Email Letters: October 19, 2016

Sentinel should endorse Clinton to preserve journalistic integrity

Kudos to The Sentinel’s editors for its “no brainer” endorsement of Michael Bennet for re-election as Colorado’s senior Senator (“Re-elect Bennet for Senate”). For the same fundamental reason – our Nation’s need for a competent and functional government – and to preserve its journalistic integrity, The Sentinel should also endorse Hillary Clinton for President.
Perhaps in response to local “deplorables’” whining about its purported “anti-Trump bias,” The Sentinel gave “wall-to-wall” coverage to Trump’s “whistle-stop” circus in Grand Junction yesterday – without mentioning that the turnout (less than 4000) was much smaller than Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole’s on November 3, 1996.

Predictably, the Sentinel’s coverage also included not one word of “fact-checking” – even though Charles Ashby aptly noted that Trump spent most of his 50-minute “speech” merely “repeating verbal attacks he’s launched at other campaign stops against” the media and his eminently more qualified Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton, most of which have been substantially or entirely debunked by multiple reliable sources. For example, just today the Washington Post’s “fact checker” Glenn Kessler gave Trump “three Pinocchios” (“mostly false”) for alleging collusion between the State Department and the FBI regarding a belatedly up-classified but originally “Unclassified” e-mail. See:

Likewise, FBI Director James Comey stated and testified last July that “there was no intentional misconduct in connection with” the sorting and belated destruction of Hillary’s 30,000 personal e-mails. Meanwhile, Trump still refuses to disclose his tax returns (offering only lies and false excuses), and his third “trophy wife” and resume-falsifying would-be “first lady” has not yet provided the proof he promised that she herself did not commit immigration fraud.

What becomes perfectly clear from the opinions expressed by the Trump supporters interviewed by The Sentinel’s reporters is that the Donald Trump they adulate and the Hillary Clinton they revile are both delusional figments of misinformed imaginations.

For this, The Sentinel’s reluctance to “fact-check” Trump remains substantially responsible – and can best be disabused by a forceful endorsement of Hillary Clinton for President.

Grand Junction

Man creates unpleasant situation at gas station

My 24-year old daughter drove her father to the Grand Junction airport on Tuesday and decided to go to Barnes and Noble near the mall. She stopped at a gas station to purchase gas. On one side of her was a Hispanic lady with children in the car who was obviously in distress and on the verge of tears. The lady’s credit card was not approved and there was no error code. My daughter took the lady’s card inside to see if it would work inside. It did not, and there was no error code, so she decided to put $20 worth of gas in the lady’s car.

The person on the other side of my daughter’s car was a man driving a white jacked up truck with a Confederate flag sticker on it. He had a mustache and wore a cowboy hat. He proceeded to berate my daughter for being a “dirt eating hippie,” who was probably raised in a home without a
father, that she should help her “own kind ” and on and on. Why my daughter did not call the police and have him arrested is beyond me.

Coincidentally, Donald Trump was having a rally in Grand Junction.

If he happens to read your paper, he knows he is whom I am speaking of. The political scene at this time seems to give some people the idea they can say whatever they want to people whom they assume do not agree with their political views and who they have never laid eyes on before. This man should be ashamed of himself!

For your information, whoever you are, my daughter has been raised by a wonderful father and is a college educated, employed, tax paying and respectful young lady who simply tried to do something for someone who was not white and was in distress. You, whoever you are, are a racist jackass.


Glenwood Springs

Elect commissioners who will take progressive approach to the future

If the old saying “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the sign of insanity,” then I’m afraid that Mesa County is fitting that description of insanity.

For two or three election cycles now, we have enjoyed the unprecedented lack of forward vision by our county commissioners. It seems that they can only rely upon extractive industries to try to make Mesa County work. The boom and bust cycles of the last 50 or so years do not seem to give them any direction as to trying to not repeat this long and painful history.

So, here we are a few weeks from the election. At this time we have the opportunity to change the direction of the county. Changing the direction from that of the very conservative extractive industries direction, to a direction of a more progressive approach to the future is something that we really need to do.

If we indeed want to change the direction of the county, and go away from very limited and restrictive and unsuccessful approaches to things, we need to elect new leadership. This is why I am strongly suggesting that if we do want to change the direction of the county we need to support Mel Mulder and David Edwards.

Both Edwards and Mulder state in their platforms that they will listen to all of the people, not just a selected few. They will also represent all of the people in the county, not just a selected few. Neither of them have ties to the Chamber of Commerce, nor to any extractive industries. Mulder and Edwards are both candidates who will represent the citizens of the county more honestly.

Grand Junction

Conscience is perhaps the most important element in one’s life

When I was young (during the Nixon era) I was taught that conscience was perhaps the most important element in one’s life, both in political matters and earning a living. Ralph Nader came along in 2000 to remind us to vote our hopes, not our fears. “Vote for the greater good, not the lesser evil.” Morality matters. To quote the legendary mountain man, Hugh Glass (“the Revenant”): “...truth and fidelity are too valuable to be trifled with.”

Grand Junction

Amendment 71 limits people’s ability to have a say in government

Those pushing for Amendment 71 tell you they want the process to be more inclusive to areas of Colorado, such as the Western Slope. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Amendment 71 limits the people’s ability to have a say in government, especially on the Western Slope.

The amendment process was designed to give people a voice when the Legislature does not listen. If the people of the Western Slope lose their ability to put legislation on the ballot, they will be forced to put their needs in front of the Legislature, which is almost entirely controlled by Denver. Can you count on politicians from Denver to be sympathetic to the needs of Grand Junction? Can you trust the Legislature to do the right thing when special interests infuse money into the system? The amendment process allows any citizen from any part of the state to be heard. Your ideas cannot be tabled for later debate or blocked through procedural votes by politicians from Denver and Boulder. Your voice can be heard. If we make the amendment process harder than it already is to achieve, the power in our state becomes even more skewed to our Legislature and Denver politicians. Without Denver on board, nothing will get accomplished. We can’t rely on Denver to do what is right for the Western Slope.

Those pushing for 71 to pass are being dishonest when they say it takes the power away from Denver. In fact, it gives Denver and Boulder more power since they control our Legislature. The amendment process will then be left to the wealthy and connected, as it will be out of reach of the average citizen, and the people will be left without a voice. Please vote no on 71.


Mesa County Commissioners support Raise the Bar, Amendment 71

The Mesa County Commissioners support Raise the Bar, Amendment 71, because, as part of this initiative, signatures must come from all of the Senate Districts; not just the Congressional Districts. This will ensure that all of the required signatures for ballot measures do not come just from the I-25 corridor but are actually representative of all our communities, including the Western Slope. We do not take endorsements of ballot initiatives lightly, but this amendment is that important. Make sure your voice is included in the conversation on amending our Colorado Constitution. Vote yes on Amendment 71.


Grand Junction

After election, work to provide substance to values that inspired votes

I can’t stop thinking about Wednesday, Nov. 9. After Election Day, then what?

Although I’m a member of and minister in the United Church of Christ and not a United Methodist, I am praying now that I can live deeply into the wisdom of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who in 1774 offered this spiritual and oh-so-pragmatic counsel: “I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them 1) to vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy, 2) to speak no evil of the person they voted against, and 3) to take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that had voted on the other side.”

Wesley’s words are important but they are not nearly enough, I remind myself. The values that will lead me to vote for this candidate over that one on Nov. 8 are values that will need not only to be voiced but also embodied the day after the election, and in the months and years to follow. Stating the obvious: it’s one thing to hold a value and then vote it; far more difficult is to give the ideals that inspire and inform my vote consistent shape and substance after Election Day. Borrowing from Mahatma Gandhi, the day after I cast my ballot is the day I resolve anew to “be the change [I] wish to see in the world].

No matter who our next president is I know I will have my values-based work cut out for me. But I also know I won’t be doing this alone – and this knowledge truly makes all the difference.



Unaffiliated voter discriminated against for election employment

I have worked as a Mesa County election judge since 2008, most times as a lead in the mail ballot room. This year I am not allowed to work the election. I have been told by the election’s staff that it is because I am unaffiliated. (The other lead in the mail ballot room was also unaffiliated.)

Apparently since the 2014 election, the Secretary of State has passed or allowed to pass citations that in summary read as follows: “Both the Colorado Revised Statutes and the Colorado Secretary of State’s Election Rules (citations below) require that each major political party submit a list of recommended election judges to the County Clerk. The Clerk is then required, by statute and rule, to only appoint election judges whose names appear on those lists. If those major party lists become exhausted during the appointment process and all of the election judge vacancies are not yet filled, the Clerk is then required to fill the remaining vacancies with individuals from lists that have been submitted by the minor political parties. And it is only when those minor political party lists have been exhausted, that the Clerk may then appoint unaffiliated voters who have offered to serve as election judges.”

1-6-102, Colorado Revised Statutes
1-6-104(3), Colorado Revised Statutes
Election Rule 6.1.2

When did employment opportunity based on party affiliation become an accepted part of the process? Not only am I being discriminated against because I choose to keep an open mind and do not want to align myself with a major party, but I am being blocked from working for the county because of my political persuasion. Could discrimination be any more blatant? Just to keep things in perspective, when I was given this information I looked up the voter registration statistics for the county and the state. As of Sept. 5th 2016, unaffiliated voters represent the largest portion of voters in the state, over 34 percent of the electorate and we are the second largest portion of voters here in Mesa County.

Since I have been a part of the process I was always impressed by the attempt that had been made to keep the election process as clearly unbiased as possible, always having people of different parties (this included all parties: major, minor and unaffiliated) work together.

The only trouble I ever saw with regard to this was when the Republican or Democratic parties sent their representatives to work the election. They were combative, constantly criticizing, and trying to intimidate people to their way of thinking. I know for a fact that these party designees had to be warned by election officials on more than one occasion about their actions. These same parties are now controlling the selection of all the election judges. Sure doesn’t make me feel more confident that the process is above reproach. I am at a loss as to how and why such discriminatory policies could have been instituted and why we allow them to continue.

Grand Junction

Gail Schwartz will represent the people instead of special interests

The American people want a functioning government. It’s time to get a representative for Colorado’s third congressional district who will truly represent the people – not play partisan politics.

Gail Schwartz knows how to reach across the aisle, how to listen to constituents, and how to represent the people instead of special interests. Our current representative has let the oil and gas lobby write the bills he introduces to Congress, and has sponsored legislation that would eventually privatize much of our public lands. He plays partisan politics, continually voting the party line and failing to reach across the aisle. He even continues to support Trump, despite many responsible Republicans calling for an un-endorsement.

Schwartz received the endorsement of the Grand Junction Sentinel – despite the fact they endorsed Tipton in the previous elections. If you truly are tired of a dysfunctional government, then vote for change. Vote for Gail Schwartz!


Abortion is important issue at stake in the election

In the next few days we are going to be asked to pick the next leaders of our nation. We find ourselves deciding whether to continue as the greatest diverse but free peoples the world has ever known or go the way of most of the world and descend into the tyranny of totalitarian dictatorship – an act of Western Culture suicide. Our choice is contained in the two very different party platforms [goals].

The most important issue for all humans is how their government protects life from conception to natural death. One party platform states 1] they are pro – life. 2] They do not support partial birth abortion [while the child is being born the brain is sucked out]. 3] Will nominate pro-life Supreme Court justices 4] does not support physician assisted suicide [in Colorado Proposition 106]. This is basically, a platform that embraces the culture of life.

The other political party 1] endorses Roe vs. Wade- the law that is responsible for 59 million deaths of American babies since 1973. 2] This party would not oppose partial birth abortion 3] Would only nominate Supreme Court Justices who would keep abortion [Roe vs. Wade] as the law of the land. They would have America stay in the culture of death

There are still, the wonderful voices of our founding fathers and Abraham Lincoln as they called us to the new concept of the culture of life – “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

To me these words sound like the call to the culture of life found in the political party of Lincoln that is still viable in their pro-life platform. Hopefully we can, by speaking truth to power, return America back to the “right to life” for all, by our vote and voices [prayers] to our Creator.
Hopefully in this election we can ask God to again Bless America.



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See also award of 4 Pinocchios to Trump’s two “whoppers” alleging widespread voter fraud:

Dear Ms. Patton:  HOLY ####!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If Bill’s mother was a Republican he would hate her too!

You prove my point again:

Petraeus actually mishandled classified material, and may have endangered national security, lied to the FBI, and plead guilty.

Hillary received unclassified e-mails that were retroactively up-classified, her private server was never compromised (but could have been), did not lie to the FBI, and was essentially exonerated.

Yet you believe that Hillary’s mistake in using a private server was worse than Petraeus giving his adulterous mistress his highly classified briefing books.

By the way, what “language” do you find objectionable—fool?

Mr. Hugenberg:  BOTH “mis-handled” classified material.  Just having that classified material on her own ‘home-brew’ server is ‘mis-handling’. (Removed and held in a non-secure area)  My point was that Petraeus was punished, and Clinton hasn’t been.  Comey answered in the affirmative when asked by Gowdy if Clinton had classified material on her server, and when asked if she used just one device.  I don’t know how the FBI’s questions were framed when put to Clinton - do you?  That was apparently a private session at her place in Chappaqua.  I haven’t seen the printed questions, or the answers, so it is hard for me (or you) to determine IF she ‘lied’ to the FBI, or not.  There is no ‘intent’ required to be found guilty, but Comey thinks there is.  Even he laid out all the ways she was afoul of the law - then stated that “no prosecutor would bring this case”. (not his exact words)  You’re supposed to be a lawyer of some sort, (according to Seaton) so tell me:  Does Comey have standing to decide if a Grand Jury should have the case, or if it is to be turned over to the AG (Lynch) for determination?  I know Lynch said that she would accept whatever determination Comey made, (right after she had a meeting with Slick Willy on the tarmac in Phoenix) and Gowdy says that shouldn’t have happened, either.  “One of the first things you learn in law school” is the way I remember it as stated.  As a prosecutor, you don’t have conversations with family members under investigation.  Now, if you cannot figure out what ‘language’ you used that I am admonished to not use - you’re not much of a reader, or lawyer.  I’m done here.

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