I woke up this morning with a hypothetical conversation between me and a voter going through my head.
Gordon: You know the people elect the University of Colorado Regents. I’m thinking it might be better if they are appointed by the Governor.
Voter: No. Why would I want to give up my right to elect the Regents?
Gordon: Okay, tell me one fact about either of the two candidates for CU Regent at-large.
Voter: A fact?
Gordon: Yeah a fact, any fact, like their name, or gender, or whether they support higher education or are against it.
Voter: Well, I’ve been pretty busy.
I was thinking about this because I met a remarkable regent candidate. Melissa Hart is a law professor at the CU law school. She is a Harvard Law School graduate and she clerked for John Paul Stevens at the Supreme Court. She is a rare idealist. You may have heard of her grandfather, Watergate Prosecutor Archibald Cox. We are lucky to have her running for public office.
An issue of Melissa’s opponent is supporting the right of all students and professors at CU to bear arms in class.
I’m not making this up.
Melissa is far the better candidate. This is a test for how democracy works in a low visibility race. You can help by forwarding this email.
Secretary of State: Bernie Buescher is running for another down-ticket office, Secretary of State. I want to put in a good word for him as well.
Colorado has a history of Republican women Secretaries of State, Mary Estill Buchanan, Natalie Meyer and Gigi Dennis to name a few. These women were not partisan. There interest was making the election system work. Bernie’s opponent is more ideological.
His biggest fear is that somewhere an illegal alien is trying to vote, and he is willing to pass laws and regulations that will stop a large number of legal citizens from voting in order to make it harder for the unknown illegal alien.
He is also against restrictions on money in politics. He believes that Citizens United, the case that said that corporations have human rights, is a good decision. He isn’t dishonest. He really believes this stuff, but what he believes will make it harder for people to vote, and increase the power of money, exactly the reverse of where we should go.
Bernie wants to remove barriers to voting, and has worked with Morgan Carroll in the Senate to pass laws to mitigate the harmful effects of the Citizens United case. This is an important race.
The right to vote carries with it the responsibility to learn about the candidates and exercise judgment. American soldiers froze and starved at Valley Forge, ran across an exposed killing zone at Omaha Beach, and are dying right now so that you can vote.
I don’t care if, after studying the candidates, you decide to vote for Melissa’s or Bernie’s opponent. But it is a travesty if good candidates lose an election because we don’t take time to vote intelligently.
Why would a good candidate run for an office that is low visibility if people don’t pay attention sufficiently to even know that a good candidate is running?
Information about candidates has never been more available. Use the internet. It can be a tool that helps to save democracy. Here are websites for both candidates in both of these races. At these websites you can volunteer or contribute.