I live in a competitive political area, where elections are actually decided during the main elections, not during the primaries. For Colorado’s State Senate District 19, Republican Libby Szabo is running against Democrat Evie Hudak. The seat is open, as Democrat Sue Windels is term limited (she’s running for Jefferson County Commissioner).
I support neither candidate. I’m going to cast my vote with Hudak as the strongest possible vote against Szabo.
This local race is a microcosm of what’s going on nationally. In races across the country, voters face terrible choices, with theocrats on one side, socialists on the other.
Nearly a year ago, I sent a letter to various candidates asking them to endorse the separation of church and state. While I never got around to sending the letter to the state senate candidates, Szabo has made it clear that she strongly endorses faith-based politics. Which is why I strongly oppose her.
I have been arguing for months that a major reason Republicans have killed themselves in Colorado is their unflagging commitment to faith-based politics. For the last several election cycles, my region has been targeted by mailers attacking Republicans who want to ban abortion. This year is no different, as the nearby image demonstrates. It is from a flyer “Paid for by 21st Century Colorado.”
Yes, it is true that Szabo wants to “ban all abortions” and “say no to stem cell research.” See her answers to the 2008 “Colorado Right to Life: Candidate Questionnaire.” Following are Szabo’s answers to several of the questions:
Do you advocate that the government uphold the God-given, inalienable Right to Life for the unborn? YES
Do you agree that abortion is always wrong, even when the baby’s father is a criminal (a rapist)? YES
Do you support the 2008 Colorado Personhood amendment effort to define “person” to include any human being from the moment of fertilization? YES
Will you oppose any research or practice that would intentionally destroy the tiniest living humans (embryonic stem cell research)? YES
Will you refuse to support any legislation that would allow abortion, even if it is a ‘pro-life’ bill (i.e. legislation that says “Abortion shall be prohibited unless…”) I will oppose abortion at every opportunity.
Libby Szabo says yes to faith-based politics. That is why I say no to Libby Szabo, and why I will oppose her at every opportunity.
My vote for Hudak should not be interpreted as an endorsement of any of her policies. “Coloradans for Change” has been circulating an effective flyer claiming that Hudak “spent $11,316 of taxpayer money as a member of the State Board of Education” on things like “expensive, chauffeured limo rides, luxury hotels and expensive meals at 5-star luxury hotels.” That does indeed raise my eyebrows (and it might give Szabo a shot at winning).
But nothing turns me off to Hudak as strongly as her own campaign literature. For example, one piece claims, “Evie will invest in cutting-edge renewable energy technology…” Nonsense. I doubt that Hudak has any plans to personally invest in such technology. What she means is that she wants to force me to fund this corporate welfare.
What a choice. The “options” in the state senate race mirror those of the U.S. Senate contest between Democrat Mark Udall and Republican Bob Schaffer. While Schaffer opposes abortion, at least he’s had enough sense to run away screaming from Amendment 48 (the “personhood” measure that Szabo endorses). I’m voting for Udall for the same reason I’m voting for Hudak: both their opponents push faith-based politics. Udall wrote a particularly strong endorsement of the separation of church and state. It’s the same “choice” I faced in the last governor’s race, and the reason why I voted for Democrat Bill Ritter.
Maybe someday Colorado Republicans will learn that the Interior West leans toward liberty and away from faith-based politics. There are some hopeful signs. Until then, I guess I’m a Democrat by default, as much as that sickens me.