amendment 67

Election 2014: How I'm voting

Here sits my Colorado general election ballot on the kitchen table, ready to mark and mail. I wish it were not an all-mail election, but that's another discussion. For the information of many who always ask, and for discussion with readers who may agree or disagree (which makes the world go round), my intended votes on candidates, ballot issues, and judges are listed below.

As always, I am voting a straight Republican ticket. That's not with animosity toward Democrats or the minor parties, but simply because I'm convinced the GOP adheres best (albeit very imperfectly) to America's original and never-improved-upon "operating system," the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Our communities, state, and nation are most likely to survive and thrive under the Republican principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, limited government, free markets, peace through strength, and Judeo-Christian moral truth.

Thanks for your interest. Comments and questions are always welcome.

Federal Offices US Senate: Cory Gardner (R) US House, CD6: Mike Coffman (R) Elsewhere R's for Congress: Ytterberg CD7, Leing CD2, Walsh CD1

State Offices Governor: Bob Beauprez (R) Attorney General: Cynthia Coffman (R) Secretary of State: Wayne Williams (R) Treasurer: Walker Stapleton (R) CU Regent, CD6: John Carson (R) State Representative, HD-37: Jack Tate (R) Elsewhere State Board of Education: Fattor CD2, Mazanec CD4 Arapahoe County Offices Commissioner: Nancy Sharpe (R), Tory Brown (R) Clerk & Recorder: Matt Crane (R) Sheriff: David Walcher (R) Treasurer: Sue Sandstrom (R) Assessor: Corbin Sakdol (R) Coroner: Kelly Lear-Kaul (R)

Ballot Issues I am a no vote on everything except Prop 104. That includes local tax increases, not specified here, and expansion of marijuana sales (prevention of which in Lakewood requires a YES vote on Measure 2A).

If you want further discussMark Hillman, former state treasurer and state senator, contributed to our Centennial Institute blog a thoughtful rundown on the four statewide issues, aligning to my position with but a single exception.

No on Amendment 67: Define "person" to include the unborn I believe life begins at conception, and I would like to see state and federal law reflect that. But this poorly drafted and ill-advised measure wouldn't survive in court and only abets the pro-abortion fear mongers who want no conservatives in public office. Hillman aptly calls it "heartbreaking and hopeless" for pro-lifers like him and me.

No on Amendment 68: Expand casino gambling to horse racetracks Gambling is morally and economically corrosive to individuals and the community. We have more than enough of it, run by public and private entities, in Colorado already. Here I must part with my friend Sen. Hillman.

Yes on Proposition 104: Open meetings for teacher union negotiations Schools shouldn't be unionized like factories in the first place. But since they are, let's prevent sweetheart deals in secret between them and the school boards they often control via political money and muscle. Teacher union contracts weren't always even an open record until the school collective bargaining sunshine act I sponsored in 2001. Here's our chance to shine light on the bargaining process itself.

No on Proposition 105: Food labeling for genetically modified organisms Another move by the environmental scare lobby to demonize the poverty-fighting advances of scientific agriculture and burden free enterprise with needless costly regulations.

Judges for Retention I will again vote no on all judges. It's been my practice for many years.

Not all my friends will agree with this, even the most conservative. But I reason that nearly every judge will be retained, the best and the worst, deserving or not, despite some of us casting a principled protest vote against the toothless evaluation-and-retention system itself.

We need to put all the judges, and the legal profession they spring from, on notice that a substantial minority of Coloradans object to our state's minimally accountable judiciary.

Take for example this year's two state Supreme Court justices up for retention, the conservative Brian Boatright and the left-progressive Monica Marquez. I'd be glad to see Marquez return to private law practice, and I'd be thrilled if Boatright stayed on the court till retirement age. But for the reasons stated, neither gets my yes vote this time.

Let me also recommend Matt Arnold's excellent work through Clear the Bench Colorado, really the only vigilant watchdog out there, including his careful and objective ratings of judges' constitutional fidelity - far more useful than the tame, state-published Blue Book evaluations.