Printed letters, Sept. 17, 2010

Rally was about industry, not about finding jobs

I was disturbed upon attending the Rally for Jobs on Sept. 10 at Two Rivers Convention Center. People were being forcibly detained and their personal posters supporting the rally were taken before they were allowed in.

The posters were not looked at, and no one seemed to know who told security to deny entrance to those with their own signs. Our First Amendment right of freedom of speech was subverted.

I understand about not wanting profanity expressed, but these posters were not even looked at. One was told to use the signs the organizers had made up only.

Also, the limited speakers in the rally were business owners from the community, not workers.

What an orchestrated event. It had everything to do with building up the oil and gas business and nothing to do with the people looking for jobs.


Grand Junction

State should cease running up debt

The hired gun opposing the three tax relief ballot issues 60, 61 and 101 did not give the facts. Strategist Rick Reiter said at the recent debate it is “literally insane” for our state to pay off its debts.

Our 1876 constitution says, “The state shall not contract any debt by loan in any form.” I don’t think our founding fathers were insane. Government lawyers and judges have twisted that sentence so much that the state now has $17 billion in illegal debt. The state voter guide says state debt has tripled in the past 10 years, and annual repayment costs have doubled.

Amendment 61 ends the loopholes and commits to repaying that illegal debt. (It still allows local debt by voter approval.) The state has $2.2 billion in cash and over $15 billion in net assets to pay for construction projects. Saving hundreds of millions in yearly interest costs will allow the state to do more projects.

See under “Opposition Funding.” It shows Reiter made $800,000 for his 2008 campaign work on several ballot measures. He will make even more for trying to deceive voters this time. He has $5.8 million in corporate donations so far; about 30 percent are out of state. Only 0.1 percent of donations come from individuals.

Unlike issue supporters, all volunteers according to campaign reports,  Reiter has hired people to speak against the issue. They are paid $3,500, $9,900, $20,000, and more. Why won’t the press report this? I trust a volunteer more than someone paid to say whatever it takes to win an election.

I’m voting “Yes” on 60, 61, and 101.



Ballot measures will cause Colorado to go bankrupt

With the economic decline of the past 18 months in Colorado, the last thing our beautiful state needs is to go bankrupt. That is exactly where we will find ourselves within the next 18 months if Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 pass on the November ballot.

Our state’s Constitution requires a balanced budget. These measures would eliminate one quarter of the income tax, half of the public school tax and nearly all of the vehicle license plate funds for roads and bridges.

If Amendment 60 were to pass, public school funding, which was voted on by Colorado citizens, would consume 99 percent of Colorado’s general fund budget because the state is required to backfill funding for schools where local sources don’t.

Right now, Mesa County voters have a right to say “Yes” or “No” to borrowing money to build roads, schools, jails, etc. If Amendment 61 were to pass, Mesa County, Mesa State College, the city of Grand Junction or District 51 would have to pay cash for $15 million buildings and our right to vote on those decisions would be eliminated. I don’t believe that any of those entities have that kind of money sitting around after the double-digit percentage cuts over the last 18 months.

Proposition 101 would reduce vehicle licensing fees, state income tax and telephone fees to levels not seen since the early 1900s and, the last time I checked, businesses move to areas that have attractive infrastructure, effective transportation systems which include roads and highways, and most importantly, schools that offer productive opportunities for learning.

Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 will place Colorado in a permanent recession and cause another 73,000 people to go to unemployment offices.

JIM SMYTH, President

Mesa Valley Education Association

Grand Junction


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