amendment done by conspiracy after the death of Washington (he would have NEVER allowed the creation of the party system), the national party system hasbeen used by the Knights of Malta and those controlled by the Jesuits to destroy the viability of this country to be under the direction of a few oligarchs. If someone isn't motivated to join a major party and seize the state legislature where the laws which you whine are controlled from then just get over it - you have to be in it to win it or even change it. The Jesuits and Knights of Malta are at the center and must be mentioned in every opportunity as if discussing the weather.
The quickest way to keep the playing field even is by strict use of the State Constitution in all matters - especially the redistricting for the State legislature and creation of competition at the state subdivision level now missing for 55 years. So have the Senate and Assembly members been served with a summons and complaint in Loeber v Spargo? That is the key at least to get their attention to the matter of the election laws.
February 2, 2008
A Region Where Many Voters Opt to Cross Party Lines
By KIRK JOHNSON
RIFLE, Colo. — Political quirkiness has a long and honored pedigree in the West. Many people come to places like Garfield County, a sprawling rural area here on the western slope of the Rockies, to shed the pigeon holes, labels and other confining encumbrances that they associate with the East and West Coasts and all the big cities between.
But even when she was a Republican, which was most of her life before she moved here in 2000 and became an independent, LaVonne Fitts was nobody’s idea of predictable.
Ms. Fitts, a 51-year-old registered nurse, said she has voted third party and write-in for president in many years past (Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, Pat Robertson, Mickey Mouse). This year she favors Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, “because she’s a woman, not because she’s a Democrat,” Ms. Fitts said firmly, though as an independent, she will be unable to participate in Tuesday’s caucuses here.
On a recent snowy morning at the Creekbend Bistro, Ms. Fitts sat across the table for oatmeal with her friend Don Locke, a 61-year-old Republican who is not thrilled with President Bush, or any of the presidential hopefuls in his party for that matter. He is leaning toward Senator Barack Obama, Democrat of Illinois. If Mr. Obama winds up as the Democratic nominee, he would be the first Democrat for whom Mr. Locke, a locksmith here in Rifle, has ever voted.
Over the last eight years, as Garfield County became one of the fastest-growing counties in the state — a population increase of more than 18 percent, from a combination of retirees and workers in the booming natural gas and construction industries — the number of unaffiliated voters like Ms. Fitts marched with the pace. Unaffiliated voters surged 14 percent, even as the numbers of registered Democrats and Republicans sagged or stagnated.
But as Colorado, Idaho, Montana and Utah prepare for their moments in the political spotlight on Tuesday (caucuses in Colorado, Idaho and Montana, a primary in Utah) the numbers of cross-voting, label-rejecting and downright crotchety voters make the event hard to predict, or probably to make sense of even when the results are in.
Here in Colorado, in particular, a fundamental dynamic has changed. For many years and elections, Republicans in Denver suburbs like Arapahoe and Jefferson Counties and rural outposts like Garfield County held together a coalition that regularly overcame urban Democrats. In the last few years, a combination of demographic and economic changes has disengaged the independent voters, who were the old coalition’s linchpins.
Two Democrats, Senator Ken Salazar in 2004 and Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. in 2006, won in the Denver suburbs and here in Garfield County as well — a political thunderclap that still resonates. The first Democrat in a generation was elected county commissioner in Garfield County in 2002.
“The whole county has become a melting pot,” said Jean Alberico, the county clerk and recorder here, who was elected last year and is the first Democrat to hold the post in more than three decades.
Ms. Alberico likened Garfield County to an accordion — squeezed on the east by retirees who have been priced out of the Aspen area, and on the west by people moving in for energy jobs. Neither group is entirely predictable or uniform in its politics, she said, and both are being stressed by growth, housing concerns (though here it is a shortage rather than a bust) and environmental worries.
Many places across the West share a piece of that mosaic.
Parts of Wyoming and Utah have been just as caught up in the energy boom and its freight-train of growth and environmental impact. Once-bedraggled ranching and logging towns like Driggs, Idaho, and Hamilton, Mont., have been flooded with retirees and recreational buyers looking for affordable homes on the edge of the public-lands playgrounds.But on the presidential level, Republicans have continued to hold firm even as the landscape shifted. Since 1964, when Lyndon B. Johnson swept the West, only Bill Clinton, who took Colorado and Montana in 1992, has been able to interrupt the Republican victory waltz in the four Western states that will vote on Tuesday.
Health care is an increasingly pertinent issue, as many of the new Western jobs have come without insurance, and an older population moving in has increased the demand for services. Neither of Mr. Locke’s children, for example, ages 23 and 26, have health insurance in their jobs, he said.
And the energy boom — Garfield County was No. 2 in the state last year in natural gas production — is bringing political ripples of its own. Elizabeth Chandler, a large-animal veterinarian from New Castle, just west of Rifle, got involved in politics two years ago when she began to see illnesses in cattle living near natural gas drilling sites.
The two Republicans on the county commission ignored her concerns, Dr. Chandler, a registered Republican herself, said, and that spurred her to become president of the Grand Valley Citizens Alliance, a nonpartisan grass-roots group that has been pressuring oil and natural gas companies on air-quality issues.
Her new role has not turned her into a Democrat, but it has led her to vote for a few, including Mr. Ritter, who ran for governor promising to increase regulation in the energy industry.
“I would support any candidate who would stand up for the health of Garfield County,” Dr. Chandler said. “Right now those candidates happen to be the Democratic candidates.”
But there are also new voices like that of Karen Sprague, who tilts in the opposite direction. Ms. Sprague, 43, moved from Oklahoma to the town of Parachute two years ago with her husband, Edward, who works as a construction superintendent for the natural gas industry.
She is a Democrat who voted for President Bush, and has no plans to vote for a Democrat this time around either, especially if there is any hint of an environmentalist agenda that could harm her family’s livelihood in the natural gas business.
“If we elect a tree-hugger, they’ll pull the plug on this place,” Ms. Sprague said over lunch with Mr. Sprague and their 5-year-old son, Dylan, at the Grand Valley Pub and Grill in Parachute.
The Garfield County Republican Party chairman, Milt Blakey, said he thought that Democratic success in the last few elections here was no indicator of what might happen on Tuesday. And because independents cannot participate in the Colorado caucuses, the results might be deceiving anyway, he said.
Independents may participate in Utah’s Democratic primary and in Idaho’s Democratic caucuses, because people there do not register by party. Montana also has no party registration, but its Republican caucus is limited to local and state Republican office holders, precinct representatives and party committee members.
Most Republicans, Mr. Blakey said, have not fallen in love with a candidate, though Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, a Mormon, should do well in Garfield County’s far western areas, which were settled by Mormons in the 1800s. Some voters also see Senator John McCain of Arizona as a Western voice.
The local Democratic Party chairman, Edward P. Sands, said that he thought Mr. Obama would do well and that John Edwards, had he stayed in the race, could have struck a chord in Garfield County with his populist stance against the abuses of corporate America. Mrs. Clinton’s image is not so positive, Mr. Sands and others said, partly because of her husband, whose policies in the West as president, especially in environmental protection, struck some people as going too far. (Mr. Clinton carried Garfield County in 1992, but not in 1996.)
But political wild cards like Roy Savage also abound, making every bet risky. Mr. Savage, a 55-year-old rancher and landowner from Rifle, was a lifelong Republican until about a month ago when he switched parties so he could caucus for Mr. Obama.
“The polarization between the urban elite and middle of the country is disturbing,” Mr. Savage said on a recent afternoon in an interview at the Savage ranch. “Obama is bridging that a little bit.”
Mr. Savage’s 83-year-old mother, Joan, is making bridges in her own way. Ms. Savage, a Republican, said she liked Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama about equally.
“I’d be hard pressed to tell you which one I’d vote for,” she said.