My Vote Yesterday

Like many libertarians, I am tempted not to vote each election, though I usually do.  However, choosing between whatever lesser evil exists in the Coke or Pepsi party gets tiresome.  Given that, I have never voted in a party primary, until yesterday when I voted in the Republican primary simply to vote against Andrew Thomas for state Attorney General.  Thomas has for years been Joe Arpaio's chief enabler and of late as County Attorney has spent his time launching frivolous lawsuits against his political enemies, from County supervisors to judges.  When attorneys from adjacent counties would not support his suits, he sought criminal charges against them.

Most recently, it was revealed that a series of grand juries, which typically will indict an inanimate object, not only refused to indict in several of his cases but ordered him to shut down the investigation entirely.  This useless prosecution of a County Supervisor turned out to be part of a plan.  When Thomas decided to vacate the County Attorney position to run for state DA, he disagreed with many of the County Supervisors as to who his replacement should be, and as narrated in this letter, began filing charges against Supervisors to deny them a quorum  (apparently some quid pro quo discussions, of the sort "we will drop the charges if you vote how we want" were actually recorded and turned over to the US Attorney, so if Thomas should win his election we be following the NY/Spitzer path of having our top state legal officer facing felony charges and disbarment.

Unfortunately, Thomas (and Arpaio) have somehow become folk-heroes among lame-brained Arizona voters, who tend to accept any sort of civil rights violations by officials as necessary measures to maintain the peace in the face of the dreaded Mexican immigration wave, so their re-election chances are not necessarily hurt by near Louisiana or Chicago levels of abuses of power.

I was tempted not to vote -- you know, one vote won't matter -- because I felt downright icky actually voting in the Coke primary.  But in AZ, the Coke primary is pretty much the election since the state is so full of Coke voters, so I did it.  As it turns out, my vote may matter.

99.7% of Precincts Reporting
(2232 of 2239 Precincts)

Republican Votes Percent
HORNE, TOM 233,700 50.0%
THOMAS, ANDREW P. 233,327 50.0%
Total Number of Votes 467,027

Don't know a thing about Tom Horne, but I eagerly voted for him as not-Thomas.  Here is the lock of the week:  with a vote this close, Thomas will keep this in the court for months, perhaps years.  If he gets the wrong decision, he will go after the judge, and if that doesn't work.....

Update: Apparently, Arpaio got his guy elected in the race to fill Thomas's county attorney seat, so I suppose once we get rid of one Arpaio-enabler we just end up with another.  I took Arpaio's list of people he endorsed yesterday and the only votes I cast were for whoever the challenger was to team Arpaio.

Update #2: This is a depressing quote (emphasis added)

Oddly, the truth-telling was attributed to our own local Pinocchio, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in regards the decisive victory of Bill Montgomery over interim Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley.

"That's going to make my job very easy," Arpaio said of Montgomery's win.

  • Sean

    I followed the same decision tree for my votes.

  • Vitaeus

    That this is the way we make our decisions in a voting situation shows just how broken our system is getting. I did the same basically in Washington State. Anyone else, besides the incumbent was the general criteria. Made a few exceptions for folks with proven track records.

  • Orion

    Wow. Just wow. When I speak to people from Arizona-generally business owners-they are universally exasperated with the immigration situation from both sides. They cannot believe what the governor has done and are freaked out. Never heard of this before. I have seen stuff on "Sheriff Joe" before, but nothing like this. Arresting the media, or people applauding at town meetings. That's totalitarian state stuff-not conservative.

  • John Moore

    Sheriff Joe adds color and interest to the community. He's quite a character (and in person, quite engaging). His posses are actually a very good idea and do a lot of good.

    Arizona seems to like to keep around colorful characters (anyone remember Sam Steiger?).

    But I agree, Joe seems to be a dangerous narcissist with a badge, and I also followed your voting logic in that race.

  • ADiff

    I often find myself wondering if Lani Guinier didn't have the right idea. Our voting system certainly seems to favor the extremes at the expense of the center.

  • MikeinAppalachia

    "Don’t know a thing about Tom Horne, but I eagerly voted for him as not-Thomas."

    Understandable, but, at least in my part of the country, "better the devil you know" is many times very good advice.

  • http://www.rashynullplanet.com/blog/ Matt

    WTF, Warren. Don't feed the trolls.

  • http://azdistrict1.blogspot.com Jon

    I vote in the primaries since that's where the real vote is. Of course, there were some races I refused to vote for any of the candidates since they were all bad...not even a lesser of the evils.

  • http://www.parkcheaper.com Parking

    I don't think I have ever gotten as much mail from as many different readers as I have received on the auto bailout. Readers seem fairly unified in their outrage and horror at the prospect

  • Ian Random

    Let's see Democrats=Pepsi and Republicans=Coke, so Libertarians=New Coke or just a wasted vote? Anyway, as a former losertarian, I always vote for who will allow the most growth of the private sector and can win. There seems to be downward spiral, once the anti-growthers get entrenched and start looking for new revenue sources.