In which I endorse, 2020 edition

Early voting begins in Indiana tomorrow. I will very likely vote this week, although I don’t think it’s super likely that I will do it tomorrow, as I figure that there are more likely to be lines tomorrow than there will be on, say, Wednesday or Thursday. Lines are To Be Avoided.

Therefore, my 2020 endorsements:

Some of these are obvious! You shall vote for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris for President and Vice-President, respectively, and you shall enjoy doing so quite thoroughly. In general, you should probably just cast a straight Democratic ticket, but I want to write this post anyway so I’m gonna do it.

Indiana has a Governor’s race, but no Senate races this year. I will be voting for Woody Myers and Linda Lawson for governor. Probably. I may actually leave this one blank, and I’m deliberately not using the word “endorse” here, because Myers’ campaign has been utterly invisible, and honestly I have no particular reason to be annoyed with Holcomb beyond several things that are generic to Republicans and not specific to him. He will crush Myers. It’s going to be embarrassing. I have trouble voting for someone who did such a poor job of campaigning that I had to look up his name in October.

I enthusiastically endorse Pat Hackett for Congress from IN-02. My current Congresscritter is loathsome; I actually wrote Pat’s name in in 2018 because another Republican somehow stole the Democratic nomination and proved to be so noxious that I refused to vote for him. She demolished him; turns out that people who want to vote for Republicans are more likely to vote for Republicans than they are for Republicans who are pretending to be Democrats. I haven’t seen any useful polling and don’t have any idea how much of a chance Pat actually has but I would be deliriously happy to have her in Congress. I’ve been making weekly donations to her campaign for months. I’m really crossing my fingers for this one.

I will vote for the Democrats for any state legislative seats that are available and I won’t bother finding out their names beforehand.

In terms of more local offices, in the St. Joseph County Commissioner’s race for my district I endorse Oliver Davis, who I know personally and like quite a bit, over Derek Dieter, who I do not know and also think is a sexist asshole. The last time I mentioned him on this site his campaign manager tried to start shit with me on Facebook; I’m almost hoping they try it again.

I may be forced to break not one but two of my rules for the coroner’s race. First, I don’t vote for Republicans, and second, I don’t vote for coroner. I’ve typically skipped this race because I have no idea why the hell the coroner’s race would be an elective office. However! Patricia Jordan used to be my actual doctor, and I was quite fond of her. Insofar as I don’t see why this is an elected office, I’m even less clear on why it might be a partisan office, and as such I’ll probably end up voting for Dr. Jordan.

Finally, the School Board At-Large race: I endorse John Anella and Rudy Monterrosa, both current members of the Board, and of the two I endorse Monterrosa quite a bit more strongly than Anella. That said, you choose two candidates from a field of six, so that’s who I’m voting for. I know Jeannette McCullough and actively do not want her on the Board, and I know nothing of the other three, so this is a pretty easy choice.

Also, I don’t get a say in this because I’m not in the district, but I endorse Leslie Wesley for the District 3 School Board seat. I am not a huge fan of Ms. Wesley, particularly as she’s not been voting correctly regarding our recent school closing and reopening decisions, but Bill Sniadecki, who she ran against and defeated four years ago, is trying to slither back onto the Board again and he needs to be prevented from doing so.

(The previous paragraph is rescinded. See here for details.)

(Oh, and I almost forgot: there are six or so retention votes for judges on the ballot. I am not going to pretend that I did exhaustive research here, but I looked briefly into all six of them and no obvious red flags presented themselves. I typically do not vote one way or another on judges unless I’m given a reason to have a strong opinion, and unless someone shows me something I missed, right now I do not.)

94! 94! 9-9-9-9-94!

I voted on the way home from work, and an hour and a half before the polls close I was somehow only the 94th voter at my precinct for the day. Voter participation is traditionally terrible for South Bend mayoral elections, which are always held the year before a presidential election and generally garner no more than 20% turnout, but that number seems lower than usual. The polls close at six; I expect to find out by seven that James Mueller has been elected derplord mayor of South Bend, probably by about a 60-40 margin, if not better. I am moderately invested in one of the City Council races, and hope to find that Rachel Tomas Morgan wins one of the three at-large seats, and … well, that’s about it. It took longer to get the newfangled voting machine to scan my ticket properly than it did to actually vote.

From the Credit Where It’s Due department: I have kicked Republican mayoral candidate Sean Haas some shit for his ungrammatical yard signs and his shitty website; in a burst of curiosity last night I went to his site again and he’s actually had a pretty major overhaul since the last time I looked– and, interestingly, the word Republican is never used once, anywhere on the entire site. I live in Indiana, so I’m used to Democrats trying to run as stealth Republicans (and I don’t appreciate it,) but I believe this is the first time I’ve ever seen a Republican pull that move. Honestly, the guy described on that page seems like somebody who I might be able to vote for, but at this point in American history I am never voting for a Republican again no matter how reasonable they sound. Anyone still remaining in the party belonging to the person in the White House cannot be trusted. That’s all there is to it. If you’re a Republican and you don’t think that should apply to you, fix your fucking party. I’m well beyond sympathy at this point.

Honest truth: the single race I’m most interested in tonight is Qasim Rashid’s. Qasim is running for State Senate in Virginia in District 28, and I haven’t seen any polling or anything but the guy has been working his ass off to get elected. I’ve been following him on Twitter since well before he started to run for office, and he’s a fascinating, progressive guy who will do well for Virginia if he’s elected. I will be more upset if he loses than I will if the guy I voted for for Mayor loses, if that helps you calibrate at all.

(On the headline: I graduated high school in 1994, and the headline, chanted at a certain cadence and speed, was the way our class ended damn near every high school pep rally, with other classes yelling similarly but with whatever their year was. That cadence basically stopped working in 2000, and every so often I wonder what Adams pep rallies are like, because it’s been 20 years since it would work– although, I note, for anyone graduating after 2021 it works again.)

More endorsements: At-Large City Council edition

I did not vote on Saturday as intended, life having determined it had other plans for me– which actually turned out to be good, as I had forgotten that there were ten Goddamn people running for the three at-large City Council seats and maybe I ought to look into that. Therefore, having spent part of my evening browsing campaign websites, and for those for whom my opinion might be relevant:

(My own district only has one candidate running, which is why I’m focusing on the at-large race, for the record.)

In which I endorse: local elections edition

This will be a brief note and not a full post, as I am barely even awake and really need to get myself up and moving, and chances are those of you for whom this is relevant know how to find my in my Clark Kent identity anyway– but I’m planning on voting early today, as is my usual preference, and I’ve decided I am voting for Regina Williams-Preston for Mayor of South Bend today.

The simple fact is that most of the current Democratic mayoral candidates are running on very similar platforms; there seems to be broad agreement about where the city is at and where we should be focusing our energy and our funds in the current years. We have an abundance of good options here. I am voting for Regina because in the years I have known her (through my job) she has built a reputation as a tireless, dedicated and approachable educator and as a member of the City Council she has been the type of public servant who looks for and builds consensus where it can be found. Feel free to seek out some of the national news articles that have been written lately about how she and Pete Buttigieg worked through some of her concerns about the 1000 Homes in 1000 Days program that convinced her to run for City Council in the first place, if you like.

The official election is this Tuesday, and early voting is available downtown right up to Election Day. A mayoral primary in an off year is likely to only draw ten thousand or so votes, so this is literally a situation where every single vote genuinely counts. I encourage any South Bend folks who are reading this to head down to the County City building today or tomorrow and vote for Regina.


In which this is exactly what I’m talking about

I say it every time I talk about local elections in South Bend: the actual election is the Democratic primary, particularly with respect to the mayoral race, because the local Republican party absolutely refuses to run anyone with the remotest shred of credibility. In the last several years their candidates include demonstrably crazy people and at least one person who was homeless while running for office. They’ve run exactly one credible candidate since I moved back here in 2007 and he spent his entire race running against the city. Turns out if you think a place is a terrible shithole where no one should live, the voters who live there don’t choose you to run the place! I know, it’s weird.

Seriously, this was an actual mailing by those fuckers. Forgive me, it’s the highest-DPI scan I can find and it’s not great:

… yeah, that’s even worse than I thought. It reads: RIP: Here lies South Bend, a once vibrant city now abandoned by business, overrun by violent crime, and driving people from their family homes because of high property taxes.

Now, put me in charge of this awful place that I obviously hate!

Yeah, good luck.

Anyway, I talked about Republican candidate Sean Haas’ shitty website the last time I talked about the mayoral race around here. I am compelled to let everyone know that I have seen my first Sean Haas yard sign, and this motherfucker, who supposedly is a teacher, has no fucking clue whatsoever how capital letters work:

There are ten total and six unique words on that goddamned sign and two of them need capital letters and don’t have them. I dunno, maybe some of you out there think I’m being superficial, but this is a level of don’t-give-a-fuck that I would find shameful from a middle school student. I have both a former student and a former co-worker in common with Haas, although I’ve never met the guy, and while they both say they won’t vote for him neither of them think he’s a terrible person. So, fine, I won’t cast aspersions upon his ancestry or anything like that. But if your damn lawn sign has two typos and only ten words you do not get to be Mayor. I need people who give a shit in that job, and this guy clearly doesn’t, and furthermore he doesn’t have anyone working for him who gives a shit either or this abomination would never have made it out of Photoshop.

Or, y’know, Paint.

It was probably Paint.

So, yeah: when whoever wins the Democratic nomination wins 70-30 in the fall, this is why: it’s not because South Bend is so monolithically Democratic that a Dem win is inevitable– South Bend is in Indiana, after all– it’s because none of the local Republicans give enough of a shit to actually put up a nominee who is worth the money spent on his campaign.

(EDIT: I think I’ve decided who I’m voting for, by the way, but I think I’ll save it for another post and not step on this one. Needless to say, it won’t be Haas.)