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Simply Speaking: Voting suggestions

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Tuesday, Nov. 8 is the day on which we have an opportunity to vote for or against ten (10) proposed amendments to the state constitution, so mark your calendar for another of those democracy-things we have for to participate in, in the civil government process.

Unfortunately, due to a lack of reliable, readily available good information from the media, when these resolutions come up, Texans have a bad habit of voting “yes” on all or most of whatever the state legislature has offered up, even though many of them are not beneficial toward the people.

The reason for those outcomes probably also has partially to do with the word “constitutional” associated in promotions and located on the ballot itself, even though the proposed resolutions are not actually “constitutional” until a majority of voters say so.

But Americans and Texans are so starved for government operating by constitutional principles which, incidentally, elected officials have sworn to abide by upon taking office, maybe our mostly “yes” votes are a subconscious unction of some sort to somehow force officials to operate “constitutionally.” Since reality has shown us the voting-in of more and more constitutions amendments doesn’t cause officials to become more “constitutional’” how about a reading on this year’s ten proposed amendments? Dan Davis, Ellis County Republican Party Chairman, elected by we the people of this county in 2010, has offered up his researched findings here, along with my editorial comment. 

In a nutshell, here are our suggestions:

Proposition 1: OK, Vote Yes, government should never have taken ad valorem (property) taxes from widows and orphans suffering this condition in the first place.

Proposition 2: Bad, Vote No; authorizes six billion dollars ($6,000,000,000.00) in Texas debt, in perpetuity. You can count on government to figure out a way to always have big money available to spend.

Proposition 3: Bad, Vote No; increasing the amount of money available in student loans in an economy where there are no jobs with which they can pay the loans back will lead to defaults, with taxpayers having to pick up the tab. Whatever happened to university-aged young people working their way through college?

Proposition 4: Bad, Vote No; expands the ability of counties to use ad valorem (property) taxes to fund transportation and redevelopment projects. In view of our commissioners court’s current willingness to raise taxes in a recession, wouldn’t that just take the cake?

Proposition 5: Bad, Vote No; interlocal agreements do save money, but mostly for small counties at the expense of larger ones (we’re a large county).

Proposition 6: Bad, Vote No; nothing but a control-grab to take our elected State Board of Education (SBOE) out of the mix, which will enable un-elected bureaucrats to control a huge chunk of change coming in from all the gas drilling.

Proposition 7: OK, Vote Yes or No; This establishes yet another taxing authority in the middle of a deep recession. The El Paso area is economically distressed, full of indigents, and there is no consensus among the people to support the issue. 

Proposition 8: Bad, Vote No; Will lead to even more government control over farm and ranch lands.

Proposition 9: Bad, Vote No; Many of the people who receive deferred adjudication don’t get it over a spitting-on-the-sidewalk violation. If the governor pardons them, then their records can be expunged, and the public will never know they did anything wrong. We need more visibility, not less.

Proposition 10: Ok, Vote Yes; in fact, it is necessary in order to avoid a lot of political appointments in the middle of terms.

Well, as you can see, Dan and I have determined seven to eight of these propositions aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. This 2011 version is about par for the course, as far as these all-too-regular Texas Constitutional ‘Proposed’ Resolutions are concerned and, because of a lack of good information on these proposals and their behind-the-scenes machinations, we the people, unfortunately, have a record of voting all or most of the resolutions into law.

Maybe this analysis will give a little more information than is usual and we can break the cycle, in Ellis and surrounding counties, at least.

May God bless. 

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