County commission race ventures into cyberspace

Got a keyboard with a political penchant? A monitor with a leaning? A hard drive with a point of view on the issues?

Then log on and read what some candidates for Mesa County Commission are saying about the issues — and learn where supporters can make donations. In the two commission races in the coming November election, the two Democratic challengers — Dickie Lewis, opposing Commissioner Janet Rowland in District 3, and Dan
Robinson, running against Commissioner Craig Meis in District 1 — said they are aiming to ignite interest among young voters.

Lewis said he can express himself in his own words and perhaps show off a side that might not come through
in the popular media.

“I can reach a lot more people than by beating on doors,” Lewis said.

His site appeared last week. In addition to a picture of himself paddling down the Colorado River, Lewis also has posted several short position statements on a number of subjects: agriculture, annexing the Persigo Wash, de-Brucing the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and free speech.

“I’m hopeful I am going to reach the young people just coming of voting age,” Lewis said. “That young generation, from what I understand, (the Internet) is where 90 percent of their information comes from.”

Robinson has an introductory letter on his site, but a click on the “Issues” button brings up the phrase:
“Coming soon.”

Robinson said he soon will post writings on topics like alternative energy, unnecessary lawsuits, the five-commissioner question, conflicts of interest, and budget and finance issues, primarily with the youth of Mesa County in mind.

“There is, of course, a generation that really relies on the computer, the Internet, as their reality. My thought is that if you are not on there, you don’t exist to some people,” he said.

Meis said his site is under construction and, unlike the last time he ran for office four years ago, he will be posting everything himself.

“I want to make it more personal,” Meis said. “It is going to be from me, about me.”

He wasn’t too sure who would be logging on.

“In the advertising world they say 80 percent of your dollars are wasted — the only problem is, you don’t know
what that 80 percent is,” he said. “I don’t know what impact, if any, it has.”

Rowland said she doesn’t have a campaign Web site, but she has maintained a “commissioner Web site.” It is
paid for out of her own pocket, she said.

“If you look at the site, it is nonpartisan. You can’t even tell if I am a Democrat or a Republican or that I am even running for office,” she said. “It is a tool for me to communicate with citizens. It is not about getting reelected, it is about communicating.”


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