Today, I am doing something that I very rarely do: I am voting for a Republican.
I made this decision months ago when the Republican candidate for mayor actually started talking about his policy plans for the city. You know, those little things that really matter at the local level: expanded and improved bus service, increased economic development, improved housing stock, and a crackdown on meth-making. The Democratic candidate’s campaign? Well, I’m sure he talked about these things in front of the Rotary Club, but his policy messages have been lost somewhere along the line. Instead, he keeps focusing on a “secret meeting” to “raise taxes” that took place a couple years ago. To be honest, the only policy statement I’ve heard from this guy is that the city needs to improve its parks program because Evansville is the “Fattest City in America.” While I agree that Evansvillians make New Orleanians look positively svelte, the “fat” campaign doesn’t play well when the city is suffering from high levels of unemployment and a growing perception that crime is on the rise.
Apparently, I am not the liberal who has decided to cross the lines for this election. I hear the whispers of other Democrats around the University. Plus, the county-level Democratic Party has basically disavowed the guy. It’s pretty out of control around down here as demonstrated by this and this and this. Want more evidence? How about the fact that the African American newspaper endorsed a Republican for the first time in its history? Or what about the fact that the Courier also endorsed the Republican even though the Democrat used to be a reporter for the paper?
Yet, as I go out in search of one of our new Voting Centers (only 15 for the whole city, WTF?), I don’t really know if the Republican will win. The polls show that the two candidates are in a statistical dead heat. If you look around my neighborhood, there are as many Davis signs out there as there are Winnecke signs. Plus, both candidates have actually paid to air attack ads — on television!
I hope my liberal friends will forgive my transgression.