BD’s November ’16 Election Recommendations

BD’s down-to-earth analysis of upcoming elections is a regular feature here on

I admit it, I’m totally sick of this election too.
Or rather, this whole election makes me sick.

I suppose I came of civic awareness age in a time of renewed activism under a terrible president (and all around idiot). Then I got swept into the optimism of a high minded historically monumental president. Now I’ve been utterly disgusted by one political party’s race to the bottom by nominating the foulest major party U.S. presidential candidate of all time.

Let’s all just vote next week and move on, ok?
Except that’s not gonna happen. If Clinton wins, the Republican stonewalling, fact ignoring, special investigating, bogus “scandal” pushing, and all around refusal to govern with Obama is going to look positively pedestrian.

Even if Democrats take the White House and Senate (which they will lose in 2 years, guaranteed), they’re not winning the House because of gerrymandering and a structural advantage for Republicans.

Honestly, the only way I see out of this hyper-partisanship of divided government and thinking the other party is absolutely fucking crazy is for the Republicans to be given the keys to the White House and for them to promptly drive the country into a ditch. Except the ditch this time around is a canyon. Let’s wait four years so we can pass the canyon and at least get to a modest ravine, alright?

I really, really try to vote for as many Republicans as I possibly can, but like 2010, 2012, and 2014, I’m voting straight D. I cannot vote any other way.


Here we go:

President and Vice President of the United States – #101 Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine

Pennsylvania is still a BFD state, so it must be Hillary. No contest, and not even thinking about voting 3rd party. I don’t need to enumerate why the other guy is the worst major presidential candidate ever.
I’m borrowing and rewording this quote, but even if you don’t personally like Clinton, you’re not voting for her for her sake. You’re voting for her for the country’s sake.

Cool tip: did you know that besides Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, there’s a Constitution Party ticket too?

United States Senator – #102 Katie McGinty
If you want a Democratic senate and non-right wing Supreme Court,
it HAS to be McGinty over the incumbent Pat Toomey. To illustrate how far to the extreme right the Republican party has lurched, Toomey used to be considered an extreme conservative. Now he’s a “moderate” Republican.
AND he’s a total weasel because he won’t even say whether or not he’s voting for Trump.

Pennsylvania Attorney General – #103 Josh Shapiro
I reluctantly supported the other guy in the primary even though I said I’d vote for Shapiro for pretty much any other office. Yes, I know Shapiro is using this run as a springboard for another office. I’m closing my eyes and pretending it’s ok.
Shapiro is endorsed by the Inquirer, Daily News, and nearly every major paper who cite his opponent’s cozy relationship with the NRA.

Auditor General – #104 Eugene A DePasquale
He’s the incumbent, has been scandal free, and seems to be doing a good job. Endorsed by the Inky and Daily News. A trusted source tells me the other candidate, John Brown, is a first class a-hole.

State Treasurer – #105 Joe Torsella
If anything, professional public servant Joe Torsella is perhaps overqualified for this job vs. the Republican Otto Voit who has experience running a dental products distribution company.

Representative in Congress – #106 Robert A Brady or Dwight Evans or Brendan Boyle or Steve Santarsiero

If you’re feeling frisky, you can write in a candidate instead of Brady, Evans, or Boyle who will have their races locked up.

**National importance alert** The Bucks Countyish 8th district will be one of the closest races in the country. The incumbent Republican, Mike Fitzpatrick is retiring, and his brother Brian Fitzpatrick moved from California to take his spot. If you’re up there, vote for #106 Steve Santarsiero.

State Senator (odd numbered seats)- #107 (Democrats)
These vary by where you live. Some are up for reelection and some aren’t. If you don’t know your state legislators, I urge you to look them up:
Even though Governor Tom Wolf is a Democrat, both houses of the legislature are in Republican hands by wide margins. The one remotely close race might be in the 5th District in NE Philly where Trump supporter Ross Feinberg is challenging incumbent Democrat John Sabatina.

Representative in the General Assembly – #108 (Democrats with an exception)
Most of these races are uncontested, except for the 177th District in the Port Richmond area where I would vote for John Taylor, the rare sane Republican. The State House will continue to be in Republican hands, and Taylor acts as a vital Philadelphia advocate to the Republican House caucus who run the show.

Special Election – Representative in Congress – #601 Dwight Evans
For those of you in the 2nd Congressional District (generally west of Broad Street), this is a sequel of the “regular” Congressional race. But really, this the prequel, since the winner of the special election goes to DC immediately, and then the winner of the regular race goes in January. This fills the seat once occupied by Chaka Fattah who is going to jail for thinking himself above the law. Dwight Evans should win both of the races, but this one just gets him to Washington 2 months sooner.
As I said in the spring, I’m not in love with Evans, but he will do fine in Congress.

Ballot Questions-
Proposed Constitutional Amendment Amending the Mandatory Judicial Retirement Age:
Shall the Pennsylvania Constitution be amended to require that justices of the Supreme Court, judges, and magisterial district judges be retired on the last day of the calendar year in which they attain the age of 75?

No. Far more has been made of the tortured history of this question than its relative merits. The question as scheduled to appear on the ballot in April would have mentioned that there already is a retirement age of 70. This just raises it to 75. The rewording was done solely for partisan reasons to fool the voter and advantage a couple sitting Republican judges.

City Bond Question:
Should the City of Philadelphia borrow ONE HUNDRED EIGHT-FOUR MILLION THREE HUNDRED THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($184,303,000.00) to be spent for and toward capital purposes as follows: Transit; Streets and Sanitation; Municipal Buildings; Parks, Recreation and Museums; and Economic and Community Development?

Yes. Municipal bonds are the way that cities get things built and improved. These are routine.

Cheat Sheet:
President/VP – #101 Hillary Clinton/Tim Kaine
Senator – #102 Katie McGinty
Attorney General – #103 Josh Shapiro
Auditor General – #104 Eugene A DePasquale
Treasurer – #105 Joe Torsella
Representative – #106 Brady/Evans/Boyle/Santarsiero
State Senator (not all districts) – #107 varies
State Rep – #108 varies
Special Election (2nd District only) – #601 Dwight Evans
Ballot Questions -1:No, 2:Yes

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