A liberal’s liberal: Voters in the 2nd CD couldn’t have a clearer choice between its major party candidates. Polis is for legalizing marijuana, allowing gay marriage, giving local communities the power to more stridently regulate fracking than the state, replacing the No Child Left Behind Act with “something that makes more sense,” doing away with warrantless wiretapping, protecting a woman’s right to choose and supporting other Democratic stalwart positions. In his past term, he worked to defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act on the grounds that they threatened free speech, and he led the debate against the renewal of FISA, which allows warrantless wiretapping (FISA was renewed nonetheless). But Polis admits that in a Republican-controlled Congress, few bills in this last term were brought up that he supported.
Biggest issue: With vast experience in education reform, strengthening schools is among Polis’ highest priorities.
Biggest issue facing Congress: Getting along with the other party. “What I hope is that in this election, those who are elected to serve in the next Congress are sent to Washington with the mandate [to] work together to move our country forward,” he says. “I hope that [the mandate] is: work with the other side, get things done, govern responsibly, move our country forward.”
Party bona fides: On the other side of the ticket for 2nd CD is conservative stalwart Kevin Lundberg, playing yin to Polis’ yang. Having served 10 years in the General Assembly, the Berthoud lawmaker has amassed a slew of recognitions from conservative organizations for his adherence to the principles of small government, lower taxes and prudent spending. Where Polis is a biolerplate Democrat, so is Lundberg a down-the-line Republican who supports limited regulation on businesses; a limited, Constitutional government; “holding the line” on taxes; and the sanctity of “family values.”
The horserace: Going up against a popular incumbent in a liberal-leaning district (redistricting combined most of Boulder County with mountain areas and the former liberal holdout from the old 4th CD, Fort Collins), Lundberg is confident that his message of fiscal responsibility in a climate of economic stagnancy will land with voters. He notes that 55 percent of his constituents are new to the district—and therefore new to Polis.
Favorite hobby: Running for office. Although this is the first time Luallin is running for Congress, it’s not his first rodeo. He has run twice for Louisville City Council, once for Louisville mayor, once for Louisville Charter Commission and four times for Boulder County Commissioner. He has never been elected. Luallin says he wants to give voters a choice that doesn’t involve voting for candidates out of fear of their opponents. Like other Libertarians, he is “fiscally conservative and socially liberal.” He wants to balance the budget immediately, increase transparency in government and fight for freedom and liberty. Government, he says, should be the servant of the people, not the other way around, and he wants to restore that balance.
Don Quixote factor: “I don’t do things I don’t care about,” he says. “A Libertarian candidate is the best candidate and we should be in it to win it.”
Battle cry: Tax the rich! As a Green Party candidate, Susan Hall eschews corporate donations to her campaign, but she’s equally adamant that corporations pay higher taxes, especially those that benefitted financially from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, particularly Halliburton. She also includes GMO seed-maker Monsanto as targeted for higher taxes (even though she admits the company probably didn’t benefit from the wars) and calls for a 50 percent tax on billionaires.
She’s for: Ending the war in Afghanistan, legalizing marijuana, implementing a single-payer healthcare system, closing Guantanamo and repealing the National Defense Appropriations Act.
She’s against: Nuclear power, Citizens United, corporate money in politics, GMOs, having gotten involved in the Libyan war, fossil fuels, secrecy in government and state control of fracking.
YS Endorsement: Jared Polis
Jared Polis has proven to be a no-nonsense force in national politics, a congressman who has earned a second term. His dedication to his values is a necessary strength for anyone in national politics facing the tough work of righting our economy, improving the quality of education and repairing the rift between the parties.