And they're off! Caucuses mean campaign 2018 is underway

Posted 3/14/18

Did you hear the starting gun or the bell rung on Tuesday evening, March 6th? It was heard by many dedicated believers in both major political parties with caucus meetings held in homes, public …

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And they're off! Caucuses mean campaign 2018 is underway

Posted

Did you hear the starting gun or the bell rung on Tuesday evening, March 6th?

It was heard by many dedicated believers in both major political parties with caucus meetings held in homes, public buildings and other places of assembly. It signaled the official start of the campaign season for the November 2018 general election.

The caucuses have voted for their candidates who will go to the county assemblies to sort out contests within a political party for a particular elected position such as state representative, county commissioner or governor.

So, let the games begin. While it isn’t the Olympics, it is a full contact sport!

A new wrinkle with unaffiliated voters involved

What I find exciting for the first time in Colorado is that we unaffiliated registered voters can vote in one or the other major parties’ primary election.

I have personally participated in primary elections for more years than I can recall where there was a favorite candidate who had a contested primary election. The difference between then and now is that I won’t have to declare a political party ahead of time via the county clerk’s office and then switch back to unaffiliated status afterwards.

With the new law, unaffiliated registered voters can choose to vote in either Democrat or Republican primary without any effort. It will be interesting to see how many of us unaffiliated voters take advantage of this new opportunity and if the respective political philosophy outcomes are toned down somewhat. There will be a lot of races, but we will need to wait and see how many are contested within the same political party.

Trump’s tariffs proposal is misguided

As expected, the Trump Administration — or perhaps I should say President Trump alone — has rolled out another major proposed change. He has been talking about this one for years. It has to do with the U.S. imposing tariffs on imported foreign steel and aluminum.

The President has outlined a 25 percent tariff on foreign steel and a 10 percent tariff on incoming aluminum. However, he hasn’t found much support either within his own administration or among House of Representatives Republicans.

Right now, it looks doubtful that he will be able to get the needed Congressional support to impose the tariffs. Hopefully, this will be the case.

Steel is especially a major cost component in so many manufactured commodities such as vehicles, buildings, equipment and much more. With the United States’ appetite for steel being hefty in this growing economy, we will have to continue to rely on foreign steel. Foreign suppliers, which include such friends as Canada, Mexico and Brazil, will likely return the favor with their own tariffs imposed on American goods.

China, which only provides a small percentage of our steel supply, has already threatened a “trade war” as has the E.U. Higher prices for commodities purchased in America would then likely result in inflation. This would be detrimental to the U.S. given our huge debt as it would jump interest costs.

Trump’s direction on tariffs is misguided. Stay tuned on this one.

Westminster lands a gem

Digital Globe’s parent company, Maxar Technologies, has decided to move its global headquarters to Westminster at the 120th Avenue Digital Globe facility. Digital Globe is famous for taking high-resolution photographs of the Earth from space. As part of the move, 800 employees will be relocating to the area.

These are very good paying jobs. These folks will be looking for upscale housing and shopping in Westminster and the area.

Maxar CEO Howard L. Lance stated “We are looking more broadly at Colorado as a place to grow our business. I can’t be specific over what will move here, but we’re making this decision and putting our footprint in Colorado.”

Westminster had some stiff competition for the jobs — San Francisco where the headquarters had been located; Herndon, Virginia where its 1,000 employee geospatial analysis division Radiant Solutions is located; as well as Palo Alto, California where satellite and space equipment builder SSL is located.

This is quite an accomplishment by Westminster’s Mayor Atchison, city council and city staff.

Incentives played a role in the decision (as usual). The state granted a $14.3 million job-growth tax credit based on Maxar moving its headquarters here and within eight years will have hired 800 people at an annual compensation of $116,917.

The City of Westminster extended an existing incentive contract with Digital Globe by five years to 2028. Way to go city leaders!! This is the caliber of basic jobs (not retail or service) which bring strength to a community.

Final call on nominations

A quick reminder — Friday March 16th is the deadline to nominate people for the Westminster Legacy Foundation Community Awards. There are seven different categories and nominating information which you can check out on their website at westminsterlegacyfoundation.org.

Also, mark your calendar for the awards breakfast for May 11 at the Westin Westminster Hotel and Conference Center.

Bill Christopher is a former Westminster city manager and RTD board member. His opinions are not necessarily those of Colorado Community Media.

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