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October 24, 2012
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Letters to the Editor - Oct. 25, 2012

I'm a lawyer, past president of the Colorado Municipal Judges Association and former prosecutor.

Sherry Caloia and Martin Beeson are running for district attorney in the Ninth Judicial District. Democrat or Republican doesn't matter, the DA doesn't set political policy.

I have known both of these candidates for many years. Sherry Caloia is a far superior choice by a huge margin, for many reasons. The basic one is simply she has much better judgment and experience.

Beeson brags that he has gotten 400 years for criminals. No responsible DA measures performance by years in prison. The American Bar Association standards state, "The prosecutor should not make the severity of sentences the index for his or her effectiveness."

Beeson says he's financially responsible and stayed within budget. He didn't say the budget has gone from $1.8 million to $3.2 million. If your budget went up at taxpayer expense like that, could you stay within it?

Beeson says he's gotten convictions. Every DA gets convictions; the DA chooses which cases to prosecute. What isn't said are the times he prosecuted the not guilty, or had the jury convict someone of lesser offenses than the charges. No one discusses the emotional and financial toll on those folks and their families.

Beeson is running for a third term. The constitution limits him to two. He says the first one didn't count. The courts will ultimately have to decide this issue, but he could have avoided it by addressing it earlier.

Beeson claims the opposition is scared because he "doesn't coddle criminals." Honestly, financially I will do better if he is elected; bad judgment creates conflict.

I'm for Sherry Caloia because it's the right thing to do.

Thomas Silverman

Glenwood Springs

As a Realtor serving the entire Colorado River Valley area of Garfield County, I was pleased to see Bob Rankin has the endorsement of The Colorado Association of Realtors.

Bob is a businessman with experience that combines years as an executive in large corporations with starting and owning several small businesses. The only way our community can regain the prosperity it had prior to the economic downturn is to bring more jobs to the valley.

Many of the candidates running for office use the phrase "bring jobs to Colorado," but how many actually explain how to do it? Bob Rankin is the only candidate who has the background, experience and solutions that are desperately needed. Satisfying and well paying jobs in Garfield County will return prosperity to our community and Bob Rankin has the qualifications and experience to get us there.

Cheryl Chandler


Carbondale resident Bob Rankin gets my vote for Colorado House District 57. Here's why.

Bob Rankin is a businessman and is endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business, Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, Colorado Farm Bureau, Associated Builders and Contractors, Colorado Association of Realtors, National Rifle Association, Colorado Contractors Association, Colorado Medical Society, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, Colorado Chiropractic Association, and Spokes, a bicycle association.

Jo Ann Baxter has 29 years of experience as a high school teacher and is endorsed by the Colorado Association of School Executives, Colorado Professional Firefighters, Colorado Education Association, NARAL Pro Choice Colorado, Planned Parenthood, One Colorado (gay, lesbian and transgender) and the Glenwood Springs Post Independent.

Clear choice: Bob Rankin for House District 57.

Karen Alldredge


I'm supporting Bob Rankin for Colorado House District 57 for two reasons.

First is his background in large and small business and his desire to get people back into the workforce and turn around the economy. He is endorsed by the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry and the National Federation of Independent Business. As a business owner myself, I understand the importance of these endorsements and what they will mean for Colorado.

Secondly, I saw where Mr. Rankin has been endorsed by the National Rifle Association with an A rating, while his opponent received an F rating. As a long-term hunter I, too, am a firm believer in our second amendment and a proud member of the NRA.

Bob Jenkins

Woody Creek

Friday afternoon, I was stunned to receive in my mail a glossy election flyer slamming Sonja Linman, who is running for Garfield County Commissioner.

I'll admit I've been on the fence as to how I would vote. I feel John Martin has worked hard and basically done a good job. But I know Sonja personally and she is one of those rare people I would describe as "golden," one who truly lives in service to others. I would have complete faith that she would do her best in a straightforward and honest way. When I saw this vitriolic, almost slanderous ad, I felt personally attacked. Where was this coming from?!

The flyer listed the sender as Northwest Colorado Alliance, with a Grand Junction address. A brief online search turned up a home page that shows them to be a 501(c)4 non-profit organization, with the stated purpose of existing "to educate citizens and Colorado public officials on issues of public policy." They also claim, "specifically, the Alliance conducts non-partisan research and distributes information to citizens and public officials concerning the local, Colorado, and national economy." Oh, really? This flyer was not educational in tone and was definitely not non-partisan.

A further search turned up allegations that Northwest Colorado Alliance is supported in part by funds from the Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado, which receives part of its funding from Garfield County! Is it possible my tax dollars actually helped pay or this ad?! John Martin, can you explain?

As for me, I'm no longer wavering. My yard sign is up and my vote has been cast for Sonja Linman. After all, the bottom line for me is: It's all about trust.

Markita Lerch

Glenwood Springs

I have had the opportunity to know Jo Ann Baxter for nine years. Eight of those years, I was able to proudly serve beside her on the Moffat County School District Board and was excited to see Jo Ann announce her candidacy for Colorado House District 57. Throughout our years on the board, four of which Jo Ann presided as our board president, she brought composure to conflict, extensive years of classroom experience, and a wealth of knowledge and familiarity regarding legislative issues.

She was able to provide guidance and explanation to many complex issues we addressed and possessed the ability to lead the board with professionalism, efficiency and compassion. When presented with some of the more difficult decisions, Jo Ann consistently listened to our constituents and the professionals we retained, gathering all the available information. She would research the issues and bring concerns and suggestions to the forefront of all discussions before presenting her own findings or opinion on individual issues.

There were several times when Jo Ann's diplomatic skills came shining through when faced with conflicted discussions. She was able to reconcile all parties and bring everyone at the table to a respectful, dignified discussion so a resolution and/or compromise could be reached.

Whether she agreed with a position or not, Jo Ann always allowed all parties the opportunity to voice their own thoughts and present information. She stays true to issues and the impact it will have on all stakeholders.

If elected, it is my belief Jo Ann will serve the people and represent Colorado House District 57 well. I will be casting my vote for Jo Ann Baxter and ask that you do your own personal inquiry into her experience and principles to determine if you will do the same.

Trish Snyder


Over the past few years, I have come to know Bob Rankin as both a friend and a political activist. I find him to be very bright and engaging, and I am convinced he would represent the interests of Northwest Colorado very well in the state legislature.

Bob is a fiscal and constitutional conservative and a strong supporter of our coal and electrical generation jobs. He is an engineer and business man and has spent time at our coal mines and power station. He has a history of creating jobs and meeting payrolls. He talks about increasing state revenues through private sector job growth to pay for the services our citizens need.

Rankin is steadfast in his support of teachers and public schools, and he wants to go further to help improve public education. But while he is supporting our schools, he will also be a very strong advocate for the energy industry and our jobs.

I support Gov. Romney, who has said "I like coal," and I also support Bob Rankin.

There are signs in yards all over Craig that say "Vote for coal." A vote for Bob Rankin IS a vote for coal. A vote for Mitt Romney IS a vote for coal.

Forest Luke


As a general surgeon serving the Roaring Fork valley, I encourage you to join me in voting for Bob Rankin for House District 57.

He has taken the time to understand the complicated health care environment of the Western Slope. The Colorado Medical Society, representing more than 70 percent of all Colorado doctors, joins me in endorsing Bob because we know we can trust him to represent our profession and those we serve.

Doug Yajko

Glenwood Springs

We all use the same land in Garfield County, or Commons, for a wide range of activities from grazing local beef to bird watching to mountain biking. Would future residents and visitors rather see real elk herds or housing subdivisions named after them?

Please vote YES on ballot measure 1A to create a new Garfield County open lands program that will use purchases, easements, incentives and other creative mechanisms to conserve land for better uses. The program will be funded by a modest increase in the county's sales tax rate of 0.25 percent. This quarter cent sales tax (only 25 cents on every $100 dollars) would result in about $2 million in annual revenue. The tax increase does not apply to groceries or prescription drugs.

Rarely do we have the chance to unify and pitch in very little for long-term returns.

Jason White


Mitt Romney was sure he had a "gotcha" moment when discussing President Obama's use of the words "act of terror."

"I want to make sure we get that for the record, because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror."

As was later proven, the ex-governor was mistaken.

If you go to http://mittromneysflipflops.com/ you can find many of Mitt's positions and repositions "for the record." The interesting thing about the list is every item has a source listed, whether a video or transcript, from Mr. Romney's many speeches and writings. Just click for instant verification.

Mr. Romney likes to claim he is not a "career politician." I guess when you run for different offices and lose, you are not a career politician. Had he won the Senate seat in 1994, or gotten the nomination in '08, would that statement be true? How about the claim of saving the 2002 Winter Olympics?

"The $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that Congress is pouring into Utah is 1.5 times the amount spent by lawmakers to support all seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904, combined," reported Donald Barlett and James Steele for Sports Illustrated in 2001. Those numbers were adjusted for inflation.

I did enjoy how he extols the love Massachusetts has for him. He neglects the parts about his 34 percent approval rating when he left. Or being 47th worst in job creation. That's why he did not run for governor again. On women in the Massachusetts government, the numbers fell from 42 percent when Mitt was elected to 25 percent when he left.

So much for "for the record." Vote for truth.

Craig. S. Chisesi

Sometimes it is in the best interest of voters to cross party lines when a special candidate clearly represents the needs and concerns of those voters. For the first time in a long time, we are fortunate here in Moffat County to have one our own running for a seat in the state legislature. The best candidate for the job is Jo Ann Baxter.

Jo Ann has lived in Craig for 38 years. She taught school in Moffat County for 29 of those years while raising three children, serving in a variety of local leadership roles, and obtaining a PhD. She went on to become a respected member, and then president, of the Moffat County Board of Education.

Jo Ann spent six years on the Colorado School Board Association's Legislative and Resolutions Committee, and was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to participate on the State Council for Educator Effectiveness.

If elected, Jo Ann will represent the citizens of Garfield, Rio Blanco, and Moffat counties. This is an incredible opportunity for Moffat County residents to have their voices heard in the legislative halls of the Front Range for the first time in over 50 years.

Jo Ann understands the importance of a strong educational system and the need for economic development in Northwest Colorado. She will work for our best interests whether we are Democrats or Republicans.

We will all benefit if we vote for a candidate who knows and loves northwest Colorado. Let's send Jo Ann Baxter to Denver to represent House District 57.

David Morris


This summer, at the Glenwood Springs Downtown Market, I found it very telling when I introduced myself to Bob Rankin and was summarily told by the candidate to bug-off. He didn't want to listen to my views, nor did he care about my vote.

The Colorado State House District 57 race is shaping up exactly like many of the national races: Wealthy special interests vs. a courageous, compassionate, intelligent, principled human being.

I am casting my vote in the House District 57 race for Jo Ann Baxter. I have spoken with Jo Ann on several occasions now, and find that she listens. She does not immediately label herself or her position. Her western Colorado heritage puts her in touch with the majority of us who live here. We make a living, solve our problems, and help in our communities here, the same as she does. This is her experience, and this is how she can represent each of us in the Colorado State House.

Her opponent comes recently from a lofty world that is built on influence created by money. His rules are relative to the game of personal gain. Colorado is a passing interest in his lifelong profession, the quest for personal recognition, not community service, nor understanding of a rural way of life.

The Post Independent report about contributions for Rankin confirms what I learned that day in late summer on my neighborhood street: Rankin would be working for industry-supported political action committees.

Vote for Jo Ann Baxter and send a person to the Colorado House who will support our Western Slope needs with a balanced, impartial, focus on the issues. Jo Ann will be serving you, not money.

Jock Jacober

Glenwood Springs

After reading the Post Independent's commissioner endorsements on Oct. 19, the moment was bittersweet. I couldn't have been happier to see Sonja Linman being endorsed in District 2. However, the endorsement for my opponent wasn't exactly what I wanted to read first thing in the morning.

As I read the reasons for endorsing Mike Samson, I was struck by being called "too enthusiastic." My only reply: "Guilty as charged."

It takes courage and leadership to speak out for what isn't working. County residents are still perplexed by my opponent's unanimous support to:

• Fire a layer of staff that provided public accountability.

• Change the direction of the county commissioners from a visionary to a managerial board with total control over public funds.

• Remove compliance language from the comprehensive plan, changing unincorporated Garfield County properties into "right to use without public review" zones.

• Attend a secret meeting in Utah.

• Add his vote to approving an industry-backed oil shale resolution, despite public testimony. Only retracting his support under threat of a lawsuit.

• Kill the nearly completed Health Impact Assessment by the CU School of Public Health, a study that was indicating health and environmental impacts from natural gas drilling.

• Relax land use codes with discussion about removing 1041 powers.

My opponent's actions speak louder than his words. Leadership might start with the ability to listen, but exceptional leadership includes the courage and enthusiasm to lead. Tough decisions include putting the public above special interests.

Some measure leadership progress one inch at a time. I measure success by going the extra mile for the public.

Aleks Briedis

Garfield County Commissioner District 3 candidate


Grover Norquist, the Republican hierarchy's cabana boy, has dumped a load of cash into Scott Tipton's campaign, hoping to block Sal Pace from winning Colorado's Congressional District 3 race.

Norquist is a very dangerous conservative lobbyist in Washington; a political hit man whose campaign piggy bank is kept perpetually overflowing by the likes of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, the National Rifle Association, Microsoft and other millionaires and billionaires.

At the bidding of his masters, Norquist wields their cash like a sock full of nickels to bludgeon, bully and smear any candidates they don't like. Candidates like Sal Pace. Norquist's money acts like a shot of steroids, lending false strength to failing campaigns like Tipton's.

Norquist is betting your vote is for sale and he thinks he can buy it by filling you with misinformation, lies and mind-numbingly, mean-spirited swill currently saturating radio and television. If you are a sheep or a cow or a member of the Tea Party, you might sell your vote to Grover Norquist.

Candidates like Sal Pace all over the country are trying to compete with Norquist's pot of corporate gold, but it's almost impossible to compete with his unfair political juggernaut.

So think twice before you cast your vote and ask yourself if we need a Washington carpetbagger buying our congressional election? Are YOU casting your vote or is Grover Norquist's dirty campaign money casting your vote for you? You may well find yourself voting for Sal Pace for Congress. Then we can send Norquist and his bloated piggy banks back to Washington, D.C.

John Egan

Pagosa Springs

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The Post Independent Updated Oct 24, 2012 06:26PM Published Oct 24, 2012 06:18PM Copyright 2012 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.