Letter: Money and politics
March 20, 2017
By now the mail ballots are on the voters' kitchen table ready to be filled out. We are fortunate that in this election we have a strong field of well-qualified candidates for City Council.
However, there is a fly in this ointment, and before you fill out your ballot, please consider the following:
It concerns me that both the Hotel Denver and Glenwood Caverns are hosting lavish "Meet the Candidates" events, offering free food and gondola tickets to the public in order to garner support exclusively for the two candidates of their choice. Wow! The Caverns and the Hotel Denver happen to be prominent chamber of commerce members and leaders in our tourism industry.
Regardless of their intentions, this is bad optics, suggesting an attempt to influence this election by money and special interests. If any business or chamber member wants to contribute to a healthy and transparent election they should do so by hosting events benefiting all candidates instead of just the ones perceived as favorable to their interests.
Also, current council members should honor the longstanding tradition to refrain from publicly endorsing any candidate. Regrettably, a number of current City Council members are flouting this tradition by displaying yards signs for the their favorite two candidates. Yes, these are same two candidates supported by the Caverns and Hotel Denver. What is going on here, what are we missing?
I urge these council members to come clean on this and to remove these yard signs as a public display of favoritism.
I was fired up about two years ago when one of our fine council members publicly scolded fellow member Steve Bershenyi for not going along with a majority vote. In fact Steve was asked to either resign or go along. I will always admire Steve for setting a high bar for integrity and independence for current and future council members, whose first responsibility and service should be to the voters and not to inside or outside interest groups.