Saturday, November 3, 2012

Doody the Goat Endorses

As the leader of the noble goat herd of Harrison Farm, Doody the Goat is viewed by his fellow goats as the wise elder.  Thus, it is time for Doody to issue his official political endorsements.  While I have had the opportunity to meet many political candidates, Doody limits his endorsements to those that he knows well -- or to those situations in which a goatherd would have a unique perspective.

For the state legislature, Doody the Goat is pleased to endorse Michael Stinziano(D) and Anne Gonzales(R).  While Representative Stinziano hails from a largely urban Columbus district, he has made a concerted effort to reach out to the farm community to better understand the connections between farmers & consumers.  Representative Stinziano has attended Farm Bureau events, supported Extension activities, and even went for a ride in a combine when he toured Weber Farms with our favorite Hay Farmer!  Likewise, Representative Gonzales has worked to educate herself on farm issues.  Her district is centered around Westerville, where she served on city council prior to winning election to the state legislature.  Representative Gonzales impressed me during her campaign for the legislature with her interest in the farm community, and we spent a fun day together at the Franklin County Fair discussing agriculture issues.  From my personal interactions with these two leaders, I am delighted to encourage their re-election!

For United States Congress, Doody the Goat is pleased to endorse Steve Stivers(R).  Congressman Stivers has served his country in the military, in the state legislature, and now in the U.S. House of Representatives.  I first met him through Farm Bureau events, and have found him to be an intelligent, dedicated, citizen-legislator.  Congressman Stivers & his staffers have worked hard to learn about agricultural issues and to form bonds with rural constituents.  Congressman Stivers is a quality person and dedicated family man.  I can attest that he truly cares about his constituents as people -- not just as potential voters.  It impresses me that Congressman Stivers remembers faces & names, and is glad to visit farms to learn the full impact of policy issues on agriculture.  For those voters in the new district that Steve Stivers is running to represent, I would strongly encourage supporting his re-election!

Doody the Goat is against Issue 2.  In Ohio, Issue 2 is a ballot proposal that would create a board charged with re-districting for representation. Issue 2 would take this power away from the state legislature, which has traditionally overseen re-districting.  While it is true that the current scenario allows the political party in power to draw lines that benefit their party, this party has been selected by voters of the state and thus charged with such a responsibility.  I do not believe that the proposal offered by Issue 2 meets the burden of responsible government that would justify altering the current method.  Thus, I encourage you to vote NO on Issue 2.

Several worthy candidates are running for the Ohio Supreme Court.  Doody the Goat would like to highlight the contributions of Justice Robert Cupp.  Raised on a farm, Justice Cupp is a thoughtful jurist and has been an excellent member of the Supreme Court.  When Justice Cupp visited with the Ohio Farm Bureau board, I was very impressed with his dedication to the court and his engaging discussion of the role of the court.  Ohio Farm Bureau has endorsed Justice Robert Cupp, and likewise Doody the Goat is pleased to endorse him.  When you vote for the Ohio Supreme Court, think Cupp -- like coffee cup!

For president, Doody the Goat endorses Governor Mitt Romney.  As I consider the last four years, I realize that in 2008 I had a full-time job, I had health insurance, and I was in a much more confident financial position.  When President Obama was elected, he took office with a great deal of goodwill.  It was a fortuitous moment when he could have capitalized on this bipartisan support to aid our economy.  I firmly believe that the emphasis placed on passing Obamacare instead did the country no good.  While the health insurance industry was ripe for thoughtful reform, the result only served to polarize our country.  Likewise, I have been very disappointed with the foreign policy positions of the Obama administration.  I have the pleasure of working with many individuals from different countries, and as I consider their perspectives on the world, I am further dismayed by current American policy.  As a farmer, I have been frustrated by the proposals issued by the Obama administration to increase numerous regulations on agriculture and small business.  An example of this was the misguided youth labor rules that were issued -- which would have effectively made the Harrison Farm student assistant program illegal.  I am very proud of the work I have done with 4-H members & FFA students, thus it was an affront to these efforts that the Obama administration suggested banning such opportunities.  While I commend President Obama for his efforts and his personal achievements, I will be supporting Governor Mitt Romney.  I am impressed by his energy plan -- especially after my opportunity to visit Germany last year and witness their energy struggles.  I like that Governor Romney is a businessman and can offer that perspective as chief executive.  I am optimistic that the experiences of running the Olympics and the state of Massachusetts will serve as good training for the President of the United States.  Thus, I am pleased to encourage my fellow Americans to vote for Governor Romney.

Finally, Doody the Goat is against Proposition 37 in California.  This is a state initiative that would require GMO products to be labelled.  Doody & I support niche markets in agriculture, and thus believe that it is far better for products that are NOT made with GMOs to have the opportunity to label them as such to show their distinctiveness.  This allows farmers and processors to uniquely position their products.  If, however, the converse is true -- where GMO products must be labelled -- this creates a new level of regulation and government oversight.  Having worked with an immense amount of regulation in the meat processing industry, I can affirm that far too often regulations take away the emphasis on a quality product and place the emphasis on paperwork.  Due to a support for farmers to be able to showcase unique products and a belief that increased regulations are disruptive to small farms & local food production, I urge you to oppose Proposition 37.

Most important of all, Doody the Goat encourages you to vote!  We are so blessed to live in this great country where we have the opportunity to choose the direction of our government!  Whether you agree or disagree with Doody & me, please embrace our belief that voting is truly a great thing!