State Senator Gail Schwartz: Yes
In the race for state Senate District 5, we endorse Gail Schwartz.
The Snowmass Village Democrat has demonstrated her acumen for the job, passing a remarkable amount of legislation benefiting her district for a freshman legislator. Schwartz’s passion for education and the environment represent her constituents well and we look forward to seeing her continue to develop as a state senator.
We also applaud Schwartz for sticking to her conviction to continue advocating for a progressive energy policy, despite the shifting political headwinds. We encourage her to use her influence to get the voter-approved Energy Smart Loan Program out of the bureaucratic mess in which it is currently mired.
Bob Rankin, the Republican challenging Schwartz, seems like a good guy, but we feel his candidacy is made up more of right-wing talking points than substance. Please vote to re-elect Schwartz, as we believe she has earned it.
Colorado State Representative Kathleen Curry House District 61: Yes
In the race for the lower chamber of the state Legislature affecting the Roaring Fork Valley, we endorse Kathleen Curry.
Curry, a Gunnison rancher who came to politics after serving as a water manager for the Gunnison River, knows the issues affecting her district as well as anyone. Over her six years in Denver, she has been a strong voice defending the water and agricultural interests that are so important to this area of Colorado.
While we question the way Curry went about changing her party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated — many of her local Democratic Party supporters felt burned — we admire her courage to shun party politics. Her move also means her name is not listed on the ballot and must be written in.
If Curry is to win, it would be a historic occasion, as no one has ever pulled off a write-in victory for a Colorado House race. But we think Curry has what it takes to do just that. Please write in Kathleen Curry and mark the oval next to the write-in line.
Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101: No
We all hate government waste and overspending, and we see some example of it nearly everyday. But Amendments 60 and 61, and Proposition 101, called the “Ugly Three” by opponents, aren’t the way to address it.
Proposed by anti-tax and government critics — whose identities and source of funding aren’t entirely known — the ballot measure’s outcome are truly ugly for the state of Colorado and our community.
They would create deficits in the state, especially as the measures would cut state income taxes altogether.
Tens of millions of dollars could collectively disappear from the budgets of Pitkin County, the city of Aspen, Snowmass Village, Basalt, the school district, the hospital and a host of other public-serving entities.
The loss of revenue would mean fewer teachers (one in six statewide), fewer services and a loss of 73,000 jobs statewide, according to Coloradans for Responsible Reform. The ballot measures, if passed, could potentially cut the state budget by $1 billion.
Amendment 60 cuts property taxes in a variety of ways, especially for school districts. Amendment 61 would sharply curtail borrowing by local governments. Proposition 101 cuts vehicle registration and telecommunication fees.
Locally, our open space program, our roads and bridges, our daycare services, our healthcare, our affordable housing and our education system would be severely impacted. If those things are important to you, vote “no” on Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101.
We understand the motivation of introducing the anti-tax measures — government has gotten too big and spending has gotten out of control — but they are misdirected motivations.
We agree we are taxed and subjected to way too many fees, often without adequate government representation, but the anti-tax measures are too draconian.
We need to find another way to send a message to our elected leaders and government officials that we want to see better fiscal responsibility from them. A downsizing of government is necessary as well — it’s getting too big and some of the people in charge are getting too big for their britches.