Monday, October 15, 2012

Voting Suggestions for Colorado's Statewide Elections

Recommendations for 2012 Statewide Election to be held Tuesday, November 6th 2012.

NO on Amendment S:  State Personel System

If passed the words of Amendment S will be placed within the Colorado State Constitution.

Caution must always be used when voting for any change to the state's Constitution, since circumstances suggesting such changes today will certainly change in the future.  Constitutional changes are extremely difficult to reverse should such circumstances change in the future, particularly if they provide some form of benefit to a certain group within society.  

That is the case with one section of the proposed Amendment:  Hiring preferences for veterans.  While most citizens support our veterans, and want to see them integrate back into society and become productive citizens once again, we realize that there are many individual exceptions when considering individual members of a group.  Why most conservatives in the state's legislature voted to place this issue, as worded, on the ballot is of concern.  Maybe it was because I was no longer in the legislature when voted on.  Ha!   

Our founding fathers fashioned a system of government based on the merits of individuals, not groups.   Placing hiring or any other preferences for ANY group of individuals into the Constitution is not appropriate.  Unfortunately, Republicans are increasingly caught up in Democrat mantra that refers to and classifies people into groups, viz. elderly, rich, poor, minorities, working class, veterans, etc., etc.  Democrats thrive on class warfare, which is eroding the ideals upon which our country was founded.  Instead, Republicans should be addressing each person as an individual rather than simply as a member of a group.

While there are a number of positive changes being proposed by this Amendment, providing additional benefits to a group should not be one of them.  No doubt the Veterans issue was placed in this Amendment to create additional "reasoning" for voters to advocate for its passage.  We see this ploy in much legislation and voting issues as tax increases.  The marijuana issue (Amendment 64) is one more example where passage would provide $40 million for public school construction.  Will we ever learn to avoid these "hooks?"  They have bait we shouldn't swallow."

NO on Amendment 64:  The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012  

If passed, the words of Amendment 64 will be placed within the Colorado State Constitution.

Caution should always be used when voting for and change to the state's Constitution.  It is troubling to see that the advocates for this Amendment determined that to assist in its passage, $40 million in revenue would be raised annually for construction of public schools.  For public schools, or any public institution to become dependent on the sale of a regulated drug to further its mission, is manipulative in its intent.

Furthermore, the regulations specified in this Constitutional Amendment regarding the use of this federally-illegal drug will be impossible to monitor.   Laws that cannot be adequately be monitored should not be placed into the state's statutes, let alone in the state's Constitution.  One need only read the requirements stated within this proposed Amendment to realize the  impossibility of monitoring its use.

NO on Amendment 65: Colorado Congressional Delegation to Support Campaign Finance Limits

Passage of Amendment 65 will alter the words of the Colorado Constitution, but will neither alter the current state nor federal campaign finance lows or create campaign spending limits.  Rather, it will amend the state Constitution to encourage Congress and the state legislature to take steps to amend the U.S. Constitution to allow greater limits on the role of money in state and federal elections.

Regardless of the imposition of still further additional campaign finance restrictions, money has and always will find its way into the election process.  Numerous attempts have been made over the years to reign in its use in campaigns...but with very little effect.  Because campaigns require considerable funds to get their message out to the voting public, campaigns will always find ways to circumvent campaign finance restriction in order to fund their message.  Large segments of society consider the use of money as a form of free speech, expression and association.

Campaign finance restrictions proposed to state or Federal Constitutions are usually proposed in order to "level the playing field" and are almost always proposed by left-leaning organizations.  "Leveling the playing field," while it may sound good, is a concept of the LEFT.  The proponents state that it will reduce undue influence over the elections and public policy;  however, a strong case could be made that it instead will enhance such influence.

Judge Recommendations:

Recommendations for Justices are always difficult because judicial decisions rest on numerous points of law.  As a result, the analysis shown on the information booklet voters received may give some insight into particular judge's effectiveness based on their performance evaluations as viewed by other attorneys.   I would suggest voting NOT to retain the following:
Honorable Karla Hansen     68% retain;  27% not to retain; 4% undecided
Honorable Gale Miller        72% retain;  16% not to retain; 12% undecided
Honorable Dennis Graham 71% retain; 20% not to retain; 10% undecided
Honorable Laurie Booras   68% retain; 12% not to retain; 19% undecided

Colorado Springs/El Paso County Issues.
When considering one's vote on the following measures, ask yourself the question:  "Do I believe that government is too large, or not large enough."  Then cast your vote accordingly.

El Paso County Measures:
1A --- Tax to fund Sheriff Office needs  NO
1B --- Reduce Term Limits for County Commissioners from three terms to two. YES

Manitou Springs:
2B --- Property tax increase not to exceed 4 mills to join Pikes Peak Library District  NO
2C --- Seeking approval to use surplus voter-approved tax for city parks  NO

Calhan measure:
2A --- Tax increase of 1% for road and bridge maintenance and repair

2D --- Increase property tax by 5.25 mills, primarily for new fire station, personnel and equipment  NO

Southwestern Highway 115 Fire Protection District:
4A --- Property tax increase of 6 mills, primarily for salaries and operating expenses  NO

Single-county special district measure:
5A --- Extension of 55% of the Pikes Peak Rural Transportation Authority and a 1% for road and bridge maintenance  NO