Su Lum: Slumming | AspenTimes.com

Su Lum: Slumming

Su Lum
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

The way the Republicans have been acting of late, both nationally and locally, it would be safe to say that I’m not voting for any of them in the upcoming election. Michael Bennet for U.S. senator over Ken Buck, for sure – Buck’s for teabag positions such as the flat tax and no abortion even if you’re knocked up by your father.

John Salazar for state representative, John Hickenlooper for governor and so on down the line with special support for Gail Schwartz for state senate. I will vote for Roger Wilson for state representative rather than writing in Kathleen Curry because I think that gives better odds of not ending up with Republican Luke Korkowski. I regret that if Curry had to change her affiliation from Democrat to Independent, she didn’t do it in time to get on the ballot.

On the local level, I strongly endorse Jack Johnson for county commissioner and Joe DiSalvo for sheriff – all the others are running unopposed.

For the retention of justices, I will vote to retain local judges Gail Nichols and Erin Fernandez-Ely, but will not vote on the others because I know nothing about them. I do not think the public should be voting for justices – they should be appointed, as they are in most other states.

I agree with the motto: Vote NO on the Numbers, and would add that I will vote “no” on the letters as well. I am not in favor of more gambling regulation, much less for bingo games and raffles (Amendment P), do not think we need an amendment to move the seat of government during a disaster (Amendment Q), or to exempt certain property taxes (Amendment R). Overall, I am not in favor of any unnecessary changes to the constitution and think it is all too easy to get some of these claptrap questions on the ballot.

Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101 are Tabor/Bruce-type amendments, which will cripple our state, local governments and school budgets (all resoundingly endorsed by the Red Ant) if passed. These are the big three – No, No, No. See the editorial in the Oct. 19 edition of The Aspen Times for details. These are terrible amendments.

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Amendment 62 is an anti-abortion question, which pops up every election in one guise or another. This one gives rights to a fetus at the moment of conception. Amendment 63 is an anti-Obama health care opt-out. Proposition 102 would tighten pre-trial release for those who can’t afford a secured bond. I’m voting “no” to all of them.

On to city questions, Referendum 2A is for the 1 percent lodging tax. Now that they have expanded this to include all city voters instead of a partial list (which got the question into trouble last time around), I am in favor of it. We need more funds for marketing and I hope it is spent well. Speaking of ACRA, I hope we will have a boycott of ACRA until they loudly resign from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the sooner the better. Membership dues to that organization is really badly spent on vile anti-Obama ads.

Referendum 2B asks us if we want to eliminate the Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) system and, instead, reinstate the past runoff election (vote twice) system. I am not a huge fan of IRV, but I voted for it in the first place because I didn’t like the old run-off system with another month of campaigning and having to go back to the polls. So I’m voting to keep IRV. Note that if you want to keep IRV you have to vote “no” on 2B.

Referendum 2C asks to do away with printing our local ordinances in full in the newspaper and instead put them up on the Web. Of course I am voting against this because (disclosure) I work for The Aspen Times, but also because I know that not everyone is computer-savvy or even computer-equipped and the needs of all the citizenry should be served.

Referendum 3A is the proposed school tax. I’m not a big fan of school taxes, either, which already take up a big chunk of my $5,000-plus annual tax bill for my little miner’s shack, but my daughter, Skye Skinner, is (disclosure) executive director of Compass, and she is so worried this tax won’t pass, and what it will mean for the Aspen Community School and the public schools if it doesn’t, that I will drop my Scrooge mask this time and vote for it. Maybe my hands are getting too arthritic to pinch pennies.

Referendum 5A is the first of two Aspen Valley Hospital questions and is basically a de-Brucing question allowing them to keep the money they have. No new taxes, I’m voting “yes.”

Referendum 5B is a bonding question for the proposed Aspen Valley Hospital expansion, and again I have something to disclose: My life was saved by AVH in 1999 when I had an oxygen reading of 29 (it is supposed to be in the 90s), and my life was greatly enhanced by seven years in their cardiac/pulmonary rehab exercise class. I know it’s big – one might even say grandiose – but I am not voting against the hospital. They are great people and I have so many things wrong with me, I really need them. If you haven’t already, you may need them, too.

That’s it. I thought there was going to be an entrance to Aspen question on the ballot, but damned if I can find it.

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