As I did last year, I dug up the major races on this year’s Election Day ballot, for my district. I’m doing this mostly for my own benefit, as I hate to enter a polling place with no idea in advance about the less-publicized races. Here are a few thoughts.
Chase, Cutting to the: The two things that matter most this year are the mayoral election and the transportation-bond act. I worry that so many City residents have gotten the message that Bloomberg is unbeatable, that they’ll stay home Tuesday and let the upstaters torpedo the Bond Act again. I do think this will be a landslide reelection win for Mike, and I’m dismayed the Democrats could do no better than Ferrer, but that’s no reason to lose financing for transit repairs and upgrades.
Aside from these ballot lines, a few other things are of some note.
Reyna: As are all her colleagues, Diana Reyna is reupping for City Council. I don’t know much about her, but she provided a little newsbit of interest last week:
â€œI am a proud Latina Democrat endorsing, supporting, and voting for our mayor, Mayor Mike Bloomberg.”
In your face, Ferrer!
Advocate, comptroller: The public advocate and the comptroller are both up this year. The public advocate is sort of an ombudsman (or rather, an ombudsperson, since the incumbent is a woman) between city government and the public. Although commentators expect Betsy Gotbaum to win this race, the most interesting thing is probably that subway-vigilante Bernie Goetz is running.
As for comptroller, the Republicans haven’t even fielded a candidate, and aside from Democrat Bill Thompson, others in the race include a Conservative, a Socialist, and a Libertarian. How many New Yorkers will trust a Socialist to watch the City’s books, do you think?
Brooklyn Beep: Hm, apparently there are three people besides Marty who want to be Brooklyn Borough President. Great, run for an almost-purely ceremonial position that we should probably eliminate anyway. Besides, Marty hands out Smile buttons at subway exits, and he got those cool “Leaving Brooklyn? Fuhgeddaboutit!” signs installed.
I hear that Marty refuses to even contemplate the hint of the existence of such a place as Los Angeles. Furthermore, I hear that Garrett Oliver hand-crafted Marty for the job, using German hops and heirloom barley.
Court justices: A slate of Supreme Court justices is up for election. I never know how to vote for this shit, so I usually just vote party line, although I just found the 2005 New York State Supreme Court Voter Guide, so that’s worth a looksee.
Prop. 1: Budget Amendment to the State Constitution
Would amend the state’s Constitution to change the process for enacting the state budget. The issue here is to provide a contingency plan if the state legislature fails to act on the governor’s appropriations bills prior to the new fiscal year.
Overall, a yawner. If I don’t understand a proposition or if I can’t figure out why I should care, I usually vote No.
Prop. 2: The Transportation Bond Act
Would fund new transit projects both in NYC and the state as a whole, to the tune of $1.45B for city projects and the same amount for upstaters. A similar bond act was voted down by upstate voters five years ago, mainly because it would have primarily funded NYC projects, and upstate voters saw no upside for themselves–even though two of NYC Transit’s biggest suppliers have upstate factories.
The 2005 act has provisions for upstate transportation projects as well, and better support from the political establishment, so there’s some hope that it will pass. Among the NYC prizes are new subway cars and buses, funding for Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access, and studies of the proposed Downtown-JFK link.
Solid Yes from me.
Prop. 3: Ethics Code for City Administrative Judges
Would establish a uniform code of professional conduct for administrative judges.
My vote: Whatever.
Prop. 4: Balanced Budget and Other City Fiscal Requirements
Would amend the city charter to require the City to prepare a balanced-budget each year and the mayor to submit a four-year financial plan; to impose additional conditions on short-term debt and annual audits of the City’s accounts.
I’ll probably vote for this.