Four on four

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Oct 312006
 
Authors: Sean Star

There’s no doubt the CSU pass defense will face its toughest test this Saturday when Brigham Young senior quarterback John Beck and the conference’s best offense roll into Fort Collins to face the Rams.

Beck is the Mountain West Conference all-time leader in passing touchdowns and has been named the MWC offensive player of the week four times already this season.

So with the Rams’ secondary likely the center of attention this weekend, the Collegian caught up with four of its members to discuss the start of basketball season and stopping Beck among other topics.

Chase Weber, cornerback, senior, Euless, Texas:

NBA Finals prediction: Dallas Mavericks over Miami Heat

Halloween costume: Black Superfly

Favorite CSU basketball player: Freddy Robinson or Tyler Smith

Key to stopping the Cougars’ passing game: “We can’t make mental mistakes, we have to make tackles and play an all-around crisp game.”

Joey Rucks, cornerback, junior, Los Angeles, Calif.:

NBA Finals prediction: Detroit Pistons over Miami Heat

Halloween costume: Donald Trump

Favorite CSU basketball player: “All of them.”

Key to stopping the Cougars’ passing game: “We have to play really good coverage to give our (defensive) line time to put pressure on him.”

Klint Kubiak, safety, sophomore, Englewood, Colo.:

NBA Finals prediction: Houston Rockets over “anybody”

Halloween costume: camouflaged hunter

Favorite CSU basketball player: Jason Smith

Key to stopping the Cougars’ passing game: “(Beck) checks down a lot, but as long as we don’t give up the big play down field, we’ll be fine.”

Jake Galusha, safety, sophomore, Omaha, Neb.:

NBA Finals prediction: Miami Heat over Dallas Mavericks

Halloween costume: Bam Bam with girlfriend as Pebbles

Favorite CSU basketball player: Ronnie Augilar

Key to stopping the Cougars’ passing game: “We have to break on short passes and make solid tackles so they don’t get a lot of yards after the catch.”

Football beat writer Sean Star can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Rams Struggle Early, Pull Away to Win Exhibition Opener

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Oct 312006
 
Authors: Matt Pucak

A shorthanded Colorado State Ram men’s basketball team started off slow before pulling away from the Regis Rangers to win 69-53 Tuesday night at Moby Arena.

Playing without forward Jason Smith, an all-Mountian West Conference performer last year, and guard Tyler Smith, a highly touted junior college transfer, the Rams struggled, but were led by guard Corey Lewis, who scored 11 of the Rams’ 29 points in the first half, and finished the game with 17 points and seven assists.

Sophomore guard Stephan Gilling also stepped up in the second half to tie Lewis for the scoring lead in the game with 17 points, all coming in the second half.

Coach Dale Layer said Gilling and Lewis helped level out the young team.

“Stephan (Gilling) had the hot hand, and Cory’s stellar play helped us pull away and keep us in control of the game,” Layer said after the game.

Despite the Rams early troubles, they never trailed. Their up-tempo style on offense and defense kept the Rangers off-balance, but turnovers and missed shots early by the Rams allowed Regis to stay close.

Despite Lewis scoring half of the Rams’ first 22 points, he claims he didn’t feel any pressure to step up his scoring.

“I felt great. I didn’t need to push it, I just let it come to me, and I was hitting everything.” he said. “Jason (Smith) and Tyler (Smith) are going to be a huge part of our offense. We had to step up and get it done.”

Coach Layer was pleased to get to see so many of his younger players get into a game to gain experience, especially freshman Ronnie Aguilar and Jarrel Smith, along with transfer Alton Robinson.

“Alton Robinson had great energy and showed flashes of brilliance. With his length he was important on the glass and the press. Ronnie (Aguilar) and Jarrel (Smith) were two guys without one minute of college ball (who started),” he said.

Senior Brandon Butler led Regis with 16 points, while fellow senior Nick Winder chipped in 11 points. Geremy Gibson added nine, six of those on powerful dunks.

The Rams are in action again on Friday against Concordia-Montreal in their last exhibition game of the season set for 5:05 p.m. at Moby Arena.

Basketball beat writer Matt Pucak can be reached at sports@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Lose weight, buy a Kia

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Oct 312006
 
Authors: Ryan Speaker

It’s almost midterms. And I still haven’t decided how I am going to vote. These are trying times, and politicians have been fighting for the votes of the moderates all the way. However, for Democrats at least, that means the base is being ignored.

True Democrats have become the Log Cabin Republicans of the party; they are being misrepresented but have to go along with the cause anyway because they so greatly disagree with the other party.

There are issues out there, too, important ones that simply have not been a part of the discourse this election cycle.

Heard of net neutrality? There is currently legislation being considered that, if approved, would allow for service providers to charge you and me more for services, and also make deals with Web site owners; if the owners pay the service provider some amount of money, the provider could allow faster access to the site, while slowing (perhaps even preventing) access to competitors. Make no mistake – the only beneficiaries are the major corporations, such as AT&T and Comcast.

There is the ever-great issue of stem-cell research. This summer, thanks to our current Congress, more than 450,000 frozen embryos, embryos that could provide stem cells but could never become humans, were thrown away. People have wrapped this issue up in a moral or religious ribbon, but let us be honest with ourselves: Is throwing away untenable embryos any better than using them for potentially life-saving research?

I fail to see why people hesitate with the issue. These embryos are typically around 150 cells in size; the brain of a fly has approximately 250,000. Do you hesitate with the life of the fly before swinging the swatter?

The environment is a pretty big deal – haven’t heard much on that, though. There is this idea you have to be a Young Earth, hippie-type to appreciate the fact we are doing no favors for Mother Earth; global warming is a liberal myth perpetuated to scare the masses. Yes, there is still discussion within the scientific community over whether or not global warming is real, but until a conclusion or “theory of global warming” comes around, let’s focus on the evidence.

The world is getting hotter. Ten of the hottest summers have occurred in the last 14 years, and they are the hottest summers since the last Ice Age. Ice caps are melting at almost frightening rates, carbon-dioxide levels are at all-time highs, about one species is becoming extinct each day and the World Wildlife Fund estimates that within 10 years, 25 percent of the species we know today will be extinct.

Frightening, right?

Our cars are getting larger, our bodies are getting larger and we’re using more fuel than ever before. American automakers have failed to create fuel-efficient vehicles, resulting in the loss of billions of dollars each quarter and hundreds of thousands of American jobs. Despite technological advances, fuel standards have not been raised since the 1970s.

A true patriot does not put a yellow ribbon on their $50,000 SUV and say they are doing their part. A real patriot, in these times, would get their weight under control and buy a Kia. Using less foreign oil, keeping more money in your pocket, doing a favor for the environment and encouraging domestic innovation – that’s traditional patriotism.

It is not easy finding candidates who are actually representative of their parties. This cycle, Democrats have been clamoring for the votes of moderate Republicans and ignoring the values of the their own party. The big issues are fun and all, but they should not dictate entire campaigns.

I say, let us teach Democrats a lesson: If you’re not going to represent our views, we’re not going to elect you. Instead, let’s give them the “F-You” vote: To third party candidates!

Ryan Speaker is a senior history major. His column appears every Wednesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

IN THIS TOWN, YOU NEED A PLAN

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Oct 312006
 
Authors: Kathleen Harward

Editors note: This column is the first in a series of advice columns provided by Student Legal Services.

You start at a friend’s house and have a beer. An hour later, you move with the party to a bar downtown. You order an appetizer and have another drink. The appetizer is served and your glass is empty. You order your third drink, finish the food, settle the tab, and fish your car keys out of your pocket.

Your first mistake: Pulling out keys instead of your cell phone. If you’re a female weighing 130 pounds, your blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) at this point is likely around .07 (grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams per 210 liters of breath). Driving in Colorado with a BAC of .05 could get you charged with DWAI – driving with ability impaired. Driving with a BAC of .08 will get you a DUI – driving under the influence. Both offenses carry serious consequences. You can count on paying between $800 to $3,500 in fines and costs alone, not including attorney’s fees and insurance consequences.

If convicted of a DUI, you’ll lose your driver’s license for one year. You could serve jail time of up to a year and you’ll be required to perform up to 96 hours of useful public service. There are higher penalties for a second offense.

Now let’s say you do pull out your cell phone to call for a ride. Michael Navey, co-owner of the Crown Pub, says that most customers, especially those in the student generation, want to do the right thing. “If everyone who wanted to get a cab could get a cab within a reasonable time, we wouldn’t have as big a problem as we have in this town,” he said. According to Navey, the typical wait to get a taxi during the peak hours of 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. is close to two hours. Patrons start trying to call friends to come get them or decide to drive anyway, Navey said. In some cases, customers choose to walk home, which carries its own dangers.

RamRide, a free ride home program operated by volunteers and sponsored by the Associated Students of CSU is available to help in this situation. It runs Thursdays 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., and Fridays and Saturdays 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. With its non-judgmental, no-questions-asked service, RamRide is an attractive option. Here, too, however, students report waits of one to two hours.

So let’s say it’s 2:30 a.m. and you’re not about to wait an hour or two for a ride.

You make your next mistake and start driving down the road. You deliberately concentrate on doing everything right, but then your mind starts drifting, which it is prone to do when you’re at this alcohol level. When you snap back to attention, you see flashing lights in your rear-view mirror. You pull over and a police officer begins to ask questions and make requests.

At this point you can’t afford to make any more mistakes. Here are the do’s and don’ts:

DO:

/ Be polite and respectful. Police officers have discretion in whether and what they charge, and your attitude toward the officer is considered by the District Attorney when offering any plea bargain.

/ Most importantly, BE QUIET. You absolutely have the right to remain silent and the right not to incriminate yourself.

/ Always provide license, registration and insurance proof when requested.

/ You must exit the vehicle when requested by the officer. (But if you suspect police impersonation, lock your doors and call police to confirm the officer is legitimate.)

/ If the officer writes you a ticket, you must sign it. Your signature acknowledges receipt, not guilt.

/ If you are arrested for DUI, you must take a blood test at the hospital or a breath test on the big machine at the police station; otherwise you lose your license for one year.

DO NOT:

/ Do not complain, argue or try to talk your way out of the situation.

/ Do not answer questions. “Have you been drinking?” “How much?” Your answers to these questions will be used against you, and you are not required to answer, even though you will feel like you are. Tell the officer, “I’m sorry officer; I respectfully decline to answer any questions.”

/ Do not consent to a search of your vehicle. Say, “I’m sorry officer, but I do not consent.” (But DO NOT try to physically stop them.)

/ Do not agree to perform “roadside sobriety tests.” They are voluntary, even though it won’t seem like they are. These tests are designed for failure and cannot help you. Again say, “I’m sorry officer, but I respectfully decline.”

/ Do not take a portable breath test. Officers carry small breath machines with them. They are scientifically unreliable and will do you no good. They are not admissible as evidence, but they can work against you in arrest and charging decisions, in bail considerations and possibly in sentencing. Say, “I’m sorry officer, but I respectfully decline.”

The only safe alcohol level for driving is .00. Imagine killing someone. Last year, alcohol-related crashes caused 39 percent of total traffic fatalities.

Check out the many blood alcohol level calculators on the Internet and get an idea of your likely BAC under different scenarios. Perhaps your organizations can invest in a reliable breathalyzer you can use to test yourself in a safe setting.

In this town, you have to have a plan before you ever drink the first beer of the evening. Call your ride an hour or two ahead of when you’ll need it. Better yet, bring along a designated driver. And if you are stopped in your vehicle after drinking, remember, you have the right to remain silent.

This column is provided by Student Legal Services. It appears every other Wednesday in the Collegian. To learn more about the services offered by SLS or to make an appointment, visit their office in Lory Student Center Room 182 or their Web site at www.sls.colostate.edu.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

RamTalk

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Oct 312006
 
Authors:

What did we do in the days before cell phones? When the power went out in Animal Sciences during our exam, everyone had an alternative source of lighting handy.

So, today I was text messaging my friend to tell her I had an econ test today. But what did the predictive text say instead? DAMN test! Coincidence? Sure, but it’s a pretty econ funny one!

Where are these squirrels rumored to be afraid of dinosaur noises? I hit one that was eating a nut right over my head with my pen and it didn’t do anything but give me a dirty look.

To the guy in the library who was sitting in front of me in a “Quiet Zone” who decided it was a genius idea to talk on his phone ridiculously loud – I saw you trip on your way out.

It’s nice to see Sonny gets his coaching advice from RamTalk. Anyone have any ideas how we can actually win a game?

You know your dog is a Ram fan when: It wears a CSU shirt and poops out green and gold beads from the necklace you wore to the game yesterday!

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Our View: Vote in your best interest

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Oct 312006
 
Authors:

We agree wholeheartedly with the recent poll that the cost of education is the single most important issue for students.

That’s among the main reasons we chose to endorse Democrats Bill Ritter for governor and Angie Paccione for the 4th Congressional

District, and, of course, Referendums C and D last year.

It’s simple.

The Republican gubernatorial candidate for Colorado, Bob Beauprez, has said that he would be in favor of removing any cap on our tuitions.

This means that there would be no limits to how high tuition would

rise. This is undeniably anti-student – we don’t care how much he

claims to be pro-education.

Marilyn Musgrave was staunchly against Referendum C, despite the fact that if it wouldn’t have passed, Colorado universities’ tuitions could have jumped by a quarter or more. And her only substantial recent “pro-education” action was really part of her

anti-immigration ploy.

We believe that Musgrave won’t touch it if it doesn’t have to do with her party’s hot-button flavors of the year – gay marriage, illegal immigration, the war on terror.

And unfortunately, for quite some time, that’s worked.

So while Musgrave and Beauprez may claim that with the election of Democrat, moral decay, skyrocketing taxes and mass illegal immigration will follow, we’ll pose a simple question:

Did we really see any of that when Bill Clinton was in office?

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

To the Editor:

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Oct 312006
 
Authors:

Unfortunately for the readers of the Collegian, each week we have to skip over Nick Hemenway’s column on current events.

Or, if we do happen to read his column, we are subjected to a verbatim regurgitation of whatever the Republican Party leadership was spouting off the week before. Don’t get me wrong. I am not advocating that he should be denied his weekly column or silenced in any way.

However, I am challenging him to offer something – anything – new to the discourse in American politics. Nick, instead of listening to President Bush’s weekly radio address or a Tony Snow press conference and passing off a transcript of it as your column, I challenge you to come up with something new to tell us.

You don’t even have to think of it yourself. Find a site on the Internet that analyzes the economy and tell us about that. For example, why don’t you spend some time actually researching why lower taxes may help the economy? Cite some statistics. Convince us you’re right.

Please stop wasting our time by repeating things that we’re all tired of hearing and avoiding real debate on issues that are far more important than the slogans that are used to represent them.

Matt Ruiz

graduate student

computer science

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Vote Dudley; fight indifference with apathy

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Oct 312006
 
Authors: Kevin Dudley

When I first started my work at the Collegian, I had one goal in mind: To grow a moustache the likes of which has never been seen in the reporting world, ever.

While I realize NOW that being a damn good reporter does nothing for your moustache-growing abilities, it has brought me to the cusp of an astonishing realization.

I am unaware of the exact numbers, but a passel of my professors (I hope that’s a real word) has been reading my columns, never realizing that I was such a hot shot in the journalism world. (It’s not cocky, it’s confidence. There’s a difference)

So this week, in honor of them reading my, at times, ridiculous points and not kicking me out of their classes, I have decided to do a political column and help them with their voting issues.

The other day, while resisting the urge to see how many cookies I could fit into my mouth at one time, it occurred to me that I have no idea who any of the candidates are for governor, nor do I know any of the issues.

So instead of trying to find out, I have decided to run for governor and make a stand on some of the biggest issues in this campaign.

I have been reading Ram Rant (it will always be Ram Rant to me) for the past couple weeks to find out what is happening on the streets of CSU. It is now clear that the biggest issue, or at least the most consistent issue, is the squirrels.

I am taking a very middle-of-the-road squirrel stance to make sure I satisfy everyone. I propose we pay a small group of hunters to exterminate half of the squirrel population. I will then have volunteers bother you as you walk to class for money to protect the rest of the squirrels and build the Dudley’s Squirrel Sanctuary to promote squirrel awareness.

Next on my agenda is immigration. I will have to side with William Ritter on this one and say I am in favor of guest worker programs but not amnesty due to the deep economic factors here. What? I’m not THAT apathetic.

On a touchier subject, ever since I announced my candidacy for governor at the beginning of this article, I have been bombarded with the abortion issue. Where do I stand? What will I do?

I assure you that I will take a very 23-year-old-sexually-active-college-male stance on this one. Anyone who does not want “abortion after abortion” (which is apparently what all of us sinners are doing, thank you Brother Matt) will not have to have one. They will get free healthcare instead. Problem solved.

I would also like to bring an issue, which I have become very passionate about lately, to the forefront of my campaign: Baby shaking.

I never knew what a problem this has become until I saw one of those public service announcements defining the tragedy that is shaking babies (you can’t make this up). I started thinking that if there really are people out there shaking their babies, this has to stop immediately.

The first thing I would do is move the public service ads to programming more likely to reach the baby-shaking demographic: NASCAR races.

The second prong of my two-headed anti-baby-shaking monster (I’m pretty sure I just crossed metaphors) is to find a rehabilitative outlet for their deeply ingrained baby-shaking tendencies. Maybe teach them how to play an instrument that needs to be shaken, like the maracas.

I can see it already – legions of salsa bands with one hillbilly shaking his maracas like there’s no tomorrow. I feel better already.

Now that I have outlined where I stand on these important issues, I would like to stay with the current political trend and bash the other candidates. To protect myself from being sued for libel, I will tell you in advance that I don’t know if any of this is true.

I heard William Ritter flashed the “shocker” to a group of small school children from the back of his campaign limo (that makes me want to vote for him) and Bob Beauprez went to the University of Colorado, making him a dirty hippie.

‘Nuff said.

Kevin Dudley is a senior natural resources major. His column appears every Wednesday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Voter’s Guide

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Oct 312006
 
Authors:

THE CANDIDATES

Representative- District 4

Marilyn Musgrave- A Colorado native and CSU alumna, Musgrave is widely known for pushing for a constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of a man and woman.

Angie Paccione- Paccione earned her PhD in education from CSU and served as chair of the Democratic Majority Caucus in the Colorado House of Representatives.

Eric Eidsness- Eidsness served in the Navy during the Vietnam War and served as assistant administrator for the EPA during the Reagan administration.

Governor/Lieutenant Governor

Bob Beauprez- Beauprez has served two terms as Colorado’s 7th congressional district representative. Beauprez supports a measure to allow institutions of higher education to set their tuition without state regulation.

Bill Ritter- Ritter served as Denver’s district attorney for 12 years. Ritter says education would be his number one priority as governor. Ritter is opposed to the legalization of marijuana.

Paul Fiorino- Fiorino has been an influence in the Denver performing arts scene for more than 35 years and believes strongly that the political system currently lacks the creativity to address state issues.

Clyde J. Harkins- Harkins defines himself as the candidate for God, country and Colorado, saying Colorado needs a governor who will stand up for the Biblical world view.

Dawn Winkler-Kinateder/Richard Randall- Winkler-Kinateder defines herself as a successful activist, mother and businesswoman.

Secretary of State

Ken Gordon- Gordon has served in the Colorado House of Representatives for 14 years as a Minority Leader in the House, Senate Judiciary Chair and Senate Majority Leader.

Mike Coffman- Coffman, a Marine and tenured politician, has served as State Treasurer and has served on both the state house and senate.

State Treasurer

Mark Hillman- Hillman has served on the state senate for seven years, where he served as both Minority Leader and Majority Leader.

Cary Kennedy- Kennedy served under former governor Roy Romer and served as policy director for House Speaker Andrew Abramoff, where she assisted in the development of last year’s Referendum C.

Attorney General

Fern O’Brien- O’Brien worked as a litigator for a New York law firm and is currently a partner at Colorado law firm.

John Suthers- Suthers headed the Colorado Springs district attorney’s Economic Crime Unit, served as Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections and served as United States Attorney for the District of Colorado.

Dwight K. Harding- Harding runs his own legal practice out of Longmont where he has been in business for 21 years.

State Board of Education, 4th Congressional District

Tom Griggs- Griggs is an associate professor at the University of Northern Colorado where he teaches bilingual ESL classes. He served as president of the Fort Collins Food Co-op.

Bob Schaffer- Schaffer served as a Colorado senator, US Congressman and as vice-chairman of the Senate Education Committee.

State Senate, District 15

Steve Johnson- A veterinarian, Johnson earned his both of his undergraduate and doctorate of veterinary medicine from CSU, where was on the Associated Students of CSU senate.

Jennifer Miller- Miller has worked on worked for many political campaigns, but has never held any office. She currently works as a sign language interpreter.

State Representative, District 49

Sue Radford- Radford worked as a computer hardware designer for Hewlett Packard for seven years and is currently the treasurer for the Larimer County Democratic Party.

Kevin Lundberg- Lundberg was a part of this year’s special session to address illegal immigration. Lundberg was opposed to last year’s Referendum C.

State Representative, District 51

Jodi L. Radke- Radke is a Colorado Regional Prevention Specialist. She also served as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer for the Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation.

Don Marostica- He is a former member of the Loveland City Council and a CSU graduate.

State Representative, District 52

John Michael Kefalas- Kefalas, a CSU graduate, served in the Peace Corps and has been active with the Affordable Housing Coalition of Larimer County, Fort Collins Area Interfaith Council, Fort Collins Housing Authority, among others.

Bob McCluskey- McCluskey served on the Fort Collins City Council, was president of Fort Collins Parks and Recreation Board and served as a chairman of the Poudre Fire Authority.

State Representative, District 53

Randy Fischer- Fischer received two degrees from CSU and has served on the Larimer County Rural Land Use Advisory Board and the Fort Collins Water Board, among others.

Anne Yeldell- Yeldell is District A Director for the Poudre School District Board of Education. She was Larimer County campaign manager for Governor Bill Owens as well as the Bush / Cheney campaign.

Mark Brophy- Brophy believes the state should repeal unrelated persons house occupancy laws, lower the drinking age to 18, legalize marijuana, abolish mandatory shots to enter college, and end Social Security and Medicare.

Darren Morrison- Morrison endorsed Yeldell, the Republican candidate, so that he would not take away votes from another pro-life candidate. He says he is running primarily to draw attention to his party.

THE TOPICS

Amendment: An alteration or addition to the Colorado constitution or state statutes.

Amendment 38: Petitions

Would expand the ability of citizens to change state and local laws and limits the government’s ability to change, enact or repeal measures proposed and decided by citizens.

Pro: Makes local government more responsive to its citizens, creates a more uniform way to petition the government and encourages changing statutory, not constitutional law.

Con: Weakens representative government, could allow abuses of the petition system, would require voters to examine many issues with limited background and could limit the government’s ability to quickly respond to a problem with a law or change it.

Amendment 39: School district spending requirements

Proposes a change in the state constitution that would require each K-12 school district to spend at least 65 percent of its budget on teachers, libraries, books and other instructional material, computers, field trips, the arts and athletics.

Pro: Would encourage focusing on educating students in the classroom and increasing funding without raising taxes.

Con: It does not consider the differences between the 178 districts across the state and may not improve achievement. Those districts who cannot automatically comply would have to divert funds from other areas in their budgets.

Amendment 40: Term limits for Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges

Would change term limits for state appellate and Supreme Court judges from eight and 10 years to four years each. It would also require appellate judges who have serve 10 or more years to step down in January 2009.

Pro: Creating term limits provides more perspectives in the state’s two highest courts and allows voters to evaluate their performance more often.

Con: Will force five current Supreme Court judges and seven appellate judges from office, giving the governor and his party disproportionate influence. And, term limits are unnecessary because judges are already held accountable through evaluations and retention elections.

Amendment 41: Standards of conduct in government

Would add article in state constitution prohibiting government officials and immediate family members from accepting more than $50 in gifts, would prevent former politicians from becoming paid lobbyists for two years and appoint an ethics commission to investigate complaints and access penalties.

Pro: Creates public confidence in elected officials, removes the temptation to make decisions based on potential for future employment and appoints a group that will objectively access politicians.

Con: Elected officials are already held accountable, lawmakers can provide expertise in certain policy areas that could benefit citizens and the commission my not be completely objective because the positions on it are appointed.

Amendment 42: Colorado minimum wage

Would raise minimum wage from $5.15 per hour to $6.85 and from $2.13 per hour to $3.83 for those who receive tips; both would be adjusted annually for inflation.

Pro: Would ensure workers could have a full-time income above the poverty level and could increase workers’ morale and productivity.

Con: The increased labor costs could hurt the economy and force employers to hire fewer inexperienced workers.

Amendment 43: Marriage

Would define marriage in the state constitution as only a union between a man and a woman.

Pro: Would protect the conventionally accepted definition of marriage and a constitutional amendment would prevent court rulings that would expand the definition of marriage.

Con: Would be unconstitutional because it denies the rights of same-sex couples and a constitutional amendment is unnecessary because there is already a statutory ban of marriage that does not consist of one man and one woman in the state.

Amendment 44: Marijuana possession

Would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for people 21 and older.

Pro: Would free up state and local criminal justice systems spending resources on petty crimes and let them focus on larger drug trafficking, and would strike a balance between choice and public safety.

Con: Marijuana use could lead a person to use and possess other illegal drugs and drug enforcement costs are less costly than the social costs of drug abuse and addiction.

Referendum: A proposal by the legislature, which is referred to citizens for a vote.

Ref. E

Establishes a property tax reduction of 50 percent for the first $200,000 of the home’s value for disabled veterans.

Pro: Many veterans who are 100 percent disabled require adaptable homes to accommodate their needs. The savings from the reduction will allow veterans more financial resources to modify their homes while providing Coloradoans a chance to honor veterans.

Con: The constitution is not the place for special interest tax breaks. If the state can afford to reduce taxes for some groups, it should reduce them for everyone. Disabled veterans who cannot afford a home will not benefit from this reduction.

Ref. F

Requires deadlines set by the General Assembly for recall petitions for state elected officials to be set in statutes rather than the constitution.

Pro: This proposal allows more flexibility to change recall election procedures and deadlines. Current deadlines may not allow enough time for election officials to respond to petition protests.

Con: This proposal puts the power into the hands of the legislators by allowing them to regulate the recall of their own offices. Citizens should be able to remove unsatisfactory officials as soon as possible.

Ref. G

Removes the requirement that conscientious objectors pay for their exemptions from military duty and deletes outdated requirements related to Denver’s single school district and eliminates gender specific language.

Pro: State constitution should not be cluttered with unnecessary details. This measure will create a clearer state constitution.

Con: All provisions of the state constitution have historical value; removing these details will make future research of the constitution more difficult.

Ref. H

Eliminates a state income tax deduction for businesses that pay illegal aliens to perform work.

Pro: Eliminating tax benefits discourage businesses from hiring illegal workers who may work for less money; thus driving down wages.

Con: Penalties would be charged to employers, not the illegal immigrant and an expenditure of $43,450 by the Department of Revenue will be necessary to add a line to the corporate income tax form.

Ref. I

Provides same-sex couples the opportunity to obtain benefits, protections and responsibilities afforded to straight couples.

Pro: Domestic partners cannot access many legal protections and benefits provided under state law because they are not in a legally recognized relationship.

Con: The establishment of same-sex civil unions could have a far-reaching effect on future generations and a new governmental policy will change the cultural concept of marriage and family.

Ref. J

Establishes requirements for school district spending.

Pro: School districts have a responsibility to ensure that budgets maximize the quality if each student’s educational experience by emphasizing expenditures that benefit student learning and achievement.

Con: Changes are not necessary because most school districts spend their money on services that benefit students and local school board members are best qualified to make changes.

Ref. K

Directs the Colorado Attorney General to initiate or join other states in a lawsuit against the U.S. Attorney General and demand that the federal government enforce immigration laws.

Pro: The federal government would know that Coloradoans want federal immigration laws enforced.

Con: A state cannot file a lawsuit against the federal government on this topic; it will be dismissed.

Fort Collins Regional Library District

Establishes a library district and sets taxes to be deposited in the general fund to provide services such as expanding library services, increasing hours of operation and opening a new southeast branch library.

Pro: Advocates for the library district say it would ensure a quality library system for the community and improve services by bringing back those that have been cut.

Con: The library district would be controlled by a group of unelected government appointees.

Sources: Analysis of the 2006 Ballot Proposals from the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly, and League of Women Voters of Colorado Education Fund, Ballot Issues Handbook and the official Larimer County general election ballot.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

Pollster: Most important issue for young voters not addressed

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Oct 312006
 
Authors: Jack Genadek

Concern about paying for college should be one of the main reasons people come out to the polls Tuesday, according to pollster Celinda Lake.

Lake, the president of Lake Research Partners, a public opinion research center based out of Washington, D.C., said affordable education is the No. 1 issue on the minds of 80 percent of voters aged 18 to 30.

“College affordability is the main reason for motivating young voters to come out and vote,” she said Tuesday during a phone conference sponsored by the National Association of State Public Information Research Groups.

Luke Swarthout of NASPIRG said he had hoped higher education would have taken a more prominent role in the midterm elections.

“We keep hearing about Iraq and the war on terrorism which are both important,” he said. “But there is a huge gap between what people are hearing and what they want to hear.”

Lake also said she believes the issue hasn’t been discussed enough, but isn’t surprised that it’s not a high priority with candidates.

“Higher education funding hasn’t been used by the candidates as much as it could have been,” she said. “But, there is a question about how galvanized young people will be this time around.”

Young voters aren’t the only ones looking for more information on the issue. Seventy percent of all voters said they haven’t heard enough about higher education this election and two-thirds believe the government is doing too little in regards to higher education, according to Lake.

College Board, a non-profit membership group aimed at educating people about college opportunities, found that the cost of college at four-year public universities has risen 35 percent since 2001.

David Hicks, a 37-year-old parent of two from Evanston, Ind., hopes a change is near.

“Something needs to be done,” he said. “If I stay with the current plan on my student loans, they will be paid off when I’m 54. I want to pay for my kids college, too, but at this pace I don’t know if I can.”

Lake said it’s going to take effort by the voters for a difference to be made.

“Voters are going to have to look behind the attack ads and find information on candidates’ higher education records,” she said. “And once they take office, the public needs to stay active.”

Staff writer Jack Genadek can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm