I met this morning for "coffee" with Will Shafroth. I put coffee in quotes because we both had water (they have Diet Pepsi but no regular Pepsi at Breadworks!).
Sometimes someone says something that really resonates with another person. Will started off by saying that he thinks every person has a responsibility to leave the world a better place than they found it. This is one of the main things I have told my daughters numerous times and have tried to live by this myself.
He then talked about how he has 3 daughters and wants to leave them a better world. Again he was preaching to the choir as I also have 3 daughters of roughly equivalent age. So the talk started off well.
He then shot in to why he is running. I think this was his standard spiel. He does it very well and it seemed very natural. And the thing is, you can't talk to 200 people on the same subject and not fall into a rut. But you do (barely) realize you are getting standard talk #23.
But what really started to bother me as he talked was the distinct lack of specifics. Yes the environment is important - but nothing about what specifically to do there. Yes medical insurance is a mess - but he is for any approach that improves it. (When pushed on this issue he prefers single payer but mainly he just wants improvement.) He also touched on education calling BVSD very good (personally I think 50% of 10th graders not being proficient in math is horrible) but how in other districts they have horrible graduation rates. But again, nothing specific to address it.
As his presentation ended I asked him about what was he going to concentrate on. He first talked about how little power a freshman house member has and how some of your committee assignments are luck of the draw. But he then said that with his environmental background he is hopeful he will get to use that. Again, no specifics as to what he wants to accomplish.
I then asked him about nuclear power. (I think anyone truly serious about eliminating coal & oil needs to at least look at nuclear.) His response was that nuclear has problems and we can resolve the whole thing with conservation, wind, and solar (I would love to have someone show credible numbers about how this approach would work).
What was fascinating is he knew that France generates almost all of their electricity via nuclear, that they have their nuclear waste problem solved "somehow" but that it still makes no sense here. I know that "no nukes" is the required answer to get elected in Boulder but IMHO there was definitely a lot of fuzzy math and lack of knowledge from someone who's centerpiece is the environment.
He also didn't talk about the campaign process at all. I did ask him if he was having to spend 4 - 5 hours a day dialing for dollars and he said yes, but no further discussion. This may just be the fact that the grunt work of campaigning is not any fun and so he doesn't like talking about it.
The bottom line with Will is, I think, that he is Mark Udall reloaded. A nice, smart, thoughtful person who would do a good job and apply himself diligently. A reliable liberal vote who is unlikely to push much outside the conventional wisdom of this district. I didn't hear any reason to not vote for Will, but I also didn't hear any reason to vote for him.
Joan Fitz-Gerald next on 9/6