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Posted: October 01, 2010

On management: When a choice isn’t really a choice

Voting is tough for me this year

Pat Wiesner

Dwight Eisenhower was the first person I can remember voting for. It was in 1958, and I was 21. 
I didn't even know he was the Republican nominee; I voted for him because of his war record. He was a real war hero for every young person in the country and his Democratic opponent, Adlai Stevenson, never had a chance.

But I remember how excited I was to vote and how important I thought my one vote was. That first time around I voted for Eisenhower, not a Republican.

I still feel the importance of my one vote, but over the years I have drifted more and more to the center right, voting mostly for Republicans mainly because I believe in small government and less taxes for the taxpayers.

I think it's important to say it this way because the fact is that 10 percent of the taxpayers pay 70 percent of all taxes paid. The only way to cut taxes for those who don't pay any is to give them money. I would normally choose opportunity over government redistribution of wealth, and competition over regulation.

So here we are in 2010 in Colorado faced with a weird state of affairs in our elections. And every year, our boss on ColoradoBiz, Bart Taylor, makes us declare ourselves on all the elections, statewide and national. This time it is difficult.

Here is my problem. Perhaps some of you share it and can offer some opinions. I am basically a Republican. Except for Kennedy and Clinton (once) I have always voted for Republicans. I think of myself as a middle of the road conservative. And now Bart wants to know how I will vote.

Ballot issues and changes
I'm against all this general election voting that cuts out our representatives. They are elected by us and should make these decisions. If we don't like it we can vote them out.

U.S. senator
This one is easy. I will vote for Ken Buck hoping that he will move a little to the center as time goes on. First, because we should send as many messages as we can to President Obama indicating that his spending cannot continue. Buck will help with that. We should either not elect or un-elect as many Democrats we can to help with this message.

Secondly, I don't care for the advertising of either of them, but particularly I think Michael Bennet's ads are misleading when they refer to the idea that Social Security funds, if they were invested in the stock market, would be a financial windfall to Wall Street. Negative ads are sometimes amusing and at times infuriating, but I have to believe that the principals involved know when they are misleading.

Governor
This one is a puzzle inside an enigma. I want to vote Republican. But a Republican can't win because Tom Tancredo and Dan Maes are going to split the "I will vote Republican no matter what" vote. I believe that party trumps individual, but that doesn't help if you don't believe either will win. I frankly don't think they could win if you could combine their scores. Neither one has the drawing power.

Even though he seems to be edging toward the center, John Hickenlooper is a liberal, and at this time I think we need more balance in our government. Moreover, his election adds power to Obama, whom I would like to see have less. Should I not vote? Should I vote for somebody who can't win? Should I vote for someone who I have ideological problems with?

I think Hickenlooper will win, and I think he will do a good job. Hopefully, he will nudge a little closer to the center as time goes on.

We had lots of discussion on our editorial board. Opinions went everywhere. Read the results elsewhere in this issue. One thing we agreed on was that the Republicans gave away the governorship this time.
The rest of it is a mixed bag. But hopefully we'll have more political balance after the elections.
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Pat Wiesner is the retired CEO of WiesnerMedia, publisher of ColoradoBiz. He still leads sales training for the company. E-mail him at pwiesner@cobizmag.com.

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