** by Lilac Sunday; cross-posted at Lilac Sunday: Red Girl in a Blue State
As we stiffen our spines and empty our wallets in the final push toward taking back the United States Congress, I'd like to request that we all please pay attention to our state and local elections as well.
Depriving Obama, Pelosi, and Reid of their majorities will make us better off, but our state and local elected officials still have the capacity to make our lives miserable no matter who is in charge in D.C.
District Attorneys can make or break local crime-fighting efforts. An ideologue in the office can decide not to prosecute specific cases or types of cases, and can decline to pursue the death penalty even in states that allow the death penalty. And if your state elects judges, don't forget the peril of having an ideologue on the bench who feels entitled to interpret the law to provide whatever end result s/he wants.
The Controller (sometimes spelled Comptroller) is the state equivalent of a Chief Financial Officer. A Governor who sweeps into office promising top to bottom reform of state government but who doesn't have a good Controller at the helm will be significantly compromised in their ability to audit the state's books. (Meg Whitman call your office.)
State and local elected officials can raise our income and property taxes, annex private land, make our streets less safe, implement job-killing environmental policies, and engage in countless other acts of mischief.
All politics is local.
** by Lilac Sunday