Nathan's Recommendations: (Click for Printer Friendly Version)

People who know me know I enjoy being involved in politics. (So much so that I'm a councilman on the Pineville City Council representing District 5.) I often get asked for my recommendations of candidates and issues. While I believe each one should make up their own mind, I'm also willing to offer my suggestions. Please note that I could be wrong! So consider these at your own expense. With that warning, here are my recommendations for the November 2, 2004 election:

President/Vice President: George W. Bush/Richard "Dick" Cheney - Most people would be surprised to learn that there are actually 9 different pairs of candidates running for President/Vice President. In addition to the well-known Republican and Democratic candidates, there 7 other parties with slates of candidates: Constitution Party, Libertarian Party, Louisiana Green Party, Prohibition, Protecting Working Families, Socialist Workers Party, The Better Life (Ralph Nader's Party). While there are many candidates, there are only two parties that have a chance to win, Republican and Democrat. Of these two groups, to me the choice is clear. The single most important issue today is the safety of America and its citizens. Clearly George Bush has demonstrated his resolve in protecting America. While I don't agree with every policy decision, I do believe he is the best choice to continue leading our nation during these dangerous times. I urge his reelection.

U.S. Senator: David Vitter - Of the seven candidates for Senator, David Vitter stands out in my mind because of his long record of standing for the family and conservative values. He has alienated himself from other politicians because he doesn't take the popular road. He is not intimidated by anyone - lobbyists, political opponents or money people. I believe he will provide balance to Sen. Mary Landrieu and it will be good to give Louisiana a voice in the majority party.

U.S. Representative, 5th District: Rodney Alexander - I've met all three candidates in the race and am most impressed with Rodney Alexander. He has worked hard for the 5th District and in my role on the Pineville City Council I can affirm to his involvement in our community. (In fact, he is directly responsible for our new fire truck in addition to helping us in many other ways.) He has been very responsive to local concerns. Rodney's record has earned him the right to be reelected, in my opinion. (BTW, I was pleasantly impressed with Zelma "Tisa" Blakes, the Democratic challenger. She speaks her mind and is a breath of fresh air.)

District Judge, 9th Judicial District Court: John Davidson - I am friends of both candidates but to me the choice is clear - John Davidson is the more qualified candidate. I respect Rick Farrar and appreciate his leadership in the LA House of Representatives. But to me, John Davidson's integrity, experience and independence clearly qualify him to be Judge. John has much more experience in the courtroom than Rick. His record of service to our youth over the years is impeccable. If you could just meet some of the young people who have gone through his soccer programs you'd know what a positive impact he has had and how respected he is. We've trusted him with our children, we can trust him with our court. In addition, John is not beholding to anyone politically. He is independent and can be fair and impartial, what we're looking for in a judge. I strongly encourage his election.

Constitutional Amendments:

1 - FORRight of every citizen to hunt, fish & trap. I really think this is a ridiculous amendment that is being presented for political purposes. However, I shudder to think what message would be sent if we voted against this amendment. So I recommend a vote FOR #1.

2 - FOR. Homestead Exemption from ad valorem property. This bill is somewhat questionable in my mind. It does clarify the Homestead Exemption act to make it an even playing field across the state and clarifies for the tax assessors who should and who shouldn't receive the property tax exemption. It properly includes widows and irrevocable living trusts. However, it is so broad that it doesn't meet it's original goal of promoting home ownership by families and grants the exemption to multiple unmarried persons with shared ownership, which could be abused. Nevertheless, the lifting the burden from widows and children of deceased is worth the negative, in my opinion. I recommend a vote FOR #2

3 - FOR. Eligibility for Veterans for Civil Service etc. The Constitution currently gives 5 extra points on civil service tests to veterans who served during specified military actions. This amendment extends the definition of "eligible military service" to include the current war on terrorism. It does not give them favor over other veterans, just includes the current post-9/11 conflict in the Constitutionally defined list of eligible military actions. I recommend a vote FOR #3.

4 - AGAINST. LA farmers & fisherman support of industries. Louisiana's farmer and fisherman are having a tough time, there's no question. In that past 20 years LA has lost 687 dairies, down from 1,000 to 313. And fishermen are having to compete with foreign imports of shrimp and crawfish. But as difficult as these problems are, I don't think the answer is establishing ANOTHER constitutionally protected fund that is exempt from budget cuts or legislative oversight. There are currently 23 constitutionally protected funds that create a real strain when it comes to balancing the budget because they can't be touched. I don't think we should add another one. I recommend a vote AGAINST #4.

There you have it! Remember, these are my recommendations only. You need to decide for yourself. The most important thing is for you to VOTE!