Vail Daily column: Up and down the Democratic ticket
November 1, 2016
Plenty has been said about Trump's ineligibility to be president. He is a demagogue, and a mean-spirited reality TV show host who is blowing apart all civil discourse in this campaign season. No need to say more; just read the editorials of nearly every major newspaper in the U.S.
We know Hillary Clinton's record of service and dedication to bettering the lives of women and children around the world. She is the most qualified nominee we have seen in a lifetime. It's an easy choice.
Michael Bennet represents Colorado in the U.S. Senate with integrity and thoughtfulness. We're fortunate to be able to cast a vote for his re-election. He routinely confronts obstructionism by reaching across the aisle. His opponent represents the fringe of the Republican Party, endorses Trump, denies climate change and would only add to the dysfunction in D.C.
Gail Schwartz is running to unseat Scott Tipton in Congressional District 3. We're thrilled that Gail, a former state senator and proven leader from the Western Slope, has a shot at winning. She would go to work advocating for rural Colorado, preserving our watersheds and ensuring our public lands stay public. Big oil and gas companies reward Tipton with campaign donations for sponsoring bills they have authored, word for word. No wonder his 2015 score from the League of Conservation Voters is a paltry 3 out of 100.
Jared Polis is a well-known champion for the middle class. He represents the slice of eastern Eagle County that's within Congressional District 2. Vail residents are lucky to have Polis on their ballot. He's intent on investing in technology and innovation for a new economy, reforming the tax code and making college affordable.
Down ballot, the local Republican Party mimics their national leadership by nominating flawed candidates. Michael Cacioppo self-publishes an inflammatory tabloid in which he rails about, well, everything. Representative Diane Mitsch Bush is one of the hardest working, smartest policy wonks in the state House. No wonder Cacioppo wouldn't face her in a single debate.
Bruce Brown is an ethical, hardworking district attorney who deserves a second term. The Vail Daily's reporting ignored the seriousness of opponent Bruce Carey's public censure by the Colorado Supreme Court. The Court noted a pattern of misconduct as an aggravating factor in their censure — a punishment that is just one step from disbarment. We hope voters will pick the principled one in the race, incumbent Bruce Brown.
We are really proud of County Commissioner Jill Ryan. She is a rising star who is a tireless advocate for the people of Eagle County. Her optimism is infectious, and her command of the economic challenges of our local workforce is impressive. Jill was appointed to the Governor's Board of Public Health and also serves as vice chair of the I-70 Transportation Coalition.
On the other hand, we have the curious Michael Dunahay. The Vail Daily failed its readers by not explaining his easy-come, easy-go wealth. He bought the famous Sleeper House visible from I-70 for $3.4 million and in short order the home was sold at a foreclosure auction for $1.5 million after he defaulted on the mortgage. Not exactly the "savvy" businessman the Vail Daily describes.
Kathy Chandler-Henry is as dedicated and hardworking a commissioner as we'll ever find. Her decision-making is measured and careful. She's informed by her personal history as an Eagle County native, as a small-business owner and with advanced degrees in political science and health administration. It's unclear why Rick Beveridge was compelled to challenge Kathy, since his positions are mostly aligned with hers.
Teak Simonton deserves a promotion. She's earned it by transforming the Clerk's Office into an outstanding example of efficient, transparent and good government. Now let's give her the opportunity to change the status quo in the Treasurer's Office, which has not seen a challenge to its operations for over 20 years.
Thankfully, Election Day is nearing. Make a plan to vote — either by mail or by dropping off your ballot at a 24-hour drop box in Eagle, Avon or El Jebel. If you have a question about voting or haven't received your ballot, contact the Eagle County Clerk and Recorder's office at 970-328-8715. And please consider voting for the entire Democratic ticket this year. Our candidates are the most prepared and most qualified to serve.
Jane Lowery is chair of the Eagle County Democratic Party.
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