The biennial farce of “free” elections is underway. Best estimates at this point are that special interests will spend roughly $4.5 billion on campaign contributions and another $3.5 billion on lobbying before November.
There is nothing free about an election process in which mega-donors and super PACs invest that kind of money.
Of course, those big donors maintain that they don’t expect anything in return for their contributions, and politicians declare that they are not influenced by such donations. In my opinion, one would have to be as dumb as a post to believe that.
Of course the moneyed interests expect some quid pro quo, and as voters, we should be insulted that politicians expect us to believe that they don’t repay the pro quo with some quid. We know and they know that both the super-donors and the candidates are engaged in a form of legalized bribery.
I’m not angry because some people make more money than others. In fact, I sincerely believe that people who work hard and contribute to society on a fair and level playing field should be rewarded.
However, the current playing field is not level. Because of the unholy alliance between moneyed interests and the officials elected via our broken system, the game is rigged.
The quid pro quo yields legislation that favors the bottom line of corporations, financial institutions, and others big donors. Legislation and regulations that might level the playing field either never see the light of day, or get riddled with loopholes.
This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it is more prevalent each year. As a consequence, the integrity of our democracy is slowly but surely being undermined.
This is not some stealth process. We know that it is happening. And we know that campaign finance reform, term limits, and tighter lobbying rules would go a long way toward leveling the playing field. But we are stuck in the Catch 22 situation that requires Congress to legislate such constraints on themselves.
Until that happens, we are assured of having the best government that money can buy.
One of my pet grammatical annoyances is the misuse of the term “begging the question” or “begs the question.” Commonly, even by educated people, it’s used to mean “prompting or eliciting a question,” which indicates the person has no understanding of logic or propaganda techniques.
I wish to commend and offer a high five to Carl Mc Williams who, in his letter of Feb. 9, provided the definition and an example.
Maybe we can get together with the Post Independent and collaborate on a series defining propaganda techniques so the voting public can more accurately analyze the methods our elected officials, candidates, anchorpersons, talk show hosts, their guests and celebrities use to manipulate public opinion.
I write in response to Richard Aluise’s letter of Feb. 6.
Rifle was ranked 17th of 200 towns in “Outdoorsman” and 27th of America’s Best Hunting and Fishing Towns. Rifle Falls was voted sixth of the top 10 waterfalls to visit. Rifle also is ranked very high for rock climbing. Rifle has people from all over the world coming to experience these things.
Glenwood Springs has rich history that the entire country is amazed by, such as Doc Holliday, railroad history, Hotel Colorado, Ted Bundy, the world’s largest natural hot springs, plus it is a stop on the way to a resort town named Aspen.
Avon is a resort town in which to support the urban renewal authority.
Parachute had an economic boom with the oil and gas industries. Workers from all over the country were coming to Parachute, wanting to live close to where they worked.
I would be curious to see what the business owner that benefited from the urban renewal authority money would say about the taxes they now owe on forced, improved properties that they are unable to sell now and that have lower sales opportunities as many of the rigging operations are now pulling out of our state.
Delta has a population of 6,927 and is 26 miles from Montrose, with a population of 18, 388 in which to support an urban renewal authority.
Silt, Colorado: population 2,693. Our own city website shows that we have non-descript activities such as hunting and fishing, skiing and snowboarding, snowmobiling, camping and hiking. Our town is a bedroom community.
In a tough economic time, our town is feeling the need to provide a nicer, cleaner town in which to draw more people in. This is wonderful, but I don’t see how business will survive the taxes. Business owners will see increased taxes assessed on inaccurate projections of value, just because the town improved the properties with striped parking lots and planter boxes. This doesn’t seem to be a way to increase sales in a down economy.
We all agree Silt needs improvement, but is this the way to do it?
I am very impressed with the overwhelming interest outsiders have given to the revitalization of Silt. Most have been very positive. However there are a few who are not.
The urban renewal authority meeting proved to be very encouraging. Approximately 80 people attended seeking satisfaction from unfounded rumors relative to blight and eminent domain. After two hours of discussion and explanation, they left very content with a greater understanding about the issues.
Many thanked us for the explanations and expressed their support.
However there are those who are uninformed and did not take the time to research the truth. They openly blast the efforts of Silt to get a grocery store, bank and pharmacy, as many have read in the Post Independent the last two weeks.
Neither did they visit with us, research or come to the meetings. Their comments are divisive, and baseless.
Example: Karen Foster wrote in her Feb. 6 letter, “a nifty takeover of property taxes through a sleight (trickery) of hand machination (plot) that uses ‘blight’ to downgrade property.” She then accuses Silt of “… insidious undertow of devastation to the communities it purports to be helping is nothing short of a crafty (devious) ruse (scam).”
It sort of makes us look like we are the disciples of Al Capone. Ms. Foster finished her letter by saying, “We need to do what we can to oppose this action in our communities.”
Isn’t that sad? To think there are those who first accuse Silt of devious and underhanded tactics to bring in a grocery store, and turn right around and state that “we need to do what we can to oppose this action.” It supports the fact that she is either out to obliterate our efforts or she has no idea what she is talking about. I would like to think the later.
Why several letter-writers from Glenwood Springs would openly blast Silt’s efforts to improve Silt’s lifestyle is beyond my wildest imagination. Upon closing, I again extend a warm invitation for Ms. Foster and her friends to shop in Silt, and have a cup of coffee before leaving.
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