Campaigns point toward November

Cross Currents: A column by Bill Christopher
Posted 7/12/18

The primary election is behind us. You can check it off your To Do list. Colorado’s record-setting turnout last month was encouraging to see and reflected the first-time unaffiliated voter …

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Campaigns point toward November

Posted

The primary election is behind us. You can check it off your To Do list.

Colorado’s record-setting turnout last month was encouraging to see and reflected the first-time unaffiliated voter participation. Thanks to the addition of approximately 300,000 unaffiliated voters participating, it helped set a new primary election voter count of approximately 1.3 million and added to the integrity of the process.

While the expected winners came out on top in both governor’s races, it was a bit of surprise in the Democratic Party’s attorney general contest. Phil Weiser and Joe Salazar went down to the wire — with Weiser winning. He will be running against the Republican candidate George Brauchler. I think Weiser stands a better chance competing against Brauchler.

The other races in the various levels of government didn’t provide much excitement given the large number of uncontested races.

Campaign ads coming your way

So, now the attention turns to the November mid-term election. If you thought the number of campaign ads were nerve racking leading up to the June 26th primary election, you have a long haul until the November election.

Democrat Jared Polis’ campaign spent over $11 million on his gubernatorial race. Some political prognosticators are predicting he will spend around $20 million in the general election.

Republican Walker Stapleton won’t have quite that amount of horsepower, but the money will flow for TV ads for sure. Of course, the U.S. House of Representatives races will generate big bucks for ads as well. Enough said.

It’s a “no lose” opportunity

In both the House District 35 and one of the Adams county Commissioner races, there is an interesting twist. Westminster city council member Shannon Bird, a Democrat, is running against former Westminster city council member Bruce Baker, a Republican, for the H.D. 35 sea.

Meanwhile Westminster city council member, Democrat Emma Pinter is running against Republican and RTD term-limited RTD Board member Larry Hoy.

Bird has approximately 15 months left on her city council term. On the other hand, Pinter was re-elected to city council this past November and has approximately 3 1/2 years left on her council term. If either candidate were to lose their current race, they would remain on city council to complete their respective terms. It’s a “no lose” proposition for both of them.

Tariff war is high risk game for trump

The tariff war started by President Trump is now in full-swing.

A “you hit me-I’ll hit you” mentality (which is not at all surprising) has evolved with Canada, China and the E.U. Already, we have seen the fallout with car manufacturers, Harley Davidson motorcycles, farmers and other corporate manufacturers.

Ultimately, the outcomes will fall on the shoulders of us consumers with higher prices. Also, Corporate America and their employees will be impacted to the point of reduced production, sales and employee layoffs.

The strategy taken by the President is a high stakes approach with Corporate America, farmers and a segment of the consuming public pitted against his working-class base. The former group are voicing their opposition to the tariffs while he hopes the working-class base will see the merit in his actions.

His populist approach to trade carries much potential political fallout with the mid-term election just four months away. Republican Congressional members who are seeking re-election are keenly aware of this “roll of the dice” tactic.

Farm bill showdown in congress

A critical action on the comprehensive $867 billion farm bill passed the U.S. Senate last week on a bi-partisan basis. It set up a major clash with the U.S. House of Representatives’ version of the bill which includes new requirements on the food stamp program, farm subsidy caps and conservation initiatives.

In particular, the House version would mandate stricter work requirements on food stamp eligibility for between five and seven million participants. An analysis indicates that 400,000 people would fail to qualify.

Formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, (SNAP) makes up more than 75 percent of all farm bill spending and provides assistance to more than 40 million Americans. Hopefully, the Senate version which is less draconian, will prevail.

Bill Christopher is a former Westminster city manager and RTD board member. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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