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Colin Gawel's 2018 Election Day Manifesto (How I am Voting and Why)

2018 Midterm Election Manifesto - Colin G.


As loyal readers know, Pencilstorm doesn’t waste much of your precious time with politics. We prefer to concern ourselves with serious topics such as rock n roll.  However, as editor, I have published how I will be voting prior to every election day and will do so again in 2018. For entertainment purposes only. Let me be clear, I’m not telling you how to vote, nor do I care how you are going to vote. I’m just sharing my thoughts on the matter. It’s called “democracy.” If hearing an opinion possibly different than your own is going to ruin your day, please just stop reading….now.    Seriously, I’m not asking you to read this.

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Ok, let’s begin with the easiest vote…


Ohio Governor’s Race

Why would anybody not directly related to Mike DeWine vote for him? On second thought, maybe that was the plan. The guy has such a massive family tree that the bean counters figured only a couple extra votes from non related folks could take him over the top to become Ohio’s next governor.

Seriously, the guy has been in elected office for 42 freakin’ years. This is the very definition of a career politician. I have not met ONE SINGLE PERSON at Colin’s Coffee who is excited to vote for Mike DeWine. Sure, my Republican friends will still pull the lever but it’s a weak, weak, choice. Why the Ohio GOP didn’t put up and comer John Husted on the top of the ticket is beyond me, but under no circumstances would I ever consider punching the ticket for a worn out, flip - floppy candidate such as Mikey.

On the other hand, Richard Cordray is way less than a million years old, doesn’t turn to dust in daylight and fought for the little guy while heading the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau from 2012-2017. Unless you work for Chase or Time Warner, being against the Consumer Protection agency is like saying we should get rid of the fire department because you have never called it. In just five years, Richard helped recover 12 billion dollars for 29 million customers like you and me who look at a statement and say, “What is that charge for $8.23 anyway?”. I’ll tell you what it is, it’s fraud, and there is nothing you can do about by yourself. But the CFPB can and will tell major companies to cut out the BS and return the stolen cash. Anytime you see a politician fighting against the Consumer Protection Bureau, you know exactly who he is fighting for and it isn’t you and me.


My vote goes to Richard Cordray. No brainer.


That Metroparks thing

I will be voting Yes. I love our Metro Parks. And there is a new one planned just across from the coffee shop on the other side of Griggs reservoir. Take my money please.

Stivers v Neal

I do not approve of most of President Trump’s policies and I really dislike his shameful character traits in general. So I probably cannot vote for Steve Stivers because of his voting record supporting said President. I will, however, give his staff credit for honesty. I called in 2017 to register my disappointment with Trump trying to repeal Obamacare and send our country back into the dark ages for no reason except spite. (And tax cuts for Trump’s super rich friends of course.) I explained my position as a small business owner to the person on the phone and asked “What in this health care repeal l bill should I feel good about?” The staffer at Stiver’s office paused and said, “I have to be honest Colin, there isn’t much in this health care bill a regular person should feel good about.”

Thank God John McCain gave it the thumbs down.

I’m going to vote Neal as a Trump protest vote but Steve Stivers is an OK guy and he is a lock to win anyway. At least he isn’t a total psycho like Jim Jordan. That jackass would vote to replace all Metro Parks with Walmarts and gigantic Bible statues if he could.


Full disclosure, Allison Russo is a regular at Colin’s Coffee and her volunteers often have organizational meetings at the shop. Still, she is exactly the type of experienced, pragmatic candidate I would want representing me in the Ohio House. I feel really great about voting for Allison Russo.


Issue One is tough. I completely agree with the premise. Treatment and not incarceration is the best way to deal with non-violent criminal offenders. Duh. Putting addicts in jail is the modern version of “debtors prison.” Facepalm. My smart liberal friends tell me the language and process of this bill is cloudy and this presents a problem. But... it is so rare that the backward state of Ohio takes even a small step in a sensible direction that I have a hard time voting no. Beggars can’t be choosers, so I’m voting yes on the idea alone, but I may be wrong.

Are there any other races or bills? Probably yes, but geez folks, it’s just a midterm. I can’t study everything. Not with three fantasy teams to run and a gig coming up at Ace of Cups on Wednesday Nov 21st. (Details here!)

Thanks for reading Pencilstorm. Now, get out there and vote! (If you haven’t been purged from the rolls yet, anyway.)  

Colin Gawel owns the possibly soon to be bulldozed Colin’s Coffee and plays music both solo and in the band Watershed. He lives in Upper Arlington, OH with his fabulous wife and fifteen year old son. He likes the Browns and Cheap Trick WAY too much.

Hidden Bonus Track!

Oh shoot, totally spaced on the Senate race. Sherrod Brown, yes, obviously. I’m going to vote for him over that other guy who hates the working class, ol’ what’s his name that replaced career politician wanna be Josh Mandel on the ticket. Why even bother running these losers? Do they get donations? Sherrod Brown all the way.

Let’s end with my real Manifesto..