Denver Direct: All of Colorado Needs Wes McKinley

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

All of Colorado Needs Wes McKinley

Representative Wes McKinley is running for his third term in House District 64, way down there in the southeastern part of Colorado, where most of us metro folk never go. It’s kind of far for a day trip – 4 ½ hours to Springfield, and, in truth, unless you are into wind or cattle, there is, at first blush, nothing much to see.

But when I get there, I find “the planet”, as I refresh my view of where I am in the universe by being able to see the curvature of the earth itself (or is that my imagination?). I also can’t help but notice that “there” is on the edge of what was formerly known (before irrigation) as “the Great American Desert”. Some small towns are almost empty, boarded-up, as another drought takes its toll and the sand dunes begin to emerge once again.

McKinley, himself a cattle rancher (oops, he prefers to be called a cowboy, and please don’t call him a politician) struggles, along with his neighbors, to keep his family and herd together in hard times.

Some may remember McKinley as the foreman of the Rocky Flats Grand Jury – you know, the ones who wouldn’t knuckle under for three years, as they fought the prosecutors to indict the individuals and companies truly guilty of the nuclear atrocities perpetuated on that plot of land northwest of Denver. McKinley’s book, “Ambushed Grand Jury” is an exciting read. You owe it to yourself to buy and read the book.

Many know McKinley as the uncompromising voice against the acquisition of further acres in the Pinon Canyon by the Army, who wants to “blow it up real good”. When the Army last grabbed land down there, for the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site, they promised not to use live ammunition and not to ask for any more land, both of which are now broken promises.

My point here is that McKinley needs our help in his current campaign. Raising money in the vast HD 64 is difficult because the population (and the money) is scattered so thinly. I’m guessing that 95% of this population knows Wes by name and wants him to stay in office, but the Republican higher-ups want to see him gone, and are backing Ken Torres, little-known except for his new violations of campaign finance laws. How much money they will be willing to spend this time is unknown, but last time around they reportedly spent $250,000 in their unsuccessful effort to oust McKinley. Down in Wes’s neck of the woods, money translates into TV time, as TV is often the only way to reach the voters (door-to-door is often a 50+ mile trip).

Ever since I met McKinley, I’ve been trying to help, and recently volunteered to shoot and create some TV ads for the campaign. These ads have not yet been run on TV due to the cost. Please go to Colorado Needs Wes McKinley and join me in getting these ads on the air. Review the four ads, vote on your favorite, and send his campaign a check. Yes, it requires a little extra effort, but we need Wes McKinley to stay in the House.

We can’t afford to lose this guy. He is truly one-of-a-kind, and represents all of Colorado in his efforts. Many of his grass-roots supporters are Republican, so don’t let that stop you. All of Colorado Needs McKinley.