Friday, November 04, 2011

Isn't That Special? (Elections)

Who is behind pestering taxpayers with one "special" election after another?  Maybe SATAN?  Well, isn't that special!  Church Lady wags finger at debt peddlers, says "VOTE NO, PAY AS YOU GO!"
Early voting has begun for yet another "special" election.  Are you fed up with politicians scheduling "special" elections asking for you to give them more money?   I am, but I know why they do it- it works for them.   Most folks don't bother to show up for a special election, but the special interests who will benefit from the money do.
When it comes to debt and taxes, special elections are for special interests.   They will do it to you as long as it works.   The only way to stop them is to make a "special" effort to vote them down every time.  As you read this, early voting is already underway for a "special" election for more highway bonds on November the 8th. 
I don't recall when I have ever seen a less necessary "special" election (and they cost tax payers over a million dollars each).   They want to issue more bonds as the current bonds get paid off, but the current bond issue does not even get paid off until after the general election next November.  Some of them are not paid off until 2014.  There was no reason at all to pony up for a special election except they were hoping that most of you would skip voting, leaving the outcome to a small group that would benefit from the program at the long-term expense of the rest of us.
Sure we need good highways, but that's not the quetion.   The money they want to pledge as collateral for bonds is money that is going to come in anyway.   We will have highway money coming in either way.  The only question is whether or not we promise to use it over the next 12-15 years against an up front loan or pay as we go.   Based on the numbers from the last issue, paying as we go would save us over $200 million in interest on the $575 million bond issues.   It will take three years to issue the bonds, and if we just let the money from designated sources come in then we would have over half of it in only four years. 
In the mean time, the federal program they are counting on to pay off most of the bonds without a tax increase is reportly facing pressure for some massive budget cuts.   So much so that the bondtrader website reports that bonds from this program, called GARVEE, are facing a cut in their ratings.    We have also recently learned that the state has put us far deeper in debt than previously believed.   Arkansas taxpayers owe over $25 billion dollars in unfunded state liabilites.   In the middle of a severe economic downturn, they are asking us to go another $575 million in debt for these highway bonds.
The grassroots organization Secure Arkansas, of which I am a member, has launched a campaign opposing the bond issue.  Almost every Tea Party in the state has joined with them.   Its time to stand up for ourselves against these politicians scheduling one special election after another trying to get in our pockets.  Make it a point to "Vote no, pay as you go" on November 8th.   If Tuesday is bad for you, go down to the court house and early vote.  I hope you make a "special" effort to teach them a lesson!


Blogger Linton said...

I could see not holding special elections having as big an effect on who participates as not holding one.

Sherwood was proposing a tax increase to go towards a new library and animal shelter, but decided to have the vote in the next primary instead of holding a special election.

Let's see, a vote on a tax increase in a year when there is an incumbent Democratic president and a Republican presidential primary. Who's going to show up for the most part and how will they probably vote?

At least with a special election the people who show up are typically people who are up on things. I get the feeling that tons of people who vote in nationwide and statewide office races, just breeze through the other items with little clue of what they are voting for/against.

3:36 PM, November 06, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your argument would be a valid point for making it on the day of the GENERAL election rather than a primary election.

And yes, those "in the know" would be voting alright. It would be the famous 1% who would make a lot that would show up over the 99% each of whom loses only a little. IOW Special Elections are for Special Interests.

6:49 PM, November 06, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Only five people other than me had voted this morning at my precinct.

6:44 AM, November 08, 2011  

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