Gerrymandering. The name itself reeks of confusion and subterfuge. It is the process used by the party in power to divide up electoral districts in a way that appears chaotic on a map, and is extremely biased toward their political party at the polls. Its name is derived from an 19th Century politician who created a voting district that was so convoluted, it resembled a salamander.
The practice is so abhorrent that 100% of our state legislators—Democrats, Republicans and Independents—voted to put Amendment Y and Amendment Z on the ballot in November. Amendments Y & Z will establish a commission of 4 members from both major political parties, along with 4 Independents, to redraw our voting districts based on the 2020 Census. If the proposition is passed by you, the voters, the creation of new districts will be determined by a majority vote of the commission that must include at least half of its Independent members to keep the major parties from colluding.
As, I hope, your next Colorado State Representative for District 39—I fully support Amendments Y & Z as very significant way to ensure People Above Party, and that every vote matters.
Our own district is one of these gerrymandered districts. When a district has THREE districts INSIDE it (HD 43, HD 44, and HD 45), that violates the governing law of ensuring each district “shall be as compact in area as possible and the aggregate linear distance of all district boundaries shall be as short as possible. Each district shall consist of contiguous whole general election precincts.”
As a former Republican whose party left her, and a former Independent who registered as a Democrat to participate in the political process (sooner than November) in 2016, and as someone who will represent you, I promise to do everything I can to make sure that your vote, and everyone else’s counts in every election, regardless of your party affiliation, beliefs, gender, race, or socio-economic status.
On the other hand, based on his past activities, my opponent, Mark Baisley, not only opposes this proposition that levels the playing field for all candidates, in 2011 he actually sued the state of Colorado because one of the districts was not gerrymandered ENOUGH. Fortunately, the courts ruled against him. But make no mistake: his goal, if elected, is to gerrymander all Federal and state districts as much as possible in favor of the Republicans.
Unfortunately, the courts couldn’t stop him from his earlier acts to politicize the Douglas County School Board elections; a deed that took the people of this county nine years to correct.
To illustrate how much my opponent takes your support for granted, I was going to provide a link to his campaign website. However, HE DOESN’T HAVE ONE. * Or a Facebook Candidate Page. Or any other social media. He believes that everyone will simply vote for him because he has an R next to his name, and that he can be a rubber stamp for the Republican platform (even if the platform goes against an issue relevant to our district). It is time to put PEOPLE ABOVE PARTY, and ensure districts are drawn so that candidates must listen to those they represent.
* UPDATE: With less than one month before the election, my opponent has created a basic website. Given that he announced his candidacy over a year ago, I’d expect a website sooner than 30 days out from the election.