The Catalyst 2016 Election Endorsements

2016 marks a polarized political moment in the United States’ political history. The Catalyst Editorial Board has endorsed candidates for the national, state, and local levels in an attempt to engage the Colorado College student body in meaningful political discourse and action.

Hillary Clinton accepts the Presidential Nomination for the Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention on July 28, 2016. Photo by Ali Shaker, VOA
Hillary Clinton accepts the Presidential Nomination for the Democratic Party at the Democratic National Convention on July 28, 2016. Photo by Ali Shaker, VOA

The Catalyst Editorial Board endorses Hillary Clinton for president.

Donald Trump (R) represents a failure of American democracy to provide viable presidential options to the American people. If elected, Trump would usher in one of the darkest periods of open bigotry and violence in American history. While Hillary Clinton (D) is by no means the perfect candidate, she will be able to build on the successes of Obama’s administration and navigate what has become a historically divided Congress. As Harry Reid, Democratic Senate leader says, “Every foreign policy success of Obama’s presidency has had Hillary Clinton’s fingerprints all over it.” In Clinton’s time as Secretary of State she was able to plant the seeds for normalizing relations with Cuba and preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. When comparing Clinton and Trump’s ability to lead a country in the world of foreign policy, the choice for president is obvious. While Trump relies on fear-mongering and vague promises of success, Clinton has proven herself a capable diplomat on a world stage. As countless American and international leaders have said, Trump having power over America’s nuclear launch codes is a terrifying and deeply troubling idea.

Considering foreign policy leadership, Clinton is the obvious choice. In addition, when focusing on domestic issues, Clinton is the clear choice for president. Her work with women’s reproductive health and women’s rights policies belie a tenacious and dedicated politician. In particular, Clinton has been a key part of the Violence Against Women Act, Equal Rights Amendment, and the defense of Roe v. Wade. Perhaps Clinton’s most memorable moment as a politician came in 1995 when she declared at the UN World Conference on Women that “women’s rights are human rights.” Clinton’s dedication to equality stands in stark contrast to the misogyny and overt violence that is spewed by Trump. There are currently 18 countries that have elected female leaders and the U.S.’ time to elect a female president is now. 2016 represents a polarized political moment in U.S. politics and Colorado is an important swing state in this year’s election. The Catalyst urges the students of Colorado College to vote in favor of sensible policy, level-headed decision making, and a continuation of the work done by Barack Obama. A Trump victory would spell disaster for America and Clinton is the single logical choice in the presidential election.

Official 2010 photo of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Senate
Official 2010 photo of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO). Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Senate

Michael Bennet for U.S. Senate

Michael Bennet (D)  is a spokesperson for equity in Colorado. He has a reliable, economically savvy track record of defending legal and reliable access to abortions, tax incentives for renewable energy growth, and tax cuts for small businesses. He states his top priorities to be the environment and education, and has a strong history of fighting for these issues in the U.S. Senate. Before his election into the Senate in 2010, Bennett was the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, and upheld the values of increasing the lives of students and families throughout his time in Washington.

In comparison, Bennet’s opponent, Darryl Glenn (R), prides himself for being strict on abortion, supporting policies opposing same-sex marriage, and defunding the EPA and Department of Energy. Frankly, he is incapable of conceiving bipartisan solutions for problems, and cannot lead present-day America with these one-sided beliefs.

Bennett is a flexible and experienced leader, well-versed in the issues across Colorado and the U.S. The Catalyst endorses Michael Bennet for the United States Senate, as we will all directly benefit from his involvement in the crafting of our country’s legislation for the next six years. 

Electra Johnson for The Catalyst. Photo by Phillip Engh
Electra Johnson for The Catalyst. Photo by Phillip Engh

Electra Johnson for County Commissioner District 3

Electra Johnson (D)  is a young, energetic, and idealistic candidate that has the potential to bring about positive social and environmental change in Colorado Springs. Her goals are lofty, but absolutely attainable with the agenda she is pursuing. Her focus on environmental issues is paramount to ensuring sustainable development in the 21st century.

Stan Vanderwerf (R) is undoubtedly a respectable and qualified candidate, but the Catalyst Editorial Board does not feel that his small-government approach is sufficient to solve pressing social issues such as a declining infrastructure and the housing crisis in Colorado Springs.

We feel that government should have a role in securing affordable and stable housing for all citizens, and privatization would only exacerbate existing issues in the area.

Electra Johnson’s agenda is more in line with our views in this category. We are keen on Johnson’s focus on water as a key natural resource in Colorado Springs, and her willingness to fight for this precious public commodity.

Overall, we feel that Johnson’s liberal agenda is better situated to enact real social and environmental change in the years to come, and this is why she has earned our endorsement.

Pete Lee for The Catalyst. Photo by Phillip Engh
Pete Lee for The Catalyst. Photo by Phillip Engh

Pete Lee for Representative in House District 18

Pete Lee (D) has proven to be a competent legislator that he has illustrated through his past three terms in the House. Representative Lee has done considerable work on restorative justice.

Lee’s sponsorship of bills that provide social workers to juveniles who are facing prosecution is align with The Catalyst Editorial Board. Representative Lee prioritizes community equality, End of Life options for the terminally ill, and open primaries. Representative Lee has demonstrated his belief that government has the power to bring about positive change at a national level.

Lee’s view on government are directly opposed with his opponent Cameron Forth (R). While Forth is advocating for less government involvement in civil life, Lee believes in the power of government to bring about positive change at a national level. Along with the criminal justice reform program he has introduced legislation to protect and care for military veterans.

When the El Paso County Republicans were nominating their candidate to challenge Pete Lee they originally tapped Sonya Rose. However, Rose decided to drop from contention for the spot late in the August nomination process. Rose needed to focus on her responsibilities as a mother.

In the chaotic nomination protocol that ensued, Forth stumbled into the position. While Forth has been held up as a viable candidate by El Paso County Republicans, he does not have nearly the experience of Lee.

Forth’s entire political background consists of a run as an independent in Idaho 10 years ago. Forth is essentially a sacrificial lamb from the El Paso County Republicans in a bid to gain some traction in the only Democratic region of El Paso County for 2018. Lee will step down from office in 2018 and these next few years will be essential for Lee to continue his mission of helping veterans recover from combat, fight against unjust imprisonment practices, and creating jobs.

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