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No… I’m not going to tell you how to vote.. You will have to do that on your own.  I’m just going to make it easier for you to discover who you think will represent your best interests when 2017 opens up the beyond…  But I did do one thing:  I highlighted those who support Donald Trump for President, a choice I use as the first test of character, in red.  If you are in a hurry, that alone tells you all you need to know…

I.   Find Your Polling Place:  (most of you know this but it can’t hurt)….

II.  Look Up Who Will Be On Your Ballot:  (changes depending on your location).

III.  Use the list below to search for everything the internet has to offer on what Google knows about them… I mean:  everything… Just one click… on their name. Try it.

IV,  Check their finances courtesy of Delaware Agenda (look for menu on the left)

REP IN CONGRESS DEMOCRATIC  LISA BLUNT ROCHESTER
REP IN CONGRESS REPUBLICAN HANS REIGLE  
REP IN CONGRESS GREEN  MARK J PERRI
REP IN CONGRESS LIBERTARIN SCOTT A GESTY 
GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC  JOHN C CARNEY JR
GOVERNOR REPUBLICAN COLIN BONINI 
GOVERNOR GREEN ANDREW R GROFF 
GOVERNOR LIBERTARIN SEAN L GOWARD  
LT GOVERNOR DEMOCRATIC  BETHANY HALL LONG 
LT GOVERNOR REPUBLICAN LA MAR T GUNN  
INSURANCE COMM DEMOCRATIC TRINIDAD NAVARRO 
INSURANCE COMM REPUBLICAN JEFFREY E CRAGG 
STATE SEN DIS 1 DEMOCRATIC HARRIS B  MCDOWELL III 
STATE SEN DIS 1 REPUBLICAN JAMES SPADOLA 
STATE SEN DIS 5 DEMOCRATIC DENISE BOWERS 
STATE SEN DIS 5 REPUBLICAN CATHERINE CLOUTIER 
STATE SEN DIS 7 DEMOCRATIC  PATRICIA BLEVINS
STATE SEN DIS 7 REPUBLICAN ANTHONY  DELCOLLO
STATE SEN DIS 8 DEMOCRATIC DAVID P  SOKOLA
STATE SEN DIS 8 REPUBLICAN MEREDITH CHAPMAN 
STATE SEN DIS 8 GREEN DAVID B CHANDLER
STATE SEN DIS 9 DEMOCRATIC JOHN  WALSH
STATE SEN DIS 12 DEMOCRATIC NICOLE  POORE  
STATE SEN DIS 13 DEMOCRATIC DAVID B  MCBRIDE
STATE SEN DIS 14 DEMOCRATIC BRUCE C  ENNIS
STATE SEN DIS 14 REPUBLICAN CARL  PACE
STATE SEN DIS 15 REPUBLICAN DAVID G LAWSON 
STATE SEN DIS 19 REPUBLICAN BRIAN G PETTYJOHN
STATE SEN DIS 20 DEMOCRATIC PERRY J  MITCHELL
STATE SEN DIS 20 REPUBLICAN GERALD W  HOCKER
STATE REP DIS 1 DEMOCRATIC CHARLES POTTER JR 
STATE REP DIS 2 DEMOCRATIC STEPHANIE T BOLDEN
STATE REP DIS 3 DEMOCRATIC  HELENE M  KEELEY 
STATE REP DIS 4 DEMOCRATIC GERALD L  BRADY
STATE REP DIS 5 DEMOCRATIC MELANIE GEORGE SMITH
STATE REP DIS 6 DEMOCRATIC DEBRA  HEFFERNAN
STATE REP DIS 7 DEMOCRATIC BRYON  SHORT
STATE REP DIS 7 LIBERTARIN  C ROBERT  WILSON 
STATE REP DIS 8 DEMOCRATIC S QUINTON JOHNSON
STATE REP DIS 9 DEMOCRATIC MONIQUE JOHNS
STATE REP DIS 9 REPUBLICAN KEVIN S  HENSLEY
STATE REP DIS 10 DEMOCRATIC SEAN MATTHEWS
STATE REP DIS 10 REPUBLICAN JUDITH M  TRAVIS
STATE REP DIS 11 DEMOCRATIC DAVID L NEILSON
STATE REP DIS 11 REPUBLICAN  JEFFREY N  SPIEGELMAN
STATE REP DIS 12 REPUBLICAN DEBORAH D  HUDSON
STATE REP DIS 13 DEMOCRATIC  JOHN L  MITCHELL JR
STATE REP DIS 14 DEMOCRATIC PETER C SCHWARTZKOPF
STATE REP DIS 14 REPUBLICAN JAMES LOUIS  DEMARTINO
STATE REP DIS 15 DEMOCRATIC VALERIE LONGHURST
STATE REP DIS 16 DEMOCRATIC JAMES  JOHNSON
STATE REP DIS 17 DEMOCRATIC MICHAEL MULROONEY
STATE REP DIS 18 DEMOCRATIC DAVID  BENTZ
STATE REP DIS 19 DEMOCRATIC KIMBERLY WILLIAMS
STATE REP DIS 19 REPUBLICAN  JAMES R STARTZMAN JR
STATE REP DIS 20 DEMOCRATIC BARBARA W  VAUGHAN
STATE REP DIS 20 REPUBLICAN STEPHEN T  SMYK
STATE REP DIS 20 IND OF DEL DONALD R  AYOTTE
STATE REP DIS 21 REPUBLICAN MICHAEL RAMONE
STATE REP DIS 21 GREEN  DAVID  MCCORQUODALE
STATE REP DIS 22 DEMOCRATIC LANETTE R  EDWARDS
STATE REP DIS 22 REPUBLICAN JOSEPH E MIRO
STATE REP DIS 22 GREEN BERNARD  AUGUST
STATE REP DIS 23 DEMOCRATIC PAUL S  BAUMBACH
STATE REP DIS 24 DEMOCRATIC EDWARD  OSIENSKI
STATE REP DIS 24 REPUBLICAN TIMOTHY S  CONRAD
STATE REP DIS 25 DEMOCRATIC JOHN A KOWALKO JR
STATE REP DIS 25 REPUBLICAN MICHAEL NAGORSKI
STATE REP DIS 26 DEMOCRATIC JOHN VIOLA
STATE REP DIS 27 DEMOCRATIC EARL G  JAQUES JR
STATE REP DIS 28 DEMOCRATIC WILLIAM CARSON
STATE REP DIS 29 DEMOCRATIC W CHARLES  PARADEE III
STATE REP DIS 29 REPUBLICAN JANICE GALLAGHER
STATE REP DIS 29 GREEN RUTH A  JAMES
STATE REP DIS 30 DEMOCRATIC CHARLES GROCE
STATE REP DIS 30 REPUBLICAN WILLIAM R  OUTTEN
STATE REP DIS 31 DEMOCRATIC SEAN M  LYNN
STATE REP DIS 31 REPUBLICAN  M JEAN DOWDING
STATE REP DIS 32 DEMOCRATIC ANDRIA L BENNETT
STATE REP DIS 32 REPUBLICAN PATRICIA MCDANIEL  FOLTZ
STATE REP DIS 33 DEMOCRATIC KAREN D  WILLIAMS
STATE REP DIS 33 REPUBLICAN CHARLES S  POSTLES JR
STATE REP DIS 34 DEMOCRATIC DAVID  HENDERSON
STATE REP DIS REPUBLICAN LYNDON D  YEARICK
STATE REP DIS 35 DEMOCRATIC GARY M WOLFE
STATE REP DIS 35 REPUBLICAN DAVID L  WILSON
STATE REP DIS 36 REPUBLICAN HARVEY R  KENTON JR
STATE REP DIS 37 DEMOCRATIC PAULETTE A  RAPPA
STATE REP DIS 37 REPUBLICAN RUTH BRIGGS  KING
STATE REP DIS 38 REPUBLICAN RONALD E  GRAY
STATE REP DIS 39 REPUBLICAN DANIEL B SHORT
STATE REP DIS 39 LIBERTARIN JAMES  BRITTINGHAM
STATE REP DIS 40 REPUBLICAN TIMOTHY DALE DUKES
STATE REP DIS 41 DEMOCRATIC S BRADLEY  CONNOR
STATE REP DIS 41 REPUBLICAN RICHARD G COLLINS
CLERK OF PEACE DEMOCRATIC KENNETH W BOULDEN JR
COUNTY EXECUTIVE DEMOCRATIC MATTHEW  MEYER
COUNTY EXECUTIVE REPUBLICAN MARK  BLAKE
PRES COUNTY CNCL DEMOCRATIC KAREN HARTLEY NAGLE
CNTY CNCL DIS 7 DEMOCRATIC GEORGE SMILEY
CNTY CNCL DIS 8 DEMOCRATIC JOHN  CARTIER
CNTY CNCL DIS 9 DEMOCRATIC TIMOTHY P  SHELDON
CNTY CNCL DIS 10 DEMOCRATIC JEA P  STREET
CNTY CNCL DIS 10 GREEN ALEXANDER DURNAN
CNTY CNCL DIS 11 DEMOCRATIC DAVID L TACKETT
CNTY CNCL DIS 12 DEMOCRATIC WILLIAM  BELL
MAYOR DEMOCRATIC MICHAEL S  PURZYCKI
MAYOR REPUBLICAN ROBERT F MARTIN
MAYOR IND OF DEL STEVEN WASHINGTON
CITY TREASURER DEMOCRATIC VELDA JONES POTTER
PRES CITY CNCL DEMOCRATIC HANIFA SHABAZZ
CITY CNCL DIS 1 DEMOCRATIC NNAMDI O CHUKWUOCHA
CITY CNCL DIS 2 DEMOCRATIC ERNEST  CONGO II
CITY CNCL DIS 2 REPUBLICAN SCOTT  SPENCER
CITY CNCL DIS 3 DEMOCRATIC ZANTHIA  OLIVER
CITY CNCL DIS 4 DEMOCRATIC MICHELLE  HARLEE
CITY CNCL DIS 5 DEMOCRATIC VASHUN TURNER
CITY CNCL DIS 5 LIBERTARIN NADINE M  FROST
CITY CNCL DIS 6 DEMOCRATIC YOLANDA  MCCOY
CITY CNCL DIS 7 DEMOCRATIC ROBERT A WILLIAMS
CITY CNCL DIS 8 DEMOCRATIC CHARLES M  FREEL
CITY CNCL AT LRG DEMOCRATIC RYSHEEMA  DIXON
CITY CNCL AT LRG DEMOCRATIC SAMUEL L  GUY
CITY CNCL AT LRG DEMOCRATIC LORETTA  WALSH
CITY CNCL AT LRG REPUBLICAN CIRO ADAMS
CITY CNCL AT LRG REPUBLICAN BENJAMIN  COHEN
CITY CNCL AT LRG REPUBLICAN ROBERT KEESLER
CITY CNCL AT LRG IND OF DEL K EMMANUEL MAGRUDER
CLK PEACE DEMOCRATIC BRENDA A WOOTTEN
CLK PEACE REPUBLICAN DJ  SILICATO
REG WILLS DEMOCRATIC HAROLD K BRODE
REG WILLS REPUBLICAN MICHAEL A ROUTH
1ST LC DIST DEMOCRATIC P BROOKS BANTA
1ST LC DIST REPUBLICAN CHARLOTTE MIDDLETON
3RD LC DIST DEMOCRATIC ALLAN  ANGEL
5TH LC DIST DEMOCRATIC GEORGE SWEENEY 
5TH LC DIST REPUBLICAN JOHN C SIGLER
CLERK OF PEACE DEMOCRATIC CHARLES  KOSKEY
CLERK OF PEACE REPUBLICAN NORMAN A  JONES JR
CNTY CNCL DIS 1 REPUBLICAN MICHAEL H VINCENT
CNTY CNCL DIS 2 REPUBLICAN SAMUEL R WILSON JR
CNTY CNCL DIS 3 DEMOCRATIC LESLIE W  LEDOGAR
CNTY CNCL DIS 3 REPUBLICAN IRWIN G BURTON III

It comes with a caveat.  To succeed he must return to his liberal roots. The ones he ran on in 2008 and before.  I often hear newcomers praise Matt Denn and in the same breath curse Jack Markell. They probably do not know that at one time they were like butt-buddies in philosophy and direction. Both early supporters of Blue Water Wind over the evil Delmarva Power. (only 8 years ago). Both were against the Death Penalty.  Both were for extending rights to Gays. Both were for helping the little guy. Both were against Charters. And both were against man made Global warming, and those corporate extremists who made it happen.  Both were pro-business but it had to be ethical business. neither supported being for business so it could continue its unethical business practices…. Both were pro-FOIA, opening government to the scrutiny of its citizenry. Both were against Thurm Adams and his desk drawer veto.

it’s funny when newcomers try to take the current Markell back through his role as Treasurer as proof of his evil ways. For he wasn’t evil back then at all.  He was a champion for reform, so much so that he challenged and won the governorship over the Democratic Party’s pre-chosen candidate, John Carney, who was seen as less the progressive.

It’s funny what a few years can do.

But Markell’s track record puts him in very good position to be a leading progressive candidate if he were to try. What better argument against Conservative counter punches could be made than this?

When I was governor and ran a state, I tried exactly what you propose…and it didn’t work.. What would have worked better would have been this:  and then list progressive policy….

Still skeptical?  Try these then make up your own…..

“When I was governor I tried cutting back on state spending by attempting to cut to my state employees salaries by 8% and my legislature held it to a 2% decrease.  One would think that such a streamlining of expense would decrease taxation and cause businesses to move in and create growth. Instead, as the state’s largest employer those cuts had a 1.6% multiplier aggravating the economic damage.  Fewer revenues then expected were generated the next year because it hurt those who lived on those earning government salaries as well. With hindsight, the proper approach would have been to keep them the salaries continuous, and to apply a tax on the top echelon who survived the depression rather well, and  use that new revenue as the funding for the existing government…. As the economy improved, taxes could be lightened…  That would have worked faster than the conservative approach I took.”

When I was governor I pushed Common Core hard.  I led the nation in its implementation, though held off on being the first to use the test. I still believe some things in Common Core are good for society but with hindsight, I would divorce Common Core tests from being used as the sole ranking of teachers and schools. We found that no matter how hard we pushed accelerated learning, that having one standard set high for all, was defeating.  A lower standard set for all works better because there is some realistic chance for all to achieve it.  Those on the bottom CAN become proficient with lots of hard work. We found that even our best teachers in our worst schools still gave us the worst scores in our state. We found that mediocre teachers in our best classes still had the best scores.  In essence we found no correlation between test scores and quality of teaching.  All test scores do we found, is measure the quality of prenatal and infant care. With hindsight, I would say that to do well for our students, all of our students, we need to focus mostly on increasing the human element of education, and particularly in schools of high risk, where the poverty level is over 50% of the student body, we must guarantee an 11:1 student/teacher ratio, insist that it happens and willingly pay for its expense.

When I was governor I tried wooing companies into my state with bribes.  I offered no taxes. state loans. even support fees tacked to citizens electricity bills.  This was done primarily to develop jobs which were much needed in my state. With hindsight I would have focused more on making sure economic demand remained high instead of trying to get new business to come in.  If the demand had stayed at pre-depression levels, jobs would have stayed and remained  Instead we gambles on a few temporary jobs involving construction and then when they evaporated we were left continuing to pay the costs, which even today drag down the economy.

When I was governor, we had a automobile plant close up and a possible buyer for it needing some money up front to purchase it.  We helped them but they went bankrupt.  We lost our loans which we thought were guaranteed to be refunded from sale of its assets.  Turns out corporate raiders were ahead of us in line.  That points out a discrepancy in law needing adjusted.  There is no way private investors putting up money at risk, fully knowing the risk, get first dibs of return over a government who puts up the people’s money to benefit its people.  That was just plain wrong and an inexperienced candidate will fall into the same trap as did I. I know ahead of time it does not work.

When I was governor I tried to put in a toxic power plane in the middle of our college town.  i thought that any reason to create jobs was reason enough.  We tried very hard to engineer the town council and the electorate in order to get proper votes and we succeeded there. However the university walked away from the deal and the deal died.  With hindsight, I would not put in a dirty power plant just for jobs.  Oil, gas, and coal are done. There are always other options and anything that destroys the atmosphere and our climate, though helpful in the short run, cost far more in the long run than other cleaner alternatives.  In truth we misjudged the sophistication of our electorate and their ability to counter our claims with scientific fact, which turned the population against us.  The answer I can tell you to America’s future energy is in pursuing the clean energy options and by increasing their efficiency, we lower the cost per kilowatt. Any other way just does not work.

When I was governor I tried getting rid of our Port which is run by the state, by selling it to a private company Kinder Morgan. i thought we had negotiated a very good deal guaranteeing wages at current level for 3 years, and keeping everyone employed the same length of time.  However, anytime one privatizes something that is state owned, it is an economic loss to the surrounding area.  Private companies hire less than state because they run more efficiently. However, that also means less income and less tax pours into the city.  With hindsight, I have learned that privatization is good if the public receives a benefit from better efficiency.  But that it is bad, if the service being privatized is something that belongs to all, or requires constant upkeep and maintenance, in which case state ownership is better than private.  When our state legislature passed legislation making them the final arbiter of decision, my client pulled out of the deal and the port is doing fine still under state control.  I’m here to tell you that privatization of public works only benefits those who buy the operation at a low cost…. There is a reason they were originally state run and that is they are there to serve you first.

When I was governor i tried to weaken our environmental policy in order to bring in jobs.  Some companies were used to not having to comply to environmental regulations and they were the only ones who seemed interested in our properties. So we catered to them.   We were able to hide most environmental problems and get approval by most local governments.  But with hindsight, I would argue now for the other extreme. Protect the environment at all costs.  We can always pass on jobs. They are temporal; they rise and fall. But damage to the environment is almost generational, lasting as long as humans are alive. There are always new jobs being created; every day something new is created. But environmental damage is very harmful and lasts a long, long time, It continues doing its damage long after whatever company that caused it has folded and those jobs are now three states away….   I have learned by being governor that the most important thing we have is our environment and that never should we let temporary jobs blind us to the loss of many future jobs because of our polluted lifestyle..

===

As a Presidential candidate these arguments would be hard to bust with theoreticals.  Nothing works as well as saying I tried that, it doesn’t work.  it would also focus the argument on policy instead of personal traits, something our media is scared to do.

The combination of a sharp younger looking candidate saying the right things people are dying to hear, would do well for our current governor if he ran as a liberal in 2016… And if he rigged the Delaware primary to be on January 2nd, ahead of all others, he would be the leader for a while with three delegates.

I know many are skeptical. But seeing Markell in action readily shows he can be presidential material. but only if he runs now, and only if he uses his mistakes to burst the bubbles always painted for Democrats by their Republican opponents.  He plays a room well.  He only gets in trouble by those outside the room who don’t appreciate what he is doing.  If he just return to his own roots, and ditch the pro-business persona he has taken on, he could go far, possibly being offered the Vice Presidency on a winning ticket if he just would be more liberal.

The very reasons his detractors are calling for his head, would make him a great leader if he was only on the right side of the issues for a change…..

Winning by 211 votes Dave Bentz beats off his challenger….

But the big news, is that 1505 people  of that district actually made an effort to go to the polls on a freaking Saturday and vote for who would be their first line of defense in our State Legislature.  72 even went to more trouble and voted absentee. Since there are very close to 15,000 registered voters living within the confines of the 18th, turnout was at 10%…..  on a Saturday…. in September…. when no one else was running on any ticket anywhere….

In the last off election year(2014), the top ticket got 4280 votes (Coons-Wade-Groff); In the last presidential year (2012), 9293 votes in the 18th were cast for the top ticket….

A better comparison would be to the last local special election… which would be for president of County Council in 2011 between Sheldon/Kovach/ and two splitters.  In that election, the 18th mustered a more average number of 740 votes. For this election twice as many people came out, and as should be expected in local elections, the local neighborhoods of each candidate were the ones with the largest numbers voting.

I think it is safe to say that the real number of actual voters is closer to 9293 than to the 15,000 allegedly on the books… and we politicos should start using this number to report turnout among ourselves and hope others catch on and follow this good trend. If we accept this from just a practical standpoint then the turnout in this election in real terms was higher at 16.9%…. For a special election that is rather high.

Some people still decry the low voter turnout.. I know I used to…  I thought it said bad things about America.

But after studying the effects of school board elections which have even lower turnouts, I have come to the conclusion that the reason most people don’t vote in special elections is because they do not know anything about them.  if they vote they are voting for a sign, or worse, a party. In local elections, party is less an issue.  They are more afraid of voting in someone bad by just walking in, eeney, meeney, miney mo-ing, and would rather leave that decision to someone else..

Therefore Democracy is best served where only those who are knowledgeable about their government, are the only ones who vote…  In this case the 17 percenters…

Because even if you got more people to the polls on a freakin’ Saturday in September,  if they don’t know who to vote for, what good are they?  Most of our bad elected officials get elected by people who have no idea what they are doing…. and the last thing we need, the very last thing we need, are more people like Evans on the Christina School Board… who have no clue what they are doing…

And with special elections, getting people to know you beforehand, is very difficult.  You can walk through neighborhoods, hand out pamphlets, but that says nothing…  A dogcatcher walks through neighborhoods and hands out pamphlets too… “Spay your pet”…

Of course… it would be better if everyone were as knowledgeable about politics as us… Our circle would widen and we’d have a wider audience to talk to. But alas, if everyone was on top of politics as us… who then would play baseball?

So bottom line out of all this is….

Dave Bentz Beats Off Challenger….

It is an amazing thing to watch… the dismantling of the Confederate Flag.  These 9 murders have had an effect far reaching than any event I can remember since 9/11.

It is as if we always knew they all had to go… by we I am including  vast, vast majorities, almost everybody; but because one shrill element was loud, obnoxious, and obstinate, no one really wanted to take them on…   Reminds one of dealing with a bully at school…. One could probably take him out with several properly placed punches, but in that process you’d get hit hard, suffer damage yourself, and so the status quo of accepting an undesirable outcome, was better than striving for a more perfect world.   Everyone knows that the bully is wrong, but no one wants to invest in the personal cost it would take to permanently fix the problem, despite all secretly wishing someone else would….

That is racism in America.  The big problem which if we try to address it by tackling it on the edges, we get besieged, almost attacked, by a vocal shrill anti-social element representing the excrement of society: those of us who simply hate for hate’s sake.

Yet, they are easily outnumbered.  But since they yell and punch and we stay silent because we don’t want to bog ourselves down, they win.

But with one killing spree. the bigots lost it all.  With one killing spree, everyone is no longer afraid to throw the bigots in social jail, and lock the key.  With one killing spree, the bigots are being finally beaten down like the bullies they are.. by superior force…

I am reminded of a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr i once read… which said that the true legacy that Martin Luther King Jr. left us, was to no longer be afraid to stand up for justice…  After Selma, the next day freedom fighters were singing a capella gospel in the jails… After Selma, the next day the wounds of the batons, dog bites, and fire hoses… hurt half as bad as the day before, and tomorrow would be half as bad as today….  Everyone looked around at each other and said… “Gee, that wasn’t too bad; we can do that again, and again, and if we do, we can win this”… and they did…  Once you beat fear, anything is possible.

I think that is what is happening today… In sort of an impetuous response to the impetuous act committed in a church basement in Charleston… the flags are coming down… The omen of slavery is being removed from the state capitols and governor’s offices across the entire South. Confederacy has lost its legitimacy. And that fight which we were all afraid of… which we all lowered our eyes and looked the other way to avoid, which we all thought was better to leave those old flags up there, than take them down, get beaten up, lose the public opinion battle, and have to reinstate them,…. really wasn’t that bad after all….

All of what we feared was a paper tiger… nothing more… nothing less…

Now that we’ve done this… we must not stop on the first step. Now let us take back our nation not just in race or sexual identiy… but in economics as well…

If everyone who commented on social media, who ostracized racists making them extremely fearful of speaking out for once, if everyone who gave their opinion actually voted every election, this nation would get back on track immediately… Instead of everyone racing out to vote, we got apathy in 2014, setting our nation backwards from where it could be by at least, the minimum of two years; because of the overall apathy, we have a minority with which no one agrees, controlling Congress, running this nation into the ground simply because more of them went out to vote….

We won this battle over flags… It wasn’t free… 9 people died… but we won… The world is wide open to us… If we vote on election day, like we respond on social media… what now seems impossible…. America running on 100% renewable energy… Global cooling instead of warming…. decent minimum wages… more spending money… lifetime health, .. is in our grasp…

We just have to vote like we respond on Social media whenever we see evil rise up and knock down good…. We can do this America… and it isn’t hard at all… Get active… Join something.  We have enough votes to allow America to improve, if we all go out and vote…  And as we saw with flags coming down… exercising our power really wasn’t that hard…

Our ultimate power, is our vote…  Vote like your own money depends on it… It actually does.