I know you're all just DYING to know how I'm voting for 2012, so here it is!
If you're in Utah, all the voter information packets are online, as well as in polling places and supermarkets shortly: http://vote.utah.gov/on-my-ballot/candidates/
Here's how much of my ticket is going to look. Some of this may not apply unless you, too, are in RIV002 in Utah :)
President/VP: Obama/Biden. Far too much talk about why I think they are the right choice for the next four years elsewhere. Even though the gigantic 2009 budget deficits were a gift from the Bush Jr. era, Obama has fought to prevent it from getting any larger. Gets my vote.
Senate: Scott Howell. I don't think he has a prayer of beating Hatch -- only Liljenquist did -- but I'll try anyway. Definitely a vote AGAINST the incumbent who's been there since I was three years old!
House: Just decided this today. Mia Love. Matheson hasn't done anything specific to endear him to me, and Love at least has the balls to own her history and statements. And she's part of the "fiscal discipline" camp. That said, I worry about her education platform; public education is the engine that powers our ongoing innovation, and I've spoken elsewhere about how much more important ongoing technological and biological innovation is to improve the human condition than just about anything else. Also, I'd be lying if I didn't admit the fact she is a female sways my vote a little bit, too. We need more female representatives because it's clear our male reps can't stomach doing what needs to be done to balance the budget.
Governor: Probably Herbert. I don't like him much as a politician, but he's part of the coalition that led to fiscal discipline at the state level sufficient to balance our budget and pay down some debt for 2012. That is enough to get my vote. Keep up the budget-balancing while funding expansions of public transportation and education, and you'll keep the office. Too bad the Federal Republicans don't have the kind of gumption we're mustering at the State level.
State-level races: All the incumbents get the nod, regardless of party. Keep up the good work keeping the budget balanced while driving some important projects to improve our infrastructure.
Salt Lake County: Ben McAdams. More experience working at the state level, and once again I approve of what our state legislators are doing. His opponent, Mark Crockett, needs some more time working in a public office before I trust him to be mayor of my county. Run for dog-catcher or something.
County Council: Joseph Demma. Good plans for the budget -- SLCO is not doing so well -- and seems like a sound planner with foresight. His opponent, Jim Bradley, has not yet bothered to file a history and statement with the election commission. I don't want people who procrastinate planning until the last minute in charge of my zoning laws, thanks.
School Board 11: Sergio Vasquez. We need more scientists on the school board, and a published academic scientist with solid credentials and a grounding in biological science fills the bill nicely. Hopefully he'll help the board remember that evolution is science, while creationism is mythology or perhaps comparative religion.
Amendment A: Severance tax trust fund. Opposed. Let the Legislature decide what to do with the severance taxes from energy development; don't hamstring them by requiring a supermajority and governor approval to do anything with the money. Plus, I'm generally opposed to Constitutional Amendments on principle unless they are really, truly necessary, and this strikes me as totally unnecessary.
Amendment B: Exempt from property taxes all active duty military with primary residences in Utah if they are deployed more than 200 days in a year. I'm pro-military, but if soldiers own property they should be taxed just like anybody else. This would hit the local budgets of cities with a large number of active-duty personnel the hardest, resulting in reductions in policing, road repairs, and other civic expectations. In other words, this is a "go to war, and come back to find your home town a war zone" amendment. No, thanks.