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Get out and vote, the third debate, death with dignity, and more



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Vote, regardless

Yes, you should vote. So what if you don't like any presidential candidates? Get over it and vote anyway. There is more on the ballot. It is highly likely the next president will choose a Supreme Court justice. U.S. senators will confirm that nominee, or not. House members will work with the president and Senate to pass laws, or not.

Yes, you should vote now and in every election. If too many politicians are not doing their jobs, it is partly the fault of poor voter turnout. If you stay home, your voice goes unheard. Who gets heard instead? The "keep your government hands off my Medicare" nutjobs who elect crazy right-wing politicians who pander to their anti-science and anti-government stances.

You should absolutely vote. Here in Colorado, we have nine proposed state measures, legislative and county commissioner seats up for grabs, as well as county-level judges to be retained or not (you decide!). Depending on where you live, you likely have one or more millage and tax levies that fund school districts.

So you hate Trump and Clinton. Good for you, you're probably a rational person. Vote for a third party if you must. But be sure to look at everything on your ballot. Those things affect your community and you personally, much more than whoever sits in the Oval Office.

— Liz Coelho

Colorado Springs

Whose question?

At the beginning of the debate season, Chris Wallace objected to being cast as an in-house fact-checker for the third Trump-Clinton debate. Now I know why.

Even in this post-truth era, Wallace pulled off a first. He asked a question that should have been fact-checked. He asked the candidates to comment on the notion that the Obama stimulus plan has caused slow economic growth emerging from the Bush recession.

Where did Mr. Wallace get this, the Heritage Foundation? Ayn Rand? That hothouse of economic dysfunction, Sam Brownback's Kansas? Six studies have found the stimulus to have saved/gained 3.5 million jobs. Three studies have found its effect negligible. Wallace, ensconced behind his glass podium, threw the first stone, and sadly, neither candidate called him on the weakness of his argument. His dad (the late Mike Wallace of 60 Minutes) must be spinning.

— Steve Schriener

Colorado Springs

Oregon's example

I served as Oregon's governor and was in office when our Death With Dignity law passed statewide. I was an advocate then, and I remain strongly supportive. The record clearly demonstrates that medical aid in dying works, and the abuses and slippery slope that opponents proposed did not occur in the slightest. We have had zero proven cases of abuse.

I can say from experience that opponents of end-of-life options will fear-monger against Colorado's Proposition 106 until the last moment, just like in Oregon. I strongly urge you to vote yes on Prop 106.

Oregonians have used the law sparingly and with full adherence to the letter and spirit of the law. Oregon families have, over the years, shared beautiful and moving accounts of compassion, dignity and gentle exits. Oregon proves this law works in practice, and I am proud to support Coloradans in their pursuit to expand end-of-life options.

— Barbara Roberts

Former Oregon governor

Litmus test

I was disappointed to see that the Independent recently endorsed several Republican candidates who have themselves endorsed Donald Trump. I find it unacceptable to support a candidate who supports him. The Indy should adopt the same attitude.

— Dan Costrell

Colorado Springs

Vote for Endicott

Julia Endicott is very qualified to be our representative for State House District 20, and has the unanimous endorsement of the El Paso County Democratic Party. Terri Carver is against Roe v. Wade and is a pro-life person who also opposes support and funding for Planned Parenthood. She also opposes reasonable gun safety laws and supports a religious agenda regarding education in public schools. The liberal and progressive community needs the support of the Independent to endorse Julia Endicott.

Please let your readers know about her candidacy and what she can do for the betterment of District 20.

— Ellen Levy

Colorado Springs

Thoughts on 69, 71

I would like to share thoughts on Amendments 71 and 69. I am a former state, city and town legislator in Colorado and Virginia, with experience in amending and reforming state constitutions.

On 71: State constitutions are best amended in constitutional conventions, rather than simply, in a particularized proposal, to restrict only citizen-initiated amendments and no others as 71 proposes.

On 69: Our health care system should not remain in the hands of insurance companies, practicing medicine without a license and controlling the responses to our medical needs, motivated by maximizing their dollars. To influence insurance decisions, citizens must buy shares to have a vote in the corporation. But with our government to have a say in how health care should work for us, we may cast a free vote to influence its regulation since the constitution prohibits our being charged money to participate in an organization that is ours simply because we are citizens of Colorado and the United States.

— Bill Durland

Colorado Springs

Room for more

As I drive around Colorado Springs I have noticed many new "Help Wanted" signs; one has been up for almost a year at Brookdale Senior Living on 21st Street.

After a nine-day stay there due to knee-replacement surgery, I can see why it's a difficult job. It would require someone strong, with a great disposition.

It appears many Americans are not choosing minimum-wage, labor-intensive jobs. This seems to be a job Syrian refugees would be more than thankful to have, along with many other similar jobs, just to have an opportunity for survival and a life for their families.

Angela Merkel is being criticized for allowing a million refugees into Germany, but they have zero population growth. This has created a society of seniors without enough taxpaying laborers to maintain their Social Security.

My husband and I toured Eastern Germany last April, and many refugees were being placed in rural areas to learn farm work, which has a labor shortage.

Merkel is not only a great humanitarian, but economically astute to what is best for Germany's economic growth.

Let's all look at the big picture about immigration, not only with an open heart, but what keeps a nation going.

— Elaine Brush

Colorado Springs

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