John Laird: Big bucks at home, ballots overseas, and insults to 47%

By John Laird, Columbian Editorial Page Editor

Published:

 
photoJohn Laird is The Columbian's editorial page editor. His column of personal opinion appears each Sunday. Reach him at john.laird@columbian.com.

Notes, quotes and anecdotes while marveling at how many of the anti-union folks suddenly changed their tune when it came to NFL officials:

Poking fun at Daddy Madorebucks — Piercingly playful blogger Temple Lentz (http://www.dailycouve.blogspot.com) took a shot last week at tycoon David Madore after he pumped $250,000 of his own money into his campaign for county commissioner. Lentz asked her online visitors: "If you wanted to make Clark County a better place and you had a quarter of a million bucks to spend, what would YOU buy?"

She offered these choices:

• 50 years of tuition and books at Clark College?

• 40,000 backpacks of food for hungry kids through Share's backpack program?

• 3 months of overnight shelter and food for 744 individuals at the Winter Hospitality Overflow shelter?

• A vanity political campaign that emphasizes fiscal responsibility?

Why would any registered voter in Clark County choose to live elsewhere? — Sounds irrational, I know, but consider the many reasons that could affect local residents such as military commitments or business obligations. This is why the Clark County elections department mails 113 ballots to Canada, five to Malaysia, four to Turkey, three to Argentina, two to Albania — in fact, 789 ballots in all to military and nonmilitary voters in more than three dozen countries around the world.

Additionally, 1,246 local ballots are mailed to members of the military in 46 states including California (92), Virginia (61) and Texas (35).

It's good to see our local elections officials working hard to support the voting rights of local residents who are called away. This ought to inspire more of us to do our part in the electoral process here at home … by voting.

Remember the rest of the batting order — Fed up with both Obama and Romney? Not to fear. Here's the rest of the presidential batting order, as presented on ballots in Washington state, in this order after Obama/Biden and Romney/Ryan:

• Gary Johnson/James P. Gray, Libertarian Party

• Virgil Goode/James N. Clymer, Constitution Party

• Jill Stein/Cheri Honkala, Green Party

• Peta Lindsay/Yari Osorio, Socialism and Liberation Party

• James Harris/Alyson Kennedy, Socialist Workers Party

• Ross C. Anderson/Luis J. Rodriguez, Justice Party

• Write-in.

To continue the baseball analogy, scouts say all seven of these batters are obscure, light-hitting prospects who probably don't belong in the big leagues. But we won't know until the election.

Johnson (former two-term governor in New Mexico) and Goode (former six-term congressman in Virginia) are wielding the most clout. Many observers are uncertain if third-party participation will be more damaging to Obama or to Romney.

Taking back those insults to the 47 percent — On Thursday, Mitt Romney said he was "completely wrong" to proclaim that 47 percent of Americans "believe that government has the responsibility to care for them … believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing," and that "I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."

On Friday, CNN reported statistics from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, that for tax year 2011, "if payroll taxes are counted, the number of nonpayer households drops precipitously to an estimated 18 percent."

Turns out Mitt was right … that he was completely wrong.

Pot meet kettle — When a Democrat leads in the polls, liberals revel in the wisdom of the people while conservatives assail the polls' flawed methodology. When a Republican leads in the polls, conservatives revel in the wisdom of the people while liberals assail the polls' flawed methodology. Meanwhile, leaders of both parties wonder why so many Americans remain independent.