Vail Daily letter: Candidates excluded |

Vail Daily letter: Candidates excluded

An open letter to Colorado voters:

This year, several candidates on Colorado’s midterm election ballot were excluded from the Club 20 debate in Grand Junction and the Action 22 debate to be held in La Junta.

Petitioning onto the Colorado ballot is no easy task for someone who does not hire people to collect signatures for them. These are viable candidates for office — and will be part of the state record for voters to choose from during the election. Voters have the right and ability to choose who is best for them.

When a candidate on the ballot is not included in a sponsored debate it is a partisan act. It appears that Club 20 and Action 22 are groups that claim to be “non-partisan,” but ultimately they have made partisan decisions that eliminate candidates based on those clubs’ own personal views — that are very partisan. Having hypocritical rules and double-talking guidelines for these clubs’ desired outcomes is un-democratic and un-American.

How do those paid sponsors for Club 20 and Action 22 feel about the partisanship of these organizations? What sort of expectations do these sponsors have of these supposedly “non-partisan” organizations?

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The appearance of a ‘bought and paid for,” limited-candidate debate is very obvious to most people outside the privileged, elitist bubble. The embarrassment of association for these sponsors will probably make people think twice about doing business with these companies who appear to support partisanship. Even though Club 20 and Action 22 claim to represent “all of the Western Slope” and “all of Southern Colorado,” they have eliminated almost a third of voters who are registered unaffiliated or independent. People vote in other ways — like with their wallets. These sponsors did not earn my business with a partisan debate.

American politics are brutal, and influence among the privileged vs. the common man is becoming more apparent with every stroke of the pen. I have experienced this firsthand, being shut out of debates that I was allowed to participate in last election (2012). The partisan events from Club 20 and Action 22, billed as “fair,” “all inclusive,” and “non-partisan,” are nothing further from the truth. I hope people see what is happening here.

It is time to show up and start voting principle over party! Don’t let the two major corrupted parties convince you that your vote won’t count if you vote independent of them! This election, use your vote to protest! Over 30 percent of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District is represented by independent voters (registered unaffiliated) — and neither major party can win without these crossover votes!

I am asking for your vote this election to represent you as a term-limited statesman in Congress. I accept no special interest donations, and will listen and include all Coloradans in conversations about solutions — something that I am being silenced from bringing to the table of these debates. I am transparent and ask the hard questions. Let someone independent of these corrupted parties have a voice — here in Colorado and in Washington, D.C.

Tisha Casida

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