It's election time again and if you're anything like me, you can't wait until it's over. The biggest reason for me is because I tire quickly of watching politicians sling mud at one another through endless e-mails and political ads on television. Rarely does anyone address the real issues, and, if they do, it leaves me wondering if they are simply following notes written by their staffs or if they have actually read about the issues.
Today's political scene is especially lacking, especially in the Coloradan Republican camp. In the governor's race, for whom is a Republican supposed to vote? Maes lied about his police service record and all Tancredo has done is split the party while appealing to conspiracy theorists and the rest of the extreme Right. He has all but cinched a Democrat gubernatorial win. So that leaves me wondering if Hickenlooper will follow his predecessor in taxing and feeing Coloradans without doing anything to curb special interest spending in order to balance a budget that is out of control. Unfortunately, taxing and feeing more and more doesn’t control the budget – it just gives “them” more of our money to waste.
And, speaking of taxes, who was the genius behind Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101? If these three pass, our cities and towns will be stripped of their services and schools will suffer even deeper budget cuts. These three are supposed to make the average taxpayer happy by cutting taxes; however, the three also limit government's ability to borrow and limits the amount of money the state can use for operating programs and transportation. The thing to remember with all of this is that it will eventually hurt the entity that it was meant to help - the taxpayer. Yes, if these three are passed, we will pay less in taxes, but how will we benefit from potholes that can't be fixed or services being cut, such as city buses, amenities at the library, senior center, sanitation, etc. The solution is not limiting government revenue in this manner; the solution is in electing officials who understand priorities and restraint.
Not only are there financial issues looming on the ballot, but this year Colorado voters get to decide when an unborn fetus really becomes a person. Supporters of Amendment 62 take the position that if you do not support their view, then you support abortion. They are completely black-and-white on this, attempting to ban the most common forms of birth control in use today, and making no exceptions for rape or incest. This vote, in my opinion, really puts people who believe that life begins at conception – a term poorly defined by supporters of Amendment 62 – in a bad position because we are in effect saying that nothing is more important than that developing life even if the mother's life is in danger. If a pregnant woman suffers a miscarriage, tubal pregnancy, cancer or infertility that just may be too bad for her if Amendment 62 passes. Why would we want to limit treatment for these women, who if they die, will also take the developing life along with them? Why should the less developed, who cannot survive outside the womb, have more rights that a person who can? Why not pump the money being used to push this amendment into crisis pregnancy centers, WAIT programs and in taking care of women who suffer a crisis pregnancy? Why don't we use this money into programs to make adoption more accessible? Why are we trying to legalize a moral issue?
I've said enough for this week, but more will follow in the body of our paper as we bring the candidates and the amendments to you. I encourage everyone to think for themselves, rather than vote along party lines. Feel free to write me - e-mail is best. Please keep the word count around 250 words.