Wednesday, November 14, 2018
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First of all, congratulations to Phil Chamberland. He won the Gunnison County commissioner’s seat Tuesday, taking down three-term incumbent Jim Starr. We look forward to seeing how new blood might infuse new energy into our county government. While I know there were some votes cast in hate and anger against Jim Starr, Phil never once bought into that vibe and we can all appreciate that along with his steady positive campaign. We look forward to seeing what headlines Phil will produce between now and 2014. Hopefully they will be mellow. Speaking of headlines…

You know it’s a different kind of election when the website headline announces that “GOP Candidate Who Dressed as Nazi Loses.” Well, at least the Democrats got one.
I was reminded that the headline (in The Onion) after Obama won the presidential election two years ago was “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.” The job just got worse. The black man gets to deal with the orange guy in probable new Speaker of the House and perpetual tan man from Ohio, John Boehner. Can you say head bangers?
“It’s Tea Time,” read another headline on the Internet. Those rejoicing in national Tea Party victories might want to keep an eye out when it comes to the real change they are hoping for. As GOP senator-turned-lobbyist Trent Lott told the Washington Post earlier this year, “As soon as they get here, we need to co-opt them.” Love that guy.
“Exit Polls: Pox on Both Parties,” was another blaring headline. That apparently sums it up. Overall, Colorado turned color on the national electoral map but remains a light shade of blue on a sea of red. We get a business-savvy yet quirky new Democratic governor in John Hickenlooper. I for one appreciate that Hickenlooper didn’t run any negative ads and he was the first to see victory in Colorado Tuesday evening. The voters in a close race on the Western Slope appear to have kicked out one of the most conservative, stand-up Democrats ever seated in Congress, John Salazar, and I think they’ll regret that. Michael Bennet seems have squeaked out a victory over Ken Buck and Colorado looks more purple than red or blue. The state is one big bruise after this election and the millions of horrible political ads that were run the last few months.

Closer to home, “Throw some Curry in the Mix…” Kathleen Curry made a spicy statewide splash with a write-in campaign. Colorado House District 61 went to… we’re not yet sure… but Curry’s strong showing and possible victory should put both political parties in Colorado on notice that the people want something different and it’s not all about straight-line party politics.
Actually that’s something politicians at the national, state and local level can try to remember.
God, I’m glad this election is over.
But I’m afraid as I read beneath the headlines that with our new American type of über-partisan politicians it means elections are never really over. Will legislators make an honest effort at governing or simply look ahead to getting re-elected? Is it about holding onto party power or accomplishing things for people like you?
Hopefully representatives like Kathleen Curry will show the parties that people really do value those who work to accomplish things. We don’t want our representatives just waiting around for the next election, trying to avoid incriminating sound bites to keep the donkeys or the elephants in charge. We want people who stand up for us and let the chips fall where they may.

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