One definite non-candidate

Letter from Joe Sands

Politics – June 1996 – Colorado Central Magazine

Editor’s note: There had been some talk in the Third Congressional District that Joe Sands, a Summit County commissioner, might run against incumbent Scott McInnis for congress this year. We were among those inquiring, and Sands sent this reply.

To those who think Joe Sands should run for higher office, particularly to go to Washington, D.C., for the Third Congressional District, I say:

Have I done something to insult your mother or children? I’m sorry; I’ll try not to do it again.

The real battles to save Colorado are being fought on local levels here, not there. I’m reminded that Davy Crockett supposedly wrote home before the Alamo and said, “I’d rather be facing my present predicament than be elected to Congress…”

Some of you might not know I have more baggage than D.l.A., and it’s easier to find. The egos, empires, and special interests that run elections now would find me a unifying force: “Hell no, not Joe!”.

The average Joes and everyday Janes would find me interesting and amusing. A few might even vote for me. But my real strength would be fund-raising for Scott McInnis and other corporate candidates.

I’ll remind you in November of 1995 I switched to unaffiliated from Democrat. Too bad, the few people still involved in those failing two parties mean well and have no idea of the shenanigans at the top of both. While I’m aware Congress has one independent [Bernard Sanders of Vermont], I have no idea of the rules or procedures to do that in Colorado.

I did not switch for this reason, but I do think both the Third Congressional District and Colorado in general are ripe for candidates who run on public policy and not false party positions. I predict that by somewhere between year 2000 to 2006 our statehouse will have a dozen independent state representatives and senators!

Another non-selling point is well known locally and less by my out-of-town friends. I’m a born tightwad, always trying to do something simply and quick. I’m always amazed at how the ideologies and interests can talk something to death so nothing happens; therefore no one is threatened. Is our society ready for an elected official who goes through the county warrant list checking for excess, who washes out sandwich bags?

But as you know, I do have firm opinions on Washington politics. That would be my biggest burden. I feel the citizens want three things from there: fairness, simplicity, and innovation.

It isn’t an argument of right or left, of big or small, of more for me and less for you, it is about what people from Spike Lee to Jimmie Stewart have always said, “Just do the right thing.”

Fairness is not the compromise between competing powers. It’s what works for society, and it’s usually not represented in the discussion.

Simplicity is not cutting their program and saving your folks’ deals. It’s constantly making “it” easier to do and therefore saving time, energy, and money. Innovation as it is presently practiced is almost always a political show of meeting someone’s political debt. Too bad. What the real citizens want is unmet needs of our society to be solved in a more compassionate, sacred stewardship manner.

These three words I’ve described are not comparable with “the three’s” you hear and read: “Newt’s New Congress,” or “Clinton’s Executive Branch.” No, the only three words I know of from Washington that fit are Mary Chapin Carpenter. There is more of these three words in one of her songs than in all of the electeds, media, and lobbyists in Washington put together.

Joe Sands