It's a big election cycle, with president, governor, and three major state issues on your ballot. Find out how our talk show hosts are voting in the 2012 Election.
Who will you vote for president?
Michael Medved- Mitt Romney, to change direction for the country and to avoid four more years like the last four. Government already consumes too much of the private sector generated wealth in this country. Even with menacing, impossible debt levels, Obama wants to consume even more.
Dave Ross- Barack Obama. Having reported from both socialist and communist countries, I know he's neither. His main failing appears to be impatience with those who don't want to compromise and I understand that. Romney's problem is that he knows full well that capitalism is not about job creation, but value creation, which sometimes means cutting jobs. Government will always be needed to give the people who are left out something to do.
Luke Burbank- Barack Obama. While I think the difference between Obama and Romney is actually pretty slight, I think Obama inherited an incredibly shaky economy and kept it from going over a cliff. I know my 401K thanks him.
Dori Monson- Mitt Romney or Gary Johnson, the Libertarian candidate. I actually think his platform, to dramatically reduce the size of government and to increase personal liberties, makes the most sense. If Washington state was in play between Obama and Romney (a big if), I would vote for Romney. We cannot continue on this path of trillion dollar deficits every year and our current president has zero interest in stopping that national disaster. But if Obama is going to carry WA by 15-20% (as is expected), I will "throw away" my vote and vote Libertarian as I did in 2008.
Who will you vote for governor?
Michael Medved- Rob McKenna, because 32 years of growing government under Democratic governors is more than enough. Also, there should be some minimal intelligence and competence level for high government officials. McKenna meets that standard, as does Gregoire. Inslee? Not so much.
Dave Ross- Tough choice because I like them both. Rob McKenna is smart, always accessible and seems above the party's Limbaugh-esque tendencies. But I'll vote Jay Inslee, because I know him a little better and I think he has the kind of political skills that get things passed.
Luke Burbank- Jay Inslee. This is a tough one for me because I always find Rob McKenna to be a straightforward, reasonable guy when we talk to him on the show. However, his opposition to the state Legislature's approval of gay marriage really bothers me. I can't vote for someone who opposes gay marriage, it's a civil-rights issue as far as I'm concerned.
Dori Monson- Rob McKenna. This is one of the easiest votes ever. I'm very cynical about the motivation of those who get into politics. I have become convinced that McKenna is one of the very rare politicians who truly is interested in making a difference. He could have made a fortune in the private-sector as an attorney, but feels a calling to public service. I think Jay Inslee would be disastrous as governor. A congressman has zero management experience and a governor has to be a manager. But, more importantly, Inslee would just continue the fiscal policies of our current governor. Washington has an unemployment rate well above the rest of the nation. And we have out-of-control teachers' and government unions that are leading our state toward bankrupcy. Inslee would never stand up to those groups. With Rob McKenna, we at least have a shot at government and school reform that would make those entities more efficient and productive.
How will you vote on I-1240, allowing for charter schools?
Michael Medved- Yes, enthusiastically, because providing new choices for the parents of Washington will help many and hurt no one.
Dave Ross- Yes. I think people understand that far from catering to elite students, most charters specialize in helping students who've failed in traditional schools. And far from discriminating against minorities, in many states it's minority parents who've begged for them.
Luke Burbank- No. While our public education system is far from perfect, redirecting resources to a select few charter schools, with entrance by lottery, doesn't seem like the answer to me. Also, even a cursory look at the research finds that charter schools tend to perform below the state standards in many areas, a fact the pro-charter rhetoric tends to leave out.
Dori Monson- An enthusiastic "yes." Competition makes everyone stronger. We all know there are a lot of mediocre-to-poor public schools. The students in those schools deserve an alternative. I-1240 would provide that alternative. Also, as a general rule-of-thumb, anything opposed by the teachers' union is usually something that is good for the kids and good for the taxpayers.
How will you vote on I-502, legalizing marijuana?
Michael Medved- No. Aside from the legal tangle this initiative would provoke with the feds, it would also encourage more marijuana consumption (lowering price, increasing availability). It's not a desirable change.
Dave Ross- Yes. Hey, as an American, I'm all for locking up as many slackers as possible. But suppose we concentrate on the murderers, rapists, car thieves, road-ragers, gang-bangers, pipe-bombers, voyeurs, and psychopaths first and then, if there's some room left, arrest the slackers.
Luke Burbank- Yes. Seriously? Are we even having this conversation in 2012?
Dori Monson- Yes. I'm one of the rare people in my age range who has never tried marijuana. But I think weed has much less downside than alcohol - the most prevalent drug in our society. I also recognize the futility of trying to enforce marijuana drug laws. Bottom line: I don't care what adults choose to do as long as it doesn't negatively impact others, which brings me to my caveat regarding I-502. I wish we had stronger laws to punish those who drive under the influence of marijuana because that's when someone else's use impacts me and my family. But I will be a yes vote for I-502.
How will you vote on R-74, allowing for same-sex marriage?
Michael Medved- No. Same-sex couples are already "allowed" to marry, or to do anything else they want to do in their personal lives. This inititive would provide government sponsorship when the right attitude of government toward same-sex relationships ought to be strict neutrality - neither persecution nor promotion.
Dave Ross- Approve. I admit to not understanding same-sex love, but it's obviously real, so what other choice is there? How sleazy would it be to expect the government to try to force my lifestyle on someone else? For those longing for a gay-free haven, I believe your choices are down to...Iran. It's 100% non-gay, although quite a few stray neutrons, I hear.
Luke Burbank- Approve. Simply put, everyone in this country over the age of 18 deserves to marry the person they love, regardless of gender. Opponents of gay marriage are on the wrong side of history and 10 years from now, it'll be hard to believe it was ever controversial.
Dori Monson- No. I have been a supporter of equal rights for gay couples for my entire 18-years on the air. I was one of the first people to support civil union laws that would grant all legal protections and equality to gay couples. We now have all of those legal protections in our state, but I do not like redefining the word "marriage." Marriage is the union of a man and a woman. A heterosexual coupling is different from a homosexual coupling - both biologically and historically. I don't think there's anything wrong with having our language recognize those differences. Gay couples already have all of the same rights and protections as straight couples. I see no problem with keeping "marriage" as it has always been defined: as the union of a man and a woman.
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