Chandler’s Theorem of Individual Liberty
The degree of individual liberty one is allowed to exercise is inverse to the density of human population in which that person resides.
Attributed to Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Chandler’s Theorem of Individual Liberty
The degree of individual liberty one is allowed to exercise is inverse to the density of human population in which that person resides.
I've been a registered Unaffiliated, independent voter for most of the past quarter century. I am not ideological in my votes, I tend to be practical. I am not anti-government, but I retain what I think is a healthy skepticism about what entrenched, established officials will do for taxpayers and citizens -- versus what they will do for big campaign contributors and special interests.
It is a long ballot this year ... I haven't addressed all of the questions, issues, and candidates that will appear, but most are here.
Here is a .pdf sample ballot for Jefferson County that contains all of the offices and the ballot titles on all of the questions: Download Sample Ballot_2018_General_Election FINAL
I'm going to start with local ballot questions first. Jefferson County, Federal, and Colorado statewide offices and ballot issues follow.
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November 6, 2018 General Election Jefferson County, Colorado
CITY OF ARVADA BALLOT ISSUE 3F
Bond for Ralston Road and 72nd Avenue Projects
I support the arguments of Arvada for All the People on this question. However, even after questioning the City Manager and getting a non-response response from my district city council representative, there is no answer to why a very expensive underpass on 72nd Avenue at the Union Pacific tracks is necessary; a four lane at-grade crossing would surely do. Remember, this is the city council of the $30 Land Deal and of the attempt to raise our sales taxes last election – I simply don't trust their judgement on matters like this.
Furthermore, the pro-3F committee is the same as the sales tax hike committee of two years ago. I find this kind of politics suspect … only the names have been changed to protect the guilty.
ARVADA FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT BALLOT ISSUE 6E
Arvada for All the People recommends a 'no' vote. I concur.
JEFFERSON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT R-1 BALLOT ISSUE 5A
Mill Levy Increase for Teacher Salaries, Programs
I will vote for this because teachers should be paid more … it isn't their fault that the Standardized Testing regimen is still in place. (See below my comment on the statewide tax increase for public school, Amendment 73.)
JEFFERSON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT R-1 BALLOT ISSUE 5B
Property Tax Hike for Construction, Facilities Improvements
The politicians and elected officials in this state and in the various counties and school districts will not make the hard decisions; they think they can fool average folks into bailing them out for their lame decisions.
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Federal Office; Colorado State Offices; Jefferson County Offices;
and Statewide Amendments and Propositions
Two years ago I voted for a good mix of Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians – this year my choices trend to be Democratic. This is not necessarily because of a preference for a lot of their positions on issues, but because the Republican Party has tragically been captured by churlish radicals. I find that the Republican Party -- especially since 2016 -- is not very conservative like the kind of respectable, rationale conservatism I witnessed growing up in Wyoming back in the 1970s. The GOP is now mostly composed of right-wing reactionaries. Unfortunately in our rigid two party system one isn't given many options to express disapproval of one party or the other. But I disapprove of the 2018 Republicans.
Representative to the 116th United States Congress - District 7
X Ed Perlmutter
X Jared Polis
I am not an enthusiastic voter for Polis because I dislike super wealthy, self-funding candidates; they contribute to the corrupt system of campaign finance that has developed in this country. That said Walker Stapleton is touting a Trump endorsement, has shown himself an inept candidate, and he seems bereft of any visionary ideas for Colorado.
I'm voting for all the Democrats for the state constitutional offices: Secretary of State, Jena Griswold; Attorney General, Phil Weiser; State Treasurer, Dave Young.
State Representative - District 27
X Vicki Pyne
Not my state house district, but the other half of Arvada – Vicki is honest and forthright. She has been an active part of our community and serves capably on the Apex board. I think she will make a good representative for Arvada. Vicki Pyne is a Republican.
State Representative - District 29
X Tracy Kraft-Tharp
Hans V. Romer
My state house district. Tracy is a good legislator … and everybody knows it.
Regional Transportation District Director – District L
X Bob Wilson
Bob Wilson is not the reformer we need at RTD. Nevertheless, I believe he is genuinely dedicated to mass transit for the sake of the public good. Conversely, Shelley Cook has been and is still all about public transit as a facilitator for more development. If Cook gets elected to the RTD board the status quo gets a boost – and that means continuing dysfunction at RTD.
Regional Transportation District Director - District N
X Brad K. Evans
Margaret (Peggy) A. Catlin
Brad Evans is the kind of reformer we need on the RTD board. I can't vote for Brad since this is a Lakewood district, but RTD and the taxpayers will be better off with his participation on the board.
Jefferson County Offices
I am still in the mode that Republicans should be denied Jefferson County offices — they are still perpetuating the worst kind of cynical and manipulative politics to hold onto power. This time County Commissioner Don Rossier resigned early (November 2017) so that Tina Francone could run as an incumbent.
In my opinion, the musical chairs, term limit evading game they have played with Faye Griffin, resignations, and appointments is just plain corrupt.
Vote the Republicans out.
Jefferson County Commissioner - District 3
X Lesley Dahlkemper
Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder
X George Stern
Faye Griffin should be the poster child for the term limits movement in Colorado.
Jefferson County Treasurer
X Gerald "Jerry" DiTullio
Jefferson County Assessor
Brian A. Cassidy
X Scot Kersgaard
Jefferson County Coroner
X Annette Cannon
Colorado State Ballot Questions
Amendment Y - U.S. Congressional Redistricting Commission
Amendment Z - Colorado State Senate and House Redistricting Commission
Amendment 73 - State Income Tax Increase for Education
I vowed to myself not to vote for any tax increases for schools as long as the failed Accountability-Standardized Testing-No Child Left Behind-Race to the Top policies are in effect. I’m sticking with my promise to myself. No matter who you elect, if you keep giving them more money nothing is ever going to change.
Amendment 74 - Compensation for Fair Market Value
I am indeed a critic of Arvada City Hall's development agenda -- I am for smarter, wiser, and more responsible growth. Nevertheless, Amendment 74 could very well strip away virtually all the safeguards that local control gives us to make decisions about how our city progresses. A big 'No!' on this proposal.
Proposition 109 - Transportation No Tax Hike; Borrow and Spend
Proposition 110 - State Sale Tax Increase for Transportation Projects
Hike the most regressive tax?
Working and poor Coloradans shouldn't be dunned to support much of the increase in traffic congestions while land speculators, residential and commercial developers contribute little directly to mitigating the problem.
Proposition 111 - Payday Loan Reform
Proposition 112 - Drilling Offsets
I understand that the oil and gas exploration companies can now drill horizontally up to a mile away. So why do they need to set-up rigs next to where people live and do business? And ... if there really are hundreds of years of natural gas reserves, why is it seemingly all underneath towns and cities?
Ever notice that when developers and/or government win -- it's final?
But in the rare cases when grassroots residents, neighborhoods, and taxpayers earn a favorable outcome, the developer/government/special interest always immediately demand another chance!
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Arvada Land Development Code
3.1.17. - Effect of city council denials.
If the City Council denies an application, that same request or one substantially the same may not be heard by the City Council for a period of one (1) year from the date of denial, unless the City Council explicitly states that an earlier reapplication will be considered. The Applicant may submit a revised application that adequately addresses all the Council's stated reasons for denial, however, at any time. Such revised application shall be treated as a new application for purposes of review and scheduling.
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Listen to a discussion about the 'Arvada Urban Renewal Attempt to Railroad $30 Land Deal' on radio AM 710 KNUS - February 14, 2018
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For over a year the citizens grassroots group, Arvada for All the People, worked hard to inform the public and local government officials of serious problems with what became known as the $30 Land Deal.
Nine acres of publicly-owned, prime real estate in Denver’s hot market that was to have been “sold” for $30, and sales and property tax revenue rebated to the developer until 2034. All for the construction of four floors of apartments atop a two story parking garage that would have loomed over already congested Wadsworth Bypass and forever ended the “grand view” from Grandview Avenue.
Now, that plan – instigated and facilitated by the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA) – has been rejected. On Monday, January 22, 2018, the Arvada city council voted 4-to-3 against the Preliminary Development Plan (PDP) put forth by project developer Trammell Crow.
Arvada for All the People contends that we can learn valuable lessons by reflecting upon the public testimony and council remarks made when the plan was defeated. Indeed, Arvada could have wiser growth and incur less citizen frustration with the pace of change if the following points are seriously considered.
• We ought to have a new sense of pride in our city, in its history and its character, and yes, in Arvada's appeal and marketability. With the current economy in the Denver region, we don't need to subsidize or incentivize any developer or business to come to Arvada, they already want to be here all on their own – that's how sustainable, productive development is supposed to happen in a free market.
• Growth is happening and will likely continue; consequently, we don't need government manipulating the market place in order to hurry it along. In the case of the publicly-owned nine acres of the $30 Land Deal, now that the plan is going back to the drawing board, would it not be wiser to wait until the G-Line is actually running, see what passengers, consumers, and residents demand, and let the free market determine what might be the best development for the site.
• Arvadans care about quality and context – the compatibility of new development with existing neighborhoods and business centers matters. Council members objecting to the $30 Land Deal project stressed that preserving what is unique about Olde Town is important, that means, in our judgement, that city planners should be much more proactive in soliciting, listening to, and incorporating citizen input into development plans.
• Compatibility also means city infrastructure matching growth instead of always playing catch-up. For example, Arvada for All the People hears consistently from concerned residents about hundreds of residential units to be constructed next to clearly inadequate streets with no realizable plans for improvements -- Indiana Street, Ralston Road, 72nd Avenue, Ridge Road, etc.
• Finally, city council needs to assert oversight control over the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority. The idea that a mayor can appoint himself and by now has appointed every member of the AURA Board of Commissioners screams of cronyism. The idea that such a board has the power to obligate millions of dollars of future tax revenue to developers instead of into the City treasury leads to suspicions of dereliction of fiscal responsibility. The notion that AURA can sell public land valued at multi-millions of dollars to a developer for $30 begs for the label of recklessness or worse. City Council needs to put a stop to these kinds of practices.
Furthermore, lack of transparency, accountability, and citizen participation are problems yet to be addressed by AURA. Agreements like the $30 Land Deal are negotiated “behind closed doors”; AURA does not itself hold public hearings or neighborhood meetings when contemplating these projects; and there still does not exist a trustworthy metric for determining whether or not these Urban Renewal plans have (or would) actually be an economic gain or loss for the taxpayers.
The $30 Land Deal controversy can have a prospective outcome that is very positive and enhances Arvada's trust in local government – Arvada for All the People stands ready to engage with City Hall to make our community better and better.
Dave Chandler proud to serve as a spokesperson for Arvada for All the People and for more open and honest local government.
Much more at ArvadaForAllThePeople.com
That's how bad was the candidacy and campaign of Hillary Clinton.
So, what happened? Below is a link to and some excerpts from an article by Thomas Frank that fairly succinctly explains why Clinton lost where it counted (in the Rust Belt states) and why the Democratic Party is in big, big trouble.
Make no mistake, while Donald Trump may take the presidential oath of office in January 2017, the republic is also in seriously big trouble in light of Clinton winning the most votes by at least 2.5 million. In a democratic republic where the people are sovereign (that's the small 'd' democratic part), when the person who gets the most votes loses, there are fundamental problems with the system. While the form of our republic may be to protect the rights of political minorities, it is also meant to ensure the concept of majority rule. In a very real sense, as a nation we are skating dangerously close to a genuine tyranny of the minority; we ignore the significance of the popular vote results at our own peril.
Clinton's failure and Trump's triumph also highlights the increasing disconnect between America's governing class and everyone else. Hillary Clinton had no persuasive message for working folks feeling the distress of stagnant wages, while Trump the huckster had 'the talk', but has already demonstrated with his cabinet picks thus far that he is a supreme plutocrat.
How this sad situation has developed in a United States once proud of a strong and prosperous middle class can be explored in two very good and powerful books that I heartily recommend:
“Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer—and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class" by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson, and
Joseph Stieglitz’s book “The Price of Inequality: How Today's Divided Society Endangers Our Future.”
There are mega-earthquake faults in this country now that portend extreme danger: radical wealth inequality has the potential to rip apart the economy and impoverish middle America; and a dysfunctional democracy where minority rule can undercut and erode government legitimacy and credibility.
I opposed these major party candidates for President for similar reasons: both were, in my estimation, clueless to the plight of middle/working class Americans. If Clinton had been elected I would have opposed her when she proposed policies that favored the already rich and powerful. Likewise I will do whatever little I can to thwart Trump and his plutocratic-oligarchic cronyism and his disdain for individual liberty.
There are always rules that govern how a society and an economy function, they can prefer the very small slice that already have wealth and power; or they can help the vast majority in the working middle ... the American ideal as expressed by Thomas Jefferson is excerpted letter below. Trump and the Republican majorities in Congress are already giving strong indications that they are anxious to put their thumb on the side of the scale that favors the one percent of the one percent.
Despite Trump's populist rhetoric, he is a radical elitist and a plutocrat of the highest magnitude. It is critical that all good, patriotic Americans not be fooled by artful salesmanship and deliberate distraction -- watch what Trump and his fellow plutocrats do, not what they say.
It is your prosperity, your freedom, and the fate of our democratic republic, itself, that is on the line.
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Instead of winning, the pragmatists delivered Democrats to the worst situation they’ve been in for many decades, with control of no branch of the federal government and only a handful of state legislatures. Over the years, and at the behest of this faction, Democrats gave up what they stood for piece by piece and what they have to show for it now is nothing. ...
But the media and political establishments, I suspect, will have none of it. They may hate Donald Trump, but they hate economic populism much more. If history is a guide, they will embrace any sophistry to ensure that the Democrats do not take the steps required to broaden their appeal to working-class voters. They will remind everyone that Clinton didn’t really lose. Alternately, they will blame Sanders for her loss. They will decide that working-class people cannot be reasoned with and so it is pointless to try. They will declare – are already declaring – that any Democratic effort to win over working-class voters is a capitulation to racism. Better to lose future elections than to compete for the votes of those who spurned their beloved Clinton. ...
... the real swing voters are the working people who over the years have switched their loyalty from the Democrats to Trump’s Republicans. Their views are pretty much the reverse of the standard model. On certain matters they are open to conservative blandishments; on economic issues, however, they are pretty far to the left. They don’t admire free trade or balanced budgets or entitlement reform – the signature issues of centrism – they hate those things. And if Democrats want to reach them, they will have to turn away from the so-called center and back to the economic left. ...
Today Democrats are wondering what went wrong, but before too many fundraising dinners have been digested they will have concluded they don’t need to worry, that demographics will bail them out sooner or later, and that the right and noble course of action is to proceed as before.
This will happen because what leading liberals cannot understand – what they are psychologically blocked from understanding – is that the problem isn’t really the white working class. The problem is them.
Let me explain what I mean by reminding you what this form of liberalism looks like. Somewhere in a sunny corner of the country, either right now or very shortly, a group of tech tycoons or well-meaning private equity investors will meet to discuss what went wrong in this election cycle. They will consider many things: the sexism and racism of Trump voters, the fundamental foreignness of the flyover, the problems one encounters when dealing with evangelicals. They will celebrate some activist they learned about from NPR, they will enjoy some certified artisanal cuisine, they will hand out prizes to the same people that got prizes at the last event they attended, and they will go back to their comfortable rooms at the resort and sleep ever so soundly.
These people think they know what liberalism includes and what it doesn’t include. And in the latter category fall the concerns that made up the heart and soul of liberal politics a few decades ago: labor and work and exploitation and economic equality. ...
Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Cooper, September 10, 1814
“We have no paupers ... The great mass of our population is of laborers; our rich, who can live without labor, either manual or professional, being few, and of moderate wealth. Most of the laboring class possess property, cultivate their own lands, have families, and from the demand for their labor are enabled to exact from the rich and the competent such prices as enable them to be fed abundantly, clothed above mere decency, to labor moderately and raise their families. . . . The wealthy, on the other hand, and those at their ease, know nothing of what the Europeans call luxury. They have only somewhat more of the comforts and decencies of life than those who furnish them. Can any condition of society be more desirable than this?”
In the main, I’m not voting on issues when it comes to candidates in 2016.
My meta-principles for my balloting decisions this election are based on the candidate’s honesty, forthrightness, and my perception of how committed they are to reforming what is clearly an increasingly corrupt political system.
Consequently, my choices are eclectic and meant to be a rebuke to party tribalism, which, in my estimation, has become so extreme that effective representative democracy, i.e., small ‘r’ republicanism is in danger.
For what it is worth, here is for whom and what I am voting for on my Arvada, Colorado ballot … with occasional commentary.
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Gary Johnson: Libertarian
All explained at: Anybody But ... For President 2016
Arn Menconi: Green Party
The Democrats are trying to reelect one of the best oligarchs they have in Michael Bennet; the Republicans have nominated a wishy-washy extremist.
Menconi is a regular fellow with the interests of average Coloradans at heart.
U.S. Representative - CD7
Martin Buchanan: Libertarian
The Democratic Party incumbent has “gone Washington” … the Republican is narrow of focus and too far a right field.
CU Regent - At Large
Alice Madden: Democrat
State Senator - District 19
Laura Woods: Republican
Incumbent Woods is certainly forthright about what she believes in — and I disagree with much of it; but she is honest and centered on District 19. I have been impressed with how hard she has worked at the capitol. For the local level, Woods opposes corporate socialism/corporate welfare; her opponent has no problem with taxpayer dollars going to private, for-profit developers/businesses. Finally, Woods’ previously-appointed opponent abandoned her Arvada city council seat in 2013 — barely a month after being reelected — for her own and her party’s advancement, an act of faithlessness to the citizens that I find unforgivable.
State Representative - District 29
Tracy Kraft-Tharp: Democrat
One of the best state legislators in Colorado.
Jefferson County Offices
All of the Republicans should be punished severely when in comes to county offices — the worst kind of cynical and manipulative politics has been played by them for the purpose of holding onto power. The musical chairs, term limit evading game they have played with Faye Griffin, resignations, and appointments is corrupt and reprehensible, in my opinion. Vote the Republicans out.
District Attorney - 1st Judicial District
Jake Lilly: Democrat
County Commissioner - District 1
Marti J. Smith: Democrat
County Commissioner - District 2
Casey Tighe: Democrat
Just as a matter of formality, I always vote 'no' on judges ... they always get retained and I just want to do my little part in reminding them to what and to whom they owe their allegiance: the Constitution and the citizens.
Amendment T - Removal of Slavery Language from state constitution
Amendment U - Property Tax Exemption for Some Possessory Interests
Amendment 69 - Single-Payer Health Care
The costs of health care are literally and figuratively killing people. This amendment isn’t perfect, and with all of the governing class establishment of both major political parties against it, it will undoubtedly fail. However, a message needs to be sent that serious work needs to be done to make health care universal and affordable for all citizens.
Amendment 70 - Minimum Wage
Until demand is stimulated in our economy, it is going to remain relatively stagnant; furthermore, until income inequality is addressed, we are going to suffer more and more societal frustration and anger. Raising the minimum wage is essential for regular folks.
Amendment 71 - Constitutional Amendment Petition Requirements
The powerful special interests want to change the rules for their own benefit. Frankly, Colorado has done just fine with the process we are currently using.
Amendment 72 - Tobacco Tax
I have mixed feelings on this, but with the economy not performing as it ought to, well, raising taxes even on tobacco right now just doesn’t seem good policy to me. Furthermore, I'm not sure that this particular change ought to be enshrined in the state constitution.
Proposition 106 - Death With Dignity
The real ‘freedom agenda’ leaves you alone as much as possible … and I can think of no better example of promoting genuine individual liberty than to let you decide how you want to exit this mortal coil. The opponents are primarily theocrats and nitpickers who extol freedom as long as you chose their version of freedom. Please vote ‘yes’ on this proposal.
Party Primaries and the Political Process
The worst argument against these two proportions is that the two major political parties are ‘private’ organizations and that only their members ought to pick their candidates. Well, fine, then let them pick-up the entire cost of running primary elections and let’s revise the entire Colorado constitution and state statutes to eliminate any preferences whatsoever for the major party duopoly. These propositions are the least we can do to start making our government representative of all of us, Unaffiliated, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian, etc.
Proposition 107 - Presidential Primary Open to Unaffiliated
Proposition 108 - Primary Other Office Open to Unaffiliated
Arvada Ballot Issue 2G - Sales Tax Increase
Something is wrong at Arvada City Hall … Vote No on Arvada 2G - 2016 Election
Arvada Ballot Question 2H - Pursue Government Internet
Really, are you kidding? A city government that can’t even keep our streets in good repair should be given any say in how our internet service is delivered?
Jeffco Schools Tax Hikes
As a strictly political observation this is a prime example of why Democrats get the tax-and-spend label attached firmly to their foreheads. Not a year has gone by since the school board recall put in all Democrats and their big solution to all the districts problems is to ask us for a BIG hike in taxes, debt, and interest payments ... at least a BILLION dollars. On a personal note, I vowed to myself not to vote for any tax increases for schools as long as the failed so-called Accountability-Standardized Testing-No Child Left Behind-Race to the Top policies are in effect. I’m sticking with my promise to myself. Let's be blunt, no matter who you elect, if you keep giving them more money nothing is ever going to change.
Jeffco Schools Issue 3A - Raise Property Tax
Jeffco Schools 3B - Increase Bonded Debt
Scientific and Cultural Facilities District - Renew Sales Tax
Of all of the 'extra' taxes we have, this is one of the best.
Dave Chandler accepts contributions -- not tax deductible.
7930 Kendall Street
Arvada, CO 80003