In Case You Missed It
Boulderganic Fall 2009
Student Guide 2009
Boulder Weekly Sweet 16 Anniversary
Summer Scene 2009
Best of Boulder 2009
Annual Manual 2009
Newspaper of the Future
Kids Camp Guide 2009
Wedding Marketplace 09
Student Guide 2008
Best of Boulder 2008
Annual Manual 2008
Join Our Mailing List
|October 30-November 5, 2008
• Back to Vote 2008 main page
• United States Senator
• U.S. Representative, Congressional Districts 2 and 4
• State Senate
• State House of Representatives
• District Attorney, RTD Director and CU Regent
• County Commissioners and County Assessor
• Statewide Amendments
• Statewide Referenda
• Boulder County Ballot Issues
• City of Boulder Ballot Questions
2nd Congressional District
Four candidates are vying for the House of Representatives seat currently occupied by Mark Udall: Jared Polis, Scott Starin, J.A. Calhoun and William Robert “Bill” Hammons.
Boulder native Jared Polis is the Democratic candidate and the front-runner in the race, almost assured an Election Day victory. At age 33, Polis has accrued more successes than many people twice his age. He has founded and sold several successful Internet businesses, the first when he was still in college.
His successes in the business world were swiftly followed by successes in politics and education. In 2000, he was elected to the State Board of Education. In 2004, he served as chairman of the board, becoming the first Democrat to occupy the position in 30 years. His term of office was completed in January 2007.
Also in 2004, he founded the New America School, a charter school that gives students ages 16 to 21 who ordinarily fall through the cracks the high school education and fluency in English they would otherwise never receive. In 2005, he joined forces with Urban Peak to create another charter school, the Academy of Urban Learning, to provide a flexible and supportive educational environment for homeless and struggling teens.
Those who support Polis say he’ll carry his entrepreneurial thinking to Washington, D.C., bringing new ideas to old, tired debates. He toured Iraq last year and, together with other Democrats from across the country who are running for Congressional office, he put together a proposal titled, “A Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq.” The goal of the proposal is not only to get Congress to move forward with respect to ending the war, but also to organize freshmen in Congress so that they have a more powerful voice.
Other issues that are paramount for Polis include the economy, immigration, ethics reform and campaign-finance reform. He promises to rock the boat every day if that’s what it takes to turn the direction of this nation around.
Scott Starin, 47, a Republican, is a successful engineer whose platform focuses heavily on technology. He favors developing more energy-efficient technologies, but also utilizing U.S. reserves of gas, oil and coal. He opposes single-payer health care and would address health-care crisis by increasing premiums for those who live unhealthy lifestyles, rewarding those who make healthy choices and reforming health-care regulations to reduce overhead and frivolous lawsuits. He’s not anxious to pull troops out of Iraq and believes that military options need to be left on the table when it comes to dealing with Iran. He also wants to “respect the sanctity of life,” a fact he underplays on his website, perhaps not wanting to get lumped in with fundamentalists who put their opposition to reproductive freedom front and center.
J.A. Calhoun, 59, is the Green candidate. A freelance journalist and railway worker, Calhoun believes that sending another Democrat to Congress will produce more of the same. He favors an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and wants to see U.S. war criminals and the corporations that have abetted the Iraq war put on trial.
Bill Hammons, 33, is running on the Unity ticket. Raised in Odessa, Texas, Hammons graduated from New York University with a degree in English and American Literature before working for Newsweek Magazine for seven years. He helped found the Unity Party of America, a centrist organization formed by the supporters of Wesley Clark’s failed presidential bid. Hammons moved to Boulder in 2005. He is the first Unity Party Congressional candidate and won his spot on the ballot with 899 voter signatures. He supports a Balanced Budget Amendment and global carbon emission licenses to combat global warming.
Though this may be a four-way race, Polis’ experience, creative thinking and ability to get things done sets him far ahead of his opponents. A true progressive, he will carry the values of his district with him to Washington, D.C., and will do what it takes to make sure those values are heard in Congress. We believe him when he says he’s not afraid to rock the boat, because we’ve seen him do just that. Though he’s virtually assured to win this seat, Boulder Weekly offers his campaign our enthusiastic support. Vote for Jared Polis.
4th Congressional District
Since 2002, Republican Marilyn Musgrave has maintained her hold on the 4th Congressional District of Colorado, a reign that by no means has been considered “low key.” Musgrave is well known for her rigid conservative beliefs, with a nationwide reputation for extremism.
The American Conservative Union ranks her as the most conservative member of the House, with a 99 percent lifetime rating.
Many of her most widely known campaigns involve her beliefs on sex and contraception. Before making her way into the larger political arena, Musgrave served on the Fort Morgan School Board where she made a huge push for abstinence-only education in the school district. From there, Musgrave made her way into the State Senate and, in 2002, Congress. She has been a leading opponent of same-sex marriage and was the main sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which sought to legally define marriage as only taking place between one man and one woman. Though the amendment was unsuccessful, she has continued to campaign for “family values” whenever possible. Staunchly anti-abortion, Musgrave has supported federal bans on reproductive
freedom, and has been vocal in her opposition to stem-cell research.
Yet, despite her extreme approach to politics, Musgrave has remained an entrenched incumbent in Colorado. Democratic candidate Betsey Markey seeks to change that this upcoming election.
“My opponent has been serving in Congress for three terms,” notes Markey. “This is her third term and I believe that I bring a fresh perspective to this race.”
That perspective focuses on the needs of her region. The 18-county district represented by the 4th Congressional District includes many rural families on the eastern Colorado plains, in addition to the citizens of the more populous towns of Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland and Longmont. Markey has outlined her stances in regard to the issues at the heart of this wide-ranging area. This includes topics like agricultural and rural issues, economic growth, education, healthcare, immigration, the war in Iraq, Piñon Canyon, renewable energy and veterans and the military.
But right now, her focus is on the issues she finds most important for her district during this election season — energy and the economy.
“I think renewable energy is a huge issue for this district,” Markey says. “The 4th Congressional District really has unparalleled wind resources, and I think wind can be a huge economic driver in northern and eastern Colorado.”
Musgrave, on the other hand, encourages drilling the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
Markey notes that investing in renewable sources of energy isn’t just a standalone issue. It also ties in heavily with the economy, and investing in alternative energy sources can create many good, clean jobs for the people of her district.
“Of course, as it is everywhere in the country, the economy is a big issue,” she says. “I’ve owned two small businesses and I have been talking a lot about the economy with this campaign.”
Her campaign supports raising the minimum wage, expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and fixing the unemployment insurance and low-income programs. She wants to protect middle-class Americans from tax burdens. Musgrave is a proponent of President Bush’s economic growth package.
Markey’s experience stems from her many years as a small-business owner, her public service engagements in Washington, D.C., and as Regional Director for the 4th Congressional District under U.S. Senator Ken Salazar.
“I know the district. I know the federal issues,” Markey says. “I’ve also been active in my community. I bring a sense of knowing how to manage budgets and payroll, and believe that we need to bring more fiscal sense to the budget process in Washington. But I also understand the district from a policy point of view, as well, having worked in the United States Senate and also having worked in the federal government.”
Despite Musgrave’s negative attacks on Markey, filled with discredited and false information, Markey remains hopeful about her ability to supplant Musgrave.
“I was expecting this to be a negative campaign because I’ve watched this race over the last couple of cycles, but I’m still very positive about running and about winning this seat,” says Markey. “I think people are tired of the politics of the past and are looking to embrace new ideas, new people. I’m optimistic. Our polling numbers are very good and the feedback we’re getting is great.”
Boulder Weekly hopes Markey wins this seat. Musgrave has shown that she’s more interested in representing her religion than her region. If she truly thinks “family values” comprise the most pressing issue facing our nation, perhaps she’s missing international economic headlines or skipping the news about global warming. The change this nation needs won’t come from those who insist on flogging the same dead horse. Musgrave wore out her welcome in Washington a long time ago. Vote for Betsey Markey!
Back to top