Originally Posted by Old Dude
Yeah, I've noticed that commission candidates tend to omit their party alligience (in Adams County) when they are republicans, probably because, just as you said, that's perceived as a disadvantage. Your point cuts both ways.
The fact that they don't want me to know they're republicans doesn't exactly inspire my confidence in them.
I doubt that the offices in question are entirely non-partisan or that all of their positions are exactly the same. But, assuming for the sake of argument that you're correct about that, you still haven't given me a good reason to vote for the republicans.
If I refused to vote for someone in a certain party, merely because someone else in that party abused the public trust, was corrupt, stole money, and wound up being convicted of felonies, I'd never be able to vote for anyone at all, because all the parties have had their bad apples at one time or another.
I'm simply not willing to assume that because one democrat is a thief that all democrats are thieves, any more than I'm willing to assume that, just because one republican is a thief, they all are.
What I judge them on is the social policies that they support as a result of their political affiliation, and on the vast majority of contested issues, I agree with the democrats more than the republicans.
If you could show that the Dem candidate in this instance was in cohoots with the scum who ripped you off, that would be a different story. Instead, you seem to be just assuming that, or else not caring whether he was or not.
This is a great point, and honestly it's something that I've thought about quite a bit.
The truth is that I know nothing about the motivations of the Democrat candidates for this office. They could be great people, and they could be interested in the same reforms as the Republican candidates. It comes down to individual motivations, and it's possible that they could be just as committed to reform.
However, I'm going to play the odds, and there are five compelling reasons that I have chosen to promote and support Donnia Howell and Gary Mikes. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not a Republican, so party affiliation is NOT one of those five reasons.
First, there's an easy reason. The Democrat candidates have not stated that they are running to fix the corruption. Both Republican candidates have stated that this is truly their motivation to run. Neither of them are politicians - they're both running for office for the first time. When combined with several of the issues below, I have strong reservations that the Democrat candidates will take action if elected. They've talked about ethics just because it's such an obvious concern to voters, but it's clearly not their true priority.
Second, one of the Democrat candidates has also made some comments that it's "a marketing issue" and that "the Denver Post is out to get us". (The quotes are paraphrases.) This implies to me that there's not a serious recognition on this person's part that corruption is a problem. As a person who has seen it firsthand, it is THE problem that needs to be addressed.
Third, there's a likely conflict of interest with the Democrats. The corrupt senior staff were retained and promoted by the Democrats who are currently in office, and they are all buddies with each other. Because the incumbent Democrats are in their last months of office, they've been making an effort to entrench their friends by promoting them and giving them new contracts, and there's strong reason to believe that they will pressure any new Democrats to protect them as well, not just because they're friends but also because they know where the bodies are buried. I question whether a new set of Democrats will pursue justice against the friends of their predecessors, because they're all part of the same clique of friends and allies.
Fourth, let's face it. The Adams County Democratic Party is absolutely terrible at selecting and vetting candidates. In the past five years, we've had three county commissioners with direct involvement in scandals - all Democrats. We've had a major county assessor scandal. He's a Democrat. We've had scandals with the elected (former) coroner. He's a Democrat. We've had minor scandals with the Public Trustee and County Treasurer. They're both Democrats. We had a major scandal with Adams County's RTD Board member. He's a Democrat. I think it's safe to conclude that the Democrats do not have a history of fielding ethical candidates. This is a pattern.
And fifth, let's talk about influence. Who has access to the Democratic candidates? While 70+ percent may be fine people, did you know that 24 of the Democratic caucus voted for Alice Nichol to be the candidate again? Alice Nichol? Google her name and 'paving' or her name and 'office furniture' or her name and 'assessed value' or her name and 'nepotism' and tell me if you think she's who you want. And now recognize that if a Democrat gets elected, he or she will have that 24 percent of caucus voters helping to guide his or her decisions. It seriously amazes me that 24 percent of local Democrats actually wanted to see her back in office, and makes me wonder about their motives. I know for sure that those people won't have inside access to the Republicans. Add that to the access that the current incumbents will have (they all know each other), and you have a strong recipe for continuing the same old thing.
So the bottom line is this: I can't say that the Democrat candidates are bad people. I don't know them. What I can say is that the local Democrat Party has a strong history of putting forth corrupt and unethical candidates in great numbers, and even if these people are top notch, they're going to be influenced by the local party leaders.
It's obviously your choice on who to vote for, and I respect your dislike of the Republicans. Frankly, I don't really like either party. But I have come to know Donnia Howell and Gary Mikes, and they are the type of people we need in Adams County right now. I have also come to know the cohort of Democrats and staff that currently control the county, and they are some of the worst people I have ever encountered in my life.
If you don't want to vote Republican, could I interest you in a write-in vote? Or perhaps voting for that third-party guy, Fariello, in the District 2 race?
And I appreciate the civil conversation about this.