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If you still haven’t turned in your ballot, do so, but first consider some facts not found in local papers

November 3, 2014, 5:43 pm
Suppes Donovan

Don Suppes and Kerry Donovan.

A Republican friend of mine whom I consider a moderate voice of reason on some issues and a complete crackpot on others took the time the other day to scold me for the lack of motivation of my fellow Democrats this midterm election, as if that’s somehow my responsibility.

Seems he was angry at the apathy demonstrated by the Dems this midterm, in which even fewer young people, women and minorities are voting than in past midterms, and so he scolded me in hopes I would scold them into getting their ballots in between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday.

It’s too late to mail ballots in, so you must turn them into one of the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s offices in either Avon, Eagle or El Jebel, or there’s also a ballot drop-off at the Vail Municipal Building. To get a replacement ballot if for some reason you didn’t get one mailed to you or to find out exactly where to drop off ballots, go to the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder’s website or call (970) 328-8715.

So there, consider yourself scolded. Midterms matter. Just because we’re not picking a president there’s no excuse not to vote, especially when even moderate Republicans are so scared of their party’s candidates they’re actually worried by the prospect of GOP-controlled state and U.S. senates.

Republican state Senate District 5 (that’s us) candidate Don Suppes seems like a nice guy when you talk to him on the phone, but he’s basically running on a platform of rolling back everything the Democrats did in the State Legislature the last few years, such as universal background checks for firearm purchases and increased renewable energy portfolios for rural electric associations.

I happen to agree with both of those policies, and I strongly disagree with Suppes’ misguided plan to pursue state control over federal public lands in Colorado, paying for the massive management expense by stepping up the leasing of those lands for mining, grazing, logging and oil and gas drilling.

I think most of us moved here and stay here to enjoy outdoor recreation and would like to protect our environment as much as possible, conserving public lands for future generations. That’s why Democrat and former Vail Town Council member Kerry Donovan got my vote over Suppes.

The Vail Daily also had the good sense to endorse Donovan in a district that could be the key to Democrats maintaining their scant 18-17 margin in the state senate, which is a place, unlike the U.S. Senate, where things actually get done. And Eagle County has not been the home county for a state senator since the early 1990s.

A couple of things you won’t read about in the Vail Daily, unless they decide to follow up after the election, are Suppes’ inexplicable gaffes when it comes to managing both his campaign and his Twitter account. The Orchard City (near Delta) mayor somehow thought it was OK to use the town hall for sorting campaign mailers with volunteers, and he fired a staffer for a racist tweet back in May, then later said he thought his account had been hacked. Now Suppes is facing an official complaint from Colorado Ethics Watch to the Secretary of State’s Office.

These are not signs of good decision making, and it would have been nice to read about these failings in the local paper of record, but those are the pitfalls of our right-leaning local newspaper monopoly. Put Suppes’ shenanigans together with his very socially conservative views on many topics, including sympathizing with last year’s secession movement, and you can understand my Republican friend’s frustration at his party’s inability to find a reasonable, socially moderate, fiscally conservative Republican to run for SD5 and likely win in a landslide.

Same goes for the obscenely expensive, all-time record-breaking race for U.S. Senate in Colorado (someday history will judge this Supreme Court poorly for Citizens United). President Obama’s approval rating is so low that any reasonable Republican should have walked all over incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.

Consider that the party of a second-term president has lost its grip on every Senate since World War II when the lame-duck president’s party actually held the majority. I consider Udall a moderate very worthy or reelection, but he’s been fighting an uphill battle given public disgust with Obama and incumbents in general in Congress.

Only a Tea Party sympathizer like Rep. Cory Gardner, who refuses to come clean on his current sponsorship of federal personhood legislation, could make this race as close as it is. By pandering to the far right with his previous support of personhood ballot issues in Colorado, Gardner has forced the one-issue debate over something I thought we decided 30 years ago.

Thing is, there’s a lot more to Udall. He often crosses the aisle on energy, national security, women’s issues, immigration and a whole host of other policies that never got anywhere in the most obstructionist Congress in U.S. history. Of course he voted with Obama 98 percent of the time; there was hardly any actual legislation to vote on thanks to the 2010 Tea Party takeover of the House.

Whatever your take on all these issues, midterm disaffection and tuning out the rampant outside spending that’s clogged the airwaves and enriched broadcasters are not valid excuses for refusing to vote. Make sure you’ve turned in your ballot, no matter your political persuasion, but especially if you’re an apathetic Dem hoping someone else will keep the kooks out. Your vote really matters this midterm.

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is the editor and co-founder of RealVail.com and has had his awarding-winning work (see About Us) published in more than 75 newspapers and magazines around the world, including 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), the Anchorage Daily Press (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, Aspen Journalism, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Boulder Daily Camera, the Casper Star Tribune (Wyoming), the Chicago Tribune, Colorado Central Magazine, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), Colorado Newsline, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Colorado Times Recorder, the Cortez Journal, the Craig Daily Press, the Curry Coastal Pilot (Oregon), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Del Norte Triplicate (California), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Gazette, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, Explore Big Sky (Mont.), the Fort Morgan Times (Colorado), the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), the Kingman Daily Miner (Arizona), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the Las Vegas Sun, the Leadville Herald-Democrat, the London Daily Mirror, the Moab Times Independent (Utah), the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), the Montrose Daily Press, The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, the Rio Blanco Herald Times (Colorado), Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), the Salt Lake Tribune, SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Sky-Hi News, the Steamboat Pilot & Today, the Sterling Journal Advocate (Colorado), the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Health Magazine, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail, Westword (Denver), Writers on the Range and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

One Response to If you still haven’t turned in your ballot, do so, but first consider some facts not found in local papers

  1. Greg Moffet Reply

    November 3, 2014 at 10:44 pm

    thanks Dave, from your moderate Republican friend.

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