Obama triumphs

Allison B. Hudson
Obama wins big

At the top of the ballot for the Nov. 4 election was the race for U.S. President.  There were several third party tickets on the ballot including: Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney and running mate Rosa Clemente; Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin and running made Darrell Castle; Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader and running mate Matt Gonzales; Louisiana Taxpayers Party presidential candidate Ron Paul and running mate Barry Goldwater Jr., Prohibition Party presidential candidate Gene Admondson and running mate Leroy Pletten, Socialism and Liberation Party presidential candidate Gloria La Riva and running mate Eugene Puryear and Socialist Workers Party candidate James Harris and running mate Alyson Kennedy.

Also, U.S. Senator is incumbent Mary Landrieu, with 956,124 votes leading against John Kennedy. This is Landrieuís third term.

The District 1 seat on the state's Public Service Commission, which includes Ascension Parish in its coverage, is Republican Eric Skrmetta.

Seven proposed amendments to the state's constitution were also before voters in Ascension Parish and across the state. The proposals included:

• Amendment 1 polled 1,034,619 votes for and 458,301 votes against. Amendment 1, calls for the setting of term limits for members of numerous statewide boards and commissions. If passed, members of these boards, no member who has served for more than 2 1/2 terms in three consecutive terms could be appointed or elected to the succeeding term. Also, members could only serve on one of these boards or commissions.

• Amendment 2 polled 870,763 votes for and 591,870 votes against with most precincts reporting. Amendment 2 would require a proclamation to call the legislature into extraordinary session at least seven calendar days prior to convening the session.

• Amendment 3 had 898,185 votes for and 559,441 votes against, which would require "prompt and temporary" succession to the powers and duties of a legislator if they are unable to perform the functions and duties of the office due to being ordered to active military duty.

• Amendment 4 had 648,713 votes for and 802,004 votes against. This would increase the maximum amount of the severance tax imposed and collected by the state on natural resources other than sulfur, lignite and timber.

• Amendment 5 polled 713,832 votes for and 718,080 votes against. Amendment 5, calls for the transfer or special assignment of property when it has been sold to or expropriated by federal, state or local government or another political subdivision.

• Amendment 6 had 704,803 votes for and 733,870 votes against. This amendment would provide an exception to the requirement of first refusal for the owner of property declared as surplus when it is taken for removal of a threat to public health and safety.

• Amendment 7 drew 619,622 votes for and 784,826 votes against Amendment 7, which authorizes the investment of state or local funds that have been reserved for post-employment benefits other than pensions.

Ascension Parish voters decided no with 4,898 votes and 61 of 61 precincts reporting for the proposed 20-year, 3-mill property tax that would fund the purchase, upgrade and maintenance of the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales. The parish currently leases the facility from the Lamar-Dixon Foundation.