Tossing out one column about Lindstrom for another |

Tossing out one column about Lindstrom for another

Marc Carlisle

Writing a column that won’t be printed is akin to washing your car the day it rains. The time was well spent, but the work seems a trifle hollow. That’s how I felt when I learned that our state representative Gary Lindstrom had dropped out of the Democrat primary for governor. I’d just finished a great column promoting the candidacy of one of our own, a column that will now live out its days as zeros and ones on my laptop.There were a lot of reasons to support Gary’s candidacy. His style is very much his own, not the result of an image consultant’s advice, and his views are the same, they’re his, not based on exhaustive polling but his years as a cop, a coroner, a county commissioner and most recently, a state representative. But the thing that appealed most to me about his candidacy was that he didn’t have to run, either because he was out of work or had to scratch the maddening ego itch to climb the political ladder. Of the two Republicans in the upcoming primary, Bob Beauprez is a freshman Congressman who struggled in the last election and needs a job. His primary competition, Marc Holtzman, needs one as well, since the man who gave him his job as “Secretary of Technology,” Bill Owens, will be looking for a job, too.With Gary’s withdrawal, the sole Democrat is Bill Ritter, about whom I knew exactly nothing until recently. If the Democrats are intent on squandering the momentum they’d built by their success in the 2004 election, they can succeed with Ritter, a former Denver district attorney who also needs a job, but won’t find one as the state’s chief executive, since he will split his own party’s vote as he personally opposes a woman’s right to choose.

By the way, for those who thought Gary’s campaign was quixotic at best, in the most recent Rasmussen poll of Colorado voters, Lindstrom did just as well as Ritter against both Beauprez and Holtzman. Gary was anything but a long shot. As a registered Republican, I suppose I should be happy, though I’ve rarely voted Republican in the past 15 years. I have a difficult time with Colorado state politics. On the one hand, I’m a fierce fiscal conservative. I want the lowest possible tax rates, and I do not want a government that can oversee and regulate everything I do at home or at work. I strongly believe in term limits, and I believe that all government agencies and spending should face mandatory, constitutional “sunset” provisions. Government agencies are not “manifestations of an unchangeable and inviolate Higher Reason.” State agencies should not be housed in granite and marble edify in Denver, but rather should operate out of tents, moving nomadically from county to county, the better to get the job done with a minimum of paperwork.

On the other hand, I could easily register as a Democrat, because I believe that government is our collective creation to implement our collective will, to ensure justice for all and to do those things that we cannot do individually. I believe we all have a responsibility to improve the lot of those less fortunate, the poor and the poorly educated, to ensure a clean environment, and to guarantee public safety, goals that all of us support, but could never achieve individually.Gary’s departure from the Democrat primary is a loss for the state of Colorado, and a missed opportunity for Summit County residents and the Democratic Party. No other Democrats had stepped up and indeed, it looked as if Gary had scared them all off, which made his withdrawal that much more puzzling.But perhaps not so puzzling. The Democratic party, dominated by Front Range suit-and-tie money, had little interest in a string-tie guy like Gary, and certainly didn’t appear to welcome his candidacy. One part of Bill Owens’ legacy is his failure as the leader of the state’s Republicans, leaving that party among other things with no strong candidate to succeed him. So with both political parties putting forward weak candidates without state-wide constituencies, the field’s open for an independent candidate.

So I won’t delete my column on Gary’s candidacy, not yet. That will wait until after the primaries, when an independent may yet enter the race and you may see in print today’s original column, urging you to vote for our next governor, an independent candidate, Gary Lindstrom.Marc Carlisle writes a Thursday column. He can be reached at

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