Waxing political at the Minturn Market
MINTURN – At age 13, Adam Jorck and Patrick Baskins don’t really pay attention to politics that much. The Minturn Middle School students are just now learning about the different branches of American government this year. They “kind of” follow the news and Baskins, in particular, has some definite opinions about what could be done to make Eagle County a better place to live.”We need better biking courses,” he said. But with five years to go before they are even eligible to vote, the two boys, who were taking a break from the hustle and bustle of Minturn popular farmer’s market on Saturday, admit they haven’t formed on opinion yet on the battle between President George Bush and Democrat Sen. John Kerry.
“I’ve heard my parents talk about the election and stuff,” Jorck said. The kids may be undecided, but if recent polls are any indication most adult Americans have already decided who to vote for in the presidential election. Eagle County residents appear to be the same. Cathy Montoya, a registered Republican, said she feels much more comfortable with Bush in the nation’s top office. “I trust him, I know he’ll do what he says,” said Montoya, a Red Cliff resident who was working a booth at the market. She and her husband, Red Cliff Mayor Ramon Montoya, are selling T-shirts to raise money for the new Red Cliff Community Church.”(Bush) has made the difficult decisions,” Montoya said, adding that Kerry has changed his position on key issues so much that he seems like “a rag in the wind.”She said she supports Bush’s plans in Iraq and she’s glad the president has taken a stance on the issue of gay marriage. Like the president, Montoya supports a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.
On the other hand, Eagle-Vail resident Tracy Walters, who was touring the market with his 18-month-old daughter, Phoebe, said his concerns for land conservation and out-of-control energy consumption are a few of the reasons why he’ll be voting for Kerry. “I’m usually an issue voter, not a party voter,” Walters said. But he said he also disagrees with the overall direction of the Republican majority and will likely be voting a straight Democratic ticket this year. The war in Iraq divided Americans this election year, he added. “You are either for or against,” he said. “I think that’s the big reason why it is polarized.”He’s not bothered that Kerry still agrees with his vote last year giving the president the authority to declare war on Iraq, he said. “To me, you should vote the way you feel,” he said. “I just don’t think modern politics allow for that.”
Modern politicking has become confusing anyway, said Carlos DaSilva, Avon resident. He said he wished Americans could get better access to factual information about political candidates. “People are being mislead by the ads out there,” he said. DaSilva reads newspapers and searches the Internet to keep himself informed, but he still is undecided about the presidential race, he said. He tends to lean toward the Republican platform, and he supports Bush’s effort in Iraq. But he would like to see the president spend more time on improving the economy and protecting the environment, he said. Carrie Zovluck said she would like to see a lot of things change. The country’s leaders haven’t made a dent in fixing the health care crisis that is leaving many Americans without insurance, she said. And she is upset by the continuing cuts to public education, and said there needs to more focus on helping at-risk youth, such as providing them more information about birth control. Zovluck would vote for Kerry, but she can’t. Although she’s lived in Eagle County for some time and even has her own business – many know her as the “ice cream lady” – she still is a British citizen.
Her biggest concern? Getting young people to the polls. She’s already trying to prepare her 15-year-old for the 2008 election. “They need to pay attention to what’s going on,” she said. “They should be learning about politics now.”Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 607, or email@example.com.Vail, Colorado