The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

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.)

Governor

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.

Lieutenant Governor

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.

Corporation Commission

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.

Treasurer

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.

Attorney General

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.

Insurance Commissioner

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.

District Attorney

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.

County Assessor

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.

Posted at 6:29 PM to Political Science Fiction


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]

Good calls... on most of them.

Posted by: Brad at 6:31 AM on 30 October 2006

I would be deeply suspicious of anyone who agreed with me on everything.

Posted by: CGHill at 9:33 AM on 30 October 2006

Funny how those attacking Kim Holland under the cloak of "Oklahoma Secrets" are based out of Austin TX, and her opponent is more-than-happy to be seen with TENNESSEE and BRANSON MO celebrity Larry Gatlin. No out-of-state influence there.

Posted by: Dan B at 6:55 PM on 30 October 2006

I agree with the vast majority of what you said. A few notes:

Obviously I don't vote on the 5th district. Mine's the 3rd, where the Democrats have, indeed, offered up a sacrificial lamb. A vigorous proponent of children's welfare, which is good, but seemingless little else there, and Frank Lucas has been reasonably moderate and surprisingly responsive to constituents. So he's probably a keeper.

Another reason to vote against Todd Hiett: OSU campus email addresses being spammed on behalf of his campaign. I wrote his campaign manager to suggest this wasn't a good thing no matter who actually did it, but saw nothing come of that. Spammers go home.

I agree with you about Million in the other post's comments. If he espoused, say, TWO ideas, that would be nice. Otherwise, he's too much like a joke candidate. Unfortunate, since I want to be sympathetic to independent candidates.

Bulletproof textbooks. Hoo boy. Makes a lot more sense than addressing the underlying issues. Perhaps the students could even fight back with razor sharp compasses.

Voting against the DA in Oklahoma appears more and more to be a sound default decision. But of course, there again, I have a different election than you to contend with. I like the cut of Bob Ward's jib -- independent, constitution law specialist, published on the topic of the legal erosion of civil rights. He'll do. So mark me down for the incumbent-ousting party.

Our state senator's not up this time, and our state rep is running unopposed. How boring. Honestly, I became somewhat uninterested once I realized I wouldn't have the chance to vote against either US Senator this time around.

Random

Posted by: R. Francis "Random" Smith at 10:47 AM on 3 November 2006