Email letters, Jan. 31, 2012

Bradford’s actions suggests she might not be fit to serve

A recent incident involving District 55 Rep. Laura Bradford highlights the difficulty many people have facing up to personal responsibility.

On Jan 25, Rep. Bradford was stopped by police after being observed driving erratically late at night in downtown Denver. Bradford admitted she had been drinking, and was administered a roadside sobriety test, which she failed.

At some point during the contact, the Denver Post has reported that “... Bradford pointed out to police that she could not be arrested because of Article Five, Section 16 of the state constitution ...” As a result, Bradford was issued a simple traffic citation, her car was locked and she proceeded on her way in a cab rather than being compelled to submit to a mandatory blood test prior to the possibility of being charged with DUI.

The statute Bradford cited is an antiquated law granting state legislators immunity from arrest while traveling to or from the statehouse while the legislature is in session.

As a constituent, I find Rep. Bradford’s invocation of legislative immunity to avoid accepting personal responsibility for her unwise action very alarming, and must now question her fitness to represent me in the Legislature. To mitigate further damage to her political career, she should immediately reject immunity and face the music like the rest of us would have to in a similar situation.

Grand Junction

Oppose legislation taking control from local governments

The Republican Party purports that they are opposed to big government and support small, localized government. Two members of the state legislature, Republicans Sen. Harvey and Rep. McNulty, are presently introducing legislation on behalf of the gas and oil drilling industry that would strip or limit the local county and city governments of their ability to regulate this industry and transfer this power to the state government.

Their stated reasons for doing this is that the gas and oil industry affects the entire state, however, this industry affects different areas of the state in different ways and that is why the local governments must retain the power to regulate it based on the impacts that the industry has on a particular area. Big state government cannot do this.

It appears that the actions by these public servants are in violation of their duty to represent the people of the state and violates Section II of the state Constitution relating to the Sovereignty of the People and is an abuse of power.

I urge that all citizens contact the public servants that represent them and instruct them to oppose this legislation in its entirety.

Battlement Mesa

Picture of man recycling was refreshing to see

Regarding the picture of a man David Lindsey in Jan 28 edition of The Daily Sentinel picking up scrap to sell at Van Gundy’s recycle: It was refreshing to see some enthusiasm from someone for a change. I give him a salute. He is setting a good example for everyone to follow. Thanks.

Grand Junction

Commission was right to oppose pipeline

As wine growers and peach producers in Mesa County, we would like to publicly thank the Mesa County Commission for recently passing a resolution opposing the Flaming Gorge Pipeline. The proposed project would be a 560-mile pipeline delivering water from the Western Slope to the Front Range at an estimated cost of $7–$9 billion to build.

Businesses like ours and others in the area rely on the tourism economy and the dollars that flow into our area when people come to visit. Protecting Western Slope water now and for generations to come should be a priority and we are glad the commissioners agree by opposing this massively expensive water diversion project.

As local agricultural producers and business owners, we understand the financial importance of a healthy river system on the west side of the mountains. The Flaming Gorge Pipeline would be an expensive mistake.

Talbott Farms
Carlson Vineyards

Why no coverage of March for Life?

“75 protesters march at Super Bowl Village” in the Jan. 29 edition of The Daily Sentinel deserved a half-page space — with a picture, too? Yet when hundreds of thousands of mostly young people marched on Washington, D.C. to the Supreme Court steps on Jan. 22 — the March for Life — there is not a single sentence in this paper. Biased coverage? What is the mainstream media afraid of?

Grand Junction

Recycling businesses are missed

Years ago when we moved to Grand Junction, there were two very special businesses. Van Gundy’s and Bonner provided recycled materials useful to farmers, artists, mechanics, really folks of all kinds.

My husband and I spent many hours shopping for items necessary for our various projects. The price was right and we were recycling in a meaningful way.

When Bonner sold, most of the scrap was cleared out and the public is no longer able to go out into the yard. Pretty much if you want something you will need to buy new.

Van Gundy’s was greatly diminished by the parkway and now has been sold. Not having the recycling that these two businesses provided handicaps all kinds of business and they will be greatly missed.

Grand Junction

Why weaken an economic stabilizer?

The Pacey Economic and Fiscal Impacts Report released in November states that “PERA payments are a critical source of reliable predictable income and provide an ‘automatic economic stabilizing effect’ on state, regional and local economies, especially in economic downturns as these monies provide important stimulus in market activity.”

The research conducted by Pacey and McNulty further states that “PERA provides $3.03 billion annually” in benefit payments to Colorado residents. “These monthly benefits represent 3.3 percent of the total wage income of the state and as much as 12 to 14 percent in some rural counties.” “When a household receives PERA benefit payments, it represents an infusion of income into the local economy that creates a chain of economic activities whose total impact is greater than the initial benefit payments.” A ripple effect takes place where a recipient’s spending becomes someone else’s income.

Some legislators and other elected officials would have us believe that PERA should be once again reformed, effectively ignoring the comprehensive legislation enacted in 2010 that returned PERA to long-term sustainability. The 2012 legislative session has seen several bills introduced that would weaken and eventually dismantle a system that has worked for over 80 years.

The question we should all be asking is why would they want to weaken and eventually eliminate an economic stabilizer that is vital to every business in the state, generates $230 million in tax revenue, and creates more than 23,000 jobs?


Candidates need to move beyond tax minutia

The economist, Thomas Sowell, recently wrote, “If you want to help people, you tell them the truth. If you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear.” President Obama practices the latter in his class warfare pontificating concerning tax rates and his bashing of the rich. The top 1 percent already pay 38 percent of all income taxes, while the bottom 47 percent pay nothing. Why is that not fair enough?

I am not concerned over the tax records of presidential candidates as I assume that the IRS ensures that they pay in accordance with the law. The most memorable thing I learned from past such records was that Biden and Kerry gave almost nothing to charity before they decided to run for national office. This was more a reflection on their character rather than their finances.

I ran the following tax profile on my 2010 Turbotax program for a family of four. Income $100,000, charitable donations $4,000, mortgage interest $12,000, real estate taxes $2,000 and state taxes $2,000.  The result was a federal tax of $8,969, less than 9 percent of total income, even though the marginal tax rate had reached 25 percent. Therefore, it is most unlikely that Warren Buffett’s secretary paid a higher rate on her total income than her boss. In fact, 97 percent of all in come taxes submitted average less than 12 percent of total income.

Let us hope that the presidential candidates and the president can get passed such inconsequential minutia and tell us how they intend to solve the real crises of government overspending at $4 billion a day.

Sen. Hiram Johnson said during World War I, “The first casualty when war comes is truth.” It would seem as if this thinking also applies to political warfare, particularly with the pro-poverty Obama administration.



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