As promised, here are my ballot thoughts with some research behind it.
I did some digging and explaining, and it may help you. There is hours of research here, sadly.
My opinions are un-apologetically liberal, for the most part. I won’t pretend to be impartial. When in doubt, I always vote Democrat. Yes, I know they are all evil weasels on the take… Dems and Republicans. At least the Dems ran out the rapists and various sexual offenders. EVERY ONE OF THEM… even the small potatoes. Where the GOP supported child rapist Roy Moore, or for SCOTUS, serial rapist (and admitted alcoholic) Brett Kavanagh.
PLEASE feel free to challenge or correct me. Please feel free to pass around. Tell me why I am wrong. In just chatting with the wifey this week, I changed my view on a couple of these things.
Every single commercial you have seen is a one sided lie. Be suspect of EVERYTHING… including all of my advice.
Here is a handy trick I use when i don’t know enough about an issue… vote against whomever has the most money and best commercials. Entrenched big money is NEVER looking at for the average person. Never has, and never will. I get that issues can have meta impacts on the economy. Yes, paying teachers more than minimum wage (for example) would cost the taxpayers MILLIONS. Know what else will cost taxpayers millions? Incarcerating that little shit who dropped out because school and teachers and society failed him. Spend the money up front, it’s an investment.
Prop 73 – funding for schools.
Why > I don’t have kids, and never plan to have kids. Still, I NEVER EVER vote against education spending. If you don’t believe public schools are important, stop reading and go jump off a bridge. A rising tide lifts all boats. If we have better schools, more kids graduate. More kids have good jobs when they grow up. That means less people apt to rob you, and more money going into the infrastructure for roads and bridges. Listen, I am sure you don’t trust the govt to handle your money. I get that, no one does. However, cutting money for schools only hurts all of society, short and long term.
For the love of god, for yes for schools. We are low on school spending. However, I will shortly contradict all of that on the Douglas County initiative
School district funding for Douglas County.
Why > This one is tough. I firmly believe in always saying yes to education. But here is what is weird. Douglas County is one of the richest counties on Earth, and is 7th richest in the US. So… why are they mooching? I live Douglas County adjacent, and lived there for 15 years. We also use their schools. At the grocery store last week, I saw TWO BMWs with nice little window treatments on the back windows supporting this. Again… why are people with BMWs begging for more money? How the hell do these teachers afford BMWs. Douglas County is VERY suspect in their motives. Just two years ago, they wanted to basically have the right to secede from the public school system, and make taxpayers pay for their little precious rich crackers to go to private religious schools. The whole nation was watching, and we stopped it.
I gotta tell you, I am torn and have not decided. Yes… schools and teachers need more money. But… Douglas County is the monopoly man with sacks full of cash. My huge blue book has no info on this, so I need to research more.
Prop 109 > money for roads
Why > Seems like a no brainer, we all want better roads… but then I saw a commercial Gov Hick did against it. Though he is a politician (and I was VERY unhappy with all the ass-licking he has done for the gas and oil lobby) I still REALLY like and respect him. Gov Hick did a commercial saying it was bad and unfunded. So, I researched more. Just looked at it with the wifey – answer is NO. Why? We need better roads, especially here in Elbert. But this initiative is a mandate, AND unfunded. What does that mean? The critics (among them the Denver Post and Gov Hick) say to pay for it, money will just be pulled from schools. This whole initiative is suspect, for sure. NO. Normally, like education, I would NEVER vote against infrastructure investments. This one is suspicious and incomplete. This is a ‘rob peter to pay paul’. Want better roads? Ok, but you have to let us close schools.
Prop 110 > money for roads
Why > Spending money on roads and bridges and stuff. Maybe if we pass this, EVERY highway project in CO won’t continue to be express tolls only. Did you know that ALL free expansions now and planned are ALL for toll roads? The C470 widening, the E470 widening, the coming I-25 widening from Castle Rock to Fountain. Every minute you spend in construction will only result in toll lanes.
Even if you are a righty, especially if you are a righty… you recognize that this is govt’s job. Infrastructure.
Prop 111 – restricting rates on payday loans
Why > 1.7 million supports it. Here is the deal, you have NO idea how fucked up and predatory these places are. On paper, the loan rate maxes out in the 30% range… which is already usurious (remember Jesus attacking the money lenders in the bible? It was about this. Well, with missed payments and back funds, it can be in practice 120%. I had an employee who worked for me who did one of these. She borrowed about $250 against her paycheck that was coming in a week. Being a mom and grandmom and primary breadwinner for the whole family, she didn’t readily have the money to pay it back. This is VERY common, which is why they borrow. 3 months later, she owed them over a grand, and was being called and threatened daily. In the olden times, this kind of predatory lending was called ‘usery’, and it was one of Jesus’s biggest beefs.
Prop 112 > oil and gas setback
Oil & Gas companies are AGAINST it. in fact, they have spent as of last week
33 million spent against it
Why > Let’s be honest. It likely will make fracking and drilling tougher. Maybe that is ok. Maybe we live in the damn windiest and sunniest place in America. Maybe that is where we could spend our money. Just the fact that oil companies have broken every spending record in history to fight this is good enough for me to support it. Btw, the adds say if you support this it will ‘destroy Colorado’s economy’ and ‘cost hundreds of thousands of jobs’. No it won’t. NONE OF THESE INITIATIVES will have that kind of impact. I do not feel compelled to assist oil companies in ANY manner. Neither should you.
Amendment A > prohibition against slavery
Why > This isn’t so much about slavery as we know it… except in the meta sense. This is very specifically about prison labor… and whether prisons can be made to work for free. I guess I will go with yes on this, which means no to slavery. Maybe you are thinking ‘fuck them, they are there for a reason, and they should have to pay back through work to offset the cost of incarcerating them” that would be great, but that is NOT what is happening. What happens is no matter how much they work or don’t work or are paid or aren’t paid… it costs the same to us… about $30K per prisoner per year. What the for profit prisons do is get contracts to sell widgets. It’s a great deal for everyone, except the prisoner. The prison sells the widgets and pockets the money. That is why I support this bill. It is just helping the for profit prisons get richer on the backs of (let’s be honest) young black men working for free. Hence the term, ‘slavery’.
If a prison could or would work to pay back the cost to imprison them… I would be fine with that. That isn’t what’s happening.
The wording seems dramatic… but is it? Aren’t we largely talking about young black men here? Yes, I am generalizing. Everything about our prison system is evil and criminal… and I ain’t talking about the prisoners, either.
because our prisons are run by private companies FOR profit. Is that a group of people that want to rehabilitate these young men? No, if they did that, they would be out of business. The more I think about this, the more I am voting yes.
Amendment V – allows people to run for office at 21, as opposed to (currently) 25.
Why > Why not? If someone is driven to public service, that is a good. There could be a sinister motive behind this, but I don’t see it. Guess we need to look at the spending.
Amendment Y & Z – approves a third party to draw congressional districts,
Why > instead of the current way – which is Gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is politics at its worst. It is where congressional district borders are re-drawn every ten years via the census. Seems right, people move and demographics change. Yes, that would be fine. But that isn’t how it is used. It is used by the ruling party to to include and exclude neighborhoods to create demographic juntas… for lack of a better term. Whomever is in control of Congress gets to draw them. Every party does it, and its bullshit. Here is the most recent example of where I live.
My district is Elbert county (which is 3 guys named Earl, 7 horses, and 23 cows.) However, this district also includes Douglas County. Douglas County is the 7th richest county in the nation. It includes Highlands Ranch, all the way down to Larkspur. It is rich white folk, and so historically has always skewed Republican. The Dems wanted in, so they redrew the boundaries when they had the chance (during the Obama era). They widened it to include a bunch of Aurora. Why? Aurora is poorer by a long stretch… and so tends to skew Democrat. In order to try and secure this district for themselves… the Dems (basically, and I know I am generalizing) threw in as many poor and minority voters as they could to try and get that seat for a Democrat.
It didn’t work. Why? My opinion… disenfranchised voters don’t vote at the rate rich white folks do. That is why the system represents rich old white people… and how they stay in power.
because they vote like a motherfucker. If more poor and young people voted… politicians would do more for them. Its a self fulfilling Sisyphean battle… because disenfranchised people don’t vote because they don’t feel represented.
I don’t know what the new system will be. It will probably get corrupted and fucked, but it has to be better than the current system.
Amendment 74 – if govt (oil development) hurts your property value, they have to reimburse you.
I suspect this is not as pure and altruistic Big Oil is against it… so I am for it.
Amendment 75 – matching money for fundraising
Why > This one is yucky, but I say yes. It says if one candidate puts in 1 million of his OWN money… then his competition has the right to accept more than the current amount they can take (which is, I think, about $3,000 per person/business)
6A – Rattlesnake fire money – (obviously, this is super local… but support firemen!)
Why >My wonderful neighbor Jim gave me some insight on this. He is on the board of directors (to which he nominated me, which I am still honored by) He explained why we should vote, which I will share with you.. Plus? Who votes against firemen? You are a monster if you do.
The judges? I don’t know any of them, so I am abstaining. I never feel comfortable with these questions. No one knows who these people are, and I can’t find easy access to their histories of positions. This isn’t something we should vote on. There should prolly be some kind of oversight board… but they would likely be all corrupt.
My friend Ken gave me a long and twisted and thoughtful explanation of why he votes no across the board. I agree with him. But, I won’t ask you to do one way or the other.