What outrageous trickery the county officials played on us concerning County Question 1C ("Wording is everything," News, Oct. 28)!
My husband voted "yes" and I voted "no" when we were in complete agreement that the county commissioners should not have more than two terms. You could say we canceled each other's votes out, but actually we both lost.
I strongly believe impeachment proceedings for the current county commissioners should begin immediately! Of course, now that outgoing Republican Commissioner Wayne Williams is our newly elected clerk and recorder, fat chance that will happen.
So the commissioners, all Republicans, move forward to the 39th year of their hold on El Paso County. Does this not resemble some African country's stranglehold on elections?
— Elaine Brush
Trust. All politicians claim to value your trust and, in theory, work to attain it. And they certainly act surprised and upset when citizens express their distrust, both of a politician in particular and government in general. It is a few short steps from not trusting a given politician to becoming completely anti-government.
Which makes the recent actions by our county commissioners so destructive. The wording on the term-limit extension proposals just passed into law is best described as misleading, devious and underhanded. And the county officials went so far as to clearly state that they worded the questions specifically in an attempt to obscure the true meaning!
I cannot believe that the conservative citizens of El Paso County would have approved of these proposals if the proper meaning of extending term limits had been clear on the ballots. I spotted it right away when I voted, but I'm guessing that many others pushed the "Yes" button thinking they were imposing a limit on government officials, not weakening that limit.
So to all those county officials who will be looking for our trust and confidence in the future, good luck! Once you are known as being underhanded, everyone will assume that you will be true to form.
— Niel Powers
Limited impact, part 2
Thomas Jefferson advocated term limits "to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office the members of the Continental Congress." Evidently the El Paso County commissioners don't think such sage words should apply to them.
Not only did Sallie Clark, Amy Lathen, Wayne Williams and Dennis Hisey bring such a resolution to extend their own terms in office (including Williams, just elected county clerk), they also phrased it in such a way as to lead many readers to believe they were in fact limiting their terms in office.
Why not just ask the electorate, "Shall the County Commissioners' present term limits be modified from two terms to three terms?" Pretty simple and straightforward — "modify" being the key word here, as opposed to "limit." In fact, the wording used in the resolution presented at the Board of County Commissioners meeting was a "Resolution ... whether to Modify the Current Term Limits..."
Elected officials are called upon to make numerous decisions, and not all of us will agree with every decision they make. However, a decision to craftily word a ballot issue which inures directly to their benefit is not acceptable and creates the impression of deception. Unfortunately, trust seems to be an issue with our elected officials, and this incident will do nothing to increase that trust. The citizens of El Paso County deserve better.
One recourse, of course, is to deny them the privilege of your vote for their third term.
— Linda M. Dyer
Bruce helps Bennet
I would like to thank the Colorado Republican Party, and especially Doug Bruce, for doing their part to help elect Sen. Michael Bennet.
1. They nominated a radical candidate, Ken Buck, rather than a sensible one, which allowed Bennet to get just enough of the center to win.
2. The Republican governor debacle probably depressed the Republican vote. Dan Maes turned out to be a joke, and when Tom Tancredo is your rational choice ... perhaps the most rational thing to do is stay home.
3. (And here is where Dougie comes in.) Amendments 60 and 61 and Proposition 101 scared a lot of people, and brought them to the polls. If the 25 to 30 percent who supported the measures were almost all Buck voters, that means that most of the people who opposed them also voted for Bennet. In a close election, those energized to oppose the measures were enough to put Bennet over the top.
Cool beans! Thanks for putting those measures on the ballot, Doug. My warmest regards.
— Frank Krajcovic
Root of all evil
Well, now that the election is over, let's all say it out loud: The decision made by our beloved Supreme Court screwed the average American and totally manipulated this election for the benefit of the wealthy. Sounds like 2000 all over again.
So, now that it is over, let's have an honest and complete accounting of who all donated money to the different organizations and how much they gave. I think the American people deserve to know who paid for all the attack ads and how they were controlled by the rich who want to get richer.
I demand an accounting from each and every political action committee to be published so all can see how the very wealthy in this country (and others) paid to manipulate the voters. And I strongly encourage someone with guts to bring this issue to the Supreme Court justices to undo the damage they have done.
— Jane Madden
It is a cool sunny Sabbath afternoon in Maryland as I read the Washington Post's headlines and editorial page. Nearly a week after the election, D.C. pundits and other like-minded souls are lamenting the results.
The Post's headline says, "Democrats pin losses on Obama's disconnect." Another headline warns, "Virginia's Democrats at political crossroads." Rather than place any blame on themselves, outgoing politicians chose to blame someone else for their failures. The primary gist: Obama is not Bill Clinton in the sense that he's not an extrovert.
In Colorado Springs, some GOP candidates are no brighter than the Dems. Maybe the Independent had it right; Hickenlooper is a better choice. Tancredo and Maes were so egotistical; they didn't give a hoot about what was best for Colorado. Maybe Coloradans deserve what is coming down the pike with Sen. John Morse still the head liberal under the gold dome. Plus we still have Sen. Michael Bennet at the bid of Obama, at least for two more years.
Maybe the change to a strong mayor will be best for Colorado Springs, though I didn't vote in favor. In April, let's clean house of all the voices of gloom and doom on Council.
Let's get a Sean Paige type as mayor, someone who won't be intimidated by Utilities or Memorial Hospital. Someone who won't let the Chamber of Commerce or Housing and Building Administration dominate the political landscape! Someone who will be equally concerned about seniors, retired military and the business community! Someone who will get the city's salaries, pension plans and benefits back in line with the private sector! Someone who understands the value of the military in our community!
It should be a fun four years to watch this unfold — if there is such a person out there.
— Duane C. Slocum
How delightful that Larimore Nicholl ("Reading habits," Letters, Nov. 4) has regaled us with a tale of his encounter with "Harley." (Quite the unique moniker — must've been embroidered in good ol' red-white-and-blue on his Klan robe.)
What's amazing is that I had a similar encounter on the street of a parallel universe — Manitou — with a lady named Starshine (which was scribed in henna on her cheek). Like Harley, she was also reading a newspaper.
"Damned ignorant voters," she snapped. "Kicking out the Dems and their methods of public betterment."
"Maybe it's a referendum on what is seen as too intrusive and domineering an agenda by the current administration," I suggested, noticing the weathered "Hope" button on her Nehru jacket's lapel.
She griped some more. "Damned Teabaggers (har-har) railing against health care reform. Why do they want babies to suffer and seniors to perish?"
"So it's better to impose policy, even if it's flawed to begin with, impossible to implement and the majority is against it?"
"Yeah, and income redistribution," she said, stroking her dog-eared copy of Marx.
"But doesn't the Constitution say we should all have certain, individual, inalienable rights?"
She glowered and barked, "It doesn't say that in the Constitution!"
"Well, I think people worry about not having a choice in how to live their lives, while policy-makers on both sides of the aisle with specific agendas dictate to us how we should think and act as a model for society."
"Cost of enlightened governing," she said. "Look at what the First Lady is trying to accomplish with her push for healthier eating habits and such."
"But doesn't her husband smoke ... a lot?"
She glared above her rose-colored, round-lensed glasses and returned to the MMJ advertising section of the Indy.
— Jeff Faltz
I read the message from the father of a 20-something average American heroin addict ("Heroin happens," Letters, Nov. 4), and it hit close to home. My brother, a college graduate with a degree in mathematics, is a heroin addict, and his addiction would come as a surprise to so many. He was a well-dressed, intelligent, polite guy with an unassuming disposition who has become the monster that everyone fears.
Heroin is not just for the hopeless junkies who seemingly came from bad neighborhoods with sundry pasts. It's an epidemic infiltrating our suburban neighborhoods. It's a mammoth beast of an addiction that can turn anyone into a sociopath. Its relapse rate is astronomical. Its consequences are often irrevocable and, in many cases, fatal.
My brother went from being a guy with a bright future to a junkie on the streets of Denver. I haven't spoken with him in months, but last I heard he was in a stolen car and pawned a bunch of things which I am sure he didn't rightfully own. He's been in and out of rehab and detox centers, and he never makes it through a program. He's been to jail. He has been thrown out of halfway houses and religious programs designed to help him. His desire to change is only as apparent as his desire not to starve to death, but as soon as he gets back on his feet, so to speak, he takes off.
Heroin affects so many more than just the junkie who uses; it affects any person who loves that junkie, and those who love them. It's a poison in the veins of our community, and there needs to be a very real acknowledgment of this urban-to-suburban crossover, or our hospitals will be filled with overdosed average kids with track marks.
I hope your family weathers this storm, heroin-addict father, and I sympathize. My word of advice is only that you never turn your back, because your desire to believe that your son is better can overcome your logic in knowing that he's lying.
I hope that your circumstances fare better than mine did, and that your words (and maybe mine) can turn some heads in the direction of awareness.
— Jessica L. Tozer
Hoping for happiness
The use of heroin is not limited to the 20-somethings. My son began using black tar heroin around the time he turned 17. He is now 20 and has had multiple relapses. It is a very difficult drug to stay away from. Every time he has had a relapse, it usually takes us months to figure it out.
My son, too, initially thought since he was smoking something, it couldn't be that bad for him. Parents, watch for signs of foil with burnt black spots in the middle ... they heat up the heroin on the foil and inhale it. Watch for black soot marks on their hands and arms. Watch for parts of writing pens ... they take apart the pen and use the hollow tube to inhale the smoke.
Parents, you can carry the guilt for this usage — if you want to. Remember, these "kids" are making their own choices, just like we did. It is not your fault. Your child may not be able to stay clean without professional help.
As a mother, I am hoping for a happy ending. My son has been clean for two months. He is seeing a counselor and a psychologist. He is taking an opiate inhibitor called Suboxone. It is not addictive. He is happy, has a new job and just moved out on his own.
Brightest blessings to all, especially those dealing with addictions with our children.
— Name withheld
Last week's Audiofile on Truckstop Honeymoon was written by Nick Chambers rather than Bill Forman, to whom it was accidentally attributed. The Indy regrets the error.