Our readers asked and we delivered. Just in time for Primary Day, June 19, resident curmudgeon Tim Krepp gives you his Lazy Voter’s guide. Check it out below and leave us a comment on Facebook or Twitter letting us know if you found it helpful. Make sure you click on the links, as they contain interviews from THIH and the candidate questionnaire and other information via the Hill Rag– Maria Helena Carey
Whoo boy! This is a tough one for this election’s Lazy Voter’s Guide! Not because the stakes are so high, but they because they barely even exist.
Look, I’m about as big on the importance of local politics as you can get, and I’m thinking about sitting this one out. I don’t know if it’s burnout from a decade of fairly intense local battles or a general sense of, “What does any of it matter while the Republic crumbles about us?” but I’m hard pressed to come up with a good reason to show up to vote this cycle–and voting is my devout act of civic religion.
Let’s do this thing anyway. As always, let’s me lay out the ground rules. This is the LAZY Voter’s Guide. It’s for the lazy, undecided voters who haven’t done their due diligence and read the myriad of densely worded thinkpieces. If you want well thought-out arguments for and against, you should go read those. That’s not what I do here.
In the interests of full disclosure, I should note that I’m not registered to any party, so I’m not allowed to play in the sandbox this cycle, except for one little thing, to which I’ll get shortly. But that aside, let’s quickly run down the list of incumbents and pick which challengers you should throw away your vote on. (Note: Picks are in BOLD, for the extremely lazy voters)
1. Delegate to the House of Representatives. This is Eleanor Holmes Norton’s seat. She owns it. She will until she dies or retires. But it’s time, long past time, for DC voters to take this seat seriously and think creatively how we want to influence our relationship with the Federal government. Congresswoman Norton has a challenger this year, Kim R. Ford, and I say vote for Kim. Let’s see if we can get this ball rolling.
3. Council Chair. I’ll say this for Phil Mendelson. He’s honest and dedicated–two traits not to be despised in DC. If you want to know more about him, I suggest you read the 14 glossy fliers you probably received this weekend. As for me, I find him stuck in the issues of the 1990s/early aughts and unable to pivot to the difficulties facing DC in 2018. I don’t see eye-to-eye with Ed Lazare on everything, but I find him much more flexible and innovative that Mr. Mendelson. Vote Ed.
4. At-Large Councilmember. Anita Bonds (D-Ft. Myers Construction Company) will coast to reelection this year of course, whether we want to her or not. I don’t. I’d vote for Jeremiah Lowery, a young and energetic progressive candidate who has put a huge amount of work into giving us an option this cycle. Maybe we can get him on the board.
5. Attorney General. I’m not too worried at the lack of challengers to Karl Racine. He’s been a solid choice as DC’s first elected attorney general.
6. Ward 6 Councilmember. We have the best Councilmember in the District and we have Lisa Hunter, a challenger who has a verifiable trail of lies and a nasty social media presence. No contest: Charles Allen.
7. Shadow Senator Long-time readers know I don’t vote for made-up seats with no powers, but Andria Thomas, who is challenging Michael D. Brown, is making me think twice about that. I’m pleased to see a bench developing on the Statehood fight. If you’re not as cynical as I am, you might want to consider her.
8. Initiative 77: Ok, this is the tough one, and the only one I’m allowed to vote for as an independent (insert rant here about how ballot initiatives should be in general elections and not primaries). I’ve gone back and forth on this one, as it’s an incredibly nuanced and complex discussion. Meanwhile, advocates for both sides have stripped away nuance and complexity until you are either a racist, Trump-supporting tool of big business or a virtue signaling, naïve do-gooder who hates small business and ignores actual wait staff opinions. It’s been an insufferable campaign all around and I don’t blame you for tuning out.
So here’s my take. Unless you’ve been talking to tipped workers (Maria did and you can read what she has to say here), then don’t vote. Just leave it blank. I will be voting no myself, as that’s the feedback I’ve received from the tipped workers I’ve talked to. But my experience in this case is no substitute for doing your own homework. If you haven’t checked, and I mean directly checked with one on one conversations and not “my political friend posted this account from some guy on Facebook” checked, then you’re not qualified to render a decision on this one. It’s too complex and I don’t think whoever has the most strident social media posts and wears the most buttons is the best way to decide complex policy questions that will directly affect people’s pay. This is no way to run a railroad.
That’s all for me this cycle, folks. Don’t @ me.