I’ve promised this for some time, and I’m finally coming through with my endorsements for the primary, including President (ymy views there have been clear for a while), Senate, and a couple of smaller local races. So here goes.
Dennis Kucinich. Sure, John Kerry’s got the nomination. He even has all the delegates he needs right now, so a vote for Kerry in the primary is wasted. Every vote for Kucinich increases his voice for reform at the convention. Here’s my endorsement page.
I met Dennis tonight at Illinois State University (picture). Wonderful job. Vote for him.
Blake Ashby (write-in). Again, Bush has it wrapped up obviously, so send a message. Write in Blake’s name and shake things up a little.
U.S. Senate, Illinois
This has been an extremely disappointing nomination race to me. None of the candidates have excited me, and as far as I could see, their issue statements have been shallow and mostly scratching the surface. Nobody is addressing the drug war in any serious way. I’ve gathered some information over time on my Illinois Senate Candidates page.
I have not been able to identify any serious drug policy reform candidates in the bunch, so I’m afraid my meager and incomplete analysis is also based on surface. Eliminating ones like Ryan who have allied themselves with evil (William Bennett), and instead opting for candidates who have shown a prediliction for some kind of individual freedom (thereby making them, if not leaders, also not obstacles to drug policy reform).
Barack Obama. This is a tough one. He’s got some strikes against him, but also some positives.
Pros: He promotes biodiesel fuels and the use of renewable energy sources like biomass (while not specifically mentioning hemp, there’s a logical connection). He promises to “work to repeal provisions of the Patriot Act that strip us of our privacy and freedom without improving our security” and “oppose draconian extensions in the Patriot Act being considered by the Ashcroft Justice Department.” He promises to end racial profiling. As a young man, he used pot and cocaine, so he can relate to young people experimenting.
Cons: He was a chief sponsor of legislation banning ephedra. He doesn’t seem to have a clue about the problems in Columbia or the rest of Latin America (in his foreign policy section he lumped Latin America in with Asia and Africa!). Finally, I fear that instead of his youthful experimenting with drugs helping him, that he may lean over backward (like Clinton) to be “tough.”
What can I say? I’m not thrilled, but Obama is my choice.
John Borling. This is a real stretch for an endorsement, but on the front page of his website is:John is a fiscal conservative and a social moderate. He believes: “We should be free to enjoy our freedoms as long as we don’t infringe on the like freedoms of others or endanger the public safety.” That maxim and the preamble to the Constitution provide guidance on the role of citizen and the government.
That sounds like a proper guideline for drug policy reform, and so Borling is my choice on the Republican side.
U.S. Congress, Illinois District 15
Vote David Gill over Ralph Langenheim Jr. Gill has personally stated to me that he supports medical marijuana and reform of drug laws. He’s also a nice guy. Give him your vote.
Tim Johnson is unchallenged and he has also come out in favor of medical marijuana.
McLean County State’s Attorney:
Sorry. Can’t help you here. Bill Yoder and Teena Griffin are both horrible choices. Each is trying to outdo the other in advertisements regarding their toughness on prosecuting drug crimes. I refuse to endorse either, and unfortunately the winner is likely to be running unopposed in the general election.