E-mail letters, August 27, 2010

Vote against Amend. 60 and 61 and Prop. 101 if you like paying taxes

In response to the Bill Grant column published Aug. 25, let me just propose this: If you like to pay taxes (fees, levy, etc. or whatever the Colorado Supreme Court decides is not really a tax), then vote against Amendments 60, 61 and Proposition 101.

As an independent voter, I suppose that I still fall into Grant’s category of “disaffected minions” because I support the measures which will bring taxation and budgets back into control here in Colorado.  Remember the TABOR (Tax Payers Bill Of Rights) of 1992? Our state government servants (politicians, of both parties) have tried nearly every trick in the book to subvert our right to restrict new taxation via TABOR.

Grant refers to supporters of these measures as being “powers behind the plan have been shrouded in mystery”; not so with those who are against the proposals: “Protect Colorado’s Communities” and “Coloradans for Responsible Reform.”

The $5 million plus raised by these groups comes from over 70 contributors, many of whom are from Colorado but not all: AARP (Washington, DC), Ameresco, Inc (Framingham, MA), American Council of Engineering Companies (Washington, DC), Bohannan Huston (Albuquerque, NM), Chevron (Concord, CA), Compass Bank (Bilbao, SPAIN), Corrections Corp. of America (Nashville, TN), Kutak Rock (Omaha, NE), McKinstry Co. (Seattle, WA), Michael, Baker Corp. (Moon Twp., PA), NEA (Washington, DC), Parsons Brinckerhoff (NYC), Peck, Shaffer & Williams (Cincinnati, OH), Piper Jaffray (Minneapolis, MN), R. A. Everist (Souix Falls, SD), RBC Capital Markets (Toronto, ONTARIO, CANADA), Securities Industry & Financial Markets (NYC), SEIU (Washington, DC), Stifel Nicolas (St. Louis, MO), Terracon (Olathe, KS), Wilson and Co. (Albuquerque, NM).

Twenty plus is the number of contributing entities from outside our state, including at least two from foreign countries. This is information from Colorado Secretary of State Election Center.

What do you suppose these supporters (special interests and their Republican/Democrat political allies) will get in return if the proposals fail? I know what we, the taxpayer, will get.

PETE ROSS

Montrose

Tipton failed to do his homework on SB 1

I attended a retired state and school employee meeting in Cortez in May and found Scott Tipton was going to speak. Senate Bill 1 had been passed recently and was a topic that most state employees were very interested in.

Mr. Tipton told us that he had voted against the bill because the process of adding Denver Public Schools to PERA would cost PERA recipients too much. He did not know that Senate Bill 1 really had nothing to do with the merger since the merger legislation was enacted in 2009. He was questioned on his error and was told that PERA had set up a fifth member division with a separate trust for DPS and their liabilities were not going to affect the existing Divisions (and vice versa).  He then said, “I must have been misinformed.” My thoughts were; why would you allow yourself to be misinformed on the most important legislation of the session? I also wondered if he had read the bill before voting on it

Mr. Tipton was then asked if he would support PERA’s defined benefit plan vs. a defined contribution plan. He commented that he did not want to discuss it, but the audience forced him to reconsider the question. He then asked for a further definition of the question. It was obvious he did not know the difference. It was then explained to him the difference between a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan. After further explanation, he told us he favored moving public employees to a defined contribution plan.

It appears that Legislature’s seldom read the bills they vote on. That is bad enough. But, to vote “No” on the most important legislation of the session without knowing what it said or how it might affect over 400,000 state and school employees is inexcusable.

Mr. Tipton did not do his homework or he would have known this. It is plain to see that Mr. Tipton voted as some in his leadership told him. Kudos to Sen. Penry and Rep. King for doing their homework.

ROGER FULKS, President

Colorado School and Public Employee Retirement Association

Eckert

Mosque may be legal, but that doesn’t mean it should be built

I see that in Rev. Michael J. Burr’s letter of Aug. 26, he is all for the mosque within spitting distance of the 9/11 Ground Zero. He apparently swallows all the bilge about this mosque being “a living monument” to honor all those who died. As further proof that this is the right thing to do, he references the “community board that represents the sites and the Manhattan neighborhood voted 29 to 1 in favor of the center.”

The issue never was, and is not now, religious freedom. King Tut (if he were around) could build there if he met all the legal requirements. I suspect that legality is what the 29 to 1 vote was about. I do wonder what the reason was for the one negative, though.  The issue is, and has always been, the sensitivity (or lack thereof) in putting a Mosque at this location.

Yes, the great majority of Americans, and I suspect of New Yorkers also, do object on the grounds of the sensitivity surrounding the issue. Personally, I agree with the legality, but strongly oppose based on the insensitivity being shown by the Imam and others. I also believe that the more rabid Muslims around the world will see this as another victory over the great Satan nation of infidels. And that grates on me. Let us see where the funding comes from, that might be a clue to whether this is an insult or not.

CREIGHTON BRICKER

Grand Junction



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