Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Election: Presidential Candidates and Delegates

As you probably surmised from the ads on TV and now daily robocalls, the primary election is coming soon. It's less than 2 weeks away, on April 26. This is not only a presidential election year, but we'll be voting for one US senator, our US Congressional rep, both our state senator and representative, and most importantly, the delegates who'll go to the national conventions to select the nominees for president. There's also 2 questions for amendments to the PA state constitution on the ballot and if you're in Ward 3, you'll be voting for a councilperson.

So I wanted to get started early with my blogs giving you information on the candidates. Problem is, this year Montgomery County STILL doesn't have a sample ballot posted on their website. The best I could do was an unofficial candidate list. So possibly the candidates I give you info about won't show up on the ballot. Sorry for any confusion, but don't blame me, blame the county or whoever they get info from. 

Before I go on, let me remind you that you can only vote in the primaries if you're a registered Republican or Democrat. If you're Independent, stay home. I can't tell you how many Independents try to vote at my polling place on Primary Day and we have to turn them away. Sorry, that's the way PA works.

Today we'll start with the biggies, the presidential candidates and their delegates. The delegates are more important because they actually choose the nominee who'll go on to the November Election. If you vote for one candidate, yet choose delegates committed to another, you essentially negate your own vote. To make it more confusing, the 2 parties have different systems. Democratic delegates commit to a candidate ahead of time (though I don't know if those commitments show up on your ballot so you'd better go into the voting booth knowing who'll you'll choose ahead of time).

Frankly, I don't understand the Republican system in PA at all. If I understand what I read in Ballotpedia  correctly, only 17 of PA's 71 delegates MUST vote for the winner of the primary in the state. The other 54 delegates aren't bound to vote for the winner. So all I can do is list the District 13 delegates for you Republicans. You need to find out how they intend to vote. Good luck with that.

On the Democratic side, the candidates listed are Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Roque Rocky De La Fuente (I did not make that up--he's a San Diego real estate developer with policies that are vague and right-leaning). I'm not going to go into their policy stances. That's really easy to look up online (click on their names above). I will say, please give your choice some thought and don't just go by the propaganda you hear on TV and social media.

Here are the Democratic delegates according to their commitments (I don't know how many we'll be able to vote for--that's on the final ballot):

For Hillary Clinton: Allyson Schwartz, Val Arkoosh, Betsy May Kilkenny. Charles Quann, Louis Farinella, Elaine Tomlin, W. Gerard Oleksiak, Mike Stack.

For Bernie Sanders: Michael Rahming, Mark Cohen, Henry Albert, Linda Fields, Melissa Robbins, Bev Hahn.

There are no Democratic alternate delegates on the ballot for District 13.

Republicans: The ones you've heard about on TV are, of course, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich. A few of the others who've already dropped out might still be on the ballot too.

The GOP delegates running are Alan Apt, Shannon Oscar, Gilbert Cox, Pam Levy, Lauren Casper, Tom Ellis, Michael McGonagle, and Dan Tinney. The alternate delegates are Gary Grisafi and Camille McColgan. Like I said, I don't know who these folks would be likely to vote for. You might try finding them on social media to see who they're praising or dissing..

That's it for presidential candidates and delegates. I'll try to cover the other offices and ballot questions in the next week.

Oh, and I still haven't heard anything from Council about the zoning amendment they're voting on April 19. Tsk tsk.

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