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'Why I don't vote'
First, I want to thank you for doing the legwork on your endorsements. It's refreshing to see where the candidates actually stand on issues rather than how they feel about their opponents.
I get many raised eyebrows when I tell folks that I don't vote on candidates anymore. I have been increasingly disgusted, as many are, with the slander and smears. I don't have television anymore and I rarely listen to the radio because of it. My mailbox is crammed with it, and the roadsides are a study in who-can-post-the-most-signage. Who wants to wade through all that crap? It's not about the greater good, it's about agendas.
Bob Beauprez said that he will work on repealing Amendment 64 because "of the brain damage it can cause to children." Alcohol and prescription drugs don't? Several candidates seem to be singularly focused on repealing Obamacare. Let. It. Go.
Which brings me back to why ... I don't vote. In my opinion, our votes don't count because if the issue goes against their beliefs/dogma/agenda/profit, they will fight tooth-and-nail to bury it in legislative red tape or keep the public from voting (Amendment 64, recreational pot in Colorado Springs, stormwater/infrastructure issues, City for Champions, fracking, et al). Our votes, yea or nay, are meaningless.
I think there should be a constitutional amendment that political campaigning shall be free of slander, libel, innuendo and blame. Candidates should be allowed to speak only of their platform and the problems they wish to help solve. Derogatory anything should lead to discipline, loss of funding, and including removal from the ballot.
I should note that to his credit, Michael Merrifield himself knocked on my door and chatted with me a bit. That is the only candidate, ever, I have met this way.
— Amy Willard
Since state Sen. Bernie Herpin took office in 2013 after the recall of John Morse, he has accomplished much.
Senator Herpin made his top priority passing Jessica's Law to keep our children safe from violent sexual predators. Now a version of Jessica's Law is state law here in Colorado.
The rising leader on veterans and military issues in our state legislature is Sen. Bernie Herpin, who is putting our veterans and military first. Sen. Herpin is a former military man who has taken an oath to defend the Constitution. He will continue the fight to roll back anti-gun legislation that hurts law-abiding citizens.
— Frank Bittinger
Michael Schlierf writes ("Rely on DIY," Letters, Oct. 15): "I believe that people can solve their own problems. Government's job is to protect our rights and provide basic services so we may do so. When government gets confused and thinks it can solve our problems, it tinkers with our lives; tries to protect us from ourselves; and flies down the path of unintended consequences."
Can we assume Mr. Schlierf also feels that government should stay out of our lives regarding the possible Ebola crisis? Or will he, like many others who preach less government, now demand that government protect us from this virus instead of what Mr. Schlierf proposes, that government let us solve our own problems as they arise, and employ personal responsibility?
— Kris Barney
When I go to a public political event, it never is about the scripted answers — it is candidates' body language and attitude that is more revealing. Last Wednesday evening I was fortunate to be at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for the governor's debate featuring Bob Beauprez and John Hickenlooper. What I learned was not complimentary about Beauprez.
It was not so much his rhetoric, best described as a typical rehash of old-line neo-Republicanism. He pounded over and over again asserting against any and all government regulations, except on marijuana, where he then pounded away demanding greater regulations toward the recently voted-in personal freedoms.
He then got weird, repeating the term "ladies" referring to "ladies'" reproductive rights and pay rates. It made me wonder if we all were trapped in some time warp taking us back to the '70s, wrestling with the proper way to address women.
But what was really surprising is his unabashed, personal disrespect toward his opponent, Gov. Hickenlooper. In each of his responses he seemed to relish in some middle school-level name-calling as he described the governor or his policies. Outside these juvenile personifications, he offered little empirical evidence for these assertions.
Making up insults at a public forum is not how a responsible leader debates. Most of us know this, except maybe his cheerleading section that early on broke with the forum's rules, loudly cheering for the candidate's rhetoric.
I never witnessed so unapologetic, so unashamed behavior, especially in public, where a candidate believes he possesses a political impunity for discarding a once-great American convention that allowed our democracy to actually function. My takeaway now is that the only way to bring back a working republic where political partisans are able to work together solving problems is for the bad guys to be disciplined at the ballot box.
— Bob Nemanich
Tired of the hiding
Why have GMOs never been labeled since first introduced in the '90s? Genetically Modified Organisms are now in most American foods — with no way to know. Americans have grown sicker and more obese than citizens in all other developed countries.
I've beaten debilitating illness only after many years of figuring out food ingredients. Regardless, I'm tired of decrypting labels, while most countries require American manufacturers to label GMO foods.
Chemical Companies that develop GMO seeds spend hundreds of millions of dollars lobbying against labeling in the U.S. They dictate GMO safety based solely upon their own research — while worldwide masses of farmers, scientists and organizations cry out the myriad perils of GMO industry. Consumers should know genetically engineered crops are designed specifically to withstand high levels of toxic synthetic pesticides, (the latest being D-2,4, a main ingredient in the Agent Orange biowarfare defoliant in Vietnam). They are patented species borne of crossing DNAs impossible to create in nature — such as virus or animal DNA with varieties of plants (or animals).
But Proposition 105 is not about banning or warning about GMOs. It is strictly about labeling GMO packaged foods — (excepting meat and dairy). Whatever your political or scientific stance, without GMO labeling there is no choice. Vote YES on 105.
— Gina Alianiello
The speed of change
I have been celebrating marriages in Colorado in my role as a Catholic priest for about 25 years. I have seen basically the same marriage license in Colorado regardless of the county. It has place for bride, place for groom, and the two witnesses.
I was amazed that at the wedding I did recently, it did not say bride or groom, it said partner one and two.
The Supreme Court refused to hear the case about gay unions just a week before. And already the county has wedding licenses that can be either male/female or other same-sex unions.
This is the same government that is holding up the sale of the old church in Security for subdivision issues that will take six months. This is the same government that is holding up the occupancy of trailers at St. Dominic's because the original owner did not have title to the trailers.
Now, I am not upset that it takes so long. It is government, after all. We have all had our share of delays, etc., when dealing with government. Yet, for same-sex unions, the government is lighting fast.
You would think that in a state that has in its constitution that marriage is between one man and one woman only, the speed of changing the government document would take a little longer than a week.
In last week's Best Of issue, the title of third-place College Bar should have been shared by Blondie's and Gasoline Alley. We regret the error.