My thanks to a number of fellow conservatives who have called or emailed to ask how I'm voting on this year's candidates, judges, and ballot issues. I am honored by your interest in my perspective. The 2010 ballot is a tougher one than usual for me, because of the train wreck in our race for governor and because of three taxpayer initiatives where the effect doesn't measure up to the intent. That said, here's the rundown: * On candidates, as in every election since coming of age in 1966, I will vote an almost-straight Republican ticket. The state and nation need GOP leadership to put the brakes on runaway government right now, even if my party hasn't fully learned its lesson from the mistakes of prior years.
* On judges, also in keeping with my custom of many years, I will politely vote no on retaining all of them. Supreme Court justices Bender, Rice, and Martinez have played loose with the constitution and richly deserve firing. On the lower courts, even the responsible judges need a reminder that their irresponsible colleagues have discredited the entire judiciary with much of the public.
* On the ballot issues, I will vote yes on all but 102, which is a dishonest money-play by the bail bond companies. I strongly support the pro-life impact of 62 and the pushback against Obamacare in 63. On 60, 61, and 101, the tax measures, I concede that if enacted, their poor drafting would make for poor public policy -- but as they won't possibly pass, my vote becomes a protest message to the anti-TABOR forces with their persistent disregard for Colorado's fiscal future.
* For governor, with regret, I will cast no vote this year. Character, competence, conservative principles, and continuity of institutions -- the four-part test I impose for Colorado's chief executive -- isn't nearly met by any of the major candidates: Republican Dan Maes, Democrat John Hickenlooper, or independent Tom Tancredo. This is not personal, and I respect those who reach a different conclusion. But it grieves me to see the inflamed emotions and rule-or-ruin frenzy this race has aroused. A neighbor recently told me the state faces "hell" if her man doesn't win. How childish. Thank goodness this will soon be over and our polity (my party in particular) can calm down and start to heal.
* My further views on the governor's race are in the Timely & Relevant section, home page top left on this website, and in an Oct. 10 column for the Denver Post. Excellent arguments for and against the three tax measures by Fred Holden (pro) and Mark Hillman (con) are on the Centennial Institute blog.
* As stated at the outset, it's no fun to feel so torn on important decisions such as these. I take comfort in the maxim of John Evans, a fellow state senator, who used to say, "Some of my friends are in favor, and some of my friends are opposed, and as for me -- I'm with my friends."
* Thank you again for asking about my approach in this (as usual) "most important election of our lifetime." And thank you for taking seriously our right and responsibility of self-government. Only by our stewardship (and God's grace) will America remain the last best hope of earth.