Voter’s Guide

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Oct 312006
 
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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.

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