On Age, Tenure in the Party, and Qualifications for the Position

Here’s what I said in response to a question from The Statesman about my relative youth and inactivity in Democratic Party politics, and why I think I deserve the SD-31 seat (edited for clarity):

It’s true that I haven’t been involved in the Party very long, and I will probably have to play defense against that for the duration of this little campaign. However, I have worked for four years for Democratic elected officials executing laws and budgets, and I’ll convince people that this is meaningful and important.

I think I deserve to be the new senator simply because, due to my detailed understanding of how Colorado’s extremely complicated fiscal laws work, I am the candidate most able to move the common sense Democratic agenda forward.  In addition, just as the newest American citizens are the most enthusiastic ones, I am the most enthusiastic Democrat in the race!

In these economic times, it is unlikely that there will be money for new programs, so we have to do a smarter job of allocating the scarce public resources we already have.  I am ideally suited to do this because of my budget experience in municipal, county, and state government in Colorado.

To the extent we do get new money, it will likely be through some successor to Referendum C.  I am one of twenty people in the state who know enough about economics, public finance, and Colorado’s esoteric Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights to make a meaningful contribution towards crafting that next ballot issue.  To the extent that my senate district overlaps with Mark Ferrandino’s house district, those lucky folks would have two people at the table representing them in those discussions.

It’s not right that ordinary people (and citizen legislators) can’t understand how their tax dollars are allocated, and I plan to change that as soon as possible.  It is a fact that, if elected, I will already have more experience in the state’s budget than everyone in the Senate except Sens. Keller, Morse, Tapia, and White.  As you know, Sens. Tapia and Keller will be term-limited soon, so we need Dems with budget experience to fill that gap.

Budget geeks like myself are an untapped resource in elected politics (aside from Rep. Ferrandino).  If the GOP starts bringing budget geeks to power before the Democrats really catch on, we will be an ineffective majority party, and eventually a minority party.

In a nutshell, TABOR doesn’t care if you’ve been a community organizer, the Gallagher Amendment doesn’t care how many old-school politicians are endorsing you, and Colorado’s backwards urban renewal laws don’t care how long you’ve had a (D) next to your name. At this time, SD31 needs an honest, fair-dealing technocrat like myself to untie the knots.

As for the age thing, I have read the bios of my fellow candidates and have been impressed with all of them.  I don’t really think age is a factor here, at least not for me. In spite of my relatively young age, I will hit the ground running faster than any other candidate will be able to, because I already understand Colorado’s black-box budget.  My fellow candidates will need training wheels on the budget for a few years (at least). I will not.



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