So this post is going to have the overarching theme of: VOTE!  Next Tuesday is the mid-term election in the U.S. and people need to make sure they cast their ballots.  I’m honestly of the camp that I don’t care who you vote for as long as you get out there and do it.  I’ve been interested in politics since high school, but never on the level to seek elected office or even major in political science.  I’m just interested enough to make sure that I vote in every primary and election from the time I turned 18 (7 days after a major presidential election - grr!) until now.  I think the hardest part is keeping up with the initiatives!  Even the nonpartisan positions you can generally get a sense of the people running, but initiatives are so fully loaded, that it’s hard to figure out what you really want.

For example, in Washington State, there are two initiatives that are meant to overturn the Prohibition-era laws that allow the state-run liquor stores (1100 and 1105).  We can only buy beer and wine in grocery stores; the rest come from specific liquor stores that have specific hours of operation and prices set by the state.  One initiative is sponsored by Costco who want to be able to sell and price the alcohol as they do in many other states.  The other takes a slightly different approach, but has the same general idea.  The concept of getting the state out of the liquor selling business so they can concentrate on enforcement of liquor laws I’m all for, but I don’t think either of these initiatives are going to be the way to do it.  Why not have the state sell the liquor stores rather than forcing them to close?  Let’s get some money into the state coffers first if you’re going to do away with future income.  I’m also following this one because of the new issues regarding the energy alcohol drinks that are gaining popularity.  If one can of Four Loko or Joose is the equivalent of 5 beers and then also adds enough energy that instead of passing out, you can keep drinking until you get alcohol poisoning, that’s a red flag right there.  And I’m sorry, but the brightly colored cans are absolutely aimed at minors.  I’m sure if these products had come out 10 years ago I’d feel differently about them, but I’m an old fogey with kids now.

Another initiative is to add income tax to the upper income brackets in the state (1098).  I certainly don’t make over $200,000 as an individual or $400,000 as a couple, but I’m still not really in favor of opening the door for an income tax in the State of Washington.  I know the initiative says that it’s unlikely to happen, but there have been too many that have passed recently that have been put “on hold” or changed by the legislation and I would prefer that not to happen on this one.

What’s funny is that in having grown up in California, I always thought it was strange not to have liquor sold in regular grocery stores and income taxes were just how things existed, but now having lived in Washington State for the majority of my adult life, I’m not quite ready for the whole state to go those directions in the way they are proposed in this election cycle.  As I said at the beginning of this blog post though, I really just would prefer everyone to get out and vote!  It’s much easier to feel good about the outcomes when you know that everyone gave their say rather than just skip out and whine about the results when they don’t like them.

I know there are other initiatives out there in other states that people have opinions on – what are some hotter-button issues where you live?  Are you going to vote?

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