Thursday, October 20, 2016

On the Ballot Issues

There will be seven issues on your Arkansas ballots this November. I advise voting "NO" to all of them. Since Conduit for Action gave a pretty good synopsis of why you should not vote for six of them I will leave you with this link to their report rather than re-invent the wheel.

The only one I disagree with is on Referred Issue #2. They say "Yes" to that one. I am going to be the model of consistency and advise you to vote "NO" on that one too. The Issue will remove the constitutional requirement that the powers of the Governor's Office devolve to the Lt. Governor when the Governor is out of the state.

First of all, a bad tree will not give good fruit. This bill is from an Arkansas Legislature which, with a few notable exceptions, proven itself to be rotten to the heartwood. They fooled people on Question 3 last year, marketing it as an "Ethics Reform" measure which "Established Term Limits". Conduit acknowledges that the other two measures they sent us are also terrible. I think this one is terrible too, in ways that we just don't know about yet. First the legislature should demonstrate greatly improved character and integrity, then we should give the measure they refer to us the benefit of a doubt- not before.

One thing I think they are trying to do with it is start a process whereby they abolish the office of Lt. Governor. A lot of people think the office should be abolished because it "does nothing". Well, the state constitution says that the Lt. Governor is supposed to be "The President of the Senate." What the Senate has done is taken most of the authority from the Lt. Governor, who is picked by all Arkansans, and given that authority to the President Pro Tem of the Senate- which is one of their own who is selected by them.

Hey, you take away the primary function of any of the state offices and it looks like a joke. In other states where the Lt. Governor is the functioning President of the Senate (instead of passing it off to the Pro Tem) that office is very important. The Pro Tem is a player as a Senator and a ref as pro tem. He is trading votes, sponsoring bills, and also deciding whose bills get decided how. That is a conflict of interest. In at least one legislative body it would be nice to have a ref who is not also a player in the game of getting bills passed or killed. A ref who is accountable to all of the voters in the state, not just from one safe district for either party.

The staff that the Lt. Gov. has should not be a waste of money. The only reason they are is that the Senate has given the Pro Tem his own staff to do the stuff that the Lt. Governor's staff should be doing if they followed the constitution. Give the Lt. Governor his function back and eliminate the Pro Tem staff. That is where the duplication came from.

But this ballot question does not eliminate the office of Lt. Governor, it only takes away his duty of filling in for the Governor while the Gov. is out of state. The cannard is that "advances in technology means the Governor can still do his job while out of state." Hey, if you believe that, try it with your boss. If tech means he can now do his job even though he is out of state then the reverse should be true as well- he should be able to use tech to stay here and do whatever he was going to do out of state from right here at home. The argument cuts both ways.

This state has had two governors in recent memory who kept collecting a paycheck from us while they were wandering all around the country running for President. They did that in spite of the fact that it meant the Lt. Governor was in charge during their absence. Let's keep them on the job, not running off to D.C. or to some party function so that they can listen to some foreigners tell them how they ought to run the state when they should be listening to us.

I understand the argument that continuity in government within the term of an office holder is good. Realistically, the Lt. Governor has never done much to change that, and continuity is only good when it is within the parameters of what the people want. Corruption without interruption is continuity, but its not good. Division of power is how you make it harder for government to do anything that does not have the broad approval of the public. Consolidation of power is how government is taken out of reach of the individual citizen. That is why I am a localist.

This November, channel your inner Grumpy Cat. Just say "no" to the ballot questions.

4 Comments:

Blogger Steven Isaacson said...

I have no clue why you say Vote NO to Issue #7 it is a proven fact that it has and will save lives. I have seen it work, My question is have you? Apparently not because if you had you would not be asking everyone to VOTE NO. I would recommend doing your home work before making that statement.

1:46 PM, October 20, 2016  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I favor a straight medical marijuana law, paired with letting each county decide, much like with alcohol. This ballot measure is not that.

Here are the poison pills in this issue:
Places the state as responsible for providing marijuana to the poor;
Grants privileges to users and penalizes businesses if they fire or discipline employees –due to their marijuana use.
Sets up this whole separate dispensary thing. Why not just use the drug stores we have?

Are those things which you support? Another welfare program? Forcing business owners to keep employees that are users? A new government-created network?

The AR Legislature should just pass a clean medical marijuana bill this January. That is my position.

4:18 AM, October 21, 2016  
Blogger Toni Rose said...

Issue 7 is the worst of these two so called Medical Marijuana laws. If you you really want the healing benefits of the plant do as other states have done and push for legislation that makes clinical trials easier so that cbd can be put into effective delivery systems

5:22 AM, October 22, 2016  
Blogger Toni Rose said...

Issue 7 is the worst of these two so called Medical Marijuana laws. If you you really want the healing benefits of the plant do as other states have done and push for legislation that makes clinical trials easier so that cbd can be put into effective delivery systems

5:22 AM, October 22, 2016  

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