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Bruell column: Reflections on the elections

In last week’s election, Americans showed the world that the vast majority of us believe in the rule of law over rule by force, equality over white supremacy, and kindness and community over hatred.

Defying the bleak predictions from most political pundits, Americans came out in record numbers, especially young people and women, to vote down election-denying candidates who spouted false and dangerous rhetoric. We came out to vote for our freedom — the freedom to love who we want, marry who we want, grow our families when we decide, and elect our leaders. We voted to protect our democracy.

Democracy may seem like an abstract concept, but MAGA Republicans have made it crystal clear what our future could look like without it. Nick Fuentes, leader of the white nationalist America First movement, told his supporters that the inability of far-right Republicans to win elections is precisely why “we need a dictatorship.” Only a dictatorship would allow the far-right to do what Fuentes wants: ”take control of the media or take control of the government and force the people to believe what we believe or force them to play by our rules.”

This election was proof that the vast majority of Americans do not want our country to go down that path.

Another fundamental reason why Democrats defied the odds and won big in these midterm elections is that Democratic leaders have been accomplishing concrete wins for the American people. President Biden has successfully lowered prescription drug costs, addressed the climate crisis head-on with major investments, and taken steps to ensure that ultra-wealthy corporations finally pay something closer to their fair share.

Democratic leaders in Colorado have also shown how our government can work for us — from Governor Jared Polis’ creation of free, quality preschool and full-time kindergarten to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s historic investment in western water infrastructure and drought resilience.

Voters in Garfield County overwhelmingly supported state-level Democratic leaders. According to the unofficial results to date, Sen. Bennet beat his Republican opponent by a 7% margin in our county; Gov. Polis beat his Republican opponent by a 12% margin.

The question remains why county-level races went to the Republican candidates. Current Republican commissioners have held their seats for over a decade; John Martin is going on three decades. Some of the biggest challenges facing families in our county have only gotten worse since these men have been in office. The housing crisis has intensified; businesses and critical services have been unable to fully staff their operations; childcare is harder than ever to access; and traffic issues have worsened at the same time that wildfire danger has increased, making the prospect of emergency evacuation even more frightening.

Compared to the innovative ways Democratic commissioners in neighboring counties are tackling these same issues, our Republican commissioners look like they’ve been asleep. Summit County commissioners have made great strides in terms of wildfire prevention efforts and regular communications with community members during wildfire season. Eagle County commissioners have helped to expand toddler-care services and recruit childcare workers. Commissioners from nearby counties also participate in regional coalitions focused on creative solutions to the housing crisis and traffic on I-70. Our commissioners scoff at the very idea of collaboration.

Instead, Garfield County commissioners have spent countless hours and millions of our county dollars trying to increase oil and gas development. But what do they have to show for all their efforts and expenditures? A failed lawsuit; no increase in good-paying oil and gas jobs; and a continuing downward trend in revenue from oil and gas production.

Our commissioners want us to believe that we’re on the verge of another gas boom that will replenish our county coffers. But the fossil fuel industry is declining across the globe. It’s way past time for us to diversify our local economy and develop new avenues for good-paying jobs and reliable county revenue streams.

The commissioners’ dismal records are at odds with their electoral wins. Given their many years in office, perhaps name recognition is a factor?

All nine of the elected positions in Garfield County are now held by Republicans — despite the fact that the split in votes between Democrats and Republican candidates is consistently close to 50/50. Of course, it’s the duty of these elected officials to serve all of us, and I hope they will. If not, there’s another election just around the corner.

The remarkable victories of Democratic candidates across the nation and the overall defeat of MAGA Republicans illustrates the opportunity that opens up with each new election — no matter what the political pundits may be predicting. These victories also have shown that those of us who want a fair and just government, who believe we can create a government that truly works for the American people, are far more numerous and powerful than we thought.

Debbie Bruell of Carbondale chairs the Garfield County Democrats and is a past member of the Roaring Fork Schools Board of Education.

Erku column: Election month, Day 1 — rethinking the expectations of election reporting

Garfield County Commissioner Tom Jankovsky was pretty mum until tallies were more definite. 

State Rep. Perry Will, bellied up to that nice, classy Hotel Colorado bar sipping a Bud Light, graciously gave some on-record dialogue but still acknowledged that things could change. His challenger, Democrat Elizabeth Velasco, was across the Colorado River, receiving celebratory hugs at Bluebird Cafe as if it were already a lock.

U.S. Congresswoman Lauren Boebert didn’t join the watch party in Glenwood Springs. Instead, just before preliminary results showed her trailing Frisch by nearly 7,000 votes at 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, she was surfing a prematurely predicted “Red Wave” at Warehouse25sixty-five Kitchen + Bar in Grand Junction.

Seems as though every reporter, from the Denver Post to the New York Times, tried valiantly throughout this godforsaken general election death march to harvest comments from Boebert. I myself received a text from her on Thursday morning saying she’s too busy to chit-chat because she was supposedly tied up in meetings in D.C.

The great B.B. King used to headline Aspen’s Belly Up. Congressional District 3 Democratic challenger Adam Frisch was there Tuesday evening for his watch party when he told the Aspen Times “we’re not going to get over our skis” but that the race will come down to “a couple hundred votes anyway.”

Perhaps it’s the elevation, but past elections in these breathtaking valleys of ours have mirrored the sweat-filled, strangulating treachery of today. 

Races are too close to call in one day. Inquiries from campaign managers and reporters over ballot counts bombard county clerks’ offices. Newsrooms inherently grow nocturnal, hopped up on potent coffee while they frantically attempt to hit midnight deadlines.

Next time you see an election judge, be sure to hug them and take them out to a nice steak dinner. The Colorado Sun reported this past week some of these poor souls at one point spent 18 consecutive hours counting ballots. Meanwhile, tally takers say all results won’t be entirely counted until at least Nov. 16.

All this election madness calls for a slight lobotomy. Not necessarily in the way we run elections but in the way we advertise and treat elections. Here’s how:

  1. The term “election day” is practically a misnomer. The powers that be should call it election week, maybe even election month, and Tuesday itself should collectively be referred to as “Day 1.” The results reveal day shall henceforth be referred to as “Judgement Day.”
  2. Watch parties are held too damn early. Any politicians caught having a watch party less than a week after Day 1 — in other words having a party on election days 1-7 — will be required to ride down Sunlight Mountain on one ski only, blindfolded.

Seriously, it’s a lopsided, empty feeling boasting over results in one race when another is on razor’s edge and every news editor from here to Timbuktu is nearly suffering an aneurysm over timely coverage. 

No matter the stage. No matter the race. All results should be kept under safe lock until every single race is finished and the numbers are indeed officially final. 

Do you know how much time, energy and money this would save? You know how many less phone calls and emails that is? I could actually go back to salivating over Avs games on TV and annoying my girlfriend, successfully and uninterrupted.

I know what you’re thinking. But what about transparency, Ray? Don’t we need results updated every five minutes in the name of accountability? 

Thanks for asking. Let us not underestimate the power of auditing our own work if any red flags were to arise. Bam. Transparency saved. Process expedited. Problem solved.

Still not on board? Look at it this way:

When I didn’t make my freshman basketball team many moons ago, coaches handed every player a card after the very last day of tryouts. On that card it revealed whether you made the team. This meant everyone knew at the same exact time whether their jumpshot was garbage or highly desired. This also meant the coaches had ample time to consciously and democratically determine that I shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a basketball court.

Election races should be treated in the same spirit. Once all election results are final, they’ll be announced the same way as the Colorado Powerball. This will be done, like I said, on Judgement Day. The whole thing won’t take more than eight minutes, as opposed to eight long, beleaguered days. 

Need I say again. Only release all results when every single race is actually fully counted and over with. That way, everyone knows simultaneously whether they made the team and their political jumpshot is needed in Congress, county commission, wherever. 

Watch parties will be more uniform. Scheduling will make more sense. Like a new fad, reporters will actually reserve vacation time in November. 

Most importantly, county clerks and ballot counters, overworked to the bone, can perhaps loosen the vice.

Ray Erku is the western Garfield County reporter and assistant editor for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent and Citizen Telegram in Rifle.

Mulhall column: Real election malaise

It’s the day after the election, and I once again find myself on the wrong side.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m pretty used to this. It’s as though a majority of voters could look to me to know how not to vote, or so it seems.

This election, however, I wasn’t just wrong about this race or that ballot measure. I pretty much blew the curve backing losers.

Someone has to do it.

To some on the political left, the way I voted in Tuesday’s election is unlovingly called “being on the wrong side of history.” It’s a lot like being on the schnide — 0 points in a sporting event — but somewhat worse as it calls into question not one’s athletic prowess, but judgment.

Of course, Colorado’s ballot looked better for Democrats than most other states.

The governor’s race was a lock from the outset. Governor Polis never even trailed in the polls. If the final tally puts him up big, don’t be surprised to see Polis’ name mentioned for the 2024 presidential nomination.

The same lopsided odds were mostly true for Senator Michael Bennet. Compared to the gubernatorial race, that U.S. Senate race seemed like it might be competitive, though realistically Joe O’Dea never really came close to unseating Bennet.

The 3rd District House race was more intriguing. The challenger Adam Frisch battled controversy and Wednesday seemed to have eked out a sliver-thin victory. By Thursday, however, incumbent Lauren Boebert was up by about 800 votes.

So much for the red wave, at least in Colorado.

But of particular interest to me was local ballot measure 2C, which as of this writing is passing by nearly 400 votes. I watched 2C’s tally with chin-rubbing interest.

2C is a lodging tax for affordable housing. Among political issues, affordable housing was a darling this election.

In addition to 2C, state-wide Proposition 123 is passing, and it too sets aside taxes for affordable housing. Other local ballot measures similar to Glenwood’s 2C showed up on the ballots of nearby communities.

The number of affordable housing measures underscores not just the popularity of the issue, but also the gravity of Colorado’s affordable housing problem.

In Colorado, perhaps more so than many other states, property values badly outpace income. Consequently, lower-income and fresh-to-the workforce employees find it difficult if not impossible to live in the communities where they work. And that’s just for starters.

Apart from the scenery and recreational opportunities, little about Colorado living is advantageous.

What made the affordable housing issue interesting to me is the last election — you know, the referendum in which Glenwood voters had the opportunity to overturn a City Council decision to support a Glenwood landowner’s attempt to help allay some of our local affordable housing problems?

After Glenwood City Council approved an annexation and rezoning of what was called the 480 Donegan project last November, opposition mounted, petitions circulated, and signatures amassed. In the end, Ballot Question B asked us whether to repeal Council’s decision to support the project.

B passed, and so did a Glenwood family’s right to develop their land as they saw fit.

Fast forward to the 2022 mid-term ballot and Glenwood’s local 2C measure — a lodging tax that will set aside lodging funds to solve the affordable housing problem and create a “Workforce Housing Fund Advisory Board” like the Aspen/Pitkin County Housing Authority (APCHA) — an unelected bureaucracy with a mandate to spend taxes to solve housing affordability.

You can decide for yourself how effective APCHA efforts have been in solving up-valley housing affordability.

The result will be similar here.

I find it astonishing that local voters rejected an individual landowner’s attempt to help meet local affordable housing needs, but then turned around and voted to entrust local government to tax lodging and oversee an advisory board charged with solving the affordable housing problem.

To the extent 2C reflects the local voting public’s conscience, perhaps it’s fair to say those of us who live in Glenwood collectively prefer to hand over the tough problems to government, even though that means expanded government power, increased bureaucracy and decreased individual rights.

I’ve never found big government an appealing choice, nationally or locally. Yet that’s what I see in 2C — tacit approval of local government expansion.

Not to worry, however. I am, after all, on the wrong side of history.

Educators interested in innovating student STEM education through iMec may email me at mitch.mulhall@gmail.com.

Wednesday letters: More pre-election thoughts from readers

Editor’s note: Any remaining election-related letters to the editor must be submitted by noon Wednesday, Nov. 2 to be considered for pre-election publication. No election letters will be printed or published online after Friday, Nov. 4. Please see our letters policy for instructions to submit letters.

Moller is ready

It is an honor to endorse Becky Moller for Garfield County Clerk and Recorder. 

Becky is passionate about serving her community and has the experience necessary to effectively manage and lead. Becky has volunteered for decades in various capacities in Garfield County. I first witnessed her leadership and professionalism when Becky worked with Roaring Fork Leadership, where she volunteered for years as a leadership coach and mentor.  

As a paralegal, Becky runs her own business providing legal services to various law firms. As an attorney, I have personally and professionally witnessed Becky’s hard work, organizational skills, and leadership qualities, and she is truly a pleasure to work with and an incredible asset.

Becky would make an excellent Clerk and Recorder and I believe will serve all members of Garfield County with integrity and the highest ethical standards to manage and improve that important office. No one is more qualified or deserving to serve as Garfield County’s Clerk and Recorder than Becky Moller!

Lawrence Bond, Carbondale

Harmon has the experience

We need competence and experience in the county clerk’s office. Jackie Harmon is well-qualified and has been well-prepared by Jean Alberico to assume those duties which affect all of us in Garfield county. 

She will not need any ramp-up time, unlike her opponent, who is unqualified and inexperienced. The Clerk and Recorder’s office is responsible for voter registration, the conducting of all primary and general elections, motor vehicle titling and registration, real estate and other recordings, marriage licenses, birth and death records, liquor licenses and recording the proceedings of the Board of County Commissioners.

Jackie Harmon is ready to jump in on day one and oversee the dedicated hard-working staff of that office. I have known Jackie for many years and can attest that she is an honest, hard-working, woman of integrity and grit and is exactly who we need in the Garfield County Clerk’s office.

Jacqui Edelman, Glenwood Springs

Support Carbondale 2A

I am writing to ask for your support for Town of Carbondale Ballot Issue 2A. 

Last year, a group of citizens came before the town trustees to express concerns about short-term rentals (STRs) like AirBnB and VRBO in Carbondale. We pointed to a lack of rules and tax fairness, but most importantly warned that proliferation of these types of uses in residential areas could displace long-term renters who are key to the economy and community of our town. 

The Trustees undertook a number of meetings to hear from the public. The early meetings were emotional and contentious, but slowly a semblance of consensus emerged to regulate STRs in a way that balanced some need for visitor accommodations with a need to protect long-term renters and create some funding for housing security in Carbondale. 

Issue 2A is just one of the results of that careful and collaborative process and enjoys wide support from those who were involved. While 2A will only add a modest amount to our housing fund, creating a dedicated funding source for housing demonstrates our commitment to helping solve our housing issues and offers the town leverage to match other grants and get the ball rolling. 

2A is fair to STR landlords who still enjoy very low residential property tax rates compared to commercial lodges and in any case the tax will be paid by visitors who enjoy the community and services long-term renters make possible. Please support 2A!

Chris Hassig, Carbondale

Diaz for Treasurer

I first met Aron Diaz in 2010 when he represented Waste Management and I was on the Silt Trustee Board. I was impressed how prepared, professional and well-presented his updates to the Board were and how easily he answered all of the Trustees’ questions when it came to details of our contract with that company. When a seat came up on the Trustee Board, I encouraged Aron to run for a seat and share his experience with the town. 

As a Trustee, Aron was always prepared, fully researched the information being presented and offered his opinions and leadership in ways that moved the Town forward. Many municipal elected officials are guided by their staff and rarely question the authority of that professional experience. Aron would go beyond our issued reading, research an issue to know not only the history of a matter, but why it had been done that way in the past. This information was helpful to the board in general to make decisions that were truly in the hands of elected board members. His commitment and dedication to the true nature of government of the people was fully shown to me when he went back to school, earning his Master of Public Administration degree, so he could continue to serve in a capacity that makes government accountable. 

Over the following 12 years, Aron and I became fast friends and I learned more about Aron’s background both professionally and personally. He has not only become a trusted confidant, but a life-long friend whom I consider one of the most qualified public servants in the County. I am proud to support my friend and former colleague Aron Diaz for Garfield County Treasurer. 

Bryan Fleming, former Silt Mayor Pro-Tem

Reelect Perry Will

Representative Perry Will has shown outstanding leadership representing House District 57. As a public health practitioner, working at the state and national level in cancer prevention and control, it is important to me that legislators represent their districts, while considering impact on statewide policy. Representative Will has supported initiatives to help increase colorectal cancer screening, reduce barriers to care and to increase access to the insured as well as the medically underserved. 

Representative Will has pledged his continued support in the cancer prevention work and the need is even greater based on the impact of COVID-19 and delays in screening and care. In addition, Rep. Will’s commitment to mental and behavioral health is exemplary.

As a native Coloradan from a rural community, it is important to me that we have representation for policies that save lives, preserve livelihoods and also help maintain healthcare costs for all Coloradans. Representative Will has represented your district well with an ability to reach across party lines. Reelect Rep. Perry Will.

Andrea (Andi) Dwyer, Denver

Velasco for change, hope

This year I dove headfirst into our electoral process by supporting Elizabeth Velasco’s campaign for HD57. I never imagined dedicating so much of my time and energy to a political campaign, but I find myself doing it because I truly believe in Elizabeth Velasco. We need her to win. 

More of the same, out-of-touch reps who glorify the past won’t get us anywhere. It’s hard to maintain hope as a young person when the possibility of buying a house is slim, wages are stagnant while prices soar, we’re one medical emergency away from horrible debt, climate change undermines the idea of a stable future at all, and our democracy is under attack. 

A vote for the opponent is a vote for inexcusable inaction and further stripping of our rights and our hope in the future. While he paints himself as a moderate, it’s simply false and his voting record speaks for itself. Voting to jeopardize reproductive rights, to subject voters to intimidation at polling places, to extend our affordable housing crisis, supporting election deniers, and introducing legislation that would put high capacity magazines on the streets are not my idea of moderation. 

Elizabeth, on the other hand, is someone who inspires me to believe in the future. She will bring integrity and dedication to the wellbeing of everyone in our community. She will work hard to find real solutions that move us forward. She will advocate for freedom, democracy, protecting our land and water, and protecting our people. I’m ready for young, inspiring, intelligent, fresh leadership and new ideas. I’m ready for change and hope. Vote for Elizabeth Velasco!

Sophia Clark, Carbondale

Beware Will’s wool

Voters who care about preserving women’s freedoms will vote for Elisabeth Velasco for Colorado House District 57 Representative, and not Perry Will.

Some Will supporters claim that he has reached across the aisle to vote for a few bills, but that does not include the most crucial one, the Reproductive Health Equity Act.

Will voted against the Act, which guarantees a woman’s freedom to make her own health care choices, including ending a pregnancy.

Democrats were also able to defeat several extremist Republican bills that would ban all abortion without exception and another criminalizing women seeking one. 

A vote for Will would support stripping women of the same personal freedoms that men now enjoy.

For those who care about women’s rights as well as men’s, Will fails the acid test. Vote for Elizabeth Velasco to preserve all our freedoms for all people.

Bernard Grauer, Basalt

No on 2C

Glenwood Springs has many lodging businesses that are owned by immigrants. These families came to Colorado for an opportunity to take part in the American Dream. It’s what makes

America a beacon of hope. They are a part of your community and they need your support.

Vote “no” on 2C.

When we first heard about a potential lodging tax increase, an attractions tax was also being discussed for workforce housing. Many local businesses faced the dilemma of how to remain affordable despite the rising costs of doing business in Glenwood. However, when City Council saw an attraction tax would fail, they decided to target lodging.

Your local elected officials chose to bully a small group of businesses for workforce housing which is an areawide problem. Tell the city that this behavior is unacceptable. Support our small businesses by voting “no” on 2C. 

As for workforce housing, we get it. Many lodging owners live onsite and they also provide housing for their employees. Some properties provide workforce housing for over half of the employees who need a place to stay. Why doesn’t the rest of the business community take charge and do the same?

Our lodging community should not be singled out and taxed to provide housing for the other businesses in town. Please support them by voting “no” on 2C.

Edward Koziol, Glenwood Springs

Frisch the right choice

It has become really clear, for many reasons over the past couple of years, that Lauren Boebert is just wrong to be our Representative. 

Adam Frisch is right. He is committed to putting Colorado first, not himself, and keeping America strong. He will be a workhorse and get stuff done for the 3rd Congressional District. 

Adam will rebuild the middle class by fighting for high-paying jobs for all workers and lowering out-of-control costs. He is not a religious fanatic and believes in women’s rights. Vote for him and save all that is important to us.

Lon P. Winston, Carbondale

Democracy threatened

I read with interest Greg Rippy’s opinion piece (Post Independent 10/28/2022) about unaffiliated voters. I am one of those voters and I vote in every election. 

I concur with Greg that the economy is in a downward swing. That said, I feel as an American, the much more pressing issue is the delusional and dangerous narrative former President Trump and his allies have been spewing since his loss in 2020. The election has been scrutinized for fraud like no other election in American history and no voter fraud was found. 

There should be an extremely loud denouncement from everybody about this crazy theory. Instead, most Republicans embrace and repeat this nonsense. I don’t remember ever hearing Mr Rippy, whom I consider a friend, saying as much. 

We have a sheriff and county commissioners that fully back Representative Lauren Boebert in her campaign of misinformation from the 2020 election to the position that the church should rule the government. 

The common thread I hear from Sen. Mitch McConnel, Kevin McCarthy and all other Trump enablers is they will do anything to stay in power. Add to it the unhinged call for violence against elected officials from both sides of the aisle and we have a very real threat to our democracy. Please consider this as you vote. The economy will recover, as it always has, but our democracy may not!

Dave Malehorn, Glenwood Springs

McQueeney for EagCo

Jeanne McQueeney is the right candidate for District 3 Eagle County Commissioner. Jeanne has shown a deep commitment to Eagle County over the last 30 years and will continue to do so. 

Commissioner McQueeney has provided exceptional service to Eagle County residents as a teacher, on the School Board, and currently as a County Commissioner. During that time she has developed a deep understanding of how the county works and of the important issues we still must navigate. 

Her current participation in various state and regional boards brings recognition and influence to the county. In comparison to her opponent, she already knows what key objectives the county commissioners should focus on, and she knows how to work with the other two commissioners to make those happen.

Some of her own objectives include investing in affordable housing, supporting the workforce, and protecting our environment and natural resources.

Eagle County citizens are fortunate to have such an experienced and authentic candidate for this position. She actively listens to our concerns. Please check out her website at https://www.jeannemcqueeney.com/

Donna Grauer, Basalt

Monday letters: Readers offer thoughts on county, state House and CD3 races, Glenwood 2C

Editor’s note: Any remaining election-related letters to the editor must be submitted by noon Wednesday, Nov. 2 to be considered for pre-election publication. No letters will be printed or published online after Friday, Nov. 4. Please see our letters policy for instructions to submit letters.

Prepared vs. unprepared

On Nov. 8, voters must decide which candidate has what it takes to represent HD57. 

Perry Will is the most bipartisan legislator in Denver. He has been clear about what he is focused on: cost of living, better healthcare access, and protecting our water and public lands. And he has the record to prove it: https://leg.colorado.gov/legislators/perry-will

Elizabeth Velasco runs a small business and serves as a public information officer during wildfires. But Ms. Velasco has not provided any detailed positions or answered tough questions about the issues.

I urge voters to watch the Club 20 debate: https://club20.org/western-colorado-candidate-debates-recap-and-recordings/ 

Velasco couldn’t answer a basic question about prior appropriation doctrine, the foundation of water rights in Colorado. When asked about wolf reintroduction, she said she “didn’t think” she supported it. In a recent email, she promised “new ideas” but her website offers vague bullet points, not specific policy proposals.

This is worrisome. It concerns me as a rancher that she doesn’t know about water rights and hasn’t reached out to the ag community. It concerns me as a business owner that she doesn’t have specific ideas to address cost of living. It concerns me as a parent that she doesn’t outline any proposals for how she would work to support rural schools.

That is why I am voting for Perry Will, a proven leader who has worked with Republicans and Democrats alike to solve the problems we face in HD57.

Chance Jenkind, New Castle

Moller ideal for clerk

Becky Moller is an ideal candidate for Clerk and Recorder. She is smart, capable, and experienced. A vote for Becky is an opportunity to bring a fresh set of eyes from the private sector to the office. 

She has prioritized focusing on how the Clerk and Recorder can best serve residents — identifying office closures during the lunch break and turnaround time for documents as areas where changes are worth considering. 

Becky has volunteered countless hours to a variety of organizations and boards within Garfield County while building a successful and well-respected business. It does not take a heavy hand to make substantive changes that benefit both constituents and employees, but it does take the type of commitment Becky would bring to the office.

Laura Makar, Woody Creek

Thoughts on CD3 choice

This letter is directed to the working men and women of the 3rd Congressional District. Those working 40-plus hours per week, maybe you work two jobs and are struggling to get by. Those that cannot fill your car up with gas without wondering if you will overdraw your checking account or have enough money to pay the rent or mortgage. Those that are finding it hard to get by in this “Build Back Better” economy.

I have a few questions that I would like you to think about before you vote. First, do any of you think that a millionaire that owns a multi-million-dollar home in Aspen understands what you and your family go through when it comes to paying bills? Do you think this millionaire looks at the grocery ads on Wednesday to be sure he saves a few dollars when buying groceries? Do you think this millionaire has ever had to tell his child, “I am sorry, but maybe next Christmas or on your birthday we can buy that for you?” Do you think this millionaire, if elected to represent you in Washington, will have your best interests in mind and not the interests of his political party?

Some people call the woman he is running against “stupid.” Apparently if you’re a woman, if you do not have “white collar” job, if you work construction, wait tables, cook, or even start a small business that does not make millions, it makes you “stupid.”

The bottom line is, I would rather have a person that understands what it is like to try and make a living in this district, a person that has worked a job like waiting tables, represent me and not someone that spends more on a Friday night dinner at a fancy restaurant in Aspen than you or I spend on our monthly groceries. 

By the way, if this millionaire is elected, you and I will be paying for benefits that he will receive for the rest of his life with our tax dollars. 

I guess the rich do get richer!

Doug Meyers, Silt

Ready for CD3 change

We have a very important election coming up, both nationally and locally and we have some decisions to make. For the last two years our district has been saddled with a petulant child who thinks “owning the libs” is governing and her sole purpose is to line her own pockets. I, for one, am sick of that and ready for change. For that reason I will be supporting Adam Frisch for congress. 

Not only has he presented a platform, plan and ideas, but he has been traversing the district and talking to anyone and everyone who will meet with him. This is something we are not seeing from his opponent, as she spent all last week in Tennessee at a fundraiser. Yes, in Tennessee, raising money. Somehow that leads me to believe that her representation will be anything but her district. 

Adam wants to represent all of the district, not just the select few that benefit some big donors. Adam has already shown that he is willing to vote against his personal wishes if it benefits the community, go check his votes during his time on the Aspen City Council. Do we want someone who will vote party over people or someone who will do what’s best for all of us? I am going to vote for the candidate that puts policy ahead of mud slinging. Join me District 3 and let’s move beyond this current embarrassment.

Aidan Wynn, Aspen

Jankovsky acts in county’s interests

If you care about the rule of law and supporting Garfield County agencies that protect our safety and security, vote for Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County Commissioner in the upcoming midterm election. Tom understands that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and upholding it is critical to the continuity of our democratic republic. Without the rule of law, there is tyranny and injustice. 

The agencies that assure the rule of law is upheld have been under attack. Police and sheriff officers, EMS, firefighters and military personnel routinely put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of others. A hostile attitude from left-leaning leaders towards these everyday heroes only adds fuel to the fire in situations that are already volatile. Supporting Tom J for commissioner is a vote for the safety and protection of law abiding citizens and the first responders who speed to our aid when needed.

Tom is a man of action. He has supported first responders throughout his term in office. Thanks to Tom’s leadership role, the Garfield County Rifle airport has become a hub for wildland firefighters in western Colorado. It is a base of operations for federal, state and local fire fighting agencies that protect our homes, businesses and lands. 

Also, as a fiscal conservative, Tom’s role as County Commissioner has been a tremendous asset to Garfield County residents. Tom’s ability to balance the books, think ahead and prioritize has been honed not only over his terms as County Commissioner but in his years of experience as the general manager of Sunlight Mountain Resort. Under Tom‘s leadership, law enforcement and first responders, including school resource officers, have received the funds they need to excel at their jobs while still balancing the budget. 

Thank you, Tom J, for supporting the rule of law and the people who uphold it. Vote for Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County commissioner.

Frank McSwain Jr., Glenwood Springs

Moller has good moral compass

I have known Becky Moller since 2008, when we jointly served on the Parks and Recreation Commission for the town of Carbondale for over a decade. During the time that we worked together, it became clear that Becky cares deeply about making a difference in her community. She has a strong sense of justice and is someone I consider to have the highest integrity. Becky is not swayed by popular opinion and has a strong sense of character. She isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said and to follow law and procedure as it is laid out before her. As the county clerk, she would serve as the chief election official for the county, and I have no doubt that she would do so with the honesty and integrity I’ve come to expect from her. I believe she will work hard to bring the office up to date, secure elections and create change where needed. 

Becky’s moral compass always points in the direction of what is right and for that reason, I believe she is the best person for this position.

Tracy Wilson, Carbondale

Christian nationalism un-American

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Our First Amendment. Government and religion are to be separate. Freedom from religion is just as important. Otherwise, which religion should we be forced to follow? The 1st Amendment has been a long-standing bedrock of our democracy and our form of government.

The separation of church and state is under attack by people embracing Christian Nationalism. That ideology says that the U.S. is and should remain a Christian nation and that Christianity should be prioritized by the state. This is incompatible with the First Amendment which prohibits the government from imposing or endorsing a particular religion. But there are those who would prefer that we ignore that founding document. And some believe in the use of violence to enforce their beliefs.

Lauren Boebert argued in June that “the church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church.” 

Tom Jankovsky attended Cornerstone Christian Center in Basalt and applauded and gave a standing ovation to far right-wing speaker Christian nationalist David Barton, founder of the WallBuilders. Barton is opposed to immigration, LGBTQ individuals and separation of church and state. 

Christian nationalism is not Christianity, nor is it ordinary patriotism or mere pride in being American. It is a perversion of both Christianity and patriotism. That’s why over 24,000 clergy, church leaders and lay people from across the U.S. have signed a statement of “Christians against Christian Nationalism,” which argues that Christian nationalism is “distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy.”

Christian nationalism is not just undemocratic, it’s profoundly un-American.

Donna Yost, Glenwood Springs

Pass 2C

Please vote “yes” for a diversity of housing types and affordability in the city. It is now (and past) time to address solutions on multiple fronts and methods. With the physical limitations of the narrow Roaring Fork Valley, housing and traffic challenges face many including residents, commuters and employers. The need exists to learn, cooperate, adapt and help fund a diversity of housing needs and types.

Passage of 2C will not provide absolute solutions. It is a commitment and another tool for Glenwood to address in multitudes of ways, from helping with traffic volumes by providing workforce housing, to building community and helping provide housing stability. Approval will bolster involvement with recent regional housing efforts and discussions. It is an embarrassment there is just one Habitat for Humanity home in the city versus so many others from Basalt to Rifle. Proceeds will help to partner with other entities, private and public to provide and keep housing affordable.

While on city council in the 1990s I spearheaded the creation of the Housing for Tomorrow board, the precursor of the current Housing Commission. For Tomorrow, knowing there would always be a need and palatable efforts today would never be enough as our community and population needs evolve and change. Recently, some private employers and Re-1 with passage of a bond issue have worked to provide staff housing, addressing needs alone and with public help.

I’ve seen the needs of aged and disabled residents, threats to and need to protect mobile home parks, and ongoing needs of many private and public employers to retain and attract staff. I am so curious to see vote No on 2C signs at businesses. Do those employers provide their staff housing? Or do they pay wages allowing them to have quality affordable housing close to work? Are their employees happy, financially stable and secure to provide for themselves and their families? 2C will be an expansion of the accommodations tax paid by guests. 

A happy, positive and stable workforce can provide untold dividends compared to one stressed, unhappy or inadequate to meet the needs of customers.

Greg Jeung, Glenwood Springs

Another voter for Moller

I am writing to offer my wholehearted endorsement of Becky Moller for Garfield County Clerk and Recorder. I’ve known and occasionally worked with Becky for 10 years and have always found her to be conscientious, knowledgeable and prepared. 

As a friend she is incredibly kind. However, even while knowing Becky these many years, I must say that I didn’t know her political affiliation until she expressed interest in this position; she is just not an overtly political person which is exactly what the Clerk and Recorder should be. 

Becky wants to modernize the office to better serve the citizens of Garfield County. She will make an excellent Clerk and Recorder because she truly lives by her slogan, “Defending the Process For All.” 

I urge everyone, regardless of party affiliation, to support Becky Moller for Garfield County Clerk. I am incredibly proud to be able to say I have voted for her.

Rhonda Busk, New Castle

Boebert’s done some good

I felt the need to write a letter to the editor to encourage people to realize what wonderful things Lauren Boebert has done in a such a short time as our representative.

According to Lauren’s January 2022 newsletter, in her first her first year as congresswoman she made 20,168 calls, authored 17 bills, 153 Legislative Amendments, seven Resolutions Filed, $77.5 million in federal grants benefiting CD3, 62 mobile office hours, $403,529.12 in benefits returned to constituents, 21,304 letters to constituents, 15 nominations to the U.S. Service Academies, 466 meetings w/constituents, 655 cases worked for constituents.

These numbers provide a snapshot of all the work she has done for Colorado. It is impossible to adequately capture all the great things that transpired this year including helping veterans receive proper care, assisting seniors with Medicare issues, nominating Colorado’s brightest to our prestigious service academies.

While in office, Boebert fought for better access to quality medical care and secured $1.74 billion in funding for Community Health Centers, eight of which are in her district.*

Boebert also worked to allocate $48 million to the U.S. Forest Service. These funds are important and will help mitigate the state’s wildfire hazards. It’s a legislative win that will help the U.S. Forest Service “prevent wildfires and responsibly manage our forests.”*

She has also worked to allocate $10 million in funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Indian Irrigation Fund. Unbeknownst to most people, this legislation helps provide irrigation to the Southern Ute Native Americans. She also voted to secure $515 million to help fund law enforcement, firefighters, education, and other community efforts through the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.*

The opposition uses Boebert’s life experience from 16 years ago in a negative fashion. Boebert is the first mom to represent Colorado’s 3rd District. We should pride ourselves on these successes and her passion to represent all Coloradans.

*Washington Examiner 10/10/2022 by Christopher Tremoglie

Deborah Boerner, Ridgway

Dems honest about the issues

I wish that our politics could be an honest debate about policies. Regular working people are suffering due to the high cost of housing, health care and energy. Our whole society is at risk due to climate change, income inequality, gun violence and the erosion of democracy.

The Democratic Party hasn’t always lived up to its ideal of representing working people, but I believe it still does a vastly better job of championing policies that actually try to address our problems and make life better for all. 

That’s why I’ll be voting for Democrats pretty much down the line in this election. After the Jan. 6 insurrection and Trump’s part in it, it seems like a vote for Republicans is just a vote for chaos and thuggery. 

And in my opinion, Lauren Boebert is the worst of the whole self-serving, democracy-shredding bunch. She represents no one in Congress but herself. If you’re at all on the fence about her, I advise voting for her opponent Adam Frisch.

Dave Reed, Carbondale

Inflation a red herring

The Republican Party is ecstatic about the current inflationary situation, maybe because that is the only issue they are pinning their hopes on to retake Congress. 

Costs for goods were already at some of their highest levels before Biden took office, in part because of COVID relief spending enacted under President Trump. That money exceeds current Democratic spending by $1 trillion and kept many households and businesses flush with cash and ready to spend once restrictions eased. This cash influx, pent-up demand along with supply chain issues have been big drivers of the current inflationary situation.

It appears there is no Republican plan to combat inflation, several ideas are being promoted within the party, such as raising the eligibility age for Medicare and SSI to 70. Raising the age limit for Medicare means folks will need to stay on private insurance or go uninsured until then, given that a repeal of Obamacare is also on the radar. Most recipients of Social Security retiring at the current retirement age of 67 cannot afford to wait until 70 to collect benefits that they have been putting money into all of their working life. 

Another popular Republican plan is extending the Trump tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, both of these fly in the face of fighting inflation. Extending the three corporate tax breaks will add roughly $600 billion to the federal deficit in ten years outpacing Biden’s student debt relief program. In 2018 after the Tax Cuts Act, 91 profitable Fortune 500 companies paid no corporate income taxes and 379 profitable corporations paid a tax rate of just 11.3% on their income. 

Rather than pumping more dollars into the economy furthering inflation Republicans should focus on enacting taxes on big corporations and the ultra-wealthy to reduce the deficit.

Pam Rule, Montrose

O’Dea column: Running to be a voice for working Americans

The problem with Washington, D.C. is that it has too many Senators and Representatives who have never worked a hard day in their lives. I’ve worked, and I’ve struggled, like so many of you have worked and struggled.

And that’s why I’m running for the U.S. Senate, to be a voice for working Americans.

Our country is headed down the wrong path. Working families are getting squeezed right now. Earlier this summer, we saw jaw-dropping gas prices at the pump. This fall, some parents have had to make a choice between paying for school supplies or paying for food and rent.

Unfortunately, Joe Biden’s reckless economic agenda, which my opponent supports, has pushed our economy into a recession.

Despite warnings from economists that Joe Biden’s spending proposals would worsen our country’s inflation crisis, Sen. Michael Bennet voted to pump $1.9 trillion additional dollars into the economy. That decision has proven to be a total disaster for our nation.

Bennet put his party over the country, and we’re paying for it everywhere. I don’t personally dislike Michael, but I do take issue with his willingness to set aside the needs of Coloradans to please his political party.

Colorado is tied for having the highest inflation rate in the country at over 15%. Grocery prices are up 13.5% compared to a year ago. Rent is up 6.7%, the largest increase since 1986. Electricity is up 15.8%, the largest increase since 1981. Meanwhile, interest rates are soaring and working people are paying the price.

We need to shrink the size of the federal bureaucracy and lower the deficit. The American people have watched in disgust while both parties have run up the debt over the last 25 years.

To fight this inflation it’s critical that we expand energy production here in America. Higher energy prices are the primary driver of inflation, making food, gas, and manufacturing more expensive. We need a government-wide focus that embraces American energy production of all kinds — wind, solar, nuclear, natural gas and oil. This allows us to leverage innovation to continue to drive down carbon emissions to address climate change, while simultaneously bringing down energy costs for working families. Flooding global markets with clean, American natural gas can bring down emissions worldwide and help struggling families.

A rise in crime and the humanitarian crisis at our southern border are also hurting Colorado. Our state leads the state in car thefts. Small businesses express concerns about the rise in crime, and too many Coloradans don’t feel safe in their own homes anymore. I support our law enforcement heroes because Coloradans deserve to live in safe communities.

Additionally, our communities are afflicted by the fentanyl crisis — a national crisis. Nearly 2000 Coloradans have lost their lives to this poison. Colorado is the second state with the most fentanyl overdoses. Unfortunately, this poison comes across our border to Colorado and gets distributed to the rest of the country. And Joe Biden and Michael Bennet refuse to treat border security as national security.

To get serious about fighting this crisis, we must secure the border first. As a Senator, I will fight for legislation that both secures our border and addresses our broken immigration system. Our Dreamers should get citizenship, and the millions of undocumented immigrants in our country should be able to go through a streamlined process to attain a legal status. But again, Joe Biden and Michael Bennet refuse to acknowledge the connection between fentanyl and the border, and have made no progress fixing our broken immigration system.

While Coloradans are struggling with inflation and this fentanyl crisis, Michael Bennet and Joe Biden were at the White House celebrating the so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” that does nothing to fight inflation. Instead, it allocates $80 billion to the IRS to go after low- and middle-income Americans. Those resources should have gone to our local law enforcement and towards border security, but they didn’t because my opponent’s priorities aren’t aligned with the needs of Coloradans.

I’m a contractor, not a career politician. While my wife Celeste and I were blessed to achieve our American Dream, too many working Americans are getting left behind, unable to achieve their dream. That’s why I’m running, to be a voice for the working people of this country. I want future generations to have the same opportunities Celeste and I had.

I’m not interested in political parties, I’m focused on what is good for Colorado. If we work together I know we can create a brighter future for working people across the state.

I’d be honored to have your vote.

Joe O’Dea is Colorado’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate this fall.

Bennet column: Making progress for families in Garfield County

In March, I had the honor of meeting Autumn Rivera, a sixth-grade science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School and Colorado’s 2022 Teacher of the Year. I asked her why she decided to become a teacher. She beamed with pride as she shared one story after another about the difference her students make in the community — like raising money to protect Sweetwater Lake — and the tireless support of her fellow teachers.

In our conversation, Autumn mentioned something else that has stuck with me. She said many of her colleagues work two or three jobs so they can afford to live and teach in Glenwood Springs.

As a former school superintendent, I know we don’t pay our teachers nearly enough (we need to fix that). I also know Autumn’s story — of an economy where people work harder and harder to stay afloat, let alone get ahead — has become all too common.

Colorado has one of the most dynamic economies in the country. But wherever I go in our state, people tell me they are working incredibly hard, but no matter what they do, they can’t afford some combination of housing, health care, child care, or higher education. They can’t save for or afford a middle-class life, and rising costs from gas to groceries to rent make it even harder.

Their struggles reflect an economy that for the past 50 years has worked well for the wealthiest Americans, but poorly for everyone else.

Since arriving in the Senate, I’ve fought to build an economy that grows for everybody — not just the people at the very top. And, over the past 18 months, we’ve taken significant steps toward that goal, even though we have much further to go.

After the worst public health crisis in a century, we passed the American Rescue Plan, which gave communities along the Western Slope resources to tackle rising housing costs, fund law enforcement, and address our mental health crisis.

The law included my proposal to expand the Child Tax Credit, which provided working families the biggest tax cut in generations. Last year, virtually every family in Colorado received an average of $450 per month from the credit. It benefited 90% percent of Coloradans, cut child poverty almost in half, cut hunger by a quarter, and gave families a lifeline against inflation.

Then, we passed a bipartisan infrastructure law to fix our roads and bridges, improve our public transit, and help us compete with China. Colorado has already begun to use the funds to repair I-70 — a critical transportation corridor through Colorado — and $24 million is headed to Grand Junction, Rifle, and Glenwood Springs to improve rural public transit and bicycle, pedestrian, and parking infrastructure The infrastructure law also makes historic strides in broadband to connect every family, farmer, and small business to affordable, high-speed Internet, based on a bipartisan bill I wrote on the Western Slope with the help of the Delta-Montrose Electric Association. 

This summer, we passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which addresses several urgent priorities for Colorado. We finally overcame Big Pharma and required Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices on behalf of the American people. We capped the price of prescription drugs for Coloradans on Medicare to $2,000 a year and the price of insulin to $35 a month.

And as climate change continues to ravage our state, we made the largest investment to fight climate change in U.S. history, with historic steps to accelerate clean energy development, increase domestic manufacturing for our solar and wind industries, and promote more efficient homes, factories and transport.

Between these two bills, I fought to secure $10 billion for forest and watershed health. Both laws represent overdue steps to address our urgent challenges as a nation and build an economy that grows for everybody, not just those at the very top.

The choice in this election is whether we will move forward and build on the historic progress we’ve made, or go back to the same failed policies.

The next generation of Coloradans expects us to hand them a future defined by more opportunity, not less. A future where teachers don’t have to work two or three jobs to live where they work; where families aren’t drowning in rising costs; hard work translates into security and dignity; and our economy works for everyone, not only the wealthiest few.

We have to keep moving forward. That’s why I am running for re-election, and I’d be honored to have your support.

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., is running for re-election this fall.

Wednesday letters: Politics and more politics; also canyon traffic safety and bears

Couey responds re: nonprofit filings

David Mead’s sordid letter about Rocky Mountain Veterans’ Hunts & Excursions (10/17 letters) was not based on a full set of information. 

The nonprofit uses an outside accountant to file any returns to guarantee that the filing is always impartial. The first year in operation, 2019, was filed timely and is on the IRS website. The 2020 was filed timely, but is not yet on the IRS website, just like many others that the IRS has not yet posted due to backlog. The organization is timely for filing for 2021.

RMVHE is a private nonprofit and very small scale. It services just a handful of veterans each year at a major discount because of generous landowners. RMVHE can provide these hunts at a discount with a very huge value, believing that quality is important. Last year, one veteran passed away due to illness, but not before receiving a dream hunting trip at a remote cabin. The organization has continued to serve a few veterans each year and will continue to do so this year, with hunts on the books this fall. 

Most of hunts take place on Couey family-owned property, where, as board members the bylaws specifically prohibit receiving any renumeration. Any other hunts are donated by compassionate landowners, forgoing any hunting income the landowner could have received from paid hunters. The nonprofit was founded by volunteer members who care deeply about veterans’ issues.

Shame on David Mead for implying that there are improprieties going on with this organization to score a cheap political hit for a local race. Mr. Couey, the organization’s primary founder, lost his veteran brother to suicide, and this is something that all the board members of the organization have been affected by. 

RMVHE continues to stand by its mission, “To promote emotional, physical, and mental healing by providing veterans of the United States Armed Forces outdoor recreational opportunities, including, but not limited to, hunting, fishing, at no cost or a substantially reduced cost.”  

Carrie Couey, Tom Jankovsky, Perry Will, Jefferson Cheney, Kelly Couey, RMVHE board 

2C responds to crisis

We don’t have a problem, we have a crisis. Workforce housing is a critical issue for our community and economy. Glenwood’s business leaders are saying it is the most significant challenge facing Glenwood Springs. As a local business owner, I do understand this issue, but this isn’t about any one business. Our lack of workforce housing is impacting 99.9% of our local businesses across all sectors. Any local government leader who doesn’t understand this is out of touch with our local businesses and is not addressing our No. 1 problem. Question 2C provides practical solutions that can and will work right here in Glenwood Springs. As part of the group of residents and businesses that put 2C together, I know how much time went into researching what is working in other places and designing solutions that fit our community. 2C is well thought out. Fortunately, we as community members can lead by voting Yes on 2C this election.

Matt Spidell, Glenwood Springs

Gordon’s a water issues leader

I urge your readers to join me in voting for Ryan Gordon for Garfield County Commissioner. As a professional hydrologist and community member for 45 years, I’ve known Ryan both as a friend and as a respected engineer who helps our communities’ secure reliable water supplies for domestic uses.

Through this experience, Ryan understands the importance of protecting and. preserving our limited water supplies within Garfield County. This message is captured in Ryan’s website: “We have to be responsible caretakers of water as it moves through our hands and across our lands.” 

Ryan understands that to be responsible caretakers, all of us as water users have a role to play. That is, regardless of whether one uses water for agricultural, municipal, industrial or recreational purposes, it is incumbent upon us all to be efficient and protective of our limited water supplies. For this reason, Ryan supports policies that encourage water efficiency, water quality protections and stream health.

In this regard, and from my conversations with Ryan, it is apparent that he is a hard-nosed defender of our water resources. He is concerned about the on-going actions of Front Range cities to expand their historic transmountain diversions located within the headwaters of the Eagle, Fraser and Colorado Rivers. These projects will further deplete streamflows in our county.

Enough is enough, we need leaders like Ryan who can work with our West Slope neighbors to defend our rivers. Ryan will be our voice; he is the responsible caretaker we are looking for.

Scott Fifer, Glenwood Springs

Velasco for HD 57

This November I’ll be voting for someone I’m excited about: Elizabeth Velasco, candidate for State House. Elizabeth will bring qualifications and experience to the statehouse that have been lacking in our current and past representation, and she will serve the needs of everyone in our valley with integrity, discernment, and compassion. 

Elizabeth is a new American, a wildland firefighter, a small business owner, and a leader in the community. She runs a translation and interpretation business, through which she works in the schools, the hospitals, local government, businesses and nonprofits, meanwhile through her work as a public information officer and firefighter, she has worked with emergency response at all levels of government. Elizabeth has her pulse on the district. She has experience working with diverse interests and bringing together coalitions in the interest of public wellbeing. 

Elizabeth is also a young person who shares the lived experience of so many families trying to make ends meet in our valley. It’s not easy. Because she understands our struggles, Elizabeth will bring that voice to the state capitol and take action. 

We can’t trust our current Representative, Perry Will, to do that, and his voting record shows it. 

Rep. Will voted against numerous health care reform bills, climate change proposals, affordable housing solutions and against protecting a woman’s right to choose. These votes don’t represent us, they cause us harm. We have an amazing alternative. 

I hope you’ll join me in supporting Elizabeth Velasco for House District 57.

Nicole Flores Romanoff, New Castle

Questioning Frisch 2nd A support

Prior to my return to Grand Junction, I used to attend NRA Board of Directors meetings. One incident is relevant to Western Colorado voters: the resignation of John Dingle, Democrat Congressman from Michigan from the NRA Board. 

In the old days, there were Democrat politicians who supported the Second Amendment: John F. Kennedy and John Dingle, to name two. John’s tearful resignation was the result of his vote for Bill Clinton’s so called “Assault Weapons Ban.” John’s view of America and the Second Amendment wasn’t strong enough to stand up to his party. John tearfully admitted his treason and resigned from the board. 

Adam Frisch’s commercials say that he “supports the Second Amendment.” Even if that is true, and I doubt it, his opinions will not matter to his anti-gun, anti-American party. The same is true for the rest of his “beliefs” or “credentials.” 

“Conservative Businessman” almost caused me to choke on my beer, but suspending rational thought for a moment, still won’t matter to the Democrat Party. Pro-energy, hahahaha, the only “energy” the Democrats like is the “green” kind where they ship American “greenbacks” to their Chinese associates. 

So, either Frisch is one of the most outrageous liars I’ve seen in politics in the last few decades or the most naive and incredible fool to make it on a ballot. I’ll bet on the first, and figure that the naive fools are the people who might vote for him. 

But the bottom line is that Frisch is a Democrat and even if he honestly believes the campaign statements, he must conform to “Democrat Party Discipline” and will therefore be totally irrelevant and unable to do any of the things he says he’d do.

Gene H. Dreher, Grand Junction

Vote for truth, accuracy

If there is only one metric worth following, in any election, it is that truth and accuracy are paramount; if that is what you wish to be legislated with. 

Fear, slander and division are red flags for unknowledgeable candidates that do not respect, even the constituents that elect them. Let insecure folk follow the wackadoodle news sources, right into dissonant autocracy and conspiracy. 

Our only job is to stay focused on electing clear-thinking Democrats, with the goal of regaining a vibrant democracy.

John Hoffmann, Carbondale

Back off Midland Habitat plans

It seems that Glenwood’s council has decided to give the OK to Habitat for Humanity to go forward with the Eighth street and Midland project, ignoring the fact of why this property was bought. I assume that they have been advised that they can proceed without a public vote, even though they are changing the intended use. 

This is only the beginning of what is planned for Eighth Street and the river confluence area. There are plans to turn the old sewer plant area into condos and apartments, adding even more traffic in this already heavy traffic corridor. 

The Cowdin area has already had parking restrictions imposed on them from the city. Habitat for Humanity has sent out invites to those that will be affected to help with the design (not if they oppose the project). In this notice they indicate that the city has donated this property to them. I understand that it is a long-term lease in order to avoid a public vote and not a transfer of ownership. 

Where is Marco Dehm? He represents this ward and should know how the residents feel about the project.

I still stand by my statement, “you do not solve a problem by creating a larger one.”

RFTA is now thinking about a bus route along the trail system from Eighth Street to 27th Street.

What will that create at this intersection? Please back off and find a more suitable location.

This project and development of the confluence will affect the commuters and all of Glenwood citizens.

Don “Hooner” Gillespie, Glenwood Springs

Need better canyon warnings

Once again, motorists and businesses suffer due to another semi rollover (Sunday, Oct. 16). Hopefully no one was hurt, but these accidents are happening way too often. 

Driving through the canyon I notice a complete lack of critical signage warning motorists, and especially truckers to slow down! The recent shutdowns have been on dry roads; what happens when winter adds an icy layer?

CDOT has numerous signs on each side of Vail Pass and Floyd Hill warning motorists of grades and curves, but rarely a mention in Glenwood Canyon, which is a major interstate with no real alternative other than a 3-plus hour detour. 

It’s one thing to have shutdowns because of road improvements, but these rollover incidents now seem to be a way of life. What gives?

Jackie Neuman, Glenwood Springs

Bad bear policies

One of the most horrible things that has happened in our world is when innocent children are killed. It shakes us to our souls. So, how is it that humans feel it’s OK to do the same thing to other species, and call it policy? 

I realize our local DOW people do not make policy but they have no problem carrying out the killings. 

Those bear cubs in Aspen could have been brought to the Schneegas Rehab Center in Silt. DOW’s ridiculous thinking was, since the cubs saw mom enter someone’s home, or entered with her to find food, they would continue to do that for the rest of their lives. 

With this type of thinking we should be locking up the kids of felons, because they may follow in their parents footsteps. 

Why have humans come to feel that they are the ruling species on this planet? They decide when it’s supposedly OK to kill other animals for our benefit. 

All the problems on this planet are human-caused; humans are the most destructive species on earth.

Imagine how wonderfully pristine the planet would still be if there were no humans. 

John Korrie, Glenwood Springs

Frisch listens to rural voices

Rural America has been left behind by Democrats; until now. D.C. and Denver politicians never understood the subtleties of how policy affects people differently in rural and urban settings. 

Most Democrats get their votes from urban areas and that reflects how they tailor their policy. It’s made sense to Dems because that’s where most of the votes are. 

But what we are seeing now is minority rule with the GOP growing. We see this in the Senate and the Supreme Court. Issues popular with the vast majority of voters, like access to legal abortion, are being stripped away by the most extreme part of the Republican Party. It’s time for this to stop and we know at least one Democrat is listening — Adam Frisch.

Most rural voters are Independents and do not completely agree with either side, but when Democrats throw their urban-centric policy at ranchers, farmers and the rest of us in rural regions, they are going to have a large disconnect. 

Adam Frisch understands this and will make sure rural Americans are not left behind. Yes, Adam is a Democrat but he’s a new type of Democrat that we’ve been lacking here in CD3. Adam is not here to take your guns or limit our economy by restricting natural resources. Adam does understand climate science and knows that we need to protect our water in these current drought conditions and diversify our energy sources; but all while making sure those who work in the energy industry keep their jobs and do not feel attacked. 

Adam knows that policy does not have to come down to red or blue but can be a combination of both sides. This is a sentiment most of us who live here share. Adam Frisch is the clear choice for this November.

Westley J. Crouch, Political Consultant with United Western Voices LLC

Glenwood Springs

Moller for clerk

I am endorsing Becky Moller for Garfield County Clerk and Recorder. I have known Becky for some time now, about 20 years, in the context of her work as a paralegal in water law firms and also as a contract paralegal. 

Again, my association with Becky is within the complex arena of water rights law, and she has proven to be skillful as a paralegal in determining issues of water rights title ownership, water supply contracting and Water Court litigation support. 

Accordingly, given her expertise in this complex area of law and also her ease in dealing with co-workers and the general public, I highly recommend Becky to voters in Garfield County to serve as the next County Clerk and Recorder.

Tom Kinney, Redstone

Candidate commentary: Tom Jankovsky, Republican for Garfield County Commissioner District 1

I am asking for your support as I run for re-election as Garfield County Commissioner. As a third-generation Coloradoan, I know our county and state are rich with history, culture, natural beauty and I personally understand the importance of protecting the future of these great lands. Clean air, clean water and a healthy environment are our birthright in this beautiful county.

As a businessman, I bring a business perspective. I’m a strong supporter of private property rights, a strong economy, and America’s free enterprise system. I am a fiscal conservative, who will deliver a balanced budget and maintain a fair and limited government that serves all the citizens of Garfield County.

Over the past year I have been appalled by the inflation, the loss of energy independence, the chaos at our southern border and the humiliation and weakness of our country in foreign affairs.

As a County Commissioner I can make a difference at the local level. The increase in crime is not just an urban issue but also a Garfield County issue. The Sheriff enforces the law, the DA prosecutes the law and the County Commissioners fund the DA and Sheriff. Last year we increased the budget of the DA $700,000 to help with the backlog of the cases from the COVID pandemic. Next year we are funding the Sheriff two additional resource officers for protection of our school children. I will always adequately fund law enforcement.

I support an “all of the above” energy policy — solar, wind, hydro, nuclear and fossil fuels — to get our country back to energy independence. I am a founding board member of Garfield Clean Energy and Garfield County is the majority funder of GCE. Also, Garfield County has the second largest natural gas reserves in the United States, 66 trillion cubic feet. It is important for our county, nation and the world that we are able to produce this asset. 

I am committed to the future of Garfield County, I will fight for our individual liberties, energy independence, the rule of law, access to public lands and a strong economy. I will protect my family, your family, our community, state and country. Most importantly, I will fight for those who can not protect themselves.

Together we will make a difference! I ask for your vote.

Candidate commentary: Ryan Gordon, Democrat for Garfield County Commissioner District 1

I was born and raised in Garfield County and I’m proud to be raising my family here too. I’m inspired to be your county commissioner because I want to ensure that they, you and all of us have a bright future here. I will be a commissioner that looks to the future just as much as honoring the past. You deserve nothing less. 

So, how does my background prepare me for this role?

After graduating high school in Glenwood Springs, I obtained my civil engineering degree from Colorado State University and subsequently became a registered Professional Engineer. Years later I started dating a good friend from high school; we married and started our family a few years after that. My wife teaches science at Colorado Mountain College, and we’re proud to send our daughters to public school in Roaring Fork School District RE-1. Our 8-year-old is a devoted swimmer for the Sopris Barracudas, and our youngest is excited to start her first hockey season as a Grizzly Cub.

I’m a political outsider. I’ve spent the last two decades as a water engineer where my work has primarily been keeping our nation’s water safe and clean. My profession is not flashy or glamorous — in fact, it’s often misunderstood. A college professor once told me that as a water engineer, I would have the potential to save more lives than a doctor because clean water is imperative to life. Although I’ve worked for private companies my whole career, the very nature of my profession means I also work in public service to people and the environment. As a municipal engineer, I’m essentially an extension of the towns I serve (I’m currently the town engineer for several in our region). The projects I work on are funded by and in benefit of the public, and I play a key role in determining which projects are done and when. 

I’ve also spent my career working in collaboration with diverse stakeholders in the private and industrial sectors; nonprofits; municipalities and towns; counties like Mesa, Garfield, Pitkin, Eagle, Summit, Grand, Montezuma, San Miguel, La Plata, and Saguache; and Federal Government entities like the U.S. Forest Service, the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Navy. I work with these stakeholders to find ways to collaborate on realistic solutions to complicated problems, and know from experience that I can be heard by stakeholders by “playing nice.” I will bring this same approach to the complex issues that we face in Garfield County, but am also adept at establishing boundaries and holding my ground when needed. 

In addition to designing water infrastructure (like wastewater treatment plants) and collaborating with diverse stakeholders, I’ve managed hundreds of projects from design through construction. I manage people and provide oversight and review on work; produce, develop, implement, and execute contracts; and manage the financial and scheduling aspects of projects (the largest budget I’ve managed was $80 million). Water infrastructure engineering requires more executive and administrative skills than most people realize, and I’m proud of the complexity of my profession. 

So why run for this office? I’m tired of partisan politics; tired of career politicians who blame others instead of working to address current issues and fail to plan for the future; and tired of leaders who won’t sit down and work together to create the best possible outcomes. This isn’t sustainable and it’s not reflective of good leadership. Our future is not guaranteed, so we need to stop arguing and start working smarter in a truly collaborative way. This is the kind of leadership I will bring to this role. 

The most serious threats to our future in Garfield County include the rising cost of living and housing, declining revenues from oil and gas, less water available in our mountains and rivers, and the danger to life, property, and the environment from the megafires of our changing climate.

To solve these issues, a proactive, forward-thinking approach and collaborative leadership are required. I know from the countless people I’ve talked to across our great county that for them, the current commissioner is “out of touch,” both literally and figuratively. As county commissioner, I will be an energetic champion for everyone in Garfield County, and will bring people together to strengthen our economy, work to expand affordable high-quality housing, and put our environment first over special interests.

You can read more about my campaign at www.RyanGordonforGarCo.com and learn why I am the right vote for your future.