Our series profiling independent and alt-party candidates for seats in the November election who have endorsed the New Progressive Alliance’s Unified Platform continues. An introductory piece is here.
By Andrew McCoy
Gary Swing of Colorado believes it’s time for Progressive candidates to raise the stakes, and again this election cycle, this endorser of the Unified Platform is all in.
Swing, a Green, is running for Colorado’s newly drawn 6th District seat for U.S House, where major-party registrations are about equally split. He has run twice before for House from Colorado, but in traditionally “safe” Democratic districts.
This cycle is different.
“Every election year we hear the same nonsense about ‘voting for the lesser of two evils,’” Swing says.
“Despite the spirited chants of ‘We Are the 99 percent,’ 99 percent of American voters continue to embrace the greater evils: perpetual wars of aggression, imperialism, authoritarianism, and environmental devastation,” which, Swing says, “is the shared agenda of the two corporate parties.”
So this year Swing is working to give the people a stronger voice. He is challanging not only incumbent Mike Coffman, who Swing calls a “a right-wing Republican militarist,” but the Democrat, Andrew Romanoff – who leads the incumbent by about 10 points in recent polling.
“We still hear the same tired old arguments that have never been valid: Voting your conscience is a wasted vote; a vote for a Green Party candidate is a vote for the Republican, and so on,” Swing says. “Voting Green can’t ‘spoil’ elections that are already rotten to the core.”
Swing similarly pulls no punches in distinguishing himself from his opponents. His clear policy positions unequivocally oppose wars of aggression, the spread of American imperialism, and the national surveillance state. He opposes government policies that privilege corporate profits over the well-being of workers (such as the TPP and NAFTA).
Swing also seeks to empower the American people by pushing for structural change that gives citizens a more forceful voice in policy decisions.
Romanoff and Coffman, meanwhile, support largely similar policies that emphasize balancing the federal budget, though neither has expressed any desire to raise revenue. Both support American intervention overseas in response to vague “security” concerns, and neither has provided any clear policy framework regarding their positions on any specific issue. Campaign contributions from private industries and PACs constitute a significant portion of both candidates’ cash flow.
“The corporate media are already so bored and unimpressed with the meaningless contest between Coffman and Romanoff that they have declared this to be a ‘swing district,’” Swing notes, adding with a wry laugh, “and I’m looking for Swing voters!”
An avid outdoorsman, Swing has climbed all of Colorado’s 637 mountains and backpacked more than 10,000 miles of American wilderness. He says his understanding of the risks of exploiting of our natural resources has made him committed to developing a sustainable path forward.