Now that the election is over, and after watching the televised election process all over this country, it shows us that we as a nation are far from being a democracy or a democratic republic when it comes to the freedom to vote. The unalienable right to vote has been trampled, suppressed and manipulated all over the country.
We have governors and legislatures making voting rules and laws without due process. We have voting machines owned by those with conflicts of interests. We have people being turned away from polling places because they were at their jobs late, and much more.
We had hundreds and maybe thousands of people standing in long voting lines for hours. So, there were thousands of people who did not get to vote in Tuesday's presidential election.
Our nation needs serious election reform. First, spending limits are severely needed. Citizens United needs to be repealed, plus SuperPacs need to go away. This might help to eliminate nasty campaign ads and special interests from buying elections and candidates.
It is time that we make Election Day a national day off or a national holiday. Also, the polls could be open longer as well. We need to celebrate our right to vote with a special day off to express this special freedom. No obstruction, no manipulation, no suppression, and no bad voting laws and rules.
We need open primaries in Colorado. Registered independent voters represent 30 to 40 percent of the registered voters in Colorado. We need to change or fix the rules in this state and end the discrimination against independents participating in the election process, ASAP.
Let the 2012 election be the lesson for the future. Let's move forward and work together to make these changes to preserve and protect one of our most treasured Constitutional rights - the right to vote.
Let me be the first to congratulate RFTA's brilliant environmental elite for adopting a compressed natural gas (CNG) purchasing policy that will no doubt save the upper and lower Roaring Fork Valley from the awful and nasty drilling practices of the oil and gas industry. (See "RFTA sets policy on natural gas purchases," Nov. 9.)
We citizens can now drink local water without fear, now that RFTA has assured us they will only burn safe gas in their newly acquired fleet of 22 CNG buses. I for one am so glad we elected the smartest people in the valley to change the course of local and state drilling practices.
The Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission had better take notice of what Community Office for Resource Efficiency executive director Mona Newton says of RFTA's new leadership role. CORE and RFTA's board are industry pioneers and have blazed a new trail as they gracefully accept a $365,000 check from Encana and make sure RFTA's new buses are fueled only by suppliers that use Houston's SourceGas pipeline. Rest assured, Encana and SourceGas are, without question, the poster children for RFTA's groundbreaking environmental policy.
Carbondale Mayor Stacey Bernot, a RFTA board member, said the policy is largely symbolic and a "feel good measure." So, why then did Ms. Bernot and every other board member unanimously vote for it?
"Did anyone ask how clean the check was from Encana?" New Castle Mayor Frank Breslin asked as he cast his vote. And it only took nine months, two environmental groups and an undisclosed amount of tax dollars to come up with the new program.
I pledge to now follow RFTA's lead to do my homework and promise to fuel my Dodge Cummins HD Diesel from suppliers that adhere to the same environmentally safe practices. I know every citizen up and down the valley will do the same. Said no one ever.
I am writing in response to Bob Anderson's letter of Nov. 8. Mitt Romney showed amazing class congratulating Barack Obama, urging the country to unite and move forward together. Mr. Anderson, however, proclaimed, "Barack Obama won the popular vote because of Hispanics, women, blacks, under age 30 voters, and a whole lot of stupid people." He speaks, "There just aren't enough of us old white guys to win a general election anymore." Powerful and honest words on how Mr. Anderson is struggling with a changing Colorado.
Mr. Anderson appears frustrated that everyone has an equal right to vote now. Could conservatives honestly agree with him, that Hispanics, woman, blacks and under 30 age voters really shouldn't have an equal voice in Colorado? How much voter support is here in Colorado with this suppressive ideology?
Mr. Anderson accuses Obama voters of being stupid people. A 2010 U.S. Census report shows the states with the highest percentage of college grads as its citizens. Interestingly, 16 out of the 20 highest college graduate populated states voted for Obama, while 16 out of the 20 lowest college grad states voted for Romney. The District of Colombia, which has the highest level of college grads (68.8 percent), voted 91 percent against Mitt Romney. These statistics argue against Mr. Anderson's assumptions.
Lastly, Mr. Anderson writes about "dreaming a little about how Colorado used to be" - a time when Colorado accurately represented his personal needs. Unfortunately times have changed, and he no longer shares the majority opinion. While he dreams of times past, our generation is working towards a better future.
We put our dreams to the vote on Tuesday and the polls are in. Colorado successfully voted to keep women's rights theirs. Voted for equality across gender, race or sexual orientation lines. Voted for a 21st century energy policy. Voted to give adults a choice with activities of leisure.
Colorado voted and was heard. We can no longer call Colorado a red state, we are too diverse a people.
Democracy is working and the vote accurately reflected Colorado's vote. I strongly disagree with Mr. Anderson. Colorado's future looks brighter than ever.
To bad the Koch brothers totally wasted $400 million supporting radical, extremist issues and candidates, when they could have donated that money to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief, which was enhanced by climate change.
Thank you, Garfield County, for your continued faith, trust and confidence. The next four years will be challenging, but with your continued support, our county will become even better.
P.S. Aren't you glad this election is over?
Mike Samson, Garfield County commissioner, District 3