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City Council campaign finance, Helen Collins on gay people, and conservative bellyaching



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They are not a PAC

Reading the "Looking for signs: Who's pumping cash into City Council campaigns?" article in the March 27 edition of the Independent, I see that there are multiple references to the Colorado Springs Police Protective Association's involvement as a Political Action Committee (PAC).

The CSPPA does not have a PAC. Instead, we have a Small Donor Committee (SDC). SDCs operate under completely different rules and guidelines than do PACs. Fundamentally they are very different tools for campaign finance.

PACs have an unlimited potential for raising funds, as they can get an unlimited number of contributors to donate to their causes, be it a candidate or an issue. SDCs are limited specifically to support from the people or members in their associated organization; no other individuals are allowed to contribute to the SDC. Colorado state law caps the member contributions to an SDC at $50 a year. Therefore, SDCs have a significantly decreased ability to raise funds to use in their support of candidates (SDCs cannot support issues or initiatives) whereas with a PAC, the sky is the limit.

You can see that what is considered legal conduct for one committee is considered illegal conduct for the other and vice versa. You can also see how SDCs are significantly limited in their involvement.

As reporters, it is your responsibility to make sure your facts are straight before putting them into print. I am disappointed by your limited knowledge of campaign finance rules, and your reluctance to do thorough research before publishing articles.

— Robin Rogers

Executive director, Colorado Springs Police Protective Association

Too much bigotry

I would like to thank Ms. Joyce Cheney for her letter ("Where they stand," March 27) to let people know where Helen Collins and Roger McCarville stand on marriage equality. Ms. Cheney's enlightening letter did not make a difference in the election (with Collins getting elected in District 4), and that should be of no surprise to anyone.

Colorado Springs has become one of the most extreme right-wing Christian cities in this country. I have lived in this region since I moved here from New York in 1978. I will not be here much longer.

Colorado Springs has a stench of bigotry and hatred that has been suffocating me and my family since Lionel Rivera took the mayoral office, and this stench has been growing ever since. This horrible stench is too much for me, my business and wonderful family, so we are making plans to move elsewhere.

I love living in a diverse community, I welcome differing opinions, but to label our gay population as disgusting and perverse is more than just diverse opinions — it moves into the arena of hatred, and certainly not the kind of teaching I wish to have my children learn from.

— Michael McMahon

Colorado Springs

Political irony

What an excellent commentary ("Chaos in state legislatures," City Sage, April 3)! I just moved here from Maryland and the one thing I've quickly noticed is the noise level generated by the "pit bulls" here. And the finger-pointing! Every ill that exists is the Democrats' and President Obama's fault.

The constant bellyaching is still about crying over who won. The facts are, Coloradans voted for the current Legislature and in turn voted for the changes. That's America.

And I couldn't agree with you more: As the demographics continue to change the Republicans will continue to be on the outside looking in. I say this as one who voted for President Bush (regretfully) and his budget-busting wars and Sen. McCain. Our local congressional representatives vote for sequester, then blame everyone else. What a hoot! Ironically, it's telling because it really reflects on us as Americans.

— William Pratt

Colorado Springs

No better cause?

Every day I open the newspaper to read of more gun-related deaths. These killings are not always done by the mentally ill; often a child picks up a gun left nearby, or an irate spouse/child has easy access to a gun and kills or harms another human in anger or passion. Our culture of guns and violence harms all of us.

So, to honor that culture, El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton last week proposed a resolution that April 4, 2013, shall be designated "Friends of the NRA Day." [The resolution was approved unanimously.] Really? She couldn't find a better cause?

Just who is the NRA and why is she their friend? Could it possibly be in anticipation of a future campaign contribution?

Who benefits the most from the NRA? Gun and gun-related manufacturers, a $12 billion industry. True, the NRA does spend money on gun education and training, but during the 2010 election cycle, the NRA spent more than $7.2 million on lobbying at the federal level. Over half of the money contributed to the NRA comes from gun manufacturers.

Why would someone endorse a day to celebrate guns and gun manufacturers? Wouldn't the effort of our elected "leaders" be better spent on solving our existing issues and moving the county forward? This county is too often in the national news — and not very frequently on a positive note.

We clamor for jobs and businesses to move to our community. What type of business would want to move here? Controversy abounds. Who would want to move their family here?

What Ms. Littleton is doing is insensitive and callous to many who are still grieving over the lives lost in Colorado just recently. She is not contributing to the quality of life that most of us moved here for in the first place.

— Linda Dyer

Colorado Springs

Religious America

The Independent decided to allow Fred Kormos and Christopher Curcio to gang up on Father Bill Carmody (which is fine), who is rightly concerned about the threats to his religious freedom ("Adoptions on the line," Letters, March 27). The political left is more concerned with advancing their gospel of civil rights and equality so much at the expense of religious freedom.

Kormos says, "Religious liberty gives one the freedom to believe as one chooses, not a license to dictate to everyone else how to conduct their lives." Problem is that most governments in the world are becoming more powerful than any established church. The liberals/progressives would deny this, but I see otherwise.

Already in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities has discontinued their adoption services because they don't want to be responsible for adopting children out to couples that are not in a one-man, one-woman marital relationship, knowing if they deny gay couples the right to adopt they would be dealing with a lawsuit.

At the federal level, our Health and Human Services department is forcing a birth control/abortion mandate on para-church organizations. They don't want me to block a woman's "right to choose," but they sure want us to pay for her abortion as well as her loose sexual libido.

Liberals/progressives keep forgetting that anyone who acquires absolute power gets corrupted absolutely. Maybe they know that already and what the left really wants to do is wage a war against God the Father, His Son, and the Holy Ghost, and prove that you don't need them to achieve Heaven on Earth, or Utopia or whatever. As far as I am concerned the leftists that are engaged in this war are only proving in my mind that the Holy Bible is very real.

— Don McCullen

Colorado Springs

Secular America

With all due respect, Fr. Bill Carmody, your argument is specious on its face. Religious liberty — what is that? Catholic Charities and other such groups that have "religious/moral" objections to any couple other than a self-defined married male/female heterosexual couple being allowed to adopt children through their organizations can make any conditions or restrictions they so choose, once they start paying taxes.

It is your 501(c)3 status, rather than your firmly held beliefs, that is causing all of the problems for most of us hardworking tax-paying citizens. If your organization paid its fair share, it could dictate any rules it liked. Until then, you must respect separation of church and state or face criticism or even outright condemnation by others in our "free country" who disagree with you.

Oh, and by the way, I am a heterosexual female, married 30 years to the same man, with two grown children from our union. And here's the kicker: I am Catholic!

— Tami Fredrich

Colorado Springs


Task force fail

The citizens of the state of Colorado are about to find out what a grave disservice the Marijuana Task Force is doing them. The whole point of Amendment 64 was to treat marijuana like alcohol. What I'm seeing, in following along with these task force meetings, are excessive taxes, limits on plants, and limits on amounts of marijuana that people can possess.

If marijuana is to be treated like alcohol, then are there going to be limits on how many bottles of beer a home brewer or even a liquor license holder can make or possess at any one time? And will there be an excise tax on all alcohol made and/or sold in the state? And will liquor license fees increase to the level of medical marijuana center fees?

No? Then why are these things being imposed on marijuana, which is provably safer than alcohol?

At no point does it appear that any of the task force members are making the connections to alcohol in their proposed treatment of regulation of marijuana, and I think the "special" limits and taxes on marijuana should rightly be rejected by Colorado voters.

— Áine MacDermot

Colorado Springs

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