View Full Version : Local So who's the best mayoral candidate in Denver?

Rain Man
03-07-2011, 01:33 AM
I'm interested in input. What do you think? This is just the budget part of the Q&A.


Denver mayoral candidates tackle questions on the budget
Denver's Next Mayor Q&A Series: Budget
By The Denverpost
POSTED: 03/06/2011 01:00:00 AM MST
UPDATED: 03/06/2011 03:30:36 AM MST

Mar 6:
Denver's budget deficit a serious problem for new leadership
Mar 3:
Denver mayoral candidates mean business during forum
Feb 9:
Vidal bows out of Denver mayor's race, but not before accusing governor of "temper tantrum"
Feb 8:
Denver mayoral candidates have raised $1.3 million toward May election
Feb 5:
Mayor Vidal listening to supporters but still not in the race
Feb 4:
"Lot of chatter" about encouraging Mayor Vidal to run for full term
Feb 2:
Denver mayoral candidate Chris Romer led in 2010 fundraising
Editor's note: This is the complete list of questions on Denver's budget asked of the mayoral candidates, and their responses.

Candidates Spesál M. Avery Flanagan, Marcus Giavanni, Dwight Eisen Henson, Danny F. Lopez and Gerald L. Styron either don't have email accounts or failed to respond to meet our deadline for submitting responses.

Question: What solutions do you have to fix the structural problem with Denver's budget, a yawning gap between expenditures and revenues that grows every year? What can the new mayor do to permanently fix the problem?

Carol Boigon: The biggest way to solve the gap between expenditures and revenue is with economic development never seen before
in Denver. We already have many economic development tools, and I have a concrete plan to use them effectively. The first position paper under my Boigon Means Business Tour will be economic development and will be available on my website.

Paul Noel Fiorino: A permanent fix is the problem, because our future is one of insecurity. Our expenditures will continue unless we cut out services that we take for granted. Yet if we can develop our revenue by way of concerted effort by us all, we can have the quality of life we now enjoy. An unaffiliated mayor could look at every expenditure with an open office.

Mark Gruber: Budget cuts should ideally be made where no one can rightly complain. This means cutting waste. While waste cutting often means axing unnecessary bureaucracy, overlapping services and weeding out corruption, innovative education about ways of temporarily and permanently providing more effective services, can cut waste beyond such traditional measure.

Michael Hancock: Serving two terms as City Council president and working alongside the mayor, I know why it's imperative that we restructure government and how we can bring spending in line with revenues.
I will eliminate repetitive or wasteful services, make government more efficient and engage the community in creating a fiscally responsible and sustainable city.

Doug Linkhart: Our structural problems are caused partly by steadily increasing costs from our lack of investment up-front. We need to invest in kids' programs, mental health, drug treatment and other items that save money later. The other cause of our structural problems is over-dependence on the sales tax. We need to diversify our revenue base.

Vincent Macieyovski: The budget problem coincides with the current economic conditions nationwide going back to 2008 Wall Street debacle and subprime mortgage issues. This is going to pass soon, although there might be some rough times ahead. The budget issues are much more complex as the latest findings in "The Controller's Office Performance Audit" of February shows.

James Mejia: Short term we need to improve efficiencies. Long term, Denver's economy needs a growing tax base. We have moved too far into an economy that is based on service-related jobs and away from manufacturing jobs. As Denver's next mayor I will develop a business climate that attracts and supports companies that provide both goods and services.

Jeff Peckman: Use the best solutions from the structural financial task force. Add more proven, cost-effective, money-saving solutions in public safety, criminal

Eric Jon Zinn (Hyoung Chang / The Denver Post)
justice, city personnel health care, and energy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure to save a ton of money for the city. A skilled mayor can keep the city floating and in prosperous waters.

Chris Romer: We need to increase city revenues by recruiting and retaining good jobs. I've asked the mayor's deficit task force tough questions and I will lead the long overdue conversations we need to have about doing more with less at City Hall, including cutting red tape and reinventing parts of city government.

Ken Simpson: We need to attract small businesses to Denver. We must ask all stakeholders for their input as to how we can improve the structural problems with Denver's budget. Some

Thomas Andrew Wolf (Hyoung Chang / The Denver Post)
employees have expressed interest in only working four-day work weeks. We must attract a few big box retailers to Denver. And, we need to replace the firms that left Denver.

Theresa Spahn: In the first 180 days it will be my duty to lead this city out of the budgetary crisis. This provides us with an opportunity to reinvent ourselves as a city. My previous experience as the executive director of an $18.5 million agency that operated efficiently will help me take a hard look at every agency to chart an efficient, new course.

Thomas Wolf: The breadth of our city services is like a TV remote control, originally it was effective for basic needs, but now it has 53 buttons, and its performance and utility have imploded, while costs go ever higher. I will right-size our government by shrinking it to the essential services that keep our city safe, clean, accessible and competitive.

Eric Jon Zinn: Revenues: Increase economic activity in the city by focusing on Denver's neighborhoods and making Denver an attractive place to live, work and visit. Broaden the sales- and use-tax base. Make greater use of the city's use-tax collection authority. Use user fees. Costs: Across-the-board cuts. Reduce payroll. Eliminate redundancies in city services.

Question: Given that more than 70 percent of the city's expenses go to personnel costs, increasing 4 to 5 percentage points per year, what can be done to rein those in?

Carol Boigon: As mayor, I will implement the Lean process, which is a proven philosophy used worldwide by businesses and the public sector to eliminate waste in all aspects of an entities' production from technology to human resources. Most companies that implement Lean often see an overall cost savings of 5% to 10%.

Paul Noel Fiorino: As mayor I can again find the waste, savings and entitlements. I want to have a livable wage for all city employees, but we have seen how municipalities have taken full advantage of their public station. I will donate 10% of my salary and ask that of the personnel, in the form of philanthropic activity or direct/voluntary acceptance. Furloughs??

Mark Gruber: Because with enough social concern citizens provide services for free if able, personnel costs could be permanently reined in by shifting future hirings to four tiers: Unpaid vocational (students, on welfare); volunteer; expenses & benefits only; & paid (when absolutely necessary). This can be done without backlash if applied only to new employees.

Michael Hancock: We need to scrutinize every dollar spent, especially personnel costs, staffing levels and shift structures. Implementing my goal-oriented Peak Performance initiative will make government efficient and cost-effective. It will allow us to make tough decisions to eliminate, consolidate and streamline services based on facts and finances, not politics.

Doug Linkhart: As mayor, I will reduce costs by using common sense government: streamlining and reducing regulations and enforcement of minor laws that make little difference. We need to continually look to improve productivity and reduce costs where possible. As mayor, I will work with city employees and the public to identify savings in every agency.

Vincent Macieyovski: We have an overgrown bureaucracy that costs us money and does not contribute to the essential services the city provides to our residents. I wonder how many of our residents know that our city is home to one of the largest law firms in Colorado, with over 100 attorneys and approximately 100 staff members comprised of paralegals, victim advocates.

James Mejia: As mayor I will cut mayoral appointees by 10% and require them to live in the city. I will audit employee overtime. I will adjust pension contributions for new city employees to more closely reflect those available in private sector. I will decrease the overall city employee base through attrition.

Jeff Peckman: Use more preventive, effective, and cost-saving local health care for personnel. Pay workers partly with complementary currency usable only in Denver, especially currencies exempt from Federal income tax. Work with city government, businesses, DIA, schools, and colleges to purchase 100% renewable energy created locally. Keep more money in Denver!

Chris Romer: With 25 years of business experience, I will make city personnel costs more efficient. Spiraling personnel costs will lead to layoffs if we don't get them under control, so we must freeze elected officials' pay and be realistic about using vacancy savings, furloughs, and other tough, but necessary short-term budget-balancing tactics.

Ken Simpson: We will have to stop replacing employees that quit or retire and create greater efficiencies in every city department. The auditors department and budget office will have to research and make recommendations as to what the mayor can do to fix these problems. City Council and the mayor will have to come to agreement as to what needs to be done.

Theresa Spahn: This is a time when everyone has to bring something to the table because our income will not sustain our current costs. I value the hard work and commitment of all of our city employees. But in these difficult times we will have to roll up our sleeves and have honest conversations about our vehicle fleet, anticipated raises and equipment stipends.

Thomas Wolf: The "right-sizing" prescribed above, will require personnel reductions and changes to benefits. As a political outsider I can take the massive step towards affordable benefits, we will no longer offer defined benefits pensions and employees will have to contribute toward their health care costs. No more out-bidding on personnel vs. private sector.

Eric Jon Zinn: To rein in personnel costs, reductions in city payroll are necessary. For example, vacant city jobs should be left unfilled. I will also consider cost cuts for benefits offered to city employees. For example, I will make sure health and medical insurance coverage offered to city employees is at the most competitive rates provided.

Question:Will you be willing to raise taxes? Please explain your answer. If not, why? If so, where do you think those taxes should be raised?

Carol Boigon: I will look for the results of the Denver financial task force's work before jumping to an answer. I served on the state interim committee on fiscal sustainability with Sen. Rollie Heath and believe we learned from this work. Further, we need to see what happens with the likely 2012 ballot initiative to fix Colorado's fiscal constitutional problem.

Paul Noel Fiorino: No, I would raise funds through our emphasis on tourism in all its many attributes and bring Denver to its rightful place as a creative Capitol developing creative capital from our products, services and established sales tax base. Emphasis on our natural resources, talent and entrepreneurship, Denver can be a city that demonstrates tax reform.

Mark Gruber: Product tax should be lowered or raised on the long term benefit or detriment of the products. E.g., healthy food should be low tax, tax free, or subsidized, as a healthy populace reduces city expenses. However, products that decrease society's value -- cigarettes, junk food, etc.-- should be taxed related to the long-term detriment they bring.

Michael Hancock: As families and businesses continue to struggle to make ends meet, the city must live within its means. We'll work within existing resources to erase the deficit, fix the structural imbalance and broaden revenue streams by strengthening the economy. Only then can we discuss with our community the type of support we want and how we pay for it.

Doug Linkhart: We generally have enough money to serve our needs; we just need to spend it more wisely. If we are to protect our public services in the near-term, revenue enhancements will be needed. As mayor, I will start a community process immediately to identify the best options for revenues to cover short-term needs and long-term investments.

Vincent Macieyovski: No, I WILL NOT! We have some serious weakness in the local economy at the present time, and higher taxes will delay the recovery, and any amount of revenue will be meaninglessly spent without much impact on the budget.

James Mejia: Before a conversation about taxes, we need to increase efficiencies and create a grant office so no federal, state or non-profit resources are left. Raising taxes would be the last option I'd explore. We must attract new business to Denver to expand our tax base to create a permanent solution.

Jeff Peckman: If taxes need to be raised, first target sources that add the most to: a worse environment, use of non-renewable resources, poor health and public safety risks. If medical marijuana is taxed, then medicines with bad side effects should be taxed, because they create more health problems that increase health care costs and decrease quality of life.

Chris Romer: No. I will not raise city taxes in this economic climate. There are other pressing dialogues we need to have about funding our neighborhood schools and finishing FasTracks, which are more important than growing the city budget.

Ken Simpson: The mayor does not raise taxes. City Council decides what is best for the city. I would rather have service fees to generate revenue than to have city government raise taxes. If taxes must be raised, we should increase taxes on those that could best afford to pay the increase.

Theresa Spahn: Raising taxes should not be the first option. It is my duty to the citizens of Denver to find ways of working within our budget before looking to new taxes. At this point I'm not willing to dismiss a tax increase as one of the tools to fix our budget, but first we must create efficiencies before we ask voters for a tax raise.

Thomas Wolf: In order to get the budget under control your city needs to go on a diet and in this analogy raising taxes is akin to scooping more food on the plate. So raising taxes is counterproductive and also unduly burdens our citizens and businesses that are also trying to recover. No tax raises, until we have a lean budget and consensus on new services.

Eric Jon Zinn: If necessary, I would support an increase in the city's sales and use tax base. Also, the city should make greater use of its use-tax collection authority. I will also make greater use of user fees. I would support an increase in the sales tax rate as a last resort and only after approval by the City's residents.

Question: Would you be willing to charge residents for trash pickup? Please explain your answer.

Carol Boigon: Not currently. I have worked on council to protect our neighborhoods, regardless of geography, ethnicity or income and believe firmly that all of them should have excellent quality of city services. If necessary, I am willing to look at graduated fees for trash pickup if we could ensure the cleanliness of all neighborhoods.

Paul Noel Fiorino: Trash and recycling is a necessary service now delivered to all citizens. I would like to see more recycling so trash would be minimized with concern for our neighbors in how we discard. Private companies would add jobs and take away others while running all kinds of private trucks through our neighborhoods with added noise/air/litter pollution. NO.

Mark Gruber: Trash must be picked up whatever the case, for if not it's a health concern. However, if some people create great amounts of garbage, while others, due to recycling or other reasons, create very little or none, it would be fair for those creating less garbage to somehow pay less to the city, as they are using less services & not ruining the Earth.

Michael Hancock: With continued deficits for Denver's foreseeable future, the next mayor will have to find sustainable, innovative and creative ways to deliver essential services. All options must be on the table and our entire community should be encouraged to discuss a possible fee structure for trash pickup and whether to incentivize composting and recycling.

Doug Linkhart: Yes, my Green for Green program uses a modest fee on a sliding scale to create better sustainability while helping our budget shortfall. This program will implement the city's new Solid Waste Plan by converting our dumpster-based system to a 3-cart system that will incentivize recycling and composting.

Vincent Macieyovski: No, I will not, for the same reason I just given above, this is just another form of taxation.

James Mejia: Denver residents currently pay for trash pick up through the general fund. As mayor I will make clear the cost of trash pick up and will invoice separately. However, I will ensure that recycling and composting are free; and I will expand those services citywide, including for multi-unit housing.

Jeff Peckman: Possibly, but only after a review of all relevant facts. A graduated and fair fee, above a threshold for free pickup, might be OK if it also results in more recycling, less waste and more sustainable practices by major trash producers. I would explore if trash pickup vehicles can cost-effectively weigh content and bill the source proportionately.

Chris Romer: No. There are better ways to balance the budget than charging for trash, like establishing a retail sales strategy for Denver. We need to look at appropriate, targeted incentives to draw diverse companies in to Denver, especially retailers capable of growing our sales tax base.

Ken Simpson: If charging residents for trash pickup helps save jobs and helps the city recover from the budget crisis, then we will have to look at that situation and see if its feasible and cost effective for the city to do so. Any other ways to generate revenue will be looked at first.

Theresa Spahn: As mayor I will explore charging residents for trash pickup. By implementing a $10 to $15 monthly fee (reduced for those struggling financially) based on trash can size, we would be $20 million closer to closing the $100 million budget gap. Charging for trash collection while keeping recycling free promotes a green, sustainable Denver.

Thomas Wolf: Trash collection is an area that offers an easy mark to market cost-comparison because there are private sector entities capable of bidding on the provision of this service. I would immediately pursue this comparison, and subject to findings, pursue these alternatives in test markets to confirm costs and service provision standards.

Eric Jon Zinn: A charge for trash pickup is similar to a user fee. By charging a fee, the city will be promoting sustainability because, in an effort to reduce the expense of trash collection, residents will reduce the amount of trash they generate initially. A concern: People may avoid the trash fee by dumping their garbage in vacant lots.

03-07-2011, 01:36 AM
Holy shit. I'd back one of the candidates that doesn't have an e-mail account.

Rain Man
03-07-2011, 01:37 AM
Question: Should the city look into privatizing such amenities, such as recreation centers? Please give more examples of out-of-the-box ideas that would cut costs or raise revenue, or both.

Carol Boigon: I am open to public-private partnerships to make sure rec centers and public parks are able to remain open to the public. Amenities like these fuel our sense of neighborhood and preserve our Denver values. The Lean process I described above is a highly effective and proven method of reducing our costs.

Paul Noel Fiorino: Recreation centers serve our citizens in so many ways and are resource centers as well. They can be more efficient and effective with our youth, seniors and special needs. Sponsors, partners and non-profits can have an enormous relationship that will directly impact the city as we work together to raise revenues without raising Cain. No privatize.

Mark Gruber: If recreational centers have true value to society in terms of increasing the health of citizens, so that, in the long term, they reduce city costs such as health care costs, they should not be privatized. Doing so would only more take them out of general usage. We cannot be and penny wise but pound foolish.

Michael Hancock: I will look to non-profit stewardship agreements, public-private partnerships and metro districts to ensure our amenities and services are preserved. Again, all solutions to our city's structural problems must be under consideration. We will invite residents and businesses to participate in resetting our priorities and redefining city government.

Doug Linkhart: I am generally opposed to further privatization for ongoing city activities where city employees can do the same work. One idea for generating funds to cover part of our budget shortfall, preserve services & invest in future cost savings is to secure a lump sum from a private investor in exchange for our parking meter revenues for a specific time.

Vincent Macieyovski: No the city should not privatize them, the city's parks are very important to city residents as a gathering of community's civic activities and recreation. If privatized their accessibility would be restricted to many of our young population that is at greater disadvantage for employment. The parks however, need to promote themselves.

James Mejia: We can explore public/private partnerships but not at the expense of affordability, accessibility or quality of service. I will reduce facility management costs by eliminating redundancies in the city and DPS. For instance, we don't need duplicate mowing crews to both service parks and schools.

Jeff Peckman: Privatizing these amenities are band-aid approaches. Extraordinary, money-saving solutions have existed for years. Some are mentioned above and more are on my website. But they are not used in Denver due to a lack of vision by political leaders and influence by special interests that profit from inefficient government and failed public policies.

Chris Romer: I will not privatize city amenities like recreation centers. We should cut expenses by expanding regional partnerships with nonprofit stakeholders and Jeffco Open Space to pay maintenance on Denver's mountain parks. We must find efficiencies in city government like merging the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs and the Theaters and Arenas Division.

Ken Simpson: I think the city should have private events in parks and recreation to generate revenue for the city. Private partnerships and donations would help parks and recreation generate revenue. Parks and rec employees probably have a few good ideas as to how to generate revenue for the city.

Theresa Spahn: We must be careful when considering privatization. While costs may be decreased through privatization, often the level of service given to residents is also decreased. I support public-private partnerships, and I believe that for facilities like rec centers we should look to partnerships with nonprofit groups to help run our programs and classes.

Thomas Wolf: Privatization analysis has to start with mark to market cost comparisons. My OOTB idea involves city data, its input and its value as content. I will shift the burden of data input to the businesses that interact with the city. This will cut city payroll and turn the properly structured data into content and revenue.

Eric Jon Zinn: The city should privatize some amenities and consider more public-private partnerships. The city should privatize amenities based on considerations of cost effectiveness and assurances that levels of service will remain constant or improve. Other ideas: Raise money from compilation CD sales for artists that perform at City Park's jazz concerts.

Continued in the first post.

Question: Do you think that services, such as hair cutting or massage, should be taxed? Explain your answer.

Carol Boigon: Before considering taxing services like these, we need to have an honest public conversation about what basic services people expect from city government and how much it costs to provide them. If people want more services we will have to find where the revenue will come from.

Paul Noel Fiorino: No industry wants to be taxed, yet Denver has the occupational tax for all business which is still controversial. These services are for the betterment of the taxpayer and their health and quality of life. Small business in Denver has a sales, property and other fees/taxes collected are handled in ways that make doing business more difficult. NO.

Mark Gruber: Massages should certainly not be taxed so to make them less available, for massages are one of life's greatest pleasures that also have great short and long term health and psychological benefits. What kind of mayor would then tax massages so to take this bit of heaven more out of the city? They should be subsidized!

Michael Hancock: The economy of the 21st century has shifted to include significant spending on services, not just tangible goods. This shift has impacted revenues and must be considered as we work to create a sustainable city capable of paying for essential services. Many cities and states around the country are having the same discussion.

Doug Linkhart: Our sales tax revenue would be more secure if we included certain services but reduced the tax rate across the board. Many of the solutions to our budget difficulties lie at the state level. I will draw upon my experience as a former state senator and president of the Colorado Municipal League to create sustainable prosperity statewide.

Vincent Macieyovski: I am NOT for TAXES. If we tax services, most likely the majority of Denver residents would travel to the suburbs to get their hair cut or massage done. Going to areas where those services would not be taxed. We need to rein in spending and install a new culture to promote efficient resource management citywide.

James Mejia: No, we should not attempt to balance the budget by taxing those who provide services. Instead, I believe in creating a larger tax base producing goods in the city.

Jeff Peckman: Not initially, and only as one of the last resorts after all such services have been reviewed. Sole proprietors should be exempt, since many are single parents struggling to support children. They don't need the unfair paperwork burden. The full range of massage therapies can provide affordable effective health care to prevent more costly problems.

Chris Romer: No. Half of city revenues come from sales taxes but Denver cannot independently start taxing services - our valued small businesses could be crushed by competitors in the surrounding area that would not pay sales tax on services like hair cuts and messages.

Ken Simpson: I think any service that operates in the city should be taxed. If these types of services are making profits in the city, they should have to pay taxes like any other business. Every business should pay their share of taxes. Internet sales would also bring a huge revenue stream to the state and city.

Theresa Spahn: As I explained in the previous questions, we must first address our city's inefficiencies and reinvent ourselves before even considering asking the people of Denver for a new tax or a tax increase.

Thomas Wolf: I am clearly not a tax hawk, but I am not familiar with the basis for why these services are exempt in the first place, and secondly as a consumer of these services I would prefer not to opine, so as not to face the wrath of someone brandishing scissors or a blade.

Eric Jon Zinn: Services the city taxes should only be those whose demand by customers remains constant despite increases in prices (from tax increases, for example). I would tax hair-cutting and massage services only if they meet the above criteria; otherwise, demand and revenue (and collected taxes) from these services provided by city residents will drop.

Read more: Denver mayoral candidates tackle questions on the budget - The Denver Post http://www.denverpost.com/politics/ci_17548809#ixzz1FtdfkZyX
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Rain Man
03-07-2011, 01:40 AM
Holy shit. I'd back one of the candidates that doesn't have an e-mail account.

It does seem to be a good strategy.

There are so many freaking candidates that I can't tell yet who I'm going to vote for. I won't vote for Boigon because she was rude to me once, and Linkhart is a really nice guy but I'm not sure we have any common opinions. (It's possible we do, but on the surface we appear to be philosophically in opposition based on past conversations with him.) I've met Mejia and he seems bright, but at the same time I think he was over some program that was a disaster. I don't know any of the others, but Jeff Peckham is the guy who was trying to set up the extraterrestrial welcome committee, so I know that he's a guy who likes to plan ahead.

03-07-2011, 01:47 AM
Is Mark Gruber related to Hans Gruber?

Rain Man
03-07-2011, 01:51 AM
Is Mark Gruber related to Hans Gruber?

Probably. All those Grubers are related.

03-07-2011, 01:51 AM
Probably. All those Grubers are related.

I would only vote if Hans was running against Willis.

03-07-2011, 02:01 AM
How big is the shortfall?
What are the structural causes of the shortfall?
What are the current tax rates in Denver for various entities?
Are there clearly identified areas of huge waste? Not small areas, huge areas because the problem is painted as huge. Is it at all realistic that one could make up the short fall by cutting fat without hitting muscle and bone?
Those that live in Denver seem to think it is a great place to live. Would it remain so, if one were to cut essential services such that the schools became crappy or the downtown area became unsafe? Probably not. Would it remain so if people paid 0.5% more taxes? Probably so.
I wold vote for the candidate that was most honest and realistic about now to fix the situation. This candidate would have no hope of winning, because people prefer to be lied to.

One caveat. Is there a candidate that proposes to sell the Broncos to the devil? I know the devil wants that team and the devil has lots of money. So that could solve the problem right there.

03-07-2011, 02:40 AM
...Those that live in Denver seem to think it is a great place to live. Would it remain so, if one were to cut essential services such that the schools became crappy...

Denver Public Schools is already a severely challenged system. The graduation rate is abysmal. There's a large non-English speaking population that strains resources and achievement. Fortunately, there's some choice available due to "open enrollment" policies, but the better public schools are already full, or they're impractically distant, or the parents can't or don't care enough to get their kids to those schools. I can't find the numbers for private school enrollment in the area served by DPS, but I know that before the economic downturn (which truly hasn't been that bad here) private school enrollment was quite high for people living in the city who could afford private alternatives. In short, Denver schools are already a big problem.

We chose to take our kids out of private school because we thought the environment was too insular, but we moved out of the city before we switched the kids' schools. There's no way we would have sent them to a public school in the Denver system. There are a few attractive elementary schools, but the high schools? Fuggedaboudit.

03-07-2011, 09:20 AM
Sorry, I couldn't read through it all. I read all the answers to the first question and skimmed through the rest.

I'd start by eliminating anyone who plans to fix the budget problems exclusively through eliminating waste, fraud, and abuse. As much waste as there surely is in the budget, that approach never works. I'd then eliminate anyone who talks about investing in children's programs and diversifying the tax base (Linkhart stood out to me immediately as someone I couldn't vote for). I'm also wary of people who talk about finding a solution by taxing tourism.

Answers from Boigon, Peckman, Spahn, Wolf, and to some extent Simpson stood out in a positive way for me. I wouldn't vote for someone who's been rude to me though. And I'd have to know more about these candidates to really endorse any of them too.

Who does Sarah Palin endorse?

P.S. I voted for Wolf in the poll.