Election Prep 101

Loving participatory democracy? I hope so, but if it’s too onerous and you’re unwilling to do or not up to the heavy lifting of citizenship, there’s always the option to emigrate to Russia, China, or another totalitarian system. Didn’t think so.

Take a deep breath. Less than four weeks remaining in the 2018 election season. However, since you’re proud of and desirous of keeping your American citizenship, you have a critical job to perform: Studying candidates and ballot initiatives of which there are a plethora.

Remember the lesson you learned in school about homework and how you remind your children the value of it? Back at ya! Do your homework, or I’ll need to tell your kids you’re a slacker

The top contested race at the national level for Clear Creek is for House of Representatives; at the state: governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and legislature; and locally: clerk and recorder and District One commissioner.

You should have gotten your Blue Book with a summary and pros-and-cons about the wide range of issues. If not, call the Secretary of State office. You’ll soon be getting one about our local initiatives. Eye-glazing reading at times that makes Thoreau’s “Walden” seem a gripping, suspenseful page-turner, but nevertheless critical.

Within the next week, you should get your ballot in the mail. If not, please check with Clerk and Recorder Pam Phipps.

You are a big person, so the last thing you need is advice from me. But I’ll give it anyway as it is what op-ed columnists occasionally do.

It’s basic. First and foremost, fill out and deliver your ballot. But don’t rush it. Before blackening the boxes, do your homework. Visit candidates’ websites to learn more about them. If the opportunity presents itself, get to candidate forums and other such gatherings. Not just read but study the Blue Book and other legitimate literature. Legitimate as opposed to crank.

On my website, there are interviews I have done with local candidates and CD 2 Democratic candidate Joe Neguse, which you can listen to at https://www.jerryfabyanic.com/thinking-liberally/.

In addition, on Saturday, October 13th, on KYGT between noon and 2:00, Beth Luther will be joining me to talk about the Georgetown Parks and Rec initiative; BOE President Mitch Houston will discuss the school district’s mil levy proposals; and Commissioner Tim Mauck will spread the word about Propositions 109 and 110 that would fund state CDOT highway projects.

Active campaigning demonstrates candidates’ respect for you, the voter. It shows candidates don’t take you for granted and take seriously their responsibility to earn your vote.

How candidates manage their campaigns serves as insights about how they will perform in their offices if elected. By getting out there, knocking on doors, showing up and speaking cogently at forums, going on the air to discuss their efforts, and all the other aspects of effective campaigning are insights to a candidate’s character and abilities: his/her work ethic, listening and management skills, and overall willingness and ability to interact and relate to the public.

A case in point: Given her history of solid support for public education, I was initially excited to see Cary Kennedy enter the race for governor. But in time it became obvious her campaign was a disaster. Soon enough, I concluded her chances of winning were slim at best, and if elected, I questioned how effective she would be as the state’s chief executive. I continue to like and respect Cary for all she does, and hopefully a future Governor Polis will tap her to be part of his administration. Still, it is about who is the best person to do the job, not the one we feel beholden to.

Accordingly, I want to thank the three candidates for contested offices who took advantage of the opportunity to come onto my show the Rabbit Hole on September 29th to discuss their reasons for running and their goals if elected: Mayor Mike Hillman and George Marlin, commissioner candidates, and Elaine Lewers, candidate for Clerk and Recorder.

Next week, I will share my thoughts on the candidates, local to national, for your consideration and in two weeks, about the ballot initiatives. Because that is what op-ed columnists do.

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