Lum: Swing low, sweet Colorado | AspenTimes.com

Lum: Swing low, sweet Colorado

Su Lum
Slumming

Don't you just love living in a swing state?

If I hear one more ad for Udall, Gardner, Romanoff, Coffman, Hickenlooper or Beauprez I might flip out and do something rash like detonate my own TV set.

Big money (read: Koch brothers) desperate for the Republicans to control Congress pours into states like Colorado where they smell a possible vulnerability, and then the Democrats get all nervous and start pounding out emails so they can run the same volume of ads as the opposition.

I wonder how many actual voters these ads influence. All the die-hard Republicans will vote Republican, and all the die-hard Democrats will vote Democratic, the independents (being, one would hope, independent thinkers) have already made up their minds and that leaves only the undecideds to which this maelstrom is directed.

With today's technology, both parties probably know exactly who these people are and could cut to the chase by making personal visits to these head-scratchers and let the rest of us live in peace.

Statewide, I'm voting for the Democrats. The Republicans, who used to be the party of bankers, have gone bonkers.

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In Aspen, the only real contest is Patti Clapper versus Rob Ittner for county commissioner, and I wish they could keep the debates down to three. It is the candidates who are in charge of this because they are the only ones who can "Just say no" to the chamber of commerce, the men's lunch, the women's lunch, Squirm Night, the ski company, the Rotary Club, the two parties, the Girl and Boy Scouts, the junior league, the senior league and the Motherpuckers hockey team.

Say no to more than three, broadcast them on GrassRoots TV (along with the hourlong personal interviews, which are stupendous), and we'll all know where you stand if you're not lying or, to use Ittner's word in a campaign email, if you're not a "lier" (sic).

I'm voting for Clapper, who single-handedly saved us from the Superfund dig-out back in the day and was a good commissioner until she was term-limited.

I usually keep my nose out of Snowmass Village and its politics, but I have to say that Mayor Bill Boineau, who is now running for Town Council, is the worst mayoral bully I've ever seen (yes, including Mick Ireland) and should be thumped out of the arena.

Ditto Markey Butler, who takes Boineau's side and is running for mayor against the best council person they have, Jason Haber. If I could vote, I'd vote for Jason.

The ballot isn't too awful this year; I'm just getting into it and am very relieved there are only a few state questions to be deciphered: Personhood (no), identifying genetic modification on food labels (yes), racetrack gambling (no) and something about collective gambling that I haven't read yet. More later.

Locally, there's a question about term limits (I'm against term limits), a confusing one about filling vacancies that needs more research and a puzzling one about eliminating a conflict-of-interest committee. Do we have a conflict-of-interest committee?

It doesn't speak well of democracy that here in the land of the free (for some people), they have to beat the bushes to get citizens registered to vote and then have to nag and coerce and practically carry them to their polling places or help hold the pen over their mail-in ballots.

The ads drone on, the money flows like hot lava, the voters do their best not to vote, and sometimes it seems like we need a benevolent dictator.

Su Lum is a longtime local who expects it would end up being one of the Koch brothers — never mind. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times. Reach her at su@rof.net