Kleckner: A Democrat’s eye view of a Summit County ballot
October 23, 2014
As Election Day nears, we are asked to make a group decision on four issues that will shape the future of Colorado. Should education be partially funded by casinos? Should we pay more taxes for services? Should we redefine embryos and unborn children as "persons"? Should we require food producers to label food with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) similarly to organic labeling?
For me, Amendment 68 and Summit County's measure 1A are an issue of financial responsibility. The state of Colorado is responsible for educating its children, and education has been underfunded for years. Do we want to depend upon gambling to educate our children? Shall we expand gambling again for roads? I do not want Colorado to become another Las Vegas with gambling machines everywhere.
I see letters complaining that the temporary Summit tax measure is vague or unnecessary. Everyone likes services like 911, fire protection, plowed roads, etc., yet no one seems to want to pay for them. Whether you are a full-time resident or a second-home owner, you are a member of the community, and you are responsible for the infrastructure that allows you to live in this beautiful area. So be a responsible member of society.
Amendment 67, the "personhood" bill, would outlaw most forms of contraception, and killing an embryo would become a felony. Abortion would be illegal in all cases. The wording on the ballot is misleading. The pregnant mother and unborn child are already protected under Colorado law. Read the blue ballot information booklet!
Proposal 105 would require labeling of food produced with GMOs so that consumers can make informed decisions when choosing products. Sixty countries worldwide already require this, and Colorado food producers shipping to those countries already have to provide this labeling. While there will be some additional costs to producers and to establish regulations, the food industry is "crying wolf." Colorado handled the marijuana regulations in a timely manner, and this will be phased in as well.
In conclusion, the people we elect can improve the quality of life or push their personal agendas. Since the 2010 midterm elections, the Republican Party has used its majority in state legislatures to restrict voting, restrict women's choice on health care options and abortions, and gave more tax breaks to corporations, while taking away collective bargaining from teachers and public employees. On the federal level, it has obstructed cabinet appointments, voted against equal pay for women, fought against health care for all and wasted time voting 50 times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. For a party that wants smaller government, it sure likes to intrude on and restrict personal freedoms — unless it's Wall Street or the NRA. Democrats more often look at the broader picture and work to promote prosperity for everyone, even when it is not the popular thing to do. Do you want a representative who imposes his or her own personal beliefs on everyone, or someone who represents everyone? If you want more gridlock in Congress, vote Republican. If you want rational and reasonable representation in Congress, vote for the Democratic candidate for state and federal offices.
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