This election year is hot and steamy. There’s talk of grabbing pussy, locking candidates away in jail like a Iraqi dictator and plenty of Wikileaks scandals to be discussed. The presidential debates have become a blame game. Trump blames Clinton and Obama. Clinton blames Russia. Vladimir Putin is probably laughing his Kremlin ass off somewhere. And I’m disappointed in the whole thing.
So I decided to take a break for some political fresh air. I’m an Arkansan. I wanted to see what issues I’ll be voting on.
Below are more details on each Issue, how I will cast my vote and my rationale for each.
Issue 1 — Increase in Length of Term in Office for County Officials (YES)
WHY? I could go either way here. I think having a higher turnover rate could mean fresher ideas. However, I think longer terms could also mean that it gives those in office more time to do things. I am weary though about the ambiguity around the term INFAMOUS CRIME. This would prevent someone who committed a felony 40 years ago from running. In the end, I decided it is worth a go though.
Issue 2 — Arkansas Gubernatorial power when governor is absent (YES)
WHY? I think technology is advanced enough that physical location shouldn’t matter. In the year 2016, we can take advantage of plenty of the remote video meeting apps available. Granted this also assumes that the governor doesn’t take advantage of this law and never lives here at all during a term. That would be abuse in my opinion.
Issue 3 — Arkansas Removal of Cap on State Issue Bonds (NO)
WHY? I’m on the fence about this one. On the surface it looks good. It encourages job creation and invites outside industry to Arkansas to do business. However I feel this might be abused by wealthy corporations and maybe even richer school districts in our state. While there might be jobs created, they probably wouldn’t be valued high paying jobs. In the end, this would give our government to ability to choose where to invest tax payer money. It could very well potentially raise taxes as well.
Issue 4 — Arkansas Cap on Medical Malpractice Attorney Fees (YES)
WHY? I’m not a big fan of government market regulation but when it comes to people’s healthcare I make an exception. Lawyers are making a killing off malpractice suites. And I don’t like lawyers taking advantage of large amounts of people and raising medical rates for everyone else. The downside to this amendment is that it limits people’s non-economic damages to $250,000. I think it’s a dangerous game to start putting concrete values on people’s lives and health in our constitution. An example of a non-economic damage would be like a surgeon screwed up your back and now you can’t pick up your kids. I am sympathetic to those individuals so this is a hard decision but ultimately I think that in the end, those individuals get ripped off by lawsuits anyway.
Issue 5 — Arkansas Three New Casinos Amendment (NO)
WHY? My problem with this amendment is that they are writing private monopolies for specific companies into the state constitution. However, I don’t think it’s fair to have Hot Springs be the only place for gambling in the state. Lots of cash is at stake here. Tax payers aren’t going to benefit form this at all! This is strictly Cherokee nation vs. Oaklawn. Notice that Hot Springs Oaklawn Racing and Gaming donated $59,500 in opposition to this amendment. On the other side it isn’t any better, Cherokee Nation Businesses, LLC donated a whooping $1,400,000! [source here]
Issue 6 — Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment (YES)
WHY? I would prefer Issue 7. However, this is a fallback just in case Issue 7 doesn’t make it. This amendment is more restricted. The downside of voting for this is that if it receives more votes than Issue 7 it will supersede and nullify the other amendment. I support medical marijuana as there has been overwhelming medical research done in this area. Asa Hutchinson is flat out wrong and ignorant on this research. He claims that this amendment would devalue medicine. He states that people with chronic pain should be forced to use Marinol. Do you think politicians should be endorsing some drugs and outlawing others? That sounds like a conflict of interest to me. Let’s hope Asa doesn’t have any stock options in Marinol or he might not be eligible to run after Issue 1 is enacted. In the end, I’ll be voting for both 6 and 7 and hoping that more people vote for 7.
Issue 7 — Arkansas Medical Cannabis Act (YES)
WHY? This is the better deal for people who would benefit for medical marijuana usage. This covers 57 types of conditions as opposed to 17 from Issue 6. Also it enables you to grow your own marijuana if a dispensary is not close enough. Most dispensaries will likely be located near cities and central Arkansas. That means most southern and northern rural Arkansans can grow so they don’t have to travel 6 hours back and forth to Little Rock.
So there you have it. Agree? Don’t agree? I’d love to hear feedback from you in the comments. Happy Voting November 8th!