Ballot Issues: Nix All but Six

Out of 18 proposals on the crowded Colorado ballot, only Nos. 46, 47, 48, 49, 52, and 54 are "conservative winners" that deserve to pass, says John Andrews in the September round of Head On TV debates. "Childish," counters Susan Barnes-Gelt, who supports nothing but No. 59, the TABOR-buster from Speaker Romanoff. John on the right, Susan on the left, also go at it this month over the presidential race, the DNC in Denver, and the Schaffer-Udall battle. Head On has been a daily feature on Colorado Public Television since 1997. Here are all five scripts for September: 1. OVERVIEW OF BALLOT ISSUES

John: Most of the ballot issues this year are terrible, but six deserve to pass. To curb excessive union power, vote yes on 47, 49, and 54. For better roads, vote yes on 52. For racial equality, vote yes on 46. To protect the unborn, vote yes on 48. All the others, vote no.

Susan: The easy answer for a ballot riddled with too many confusing and contradictory proposals: Vote NO on everything but SAFE, Amendment 59. The anti-union and pro-union proposals never should have gone to the ballot. They're childish. Competing severance issues 52 & 58? Ditto! SAFE will liberate Colorado's paralyzed budget. Vote Yes.

John: Amendment 59 ends tax refunds forever and rewards bad schools. Referendum O attacks our right to petition. These are bad ideas like most of the others. But -- 46, 47, 48, 49 are conservative winners. Likewise 52 and 54. We should pass those six -- and dump all the rest.

Susan: Amendment 59 - SAFE (Savings Account For Education) creates a savings account for public education, dedicating a permanent source of funding to public education, preserving our right to vote on taxes, and untangling the fiscal knot in Colorado's constitution. It's safe to vote YES on 59!


John: Congratulations on a terrific job hosting DNC 2008 by Mayor Hickenlooper and his administration, Police Chief Whitman and his department, and all the countless volunteers and donors who made it happen. We Republicans know a class act when we see one, and Denver’s hospitality to the Democrats was just that.

Susan: Denver did a terrific job hosing the DNC. Even moving 80,000 in and out of Mile High went without a hitch. By contrast - St Paul was a mess. Violence in the streets and a convention that looked like a 1950's rerun - old, white and angry.

John: Republicans won both times in the 1950s, thank you. We had a war hero who defeated a snobbish intellectual, just like this year's matchup. As for radical protesters, naturally they went harder on the RNC than the DNC. But again, bravo to Denver police for making our city look good.

Susan: Now it's up to the Mayor and his people to ensure Denver lives like the city we played on TV: Lively streets that accommodate people and vehicles, comprehensive transit, human-scaled development, even a lively Civic Center. It will take vision, political will and focus.


Susan: I hope the presidential campaign has more substance that the Conventions – particularly the Repubs in St Paul. I guess if you don’t have anything to say, skewering the media and your opponent is the way to go. The delegates got so much red meat – they’re all on Lipitor!

John: An underdog won the nomination in both parties. Each nominee then picked a surprising VP, wonderfully bold for McCain, disappointingly dull for Obama. Both men got a convention bounce in the polls. The election is only weeks away. Will voters choose the smooth-talking liberal messiah or the time-tested American hero?

Susan: McCain's a hero - no argument. Trouble is, he loves risk, shoots from the hip, is on both sides of too many issues and votes with Bush 90-percent of the time. His vetting of the pit bull with lipstick, was barely a flyover - Surely Americans deserve better.

John: Americans deserve trustworthy leadership in the White House. John McCain has used his career to advance change. Barack Obama has used change to advance his career. The contrast is clear. Americans are realizing that one candidate is about pretty words, the other is about results. Advantage McCain and Palin.


Susan: Sarah Palin is compelling –just like McCain - only with better hair. She’s flexible – for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it – against sex education notwithstanding her pregnant teen – and ready to fire an Alaskan librarian for not agreeing to ban books! WOW what a woman.

John: I hear a jealous Democrat talking. You wish Obama had a woman running mate with half the star power and accomplishments of Gov. Palin. Sarah Barracuda is shaking up the race. She has more executive experience than the whole Democratic ticket combined. In picking her, McCain again proved himself the original maverick.

Susan: Biden's a proven commodity. Palin is a blank slate, quoting her, "a pit bull with lipstick." McCain didn't fully vet her background. Every time a new fact emerges the R's will scream sexism or blame the media! The circus - complete with moose-pie - will detract from important issues.

John: A vice president seldom influences policy or takes over in mid-term. The VP is there to support the boss and broaden the appeal of the ticket. Joe Biden is neither a team player nor a good Catholic. Sarah Palin will put more states in play while covering McCain's back. Advantage Republicans.


Susan: Bob Schaffer's record in Congress was lackluster, far to the right of mainstream Coloradans. Sending him to the Senate would be foolhardy. Mark Udall, by contrast has a history of stewardship of our state's natural assets, the environment, resources and human capital.

John: You underestimate Schaffer, Susan, just as you do McCain and Palin. Go right ahead, but the voters may disappoint you and Boulder liberal Mark Udall. Honest Bob kept his term limit pledge in Congress, gained business experience drilling for oil, and as a Senator, he’ll cut taxes. Pretty appealing.

Susan: Schaffer spent 6 years in Congress getting nothing done for Colorado and everything for the oil and gas industry. Now he works for Aspect Energy, representing their interests in Iraq - counter to US interests and in direct opposition to the State Department. What a guy!

John: Bob Schaffer is a foe of big spending and big government. Like Palin, he and Maureen are parents of five. Boulder liberal Mark Udall has supported higher taxes, higher gasoline prices, labor bosses, and a Department of Peace. He’s married to a green activist. The Udalls are too liberal for Colorado.