Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader likes politics. Well… Generally likes politics. This political season has started to wear on him. He’s conflicted in many ways. He’s upset that Republicans have seemingly abandoned the issues that are most important to your Maximum Leader (this is to say fiscal restraint, limiting the size of the Federal Government, and increasing personal liberty). Of course, the Democratic party has never supported those issues in the first place, so there is little solace to be found there. Your Maximum Leader isn’t a third party type of guy. If an intelligent (read: non-wacky) Libertarian would run for something he/she might just get your Maximum Leader’s vote.

This is the first time that your Maximum Leader can remember wishing he lived in another state. Specifically he wishes he lived in Texas so that he could vote for Kinky Friedman. If you are a reader of this site and a registered voter in the great state of Texas, please know that your Maximum Leader officially endorses Kinky for Governor.

As for your Maximum Leader, he will not be voting for Kinky. But he will be voting for a number of other things and candidates.

Of course, you are all by now familiar with the Allen/Webb senate campaign. After much reflection n the matter, your Maximum Leader will pull the lever for George Allen. Not a big surprise there really. Your Maximum Leader is a self-professed Allen supporter. But this is not really a pro-Allen vote. It is more an Anti-Webb vote. Neither man gives one much reason to support one over the other. So, this vote is cast more out of a feeling of duty to vote than anything else.

In the race to see who will hold the seat for Virginia’s First Congressional District (and America’s First as well - since the district contains the Jamestown Settlement) your Maximum Leader will vote for the incumbent, Jo Ann Davis. Until about a week ago, your Maximum Leader didn’t even know that anyone was running against Davis. It turns out that she does have an opponent. Some fellow named McDonnell, or McDoughney, or McDonald. To your Maximum Leader’s knowledge there have been no debates locally between the candidates. Your Maximum Leader couldn’t easily find any information on the internet about the other candidate. So your Maximum Leader can’t tell you one thing that Ms. Davis’ opponent thinks about anything. Thusly, your Maximum Leader will be voting for Ms. Davis for Congress.

There are many ballot issues facing your Maximum Leader in Virginia this Election day. In fact there are three statewide (Commonwealth-wide?) ballot measures in Virginia. Here is a link to see all of them.

The first one is the “Gay Marriage” Amendment to the State Constitution. Basically, the amendment seeks to define marriage as being between a man and a woman only. It will also forbid localities from creating any legal arrangements that might approximate marriage.

Now, long-time readers of this page will know that your Maximum Leader isn’t a partisan for gay marriage. And while the sentiment of the amendment (that is to say that marriage is a union between a man and a woman) is in line with your Maximum Leader’s beliefs; he will likely vote against this constitutional amendment. There are many reasons why he will cast this vote the way he will. The biggest one is that while the actual language of the amendment is not discriminatory, any slightly intelligent person can determine that the intent of the amendment is to discriminate against gays. This might seem odd to you since your Maximum Leader has stated that he is in favor of this particular type of discrimination. Well… While your Maximum Leader is not in favor of redefining marriage - he also not in favor of writing discrimatory amendments to his state constitution. Indeed, his feelings about not writing discriminatory laws easily trumps his non-approval of gay marriage. He imagines that this amendment will pass. But he hopes it does not.

The second ballot measure is another constitutional amendment. The amendment in question will allow the General Assembly of Virginia to grant charters of incorporation to churches in Virginia. Virginia, for centuries, has had special charters for churches. Recent Supreme Court decisions appear to have struck-down as unconstitutional this particular tradition in the Old Dominion. Thus, it is necessary to amend the Virginia Constitution to fall in line with Federal Law. Your Maximum Leader will vote for this amendment. There is no sense in keeping provisions in your state constitution that are in opposition to the interpretation of Federal Law. Of course, this brings up an interesting philosophical point concerning Federal supremacy and the role of the Supreme Court in fashioning state law. While the interesting philosophical point might be fun to debate over drinks in front of a roaring fire, the point was settled quite decisively by the Civil War. So it is only an intellectual argument…

The third ballot measure to appear on all Virginia ballots is the tax relief amendment. This amendment will allow the General Assembly to pass laws which in turn would llow local governments to pass partial real estate tax relief to fund various types of building projects. Well, not really building projects so much as conservation and rehabilitation projects. So the aim of the measure is to allow localities to grant real estate tax relief to people who are choosing to conserve land (by not building on it) or choosing to rehabilitate already developed land to a more worthwhile use. Your Maximum Leader is all in favor of both of these aims, and will enthusiastically vote for this measure.

There are also some local bond measure on the ballot. They are specific to the county in which your Maximum Leader lives. They may not interest you too much, so he will not add them to this post. (But they might merit a post on their own - because of the contraversy involved in one bond measure…)

Your Maximum Leader hopes you all get out and vote tomorrow. It is your responsibility to cast an informed ballot. So do your homework tonight (if you haven’t already) and vote tomorrow.

Carry on.

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