GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) — Mesa County’s election security debacle led by former elections Clerk Tina Peters made headlines nationwide.
Seven Mesa County political leaders turned activists, and created a group to educate the public on the danger of political extremism. Restore the Balance, is a tri-partisan effort to reject all extremism in politics by rallying voters from every party.
The group of Mesa County voters is encouraging others to get active in opposing extremism by voting at the primary and general elections, “Obviously we are not alone,” Tim Sarmo, former Regional Manager for the Colorado Department of Local Affairs said.
How did we get to this level of frustration in our community? “There’s been a lot of things that have gone on, we’ve seen what happened with the Clerk’s office, ” Dennis Kirtland, former GJ City Council Member says, “I mean that was probably the most high profile thing that we had.”
Kirtland joined six other political leaders, who often found themselves on opposite sides to speak out against extremism in politics, “The opportunity is when we work together, so many good things happen and I mean the divided government has been a plague in the country,” Kirtland says.
In a Grand Junction Sentinel editorial, Restore the Balance organizers say, “We are not against principled partisanship from any political party. We are against extremism, whether from the left or right.”
Former Colorado Secretary of State Bernie Buescher joined the fight, “This is Grand Junction, this is Mesa County, and this is a community saying we have had enough,” Buescher said, “We know there are a lot of causes, 24-hour news, campaigns that have figured out that negative stuff works, well we have got to figure out a way to stand up to that.”
Restore the Balance is standing up by developing a candidate questionnaire to determine candidate positions relative to extremism. The group’s inaugural meeting sparked a conversation between the public and group organizers…
“As a younger person I think we are kind of sick of lip service and so I just want to hear something tangible that you would like to accomplish in the next year.”
“I totally agree with the idea of ranked choice voting that’s the only way we are ever going to get past parties and elect people.”
“Somebody asked for donations, this is not about a donation, you are asking for an investment in the future of this community.”