Ted’s fun and easy guide to suffrage

by Ted Holteen

Oh, what would my 10-year-old self think of what I’ve become? There was a time when the post-Halloween season meant just one thing – the arrival of Christmas could now be counted down in terms of days, not months. Now, as a 38-year-old premature curmudgeon, I have come to dislike children, gift giving, churches (but I guess I never really did like those much) and almost every other aspect of the holiday season short of actually receiving gifts myself. And now where do I find that rush, that anticipation, the feeling that every day is leading up to something magical, something that matters? Yeah, Election Day. My God – not only have I grown crotchety, but I’m a dork, too. No matter. The coming week is one that may be remembered as a landmark, a watershed, a day of real change coming just two years after what we assumed at the time was the crowning jewel of the Gingrich revolution of ’94. You’d have thought it would be a model of efficiency to have right-wing fundamentalists running all three branches of the federal government, but it just goes to show, you don’t ever know. Not exactly true, a whole bunch of us knew, but now is not the time to keep bitching, though old habits are hard to break. Instead, have some fun at the polls on Tuesday (or earlier at the courthouse, which is a good idea, too) and know that this time it might actually matter. For what it’s worth, here’s how I see things this year:

La Plata County commissioner: Incumbent Sheryl Ayers vs. the young firebrand Joelle Riddle. Nothing against Ms. Ayers, who is a very nice lady, but this one’s an easy call. Joelle is a rare combination of a well-connected and influential citizen who happens to be extremely and genuinely dedicated to making her home community a better place for every person, be they landed or not. A truly groovy chick. And if she doesn’t get elected, it will be us, the citizens of La Plata County, who will bear the responsibility when Wally White goes on a shooting spree in the courthouse. You don’t want blood on your hands, so vote for her.

Colorado state representative: Joe Colgan vs. Ellen Roberts. A tougher call, but again I’ll choose youth here and go with the young upstart Joe Colgan. This kid’s got some great ideas, and if we don’t foster a passion for politics in our young people, the future looks mighty bleak. (Don’t be fooled by photos you may have seen of Joe – his work as a dedicated public servant has added some age lines. He’s only 26.)

Other offices: U.S. Congress: John Salazar hasn’t even been there for 24 months yet. Let it ride and give him a chance. Governor: I don’t know Bill Ritter from John Ritter, but I hear Bob Beauprez is a cross-dressing, animal-hating slave owner. It’s just what I hear, but to play it safe I’m going with Jack Tripper, I mean Bill Ritter. La Plata County clerk: I don’t know what these people do, but I heard that Linda Daley was taking names off tombstones to pad the voter rolls, so I’m going with Jean Walter. I have to – I’ve got her sign on my lawn. Colorado State Senate: Jim Isgar’s running against some fool who thinks he can unseat Jim Isgar. Good luck. Oh, and vote for Jim.

Lots of amendments & referendi: They might as well write a new Constitution, but I’ll do my best with this, keeping in mind I have no concept of how government works.


Amendment 38: Something about making it easier for the rabble to introduce petitions. I think I’m voting Yes. 39: A school thing. The children have no future so I just don’t care. 40: This one’s scary. Vote No or every new governor gets to pick his own supreme court. 41: Yes, yes, yes, yes. Actually makes it illegal for lobbyists to bribe elected officials. How novel. 42: Dares to raise the minimum wage to a sultanate $6.85/hour. Communards. 43: Defines marriage as the union of a man & a woman. As an occasional taxpayer, I’m insulted they would waste the ink to even draft such worthless pseudo-legislation.

Amendment 44 would make it legal to possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana, also known as “pot.” I hope that lots of people vote “yes” on Amendment 44. Thank you.

Then there’s still a bunch of referenda, but I’m still all a-flutter over the Amendment 44 thing, and I should mention something about entertainment in this entertainment column before I finish. For folks who think and vote like I do on Tuesday (we’re the good people, by the way) there’s a big ‘ol party at the Abbey starting around 5 p.m. and going all night, hopefully in a celebratory mode. This is where we cash in on the campaign promises in the form of kickbacks and other payola. I think I’m in line for the concrete contract for the new library. Incidentally, the other side will hold a similar event at Hood Mortuary beginning at 8 a.m.

Fortunately, I’ve only left myself space for one of those entertainment things I mentioned. I say fortunately because I’m now spared from having to break down the Edward Albee play that I never heard of happening at FLC over the next two weeks. Hopefully, our editorial staff has put The Hammer on the job, but I’ll try to figure it out by closing weekend next week. Instead, I’ll mention the latest installment in the KDUR Cover Night franchise, Johnny Cash Cover Night, which takes place this Saturday. By now you should be familiar with how this works, but there’s an added buzz this time around. Why? Well, the event moves to The Summit for a change, which in itself leads to another interesting factoid. Over a dozen acts have already been confirmed to cover the tunes of The Man in Black, a great turnout but not the real news. I’m almost certain that with the appearance of Sylvia Zurko, the Summit stage will see its first-ever harp. See, Sylvia plays the harp. That alone is worth the $5 cover, much of which will likely go to the logistics firm responsible for getting a harp up the attic-like entryway into the Summit. It starts at 9 p.m. and will be a zoo, so arrive early.

Someone needs to tell me how to mix concrete, fast. egholteen@hotmail.com. Morality is a luxury few can afford. •



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January 26, 2024
Paper chase

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January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows