Thank you for the honor of serving as your State Representative in the Colorado Legislature. It has been a privilege to talk with you at townhalls and discuss issues by email and phone, even when we disagree—respectfully and with civility. It has also been of great satisfaction to take issues brought by El Paso County residents and run legislation to make the laws better serve the people.
Taking the oath of office every two years has been a deeply moving experience for me, and one I regard as a sacred duty. I have more to say below about the Oath of Office to uphold the US Constitution and the Colorado Constitution.
My term of office ended in January with the swearing in of the new legislators in the State Legislature. The role of an American citizen has its own duties. As a citizen, I will continue to be actively engaged, especially on issues I am passionate about:
- Constitutional Rights and Principles
- Data privacy—Restore individual control over our most personal information, who gets the information, and for what purpose
- Civics education on the US Constitution and federal and state government.
- Wildfire mitigation, future water supplies, environmental protection, and electric power reliability and security.
- Highlighting proposed bills and regulations that encroach on individuals’ rights and put excessive burdens on small businesses
I will be doing a periodic eblast (monthly/quarterly) on these topics. Also, I will occasionally be doing a separate eblast specifically on Colorado business legislation.
I have found great satisfaction being your representative these past eight years. Our discussions have widened my perspective on many issues. Again, thank you for the honor of serving as your State Representative.
The Elected Official’s Oath of Office to Uphold the US Constitution and the Colorado Constitution:
I feel compelled to address this subject, given the many disturbing incidents and statements by elected officials in the last few years. I am deeply concerned for the future of our country and our Colorado.
The Oath of Office.
The foundation for our system of self-government by the people is the Constitution. All elected officials must, before taking office, take the oath of office pledging to uphold the US Constitution, and for state and local elected offices, the state Constitution. This has been the case throughout our history as a country, regardless of party affiliation. I took a similar oath to uphold the US Constitution when I served in the military.
Why require elected officials take the oath? Because the US Constitution and state constitution are foundational documents that the people put in place (subject to amendment) to determine the duties and limitations for government action.
The elected officials are the temporary “hires” by the people to represent them in city, county, state, and national government—to address the issues of the day within the bounds set by the Constitution. That is why elected officials must be sworn in by taking the Oath, pledging to carry out their duties in recognition of the supreme law of the US Constitution and Colorado Constitution.
In our country’s history, we have had many passionate (even bitter) debates about just and unjust laws, whether those laws are constitutional, and whether the Constitution should be amended. That is all part of our system of self-government—citizens and their elected representatives advocating for change.
What is NOT part of an elected official’s duties are statements expressly stating that they will reject and refuse to recognize certain sections in the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights. That is a violation of their oath. If you believe a provision in the Constitution should be removed or changed, then advocate for an amendment to the Constitution. What would be the consequences if each citizen or elected official decided for themselves which parts of the Constitution to recognize or ignore?
Of course, if a law or executive action violates the Constitution, then we uphold the Constitution by challenging it in court. There are financial barriers to citizens challenging what they believe to be unconstitutional laws—that is a process that should be reviewed and strengthened.