Introducing Sparker’s Soapbox

I’ve been writing about topics that are important to me since June 2007 on a blog called “So what do you think about that?”  Today that blog focuses on issues at the intersection of health care reform, politics and policy. 

Sparker’s Soapbox is a new blog where I will write about the upcoming elections, politics and national affairs. 

I believe we are at a significant turning point in our country.  And I believe that the outcome of the upcoming elections – and the 2012 elections after that – will set the direction of our future in irreversible ways that we can’t even begin to imagine. 

I worked hard to help elect President Obama because of what he wanted to do for America.  Remember the “Blueprint for Change” that laid out his positions on the fundamental issues facing us as Americans?  Much has been accomplished, but much more remains to be done. 

  • We need to get through this recession and start growing again. 
  • We need to reduce the budget deficit by addressing our unsustainable entitlement programs and inefficient government spending, both by making the tough decisions to cut costs and programs AND by recognizing the need to raise our taxes.  The problem is too big; we must do both.
  • We need to improve our education system so we can compete in the 21st century. 
  • We need an energy policy focused on reducing our dependence on foreign oil, encouraging investment in alternative fuel technologies and addressing global climate change. 
  • We need comprehensive immigration reform that secures our borders and fixes our broken immigration bureaucracy while putting the 12 million undocumented immigrants on a responsible path to citi­zenship. 
  • We need to be sure our next Supreme Court appointees will truly honor stare decisis and not legislate from the bench.
But these things will not happen if the Democrats lose their majorities in Congress. 

I’ve vowed to do everything I can to help get out the vote for Democratic candidates in the upcoming election.

My first step was resigning from the board of the League of Women Voters of Collier County, whose nonpartisan policy meant that I couldn’t take partisan positions or campaign for candidates.  I did that last week.

My second step is setting up this blog.  I hope people who want what I want for our country will read it, tell others about it, and take action. 

Since I live in Florida, I’m going to focus for now on Florida’s three-way race for the U.S. Senate. 

The candidates are:

  • Marco Rubio, a former Republican state representative (2000 – 2008) who is supported by the Tea Party;
  • Charlie Crist, a former-Republican Independent and sitting governor who is supported by the Florida teachers’ union and is gaining Democratic support; and
  • Kendrick Meek, a Democratic U.S. Congressman who represents part of the liberal east coast of Florida and who shares the teachers’ union’s endorsement with Crist.

With the polls currently favoring Rubio (42%) over Crist (30%) and Meek (21%), should Democrats vote for Meek or Crist? 

Meek can be counted on to support Obama’s agenda, but is not a great candidate and is behind in the polls. 

Crist portrays himself as a moderate, but says he would have voted against the health care bill, and has some bad history on a woman’s right to choose.

I’m not sure yet who I’m going to vote for.  I’d prefer a Democrat, but Crist would be better than Rubio, and I don’t want to waste my vote. 

If you feel that way, too, let’s agree to hold off on voting until the last minute.  While Meek’s chances look bad right now, anything can happen in politics and it’s too early to call. 

So read this blog as I write about what’s happening, and let’s decide together on November 1st.

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