Sentinel Blogs

NARAL and protesters at the Denver Post building Oct. 28. Photo from Twitter/NARAL

DENVER | Members of the Colorado chapter of the NARAL and have gathered in the front of the Denver Post building Tuesday morning in Downtown Denver, demanding the paper retract its recent endorsement of Republican Cory Gardner for U.S. Senate.

Protesters said they are delivering boxes containing more than 12,000 signatures demanding the retraction. It’s unclear whether the signatures are all from Colorado residents.

The newspaper made its own headlines in national publications two weeks ago when it endorsed the two-term Republican from northern Colorado. The Post’s editorial board chose Gardner over incumbent Democrat Mark Udall.

Both organizations have been part of social media campaigns to rebuke the Denver newspaper for its Senate choice, and drop newspaper subscriptions. The Post has not said how many subscriptions have been cancelled over the Oct. 10 endorsement.

The Denver Post has for years endorsed candidates for major offices from both parties, but Gardner’s ties to conservative Tea Party leaders and issues was seen by some pundits, moderates and liberals as a death knell for a newspaper endorsement that considers itself politically moderate on its opinion page.

Gardner has also been endorsed by The Colorado Springs Gazette, The Greeley Tribune, The Pueblo Chieftan and The Grand Junction Sentinel.

Udall has been endorsed by The Aurora Sentinel, The Durango Herald and The Steamboat Pilot.

The Fort Collins Coloradoan said it did not endorse in the Senate race because Gardner would not participate in an editorial board endorsement meeting. Newspapers in Vail, Longmont, Boulder, Aspen and Dillon also have not endorsed in the race.

Former Aurora state lawmaker Karen Middleton is NARAL Pro-Choice Colorado executive director.


So do you think my ramblings are so wise and spot on that you just can’t understand why I haven’t been recruited to rule the whole stinking world?

Perhaps not.

Maybe you think my missives are the epitome of stupid and the reason for not only the downfall of journalism, but probably reason and all that’s good in the world.

While you can hiss and cheer, you can’t vote me out. But you can vote out or in the folks I pump up and tear down — if you’re registered to vote, and if you get a ballot, and if you fill it out, and if you send it in.

And if you act today, you can actually register to vote online. That’s right, from the comfort of your couch, your bathroom or an elevator, you can register to vote online through today, and your county will actually mail a ballot to your house. No kidding. Then, you can go online to, see who and what we recommend on your ballot, and do just like I do, or do just the opposite, muttering, “this one’s for you, Dave,” all the way down the ballot. This, my friends and mortal enemies, is really your chance to stick it to me and others that make you throw up in your mouth a little when you hear their names.

But if you don’t vote, you live with what I and other more motivated citizens decide for you, and you’ll just have to suck it up for another two years.

For the first time ever, you can register to vote anywhere in Colorado up until the polls close on Nov. 4, but you have to get in your car and drive to a voter center to make it happen. But for a few more hours today, you can go to and stick it to me by lifting just one finger or  maybe ten. Just do it.

— Dave Perry, Editor

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Eaglecrest High School is set to debut an Athletic and Activities Hall of Fame to remember its rich history.


The inaugural class, as selected from a pool of nominees by a panel of school administrators, representatives of Cherry Creek School District, the community and the media, is made up of J.J. Billingsley, Damian Brown, Ben Baum, Tara Mendozza (DeCrescentis) and Stacey Jennings.

Broadway actor Andy Kelso is also part of the inaugural induction class, but is unable to attend the ceremony as he is starring in the lead role in the Tony Award-winning production “Kinky Boots.”

Those eligible for the Athletic and Activities Hall of Fame must be graduated from Eaglecrest for at least five years.

Eaglecrest’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Dec. 11 at Blackstone Country Club following a dinner and cocktail hour. The next day, the Hall of Fame inductees will be honored during an assembly for Eaglecrest students at 8:53 a.m.

Tickets for the induction ceremony cost $25 apiece and will be available through the Eaglecrest Athletics Office. Contact Athletic Director Vince Orlando at 720-886-1083 or for more details.

A brief bio of each of the inductees in the inaugural class:

J.J. Billingsley (Class of 2002): Billingsley was arguably the finest all-around athlete to pass through Eaglecrest, as he played at an elite level in football and track & field and also lettered twice in basketball. On the football field, Billingsley played defensive back, linebacker and running back for the Raptors under coach Gary Thompson and earned a scholarship to play at the University of Colorado. Billingsley totaled 1,177 total yards as a senior, including 736 rushing with seven touchdowns and 441 yards receiving and five more scores. Billingsley was the driving force behind Eaglecrest’s 2002 5A boys state track championship — the only one in school history — in which he won the 110- and 300-meter hurdles and helped the 4×200-meter relay team to first place and the 4×100 team to fourth place. Billingsley currently works in the Cherry Creek School District.

Damian Brown (Class of 1995): Brown helped lead an Eaglecrest football team coached by Ron Peterson to win the first state championship in school history in 1993 — just three years after the doors opened — with a perfect 14-0 run to the Class 5A state title back when Colorado had six classifications. Brown, a running back, rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns — including the tying and go-ahead scores in the fourth quarter — as the Raptors rallied past Hinkley 37-29 in an all-Aurora 5A championship game played in front of an estimated 6,000 fans at Stutler Bowl. Brown went on to play at Iowa State between 1995 and 1997 before concluding his career at Northern Colorado. He is currently the athletic director at Adams City High School.

Ben Baum (Class of 1993): Baum, a 7-footer, was the first bonafide basketball star from Eaglecrest. As a senior, he averaged 25.7 points and 17.5 rebounds per game to win Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year honors as the Raptors posted a 17-5 record under coach Stan Adams in 1992-93. Baum — who was also a drum major and first trombone in the marching band and student body president — scored 51 points in a playoff game, which would rank first all-time among big schools and second in all classifications according to Colorado High School Activities Association records, and garnered interest from a variety of Division I men’s basketball programs, eventually signing with Oklahoma State. He was part of the Cowboys team that made it to the NCAA Final Four in 1995 and eventually spent some time in the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks, while going on to play professionally for five seasons in Europe.

Tara Mendozza (DeCrescentis) (Class of 1996): Mendozza still owns the all-Colorado state meet record in the 800-meter run, having clocked a time of 2 minutes, 7.52 seconds, in 1996 to break her own state record. Mendozza — who just missed a 2:05.4 that would have qualified her for the United States Olympic Trials — won the 800- and 1,600-meter runs in both her junior and senior seasons and was part of a relay team that set a national record in the rarely-run mile medley relay. Mendozza, who lettered in cross country and track & field four times at Eaglecrest and was an all-State performer in track in 1995 and 1996, went on to an All-American career at the University of Illinois.

Stacey Jennings (Class of 2002): Jennings is the most decorated softball player in Eaglecrest’s proud tradition in the sport, as she pitched her way to at least the all-state and all-conference teams all four years in high school. The right-handed pitcher — who set the school’s career records for strikeouts at 492, innings pitched (390), wins (45), and ERA (0.50), totals that stood until broken by Raya Johnson — also helped lead Eaglecrest to the Class 5A semifinals in 1999 and 2001, helping giving the program momentum that led to winning the 5A state championship in 2005. Jennings also lettered four times in track & field at Eaglecrest. She went on to play NCAA softball at powerhouse University of Tennessee and Maryland.

Andy Kelso (Class of 1998): Kelso contributed to the drama department during his time at Eaglecrest, both as a spotlight operator and eventually an actor in a variety of productions, then went on to study musical theater and straight drama at the University of Northern Colorado. Kelso earned the chance to perform in several shows in the Denver Metro area, including “Big River,” “Footloose” and “The Drawer Boy” before moving to New York City in 2003. He made his Broadway debut in “Mamma Mia” and held the role of Fiyero in the national tour of the acclaimed “Wicked.” Kelso currently holds the lead role of Charlie Price in the 2013 Tony Award-winning musical “Kinky Boots.”

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

Congratulations to some local golfers who have recorded recent holes-in-one on Aurora golf courses. To report holes-in-one, have courses send faxes to 720-324-4965 or email


Aug. 9: Charlie Nicholson, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 11, 155 yards, 6 iron. Witnesses: Dwight Salisbury, Duane Mellinger, John Weber.

Aug. 9: Jeff Niblo, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 17, 159 yards, 9 iron. Witnesses: Don Hunt, Kent Staton, Gary Leiker.

Aug. 12: Rick Shaffer, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 3, 166 yards, 6 iron. Witnesses: Brandon Shaffer, Mark Wolfgang, Randy Dalke.

Aug. 17: Chet Wilmes, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 3, 165 yards, 7 iron. Witnesses: Roger Gunderson, Eric Martin, Kip Hoffman.

Aug. 18: Bob Hartman, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 3, 157 yards, 8 iron. Witnesses: Ron Paolucci, Scott McKimmy, Chuck Dekruif.

Aug. 20: Rick Thorstad, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, 89 yards, gap wedge. Witnesses: Kevin Maynard, Ron Markovich.

Aug. 24: Grant Foster, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 7, 175 yards, 5 wood. Witnesses: Richard Perovich, Reid Foster, Quinn Foster.

Aug. 25: James Beatty, Springhill G.C., No. 18, 160 yards, 6 iron. Witnesses: Jim Perry, Mike Keffer, Bill Chambers.

Aug. 31: Mallory Dively, Springhill G.C., No. 6, 139 yards, pitching wedge. Witness: Ryland Glass.


Sept 12: David Lehman, Meadow Hills G.C., No. 15, 192 yards, 3 wood. Witnesses: Brandt Demuth, Jack Rosenthal, Dominic Bazile, Tom Miller, Grace Castellanos

Sept. 16: Michael Menze, Aurora Hills G.C., No. 13, 183 yards, 5 wood. Witness: Ron Bakke.

Sept. 17: Bryant Kligerman, Fitzsimons G.C., No. 5, wedge. Witnesses: Ron Arnold, Sid Harriet, Bob Boyle.


Oct. 13: John Sheehan, Saddle Rock G.C., No. 16, 153 yards, 7 iron. Witnesses: Bob Baker, Brian Grouer.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or Twitter: @aurorasports. FB: Aurora Prep Sentinel

September 26, 2013

In case you were wondering, here’s what the next two years look like in Washington if the GOP regains control of the Senate, so says Texas Senator Ted Cruz, champing at the bit to give Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid the boot:

1.Jobs for everyone! We’re all going to work for Exxon et al, folks. No more stupid environmental restrictions on drilling and fracking. No more coal-burning restrictions, so we can get West Virginians all back in the mines. Global climate change? Phooey. Just a conspiracy of impotent egg heads and Democrats. If you like what life is like in Beijing, you’re gonna love Cruz Control.

2. So long Obamacare! Hell or high water, the GOP Senate is gonna nuke it. The correct answer is allowing insurance companies to go back to canceling you when you need benefits, doctors and hospitals that can do what they want without fear of being sued for little niggling things, like giving their nurses Ebola, and no sissy regulations on how much everyone can charge you or what they have to cover you for. If you don’t want health insurance because you’re healthy, then don’t get it. Of course don’t come crying to Cruz when you get sick and nobody will treat you. You want insurance for things like hip replacements or treatment for breast cancer, then pay up. Nothing wrong with working extra jobs to protect your health. Yesiree, the sky’s gonna be the limit for the healthcare industry. For consumers? Not so much.

3. Here’s the biggie, folks. We’re sealing the borders and sending the Mexicans home. Everybody without a U.S. birth certificate either leaves or goes underground until we can catch ‘em. If you say, “por que?” I say, “butter — have a green card, Pablo, and learn ya’ some English.” When little kids show up at the barbed wire fences or try sneaking across the desert, we just drag ‘em right back over the border and let the Mexicans deal with the mess they made by letting the hoodlums into their country to begin with. With 12 million illegal immigrants here, it’s gonna be jobs for everyone just hunting down all the illegals and getting ‘em into box cars for shipment to Mexico.

4. End liberal judicial activism. Conservative judicial activism is OK, but no more homo marriage crap. If the Good Lord had wanted men to kiss men, he wouldn’t have invented Las Vegas brothels.

6. No more corporate welfare, except in the case of lower taxes, corporate personhood rights and Texas oil interests.

7. Abolish the IRS. Any questions?

8. Pass a balanced budget amendment and impose it no matter the consequences. Suck it up, poor people and lazy Social Security leaches.

9. Repeal Common Core. If Southern states want ignorant children, it’s their God-given right. We don’t want no liberal White House trying to tell our children crap about using long, fancy words or that using a few gallons of crude oil is heating up the planet. (By the way, Brits recently estimated humans have burned through about 944 billion barrels of oil since they started seriously drilling for it in the 1800s)

10. Get tough with ISIL by revoking the passports of American teenagers who want to join the terrorists. Despite the massive federal budget deficit, make the military bigger and kick some butt like we did in Iraq and Afghanistan when a real man was president.

I may have left out a few things, such as prosecuting Hillary Clinton for murder in the Benghazi thing and replacing wind mills with oil wells, so you can see for yourself what Cruz wrote for the Sunday edition of USA Today:

By U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, Texas

Here are ten critical priorities for the 2015 Congress:

First, embrace a big pro-jobs, growth agenda. For six years, the Obama economy has been trapped in stagnation, hurting millions. A Republican Congress should immediately help Americans get more jobs by embracing America’s energy renaissance. This means passing legislation to make it easier to build energy infrastructure, such as the Keystone pipeline. But, we need an energy policy that’s bigger than Keystone. An effective energy plan would also protect innovative energy technology, such as hydraulic fracturing, from being handcuffed by the federal government. We can also open up land for exploration and ensure that American companies can export liquefied natural gas around the world. And, lastly, stop the EPA from implementing rules that will destroy coal jobs and drive up our electricity bills.

Second, pursue all means possible to repeal Obamacare. There is a reason Obamacare has miserable 37% approval ratings: it has caused millions to lose their jobs, be forced into part-time work, lose their health insurance, lose their doctors, and pay skyrocketing premiums. It simply isn’t working. We should pass repeal legislation (forcing an Obama veto), and then pass bill after bill to mitigate the harms of Obamacare. Prevent people from having their healthcare plans cancelled, prohibit insurance company bailouts, eliminate the provisions forcing people into part-time work, and repeal the individual mandate.

Perhaps, President Obama vetoes every one. But each has powerful appeal with the electorate who are hurting under this law, and Democratic senators may not be quite so eager to join their 2014 colleagues in losing their jobs over Obama’s refusal to listen to the people.

In 2017, I believe a Republican president will repeal Obamacare in its entirety. In the interim, we should pass positive healthcare reform to start over, allowing the purchase of insurance across state lines, expanding health savings accounts, and making health insurance, personal, portable, and affordable.

Third, secure the border and stop illegal amnesty.Today, we’re facing a humanitarian crisis of 90,000 unaccompanied children at the border, along with growing national security threats. We should welcome and celebrate legal immigrants who follow the rules, and at the same time honor the will of the people and prevent any more illegal amnesty.

Fourth, hold government accountable and rein in judicial activism.We need real oversight of the administration’s lawlessness and abuse of power. The IRS’s illegal targeting of citizen groups, the wanton violation of religious liberty and privacy rights, the lawless implementation of Obamacare, the EPA’s assault on manufacturing jobs and war on coal, and the debacle of Benghazi — all should be the subject of careful, sober Senate hearings.

And the Senate should stop confirming activist judges who will impose their own policy preferences, such as striking down state marriage laws. We must uphold the Constitution.

Fifth, stop the culture of corruption. Crony capitalists are standing in the way of commonsense reforms, whether it’s abolishing the Export-Import Bank or keeping the Internet tax-free forever and unconstrained by job-killing regulations. We can stop the Washington corruption, in part, by reining in corporate welfare, imposing a lifetime ban on members of Congress becoming lobbyists, and fighting to pass a constitutional amendment to require term limits for Congress.

Sixth, pass fundamental tax reform, making taxes flatter, simpler, and fairer. Moving towards a simple flat tax would treat all Americans more fairly and end the massive time and costs wasted in dealing with the IRS; we should let taxes become so simple that they could be filled out on a postcard. Ultimately, with a Republican president, we should abolish the IRS and end its abuse of power and violation of Americans’ constitutional rights.

Seventh, audit the Federal Reserve. Americans are seeing near-zero interest rates on their savings accounts while median incomes are falling, and millions of people are facing higher gas prices, food prices, electricity prices, health insurance prices. Enough is enough, the Federal Reserve needs to open its books — Americans deserve a sound and stable dollar.

Eighth, pass a strong balanced budget amendment. We should pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution to stop out-of-control spending by Congress and the president. More than $17 trillion in national debt shows how badly we need structural reforms to stop bankrupting our kids and grandkids.

Ninth, repeal Common Core, so that local curriculum is not mandated by Washington bureaucrats. We should also do all we can to expand educational choices for parents and children and allow every child access to a quality education, regardless of race, class, or zip code.

Tenth, deal seriously with the twin threats of ISIL and a nuclear Iran, including passing legislation that strips American citizens who join ISIL of their U.S. passports so they cannot return home and wage jihad against innocent men and women. We must rebuild our military, protect our nation, and restore America’s leadership in the world.

We should lead boldly. No Washington games. We will either pass a serious agenda to address the real priorities of the American people — protecting our constitutional rights and pulling us back from the fiscal and economic cliff — or the Democrats will filibuster or veto these bills. And, if they do so, we will have transparency and accountability for the very next election.

Ted Cruz is a Republican senator from Texas.

Hillary Clinton will be in Aurora Tuesday to help embattled Democratic Sen. Mark Udall and 6th Congressional District hopeful Andrew Romanoff.

The event will be held at noon the Radisson as part of a get-out-the-vote event with less than a three weeks until Election Day.

According to Romanoff’s campaign, tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis at Udall’s Aurora and Centennial field offices. They’ve set aside 100 tickets for the first 100 people who sign up today for a GOTV volunteer shift between now and the end of October.

“Hillary Clinton is coming here to Aurora because she knows that this is one the closest races anywhere in the country, and every vote is going to matter,” said Mandy Hennessey, a volunteer with Romanoff’s campaign, in an email to supporters.

 That’s why we need your help to knock on doors, make phone calls, and remind every voter in this district how important their vote is.”

TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are available for pick-up at the following Udall for Colorado field offices:

South Aurora Field Office: 10730 E. Bethany Dr., Suite 275, Aurora, CO 80014

Leetsdale Field Office: 7150 Leetsdale Dr., Suite 316, Denver, CO 80224

Centennial Field Office: 6590 S. Vine St., Suite 102, Centennial, CO 80121

— Rachel Sapin, staff writer


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, reaches out to greet baristas as U.S. Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., looks on during a campaign stop for Udall in a coffee shop in the newly-renovated Union Station in Denver on Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Clinton appeared at an event to raise money for Udall's current re-election campaign and then headed to Las Vegas for another appearance on Monday night. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

History does seem to repeat itself, much to the chagrin of so many. Chagrin could be in store for Republicans in 2016 if the inevitable fate of presidential aspirants visiting Aurora is going in the same direction as before.

Hillary Clinton is coming to Aurora Tuesday to stump for Sen. Mark Udall and Andrew Romanoff, Democratic candidate for Aurora’s 6th Congressional District.  Yeah, that’s just our vibe these days, much to the chagrin of a lot of the rest of the state, i.e. our step-sister-city to the west, Her Mile Highness.

So who was the last big-name Dem to come to Aurora to wave the donkey flag and end up POTUS? Oh, yes. It was then-senator Barack Obama on East Colfax Avenue near the Aurora Fox Theatre, glad-handing and making nice with the party faithful in 2006, before he officially announced his candidacy for president. Sound familiar?

Hillary is here to tell people she hasn’t decided yet whether she’ll run, to get Democrats sitting on ballots to mail them in, to push a few voters to Romanoff and Udall, and draw fire from clench-fisted Republicans who still snigger at old Rush Limbaugh “Billary” jokes.

Of course with so many presidential types hitting Aurora over the past 15 years or so coming and going from here — John Kerry, Obama, Clinton 1 and Clinton 2, Bush, Cheney and Tom “Tennessee” Tancredo —it’s probably just another sign that Aurora voters matter, a lot. But there’s a lot of history from these parts that makes the re-run circuit.

— Editor Dave Perry

more ebola

I’ve seen some low-life stuff before, but among the slimiest rackets ever is gaining speed as morally and intellectually stunted politicians exploit public fear about Ebola for their own political gain.

And guess who’s having a field day with this cruel scam right here at home? Congressman Cory Gardner.

Fellow Tea Party types are whipping themselves and Americans into a frenzied fear about Ebola, blaming the Obama administration, because that’s what they do, and because they hope to make political hay out the calamity in the ongoing mid-term elections.

Political pundits say Republicans see new advantage in whipping Obama and Democrats with the scary Ebola stick since Americans have grown tired of the Obamacare beatings. Who cares that absolute public panic and endless tragic consequences are at stake? Not Gardner and Co. Burn the witch, or get out of the way so I can do it.

They disregard experts from all over the planet and even fellow Republicans with better than a third-grade science education such as former Sen. Minority Leader Bill Frist. Frist is a freaking doctor. A very, very conservative doctor.

“Former Sen. Frist said a travel ban “would be ineffective from a public and personal health perspective and would be grossly counterproductive to ensuring a cooperative, inclusive and closely aligned effort to eradicate the virus.”

Who cares, politicians ask? It’s a popular sentiment from a country where half of the citizens don’t understand or “believe in” evolution, and a whopping 25 percent think the Sun orbits the Earth. I’m not exaggerating that. So Americans are easy prey when it comes to scaring the living hell out of them and turning the country into a living Monty Python epic.

GOP Rep. Cory Gardner of Colorado rejected the contention by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that banning air travelers from West Africa would encourage people to enter the United States by methods harder to track. “That’s like saying all children with chicken pox should stay in school so we know where they are,” Gardner said.

His race against Democratic Sen. Mark Udall crystalizes the partisan divide on Ebola. In a recent debate, Udall said doctors and other health experts should decide whether to “close borders. ..Senators and congressmen shouldn’t be making those decisions.”

But Gardner called for “an immediate travel ban” from the affected areas. When asked if there was a medical justification, Gardner called current policy “an unacceptable danger,” adding: “An overwhelming majority of the American people believe that we should put this in place.”

This from a man who doesn’t understand the science of human reproduction. This from a man who thinks global climate change is a political stunt. This from a man who thinks the environment just kind of heals itself after bad things happen.

So here’s your choice, Colorado, you have to believe that Gardner’s grasp of simple principles of very recent history, science, epidemiology and sociology are so tenuous that he would make the same mistakes we made during the SARS scare about 10 years ago. Then, numerous countries also tried to ban incoming from SARS-infected countries. What happened was people with SARS simply came to the United States and other countries via places where they easily passed through. Once the new and worse threat was uncovered, it began to look like every human flying, driving or floating into the United States every day was going to have to be screened for SARS. That went nowhere. It isn’t just that flight restrictions aren’t very effective, they actually create increased danger. That’s not an opinion, just history, common sense and unanimous opinion of scientists and leaders who’ve been there, done that.

Of course the other option here is that Gardner is so morally impaired that he would pretend to not understand history and science so that he could exploit American ignorance and fear for his own political gain.

Is there another option I’m missing here? I didn’t think so.

So what all this political hysteria and theater does is take away from the need for real, non-politicized discussions about what we should do. Clearly, people exposed to the disease and becoming ill should be kept off public airliners. Federal officials need to communicate with every American hospital and clinic to prevent another disaster like the one at the sad Texas hospital that messed this up in the first place.

Beyond that, the best strategy is to contain the disease in African countries where it’s starting to spread, which is what the World Health Organization and the Obama administration wanted us to do in the first place.

The Ebola problem is difficult enough without the likes of ignorant, hysterical or simply immoral politicians making it worse. Stick to throwing mud at each other over something that isn’t as dangerous and flammable as public health fears.

— Dave Perry, editor


At this point in the grinding election cycle, it’s not about them, now it’s about you.

For months now, it’s been all about high-profile politicians filling your eyes, ears and soul with arguments why they’re the perfect candidate for every situation. It’s been all about how their opponent is only a pawn, subservient to someone you should and probably do despise.

To their credit, being a candidate for major political office is like being interviewed for a job tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of times by potential bosses who demand you be their “yes man.” Everybody wants their choice for congress, the senate or the governor’s office to tell them exactly what they want to hear. And there’s the trick. What do you want to hear?

We’re all pretty cynical by now. We can’t live with the Affordable Care Act, and we sure as hell can’t live without it. Petroleum jobs are the solution to everything, except when they are, the price of oil drops below what it costs to suck it out of the ground, and the jobs go away. If you’ve lived in Colorado for very long, you’ve seen it happen more than once.

Bigger military? Climate change? Who knows? Who cares right now? Most voters just want to go back to cringing at Dealin’ Doug and Jake Jabs.

I’ve talked to and closely watched these candidates for years now, some for decades. Among candidates for Congress, U.S. Senate and governor, there isn’t a man among them that isn’t smart and convinced they’re benevolently doing the right thing for everyone. If you trick them into disengaging as a candidate, they’re all friendly, interesting and pretty funny guys. Among Bob Beauprez, John Hickenlooper, Mark Udall, Cory Gardener, Mike Coffman and Andrew Romanoff, they have a lot more in common than you would expect. Each of them conveys that they appreciate it when you like them, but that’s not all that important. On the contrary, they all deeply want to be liked and admired, and it’s actually a key factor in running for public office.

Contrary to what you might think, they listen very closely to their critics. They all know they can’t please everyone, but when confronted, they all try.

Despite efforts by opposing factions to vilify these candidates, none are demons. None are stupid. None are corrupt.

So what does set them apart? That’s up to you. I’m pretty much a “golden rule” guy: Don’t pass anything on people you wouldn’t want inflicted on yourself. Legislate problems as if you were one of the afflicted. That kind of thinking makes things like gay  and reproductive rights a no-brainer for me. Nobody likes to be told what to do in their personal lives, especially by the government.

More important to me though, is character. Not character like which candidate wouldn’t ever fudge the truth some or do something stupid. All six of these candidates have done some remarkably inane things as politicians. No, what I’m talking about is why they do what they think is right. Coffman? He’s guided by his military past. He lives by the military code of ethics. Beauprez is led by his Catholic upbringing and family ties guide him. Gardner, too, makes it clear that strong religious beliefs are a guiding force for him.

What sets Hickenlooper, Udall and Romanoff apart is that they don’t credit anybody or any institution for guiding them to the right decision. They do the right thing based on how they would want their representative or governor to treat them, not how someone else would see foundational issues like privacy, fairness. Life and death. It means that even if you come from a different background and don’t agree on all the issues, you know decisions are made and votes are cast with you in mind, without being vetted by another psychological bureaucracy. Because not only at this point, but especially after Election Day, it’s all about you.

Reach editor Dave Perry at 303-750-7555 or