PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: DEMOCRAT BARACK OBAMA
We're not sure what's happened to Republican John McCain, but we're sure of this: Over the last two months, he's disqualified himself from being worthy of the White House. The pick of Sarah Palin as his running mate, the screwball "suspension" of the campaign, the absurd distortions of Joe the Plumber, the constant pandering to the base--well, you've seen it as well as we have.
At the same time, Barack Obama has demonstrated a cool temperament combined with policies that represent real change from a GOP agenda that has wrecked the economy, left millions without health care and stuck us in a costly and unnecessary war. It's time to clean the GOP right out of power. Vote Obama.
CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 8: DEMOCRAT GABRIELLE GIFFORDS
Gabrielle Giffords has proven herself to be a politician in touch with the needs of Southern Arizona. And, as we mention above, GOP rule of this country has been a disaster. This is not the time to give the keys to Congress back to them. Vote Giffords.
PIMA COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS DISTRICT 3: DEMOCRAT SHARON BRONSON
Bronson has been a solid vote for protecting the fragile Sonoran Desert, and she shows a lot more understanding of the budget than her GOP opponent, Barney Brenner. Vote Bronson.
PIMA COUNTY SHERIFF: DEMOCRAT CLARENCE DUPNIK
Clarence W. Dupnik has been one of Pima County's finest elected officials for the last 28 years. He deserves your vote far more than his opponent, Republican Harry Shaw, whose big campaign promise is to starve Pima County Jail inmates. Vote Dupnik.
LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 26
Senate: Democrat Cheryl Cage
House: Democrats Nancy Young Wright and Don Jorgensen
LD 26 is a vital swing district to the Democrats' hopes of winning the Arizona House of Representatives and narrowing the gap in the Arizona Senate. The Democratic slate offers a far more sophisticated response to the problems facing the state than the GOP candidates do. Vote Cage, Wright and Jorgensen
LEGISLATIVE DISTRICT 30
Senate: Republican Jonathan Paton
House: Democrat Andrea Dalessandro
While we have reservations about some of Republican Jonathan Paton's policies, he has been good about protecting education and programs in Southern Arizona. He's also pushed for accountability in government and opening records to the public.
We're encouraging voters to cast a single vote for Andrea Dalessandro, a Sahuarita resident who promises to support education and oppose irresponsible tax cuts. If you avoid casting your second vote for one of the conservative Republicans in the race, it will help Dalessandro pull off an upset, which would help Democrats with their effort to win the House.
ARIZONA CORPORATION COMMISSION
Republicans Marian McClure and Barry Wong, Democrat Paul Newman
Marian McClure has served Southern Arizona well in the House of Representatives, and we believe she'd continue to do so on the ACC. Barry Wong has already served a brief stint on the ACC and understands the issues. Finally, Paul Newman has done good work as a Cochise County supervisor and strikes us as a guy who will join these Republicans in requiring utilities to produce more energy from renewable sources.
NO ON PROPOSITION 100: PROTECT OUR HOMES
This would ban allowing the state to charge a real-estate transfer tax--essentially, a sales tax on the purchase of property such as homes, commercial properties and vacant land. This has no place in the state Constitution, and we think Arizona's tax system needs more diversity, not less. Vote no.
NO ON PROPOSITION 101: FREEDOM OF CHOICE IN HEALTH CARE ACT
This is a bogus issue that could have serious unintended side effects. Vote no.
NO! ON PROPOSITION 102: MARRIAGE
We remain mystified by the argument that amending the Arizona Constitution to limit marriage to being between one man and one woman will "protect" marriage. This is bigotry, pure and simple. Vote no.
HELL NO! ON PROPOSITION 105: MAJORITY RULE
Prop 105 would require any proposition that includes a tax increase to pass with a majority of all registered voters--not just the voters who happen to cast a vote in the election. Counting the votes of dead people? People who have moved? People who are too lazy to vote? You've got to be kidding us. Vote no.
NO ON PROPOSITION 200: PAYDAY LOAN REFORM ACT
The payday-loan industry has spent $14 million on its campaign to write its own regulations. C'mon, does anyone really believe we should let them do that? Vote no.
NO ON PROPOSITION 201: HOMEOWNERS' BILL OF RIGHTS
There might be some merit in offering homebuyers a better guarantee on new homes, but this strikes us as another proposition that could have unintended consequences. Vote no.
YES ON PROP 202: STOP ILLEGAL HIRING
The federal government should be responsible for fixing the nation's immigration problem. Until then, we shouldn't force businesses to risk losing their business licenses based on decisions made by human-resource managers using an unreliable E-Verify system. This is a slight improvement of the state's current employer-sanctions law. Vote yes.
NO ON PROP 300: STATE LEGISLATORS SALARIES
The state's economic picture is such a mess that even some lawmakers are saying they don't deserve a raise from $24,000 to $30,000 a year. Maybe next time ... depending on what they do to us between now and then. Vote no.
YES ON PROPOSITION 401: SOUTH TUCSON DOG PROTECTION INITIATIVE
Help out the hounds at Tucson Greyhound Park. Vote yes.
YES ON PROPOSITION 403: TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET OVERRIDE
The override of the district's $578 million budget will provide TUSD with $28 million a year for five years, and a smaller amount for two more years. The Investing in Our Kids Committee, which supports Prop 403, claims the owner of a home valued at $177,800 would pay less than $11 a month for the override. That's a reasonable amount to help a struggling school district.