwartz; both are fiscal conservatives, looking out only for taxpayers with no special interest to promote.
Deforest: promoted the funding arrangement for the aquatic center; supported 3 week suspension of Parks Director Steve Neu for violation of state law; dismissed the question of “special assessments” in candidate forum as irrelevant. (Is not irrelevant).
Munson: also dismissed the question regarding special assessments for the park district, only to have other candidates correctly answer the question. (The park district does deal with special assessments).
Martinson: wants to promote more sciences and arts, particularly through the arts and science center, of which he is a board member. Jon is a good guy, but I disagree with advocating for a special interest group as an elected official.
Jeske: served on the fund raising committee for the Streamline Foundation that owns the Bismarck Aquatic Center. Same concern for additional special interest focus rather than broad public interest.
(There are three seats open here and two solid candidates. I plan to vote for Jon Martinson as the third. Cf)
Favor: Marquart; Fitter and Sagsveen.
Marquart and Fitterer have welcomed taxpayer support; Fitterer is concerned about the cost of busing. Sagsveen is a capable lawyer, who works at AG’s office and is concerned about the impact of building a new high school.
County (All four candidates will advance to the general election in November)
Favor: Peluso, Schonert, and Moszer.
Take that, throw it into your hat of election information and advice, stir vigorously, and use what you see fit. I wanted to distribute this because I think the information is useful.
Again, I’m voting for Brad Feldman for City Commission. He’s perhaps not as tested a candidate as the other two solid conservatives, but I like him. I also like Jon Martinson mostly because I really liked dealing with him in my college days. He also seems to be the best of the candidates who are not endorsed conservatives.
You may agree with me (and the author of this list), you may not. Regardless, you need to make your voice heard today. Find your polling location here. You can even download a sample ballot so you know what to expect when you arrive at the polling place. Be part of our representative government and perform your civic duty! Oh yeah…print out a copy of this list if you want, too 🙂 And if you want to print out a copy of the Citizens for Responsible Government’s door hanger with the candidates they endorse, you may print do so by clicking here.