Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Hoorah to all the voters!

Yesterday's election was a terrific success! Although there are measures that I'd hoped for that didn't pass, the widespread Democratic victories more than make up for it! Colorado - normally a conservative state, despite its liberal roots (i.e. being the second state in the nation to give women the vote) - earned itself a Democratic governor, as well as a majority of Democratic House Reps. Nationwide, the Dems have taken the House, and have at least reached a break-even point in the Senate - it all depends on Virginia whether the Dems end up with 50 or 51 senators, and according to the preliminary numbers the Democratic candidate in Virginia is a few tenths of a percentage ahead. It may mean a recount, but I am hopeful that the Democratic party will take the Senate, as well.

I am hopeful that the direction this country has been heading in since Bush took office will be turned back with the results of this election. Bush claims that the Democratic majorities won't do anything to change the White House's policies, but then, he said we wouldn't win, either. :o) Speaking of what Bush says, check out this video. It's beautifully done - whoever did this was a technical genius.

Closer to home, the election results that I can find so far (and how I feel about them) are this:

Amendment 38: Petitions - failed (It would have made it easier for citizens to propose changes to the law.)

Amendment 39: School District Spending Requirements - failed (It would have required schools to spend 65% of their funding in the classrooms. The major problem with it was that it didn't include provisions for bussing, school counselors, and nurses, and other integral parts of public schools. I voted for Referendum J, which did include these things in the 65%, but so far I haven't been able to find anything on whether J passed.)

Amendment 40: Term Limits for Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Judges - failed (It would have limited how long a judge could serve in Colorado. Mainly backed by the conservatives who don't like how current judges interpret the law, I do believe.)

Amendment 41: Standards of Conduct in Government - passed (Prevents election campaigns from accepting "gifts" (read: bribes) from special interest groups.)

Amendment 42: Increase in Minimum Wage - passed (Raises the minimum wage for the first time in ten years!)

Amendment 43: Marriage Discrimination - passed (Puts a clause in Colorado's Constitution, defining marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Very unfortunate.)

Amendment 44: Marijuana Possession - failed (Would have legalized possession of less than an ounce of marijuana statewide.)

Referendum E: Property Tax Reduction for Disabled Veterans - passed overwhelmingly with 79% (Reduces property taxes for veterans permanently disabled in service to our country, whether oversees or at home.)

Referendum F: Recall Deadlines - failed (Would have extended the deadlines for recalling an elected public official.)

Referendum G: Obsolete Constitutional Provisions - passed overwhelmingly with nearly 76% (Eliminates "outdated" laws and clauses from the Colorado Constitution. I didn't vote for it because it included several clauses about eliminating old age pensions, which made me nervous.)

Referendum H: Using the IRS to Fine Business Employers Who Hire Illegal Immigrants - too close yet to call, although it looks possible that it might win (This law will enable the IRS to fine businesses $150,000 if they knowingly deduct illegal immigrants' wages from their business income. I have two problems with this: 1) I'm pro-immigration, and 2) I don't believe it's the IRS's responsibility to convict and penalize people who break a completely unrelated law.)

Referendum I: Domestic Partnerships - failed (Would have given gay and lesbian couples, as well as unmarried heterosexual couples, rights outside of marriage. Although they still would not have had the federal tax advantages of marriage, they wouldn't have had to worry about things like child custody in case of one partner's death. It's a travesty that this failed, not just for gays and lesbians, but for the millions of children being raised in gay and lesbian homes.)

Referendum J: School District Spending Requirements - failed (Like Amendment 39, would have required schools to spend 65% of funding on the classrooms, but this one included bussing, school counselors, and school nurses in the definition of "the classrooms." I was for it.)

Referendum K: Immigration Lawsuit Against Federal Government - passed (Allows Colorado to waste precious finanical resources in suing the federal government for not effectively enforcing immigration laws. For God's sake...)

Although many of the measures I voted for failed and vice versa, I am duly encouraged by the prospect of a more democratic nation for the next two years. Hoorah to all the voters who got out there and made their voices heard!!!

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