We know where Johnson stands
October 25, 2010
I was going to vote for Jack Johnson anyway, but the recent red antics of Marks, Milias, and the angry folks who came to Aspen and found nothing they liked now compels me to vote early just for the sake of my own sanity.
Jack has joined the honor roll of public-spirited locals who have drawn the fire of these cranky pants; John Worcester, Jim True, the hardworking Kathryn Koch, Ward Hauenstein, and Phyllis Bronson to name a few. A couple of years ago they were after Rachel Richards with a vengeance – Rachel, who has done such a good job as a county commissioner that she is running unopposed in this year’s election.
Jack has a long record as an activist, community volunteer, and public official, from the planning commission to City Council. He is soft-spoken, but he will not let himself be insulted. In short, he is an empathetic human being with a history of public service and a background in local government.
Jack’s opponent, Rob Ittner, is probably a fine person. I just don’t know anything about him, other than he has waved a sign at me on the street, and he’s a Republican running as an independent in the commissioner race. There are aspects of conservatism I admire, but I don’t embrace current Republican values, which these days seem to amount to intolerance, anger, and devotion to the moneyed class.
Mr. Ittner could have talked about what his values are as a Republican, but he has made that topic off-limits by saying national political affiliations are not relevant in a local election. With all due respect, that is nonsense. I’m a registered Democrat because of the history Democrats have in working for the most vulnerable, from the WPA in the 1930s, to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and public education, up to and including the recent health care and banking overhauls. Democratic initiative is the reason there is no more lead in gasoline. And Democrats didn’t turn their backs on the AIDS epidemic the way Reagan did, or try to define ketchup as a vegetable to save on school lunch programs.
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That commitment to the public good is absolutely as relevant in Aspen and Pitkin County as it is in Washington, DC. Jack Johnson has it, he’s done the work, he’s earned our respect, and he’s earned our vote.