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Local letters on the Gazette defend Richard Skorman, urge voters to cast ballots



Personal attacks

I was appalled when reading the March 9 and 14 Gazette editorials smearing City Council District 3 candidate Richard Skorman. I’ve lived in Colorado Springs more than three decades and have always been so impressed with Mr. Skorman’s tireless work as an advocate for our city.

It seems as if the Gazette has a personal vendetta against Mr. Skorman. Could it be because of his relentless defense of the unique public lands known as Strawberry Fields? This pristine parcel was given up in a land swap with The Broadmoor, whose owner also happens to own the Gazette and whose son sits on the daily paper’s editorial board.

Mr. Skorman fought hard to preserve this irreplaceable open space for future generations and seemed to have made a few enemies in the process.

It was one thing when the editorial board labeled him “anti-home” and accused him of pandering to the marijuana industry, but when they blamed him for our stormwater problems, it became ridiculously transparent where their motivation lies.

If the Gazette wants readers’ respect as an independent news source, it needs to try harder not to let their personal prejudices show. Thank goodness we have the Colorado Springs Independent for our news!

— Karin White, Colorado Springs

Taking a stand

I am writing as a private citizen and taxpayer. I represent no one but myself.

In recent weeks, Richard Skorman has been criticized by the Gazette in its editorial pages as an advocate of higher taxes. Over two decades ago, myriad community leaders joined with Richard Skorman to create a funding mechanism for the preservation of our most precious city assets — trails and open space. I was one of them.

So, when we cut through the haze of cleverly written editorials and hit-piece advertising, we see clearly that the real reason that Richard Skorman, City Councilwoman Jill Gaebler and City Councilwoman Helen Collins are being targeted is because they had the courage to speak out and vote against The Broadmoor land swap and the commercial exploitation of public park land.

Based on this issue alone, I will continue to support, in every way I can, strong, independent, community leaders like Richard Skorman, Jill Gaebler and Helen Collins in this nonpartisan municipal election.

Let’s send a message by sending Skorman, Gaebler and Collins back to City Council on April 4!

— Jim Bensberg, Colorado Springs
Editor’s note: Jim Bensberg served as a Republican member of the El Paso County Board of County Commissioners from 2003-11. He currently serves on the Colorado Lottery Commission.

Dark strategy?

One has to wonder why the Gazette editorials have singled out one City Council candidate from among the 14 running to relentlessly criticize and blame.

The recent editorials attempting to discredit candidate Richard Skorman are difficult to swallow. One also has to wonder why, once again, thousands and thousands of dollars from unknown sources and special interest groups have been dumped into our City Council elections from a handful of ultra-conservative groups with undisclosed donors.

This is not the first time outsiders have attempted to influence local elections in our town. Where is all of this funding coming from, and why are they spending so much to put their candidates in power?

Follow the money to get the answers. Ask yourself these questions and get the answers before marking your ballot.

— Tad Wilson, Colorado Springs

Defending Skorman

When my husband Richard Skorman decided to seek to serve on City Council again, he pledged to run a positive, honest campaign. But I took no such vow. And I no longer will watch silently in the face of such flagrant dishonesty by those who smear him.

I first got concerned when his opponent’s dark money funders distributed tens of thousands of postcards and internet posts proclaiming: “You Can Not Trust Richard Skorman!”

Then on March 14, the Gazette published its third dishonest editorial against Richard, while refusing to let Richard or any of his allies respond. So here’s the unedited truth: Chuck Fowler’s campaign is fueled by dark, secret money and comes mostly from one special interest group. Of his 39 public donors, 80 percent are from developers and their close allies. All of Richard’s 426 contributors are listed on the city’s website, 422 of them small donations from individuals.

Mr. Fowler has no government experience. In contrast Richard has decades of scandal-free service to our community, including seven years on Council, two as vice mayor, and several years as U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar’s regional director.

Mr. Fowler thinks Southern Delivery System is the best thing we have done for this city. Richard was instrumental in making it happen.

Richard has a detailed plan for preventing wildfires from devastating our Westside. Mr. Fowler has none.

Richard will hold builders responsible for constructing shoddy homes in landslide zones. Mr. Fowler says he won’t.

My biggest fear: With so much dark money slandering Richard, coupled with the Gazette’s editorial lies, he could lose.

So please mail or turn in your ballot by Tuesday, April 4. Thank you.

— Patricia Seator, Co-owner, Poor Richard’s businesses, Colorado Springs

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