Nov 032002
Authors: Josh Hardin

It is no wonder that Election Day is coming within one week of Halloween. With this year’s scary selection of candidates, voters are forced to choose between the lesser evils from this ghastly group.

At least the terror will end this Tuesday. Here is the macabre madness that is my ballot for the major offices of this year’s election:

The ghoulish Governor

If you thought “Children of the Corn” was freaky take a look at Gov. Owens’ education policies. His CSAP tests robbed from inner-city K-12 schools and gave money to the suburban ones. These tests did more to expand the gap between rich and poor than our former Gov. Roy Romer ever dreamed of doing.

Yet, Owens looks like a safe pick compared to his most prominent challenger Rollie Heath, who is alien even to Democratic diehards. Heath is a man who seems to have come from outer space. Before this election, no one knew who he was other than he was a businessman and his wife Josie once ran against former Sen. Hank Brown. Unfortunately, not many people know enough about Heath to trust him with their vote.

As painful as it is to say it, Gov. Owens deserves four more years.

The House of horrors

Colorado’s races for the U.S. House of Representatives give us a haunting cast of characters to choose from.

In Fort Collins’ 4th District we have Marilyn “Wicked Witch of the West” Musgrave who has not yet visited CSU during her entire campaign. Is she afraid to talk to us kiddies about her relentless anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-gun-control “family values” agenda? Her more moderate opponent Stan Matsunaka has my vote.

In the 1st District, Ken Chlouber would demote Denver back to “Cow Town” status. This is a guy who wears a cowboy hat, cheesy, fringed red, white and blue shirts and parades a burro down the 16th Street Mall begging for votes. If you’re from Denver and want to make our state the laughing stock of the nation vote for Chlouber, otherwise stick with the more professional Diana DeGette.

Boulder is a nightmare for Colorado Republicans. In the land of the liberals, Rep. Mark Udall’s hold in the 2nd District is secure.

While in Washington, I was impressed with two Republican incumbent congressmen: Joel Hefley and Scott McInnis who deserve to be re-elected. Hefley is chair of the House Ethics Committee. I witnessed how he calmly presided over tedious hearings regarding the expulsion of Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, who was found guilty of extortion and is now running for re-election from prison. While Traficant ranted on and on about gastric emissions coming from his ass, how he wanted to invite Playboy bunnies to his boat so he could be promiscuous with them and how the FBI and IRS were secretly stalking him (I’m not making any of this up), Hefley resisted the urge to get out of his chair and pummel him to a bloody pulp with a gavel like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining.”

McInnis, chair of the House Resources Committee, did everything he could to help alleviate the hell on Earth that was last summer’s forest fires. By working to get federal aid for firefighters and adjustments to current forest policy, he is at least trying to make a difference to stop the flaming infernos that seem to be becoming a consistent problem in this state.

As much as these incumbents are good examples of representatives, there is the evil twin to these men, a Mr. Hyde to the Dr. Jeckylls, Tom Tancredo. Tancredo is like “the thing that wouldn’t die,” since he broke his 1998 promise to limit himself to two terms in the House and ran for re-election this year. Hypocritically, his most potent platform was his support for term limits. Also his immigration policies make him a boogieman for migrant workers and illegal immigrants. If I lived in Littleton my vote would go to his opponent Lance Wright.

As for the new 7th district, President Bush has logged more frequent flier miles with our tax money than Charles Lindberg to rally for candidates like Bob Beauprez during this election. When Bush visited in September, Beauprez’s main opponent Mike Feeley actually sat and talked with people about the issues next door at a coffee shop. Who says you need famous people to campaign for you? Vote for Feeley if you are from Golden or Aurora.

The sinister Senate

This may be the scariest of all races in the country. It puts the dreaded lawyer-lobbyist Tom Strickland against former veterinarian Wayne “Pet Semetary” Allard.

While lawyers scare the hell out of me, Allard’s voting record is even more horrible. His votes in Congress, which were 98 percent party-line Republican, were on par with conservative zombies Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms in the night of the living dead that has become the modern Senate.

Both candidates unleashed a campaign of television terror of ads with the intent of scaring us of their opponent. Despite this, Strickland is the best choice, even if you are fed up with the race. Here is why: If the Republicans receive control of the Senate (which the Dems currently have only a one-vote advantage in), maintain control of the House and with President Bush in the White House, the checks and balances that make our country great will disappear in the next two years.

All the power of Washington in the hands of one party, now isn’t that one of the scariest things in the world? I’m not going to get any sleep tonight just thinking that could possibly happen. But who am I to tell you how to vote? Cast your ballot for the candidates you feel are right for the job, or at least the ones who frighten you the least.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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