Bigfoot Coalition adds spice to Basalt election |

Bigfoot Coalition adds spice to Basalt election

What do you get when you combine that strange Aussie sense of humor with environmentalism? A bizarre but entertaining effort to spice up the Basalt election campaign.

Basalt resident Cam Burns created the Basalt Bigfoot Coalition this month to make a splashy entry into the town’s politics.

“Basalt’s elections have always been really boring, so I’m trying to make it more entertaining,” said Burns.

The former Aspen Times reporter and current Roaring Fork Sunday worker intended to run for Basalt mayor in the April 4 election. He couldn’t be a candidate because he’s an Australian citizen.

So, with his dog Lefty, Burns created the coalition. He picketed outside of a candidates forum March 16 with signs that decried the loss of Bigfoot habitat around Basalt. The species, he claimed, is being threatened by development.

Most of the people who saw him at the forum were curious. The reactions ranged from “right on to get away from me you big freak,” he said.

Not even his wife, Anne, is sure what to think of it. “She’s disowned me for the time being,” Burns said.

He claimed that Basalt lore has it that Bigfoot lived at the confluence of the Roaring Fork and Fryingpan rivers back when the town was settled a century ago. Development pushed the species up the Fryingpan.

“Although a few skeptical locals don’t believe in Bigfoot, these wonderful creatures are an indicator species, much like n See Bigfoot on page 15-A

n continued from page 1-A

elk,” says the coalition’s campaign material. “If their habitat is preserved, their populations will thrive – and so will the populations of all our high country flora and fauna.”

When asked if he was trying to make a serious statement in a humorous way, Burns played coy. “Serious definitely is not a word in my vocabulary,” he said.

Nevertheless, he’s gone so far as to make endorsements. He’s promoting Steve Solomon for mayor, and Jonathan Fox-Rubin, Anne Freedman and Jacque Whitsitt for trustee. He’s encouraging a write-in effort for Lefty, his dog, for the fourth trustee seat.

Burns said he selected those candidates because he thinks they will work hardest to preserve the environment, open space and, most importantly, Bigfoot habitat.

He contacted the candidates before making the endorsements to make sure they wouldn’t be embarrassed by getting the nod from his strange little coalition.

Solomon said he was honored. “It’s just plain fun,” he said. “There have been some aspects of this campaign that haven’t been fun.”

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