Hero Inc.

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It’s about that time again.  Time for all legal, vote registered Americans to head to the polls and cast their/our choice for a new tomorrow.  Every election, a friend of mine does some quick research and sends out an email walking one through the elections (who is running, what’s the main issue, etc.).  With his permission, I’m going to post the email here for others to enjoy.

Please remember that “no matter who you vote for, the government still gets elected.”

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Here is the guide you’ve all been waiting for. Disclaimer: this political season has left me quite jaded on the whole process which is why the guide is so late in coming out and probably has more of a cynical and less humorous tone than usual.  I’m am sorry.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government… –The Declaration of Independence

As citizens of the United States of America, we have the right and privilege to institute a new government every two years. This is no right one should take lightly. Unlike what many naively state, our duty is not to be a voter, but to be an informed voter. I decided I would share some of the information I came across in the process of educating myself. This is some of the information I encountered and my analysis of it. As an informed voter, you should investigate the candidates and issues yourself. You should NOT rely on what I have said. You should NOT even believe that all of this is accurate. However, you SHOULD vote the way I recommend.


Saxby Chambliss


Chambliss is the incumbent Senator who won the seat in 2002 by beating up on a triple amputee war vetran Max Cleland in a manner that John McCain described as “”[I]t’s worse than disgraceful, it’s reprehensible.”  Good start Saxby.  On his webpage, he touts as one of his accomplishments, his support of FISA.  He is also proud of his work on the Farm Bill that gave a ton of subsidies and he says “I actively supported the historic “Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit.”  You mean the same Benefit that could cost up to $1.2 trillion according to the Washington Post?  Good job Mr fiscal conservative.  To his credit, he is an adamant supporter of tax reform.  He not only pushes the Fair Tax but also supports the Tax Code Termination Act that would force any kind of tax reform.  He also has a nifty flash animation on his website welcoming you.

Saxby has voted with Bush (Bush can’t vote but Congressional Quarterly does a study that calculates this based on the President’s support of a bill) 90% of the time since he joined the Senate.  He voted in support of the $850 billion bailout.  Looks like he is the epitome of fiscal responsibility.

Jim Martin


Martin was a long shot to unseat Chambliss until recently.  Polls show the race might be too close to call.  In general, Martin follows the Democratic party platform pretty close.  But his website is woefully lacking in specific.  He says we need economic policy that helps the middle class and doesn’t support the special interests but doesn’t give any specifics.  He was opposed to the bailout.  He supports universal healthcare, says we should get out of Iraq, and we should fix Social Security.  How do we do all of those?  Different than Bush and Chambliss is all he tells us.  Martin is against the bailout the Senate passed.  Martin is probably too liberal for Georgia, but he’s hoping to ride the anti-Republican sentiment into the Senate by not giving any details on his views.

Allen Buckley


Buckley is your typical libertarian.  He is against farm subsidies and wants to reduce the foreign presence of U.S. troops.  He is pretty adament on immigration reform.  He does not think the government should bail out companies but does have a plan for the Treasury department to buy toxic mortgages.  Not sure how that is free market.

Eleanor Garcia

Pinko commie chick who is running for the Socialist Worker’s Party.

William Salomone Jr.

Some dude.


A month or so ago, it was a given that Chambliss was going to win and my anti-Washington sentiment would have endorsed Buckley as a protest to the two party system even though he has issues.  However, things have now changed.  This is probably the only close race I’ll be voting in this cycle.  With the way the election is playing out, there is a statistically significant chance the Democrats could win 60 seats in the Senate.  This filibuster proof majority, along with the majority in the House, and Obama in the White House gives them unchecked power.  We saw what the Republicans did with even filibuster checked power.  Do we really want power concentrated in one party?  I don’t think so.  So I will very reluctantly endorse Saxby Chambliss as a vote against Jim Martin’s party.

House (District 5)

John Lewis


Lewis has been in the House since 1987.  He is currently the Senior Chief Deputy Majority Whip.  I think they were going to give him a few more titles but that is all that would fit on the name tag.  He voted against the bailout but then Obama called him up so he changed his mind.  No joke.  Obama called members of the Congressional Black Caucus to pressure them to change their votes.  Who says race doesn’t matter?  Lewis is running unopposed on the official ballot.

Jeanne Fitzmaurice

Can’t find a webpage for this lady but from what I can tell she is a member of the Socialist Workers Party.  I think she also writes for a newspaper called The Militant.  How quaint.

Shira Kash


No details on her but it looks like she was bored and decided to see how many votes she could get by being an official write in candidate.


For those who are new to my guide, I have this assumption that there has to be more than one person qualified for office in a whole Congressional District.  Why is Lewis running officially unopposed?  Because of gerrymandering and the two party system that is designed to be pro-incumbent (amongst other things).  Therefore, in principle Lewis can’t get an endorsement (and wouldn’t have anyway because he bowed to pressure from Obama).  I’m tempted to endorse Fitzmaurice just so I can say I voted for a pinko, but in the end, I’ll write in Shira Kash because I think she had a nifty idea that I might steal come next election cycle.

House (District 4)

Hank Johnson


Hank (trivia: one of the only two Buddhists in Congress) unseated Cynthia McKinney last election.  For this, I am forever grateful.  He hasn’t really done much in terms of legislation in his first term.  He voted against the bailout bill.

Faye Coffield


You have to check out her picture on her webpage, that must have been made in 1996.  She is against the bailout, against the war (even though some of her reasons are factually incorrect), for lowering taxes, and some kind of health care reform.

Loren Collins


Loren is running under the Bull Moose party.  Seriously.  No wonder the fourth district is such a joke.  He wants to defer to the Iraqis what we should do in Iraq.  He wants to reform Social Security but doesn’t specify how.  He wants to replace Jackson on the $20 bill with Madison.  Even he realizes how stupid that is: “First, no, you’re not imagining things: this is a campaign issue page on the U.S. Twenty Dollar Bill. And second, yes, I’m serious.”

Jacob Perasso

Socialist Worker pinko commie.  By the way, pinko commie isn’t offensive in this case because he really is one, right?


As Hank Johnson has no official opponent on the ballot, he is automatically disqualified from being endorsed.  That leaves us a choice between the crazy haired lady, the kid who hates Jackson, and the pink commie.  First, I must again thank the fourth district for their great choices.  I endorse Loren Collins.  His seeing that he actually got someone else to write his name in on the ballot will probably give him the most joy he’s had since he hit puberty, which based on his picture was probably last year.

Georgia Senate (District 32)

Chris Cameron


Cameron is proud to let everyone know he is an ex-Republican who is now dismayed with his former party.  He seems to prominently tout his opposition for tax cuts.  He isn’t against them in general but doesn’t believe we should have them at the expense of funding other priorities.  Cameron supports SPLOST (special sales tax) to fund transportation projects.  He is against concealed weapons.  Cameron opposes Hill’s bill that eliminated taxes on premiums for high deductible medical insurance.  Cameron doesn’t like the bill because he says it helps the rich and doesn’t help the poor (who typically don’t have high deductible insurance).  He doesn’t specify if he’d support a bill that would eliminate taxes on both, just that he doesn’t like Hill.  Cameron also has the whole Gorbachev birth mark thing going on.

Judson Hill


Judson has a funny name and is “Pro-Family, Pro-Marriage, Pro-Life and Pro-Second Amendment.”  His website claims he “is a recognized national leader for healthcare reform” but doesn’t say who is doing the recognizing.  His website is woefully lacking in details.  He says he supports a better education for children and more jobs for Georgians.  Who doesn’t?  He sponsored child predator laws that even Cameron gives him credit for.  He promises never to increase taxes (which Cameron claims means he can never support SPLOST).  He says GA has a spending problem, not a revenue problem and he’d limit spending increases to population growth and inflation unless overridden by a super-majority of the General Assembly.  This actually sounds like a decent idea to me.  When there is extra revenue, legislatures are tempted to spend it instead of save it.  Don’t let them, if they must, there is a way to do it with a super-majority.


With Georgia facing a budget shortfall, I think fiscal responsibility is very important.  Both candidates seem to only focus on one side of the issue (each focuses on the opposite side).  But when you look at the budgets and see that the state’s spending has increased by approximately 25% in the past four years ($16,146,990,223 in 2004 to $20,545,196,148 in 2008), something is definitely wrong on the spending side.  Because of that, I will be voting for Judson Hill.

Georgia House (District 54)

Edward Lindsey


Seeing as he is running unopposed, Eddie feels that he can say “Website Under Construction” (so 1996) on his site a couple of weeks before the election and everything is all good.  Not to completely shun the voters, he links to his official page at the General Assembly’s site.


Due to not only his running unopposed, but also to his shameful website, I will not be voting for Mr. Lindsey this year.  I will be writing in myself, Akash Patel.

Public Service Commission (District 4 – Northern)

Lauren W. McDonald Jr.


He claims to be pro-nuclear and pro-alternative fuels. He supports the “exploration” of cap and trade systems for carbon emissions.  He wants to allow Georgia Power to increase fees now to pay for new nuclear power plants that won’t come online for years.  He also accepts campaign contributions from the companies he regulates. McDonald used to be on the commission years ago as a Democrat.  At that point, he proposed a plan for Georgia Power fees that GP themselves had drafted and presented it as his own.  He basically did the bidding for the company he was supposed to regulate.

Jim Powell


Powell is having issues with his residency.  The Secretary of State is fighting to get him taken off the ballot because he didn’t have homestead filed in the district he is running for.  I doubt the Supreme Court agrees with her so we’ll go with the assumption Powell stays on the ballot.  Powell worked for the Department of Energy so has lots of experience.  He does not accept donations from the companies he regulates. Even his opponent Givens (below) says this about him: “I believe he is a good man. If your sympathies are with the continuation of the regulated monopoly system as it is; I believe Mr. Powell is a just candidate for you to vote for.”  He says he is pro-nuclear but that we need to diversify our energy sources and not just concentrate on one source.

Brandon Givens


Givens claims to want less government involvement in everything.  However, he advocates extending tax credits for solar power.  He also is against nuclear (or at least has hesitations about it).  He does favor allowing greener companies to market directly to consumers.


Although McDonald sounds and acts like a cartoon parody of a Southerner and would be entertaining to watch, the PSC does not get enough publicity to make his election worth it.  Givens seems okay but realistically has no chance of winning.  I will vote for Jim Powell because he’s not as shady as McDonald, has experience, and reminds me of Tony Kornheiser.

Public Service Commission (District 1 – Southern)

H. Doug Everett


His only challenger being a Libertarian, Everett does not feel the need to maintain his website or respond to questions submitted by the League of Women Voters.  I do not feel the need to care about him.

John Monds


Monds wants to increase competition in energy.  He wants the PSC to get out of regulating the telecom business.  He only wants regulation needed for environmental and safety reasons.


Due to the lack of information available about Everett, I will be voting for John Monds.


There are numerous judicial positions on the ballot.  They make up the bulk of the 51 offices/issues on my ballot.  Almost all are uncontested.  I will not be voting for these offices as I have no idea what the positions actually entail or what would make one qualified for such office.  I suggest you either research the candidates and email me back information about them, not vote on them, or if you’re especially bored, write in someone for the offices.

Georgia Constitutional Amendment 1

“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the General Assembly by general law shall encourage the preservation, conservation, and protection of the state´s forests through the special assessment and taxation of certain forest lands and assistance grants to local government?”

Essentially, people or companies that own more than 2000 acres of land can get tax breaks if they agree not to develop the land for 15 years.  This will cost tax payers $40 million.


It seems like a decent idea to preserve forests, but really, it is just a shift in tax burden from certain landowners to others.  And as I am not a forest land owner, I say NO.

Georgia Constitutional Amendment 2

“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize community redevelopment and authorize counties, municipalities, and local boards of education to use tax funds for redevelopment purposes and programs?”

This is on the ballot because a lawsuit deemed Tax Allocation Districts (TAD) illegal.  These are the tools used by developers to create things like Atlantic Station and downtown Smyrna.  Basically, a special district is created and the additional taxes generated by the increased land value goes to pay off bonds used to develop the district.


This restores the law to what the legislature intended.  It allows development to pay for itself.  Sounds like a YES to me.

Georgia Constitutional Amendment 3

“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to authorize the General Assembly to provide by general law for the creation and comprehensive regulation of infrastructure development districts for the provision of infrastructure as authorized by local governments?”

This allows cities to create districts for developers where they can develop infrastructure and sell bonds and levy fees to pay for that infrastructure.  Essentially, it allows private cities.


In general I’d be against creating new governing entities but I guess people would voluntarily move into the developments so they are subjecting themselves to such rules.  This basically lets the market decided how infrastructure should be developed.  That seems like a YES to me.


Bob Barr


Barr, the ex-Republican manager for the Senate trial of Bill Clinton, has changed some of his views and decided to become a Libertarian.  He takes the expected views on issues: less spending, end the Iraq war, lower taxes, privatize entitlement programs, stop foreign intervention, etc.  He has even adopted the libertarian ideas on drugs and has renounced his former support for the “War on Drugs”.  Although this isn’t prominently featured on his website.

John McCain


McCain was the media darling and Maverick when he ran for President in 2000.  He lost.  He learned that Maverick helps with the media but not the votes so he adapted.  He became more political.  He got more votes, he won the primary in 2008, but he lost the media.  He also lost a lot of the independents that liked him in 2000.  McCain claims to be fiscally conservative and opposed earmarks.  Yet he supported the bailout with its $150 billion or so in tag ons.  He is relatively hawkish when it comes to foreign policy.  Many conservatives assume he’d appoint conservative judges if given the chance.  Other pundits point out that McCain’s pet issue, campaign finance reform, does not mesh well with the judicial philosophies of many strict constructionist judges.  They fear he will go with judges that would support his views on campaign finance reform even if it means they are more of the O’Conner flavor than the Alito flavor.  He doesn’t want to leave Iraq until we win.  Although this is pretty much a moot point because the Bush administration will likely have agreed to a withdrawl deadline with the Iraqi government before the next President gets sworn in.  McCain wants to make Bush’s tax cuts permanent, eliminate corporate taxes, and reduce capital gains taxes.  He says he’d pay for these through cuts in earmarks (although that is only $17 billion or so).  There is also the argument that revenue goes up as taxes get cut (to a certain extent).  There is some historical data that supports this but McCain doesn’t really care because he doesn’t really plan on balancing the budget until the end of his first term, if then.  He wants to tax healthcare benefits people get from employers and give everyone a $5000 tax credit for healthcare.  This actually benefits those who don’t get healthcare from employers as they are paying for it right now.

Barack Obama


Barack Obama wants change and lots of it.  Well maybe not really.  He wants to draw troops out of Iraq responsibly, like we are going to do once the Bush admin gets an agreement from Iraq.  He supported the bailout.  He wants to roll back the Bush tax cuts for those making over $250,000.  But he has said that he wouldn’t do this if we are in a recession.  Looks like we are.  He wants to raise capital gains taxes.  He has recently said he would only do this on people making over $250,000.  He wants to remove the cap on FICA taxes but in a really convoluted way.  Right now you only pay FICA taxes on the first $102k of income.  Obama wants to keep that the same, then create a “donut” up to $250k where you don’t pay taxes and then above that pay “in the range of 2 to 4 percent more in total.”  With all this money, Obama should be able to balance the budget, right?  No.  He’ll spend it on things like his healthcare plan.  He offers a universal healthcare plan that isn’t a single payer plan.  Basically, it mandates that employers have to cover employees or pay a fee that the govt uses to cover those employees.

Jonathon Allen


His motto is HeartQuake.  He wants to awaken the hearts of Americans.  Not sure what that means.

Chuck Baldwin


Constitution party candidate.  Think Libertarian with a little more Jesus thrown in.

Brian Russell Brown

Some dude.

David C. Byrne

Some other dude.

James Harris

Socialist Worker.  From Atlanta, even went to Cuba to support the Revolution there.

Cynthia McKinney



Frank Moore


Um.  Mr. Moore doesn’t have all his teeth.

Ralph Nader


Yeah, that same Ralph Nader.  Green as always (but not officially).

Michael A. Peroutka

Was part of the Constitutional Party but broke apart.  Unfortunately for him, no one went with him.


As you may have noticed, the summaries of the candidates is woefully lacking.  I assume by this point, most people know what each candidate stands for, as much as you possibly can.  With conditions changing (especially economical), both candidates keep changing positions or keep proposing new programs.  (Both have supported elliminating the requirement for seniors to take money out of the market. Obama wants to allow people to take money out of their 401k penatly free.  Not sure how removing money will help the market).  In the end, chances are most of you have already decided on who to vote for.  But of course, it doesn’t matter.  Georgia is going to go for McCain.  But of course, that doesn’t matter.  With or without Georgia, Obama is going to win the election.  Who am I going to vote for?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I’ve been following this election for almost a year now and I still don’t know.  With the Democrats nearly guaranteed to win the House and Senate, and possibly winning a supermajority in the Senate, part of me wants to vote for McCain for a divided government (refer to Election Guide 2006 House of Representatives (District 1) for reasons why).  With McCain’s shift closer to the undesirable qualities of the GOP since 2000, part of me wants to vote for Obama because I believe the McCain of 2008 is a lot closer to Bush than the McCain of 2000.  However, as stated above, it doesn’t really matter since the outcome of the eleciton is near certain.  If my vote doesn’t make a difference in the outcome, maybe it can matter another way.  If I vote for Barr and he some how manages to get 5% of the popular vote, the Libertarian party will be elligible for federal funding the next go around.  That won’t elliminate our two party system but will slow it down just a little.  Of course, I’m no fan of Barr.  Maybe I’ll really waste my vote and just write-in Ron Paul.

You can also head to your local comic book store and pick up “Presidential Material” for both McCain and Obama for a story that follows each candidates story.

Posted under Internet, Other


mike Says:
November 4th, 2008 at 7:18 am


Ben Says:
November 4th, 2008 at 8:38 am

Total time needed to vote: 1 hour and 40 minutes.

I understand that older generations love to volunteer, but if they cannot deal with the technology used now, then they needed to be moved to other areas instead of slowing down the voter lines.

I also wanted to walk away from the voting computer when I saw “Diebold.”

mike Says:
November 4th, 2008 at 11:40 am

total time: 10 minutes. total wait time: 2 minutes.

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