Printed Letters: October 6, 2016

Colorado citizens, keep authority to petition

There will be an anti-democratic provision on the Colorado ballot this coming November that is critical to oppose. Amendment 71 will change our ballot initiative process, making it more difficult for citizens to organize for change.

Ballot initiatives exist for a reason. They give citizens the opportunity to alter the constitution or strike down laws. Citizens have a right to come together to campaign for an issue they are passionate about, get it on the ballot, and then let the voters decide the outcome.

This is particularly important when it comes to issues regarding animal cruelty. Protecting animals is not always a priority in the Legislature, so voters have had to resort to ballot initiatives to achieve reform, such as a constitutional amendment to stop the use of barbaric and indiscriminate steel-jawed leghold traps and other body-gripping traps that was approved by voters.

Vote “no” on Amendment 71 come Election Day and keep the authority to petition squarely with the citizens of Colorado.


When was America 
ever ‘not great?’

A question that keeps creeping into my mind is: when did America become not great? If, as Trump says, he can “make America great again” when did we become not great?  One has to assume he and his followers must agree that America is not great and must be made great again or that slogan would not be used to define his campaign.


EPA, BLM have responsibility to limit air pollutants

In response to Dennis Webb’s article “Air impacts from Utah projects hit BLM radar screen,” I hope it’s hitting the radar screens of the citizens of Mesa County.

Air quality in the Grand Valley is greatly impacted already without the prospects of another “oil shale” project or the impact of 9,000 new wells in the coming decades just across the border. I’m appreciative of the EPA for taking notice and demanding a more thorough assessment. The BLM has taken positive steps recently with the new methane rules and it’s time they were implemented without interference.

The EPA and the BLM have a shared responsibility to limit damaging air pollutants that have already surpassed dangerous levels and consider carefully a future where “energy development” is not solely defined by fossil fuels.

Grand Junction

Schwartz is the clear choice for 3rd Congressional District

In the upcoming election we will be choosing a Congressional representative for the 3rd District, our district. The race is between Scott Tipton (incumbent) and Gail Schwartz. This is a race between an obstructionist who, as a member of his party, has made sure that nothing was done in Congress during his term and a progressive who, during her tenure in the Statehouse, was the primary sponsor and originator of more than 11 major pieces of legislation. Schwartz wrote and passed legislation covering education, economic development of renewable resources and development of health care professionals in southern Colorado. She wrote and passed bills that allowed our universities to expand and our public schools to build, even with TABOR in place. She even wrote a bill that allowed dentists who were licensed in other states and were in good standing to be able to volunteer their services in Colorado, addressing a need in the southeastern part of our state.

What has our incumbent done for us? With the exception of signing a pledge to oppose any bill that would fight global warming and a pledge to be obedient to Grover Norquist (Google this guy, seriously) he has collected wages and done nothing. As far as I can see, Tipton has not even done his constitutional job (as a member of the Republican-controlled Congress) to submit a budget. (See section 7, article 1 of the U.S. Constitution). Oh yes, he did have his Super PAC, “Colorado Future Fund” (funded by major Texas oil and gas driller SG Interests of Houston) registered at the address of his then campaign attorney and run by a law clerk of his campaign attorney’s law firm in Denver. This is in violation of federal election law, which states that a PAC cannot coordinate its activities with a candidate’s campaign.

There you have it, an incumbent who is a solid member of the “do nothing” Congress, beholden to Texas oil and gas interests or Gail Schwartz, an equally solid member of a set of people who want to see improvement in Colorado and our country and who are willing to put themselves out there to accomplish the job. This election is not about what party a candidate belongs to but rather what have the candidates done for Colorado. Clearly the choice is Gail Schwartz.



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