Election Day 2009!

Don’t forget to Vote today!

I find my self distressingly underprepared for today’s election. Part of it may have to do with how much I have going on at the moment. Not only do I work a full-time job as a paralegal, I’m also taking a legal research class at the local community college. I’m an active member of the local rescue squad, and in addition to 8 hours of duty a week, I’m putting together a training on fractures and crush injuries because the state’s training budget is dead. The real distraction, though, is that I’m in the process of buying my first house. I don’t want to jinx it (knock on wood), so I won’t say anymore except that it’s more time consuming and nerve wracking than I thought.

A little quick research, though, and I think I’ve figured out most of my votes:

Governor: One of my main issues this year is Virginia’s stupid ban on concealed carry in restaurants. Both candidates have indicated their support for repealing the ban, but my impression is that Bob McDonnell is stronger on other gun rights issues, so he gets my vote.

Lt. Gov.: While I’m definitely in a “throw the bums out” mood when it comes to incumbents, Bob Bolling is the only candidate who bothered to respond to the VCDL candidate survey, so he gets my vote.

Attorney General: Just like the candidates for Lt. Gov., Ken Cuccenilli is the only candidate who bothered to respond to the VCDL candidate survey, so he gets my vote.

Delegate: My candidates for Delegate are Paul Cornett (Independent) and James Shuler (Democrat, incumbent). Like I said before, I’m definitely in a “throw the bums out” mood when it comes to incumbents, and I’m not that fond of Democrats either. Ordinarily, an incumbent Dem running against a new Independent would be the last person I’d vote for. Unfortunately, there’s a few problems here. The first one being that I haven’t been able to find any information on Cornett except for a few newspaper articles. He’s a Virgina Tech student (a senior), and the impression I get from the articles is that he seems to be running because he can, not because he disagrees with any of Shuler’s positions. While I don’t really trust newspapers, I just can’t find any other information about him. Neither candidate responded to the VCDL survey, but I do know that Shuler voted for the repeal of the restaurant CHP ban last year, and also voted to override the Governor’s veto of it. That, plus the lack of information on his opponent, means he gets my vote.

Town Council: This is the one I’m the least prepared for. There are 9 candidates for 4 positions on the council, and this is where the “throw the bums out” strategy will come into play the most. Blacksburg has a long history of bad decisions when it comes to attracting businesses to the town. The debacle with the (possible) Wally World at the “First and Main” project was probably the worst. I expect that issue drove off several business that may have been considering moving into town, and the way they drove off Sonic just reinforced the perception. (I don’t have links handy, but I’m sure if you Google “Blacksburg Wal-mart” and “Blacksburg Sonic” you’ll get the whole story.) First and Main actually has a big banner by the main road saying “[Candidate X] voted against Sonic” – it’s that kind of issue in this town. I know one candidate personally, and not only do I agree with a good number of his opinions, I know for a fact that he will change his position if he’s shown evidence that he’s wrong. That’s very important, and yet another reason to vote for him. For the rest, incumbents will be out, but I really don’t know enough about the rest. If I can find the Roanoke Times article where they gave their endorsements, that will guide me too – to vote against anyone they endorsed.

Well, that’s my thought process (such as it was this year). Again, don’t forget to vote!

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