Voter Guide — Election 2014

State Senate - District 2

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  • Kevin J. Grantham (Rep)

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    Martin T. Wirth (Grn) Engineer

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Biographical Information

Why do you wish to serve in the Colorado legislature?

Name the top three issues you see facing your district and explain how you propose to address them.

What is the first law you would change in Colorado if you could?

What makes you different from your opponent?

The state may have excess revenue next fiscal year under TABOR. Do you support keeping the money for state needs or a taxpayer refund? Explain.

Are the state’s oil and gas regulations working? If not, what changes would you make?

Should Colorado’s death penalty be abolished? Explain.

Would you support a ballot measure that sought to legalize gay marriage in Colorado?

Is Colorado adequately funding K-12 education? If not, what do you propose doing to correct the situation?

Are Colorado’s marijuana laws and/or regulations working? If not, what changes would you make?

Name one person from Colorado in the opposite party you admire and explain why?

What’s the best way to handle Colorado transportation/transit woes?

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Age 59
Relevant Experience As an activist, I've been involved in a number of political issues: 1. Reducing the cost of higher education. 2. Sustaining and expanding public transportion options. 3. Defending our rights under the Constitution.
Both the Democratic and Republican parties are corrupt. Each is controlled by corporate money that constitutes, for all intents and purposes, a system of bribery that has been contrived to circumvent the law.

Asking why I wish to serve is an unproductive question. I would prefer to live a private life. However, my duty is to confront power when it is being abused. Influence peddling usurps the will of the people and foists upon us, not only a mediocre existence, but mediocre ways of thinking about it.

Serving in the Senate is not about what I wish. It is about what the people need for us to do. We need to be having discussions that lead to positive actions, rebuilding our sense of community, and leaving the world a better place for seven generations to come.

I would rather pose another question:

How do we handle the destructive tendency to interpret financial and political power as a license to trample the rights of others?
1. When cities and towns along the Front Range need more water, they come to the mountains to buy up water rights. As the most precious resource in the west, water must be protected from waste and pollution. The loss of good water in one region effects its availability in neighboring ones.

2. Working people live in a precarious situation where a financial crash like the one in September 2008 could rob them of their incomes. Instead of bailing out the bank executives next time, we should prepare now by establishing a publicly owned state bank similar to the one in North Dakota. This could enable Colorado to sustain a functioning economy when the next crash hits.

3. The cost of widening roads is prohibitive and produces an unsightly result. Light railroads have a thousand times the carrying capacity per lane of roadway when compared to an additional lane of traffic for single occupancy vehicles.

It's an engineering problem and one that can be solved economically.
I would repeal or neutralize Senate Bill SB14-093 that grants pipeline corporations statutory power to take property and homes using eminent domain. The proper use of eminent domain is only when there is a compelling public interest in a project that needs the land. Using eminent domain as a profit-enhancement procedure for private corporations is inappropriate.

Eminent domain is used for the distribution of electrical power and telecommunications. These services are largely privatized, but there is a public benefit and the conductors aren't likely to spew toxic chemicals when they break.

Oil and dilbit pipelines are loaded with toxic chemicals and have a pathetic record of shoddy construction, neglect, and repeated failures. Instead of subsidizing this kind of energy on the backs of property owners, we would do better to provide incentives to develop clean renewable energy technologies.
I don't personally know my opponent, so there isn't much I can say about that.

I can say that my priorities as a politician are different. He voted to grant eminent domain for pipelines. I disagree with that.

In general, I am different from any Republican or Democrat because I am not beholden to their party platforms or policies. Unlike Democrats, I won't tow the party line to deprive communities of their right to prohibit fracking and other hazardous activities around their water supplies. I see no need to take firearms away from people but I respect the rights of certain institutions and private companies to bar weapons from their places of business and their sanctuaries. Unlike the Republicans, I want to eliminate the influence of corporations in politics, and to eliminate corporate personhood by an amendment to the US Constitution. I also have no compulsion to regulate personal choices that do no harm to others nor any urge to regulate womens' reproductive choices.
TABOR is a law that was voted in by the people of Colorado in 1992. We are lawfully required to return the surplus to the taxpayers. To do otherwise is to invite lawsuits and will only cost the state more money in litigation.
The rules have been recently changed to require companies to detect and repair leaks and to reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds and methane, a potent greenhouse gas. While I'm skeptical of any protocol that allows a corporation to inspect itself, we should allow enough time to see how these new regulations are working before judging their effectiveness.
Killing people to show that killing people is wrong is a piece of idiotic hypocrisy. It turns our justice system into a circus sideshow without addressing the causes behind violence in the least bit.

Abolition would rid us of the sideshow and save our justice system a little bit of money.

Interest in this question suggests fear towards addressing the root causes of violence in our society. Poverty is a form of violence that leads to malnutrition, homelessness, and hopelessness. The destruction of our sense of community, and treating people like disposable commodities opens the gate to deeply anti-social and violent thinking. This is itself the result of unconscionable thinking within the ranks of our political class. Our governments on all levels are using violence as a method of early resort. Governmental violence is often applied to force unwilling people to comply with regimes that never earned their informed consent.
Regulating who someone wants to marry is not an appropriate function of the government in a free and civil society. However, certain legal rights, privileges, and public goods are codified for the benefit of married persons. This being the case, I would support such a ballot measure.
No. Colorado has fallen to 40th place in K-12 funding. Either we can amend the Colorado Constitution to give the legislature more latitude in determining that funding, or we will have to rearrange our priorities to remedy this problem.

The dismal funding of higher education, the cost of tuition, and student indebtedness are also embarrassments in and of themselves.
Yes. Legalizing marijuana lifted a fiscal liability off the state. It is now a source of revenue.

In light of the TABOR amendment, taxpayers here stand to get paid a little bit for making this choice on the ballot.
I'm a member of the Green Party. There is no opposite party.

There are leaders in our history who I admire. Many Americans assume that the US Constitution was somehow given to us by the enlightened thinkers from Europe or that one of its authors played Moses on the mountain. The real inspiration came from the Haudenosaunee and, more specifically, Dakanawida who was known as the Great Peacemaker of the Iroquois Confederacy. But he lived before the state of Colorado existed, so this probably isn't an entirely satisfactory answer to your question.
Colorado ranks 46th in the nation for highway funding. Our roads are turning into obstacle courses hosting frequent traffic jams and wrecks. Allowing development to proceed on top of this crumbling infrastructure only adds to the burdens of taxation and inconvenience for residents. Some of the cost of upgrading infrastructure rightfully belongs on the real estate developers that profit from building suburban sprawl.

Reducing traffic by redesigning towns and routing would be one way to reduce cost in lieu of raising taxes. We don't have to fix the roads so often if fewer cars are pounding on them.

Widening highways to manage traffic growth is worse than buying bigger pants to solve your obesity problem. People need alternative modes of transportation that mass transit systems provide.

We might consider establishing a state-wide transportation district.

When gasoline suddenly hits $5 per gallon again, people will be glad that we put some effort into providing economical alternatives.

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