The “Head On” debate between former state Sen. John Andrews (R) and former Denver councilwoman Susan Barnes-Gelt (D), seen daily on Colorado Public Television since 1997, began its October series this week. Andrews argued for a Republican vote in races for Governor and Congress, along with a conservative vote on ballot issues. Other topics this month include the controversy over voting machines and photo ID, along with Denver's new art museum addition. 1. WHO SHOULD CONTROL CONGRESS?
John: When you vote, remember: the US Congress is the world’s most important elected assembly. It not only holds in trust the liberty, prosperity, and human dignity of 300 million Americans, but also the future of freedom everywhere. To ensure a strong defense and protect the Constitution, we need a Republican Congress.
Susan: Republican Control got us into this mess – record deficits, unleashed insurgencies around the globe, out of control health care costs. We need a Democratic Congress to slow down the Bush White House. Gridlock may put us on the road to recovery. Vote Perlmutter, Paccione, and Fawcett et. al.
John: Turning Congress over to left-wing Democrats would lead to weaker defense, fewer jobs, and higher taxes. Who wants that? Republicans will just take better care of America, period. Voters should send Rick O’Donnell, Doug Lamborn, Scott Tipton, and Rich Mancuso to Congress. They should reelect Marilyn Musgrave and Tom Tancredo.
Susan: Conservative Richard Viguerie,, quote: Republican House leaders do whatever it takes to hold onto power. Whether it means spending billions of taxpayers’ dollars on questionable projects or covering up the most despicable actions of a colleagueThey’ve lost their moral rudder” End quote. VOTE DEMOCRATIC.
2. WHO SHOULD BE GOVERNOR OF COLORADO?
John: Election time is often confusion time, and that’s not right. Television doesn’t always help. Too many slogans, too much mud. Donna and I are going to cut through the fog and vote Republican for governor – vote for Bob Beauprez. More jobs, lower taxes, safer neighborhoods, better roads and schools. Bob Beauprez will deliver.
Susan: The Post and the Rocky endorsements got it right. Bob Beauprez’s campaign has been a solid vote of NO Confidence in his ability to lead Colorado. His voting record in Congress is mediocre. He’s done nothing to address immigration, healthcare or the deficit. Bill Ritter is the solid choice.
John: Colorado Inc., a 15 billion dollar enterprise, should not gamble its chief executive job on a mediocre ex-prosecutor. Behind Bill Ritter’s moderate mask is a Denver liberal, with another Denver liberal for a running mate. Bob Beauprez is a proven leader in government, business, and civic life. Beauprez gets my vote.
Susan: A $15 billion enterprise should not gamble it’s future on a guy whose policies have the consistency of a burnt waffle. Beauprez wasted four years in Congress following a herd of Republican sheep, lying to the public and covering for misguided colleagues. Bob Beauprez – all hat, no cattle.
3. BALLOT ISSUE PICKS & PANS
John: Colorado Public Television has debated the 2006 ballot issues at length. Now we’ll now debate them in brief. I’m voting yes on 38 for petition rights, yes on 39 for more dollars to the classroom, yes on 40 for tougher term limits and better courts, yes on 43 for traditional marriage.
Susan: It’s foolish to expand petition rights, and give more power to special interests or to further limit local control of school funding or politicize the courts. No on 38, 39 and 40. I don’t need my committed relationship defined by the State. I am not sure who does. Neutral on 43.
John: 43 is needed -- traditional marriage helps to nurture children, protect women, and civilize men. Continuing down the ballot, I’m voting no on 41 to protect minorities from a job-killing minimum wage, no on 42 to protect citizen access to public officials, and no on 44 to discourage the potheads.
Susan: Yes to increasing the minimum wage, Amendment 42. No to 41 - an overreaching ethics code that doesn’t belong in the state constitution. The current take whatever you can, anytime – but Amendment 41 isn’t the solution. Yes to Referendum I - recognizing the legal rights of domestic partnerships.
4. CAN WE TRUST THE VOTING PROCESS?
Susan: I don’t know about you John, but I’ve applied for an absentee ballot. I’ve no confidence in the electronic machines and even less in the local, state and federal election officials. And as for a national ID card – isn’t that why we fought WW 2?
John: Honest elections are a Colorado tradition. Secretary of State Dennis is working hard to keep it that way, as would Mike Coffman if he succeeds her. Voting machine conspiracy fears are exaggerated, but ballot security should not be sacrificed to convenience. Photo ID at the polling place is just common sense.
Susan: The reliability of electronic voting machines is questionable. Gigi Dennis’s partisan behavior is troubling. Denver’s election commission opted for vote centers –despite poor performance in the August primary. If you want to make certain your vote counts and you live in Denver County – use a mail ballot.
John: Elections are a sacred trust of American self-government, not a matter of casual convenience. Vote centers are a bad idea. Photo ID to prevent fraud is a good idea. Democrat Ken Gordon doesn’t understand that. Republican Mike Coffman does. Coffman gets my vote for Secretary of State.
5. THE LIBESKIND MUSEUM WING
Susan: What’s the difference between and Icon and an I-sore? That’s the issue under discussion by art lovers, critics and citizens now that Daniel Libeskind’s addition to the Denver Art Museum is open. I think time and wear will be the jury. But for certain – our charm bracelet is overloaded.
John: So you give two cheers at most for Libeskind’s multimillion dollar pile of crumpled titanium? I give no cheers at all. Architecture, like art, is supposed to ennoble the human spirit by celebrating beauty and grace. The new museum wing flunks that test. Transgressive novelty does not define a great city.
Susan: A great city is measured by the health and safety of its residents, the beauty of its park and civic spaces, the mobility and transparency of connections – streets, roads sidewalks and – the beauty and durability of its built environment. One, two, three or a dozen interesting buildings – do not define a city.
John: If the new museum gets more of us engaged with thinking about great art, that’s good. But the building itself is not great architecture. It’s a mere attention-grabber, designed by a clever showman. Denver shouldn’t let Libeskind near the renovation of Civic Center Park.