Monday, August 9, 2010

Colorado Governor and US Senator

OK, so life got away from me. It's election eve, and most of the people following this have already voted by mail, so here is the short and sweet version.

Colorado Governor:
In the words of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (who I like), I "cannot in good conscience give members and gun owners a strong recommendation for this race." McInnis has handled the whole plagiarism issue very poorly, and has a weak record on gun rights. Maes really came across as a nutjob with his comments on the UN International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) program in Denver which is providing bikes to reduce pollution. After a little digging, I found little on the ICLEI program, but it does look like your typical UN socialist program, so maybe he's on to something. They did, after all, put Iran on the Commission on Women's Rights. So, if Dan Maes doesn't like the UN, all the better.

I don't like any of the candidates all that much, but I'm voting for Dan Maes. I just hope he can prove to the rest of Colorado that he's not a conspiracy theorist wacko nutjob.

US Senator from Colorado:
Ken Buck keeps "stepping in it" with his high heels and cowboy boots comments, and he's had some ethical questions, but if you dig a little deeper, at least his heart was in the right place. (That's cynicism, for those of you who don't get it.) Jane Norton, however, sealed the deal for me by getting support from John McCain. I can't stand big government McCain. Plus, when your website for your governor's race leads with "Ken Buck said what?" and a video of your opponent's (albeit very bad) attempt at humor, you must not have any serious issues to run on.

Like the Governor's race, I can't really endorse any of the candidates, but I'm going to vote for Ken Buck, just to tick off the big-government RINOs who support Norton.

By the way, on the Democrat side, I'm cheering for "I'm not taking PAC money(anymore)" Andrew Romanoff. Bennett doesn't care what the voters think and I want him out. With Romanoff's past habits of taking PAC money, it should provide good fodder for whoever wins the Republican nomination.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Colorado Treasurer

The Republican candidates for Colorado Treasurer are Walker Stapleton and JJ Ament. Both are fiscally conservative. Stapleton has experience as a CFO in private industry. Ament has been a consultant to various state treasurers. The biggest deciding factor, for me, between the two is that Stapleton recently said that he thought that voter-approved tax increases would be a good idea for getting the state out of our budget mess. Ament opposes the idea, and so do I. The way out of the budget crisis is to eliminate wasteful spending, cut unnecessary programs and enable private businesses to grow, thus increasing tax revenues (which is caused by reducing tax rates: liberals don't understand that low taxes in a thriving economy produce more tax revenue than high taxes in an anemic economy). El Paso County voters crushed the last two requests for tax hikes, and I don't see the sentiment changing any time soon. Use OUR money (it belongs to the taxpayers, not to the government!) wisely and efficiently, and not for all your pet political projects, and ONLY then come and ask us for more. If you have a good plan for it, and we see the need, we might actually entrust you with it.

JJ Ament understands this, and that's why I'm voting for him.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

El Paso County Sheriff

According to the El Paso County sample ballot, there are four contested races in the 2010 Republican Primary on August 10th. They are:

US Senator
- Ken Buck vs Jane Norton
Colorado Governor
- Dan Maes vs Scott McGinnis
Colorado Treasurer
- JJ Ament vs Walker Stapleton
El Paso County Sheriff
- Terry Maketa vs Jake Shirk

In my short series, I'll work the list from bottom to top, which will leave the most hotly contested races until last. To be honest, I didn't even know the Colorado Treasurer was a contested race until I looked, so we'll look at that race next time. In the meantime, the Gazette has published a voter guide.

Terry Maketa
and Jake Shirk have much in common, and much to commend them. To be honest, I think either one would be a good sheriff. First, they both support Vermont/Alaska/Arizona-type firearm laws for Colorado, namely that no license or permit of any kind should be required to carry a concealed firearm, but Shirk has made it part of his platform, while Maketa only brought it up when questioned in an interview. Both support a Colorado version of the excellent Arizona Immigration Bill. Both believe that Medical Marijuana is here to stay, but agree that abuse should be prosecuted. Shirk goes a bit further, stating that he voted against the dispensaries, but will uphold the Colorado law. Maketa did not specify his personal feelings on the law. I think he's just playing it safe politically. Of course, with no Democratic challenger, why would he feel the need to do that?

I think Maketa has a stronger position concerning not removing sworn deputies from the El Paso County Jail, as Shirk stated he intends to pursue, but I really like Jake Shirk's promise to publish the Sheriff's Department budget on the web. It is a big step toward a more open government. In addition, Maketa's April accusation that Shirk, a 35 year law enforcement veteran (vs. Maketa's 23 years), lacked experience left a bad taste in my mouth. As you will see in upcoming posts, I really don't like politicians who play dirty, and even though the sheriff's race has been pretty tame compared to others, when two candidates are this closely matched, the one who plays it clean will earn my vote. Add a very strong 2nd Amendment stance and a commitment to open government, and I'm sold.

I'm supporting Jake Shirk for El Paso County Sheriff.