Homework: Kids Voting October 20, 2008

On Nov. 4, Colorado voters will choose among four candidates for the open U.S.  Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Wayne Allard: Republican Bob Schaffer, Democrat Mark Udall, the Green Party’s
Bob Kinsey and the American Constitution Party’s Doug “Dayhorse” Campbell.

Education, the war in Iraq and the nation’s economy are some key issues on which each candidate has his own stance.

Schaffer believes education is the most important long-term issue confronting the country. As a state representative, Schaffer voted to get more taxpayer dollars into the classroom and that is what, if elected, he says he will continue to do as a United States senator.

Schaffer also does not want American troops to stay in Iraq a minute longer than necessary. Still, he believes that the war has some positives. “We are making progress in the war in Iraq, and many veterans are proud to come home and say that,” Schaffer said.

Concerning the current economy, Schaffer said he knew something had to be done. Schaffer said the bailout gave the taxpayers a raw deal because it didn’t solve underlying problems “like the drowning of mom and pop businesses.”

Like Schaffer, Udall also is concerned with education. “Tests like CSAP are useful to a point,” Udall said. He believes that by maintaining testing, this will keep measurement and accountability in education and the schools.

When it comes to the war, Udall said he wants the $10 billion per month spent on war to go to other needs. He wants to use the money toward energy and conservation, providing health coverage and paying off some of our national debt.

“There is a way to responsibly end this war,” Udall said.

Udall also believes the government should play a role in the bailout, but when the $700 billion bill was
first proposed, Udall voted against it because he thought it didn’t have “the right package and it didn’t have the oversight for the treasury secretary.” Then when the bill was brought up again later that week, he voted no again for the same reasons. “We do have financial crises,” Udall said, “and we do have to respond, but I think there is a better and more responsible way.”

When it comes to education, Kinsey said he believes testing, like CSAP, takes too much time and attention from the underlying issues.

“People need to be trained to think, not fill in the formula,” Kinsey said, referring to paper and pencil tests like CSAP.

In addition to rethinking testing in schools, Kinsey wants to end the war responsibly.

“The troops should’ve been home yesterday,” Kinsey said. He thinks the government should get leaders from all around the world and create an international court, and then prosecute the terrorists.

Like our schools and troops, Kinsey also believes our economy is in a state of need. “We are in a crazy, cynical situation.”

Like Kinsey, Campbell said tests like CSAP are not handled the right way in schools.

“I want schools to stick to the curriculum, not extraneous subject matter,” Campbell said.

The war in Iraq is another issue.

“I oppose to the fact that there was never a declaration of war,” Campbell said. He is not in favor of instantly pulling our troops from war, but wants to withdraw them as quickly as possible.

He also expects economic responsibility from the government.

“First we need to jawbone the mortgage companies into resetting their teaser rates that they offered when people were sucked in,” Campbell said. With the bailout, Campbell said, “They aren’t allowing the economy to play a role.”

No matter which candidate wins, the Colorado race is one that will affect the national balance of the
Senate and is thus one that is being watched closely by all parties.


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