On The Ballot: More State Offices

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I’ve been going through the ballot I’ll have to vote on Nov. 8, and looking at the options available to me. None of my views are set in stone. I welcome comments from people to help broaden my perspective. That said, I also don’t take my positions on whims (though last week I bemoaned how whims do come into play — even when one wants to be an educated and purposeful voter), so don’t expect me to merely agree. I would like a dialogue that increases understanding, whether it always increases agreement or not.

So here’s the next section on the ballot, More State Offices:

FOR STATE SECRETARY OF STATE

(VOTE FOR ONE)

ROBIN SMITH                                                PO BOX 68, EUREKA, MO 63025                               (Dem)

JOHN (JAY) ASHCROFT                              12138 MIRROR LAKE DR, ST LOUIS, MO 63146  (Rep)

CHRIS MORRILL                                           5747 MARDEL AVE, ST LOUIS, MO 63109            (Lib)

 

FOR STATE TREASURER

(VOTE FOR ONE)

JUDY BAKER                                                 3075 S RANGELINE RD, COLUMBIA, MO 65201  (Dem)

ERIC SCHMITT                                               937 BROWNELL AVE, ST LOUIS, MO 63122         (Rep)

SEAN O’TOOLE                                             3425 GLADSTONE BLVD,                                           (Lib)

KANSAS CITY, MO 64123

CAROL HEXEM                                             12712 COEUR DU MONDE CT APT K,                     (Grn)

                                                                           MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO 63146

 

 

FOR STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL

(VOTE FOR ONE)

TERESA HENSLEY                                        112 ARAPAHO TRL,                                                     (Dem)

LAKE WINNEBAGO, MO 64034

JOSH HAWLEY                                              5215 E HWY 163, COLUMBIA, MO 65201               (Rep)

 

To be honest, I am not sure about the importance, or functions of these positions. I know, sort of, what the federal secretary of state does. But what does a state secretary of state do? I looked this up on the state’s website:

The Office of the Secretary of State has many diverse responsibilities, all linked by the common theme of information. The office is responsible for collecting, compiling, storing and publishing a variety of state documents. The Secretary of State, as keeper of the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, authenticates official acts of the governor. In addition, the Secretary of State serves as the chief elections official in Missouri.

Functions of the office are divided into six areas: Elections, Securities, Business Services, State Library,Records Services, and Administrative Rules. The Executive Deputy Secretary of State is charged by law with implementing the policies and procedures of the secretary, and supervising day-to-day operations of certain phases of the office.

There are approximately 265 employees of the Secretary of State’s office.

So that sounds important enough to be a coveted post.

I found these three links with some information on the candidates:

I was quite swayed by the Ashcroft items, and quality of display. He is concerned about voter fraud. I was, at least, until I read the Libertarian’s take on the question. He presented a strong case for fraud prevention, without being unreasonable. Actually, I liked his “Why Chris, in 60 seconds or less”:

Chris Morrill is:

a nearly lifelong resident of Missouri
a proud south St. Louis homeowner
a student of history and government
holder of several fraud investigation credentials
exceptionally well-organized
sensible
thoughtful
firm, but fair
former Republican and Libertarian county committeeman
Libertarian nominee for Missouri State Senate District 27 in 2004
humble and articulate spokesman for libertarian ideals
conscientious
colorful, but not crazy
an all-around okay guy


Chris Morrill is not:

a perennial candidate
a member of any prominent Missouri political family
a former TV talking head
seeking to use this office as a stepping stone to higher office
rabidly partisan
very good at web design (obviously)
on Case.net at all.  Not even for anything minor.  Go ahead and search, it’s okay.
a Trump supporter in any way, shape or form.  Seriously, not a fan of that fellow at all.  Not even a little bit.

So based on my readings, I’ll probably vote for Chris. Please glance over these three people and see which person seems the most reasonable, and why. I am curious to know what you think.

Now the treasurer, over money, shows as obviously important; I have ideas about the duties there. Nevertheless I probably don’t realize everything falling under this department, so I looked this up on the website:

STATE TREASURER CLINT ZWEIFEL (ZWY-ful) serves as Missouri’s chief financial officer. He oversees $25 billion in state spending every year, directs banking services and manages and invests Missouri’s $3.6 billion investment portfolio. Treasurer Zweifel safeguards more than $942 million in Unclaimed Property that has been turned over by banks, businesses, insurance companies and government agencies, and works to return that money to the rightful owners. He also serves on the management boards of a number of public entities. The State Treasurer is one of six statewide elected officials, and is limited to two four-year terms. After being reelected in 2012, Treasurer Zweifel’s second term will conclude January 2017.

I looked up these four links for the candidates:

I guess I should mention that a candidate should have both the qualifications to perform the job, and the right goals to achieve while performing the job. I haven’t found it yet in this current ballot review, but I know I have previously been disappointed it people with the right views and morals, but no the right skills to effect those views and morals.

I am not pro or anti corporations. So when someone comes out swinging for or against them (mostly against today), it makes me wary. The green party seems to want to swing against corporations, by empowering the already powerful government. Hexem isn’t getting my vote.

I’ve looked at all three remaining candidates’ pages. They all seem well qualified, not spotting the various differences to decide between. With my banking background, I liked O’Toole’s comments on the Treasurer as custodian of funds. He presented an issue well that I understand that faces us. Sounds like he knows the field and can handle it. I’ll probably vote for him. but will continue to look at the candidates between now and then.  I am not settled.

The final office on today’s post is the State Attorney General. Once again, a position I have heard the title of, but really don’t know alot about what it does, how it affects our lives. So of course I looked it up as well:

ABOUT THE OFFICE

The Attorney General serves as the chief legal officer of the State of Missouri as mandated by our Constitution. The Attorney General is elected by Missouri voters, serves a four-year term, and is not subject to constitutional term limits.

The Attorney General’s Office represents and provides legal advice to most state agencies; defends challenges to the validity of state laws; enforces civil law, including consumer protection and environmental laws; defends the State’s interest in civil actions, including bankruptcies, workers’ compensation claims, professional licensing cases, and habeas corpus actions filed by state and federal inmates; and serves as a special prosecutor in criminal cases when appointed. In addition, the Office handles all appeals statewide from felony convictions.

The Attorney General’s Office brings and defends lawsuits on behalf of the State and prepares formal legal opinions requested by State officers, legislators, or county attorneys on issues of law. The Office represents the State in litigation at all levels ranging from a variety of administrative tribunals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Alumni include numerous lawyers who have distinguished themselves at all levels of government and private practice. They include former and sitting U.S. and Missouri senators and representatives, Missouri governors, U.S. and Missouri Supreme Court justices, and numerous other federal and state judges.

The Attorney General’s Office is among the largest law offices in the state. The Office comprises:

This office seems the largest of the three. Which doesn’t mean the most important. But it is specifically a law office, with the ability to meddle over and over again. So choosing someone who knows how to leave us alone is important.

Once again I searched for web links for the candidates:

A two-way race — the first one. The Dem, Hensley, says Hawley has never practiced in Missouri and is thus unqualified. Hawley’ (Rep) bio says that he is a constitutional lawyer who has successfully defended cases against the supreme court. Hardly sounds unqualified. Maybe lacking local experience, but obviously an accomplished lawyer. I like the sound of Hawley’s goals better, though Hensley has nothing I found on the surface to say she wouldn’t be a good AG as well.

And there we have the post for today. Still a few more “state races” left to go.

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