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The telephone push poll executed in the 2000, South Carolina, Republican presidential primary is symbolic of the beginning of the modern, win elections at all costs culture. The purpose of the poll was to insinuate that John McCain had fathered an illegitimate child, i.e. “Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for John McCain for president if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?”

The implication was obviously false; however, history is already pointing to this as a major cause leading to the end of McCain’s 2000 presidential bid. What is especially repulsive is that the operatives that conducted the poll took a beautiful act of adopting a dark skinned, Bangladeshi girl and utilized it for their ugly purposes.

Karl Rove is the poster child for such divisiveness. It is no surprise that yesterday a GOP operative was quoted as saying that Rove has had a consistent “medium” sized role in the McCain campaign. Now that we know who the man behind the curtain is, it is no surprise that misinformation and lies have been circulated about Barack Obama. Mr. Rove and his ilk know that perennial, local editorial writers will take and print these lies as facts.



I urge you: If something you read or hear seems sensational, extreme, or intimates a conspiracy theory, go to factcheck.org and check it out. Factcheck.org is “a nonpartisan, nonprofit, consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.” Here’s a homework assignment. Go to the site and in the search field try “Obama birth certificate” and/or “Obama muslim school.” You will soon find that some of the aforementioned PI letter writers are Rove flunkies.

Greg Albrecht



Glenwood Springs

If one is dissatisfied with the status quo, what does it take to be a candidate? What does it take to run a campaign? Could you do it?

You would need to be passionate, interested, well-educated, an attentive listener (if the intention is to represent a constituency and not just promote an agenda), be well-spoken, and have abundant energy. Research issues, with ongoing deeper, more intense study as you focus your position. Stamina is necessary to add another entire unpaid job to your livelihood. Talk to everyone you know, meet new people and connect with anyone who wishes to make contact. Attend all events and fairs, walk in parades, knock on hundreds and hundreds of doors weekly and schedule numerous “meet the candidate” gatherings.

You need to be an appealing enough candidate to build a committed and hard-working team of surrogates to help communicate, fundraise and support your mission. Muse, brainstorm, network, stay organized and composed (in spite of fatigue and too full a schedule) to shape your campaign. Create a comprehensive media plan and website. Be present in meetings and become familiar with the program of the agency you intend to be elected to. The list goes on and on. “Keep your eye on the ball, ear to the ground, shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone and finger on the pulse.” Now see if you can work in that mode.

Considering the hours worked, the starting salary for these positions opens your eyes to a new idea of what a public servant is. We live in a fine community with tremendous assets and natural resources. Our job as citizens is to vote responsibly.

Let’s do so by being well-informed. Each candidate is available locally and each has a web site.

Thank you, Stephen Bershenyi, Judge Steve Carter, and Ken Brenner for stepping up, for meeting us, listening attentively and working assiduously in your preparations to be our representatives. You have taken on a huge responsibility, and your official job hasn’t even begun. Thank you for giving us hope for a change.

Brigitt Widmer

Glenwood Springs

Al White doesn’t care drivers in Garfield County are paying $.43 more for a gallon of gasoline than the state average, well more than drivers in Grand Junction and Denver.

Ask Al White about gas prices, and he dismisses the issue as “a cheap trick.” What an irresponsible thing for a state legislator to say, when Glenwood Springs drivers pay the highest prices in the state, when gas prices in Rifle went up $.26 in one day for no apparent reason and when we’re getting gauged at the pump for living here.

If you drive a typical vehicle to work 40 miles a day, you’re paying $559 a year more for gas living here than in Grand Junction.

Why? Ken Brenner wants to find out. Ken Brenner is a candidate for Colorado State Senate, a Democrat who pledges to hold hearings and get answers once he’s elected. Brenner notes the cost to get gas to the pump alone can’t account for the extra $559 a year drivers here have to pay. Milk, for instance, costs almost the same everywhere. Why should gas prices in our towns be so much higher than the state average?

Ken Brenner asked an important question, and wants honest answers. Al White, his opponent, just doesn’t care. Al White promises to do nothing. We’ll all be better off to have a voice in the Colorado State Senate who demands answers, like Ken Brenner does.

Greg Russi

New Castle

Ben Cromwell’s letter published September 20 under the caption, “Palin doesn’t complement McCain,” is a perfect example of critical, negative Democratic liberal drivel, devoted, as usual, toward denigrating the Republican opposition, rather than extolling virtues or qualifications of the Democratic candidates.

His letter could well have been captioned “Cromwell doesn’t compliment Obama,” a play-on-words, between “complement” and “compliment.”

According to word count, the Cromwell letter totaled 286 words: the opening 42 described his dislike for Sarah Palin, followed by another 87 words describing his excitement and of having the option of candidates “Obama vs. Clinton” as awesome, along with quotes of injecting “some much-needed diversity into presidential history,” and “feeling embarrassed that it had taken Americans over 200 years to elect anyone into the White House other than a white guy.” Why did he not also apologize for the colonization our country and for slavery?

Anyway, the remaining 157 words were simply devoted toward numerous poor-mouthing put-downs of Palin and McCain.

So, if Palin doesn’t “complement” McCain, why can’t Cromwell “compliment” Obama?

Could it be that Obama really has nothing of substance to compliment? Are Democrats subjected to voting against instead of voting for?

Thank goodness that our free enterprise system and individual entrepreneurship will continue to control this nation’s destiny and stoke our economy in spite of the absurdity and ineptness of our politicians to which we are unmercifully subjected.

God Bless America!

Richard Doran

Parachute

My youngest son, Steve, received a political mailer at my address last Saturday. Since Steve is on a two-year mission to New Zealand, I took a look at the mailer. I was upset to say the least. It was a political smear against my opponent.

I want to state my campaign had nothing to do with that mailer. I have never had any contact with or knowledge of the Colorado League of Taxpayers in Fort Collins. This mailer is a perfect example of what I strive not to have happen in my campaign. I always want to have integrity, honesty, and decency in my campaign, and hopefully tenure as a county commissioner. Whether I win or lose this political contest, I will not be a party to this sort of garbage. Whoever you are, Colorado League of Taxpayers, you are not doing me any favors, and I reject your efforts of such a nature. Please discontinue your actions.

Now onto another item. Liz Chandler (Steve’s campaign manager) called me last Friday, September 19, 2008, to inquire as to whether I had yard signs being stolen. I said yes, that many people had called me upset about the situation. She expressed the same frustrations. Please, whoever you are, stop it.

Many people are very upset about politics in general because of all the name calling, innuendoes, smear tactics, etc. which occurs on the federal and state levels. I can’t stop those tactics on those levels, but I will do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen at our local level.

If you choose to vote for me, know that I will strive to be one of the best county commissioners Garfield County has ever had.

Mike Samson, candidate for Garfield County Commissioner – District 3

Rifle

I am struggling to understand women’s identification with Sarah Palin, much the same way I struggle to understand all loyal Republican women.

Palin was picked as the “trophy” vice president. Young, flashy and intended to bring in disenchanted Hillary voters and the rural, rough, gruff and independent vote. Like many of the Republican women I have experienced who are smugly sure of the righteousness of their votes, there is no expectation that Sarah Palin be particularly informed on her own about nuances of public policy and/or the resulting effects on the country.

These women don’t see their diminishment within the conservative philosophy where they basically reflect their bright stars, who are the men.

Palin was picked as much for her family (who are many) and family views, as for her accomplishments (which are few). She is a snappy, distracting, loyal second fiddle.

Hillary ran for president. Palin is running for vice-chick.

The saddest picture was in the Sunday Denver Post, of little girls with their mouths distorted by big red fake lips, thereby showing support for Sarah Palin. I guess they are supporting her lips, certainly not her brain.

Barb Coddington

Carbondale

Through the eyes of a staff sergeant that has four Battle Stars on his service record during World War II, I shudder to think what the several hundred thousand brave men and women who gave their lives to have what we have today would think if they saw mostly young people flocking to see and hear a candidate running for president that voted not to fund our troops.

I doubt if he knows the difference between a garand and a grenade, then says he will tell the military how to run the war we are in.

If the terrorists are not stopped now, you could see what I saw, and it is not pretty. You would not have to worry about the economy and health care.

Earl E. Dawson

Rifle


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