I admit it, and can't deny it. While I railed against current Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper for his Neoliberal ways, including pushing fracking on our state as a way to encourage economic growth (and at the expense of citizens' health), I have had to admit the alternative was 100 times worse. So go ahead if you want and blame me for backtracking if I believe that dysentery is a lot less horrific than Ebola - in effect voting for 'Hick' as opposed to his R-opponent, Bob Beauprez.
I am talking about the mail ballot which was filled out over a week ago. (In Colorado we can receive mail ballots and more than 50% of the population opts to do so -removing a lot of headaches at the polls - including voter ID challenges by the likes of 'True the Vote'). I do admit that I hesitated for something like ten minutes, even considering writing in 'Donald Duck', or leaving the space blank. But on reconsideration and realizing how close many local elections can be, I filled in the blank for Hick.
Why? Because Bob Beauprez would be an unmitigated train wreck of a disaster, something I hope the younger demographic in our state appreciates and why they need to vote this midterm. For one thing Beauprez has made it clear that he plans to do all in his power to repeal Colorado State Amendment 64 - for the establishment of marijuana retail businesses - effectively rolling back the votes of nearly 57% of Colorado voters (including yours truly) in 2012.
As I said then, I am not a stoner, nor do I use MJ even occasionally. Like tens of thousands of other sane citizens I voted for the amendment as a way to infuse more money into the state's meager coffers, via the excise, state and other taxes imposed on the product. (This was among the few options given CO voters have repeatedly voted against any other tax increases) That has been realized this year with more than $45 m taken in, and schools and other public enterprises the beneficiaries.
If Beauprez is elected and gets his way all that will cease. Schools will again struggle for adequate funding and even sick people who depend on medical MJ may have to do without (as medical MJ operations will be next). Out of state MJ tourists will have to go elsewhere for their 'edibles' - maybe Washington (which is far behind Colorado in getting its retail stores up to snuff, mainly because of inadequate grow supply - owing to delayed state approvals of MJ grow operations.) And all the existing retail stores - such as the one Rachel Maddow visited over a week ago - will have to be shuttered.
Beauprez has also made it clear he intends to make contraceptives almost impossible to get for women of any age. He will also stand by prosecuting any woman who has an abortion even in cases of incest or rape. By his ideology, all such women will be expected to bear any conceived offspring to term because they are regarded as full 'persons'.
Needless to say, if the current Personhood Amendment fails, as it will (according to polls taken by the COS Independent, 55% are against it) Beauprez will certainly push for legislation to make it a reality - especially if the Repubs take the two state houses. (As they might).
Will Hick be the ideal guv? Hardly! His indiscriminate push to frack the state under is underwritten by the infusion of campaign cash from the oil and gas lobby, which already had a stranglehold in the state. It has also been largely responsible for knocking out at least two initiatives for putting fracking operations under local control. Be that as it may, Hick as governor would be a lot less vile than Beauprez. Again, dysentery vs. Ebola.
Lastly, current polling suggests the Colorado Amendment 105 is likely to be shot down. This is the proposal to label GMO foods so we know what the hell we are eating. But the same COS Indy polls published Oct.30-31 show 57% voting against it. Likely reason? The vast amounts of money poured into the campaign to brainwash voters with scare stories, including how food prices will explode and how imperfect it is, e.g.
. See also:
So, it looks as though these voters won't mind not knowing how much glyphosate they're loading into their bodies - leaving them open to Alzheimer's disease, or Parkinson's.
Many of the rest of us will have to be much more diligent in avoiding the sources of GMO foods, even if we have to spend more.