Monday, October 8, 2018

November 2018 Voting Suggestions


To: Colorado Voters

Below are my November 2018 voting recommendations.  These were made only after giving considerable thought and research.  These are ONLY recommendations and should be viewed in that light.  Good people will disagree; that's the beauty of our system.
Former Colorado State Senator, Dave Schultheis

See Key Election Results in Red, below
For the first time since preparing my recommendations, I am not indicating specific Republican candidates over others.  There are two reasons for this: 
  1. Candidate selections were made during the last Primary election cycle. 
  2. All recommendations are for Republican candidates only, as the Democrat Party Leadership has veered so far from upholding constitutional principles, that to  prefer them over those linked to the Republican Platform would do injustice to our founding principles. 
  3. The Colorado House has a 37-28 Democrat majority. While it will be difficult to overcome that wide margin, "all things are possible," particularly since we continue to see the radical Progressives' behavior in recent weeks.
  4. Most important in this state's election cycle is to do our utmost to retain a Republican majority in the state's Senate.  If Colorado should have Polis as its governor, it will be crucial for Republicans to control the Senate Committees in order to kill radical, progressive laws coming from a Democrat-controlled House. 
With regard to the Constitutional (Amendments) and Statutory (Propositions), a couple Principles are worth noting: 


  1.  Regardless of how you decide to vote, understand when ballot issues begin by saying "Without Raising Additional Taxes...." the issue is generally attempting to continue existing taxes rather than letting the current tax lapse as voters expected would happen when the termination date was originally established.  Several years ago, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that it was not a new tax, yet, common sense says that when a tax is to due to be terminated a new ballot issue requesting to use those tax dollars for the same or different issue it is a new tax.  Such a ruling was, in my view in error.  My suggestion is to view it as a NEW tax and make your decision accordingly.
  2. Secondly, remember that every single government entity wants to increase its size, power and influence.  To do so takes more tax dollars.  It is the nature of government that our Founding Fathers knew would be present and why they tried to limit its reach. 
  3. The third principle I look for is the constant "need" for funds for "police and fire."  Providing an environment of relative safety should be a goal of governments.  In these increasingly-tumultuous times, governments often propose raising taxes and specifically targeting the issues of Police and Fire safety to get taxpayer approval. Instead, City and County budgets should fully fund safety issues first, with the rest of the tax dollars being allocated to issues important to running government, not the other way around.  County and City governments should be held accountable for underfunding Law Enforcement, Criminal Justice  and Emergency Response needs.
THE ISSUES:
El Paso County 1A
  • Recommendation NO.  El Paso County needs to first reprioritize its budget areas, placing Public Safety issue at the top of its budget.  Colorado Springs has a combined sales tax rate of 8.25%.  Denver's rate is 7.65%.  This requested tax increase is embarrassing.  
Town of Palmer Lake
2A     Recommend NO.  Higher taxes will increase the Town's bureaucracy and will increase illegal growing and distribution because the costs will be less than that sold in authorized locations.

2B     Recommend NO.  Allowing the sale of Marijuana is going to allow for "sustainable employment opportunities and sales tax revenue."  Adding marijuana sales locations that need higher tax dollars to monitor, as well as creating a dependence on marijuana sales to help the town with its infrastructure is beyond ridiculous. 


Town of Green Mountain Falls-3A     Recommend NO. Allowing the use of taxes levied through a lodging occupational tax to be used without limitation and without limiting the expenditure of any other revenues..." denotes irresponsible actions by the town's government.  


No voting recommendations for the following districts
Lewis-Palmer School District No. 38 -  4A and 4B
Ellicott School District No. 22 - 4D
El Paso County Colorado School District 49 - 4C
Harrison School District No. 2 - 4E
Manitou Springs School District No 14 - 4F
Triview Metropolitan District 6A
Falcon Fire District - 6B
Black Forest Fire Rescue Protection District - 6C
Ellicott Fire Protection District - 6C

Amendment V: Lower Age Requirement for Members of the State Legislature
Recommend NO.  As a Colorado State Representative and State Senator for a combined 10 years, I am strongly opposed to this change.  Citizens who are going to make laws that the rest of the state's citizens must abide by ought to manifest maturity and have several years of living/working experience.  Most 21yr-old citizens have yet to form opinions from years of living experience.
Election Result: NO

Amendment W: Election Ballot Format for Judicial Retention Elections
Recommend YES.  This only simplifies the format.  Makes no substantive change

Amendment X: Industrial Hemp Definition
Recommend YES.  Removes the definition of "Industrial Hemp" from the state's Constitution and gives the term the same meaning as in federal law or state statute.
Election Result: YES

Amendment Y: Congressional Redistricting
Recommend NO. Establishes a new process for congressional redistricting.  There are too many issues that make this Amendment unacceptable to discuss here.  One term being proposed for use in creating Congressional districts is  “communities of interest.”  That term allows improper considerations of race, ethnicity, and other factors to override neutral principles that apply to all citizens. It continues to foster identity politics. Our U.S. Constitution is in opposition to creating or identifying classes of individuals by identifiable groups.  Such acknowledgement of "communities of interest" work counter to the ability to make decisions based on transcendent Principles.  Considering any citizen as member of a group does a disservice to those who think differently.  We must consider individuals as unique, not members of a group.  Finally, numerous individuals and organizations promoting and funding "Y" hold extreme progressive views.
Election Result: YES

Amendment Z: Legislative Redistricting
Recommend NO.  Establishes a new process for Legislative redistricting.  The answers to Amendment Z are nearly identical to Amendment Y.
Election Result: YES

Amendment A: Prohibit Slavery and Involuntary Servitude in All Circumstances
Recommend NO. If these are removed from the books there will be a number of lawsuits that will claim that their sentences and/or treatment have been tantamount to either slavery or involuntary servitude or both whereas if they are left on the books neither can be claimed in a lawsuit.  It would seem useful to leave them on the books and not use them. I know that people cringe when they see those terms, but that's more a sign of the times than not.  
Election Result: YES


Amendment 73: Funding for Public Schools
Recommend NO.  What we are looking at here should Amendment 73 pass is a huge tax increase.  Years ago the state started funding full-day kindergarten, then half-day pre-school, then full-day pre-school.  The increase in the number of illegal alien children or children of illegal aliens has increased dramatically, placing a significant burden on taxpayers to fund their "free education."  A73 also includes an additional $20million for English Language Proficiency, much of it going to these same children. Additionally, Public schools are increasingly becoming indoctrination centers for progressive ideology.  For these and a host of other reasons, the voters should consider checking Chalkbeat for the poor performance of our high school students.  Examine The Gazette's Editorial on this issue.
Election Result: NO

Amendment 74: Compensation for Reduction in Fair Market Value by Government Law or Regulation
Recommend NO.  While this Amendment may have potential benefits to the property owner, I am very hesitant to add this to the state's constitution.  There are already state statutes that address this subject;  The legislature could be tighten them.  We do not need this in the state's constitution.
Election Result: NO

Amendment 75: Campaign Contributions
Recommend YES.  Some change is needed to help balance out the campaigns of the very wealthy with those having more meager resources. That said, current campaign funding limits significantly favor the wealthy.  This is a good example of an issue that belongs in the state's Statutes, not the constitution, as it is hard to revise. 

Proposition 109: Authorize Bonds for Highway Projects
Recommend YES:  Nearly everyone will agree that the condition of Colorado's roads are abysmal  One trucker told me that even if blindfolded he could tell when he enters Colorado.  Because this Amendment is written to pay for road and bridge expansion, construction, maintenance and repair on 66 transportation projects throughout the state is carefully identified.
Election Result: NO

Proposition 110: Authorize Sales Tax and Bonds for Transportation Projects
Recommend NO: This substantially increases the state's sales and use tax rate for 20 years.  Such an increase will make it more difficult for low and moderate income residents to live and work in CO.  No identification of specific projects. True that Colorado's highway costs outpace collections from the gas tax.  However, a much better solution would be to fully fund this through the state budget.  That solution would force better prioritization of the state budget.
Election Result: NO

Proposition 111: Limitations on Payday Loans
Recommend NO: Government should NOT meddle in a private business. While the costs for such personal loans (max $500) may seem high, they are sometimes a lifeblood for those in temporary need with nowhere else to turn.  Further restrictions and regulations on Payday lenders will only reduce their numbers.  Government should not interfere with such private transactions.
Election Result: YES

Proposition 112 Increased Setback Requirement for Oil and Natural Gas Development
Recommend NO: If passed it will require new oil and natural gas development be located at least 2,500 feet from occupied structures.  It will create severe limitations on the Oil and Gas industry and result in the loss of a significant number of jobs.  The Gazette has a great editorial on Prop. 112
Election Result: NO


Recommendation on Retention of Judges

Voting on Judge retention is an extremely difficult effort.  The general public has no real basis to make such decisions other than to rely on the results of the State Commission on Judicial Performance.  With so many results ranked with a no dissenting votes, makes one wonder the real validity of the performance reviews.  Voting "Yes" on those of whom you are unsure will negate those NO votes from citizens who see that particular Judge as not meeting performance standards.  Therefore, I recommend leaving blank all but the judges and voting NO on:

Recommend NO:  El Paso County Court Judge, the Honorable Christopher Edward Acker


The following is a list of judicial preferences sent to me by a person I totally trust. He has a close friend who is a lawyer who has practices before most of the judges on this list.  These are his recommendations.  The voting for/against retention of judges is perhaps the most difficult of all decisions to make.  Unfortunately we can only rely on the most trusted advice we receive.  That said, I submit these recommendation to you for your consideration.

Supreme Court: Gabriel-No

Colorado Court of Appeals:

       Dailey-No
       Freyre-No
       Harris-No
       Richman-No

District Court Judge-4th Judicial District

       Bentley-No
       Billings-Vela-Yes
       Brady-Yes
       Lowrey-Yes
       Schutz-Yes

Schwartz-Yes
Sells-Yes
Shakes-Yes

County Court Judge

       Acker-No
       Martin-Yes
       Miles-Yes
       Rotolo-Yes



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Wednesday, June 6, 2018

June 2018 Primary Ballot Suggestions

Fellow voters:
After much thought and research, you will find my suggestions for the upcoming Primary Ballot below.  If I didn't include a candidate for one of the Senate or House seats, it is because there either are no Republican candidates running OR there is only one.


5th Congressional
Rep. Doug Lamborn
True, consistent conservative.  Check the scorecards by Heritage Action and Conservative Review. Compare his votes with Colorado's other U.S.Reps and Senators as well as GOP in general.

Governor
Walker Stapleton

State Treasurer
Justin Everett - (A+ on POL)

State Senator
SD-2: Stephanie Luck

SD7: No Recommendation
SD-7: Dan Thurlow
SD-7: Ray Scott  (F on POL)

SD-22 Anthony (Tony) Sanchez

SD- 34 (Denver) Pastor Gordon Alley


State Representative
HD - 14: Kanda Calef, Solid, conservative challenger.  My solid preference.  Endorsed.
HD - 14: Shane Sandridge, incumbent (A+ on POL)

HD - 22 Frank Francone Recommend
HD - 22 Colin Larson

HD - 28 Kristina Joy Alley

HD - 44: Kim Ransom (A+ on POL)

HD - 56: Phil Covarrubias, incumbent (D+ on POL)
HD - 56: Rod Brockenfeld, Challenger.  Promises to be strong on illegal immigration

County Commissioner, 
District 1: No recommendations.
District 5: Vicki Tonkins Well-respected endorsements.

Sheriff
Mike Angley


References are made to Principles of Liberty (POL) show 2018 voting records for those currently serving in the legislature.  POL reflects the voting record as it pertains to truly conservative values.  Literally thousands of votes have been analyzed to determine the rankings.  It is without question the best indicator of a Representative's or Senator's conservative standing.

Underlined only directs one to the website or Facebook site.  It does not indicate preference.