Open thread: Elections for County Council (at-large) … and is it relevant for us to know who the candidates support for President?


For the past few days, we’ve been considering local election matchups. Yesterday, readers even struck a nerve, but more about that in a moment.

pants-down editorial board hasn’t been able to agree on a place and time to drink the amount of progressive beer necessary to reach firm election conclusions or make endorsements. We’ve been way too preoccupied poring over ancient texts by Marx and Engels looking for Barack Obama’s fingerprints.

Consequently, we’re randomly tossing out local contests for discussion, and today, the races for County Council, at-large. The Tribune’s hard work is more than sufficient to set the table. The newspaper’s questions and answers are extensive, and there’s much to be digested.

ELECTION Q&A 2008: Floyd County Council At-Large

Speaking personally, I’ll not be voting for Ted Heavrin even though the man ran one hell of a meeting during his previous tenure as council president. It’s because Heavrin was rejected by Democratic Party primary voters in 2006, then restored to power by being appointed by the party in 2008 to fill Randy Stumler’s vacated county council seat and the seek a new term. This blatant reversal of the electorate’s will was an indication that the party’s traditional Luddite instincts haven’t been purged entirely. See: Don’t forget to cut the cards (August 12, 2008).

Also, neither Heavrin nor perennial candidate Harry Harbison (R) returned their Tribune questionnaires in time. That’s two down in a “vote for three” scenario, with the remaining hopefuls being Brad Striegel and Carol Shope (Democrats, with Shope an incumbent), and Larry Summers and Dana Fendley (Republicans, with Fendley the incumbent).

Prompted by Bluegill, NAC’s ever insightful readership uncovered a suitable political vein during yesterday’s discussion of the County Commissioner, and it is one better pursued today. Here’s the unedited transcript of the exchange.


bluegill said…
I wonder for whom each candidate is voting for President. The difference in the choices is striking and their choice could be very revealing in terms of their vision and judgment.

Were it not for just a couple of candidates in relatively benign positions, I’d seriously be considering voting straight ticket for the first time- something I usually caution against.

edward parish said…
I wonder for whom each candidate is voting for President. The difference in the choices is striking and their choice could be very revealing in terms of their vision and judgment.

Were it not for just a couple of candidates in relatively benign positions, I’d seriously be considering voting straight ticket for the first time- something I usually caution against.”

I have never voted a straight pull. Why should it matter Jeff how a candidate for any office aligns themselves with the office of US President? It is all about local very small town politics that matters and hopefully nothing more. Word….

bluegill said…
Why should it matter Jeff how a candidate for any office aligns themselves with the office of US President?

It would tell me something about their worldview, Ed, and I would hope provide some insight into how they approach government and what they want the U.S., regardless of which slice, to look like.

Under current circumstances, a vote for McCain/Palin would show a lack of judgment that I’d have a difficult time overlooking in the polling booth.

ecology warrior said…
i disagree bluegill who you are voting for president sometimes is a vote against the other guy not a vote for who you are voting for, there will be clinton democrats voting McCain as a protest to obama

edward parish said…
Each person has his or her vote, not by party equality. When, will this area/nation see through old school ways of voting? I vote for the person, not the party. Many of “my(1950’s)” age group does the same; get the drift dude?…Give some of us, a small bit of chance of thinking on our own, instead of thinking we are braindead on politics. Only so many of ones suggestions actually sink in.

Think…..For mega change.

The New Albanian said…
there will be clinton democrats voting McCain as a protest to obama

Which is precisely Bluegill’s point. A “Clinton Democrat” voting for John McCain is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders. If that’s not an indication of something …

bluegill said…
As I mentioned, I generally agree that voting straight ticket equates to a lack of thinking. I’m not voting straight ticket.

But, with so little to separate most local candidates in terms of actual stated goals or ideology, I just keep getting the Palin question shoved through my head.

Do I really want to support anyone’s ascendancy to power who would consciously put her in a position to be President? It’s certainly not the judgment I’m looking for.

Bayernfan said…
Voting for person over party nationally doesn’t make sense to me at all. A national candidate is going to help push a party’s ideas through and will agree, most of the time, with those ideas. Party matters little in local elections, which is why there may be Republicans I will consider voting for. I understand Jeff’s contention, the ‘Palin Effect’ works on me as well. I’ll try to put that aside as I head into the voting booth on Tuesday next as I vote for local offices.

The New Albanian said…
Permit me to note that given the public utterances of Dana Fendley (for McCain) and the enormous McCain/Palin sign in Larry Summers’s front yard, tomorrow’s county councl thread might benefit from more discussion as to national ticket preferences.

Is Ted Heavrin going for Obama?

Larry M. Summers said…
I might add that that sign was stolen. I was going to wait until tomorrow when someone attacked my Presidential vote to defend myself; however, I must state that I am not voting for McCain because he is perfect.

I am voting for McCain because I believe he is less flawed than Obama. I am only supporting the least, I my humble opinion, flawed candidate.

Barrack Obama is the master of saying nothing and making it sound like he is masterfully changing the world. I have looked at his record and it does not match his rhetoric.

As for what I would like to do, my support for a Presidential candidate does not change the policies that I will work on during my term on the County Council. We need new leadership. We cannot recycle the ideas of the previous council and hope that we will get a new result.

Is that not the definition of insanity?

“Insanity: the belief that one can get different results by doing the same thing.” -Albert Einstein.

bluegill said…
I keep reading all the conservative pundits’ scenarios of what will happen if Obama is elected. My general response to their “what if” lists is “Boy, I hope so.”

Larry obviously feels differently. That’s fine. It just means that I need to find someone else to vote for on the local level because he apparently doesn’t represent my views.

Larry M. Summers said…
There is nothing that I can do on the local level to implement the socialist agenda.

Whether I vote for Obama or McCain, I simply cannot institute socialism like a Democratic super majority in both houses of congress and the white house could.

bluegill said…
My point, proven.

Marcey said…
I am so sick of the “socialist” rhetoric. Obama is not a “socialist”, he is a democrat.

Giving tax cuts to the middle class has been a democratic policy for many years. The reason for this is because the middle class has always been the majority in this country and when the majority has more money in their pockets the spend. When the majority of your population is spending it stimulates your economy. When you stimulate the economy then you have a strong economy. If we continue to over tax the working class of this country you will push them closer and closer to the poverty line and the economy will continue to tank. Now if you still think that is a socialist policy, lets talk about Sarah Palin giving every resident in Alaska dividends from the oil company.

Ecology Warrior, I was a Clinton supporter in the Primary and if someone was supporting Sen. Clinton because of her positions on Health Care, the economy, the war, etc., etc. etc., there is no way in hell they can tell me that McCain is a better substitute for Sen. Clinton. McCain and Palin are the polar opposites of Hillary Clinton and in my mind the only reason they are supporting them is because of “sour grapes”.

Larry M. Summers said…
Obama’s policy of raising taxes on the wealthy to give money to individuals not currently paying taxes is income redistribution (i.e. Socialism). To say that that is not socialism is to stick ones head in the sand.

The Bookseller said…
Larry, I don’t dismiss your doubts. To say you don’t have doubts would be insane.

But if the difference between capitalism and socialism is the difference between a marginal tax rate of 35% and 39.6% for that portion of ordinary income above $250,000 a year is absurd.

As one who wishes you well, may I suggest that you already have 100% of the McCain voters. Oughtn’t you be courting Obama voters now?

Bayernfan said…
Larry, your words are a bit disappointing to me. Not that I expected you to vote for Obama, we had that discussion. It’s just that you’ve picked up the rhetoric of calling Obama a socialist which McCain/Palin and the RNC are using to try and scare people into voting Republican because it’s become obvious their ideas aren’t working, the constant references to Bill Ayers hasn’t worked so now we move into the “Obama is a socialist/communist/Marxist” phase. I remember the Reps saying the same thing about Bill Clinton as well.I thought you were a little more level headed than that.

Larry M. Summers said…
I understand why people are voting for Obama. He seems to have the country’s best interest at heart. I do not believe he is secretly trying to hurt this country.

I do not want people not to vote for Obama just because of something I said. I just wanted to give you a couple reasons I am not voting for Obama.

The main problem I have is that someone would dismiss me without regard to the changes that I have proposed just because I do not support the same Presidential candidate as them. That seems absurd.

Larry M. Summers said…
Throughout this election, I have done my best to seek out the people with whom other Republican candidates have not spoken. As far as I know, I have been the only candidate, Republican or Democratic, that has put his/her neck on the line just to discuss issues with you.

I have continued to come here even when I have been attacked for whom I am voting for President. If I were not the precinct committeeman for New Albany 5, I probably would only have my signs in front of my house; nevertheless, I offered my services, and I must not shirk my duties.

Is it difficult to discuss national issues with which we may not agree and that I will not be working on at a local level? Yes. Is it fair that other local candidates, Democratic ones included, do not discuss why they are voting for whom they are voting while I am required to defend my positions? I wouldn’t say that it was unfair; however, I would hope that others would step up to the plate.

Alas, I have been pretty much the only one in the fray on a regular basis.

B.W. Smith said…
Here’s a sweeping statement for Wednesday:

To say that Obama is a socialist is to say that our income tax system (pay in brackets according to income), the purpose of which is to theoretically keep too much wealth from concentrating at the top, is socialism. That’s absurd and shows a fundamental misunderstandnig of American history and economic theory. If you listen to the ENTIRE Joe the Plumber clip, Obama’s comments about redistributing wealth are in the context of comparing flat tax to progressive income tax, which makes complete sense.

But, as they sharply pointed out on SNL, you can’t expect folks to understand nuance when plumbers make more than teachers.


Here are the nuts and bolts:

ELECTION Q&A 2008: Floyd County Council At-Large

Dana Fendley (R)
Harry Harbison (R)
Larry Summers (R)

Ted Heavrin (D)
Brad Striegel (D)
Carol Shope (D)