The Very Normal Guide to the 2022 Denver Election
I've listed my ballot '22 takes below along with a measure of my confidence and enthusiasm for each race. In no way will this ever come back to haunt me. Why would you think that?
Confidence label of "low" indicates that I view the choice as basically a coin flip. Medium indicates some mild degree of certainty. High represents significant enthusiasm and confidence. I wish there were more high labels.
United States Senator - Michael Bennet (medium)
Why are the Colorado candidates for Senate so bad? The obvious and underwhelming answer is to vote for incumbent Michael Bennet. The remaining candidates immediately disqualify themselves for the following reasons.
- Joe O'Dea - Endorsed by the Denver Police Association.
- T.J Cole - The Unity party is a very dumb idea. Bipartisanship is overrated.
- Brian Peotter - Lists his campaign issues in alphabetical order, which means I only needed to read one:
Abortion: I believe that life begins at conception. I will vote against government funding of abortion services and will vote to defund Planned Parenthood.
4. Frank Atwood - This is an issue candidate and it is too annoying to figure out what his issue is.
Representative to the 118th United States Congress - District 1 - Diana DeGette (medium)
Do I wish Diana DeGette was more left wing? Yes. It's crazy that we can't field a more progressive candidate in Denver.
Her opponents are not great. Republican Jennifer Qualteri's website is great, though. It leads with a banner photo of two bald eagles fighting as a subtle nod to the idea that we must fight for our fReDoMs. And then there is a stunning picture of the Supreme Court of the United States because Jennifer is running for Congress, and could not find a good picture of the Capitol building? She also has an incredible video homage to the Feminist Bookstore Portlandia sketch. Jennifer has a blog and I am here to tell you it is incredible. Bold choice to start the most recent post with the line:
In case you did not know this the Big Lie term came from Hitler.
Strongly recommend Jennifer's blog. Also strongly recommend not voting for her. She seems unwell.
Governor / Lieutenant Governor - Jared Polis & Dianne Primavera (medium)
Not much to say here. Polis is fine.
Heidi Ganahl's vibes are very off. CPR reported:
Ganahl has focused on how schools teach students about gender. She recently said her run for governor really began when she became upset that her children’s elementary school in Boulder was putting on a presentation about transgender issues. Believing that it was too early for kids to learn about gender transitions, she joined other parents in a failed attempt to start a charter school, and later moved to Douglas County.
Can you imagine the thought process here? People at my kids' school do not share the beliefs I have derived from a magical book. Anyone who disagrees with me is oppressing me. I therefore will run for governor. These people are so unhinged and vindictive.
Secretary of State - Jenna Griswold (high)
Jenna is running against former Bay Watch star, Pam Anderson. I'm not sure why we would vote against Griswold, who runs the election and voting apparatus. Voting in Colorado is a wonderful joy. We get automatic mail in ballots. I say good job Jenna. Also, it's a different Pam Anderson.
State Treasurer - Dave Young (medium)
CPR reported that Dave Young's opponent, Lang Sias (that's a real name) loves TABOR. I will therefore not be voting for Lang Sias.
Sias has positioned himself as a defender of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), and contrasts his position with Young, who supported Proposition CC, a 2019 ballot measure that would have eliminated TABOR refunds to instead fund education and transportation infrastructure.
Attorney General - Phil Weiser (high)
I like Phil.
State Board of Education Member - At Large - Kathy Plomer (medium)
Kathy seems fine. Her opponent Dan Maloit is part of the whole "I'm angry about covid closing schools and now that schools are open they are grooming my kids" wing of the Republican party. His website says he espouses "non-dogmatic" education, which is fancy talk for education aligned with his dogma.
Regent of the University of Colorado - Congressional District 1 - Wanda James (low)
Wanda James seems like the only serious candidate on the ballot here. But one of the affiliations that Amy Naes lists on her website I find intriguing. I would be shocked if James does not win this seat.
State Representative - District 6 - Elisabeth Epps (HIGH)
This is the candidate I'm most excited to vote for. Elisabeth Epps is endorsed by the Denver DSA and is the very first candidate for office to receive the endorsement of the prestigious online political zine, Very Normal Information.
I don't understand how we are supposed to vote on judges. The information on Judicial performance is bland and complimentary for each judge on the ballot (well I read about half of them and then gave up). I am leaving it blank.
State Ballot Measures
Amendment D - YES (low)
Pretty neutral on this at first glance, but theoretically this will provide a process for getting judges appointed to the new Judicial District in Colorado.
Amendment E - YES (medium)
I'm generally opposed to measures that single out veterans as especially worthy of a given set of benefits. The worship of the military in this country is distasteful and Fascistic. That said, this likely will help some folks who can use a few hundred bucks in their pockets every year.
Amendment F - YES (low)
I'm also neutral on this, but someone cares enough about making it easier to operate charitable bingo games to get this on the ballot, so more power to them.
Proposition FF - YES (high)
Proposition FF will theoretically increase the revenue the state collects from Colorado families that earn $300k or more. That increased revenue will be allocated to providing free meals to students. This got passed by the Colorado Legislature (which is why it is on our ballot), and two people I like in the House voted yes on this (Sirota and Woodrow). Happy to trust those two.
Proposition GG - YES (medium)
On my initial read I was a no because on it's face it looks like it adds another hurdle to getting something on the ballot. But, after researching a bit more I found that the measure is supported by four Democrats and opposed by Michael Fields. I looked up Mikey on LinkedIn and really did not like what I saw. Mikey unironically writes resume bullet points like:
Issue Education seeks to promote knowledge and increase public support of policy issues such as economic freedom and educational freedom.
Mikey spent two years in the classroom as a TFA teacher and then worked his way through the conservative intellectual establishment with fluff jobs like "Senior Director, Issue Education" at Americans for Prosperity. If you do two years of TFA in Aurora and then decide the next move is to work for Americans for Prosperity, you signal to me that you have terrible opinions. I'm a yes on this because he is a no.
Proposition 121 - NO (high)
Reducing income tax is a bad idea. Senator Jerry Sonnenberg supports this. Jerry wrote the following on March 26, 2020:
Could this hysteria actually cause more damage to Americans than the virus itself? Will the long-term ramifications for working families and small businesses caused by this government- and media-created depression actually be more detrimental than even the worst-case scenarios contemplated by appropriate social distancing?
Proposition 122 - YES (medium)
Psilocybin and other psychedelics should not be illegal. Here's a great book on the subject.
Proposition 123 - YES (high)
Increase spending on affordable housing. If you aren't sure, our boy Michael Fields opposes this and Denver DSA supports.
Proposition 124 - YES (low)
I'm a yes with reservations on this one. I'm skeptical because the spending in support of this proposition is 20 times more than that of the opposition. I'm going with yes because it probably should be easier to sell alcohol, but again this likely will benefit some very rich people and their companies (hence the spending).
Proposition 125 - YES (low)
More stores should be able to sell beer.
Proposition 126 - YES (low)
Honestly, I'm pro making it easier to buy alcohol, and this one makes it easier to deliver.
Personally I'm pretty lukewarm on all three alcohol propositions 124, 125, and 126.
Referred Question 2i - YES (high)
We love libraries. We love librarians. People who vote no on this are illiterate.
Referred Question 2j - YES (medium)
We should continue to spend money locally to fight climate change.
Referred Question 2k - YES (medium)
We should continue to spend money locally to help people without homes. The amount of homelessness in Denver is terrible mark on this otherwise incredible city.
Referred Question 2L - YES (medium)
This might make it easier to understand issues on the ballot.
Initiated Ordinance 305 - YES (high)
This might increase access to lawyers for renters facing eviction and help avoid needless evictions. Other cities have implemented similar programs and have seen eviction rates drop by roughly half according to the Denver DSA.
Initiated Ordinance 306 - YES (high)
This ordinance will require businesses (including apartments) to provide recycling and compost services. Vote no if you are in the landfill business.
Initiated Ordinance 307 - YES (medium)
This will require the city, rather than individual home owners to maintain city sidewalks. Our neighbor got hit with a huge sidewalk bill a few years ago and that seemed really awful. This seems like one of the things government is for.