E-mail letters, Aug 31, 2010

Salazar must answer queries
about donation from Rangel

When Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., appeared to be in hot water over his various dealings, Colorado 3rd District Rep. John Salazar, also a Democrat, was quick to distance himself from Charlie. Salazar admitted accepting $4,000 from Rangle and said he was going to donate it to Boys Clubs throughout his 3rd District. A noble gesture. End of story? Not so.
First, the Boys Clubs should be thanking Charlie Rangel for the donation (or whomever Rangel got the money from) as Salazar serves only as a pass-through and should not be getting any recognition for his part.
More importantly, Salazar should tell the “rest of the story.” What did he give Rangel in return for the $4,000? Was it a vote or other favor?  What could a junior representative from Colorado possibly have that would benefit the much more senior Rangel?  Was it a vote that was not in the best interest of Salazar’s constituents or the people of Colorado?
What other favors has Salazar received (or given) that he has not told us about and what value do those have. Is trading votes or favors among colleagues for money a standard way they do business? If so, how much money changes hands each year in this underground for votes? Did Salazar show the $4,000 on his campaign finance report for the year received? Will he claim it as a personal donation for 2010?
The Club 20 meeting will be an excellent forum for Salazar to tell “the rest of the story.”  We can only hope someone will question him on this. Not that the amount of money in this instance is significant but that he accepted it in the first place and for what? Is this the way we want our elected representatives to conduct business?
I think not and I hope Salazar will fully answer the above so we can make a much more informed decision on whether it’s appropriate to return him to Congress.  His failure to adequately address this would be another reason not to.
Ron Bell

Even after election change,
Herzog still won’t get it

Denny Herzog, in his anti-Glen Beck diatribe (The Daily Sentinel, Aug. 31) was certainly right about one thing: He doesn’t get it.

There is a tidal wave building in this country, one that Herzog clearly doesn’t see. And when it hits — perhaps as early as this November — and he gets swept away and dumped on the ash heap of failed ideologies (along with Danton, Robspierre, Lenin, Trostky, Mao, Obama and all the others), Herzog will still be mumbling to himself, “I don’t get it.”
Avrom Howard
Grand Junction

Herzog’s thoughtful columns
a reason to read the Sentinel

I’d like to express my sincere thanks to Denny Herzog for his thoughtful and thought-provoking columns recently. He has explored the issue of the proposed community center near Ground Zero (which some people have mistakenly asserted will be a mosque at Ground Zero) as well as the inexplicable sway that Glenn Beck has on so many Americans.

I look forward to reading his well-reasoned columns and find that he is a much-needed antidote to the hateful and untrue rhetoric being spouted across the United States on a daily basis. He — along with the goofy Steve Beauregard — is one of the reasons I continue to subscribe to the Daily Sentinel.
Shari VanderVelde
Grand Junction

Herzog’s bias, elitism,
on display in Beck column

Denny Herzog’s amusing Aug. 31 column was unexpectedly thought-provoking.

It is no secret that the newspaper business is in decline in America, with many of the nation’s flagship publications losing readers at an alarming rate. I wonder how much of the decline is because of the elitism continually peddled by newspaper opinion writers like Mr. Herzog.

Citing left-of-center influences including Daniel Patrick Moynahan, PolitiFact, and Stephen Colbert, Herzog’s own bias is not hard to decipher. One thing that is difficult to understand, however, is how newspapers like The Daily Sentinel can continue to operate on the assumption that it is possible to have a sustainable business model while at the same time condescendingly insulting many of its readers.

I also wonder whether Herzog is aware that many Sentinel subscribers read his column, not to take stock in his wise opinions, but instead to chuckle at his disdain for those of us whom he attempts to smugly write down to.
Vaughn Park
Grand Junction

Herzog right to challenge
views of Beck, Limbaugh

I have to commend Denny Herzog on an excellent column on Glenn Beck. I must say it took guts to write what he did when we seem to have more than our fair share of right-wing extremists in this valley. I am sure he will hear from some of them.

It is time those of us who value the truth and facts start standing up to and challenging the likes of Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. We cannot assume that most people will realize they invent their own facts to fit their opinions. If we don’t challenge them we risk the chance they will help steer this country down the wrong path.

Our freedoms are too important for us to trust them to someone like Glenn Beck.

Again, to Denny Herzog, well done.
Steve Miller
Grand Junction

Failure of print journalists
helped foster radio gasbags

In his opinion piece, retired Daily Sentinel editor Denny Herzog rightly complains
of how current popular radio talk-show hosts, generally of a conservative political bent, play loose with the facts. Certainly these vitriolic entertainers can quickly tire rational and civil listeners of any political persuasion. Sadly, much of the information that they present is accurate but lacks other means of reaching the public for consideration. And that’s the rub.

Herzog holds himself and his profession above the noisy fray of radio commentary, when it is print journalism that may have been a catalyst for creating the very daytime blather he criticizes.
Certainly there are good stories in American print media produced by enterprising, clever and talented reporters. Some publications even have editors who know how to do their jobs. But, too often print media reporters simply accept what is offered by their favorite sources to the detriment of the whole truth.

The best examples of this weakness are the stories over past decades of climate change, which was born as the imminent catastrophe called global warming. In many ways print media has failed the public.

Herzog tells us that he simply doesn’t get the radio talk-show phenomenon. With his years in journalism, and his professed respect for getting to the facts in a good story, one can’t help but question his myopic struggle with the success of the gasbags.
Alan Metcalfe

Beck riles up tea partiers
to support boss’ interests

Kudos to Denny Herzog for finally calling it like it is. He points out that the “emperor” has no clothes, although it wildly stretches the imagination that Glenn Beck or Limbaugh could ever be called an emperor.

Left unsaid by Herzog, though, is the fact that both mentioned charlatans are doing what they do for money, not patriotism. Particularly in Beck’s case, he is being tolerated and encouraged by Fox and Rupert Murdoch, whose personal interests are being served, and the Koch brothers, who are the behind-the-scene financiers of the tea party events, also supporting their own interests.
It’s sad and ironic that those following these Pied Pipers are being led towards policies directly contrary to their best interests and those of all citizens. There is plenty about our government to be concerned about, and anxiety abounds about job security and financial over-extension, but “organizing” based on generalities and howling at the moon gets nothing concrete accomplished.
Most of the things that seem to concern most of the followers of Beck and Limbaugh can be traced back to our broken election system and the ungodly money pumped in to “own” members of Congress. Proposing a house-cleaning is a fool’s errand. Any elected official who works exclusively for his voter constituents is called a one-term member of Congress and is toast at re-election time unless he’s played ball with all of those looking for an advantage, usually at the expense of Joe Average.

I, also, would love to return to some mythical perfect place in the past, but unless the tea partiers get specific with what they want and have a rational plan to do it, they are nothing but a gullible, well-meaning mob egged on by old-time tent evangelists with God complexes, more than willing to allow bigotry to intrude.
John Borgen
Grand Junction

Herzog’s column on Beck
contained only one ‘fact’

Denny Herzog says Glenn Beck is hardly ever telling the truth, and is getting “PolitiFact” website ratings of “False” and, worse yet, “Pants On Fire” for his “lies.”
Herzog’s single example of a lie is Glenn saying, “We’re now offering insurance for dogs” in the health care bill.”  While that is literally false, I suspect it was made with tongue in cheek. Herzog points to “PolitiFact’s” research in supporting his own (I assume) opinion that Beck is really “fulla-bulla” to the extreme, though not as bad as Rush Limbaugh.
I looked at PolitiFact, and find that 18 Beck statements have been rated: Five “False” and three “Pants on Fire.”  The other ten are two “True,” one “Mostly True,” three “Half True” and four “Barely True.”
Having watched Glenn’s program a few times, I have seen him present various evidence of politician connections to very troubling philosophies, as well as connections with certain loony left organizations and our government. None of these kinds of claims have apparently been “analyzed” by PolitiFact, and they are far, far more troubling than doggie insurance. I did see that Obama and Biden each had three “Pants On Fire” findings.
Now I agree with Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s statement, “Everybody is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.” Herzog’s column, while full of opinion, contained only one fact; that of a “lie” that was most probably a throwaway line by Beck.
Creighton Bricker
Grand Junction

Herzog can’t compete
with Beck’s popularity

The self-described intelligent elite think that the “people” don’t get it.  I read with laughing interest Dennis Herzog’s criticism of Glenn Beck.

Beck had tens of thousands of people at his rally.  Herzog has perhaps 10 readers.
What is wrong with his picture?
Lavonne Wilson
Grand Junction

UN has no business
questioning Arizona

What gives? Is the United States not a sovereign nation made up of many sovereigns states that have the right to control their own established and long-recognized borders? If so, what gives the United Nations any right to be involved in our internal affairs?
Arizona’s actions are none of the United Nation’s business. When is the leadership of this country going to stand up to those who are trying to destroy this country and our way of life and tell them once and for all?:  “We have raked your coals out of the fire, we have helped build you up after wars, famine and natural disasters, we have freed you from tyrants. Now, we neither want nor need your advice or criticism. Clean off your own doorstep, kill your own snakes and put your hands in your pockets or use them to work because we aren’t going to continue to fill them.  We have enough enemies. We don’t need to buy any more with money, food, supplies or good deeds.”
Neal A. Ward

Wadhams makes mistake
on Dan Maes’ candidacy

Colorado made history with the nomination of conservative Republican
gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes.

Ordinary men and women are taking the driver’s seat and steering the direction of politics at every level. Witness the revolution in Nevada, where conservative Republican Sharron Angle is giving entrenched Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid a serious run for his incumbency. Reid is so flummoxed by Angle’s grassroots momentum that, for once, he has defied his president and publicly opposed the presence of an Islamic mosque near
the site of the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Maes has been dismissed as a political lightweight because of his lack of campaign experience, but his “outsider” status is his advantage in this unique election year; he has no one to pay back and no baggage to check at the Governor’s Mansion.

Many Mesa County voters confided during the primary that they genuinely like Dan and embrace his Plan for Colorado, but they didn’t believe he could win. Maes not only won, but he did so on a shoestring budget and with half the Republican party working for his opponent. Imagine the traction he can achieve when human and financial resources are rallied and the GOP is focused on victory.

State Republican Party Chairman Dick Wadhams displayed a disgraceful lack of decorum this week in presenting Dan Maes — the people’s choice — with the “opportunity” to withdraw from the race to appease political extortionist Tom Tancredo. Wadhams is squandering his opportunity to open the throttle on this race and foster unity within the ranks. Lead, follow, or get out of the way!

Carla Johnson
Mesa County Co-Director
Dan Maes for Governor
Grand Junction







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