2018 Midterm Endorsements
[Originally posted November 5, 2018]
A few years ago I received a call from a reporter asking about my endorsement in the presidential race (Clinton). I didn't think anyone really cared--indeed, he didn't publish it--and I still don't think people really care, but because I get asked, I will share my thoughts on the races.
I'm in a non-partisan office and will start by noting while some Republicans are my favorite people--here's looking at you my middle sister, Ricole, and Councilwoman Heather Hall--the Democrats have fielded a vastly superior field this time around and my recommendations reflect that. Here we go: with recommendations in Missouri & Kansas:
US Senate: Claire McCaskill
I could write a book about how strong, determined, empathetic, and outstanding a leader Claire McCaskill has been for Missouri. As a prosecutor, her office sought child support for me and my family. As a senator, she's worked hard to ensure Washington doesn't forget about the daily struggles of poor Missourians in our urban and rural areas alike. She's a mentor to many. She is an outstanding public servant and I'm proud to support her. Her opponent, Josh Hawley, was a really good professor and scholar at Mizzou Law. I hope he has the opportunity to get back to that work.
US Congress: Cleaver
No one cares more about Kansas City and how to help our community. Through his civility, he shows us how decency will win the day.
State Auditor: Galloway
Nicole Galloway has been an exceptional state auditor. Indeed, her appointment may be one of the best decisions former Governor Nixon ever made. Her office answers important questions for our state, without bias, and we will be well served with four more years of Nicole Galloway.
County Executive: White
It's easy to underestimate Frank White. But to know him is to know that in his time in office, he's worked to give fair wages to employees, to reform county government, and to be a positive leader in our community. I'm proud to know him and his leadership will serve our county well over the next four years.
County Legislature (At-Large).
All our county legislative at-large candidates deserve retention. They each have worked hard to see that County government is a force for good in our community and to remove the insiders' approach that for too long seemed to rule the county.
Sheriff Forte is an innovative law enforcement officer who knows our community well. He should continue in his position.
Yes on Q1. Clean Missouri. Allow for more transparency in politics and better order in redistricting.
Yes on Q2. Marijuana. It seems to be the most thoughtful proposal on medical marijuana in Missouri.
No on Q3. Marijuana. This is the jumbled, less effective cousin of Q2.
Yes on Q4. Bingo! I'd prefer the State be out of bingo regulation entirely. This is but one step in this direction.
Yes on Prop B. Minimum Wage. This allows for an increase of minimum wage to $8.60 and ultimately to $12/hr. by 2023. I've read the economic literature some will cite in opposition. It's incorrect. Setting a wage floor at a reasonable rate will not bring ruin to Missouri, rather it will help more Missouri families support themselves.
No on Prop C. Marijuana (again). Q2 on marijuana provides the better regulatory and tax scheme for marijuana use. For that reason, I think we only need one to pass. That one should be Q2.
On ALL county questions, just say "No." I write about them elsewhere on my Facebook page, but they're complex rewrites of the charter, seemingly with an impact of taking power away from a lot of people--the executive, the prosecutor, the county counselor (lawyer)--but for no real reason. I love reform, but this ain't how to do it.
Yes on library question (they do great work) and Yes on judicial retentions (this is a good crop of judges up for retention).
What happens in Kansas has an important impact on the future of our region, so I give a few thoughts there:
Governor: Laura Kelly
Rare in life is there a choice so easy. Kansas is not a think tank. It is not a test case for discriminatory policies. It is a state of hard working people that want good schools, a strong economy, safe neighborhoods, and government officials focused on the people, not their own aggrandizement. Laura Kelly offers a positive vision and strong experience in Kansas. She will follow in the tradition of strong governors, left and right, and run the state as a moderate, trying to make a positive difference; not as a theoretician trying to score political points.
Congress (3rd): Sharice Davids
Sharice Davids is a special person and candidate. I've known her for a while now, since law school. I've always been proud to call her a friend. I'll also be proud to call her Congresswoman. She's intelligent, kind, and understands the many challenges facing people from different walks of life. Sharice Davids is one of the most authentic people you will ever meet and that will serve her well in DC and back home in Kansas. She'll also provide a welcome streak of moderation in a district that is more purple these days than blue or red. Her opponent, Kevin Yoder, is a good man. He works hard for his district. He's a good Jayhawk and we share a partial background in Hutchinson, KS. I like Kevin a lot. What I don't like is the divisiveness his party has represented of late in Washington. In a different year, this area might view Kevin differently, but the House needs to get back to prioritizing positive policy for America over the politics of fear. Sharice is the better choice.
I predict the Dems will take the House. The Senate will be closer, much closer. Look at Missouri, Florida, and Arizona. I think Ted Cruz will hold on (barely) over Beto in Texas and Marsha Blackburn will win in TN, so Dems may not recapture the Senate, but it'll be close.
Enjoy watching returns and make sure you vote!
[Originally posted November 5, 2018]
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