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|July 31-August 6, 2008
Back to Letters
Jared Polis: a progressive voice
by Ron Tupa
Democrats in Colorado’s 2nd Congressional District have an important decision to make in the next few days. With Congressman Udall vacating his seat to run for the U.S. Senate, whom do we want to represent us in Congress?
I have known Jared Polis for more than a decade. He is not only a friend; he is a truly progressive Democrat and a genuine reformer. Jared Polis exemplifies the kind of commitment to public service that we so desperately need in Congress today.
Let me say at the outset that I know well the other candidates in this contest. I served in the State Senate with Joan Fitz-Gerald during her entire tenure and worked together with Will Shafroth on legislative issues. I respect both of them and thank them for their candidacies and willingness to serve.
However, I believe Jared Polis deserves special attention in this contest, and he also deserves our vote. He embodies most fully the kind of representation we deserve — and have come to expect in the 2nd Congressional District. He is an independent voice for our families and our communities and is also someone with proven political courage who will think boldly — exactly the kind of person we should be sending to Washington today.
Jared Polis will work to bring needed reform to Congress. I was one of the few legislators in Colorado who supported Amendment 41 to limit the influence of lobbyists in our state capitol. Jared led the passage of that historic measure, putting one of the nation’s toughest anti-lobbyist laws on the books. It took courage to stand up to the capitol establishment, but it was the right thing to do. That’s the kind of courage we need in Washington.
Jared Polis will stand up to the special interests that hold far too much influence in the halls of power in Washington. Because he is the only candidate in this race who refuses all special interest PAC money, he is able to put our collective interest above that of the special interests. Jared will also be a strong voice in Congress for public financing of campaigns and “Clean Money Clean Elections” legislation. With this kind of determination coming from Jared Polis on this issue, Congress may finally get there.
I worked closely with Jared to improve classrooms in our state when he served as Chairman of the State Board of Education, and no one has worked harder, or brought more creativity, imagination and progressive values to the tough problems we face in Colorado on education issues. As a former classroom teacher myself, I appreciated his support of Amendment 23, a critical constitutional amendment that guaranteed adequate funding for our schools.
And when some in our state and in our own party sought to unfairly target immigrants living among us, Jared Polis demonstrated rare courage to stand up and say no.
I know that Jared Polis will listen to our concerns in the 2nd Congressional District. He will serve in the best tradition of Mark Udall and David Skaggs. He won’t merely pay lip service to our problems and hopes, but will roll up his sleeves and work to represent us effectively in Washington from day one.
I enthusiastically endorse Jared Polis’ candidacy for Congress. I have already cast my vote for Jared through early voting by mail, and I encourage you to do the same, either by mail or at your local polling place on Aug. 12.
Sen. Ron Tupa, D-Boulder, has served in both Colorado’s House and Senate and is vice-chairman of the Senate Education Committee.
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