My personal voting guide — and you too if you wish to follow along

The following is my personal opinion and not that of any organization in which I may have an affiliation.

Being a Libertarian in Palm Beach County affords me the ability to not be pressured by conservatives or liberals / Republicans or Democrats to vote a certain way. In other words, I feel zero obligation to simply go down my ballot and vote for all the Republicans or all the Democrats. And, sadly, this election season, there are no Libertarians for whom to vote. I vote for maximum freedom of the individual regardless of political party, which makes this year one of the hardest since 1983 when I first had the ability to vote, as the bulk of the candidates are anti-freedom — no matter their rhetoric.

So, we’ll start off with some links to a few orgs I tend to like with their voter guides though I do not agree with each and every assessment. It should also be noted, some of the amendments on the ballot should NOT be in the Florida Constitution but should be in Florida Statute. Similarly, this bundling of different issues within one amendment is tragic and should never happen again.

Libertarian Party of Palm Beach County

Libertarian Party of Florida

James Madison Institute

Countywide School Question: I will be voting NO on this effort to quadruple the school tax on Palm Beach County property owners and indirectly to renters. The reason is basic, the school board does not need the money. It has $3 billion at its disposal already and can easily reduce some of its administrative costs to afford the $150 million they say they need. It is awful that teachers are not paid more and students in our county do not feel safe while on school property because of the mismanagement of the school district.

Amendment 1: I will be voting YES even though I struggled with this one because, like the Libertarians have said, it does not address the core problem with property taxes. The only reason I am voting YES is to help reign in government spending which continues to be bloated. If passed, this amendment will save the average Florida homeowner $240 per year on their property taxes.

Amendment 2: Similar in scope is Amendment 2 which I will be voting YES. The reservations I have about it are similar to those of Amendment 1, but it will help property owners who are not protected by the “Save Our Homes” law and will limit the property tax increases for non-homesteaded properties to no more than 10%.

Amendment 3: This may seem counterintuitive for a Libertarian to vote NO on a question of gambling; however, I am voting NO. This amendment is a protectionist sham. While I am in favor of casino gambling and the Florida government has done a miserable job from a free market perspective, any expansion of gambling would require a 60 percent approval from the voters—a difficult threshold to overcome. This is not the answer to an already broken system and would not likely result in an expansion gambling put would likely protect those already in the business from encountering additional competition.

Amendment 4: I have been a long-time supporter of restoring one’s rights after they have served their time. I will be voting YES to automatically restore the rights of those who have completed their obligations to society after committing a criminal offense. I would suggest this amendment does not go far enough; however, it is better than what we have today. The process a felon needs to go through to restore their rights in Florida is horrible and must be corrected or, as with Amendment 4, improved.

Amendment 5: I will absolutely positively be voting YES on this amendment! It is telling how Governor Rick Scott, when he was running for governor stated repeatedly how bloated the state government budget was at the time. Now that he’s been governor it has the largest budget ever! So no matter who is in charge, Democrat or Republican we never have reduced government spending. We need the financial constraints Amendment 5 offers to control government spending. We have plenty of reserves and backup resources so that if something truly disastrous happened, we could weather the storm and the amendment still affords a vote of 2/3 of the legislature to handle extraordinary events.

Amendment 6: This is one of those HORRIBLE bundled amendments where a voter will be strongly in support of one aspect, yet is strongly against another aspect. This amendment bundles three different issues! I will be voting NO even though I agree with part of the amendment, the rest of the amendment, not so much.

Amendment 7: Like Amendment 6, this is a bundled amendment and I will be voting NO. My NO vote is not a vote against first responders!!

Amendment 8: This amendment was removed from the ballot.

Amendment 9: I will be voting NO. Again, this is another bundled amendment, this time dealing with offshore drilling and vaping inside businesses which have nothing to do with one another. I will be voting NO because businesses have a right to decide whether or not to allow vaping (it is none of the government’s business) and we already have laws heavily regulating natural gas production and offshore drilling in the state.

Amendment 10: Yet another bundled amendment which is highly unfortunate as I am forced to vote NO. If enacted, this amendment would cause duplication of bureaucracies between state and federal government agencies which is not needed. The amendment would also eliminate a county’s ability to abolish constitutional offices and make them permanent. This amendment could have easily been four separate amendments, debated on their own criterium.

Amendment 11: I will be voting YES as this amendment removes obsolete language while enabling foreign-born non-citizens to own real estate in Florida. Basically, this will right some wrongs and, hopefully, offer better property rights to Floridians.

Amendment 12: I will be voting NO on this issue even though I have some strong reservations in doing so. While lobbying is rife with abuse in the Florida legislature (and that alone would lead me to a YES vote) it does not trump one’s right to free speech and their ability to earn a living. I do not have the full answer to solving the lobbying problem in Tallahassee and even here in Palm Beach County, I just know Amendment 12 is not the answer.

Amendment 13: I will be voting YES to ban gambling on the racing of dogs. As with a few of the other amendments, I have serious problems with such a thing being in our Florida Constitution, but sadly, this is one of those few moments I could be somewhat accused of being hypocritical. Just like with the “pregnant pigs” amendment and medical marijuana, it is sad we are here putting something like this in our constitution (if it passes). While I am on the side of gamblers and para-mutuals, when it comes to animals, especially when I personally have seen the abuse some of these animals have had to endure, you get little sympathy from me. Gamble on anything you want so long as it is voluntary in nature; I can guarantee you that the bulk of these dogs are not doing it voluntarily.

As for the Justices and Judges, I have no opinion to offer.

Florida Representative District 89: I do not like either of them. Neither is closer than the other to being considered a “freedom-based” candidate. Worst case scenario, I’d go with the underdog Bonfiglio as it is clear to me Caruso will win by a landslide. And who knows, there’s still quite some time between now and election day, perhaps things could turn around.

Florida Representative District 87: I have met both and though I like both candidates, I cannot recommend one over the other. If pushed into a corner, I guess I’d go with LeBeu, the underdog third party candidate as we do agree on a few issues.

Florida Representative District 86: Oh my, just NO on both. If you live in this district, my sympathies are with you. Again, if pushed into a corner, I guess you could with Willhite, who is a good guy, but there is little to like from a Florida legislature standpoint.

Florida Representative District 85: Rick Roth is the clear choice for freedom-loving voters. He’s not perfect, but he is far better than his opponent.

Florida Representative District 82: MaryLynn Magar is the clear choice for North County voters.

Florida State Senator District 30: This is another pointless exercise as Powell will win, but I would be writing in Josh Santos.

Florida State Senator District 25: While not on board 100% with Gayle Harrell, she would have a strong lead in my book over her opponent.

Commissioner of Agriculture: Skip this race, they are both terrible. Actually, that may be an overstatement, but I would not vote for either as their negatives outweigh any positives they have. And they both have positives, it’s just a shame we can’t mesh them both into one candidate.

Chief Financial Officer: Undecided. For me, it’s a tossup between Ring, Petronis and writing in Dembinsky. I likely will not decide until I am in the voting booth, quite frankly.

Florida Attorney General: I will be voting for Jeff Siskind. Moody and Shaw seem to be the opposite of freedom lovers while Siskind is — at least as best one can be as attorney general.

Florida Governor: Another tough race for a Libertarian to decide for whom to vote. Ultimately, I would go with Darcy Richardson. Like most candidates this year, he is not perfect from a Libertarian standpoint but seems to be the closest in the race.

U.S. Congress District 22: Tough choice and this would be another I would have to bow out. I can’t agree with either candidate on the bulk of the issues and certainly would never label either as a freedom-lover, unfortunately. While I have a deep respect for Deutch and he’s a good guy, he’s a no-vote. I could be wrong, but unlike Deutch, Kimaz’s campaign seems to be ego-driven rather than issue driven.

U.S. Congress District 20: Well, this is a no-brainer. First, whether you like him or not, Hastings will win. And for that reason alone, I would write-in Jay Alan Bonner.

U.S. Congress District 18: Brian Mast and Lauren Baer, what an awesome race. It is a shame neither is about freedom. They both want to take away your AR-15 while espousing all other types of government force onto our lives. No thank you, skip it!

U.S. Senator from Florida: Again, similar to above, neither the Republican or the Democrat are very good choices. It pains me to say that I am not able to vote for either the Republican or the Democrat and may have to sit this one out. Scott supports gun control while picking winners and losers with the unprovable strategy of corporate welfare, while Nelson is an empty suit, only showing up around election time. Nelson is another picker of winners and losers. He supports exempting my much-loved premium cigars from federal regulation which I appreciate, but he does so not out of principle which is rather pathetic. This is a link to all the candidates for U.S. Senate in Florida, pick a write-in candidate that seems the least crazy and write their name in correctly on the ballot so it gets counted or sit this one out. This is a sad election season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My letter today to Florida Governor Rick Scott regarding corporate welfare (specifically the movie industry)

Dear Governor Rick Scott,

While I am happy to offer a warm Florida welcome to new economic activity, the research shows that corporate handouts do not create jobs or otherwise justify the cost to taxpayers.

As you know, the state’s own economists recently released a report showing that the existing film tax credit makes no significant impact on tourism and has a measly return on investment of 43 cents to the dollar. No bank or investor would accept that poor of a return – why should taxpayers?

While taxpayers are getting the short end of the stick, Hollywood executives are padding the profits for films on the backs of Florida taxpayers.

Instead of trying to lure Hollywood big-wigs and sports arenas to our state with expensive handouts, let’s make our state a better place for all entrepreneurs by keeping the tax rate low and evenly applied. Trying to pick economic winners and losers may sound like an exciting blockbuster, but in practice it’s a box office bust.

I’ll be watching how you vote on this issue and hope you will prioritize taxpayers over the special interests.

Sincerely,

Karl Dickey

SEE THIS LINK FOR A HANDY INFOGRAPHIC:  http://americansforprosperity.org/florida/files/2015/01/Hollywood-Handouts-Edit.pdf

Voter’s Guide for 2014 General Election – Palm Beach County, Florida – A Libertarian Perspective

I am often asked for my opinion as to who would make good choices for elected office and the 2014 General Election is no different. So here is the list of those I plan to vote. The person / issue I will vote for is in BOLD, sometimes with an explanation.

U.S. Representative, Dist. 22

PAUL SPAIN – I am voting for Paul Spain. He was my #2 pick during the primaries and am comfortable with him leading District 22. I wish he was more libertarian and perhaps in two years we will have a Libertarian Party challenger for this seat.
Lois Frankel
Write-In Candidate Raymond Schamis

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Rick Scott / Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Charlie Crist / Annette Taddeo
ADRIAN WYLLIE / GREG ROE
Farid Khavari / Lateresa A. Jones
Glenn Burkett / Jose Augusto Matos
Write-In Candidates

Attorney General
Pam Bondi
George Sheldon
BILL WOHLSIFERno matter who wins the Governor’s race, it is imperative to supporters of Amendment 2 (medical marijuana) Bill Wohslifer win to be Florida’s next Attorney General so Amendment 2 will be implemented properly and go unchallenged.

Chief Financial Officer – It is unusual for me; however, I am skipping this race (and a couple more below). I can not in good faith vote for either of these candidates. Both are bad in my opinion.
Jeff Atwater
William “Will” Rankin

Commissioner of Agriculture
Adam H. Putnam – I am not a huge fan of Putnam and am tempted to skip this race as with the CFO race; however, Putnam is the better candidate and has helped Libertarians in the state move their agenda forward.
Thaddeus “Thad” Hamilton
Write-In Candidate – Jeffrey Obos

State Senator, Dist. 34 – I am sitting out this race as well. Sachs is awful and I do not believe she lives in this district which is required by our state constitution. If allegations are proven true (it is currently being officially investigated) it could lead to her going to jail for continually lying on official qualification forms and violating the state constitution. Bogdanoff is equally awful. Her record in the Florida legislature is terrible from a Libertarian point of view and is more interested in corporate welfare than offering small or big business a truly free market in Florida. As before, perhaps a Libertarian Party of Florida candidate will challenge the winner next time around.
Ellyn Bogdanoff
Maria Lorts Sachs

State Representative, Dist. 89 – I can not in good faith vote for either of these two. UGH! Both are nice people; however, I do not want either representing me in Tallahassee. I could get into the nitty and gritty details – but will spare you.
Bill Hager
David Ryan Silvers

District Court of Appeal
Shall Judge Alan O. Forst of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
YES
NO

District Court of Appeal
Shall Judge Mark W. Klingensmith of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
YES
NO

District Court of Appeal
Shall Judge W. Matthew Stevenson of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
YES
NO

District Court of Appeal
Shall Judge Martha C. Warner of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
YES
NO

Palm Beach Soil & Water Conservation District Group 5 – 4 Year Term
Eva S. Webb
Karl Dickey – he is the OBVIOUS choice! 🙂

No. 1
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
ARTICLE X, SECTION 28
Water and Land Conservation – Dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands.

Although I am an environmentalist, the state has enough land AND it continually sells off land that was SUPPOSED to be held for conservation. The government has a horrible track record and cannot be trusted to keep this land preserved.

YES
NO

No. 2
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
ARTICLE X, SECTION 29
Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions
Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.

Increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined. There will be additional regulatory and enforcement activities associated with the production and sale of medical marijuana. Fees will offset at least a portion of the regulatory costs. While sales tax may apply to purchases, changes in revenue cannot reasonably be determined since the extent to which medical marijuana will be exempt from taxation is unclear without legislative or state administrative action.
YES – I will be voting YES for this amendment because we must end the absurd practice of jailing patients for using this tremendous resource.
NO

No. 3
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 10, 11
Prospective Appointment of Certain Judicial Vacancies

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution requiring the Governor to prospectively fill vacancies in a judicial office to which election for retention applies resulting from the justice’s or judge’s reaching the mandatory retirement age or failure to qualify for a retention election; and allowing prospective appointments if a justice or judge is not retained at an election. Currently, the Governor may not fill an expected vacancy until the current justice’s or judge’s term expires.
YES
NO

COUNTYWIDE – QUESTION 1
REAUTHORIZATION OF THE CHILDREN’S SERVICES COUNCIL OF PALM BEACH COUNTY

Shall the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, which provides early learning and reading skills, development, treatment, preventative and other children’s services in Palm Beach County, be reauthorized to continue in existence as a district with voter-approved taxing authority, with independent oversight and accountability as required by law, unless and until it is dissolved as specified in s.125.901 (4)(a), Florida Statutes?
YES
NO – this $100 million+ per year taxpayer funded agency should be abolished. They do great work; however, it can be done better privately.

COUNTYWIDE – QUESTION 2
REFERENDUM TO CONTINUE AN AD VALOREM LEVY FOR SCHOOL OPERATIONAL NEEDS

Shall the School Board of Palm Beach County have the authority to continue to levy 0.25 mills of ad valorem millage dedicated for operational needs of non-charter District schools to fund teachers, as well as arts, music, physical education, career and academic programs for the fiscal years beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2019, with oversight by an independent finance committee of citizens and experts?
YES
NO – VOTE NO to end this ‘hidden’ unnecessary tax

Voter's Guide for 2014 General Election – Palm Beach County, Florida – A Libertarian Perspective

I am often asked for my opinion as to who would make good choices for elected office and the 2014 General Election is no different. So here is the list of those I plan to vote. The person / issue I will vote for is in BOLD, sometimes with an explanation.

U.S. Representative, Dist. 22

PAUL SPAIN – I am voting for Paul Spain. He was my #2 pick during the primaries and am comfortable with him leading District 22. I wish he was more libertarian and perhaps in two years we will have a Libertarian Party challenger for this seat.
Lois Frankel
Write-In Candidate Raymond Schamis

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

Rick Scott / Carlos Lopez-Cantera
Charlie Crist / Annette Taddeo
ADRIAN WYLLIE / GREG ROE
Farid Khavari / Lateresa A. Jones
Glenn Burkett / Jose Augusto Matos
Write-In Candidates

Attorney General
Pam Bondi
George Sheldon
BILL WOHLSIFERno matter who wins the Governor’s race, it is imperative to supporters of Amendment 2 (medical marijuana) Bill Wohslifer win to be Florida’s next Attorney General so Amendment 2 will be implemented properly and go unchallenged.

Chief Financial Officer – It is unusual for me; however, I am skipping this race (and a couple more below). I can not in good faith vote for either of these candidates. Both are bad in my opinion.
Jeff Atwater
William “Will” Rankin

Commissioner of Agriculture
Adam H. Putnam – I am not a huge fan of Putnam and am tempted to skip this race as with the CFO race; however, Putnam is the better candidate and has helped Libertarians in the state move their agenda forward.
Thaddeus “Thad” Hamilton
Write-In Candidate – Jeffrey Obos

State Senator, Dist. 34 – I am sitting out this race as well. Sachs is awful and I do not believe she lives in this district which is required by our state constitution. If allegations are proven true (it is currently being officially investigated) it could lead to her going to jail for continually lying on official qualification forms and violating the state constitution. Bogdanoff is equally awful. Her record in the Florida legislature is terrible from a Libertarian point of view and is more interested in corporate welfare than offering small or big business a truly free market in Florida. As before, perhaps a Libertarian Party of Florida candidate will challenge the winner next time around.
Ellyn Bogdanoff
Maria Lorts Sachs

State Representative, Dist. 89 – I can not in good faith vote for either of these two. UGH! Both are nice people; however, I do not want either representing me in Tallahassee. I could get into the nitty and gritty details – but will spare you.
Bill Hager
David Ryan Silvers

District Court of Appeal
Shall Judge Alan O. Forst of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
YES
NO

District Court of Appeal
Shall Judge Mark W. Klingensmith of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
YES
NO

District Court of Appeal
Shall Judge W. Matthew Stevenson of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
YES
NO

District Court of Appeal
Shall Judge Martha C. Warner of the Fourth District Court of Appeal be retained in office?
YES
NO

Palm Beach Soil & Water Conservation District Group 5 – 4 Year Term
Eva S. Webb
Karl Dickey – he is the OBVIOUS choice! 🙂

No. 1
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
ARTICLE X, SECTION 28
Water and Land Conservation – Dedicates funds to acquire and restore Florida conservation and recreation lands.

Although I am an environmentalist, the state has enough land AND it continually sells off land that was SUPPOSED to be held for conservation. The government has a horrible track record and cannot be trusted to keep this land preserved.

YES
NO

No. 2
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
ARTICLE X, SECTION 29
Use of Marijuana for Certain Medical Conditions
Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.

Increased costs from this amendment to state and local governments cannot be determined. There will be additional regulatory and enforcement activities associated with the production and sale of medical marijuana. Fees will offset at least a portion of the regulatory costs. While sales tax may apply to purchases, changes in revenue cannot reasonably be determined since the extent to which medical marijuana will be exempt from taxation is unclear without legislative or state administrative action.
YES – I will be voting YES for this amendment because we must end the absurd practice of jailing patients for using this tremendous resource.
NO

No. 3
CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
ARTICLE V, SECTIONS 10, 11
Prospective Appointment of Certain Judicial Vacancies

Proposing an amendment to the State Constitution requiring the Governor to prospectively fill vacancies in a judicial office to which election for retention applies resulting from the justice’s or judge’s reaching the mandatory retirement age or failure to qualify for a retention election; and allowing prospective appointments if a justice or judge is not retained at an election. Currently, the Governor may not fill an expected vacancy until the current justice’s or judge’s term expires.
YES
NO

COUNTYWIDE – QUESTION 1
REAUTHORIZATION OF THE CHILDREN’S SERVICES COUNCIL OF PALM BEACH COUNTY

Shall the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County, which provides early learning and reading skills, development, treatment, preventative and other children’s services in Palm Beach County, be reauthorized to continue in existence as a district with voter-approved taxing authority, with independent oversight and accountability as required by law, unless and until it is dissolved as specified in s.125.901 (4)(a), Florida Statutes?
YES
NO – this $100 million+ per year taxpayer funded agency should be abolished. They do great work; however, it can be done better privately.

COUNTYWIDE – QUESTION 2
REFERENDUM TO CONTINUE AN AD VALOREM LEVY FOR SCHOOL OPERATIONAL NEEDS

Shall the School Board of Palm Beach County have the authority to continue to levy 0.25 mills of ad valorem millage dedicated for operational needs of non-charter District schools to fund teachers, as well as arts, music, physical education, career and academic programs for the fiscal years beginning July 1, 2015 and ending June 30, 2019, with oversight by an independent finance committee of citizens and experts?
YES
NO – VOTE NO to end this ‘hidden’ unnecessary tax

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