Dear Democratic Members of the Colorado General Assembly:
I am writing to suggest you run a different democrat in House District 8, Rep. McCann’s district, because she has made herself unelectable and I would prefer that the seat remain in democratic hands.
The reason for this is simple: Her sponsorship of HB1253 which represents an attempt to take the right to jury trial away from one million Coloradans.
As you all know, this bill had the effect of depriving the right to jury trial from civil commitments. The words depriving the jury trial are very bad words in an election year.
According to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, “An estimated 26.2 percent of Americans ages 18 and older — about one in four adults — suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.” (source) That’s an awful lot of voters.
That’s 26.2% of HD8, not to mention all the other central Denver districts that are generally and heavily democrat controlled.
Recall that the provision in the bill Rep. McCann sponsored, HB1253, to take the jury trial away from persons held by the State for civil commitment, was not a task force recommendation. Rep. McCann inserted it into the bill, or caused it to be inserted into the bill, even though she could not convince the task force it was wise.
Even if the task force had made the recommendation, I would be making the same call for Rep. McCann’s resignation.
I intend to make everyone in the central Denver area aware of the fact Rep. McCann tried to mess with the jury trial — and that affects 1/4 of the people in that area. You know that I can and will do precisely that. I can and will do it as a liberal voter. I can and will do it effectively.
There are a few things politicians in either party wouldn’t dream of touching, due to the political fallout from doing so. The jury trial is one such thing. This point will be made, if it has not already been made to you, during the coming election cycle.
I very much want the HD8 seat to remain in democratic hands. Therefore, I request you run someone who has not already committed political suicide.
There has always been a right to trial by jury in Colorado for civil commitments. It is my intention to ensure it stays that way.
The reason there has always been such a right is that it is political suicide to tamper with. Even in a sure thing district.
I know there are considerable powers on the right who feel similarly, but as I said, I make this call from the left.
Please, Rep. McCann, do the party a favor and retire from public life to contemplate what in the world made you think going after the jury trial was a good idea in the first place.
The alternative, Rep. McCann, is that you will be called to account for it publicly at every turn in the run-up to the election.
If Rep. McCann is called to account publicly, I will ensure that the Democratic party is likewise called to account.
Don’t mess with the jury trial, or even liberals will cry, “Enough!”
Aubrey Ellen Shomo
Unaffiliated Voter from Central Denver,
Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.