A few words about how I voted

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Five Democrats and five Republicans received my vote for this November’s General Election. I am not going to share every detail, although a clever enough reader could deduce how I voted in most every race, even in the down-ballot contests.

Of course, I voted for President Barack Obama. Simply put, I believe he deserves a second term and I don’t particularly care for the campaign run by Mitt Romney.  I genuinely don’t know where Romney stands on a variety of issues. I’ve paid as close attention to this election as probably any American, and I am still confused about for what Mitt Romney stands. Is he moderate Mitt of Massachusetts or is he the “severe” conservative of the Presidential Primary?

I really don’t know other than to say that, Bill Clinton aside, I can’t remember a politician who would do or say anything more to get elected than Romney.

As for President Obama, one word: Obamacare.  To this big government progressive, health care reform is such an important legacy issue that, were Obama to have done nothing else, I would still have likely voted for him. Of course, President Obama has done much, much more. Were he a white Republican, Barack Obama’s face would already be chiseled on the side of Mount Rushmore.  Unfortunately, a virulent strain of the Republican Party has sought to discredit and de-legitimize the President. Some of this is based on discrimination and racism; all of these efforts have been based on fear. To vote for the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 is to cast a ballot in support of this fear and that I cannot do, despite my lingering reservations with the Obama administration.

I happen to lecture regularly for the State Department’s International Council of Tampa Bay. There I meet and interact with emerging leaders and established journalists from throughout the world. In my time engaging in these discussion, I’ve probably met five hundred or so of these visitors. My worldview has been positively influenced by the interaction, to a degree where I know just enough about the impact of America’s foreign policy to be dangerous, but do not know enough to speak with any expertise.  That said, I know what a second-term for President Obama means to America on the world stage, how important it is to the very survival of the human race that this country does not re-embrace the neo-conservatism that has fractured the international community. To vote for the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 is to cast a ballot in favor of a return to the failed policies of the past and that I cannot do, despite my recognition that the Obama administration takes one step backward for every two steps forward.

So that’s that. I voted for Obama. If you read this blog, that’s really no surprise.  Nor should it be a surprise that I voted for Bill Nelson’s re-election to the United States Senate. Bill Nelson is running against Connie Mack, a tomato can of a man who reminds me more of my fraternity brothers than he does a US Senator. Mack is simply unqualified to be in Congress and should be rejected now and in every election until he shows some respect for his family’s business. Heck, I don’t even know if I would hire Mack as the manager of Hooters he once was for fear that he would mess up the preparation and serving of a dozen buffalo-styled chicken wings. Mack has also run an entirely arrogant and cynical campaign the rejection of which will serve as a much-needed lesson to other likewise arrogant and cynical politicians.

The rest of my ballot is split between Democrats and Republicans, including a couple of surprises in the down-ballot races.

For the record, I voted for retaining the three Florida Supreme Court Justices up for referendum and against ALL of the proposed constitutional amendments, including the well-meaning Amendment 9.  Some of these amendments claim as their origin Senate President Mike Haridopolos’ brain — for that reason alone I voted against a couple of the initiatives.

I voted against Amendment 4, despite the savvy campaign its proponents have organized, because I’m ooovvveeerrr giving any more homestead exemptions for anyone. I don’t want to live next to people who can’t afford even the taxes on their $60,000 ol’ Florida home.  This state is a tropical paradise and it should be good enough that there is not a state income tax.

If we keep creating more homestead exemptions, eventually we won’t have much of a property tax base, either. Pay your damn taxes, Floridians. If not for the roads and the schools, then consider it a Democracy Tax — the cost you must pay to live in a society as civil as this one.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.