Email letters, June 5, 2014

Pennington’s comments indicate disregard of crime

In a recent article, Republican Steve King’s opponent for sheriff, John Pennington, said, incredulously, that he “doesn’t feel safeguarded” when he sees the MCSO’s SWAT vehicle.  Would he feel safer next to a meth house? Or he would feel safe with an armed felon, high or drunk, in the neighborhood? 

He apparently consider drugs and crime as less of a threat than do the DEA Agents who work with our local law enforcement to rid our community of this scourge, or the highly trained and professional SWAT officers whose lives he callously dismisses. His primary concern seems to be that the scary-looking SWAT vehicle might frighten certain elements of society.

I, for one, want the drug dealers and other criminals to be afraid of our local cops. I want them to be scared right out of our neighborhoods.  Maybe I even want them to be scared enough that they will stop victimizing people, stop breaking into houses and businesses taking things that don’t belong to them, stop dealing poison to our children, and stop beating, raping or stabbing people.  I want those animals who would molest our children to be absolutely terrified of our community and the cops we hire to protect us from them. 

I feel safer knowing that our cops have the Bearcat and other reasonable tools at their disposal to protect the law-abiding citizens from the predators — much safer than I would feel should someone like Pennington or Benita Phillips ever became sheriff.

I’m voting for conservative King whose loyalty is not to the ACLU or the legalization crowd, but rather to the people of Mesa County and the cops he will lead. 

MARY LU GRAHAM
Grand Junction

Sentinel strikes out

Zero balls, two strikes.

Strike 1: The Daily Sentinel coverage of the final game of the Women’s Softball World Series — a mere three inches in the “In Brief” section.

Strike 2: The name of the July 3 run sponsored by The Daily Sentinel.  The name, “The Wrong Side of the Tracks,” is extremely offensive to those who live there and to those of us who live on the right side.

CAROL GROSS
Grand Junction

Issues to consider in House race

Before casting their ballot in the Colorado House race between Dan Thurlow and Steve Acquafresca, voters should consider the following:

Acquafresca is the only Commissioner of three to admit that he knowingly voted in 2007 to exclude sales tax from Mesa County’s TABOR revenue limit calculations. He then reluctantly voted last year to re-include sales tax only after Commissioners Pugliese and Justman voted to reverse his 2007 vote. He said he wanted to make it unanimous — so much for principle.

For the past eighteen months Acquafresca has stubbornly resisted all efforts to investigate Mesa County’s numerous alleged TABOR violations.

Just this week, when asked if he thought that the Commissioners violated an Open Meetings Statute, his response was immediate and reflexive: No. A more thoughtful response from Commissioner Pugliese to the same question was, “I can see how someone might draw that conclusion.”

It is time for a change. Choose Dan Thurlow.

WILLIAM VOSS
Grand Junction

Neal understands role and limitations of state school board

Barbara Ann Smith has built her campaign on a misunderstanding of the role of the State School Board. Although she’s doing well in the GOP primary for congressional district 3, she has only one plank in her platform, and that’s opposition to Common Core. Common Core standards are controversial, and for good reason, but the process of adopting those standards is a legislative matter, out of the control of the State School Board. Smith’s one-note tune has caused many to overlook other critical issues facing the State School Board, such as school choice, funding, teacher and school accountability, rural schools, and assessments. Marcia Neal is intimately familiar with these matters, and unlike Smith, understands the role and limitations of the State School Board.

It’s doubtful that Smith could win against a Democrat opponent, but if she did, I fear she would be unprepared to tackle the myriad issues bearing down upon Colorado school districts. Neal has the support of the other Republicans on the State School Board, and has brought innovative ideas to the table for many years. Most notable is her plan to fund state schools through school trust land monies that come from resource development.

Beyond a lack of understanding, Smith seems unprepared to tackle a general election campaign. She refused to attend the CAPSS candidate forum on the grounds that she wanted only “questions from the heart,” and has dodged other opportunities to face Neal in a debate.

Though Smith touts her credentials, her human skill set is inadequate to the job of either a candidate or a leader. Should she win the GOP primary and run in the general election, Smith will be the dream candidate…for the Democrats. Neal is the only State School Board candidate equipped to carry the torch for Colorado Schools.

MARJORIE HAUN
Grand Junction

President makes poor decision regarding terrorists
Does this President have the best interest of the American people in mind? After multiple scandals and crises including Benghazi, the IRS, the VA, and Obama Care, among others, he now, of all things, ordered the release of five Taliban terrorists which participated in killing many American soldiers and civilians.

The President chose to ignore the federal law that requires Congress to be notified 30 days in advance of the release of Guantanamo Bay detainees. It is mind numbing to follow his Presidency or lack thereof.

He ran for the Presidency on the platform of “Hope and Change,” but after six years in office, I still do not see any real hope. I see a lot of change, yet unfortunately it has been negative in nature.

BOB SMILANICH
Grand Junction

King will bring conservative values to sheriff position

Mesa County needs a conservative cop as sheriff. The only candidate for sheriff that has a proven track record of standing up to both criminals and the Denver liberals is Steve King.

King has been a solidly conservative voice in the State Capitol for his entire time there. King has consistently voted to reduce wasteful government spending, lower taxes, and re-focus the state government on the few things it is supposed to do – like provide for public safety – instead of re-engineering society.

King was the leading voice in the Colorado Senate last year standing up for our Second Amendment rights, and took to the Senate floor in a 14-hour filibuster against the Democrat’s unconstitutional gun-ban bills.

King has, for the duration of his eight years in the Republican minority at the Capitol, been a dependable vote in support of free enterprise, traditional values, state’s rights, and law & order. He has supported voter ID laws, private property rights, greater state and local control of federal lands, and protections for victims of crime, all while strenuously opposing the Denver Democrat’s attempts to impose their extremist liberal agenda on the Western Slope.

King will apply these same staunchly conservative, rural values to the office of Sheriff – which his sole career as a cop has more than sufficiently prepared him for. Mesa County needs the best qualified, and most proven candidate possible to be Sheriff. They have that in Steve King.

JANET BLACKMAN
Grand Junction


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