Tuesday, November 02, 2010

How I Voted Today

The candidates for governor of Massachusetts surround TV host Jon Keller: Charlie Baker, Tim Cahill, Deval Patrick, and Jill Stein.
I like to vote early, and my ballot is officially in. This has been a high-profile and charged political season. I'm glad to see it winding down.

For Massachusetts governor, I chose Deval Patrick (D) over Charlie Baker (R). I think Patrick's become a good manager of the Commonwealth, and I think his priorities are in order. Baker's obviously a very bright guy and would make a competent governor. In the end, I felt that Patrick had done nothing to lose the chance to continue leading, and that Baker had not convinced me either that a change was direly needed or that he was the best agent for it.

The Massachusetts ballot questions are very important this year.
Question 1: Sales Tax on Alcoholic Beverages
Question 2: Comprehensive Permits for Low- or Moderate- Income Housing
Question 3: Sales and Use Tax Rates
I voted yes on Question 1, which means I want to remove the state sales tax on alcoholic beverages and alcohol where their sale or importation into the state is subject to an excise tax under state law.

Question 2 got a vote of no from me. I agree with the "against" position, which states:
This referendum would abolish the primary tool to create affordable housing in Massachusetts without providing any alternatives. Housing in Massachusetts is very expensive. We need to protect the Affordable Housing Law so that seniors and working families can afford to buy homes here. The Affordable Housing Law has created 58,000 homes across the state and is responsible for approximately 80% of new affordable housing over the past decade, outside the larger cities. Repealing this law will mean the loss of badly needed construction jobs. Thousands of homes that have already been approved for development will not be built if this law is repealed. Homes and jobs will be lost, and there will be less affordable housing for seniors and working families. A coalition of hundreds of civic, municipal, business, environmental and religious leaders, including the League of Women Voters and AARP, urge you to vote No.
I voted no on Question 3. Like many others, I feel over-taxed. However, I also appreciate the very many services that my taxes help pay for, such as Early Intervention.

I am pessimistic about how my fellow voters will go on my votes. The governor's race will be close, but I think Baker will be the winner. I predict yes on #1 will win handily. But no on #2 will probably go down, also handily. Question #3 is the really interesting one. I actually think it will be close. I'm inclined to think no on #3 will win out, but I won't be surprised with the opposite result.

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