In the main, I’m not voting on issues when it comes to candidates in 2016.
My meta-principles for my balloting decisions this election are based on the candidate’s honesty, forthrightness, and my perception of how committed they are to reforming what is clearly an increasingly corrupt political system.
Consequently, my choices are eclectic and meant to be a rebuke to party tribalism, which, in my estimation, has become so extreme that effective representative democracy, i.e., small ‘r’ republicanism is in danger.
For what it is worth, here is for whom and what I am voting for on my Arvada, Colorado ballot … with occasional commentary.
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Gary Johnson: Libertarian
All explained at: Anybody But ... For President 2016
Arn Menconi: Green Party
The Democrats are trying to reelect one of the best oligarchs they have in Michael Bennet; the Republicans have nominated a wishy-washy extremist.
Menconi is a regular fellow with the interests of average Coloradans at heart.
U.S. Representative - CD7
Martin Buchanan: Libertarian
The Democratic Party incumbent has “gone Washington” … the Republican is narrow of focus and too far a right field.
CU Regent - At Large
Alice Madden: Democrat
State Senator - District 19
Laura Woods: Republican
Incumbent Woods is certainly forthright about what she believes in — and I disagree with much of it; but she is honest and centered on District 19. I have been impressed with how hard she has worked at the capitol. For the local level, Woods opposes corporate socialism/corporate welfare; her opponent has no problem with taxpayer dollars going to private, for-profit developers/businesses. Finally, Woods’ previously-appointed opponent abandoned her Arvada city council seat in 2013 — barely a month after being reelected — for her own and her party’s advancement, an act of faithlessness to the citizens that I find unforgivable.
State Representative - District 29
Tracy Kraft-Tharp: Democrat
One of the best state legislators in Colorado.
Jefferson County Offices
All of the Republicans should be punished severely when in comes to county offices — the worst kind of cynical and manipulative politics has been played by them for the purpose of holding onto power. The musical chairs, term limit evading game they have played with Faye Griffin, resignations, and appointments is corrupt and reprehensible, in my opinion. Vote the Republicans out.
District Attorney - 1st Judicial District
Jake Lilly: Democrat
County Commissioner - District 1
Marti J. Smith: Democrat
County Commissioner - District 2
Casey Tighe: Democrat
Just as a matter of formality, I always vote 'no' on judges ... they always get retained and I just want to do my little part in reminding them to what and to whom they owe their allegiance: the Constitution and the citizens.
Amendment T - Removal of Slavery Language from state constitution
Amendment U - Property Tax Exemption for Some Possessory Interests
Amendment 69 - Single-Payer Health Care
The costs of health care are literally and figuratively killing people. This amendment isn’t perfect, and with all of the governing class establishment of both major political parties against it, it will undoubtedly fail. However, a message needs to be sent that serious work needs to be done to make health care universal and affordable for all citizens.
Amendment 70 - Minimum Wage
Until demand is stimulated in our economy, it is going to remain relatively stagnant; furthermore, until income inequality is addressed, we are going to suffer more and more societal frustration and anger. Raising the minimum wage is essential for regular folks.
Amendment 71 - Constitutional Amendment Petition Requirements
The powerful special interests want to change the rules for their own benefit. Frankly, Colorado has done just fine with the process we are currently using.
Amendment 72 - Tobacco Tax
I have mixed feelings on this, but with the economy not performing as it ought to, well, raising taxes even on tobacco right now just doesn’t seem good policy to me. Furthermore, I'm not sure that this particular change ought to be enshrined in the state constitution.
Proposition 106 - Death With Dignity
The real ‘freedom agenda’ leaves you alone as much as possible … and I can think of no better example of promoting genuine individual liberty than to let you decide how you want to exit this mortal coil. The opponents are primarily theocrats and nitpickers who extol freedom as long as you chose their version of freedom. Please vote ‘yes’ on this proposal.
Party Primaries and the Political Process
The worst argument against these two proportions is that the two major political parties are ‘private’ organizations and that only their members ought to pick their candidates. Well, fine, then let them pick-up the entire cost of running primary elections and let’s revise the entire Colorado constitution and state statutes to eliminate any preferences whatsoever for the major party duopoly. These propositions are the least we can do to start making our government representative of all of us, Unaffiliated, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, etc.
Proposition 107 - Presidential Primary Open to Unaffiliated
Proposition 108 - Primary Other Office Open to Unaffiliated
Arvada Ballot Issue 2G - Sales Tax Increase
Something is wrong at Arvada City Hall … Vote No on Arvada 2G - 2016 Election
Arvada Ballot Question 2H - Pursue Government Internet
Really, are you kidding? A city government that can’t even keep our streets in good repair should be given any say in how our internet service is delivered?
Jeffco Schools Tax Hikes
As a strictly political observation this is a prime example of why Democrats get the tax-and-spend label attached firmly to their foreheads. Not a year has gone by since the school board recall put in all Democrats and their big solution to all the districts problems is to ask us for a BIG hike in taxes, debt, and interest payments ... at least a BILLION dollars. On a personal note, I vowed to myself not to vote for any tax increases for schools as long as the failed so-called Accountability-Standardized Testing-No Child Left Behind-Race to the Top policies are in effect. I’m sticking with my promise to myself. Let's be blunt, no matter who you elect, if you keep giving them more money nothing is ever going to change.
Jeffco Schools Issue 3A - Raise Property Tax
Jeffco Schools 3B - Increase Bonded Debt
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District - Renew Sales Tax
Of all of the 'extra' taxes we have, this is one of the best.