Getting Real on Campus

We asked tough questions to see who’s informed and get their opinions on the upcoming election.

Brandi Butler

Teal Christensen: Are you planning on voting this year?
Brandi Butler: Yes.
TC: Why do you think it’s important to vote?
BB: Because that is your view on the world, and you’re picking your world leader…you want to know who is representing the world and you as people.
TC: Do you consider yourself affiliated with a specific political party?
BB: Democrat.
TC: How would you describe the difference between Republican and Democrat?
BB: I think Democrats are more for people that have more money, and Republicans…I’m not sure. I just know my parents are Democrat, and I go for Democrat. But Republicans are supposed to be more…isn’t it more for the people that don’t have money?
TC: How would you say the candidate you’re voting for represents your personal views?
BB: Obama? I think he represents family and…he’s done good so far in office…that’s about it.

Ron Bates

Aaron Litwak: Do you consider yourself affiliated with any political party?
Ron Bates: No.
AL: Have you done any political activities like phone banking or social activities?
RB: No, not really.
AL: What’s your opinion of Obama and Romney?
RB: I just figure that we might as well let someone else take a crack at it because it didn’t seem to be going so well.
AL: How about the governor’s race? Rob McKenna or Jay Inslee?
RB: I haven’t really been following that so much.
AL: Senator Maria Cantwell or Michael Baumgartner?
RB: No.
AL: Initiatives – How do you feel about Initiative 502 for legalizing marijuana?
RB: I think things have been going pretty good the way we have it, and it’s probably better to leave things alone.
AL: Same-sex marriage?
RB: I believe that everybody should have a right to do what they want to do, and probably should go ahead and let everyone have a crack at that.
AL: How about Initiative 1185 – two thirds majority to raise taxes?
RB: I think it really depends on what we’re going to be doing with the taxes. We can keep turning ‘em up, and turning ‘em up, but we kind of need to know where they’re going. I think we need to be a little more in touch with that.
AL: It’s a Tim Eyman initiative. How do you feel about Tim Eyman?
RB: I don’t have a lot of information about that.

Samantha Wilson

Aaron Litwak: Do you consider yourself affiliated with any particular political party?
Samantha Wilson: If I had to choose one or the other, I’d say Democrat, but not specifically either one.
AL: Have you done any political activities like phone banking or other social activities?
SW: Nope.
AL: What’s your opinion of Obama and Romney?
SW: I don’t pay attention to it that much, but Obama is the only one that’s helped me in any way. Through his health care, I get to have health care through my parents now, through his Obamacare. I haven’t paid that much attention to the campaign this year, Mitt Romney at all.
AL: No opinion on Mitt Romney?
SW: Not my favorite person, just based off what I hear, but I haven’t done my own research, so I don’t know extensive details about his plan or anything. Just that Obama’s helping me now with health care. It’s important.
AL: How about for Governor? Jay Inslee or Rob McKenna?
SW: I’ve paid even less attention to that, but what I’ve heard, I prefer Jay Inslee over Rob McKenna, although the things that Rob McKenna seems to want to do for education is important, so it’s kind of a toss-up between those two. I keep going back and forth. I don’t know yet.
AL: How about for senator?
SW: Have not paid any attention to that. I don’t even know who’s running for that.
AL: Maria Cantwell (D) and Michael Baumgartner (R)
SW: Hmm. The only name I’ve ever really heard is Maria Cantwell. She must already be in office then, because that’s the only one I recognize. I don’t know anything about that. I haven’t paid any attention to that.
AL: How about Initiatives: first up, Initiative 1185, which requires two thirds legislative approval or a vote by the people in order to raise taxes.
SW: No one wants to pay more taxes, but I guess it depends on what they’re putting the money to. If it’s to school, then okay, but if it’s to other stuff that maybe I don’t get to benefit from, then not so good. I don’t know other than that.
AL: Have you heard of Tim Eyman?
SW: No.
AL: How about Initiative 1240, to allow 40 public charter schools in the state over five years?
SW: I haven’t even heard anything about that, so I wouldn’t have an opinion on that, really. I’d have to look more into that before I decided anything.
AL: How about Referendum 74 to legalize same-sex marriage?
SW: I’m all for it, 100 percent, no question. Who am I to say who can marry each other?
AL: How about Initiative 502 to legalize marijuana in small amounts?
SW: No thank you. I don’t want that to happen.
AL: How do you feel about Denny Heck and Dick Muri for state representative?
SW: I haven’t heard too many good things about Dick Muri, but I haven’t heard a lot about the other candidate either, so that’s another one. I’m not very political. I try to stay away from it. It’s depressing. Everyone lies.

Patrick Riley

Teal Christensen: Are you voting in the upcoming election?
Patrick Riley: Yes I am.
TC: Why do you think it’s important to vote?
PR: It’s always important to vote. It’s a Constitutional right.
TC: Do you consider yourself associated with a particular political party?
PR: No, I don’t.
TC: Why?
PR: Because there’re too many issues to look at and to take into consideration.
TC: How do you describe the difference between Republicans and Democrats?
PR: In simple terms, one wants money and one wants what’s best for people.
TC: How would you describe the differences between the economic plans of the two candidates?
PR: I haven’t finished studying the differences between the two yet.
TC: How would you describe the job of Secretary of State?
PR: The job of the Secretary of State is to look after what’s best for the overall state of the economic and…not necessarily economic, but those of the people when the…for instance, the president or the Governor cannot do those things.

Megan Walsh

Teal Christensen: Are you planning on voting in the upcoming elections?
Megan Walsh: I am. Yes.
TC: Why do you think it’s important to vote?
MW: It’s what our democracy is about. And if I don’t vote, I’m not doing anything to exact political change…voting is the best thing I can do to make sure my voice is heard.
TC: Do you associate yourself with any particular political party?
MW: I do associate with the Democratic political party…I’m not part of that party, but I do vote for them frequently.
TC: How well do you think your candidate represents your personal views?
MW: I am actually really astonished at the amount that Barack Obama represents my personal views, and for the first time in a long time that I’ve actually seen a candidate who accurately represents my personal preference for lots of things, things being domestic issues, foreign policy, social issues, women’s rights, gay rights.
TC: How would you describe the difference between Republican and Democrat?
MW: Traditionally, Democrats have been about federal control over the states, and a lot about taxation in order to develop federal programs that moderate social change, whereas Republicans have been a lot more about keeping federalism out of personal policy and domestic policy and having a less controlling perspective…recently, the GOP has been more interested in controlling people’s lives under the guise of removing federalism from…shrinking government. Case in point: they’ve been trying to enact laws that control peoples’ ability to get married or the ability to have abortions, or control people’s abilities to make choices about their own lives. And, in some ways, the Democrats have been more sort of changing their perspectives and everything else sort of going upside down, so right now I think there’s not really a way to say what Democrats and Republicans really stand for in a way that really matches what they traditionally have stood for.
TC: How would you explain the differences between the economic plans of Obama and Romney?
MW: Barack Obama has a specific plan that he has been doing for the past four years, which entails lowering the tax rates of middle class Americans and raising the tax rates of individuals whose incomes exceed $250,000. He would also be eliminating certain loopholes in Medicare, like he has been doing with the “Obamacare.” Mitt Romney…depending on when you listen to him, he says he will or won’t lower the tax rates of wealthy Americans, and he does not offer any math…him and Paul Ryan both exhibit very evasive maneuvers by exhibiting platitudes…a five-word slogan that really sticks in people’s heads. So, really, the biggest difference is that Barack Obama has a plan, and Mitt Romney has a slogan.
TC: How would you explain the differences between the social policies between the two candidates?
MW: I think that Barack Obama has a really strong belief in equality. He is supportive of the lesbian, gay, transsexual and bisexual movement, and their plight to be equal to heteronormative…or to ruin heteronormativity and become equal to heterosexual individuals in their ability to get married and have the same tax rights and visitation rights, and lots of other benefits that you wouldn’t really think about until your loved one is dying and you can’t visit them in the hospital, or until your friends who are next door are getting $3,000 tax credits because they’re married and you’re not because you’re in a civil union. And he also believes in the rights of women to have health care accessible to them because, regardless of whether you believe abortion is right or not, it’s going to happen, and if it’s not legal, women will die. And that’s what will happen. And I think that Barack Obama has strong beliefs in the equality of our nations’ people, regardless of where they come from, who they are or what disabilities or hardships they have, and Mitt Romney does not. Mitt Romney does not believe in equality. Mitt Romney believes in wealth and exerting his power in order to increase his own wealth, and by proxy, decrease the wealth of others. And that’s sad. Let’s all pity Mitt Romney. We feel sad for him.

Dike Ejim

Teal Christensen: Are you planning on voting in the upcoming election?
Dike Ejim: No
TC: Why?
DE: Because I don’t want either candidate [for] the election.
TC: Do you consider yourself associated with a specific political party?
DE: I usually roll with the Republicans because they usually roll conservative, just a little bit sometimes, so if I choose a kind of party line vote, I go Republican.
TC: So do you think Republican Mitt Romney doesn’t accurately represent your personal views?
DC: No
TC: How much do you know about the candidates for this election? Are you following their campaigns?
DE: No

Melinda Nachazel

Aaron Litwak: Do you consider yourself affiliated with any particular political party?
Melinda Nachazel: No, I do not.
AL: Have you done any political activities like phone banking or other social activities?
MN: No.
AL: What’s your opinion of Obama and Romney?
MN: I don’t really have one. I don’t pay much attention to politics, which I know I probably should, being an American, but I don’t.
AL: Do you live in Thurston County?
MN: No, I live in Pierce County.
AL: Are you old enough to vote?
MN: Yeah.
AL: You haven’t registered yet?
MN: No.
AL: Do you know who Tim Eyman is?
MN: No.
AL: He’s sponsoring an initiative to require two thirds legislative approval or a vote by the people in order to raise taxes. What do you think?
MN: I don’t know what the policy is now, but I guess that sounds reasonable…maybe.
AL: It’s just the legislature that can raise taxes now.
MN: Like I said, I don’t really follow politics. I don’t know what’s going on.
AL: How about same sex marriage? There’s a referendum on the ballot to legalize it.
MN: I would like it to be legalized.
AL: How about the legalization of marijuana?
MN: I don’t really have an opinion. I don’t smoke, but I know people who do. I don’t know, I don’t really care.
AL: So if it were, then that’d be okay?
MN: Sure, yeah. I don’t see the harm in it. I mean, alcohol’s legal, but it seems to kill more people than marijuana does.
AL: Yeah. Firearms, too.</>

Daniel Daye and Riley Maddox

Teal Christensen: Are you planning on voting in the upcoming election?
Daniel Daye: Yeah. I am.
Riley Maddox: I’m not actually 18.
DD: Why you even vote? Why you even vote?!
TC: That’s a very logical reason. Do you consider yourself affiliated with one of the main political parties?
DD: I feel kind of like I’m in between. I agree actually with what both sides are doing, because there are some things that I think Mitt Romney can do better than Obama; flip side, there’s also some things that Obama can do better than Romney.
RM: I would have to agree with him on that one. My policies tend to ride on both sides of it. You know, for example, on the common ones, I’m pro-gay marriage, I’m pro-abortion, that kind of stuff. But on the other side, I think that the rich who help build this country…to an extent they’re the ones who give us the jobs. If they don’t have the money to supply us with the jobs, then we’re not gonna have jobs.
DD: Well, see, that’s where I kind of have to disagree with you on that one, because I do believe the rich control the country; the middle class built the country. See, the rich can have all the money in the world, they can do all that, but they’re not the ones who keep the economy functioning.
RM: The rich built the middle class.
DD: They’re destroying it now. You have to learn how to govern upper class power. There’s this giant gap between the upper class and the middle class.
TC: Who’s the current Secretary of State?
DD: Hillary Clinton
RM: Hillary Clinton
TC: Do you know what her job is?
RM: A lot of it is helping bridge the gap between the federal government and the states, and also mixing it with foreign countries.
DD: I honestly don’t think she’s doing a good job with that. If she was really doing something, we would have heard of it by now.
RM: But we have been bridging the gap between us and countries we haven’t gotten along with very well 30 years ago.
TC: What would you say the main differences between Obama’s and Romney’s economic plans are?
DD: Romney’s more of the upper class, whereas Obama’s more of the middle and lower, because Obama grew up poor. Obama grew up struggling for life. He didn’t have everybody there to give him a handout, to send him to Harvard…he had to work and work and work until he got there. That’s why Obama is more pro-middle and pro-lower versus Romney, who basically had everything handed to him. Now, I’m not taking anything away from Romney, because to graduate…I don’t even remember where he graduated from.
RM: It was one of the ivy leagues.
DD: Romney’s no slouch! He doesn’t necessarily understand the struggle of what it means to grow up, having to work and see people suffer and work and try and push and push.