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posted: 10/20/2012 5:00 AM

Time for an "against" vote

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As an engaged independent, I am the worst nightmare of Republicans and Democrats alike.

As a voter, I'm quite weary of casting my ballot against the greater of two evils. So I vowed back in 1984, "No more 'against' votes."

The 2008 presidential election was the first time in decades when I felt that I was voting for a candidate, instead of against their opponent. My current dilemma is that, in the 8th Congressional District race, I'm not sure whether I'm voting for Tammy Duckworth or against the incumbent Joe Walsh.

I find inspiring Ms. Duckworth's veterans affairs initiatives in both Springfield and Washington, D.C., but I'm wondering if voting against Mr. Walsh might constitute a personal relapse: it's not that Tammy Duckworth is necessarily that good, it's that Joe Walsh really is that bad.

In particular, his patronizing, borderline sexist comment following her address at the Democratic National Convention ("It has become abundantly clear that at this point the only debate Ms. Duckworth is actually interested in having is which outfit she'll be wearing for her big speech.") was the last straw.

Their recent debate didn't help me with my decision as much as I'd have preferred, but clearly Mr. Walsh must go.

I just wish we had the option of voting against candidates, specifically, rather than for their opponents. Even in presidential elections, while not allowed by the Electrical (sic) College, I think it would be an honest and accurate reflection of voter sentiment, as it is in those countries that have votes of no-confidence.

It is evident that Joe Walsh wants to keep his Congressional seat in the worst possible way ... and that, to me, is exactly how he's going about it. Absent "against" voting, I guess it's Tammy Time.

John Katsantonis


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