Vail Daily letter: Udall for Senate
After learning that the Denver Post had endorsed Cory Gardner, I felt it was important to learn more about him as a candidate. I thought that maybe, as the Denver Post asserts, it’s time for a change even though Rep. Gardner’s record on women’s rights is abysmal. The conclusion I have come to believe is that Congressman Gardner’s record in Congress is not stellar enough to warrant voting for him to become the new Colorado senator. He would, in fact, be new, but his legislative ideas are certainly not dramatic enough to offset the work that Sen. Udall has already accomplished.
Style and substance are issues in this campaign, and really speak a lot about the choices voters have. Mark Udall is an understated, passionate, career politician with deep family roots in government. Some people think being a career politician is a bad thing, but his record would work against this. Sen. Udall has been able to accomplish much in his years as a representative and senator including eliminating the “don’t ask, don’t tell,” phrase from military policy, serving on the intelligence committee and advocating for citizens’ privacy, and championing legislation regarding energy and natural resources policy.
In style, Congressman Gardner’s public persona seems to be his best asset. If one looks at his record and listens to his campaign rhetoric, he is inclined to stress his opposition to the accomplishments of the current administration and to speak infrequently as to what he would do to make life better. If one looks closely at his interests, one will see that he has historically spent way too much time focusing on the personal value issues of the day including his support of passing “personhood” amendments and his interest in creating a “make my day” amendment that would allow employees to defend themselves in the workplace and not enough time thoughtfully crafting answers to the economic and budgetary concerns we face today. He may be sunny in his demeanor but he’s usually smiling while he says “no.”
One of the cases the Denver Post made for its endorsement of Cory Gardner is that we need someone to represent the other party and even out the playing field.
Right now, I don’t believe that theory works. It’s not going to matter one way or another if there are a few more Republicans or a few more Democrats in the Senate. What’s going to matter is whether we have senators who have strong commitments to making both Colorado and America a better place for all, who have a record for coming up with ideas that will appeal to our universal goals and ideals, and who are individuals who know how to prioritize and get things done. The political appellation at this point is moot, and so is the public persona.
In that context, having two Democratic senators who best answer the needs of the moment is the choice that should be made.
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