A good friend likes to say that “when someone shows you who they are, believe them…”

Perhaps this is just a more personal way to observe that “actions speak louder than words”.

But, in either case, this principle should be part of how we decide to cast our votes, not only in this election, but always. As a lifelong registered Republican, I can confirm that it is often easier to take shelter with the rest of our tribal members and vote a straight “red” or “blue” ticket, independent of the candidates themselves. But, doing so ignores the urgent need that our country has for leadership based on the only “litmus test” that matters: integrity. For far too long, we have “settled” and stayed in line, despite the corruption and dishonesty that is so prevalent today. Simply saying “they all do it” is just not good enough anymore.

Here in Weld County, in Colorado and indeed, in the Country, we are challenged to choose integrity over the tribal colors.

Although there is a current effort at revisionism occurring, do those of us who live in State Senate District 23 really believe that the Republican candidate will protect our health, safety and welfare if elected to State office? After all, she has, as a County Commissioner, repeatedly approved heavy industrial operations that directly impact adjacent residents? After minimizing the importance of emissions of toxic materials adjacent to schools? After collaborating with industrial cronies to attempt ex-parte communications out of the sight of citizens? After misusing funds contributed to a charitable organization?

She’s shown me enough. I KNOW who she is. My vote will go to her opponent, Sally Boccella.

The Weld County Commissioner District 3 race is another example. The Republican candidate has repeatedly shown us who she is. As when she claimed on Martin Luther King Day, 2019 that whites were once lynched in “almost equal numbers” as persons of color. Or, when she “accidentally” carried a concealed firearm to DIA in 2017. Is that supposed to be “responsible” gun ownership? Or, when, in 2015, she was the first “member of the public” to speak in favor of allowing Martin Marietta Materials to establish a massive concrete and asphalt operation directly adjacent to a neighborhood of over 100 homes and businesses, without regard to the health or financial impact on the neighbors? Crony capitalism at it worst.

She’s shown us who she is. If I were in District 3, my vote would go to her opponent, Mike Welch.

But, it’s not just the Republicans who show us their character. Democrat Senate candidate, John Hickenlooper has done the same thing. He’s demonstrated his disregard for ethics as he has violated the State’s gift ban numerous times, been found in contempt by the Independent Ethics Committee, and even used public funds for his defense. In addition, he started the trend towards accepting California standards for everything from emissions to auto restrictions. And, he’s even flipped on the issue of oil and gas. While his opponent, Cory Gardner is no doubt not perfect, in my opinion, I’ve seen enough from Hickenlooper—he’s showed me who he is. My vote goes to Gardner.

And, then we come to the President of the United States. Both candidates have clearly demonstrated who they are, and, in my opinion, neither meets the integrity standard. Although one will certainly prevail, it will be without my help.

They won’t care. But I do. Do you?

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