Homework: Kids Voting October 27, 2008

KIDS VOTING—Eighth grade students at Bookcliff Middle School, from left to right: Sabrina Barslund, Alexandria Bentler, Jessica Nickerson and Brandy Gailey.

The U.S. House of Representatives race for Colorado’s largest district, House District 3, will be decided between incumbent Democrat John Salazar and Republican candidate Wayne Wolf of Cedaredge.

District 3 encompasses most of western and southern Colorado.

John Salazar is a lifelong rancher from Southern Colorado who works on his family’s land on weekends. He holds a business degree from Adams Sate College and is a veteran.

Before becoming a member of the House four years ago, Salazar held a seat in the Colorado Legislature. He sits on many committees in Congress.

While serving on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee,  Salazar helped pass the Stolen Valor Act. which made it a crime to wear service medals that have not been rightfully earned. Because he wants our veterans properly cared for, Salazar fights for Veterans Affairs funding.

Salazar also holds a seat on the Agriculture Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has worked to provide tax revenues for building rural highways. Salazar has worked to protect Colorado farmers through the 2007 Farm Bill.

“For me, the right choice is always the one that rings true with rural values — rewarding hard work, honesty and integrity,” he said.

When it comes to energy, Salazar is in favor of finding alternative fuel resources. He wants the U.S. to shift from its dependence on foreign oil to renewable resources such as wind power, solar power and especially bio-fuels, which he believes will also help rural farmers and the environment.

Salazar is also committed to fighting to protect local resources, especially water. He formed the 3rd
Congressional District Water Committee to help people understand water issues in Colorado. He feels that water is a valuable resource for local agriculture and that it needs protection. 

Wolf is a candidate who comes from a fifth-generation ranching family. He holds a master’s degree in education. His background includes teaching.

Wolf has also held many positions in county government. He was president of the Western District of County Commissioners, co-chairman of the Public Lands Partnership and a member of the State Board of Human Services. Wolf served on the Delta County Commission for seven years, where he and other members maintained a balanced budget every year. He was also the founding member of the Delta County Meth Task Force.

According to his Web site, Wolf was chairman for the Colorado Counties’ Agriculture, Wildlife and Rural Affairs Committee, where he represented counties on the 2007 Farm Bill. He was successful in promoting a timber sale for pines infested with bark beetles on Grand Mesa.

Wolf proposes a “suite of energy sources that would include coal, hydro, natural gas, wind, petroleum, geothermal, nuclear, solar and bio-fuels.”

He also wants to make the food we produce in this country take priority over imported food. He says food importation is counterproductive to local agriculture and businesses.

Finally, Wolf would like to move away from unfunded federal government directives placed on programs such as education and create a government that would listen to people and local governments.

Both candidates are against the bailout package passed by Congress to solve the economic crisis.

“It was not comprehensive enough to solve the crisis,” Salazar said. Wolf said that he would have voted against it also. Both candidates agree that our troops in Iraq need support and continued funding.

Salazar is not in favor of the war in Iraq, but Wolf says we should “retreat when our objectives are met.”

These candidates have some similarities, yet they both have their own priorities that they want to share with the people of District 3. Voters will decide this race on Nov. 4.

The authors are District 51 students reporting on election issues for The Daily Sentinel in conjunction with Kids Voting of Mesa County.


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