29 October 2006
We pick 'em: 2006 edition
5th Congressional District
In years past, this was an easy choice: pick whoever wasn't Ernest Istook. This election, however, presents a dilemma: what with Congressional Republicans being generally feckless and Congressional Democrats being generally insane, the choice isn't exactly obvious. Mary Fallin's positions are closer to my own, but the GOP, bedeviled by voter revolt elsewhere, can't possibly pump enough money into this race to buy her a clue, and besides, I'm tired of this being written off as a safe-Republican seat, so I'm giving the nod to Dr. Hunter. He won't win, of course, but he's bound to do better than the sacrificial lambs the Democrats have sent up in years past, and perhaps he'll blaze a trail for whoever faces Fallin in 2008 assuming she hasn't messed up by then, which is a lot to assume. (Yes, there's an independent in this race, one Matthew Horton Woodson; the mere fact that he's pushing the Loose Change crockumentary takes him out of consideration.)
Applying the "whoever isn't Ernest Istook" rule, supra, I find myself backing Brad Henry. I am, admittedly, not crazy about the Bradster, but he's an effective advocate for the Goldilocks principle: nothing too hot, nothing too cold. Besides, a Henry victory will free up Istook to take the position he really wants: on Washington's K Street, as a sort of Abramoff Lite minus indictments, I presume. It's a win/win all around.
Jari Askins gets the nod over Todd Hiett for two reasons: (1) she's an old-school Democrat with a fair amount of accumulated smarts and (2) she's not Todd Hiett, whose Johnny-One-Note calls for tax cuts started to wear thin after we actually got some tax cuts, and who, I expect, would take credit for the sunrise if he thought he could get away with it. I still haven't come up with a good reason to support E. Z. Million, though Tom Elmore has.
Bob Anthony has been on the Commission since 1989, and were it possible to keep him there until 2089, it would be just fine with me. The Corp Comm has always been a hotbed of temptation; Bob Anthony has always been the man who resists. Michael Bates has background.
Scott Meacham took over when Robert Butkin retired; for the most part, he's followed Butkin's protocols, which were good ones. I like Howard Barnett, but he seems to think that the powers of the office should be enlarged he's assailed Meacham for being a "part-time" Treasurer and well, I'd rather that be left up to the electorate than to one fellow with ambition.
Superintendent of Public Instruction
This one I'm staying out of. I've seen quite enough of Sandy Garrett; on the other hand, Bill Crozier's prating about "bulletproof" textbooks makes him look like a complete and utter boob.
Commissioner of Labor
Last time out, I complained that Brenda Reneau always "rubbed me the wrong way," but didn't see any reason to prefer opponent Lloyd Fields. Reneau has been less of a disappointment than I expected, though, and in this slot, that might be good enough, especially since she's facing the same opponent.
Count me as a Drew Edmondson fan. The power structure is vaguely distrustful of him, which is always a good thing, and James Dunn hasn't made much of a case for himself.
Governor Henry appointed Kim Holland to succeed the ousted Carroll Fisher, and she did a pretty fair job of cleaning up the mess Fisher left behind. Of late she's been the target of some fairly nasty advertising, largely financed from out of state, which suggests to me that "pretty fair" might actually be an understatement: apparently she's ticked off some fat cats, which, to me, is another point in her favor.
State Auditor and Inspector
A rematch of 2002: Jeff McMahan and Gary Jones. McMahan won that one, and I'd just as soon he won this one too.
Wes Lane, I think, is following in the path of Bob Macy: he's starting to believe his own BS. For any politician, this is the beginning of the end. Better to retire him now, while he can still make something resembling a dignified exit. I'm not wild about David Prater, but he's still sane.
Senate District 40/House District 87
I have grouped these two together because they both have Republican incumbents who haven't annoyed me greatly, and because their Democratic challengers are making similar pitches. I've decided that Pat Potts' wealth of nonprofit experience is probably better left there, and will vote to keep Cliff Branan in the Senate; on the other hand, sensing that Trebor Worthen might be seeing himself as the second coming of Todd Hiett, an uncomfortable vision at best, I'm going with challenger Dana Orwig for the House.
Leonard Sullivan seems to have found his niche; an indifferent legislator, he's been a pretty decent assessor, and I see no reason to give him the boot.
County Commissioner, District 1
Despite the best (worst?) efforts of the other two Commissioners, Jim Roth has worked diligently to tend to the county's business without spending us into oblivion or getting embroiled in foolish side issues. With one of the two twits defeated in August, Roth's job will no doubt get easier; as far as I'm concerned, he's earned as many terms as we can give him.
I of course reserve the right to change my mind during the next nine days, but I don't really expect to have to do so.
TrackBack: 7:27 PM, 29 October 2006
» I'm so glad the election is over... from 111 Brad Street
Well, at least, it is for me. I voted today by absentee ballot. So the die has been cast on my picks on this ballot. Although there have been primaries and runoffs this campaign season, as an Independent, this is the first chance I've had......[read more]