Printed letters, June 17, 2012

I have known Woody Walcher, our write-in Republican county commissioner candidate, for many years. I cannot believe the hate mail and venom directed at him.

He has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Partners, Salvation Army, Goodwill, Hospice. Habitat for Humanity and Kiwanis during that time. He has said he will donate half of his first year’s salary to the local charities. Can any other candidates make that claim?

Walcher has also donated hundreds of hours to serving on the Mesa County Planning Commission. During his three years on the board he has an almost perfect attendance record and has gone to most of the neighborhood meetings. Can any of the other candidates make that claim?

Walcher is a solid citizen of Mesa County and people of the county will be lucky to have him working for them.

I notice most of the hate mail is coming from Republican leaders who are proving that they would rather have their hand-picked candidate than a solid conservative that the voters pick.


Grand Junction

Will Ken Henry stand on his employment record?

On the campaign trail, I have repeatedly talked about my qualifications and job experiences over the last 39 years. I’ve owned and operated my small business (a farm) for 39 years. Everyone knows what those qualifications are.

My opponent says that he graduated from college in the mid-60s. He then talks about his experiences of two terms as mayor of Fruita.

What is his employment record between college and being the mayor of Fruita? That’s about a 35-year period.

He did mention working for Countrywide Mortgage before he became mayor. Countrywide Mortgage worked closely with Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, government agencies that contributed to the housing market bust. (Both agencies do not have the best image of doing what’s best for the country.)

Yes, I took farm-program payments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that are a safety net for farmers. The years I received the most money were the years I was farming 800 acres and grain prices were extremely low, so the program did what it was supposed to do. It got me through tough years so I could plant the next year.

Eighty percent of the USDA budget goes to food stamps and the school lunch program and 20 percent goes to producers. What could food stamps buy if there were no producers?

Again, I ask what jobs did my opponent have over these years and why isn’t he talking about his employment record?




Pugliese gains voters’ trust as a fiscal conservative

We wanted to bring to light some items that were not mentioned in Gary Harmon’s article on campaign finance reports printed June 9. I see from the recently released reports available to the public that Rose Pugliese has raised $7,700 from individuals who support her efforts to be the next county commissioner.

In addition, she has received over $1,700 of non-monetary contributions (in-kind support). Equally interesting, her opponent has only raised $1,875 from a handful of supporters with zero in-kind support listed. Looking further, it was also reported that Pugliese has only spent $6,900 with a surplus of almost $800 in the bank with no debt. The reports show her opponent has a large debt.

One of the most important things we need at our local government is someone who understands what it means to be aboveboard and fiscally mindful of taxpayer dollars and can stand behind what he or she does without confusing the facts. I would encourage people to look online for themselves. It takes only a few minutes, but the information found there is astounding.

Pugliese would be as fiscally conservative as county commissioner as she has been with running her campaign. Clearly, when delving further into campaign finance reports, it is obvious who the desired choice is from the voters in Mesa County: Rose Pugliese.




Global warming used as ploy by Pugliese

Establishment candidate Rose Pugliese makes the claim that she fought for “the children” when she carried her global warming petition.

But I saw the Fox News interview in which she was asked her opinion on the issue of global warming. She told the interviewer that she “did not want to wade into the global warming debate.”

It made me wonder: What kind of person carries a petition to ask School District 51 to teach both sides of the global warming debate and then does not take a position on it?

If, on the one hand, she didn’t believe in global warming, why didn’t she enter into the debate? If, on the other hand, she believes in global warming, why carry the petition?

I think when Pugliese refused to take a position on the global warming debate on Fox News, she exposed herself for concocting an issue as a cheap political ploy for a future run for office.


Grand Junction


Ken Henry claims too much credit for Fruita advances

Ken Henry came unraveled when John Justman received ample votes at the county assembly to make the ballot. While still at the assembly, Henry began name-calling. He later offered John an almost apology. It implied his words were taken out of context (darn Sentinel). I wonder whom he’ll blame if he apologizes to the commissioners for trashing them during a Fruita debate.

News flash: “Talking the talk” does mean using both sides of the mouth.

At one meet-the-candidates gathering, Henry was asked about “personal property rights” and Fruita disregarding 550 petition signers who requested removing trails from Fruita’s maps, trails that would cross private property beyond Fruita’s boundaries. Henry said he wasn’t responsible, that he didn’t vote because the mayor only votes to break ties. It’s mind-boggling how he single-handedly accomplished so much in Fruita without even having a vote.

I’ve heard Henry’s speeches and debates and read his reaction to Josh Penry’s support of John Justman. I’ve yet to hear him credit staff or City Manager Clint Kinney, who does “manage” Fruita. As a former personnel director for the city of Grand Junction, I know these folks deserve major credit for the good things in Fruita.

And how about a wee bit of credit for the six council members who probably didn’t just sit by in total awe of the miraculous solo performance of their leader? Ken Henry needs to understand that if you toot your own horn constantly, the word “blowhard” comes to mind.

Josh Penry got it right. If you know John Justman, you know ethics are a priority for him. He will use his vast experience and knowledge both in the public and private sector to do the best job for Mea County citizens.




John Justman’s character, experience engender trust

I would like to voice my support for John Justman for county commissioner. I have known Justman for more than 35 years. He is the kind of person we need in public office — someone who is honest above all, who actually knows how to do productive work and approaches problems with common sense and experience and who is not a professional politician.

Justman has served on boards and committees for the past 30-some years, besides farming. Justman is one of very few people in Mesa County who makes his living from farming with no outside job or other income to help support the farm. In this day and time, in this place, that is a major accomplishment.

Justman understands water and land use better than most people. He has lived it for nearly 40 years.

I trust him to make the best decisions possible for all the people of Mesa County and for our land, water, taxes, freedom and quality of life.

I urge everyone to vote for Justman for county commissioner.


Grand Junction


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