A veteran, an ordained minister, a peace activist and a retired school teacher, Denver resident Bob Kinsey isnt a typical politician.
Hes never been elected to office, but that didnt stop him from making a third-party bid for the U.S. Senate with the Green Party.
Kinsey said he is sick of politicians who sacrifice their values in the name of party unity and winning elections, a problem he sees as endemic across both major political parties.
Kinsey would like to see that change. He wants more people to vote with their consciences, not their parties.
One-third of the state is independent or they say they are. ... Then why dont you get with a party that you think represents your values? he said Sunday.
A former Democrat, Kinsey became disillusioned with the party.
He cited an instance in which a resolution questioning U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and carte blanche support of Israel passed by popular vote at the 2002 Jefferson County Democratic Convention.
The politicos at the top of the county party nullified the vote because there was some kind of parliamentary procedure they claimed had been violated, Kinsey said. I was disillusioned by their lack of democracy.
Afterword he was told by a Democratic politician that if the party allowed the resolution to pass, the party would lose contributions from donors who were pro-Israeli.
That just made me say this party doesnt have any spine, Kinsey said. It doesnt want to stand up for the truth or face up to the problems.
Both parties, Kinsey said, are culpable for creating the major problems in the current political system.
Both Democrats and Republicans bought into the Milton Freedman-Ronald Reagan ideology, Kinsey said. Shrink government, stop regulation; free enterprise and the market will settle everything fairly, justly and efficiently. ... Thats the biggest pile of manure on the farm.
To Kinsey, government can facilitate innovation and, more importantly, protect the individual and the environment.
Youve got to have referees, and youve got to have people who are concerned about giving the planet a vote as well as giving the corporatists a vote in how we do things, he said.
Kinsey said government regulation is essential to prevent big business from running roughshod over the interests of individuals, the environment and the nation as a whole.
The current economic crisis and the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he said, are prime examples of governments failure to regulate business, resulting in serious hardships for Americans and, in the case of the oil spill, severe environmental damage.
We were saying, I told you so with tears in our eyes, he said.
Equally as important to Kinsey as environmental responsibility are nonviolence and social justice, values that stem more from his faith than from his party. He was ordained as a United Church of Christ minister decades before joining the Green Party.
I think if Jesus of Nazareth were planning a political and economic system, he would suggest these principles are the way to do things, he said.
For more than 40 years, he has been at the forefront of the peace and justice movement within the church. He served as the chairman of the churchs Peace and Justice Task Force when it was formed in 1984.
Kinsey said he is the only candidate who will vote to end the war in Afghanistan.
A Green Party candidate never has won statewide election. Kinsey knows the odds are against him, but he refuses to give up hope.
Vermont elected Green candidate Bernie Sanders to the Senate in 2006, proof to Kinsey that success is possible even if it is improbable.