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This year there are an abundance of ballot proposals to be voted on by Coloradans. Of all of the 19 ballot issues, there are none more important than the two which guarantee the right to render a vote in the first place. These initiatives came about in 1992 because the state legislature was doing a poor job of managing taxpayer money and getting us further into debt. Recent national events have shown politicians at any level can make poor financial decisions by bowing to pressure from within their own party, or by caving to pressure from corporate-funded lobbying groups.

For all its criticism, TABOR had shown effective in getting excess revenue back into the hands of the taxpayer while funding government at a reasonable level. Now, an overzealous state legislator, Andrew Romanoff, who has always resented the spending authority that TABOR removed from him, has put an initiative on the ballot to take away the taxpayers’ effort to curtail spending and limit the initiative process itself.

Amendment 59 seeks to remove the provision for excess revenue to be refunded to taxpayers and go into a savings account for K-12 education to be spent at the discretion of legislators. The problem with this is that public education already receives 40 percent of the state general fund, plus a provision for per-year inflation increases plus 1 percent mandated by an amendment that taxpayers voted for, Amendment 23. If passed, Amendment 59 would result in a permanent change to TABOR, and could only be corrected through a general election. It would forever eliminate the tax benefits TABOR was intended to produce.



Philip Maass

Glenwood Springs



Many Garfield County citizens complain two incumbents, John Martin and Larry McCown, listened to moneyed interests but not citizens, believing apparently that the benefit of large-scale economic development in real estate, oil and gas drilling, and among other powerful interests “trickles down” to citizens of more modest means.

Such development does, of course, favorably affect the public at large to a degree; nevertheless, what irritates many citizens are repeated instances of being ignored, disregarded, and dismissed. They have been unable to get these two commissioners’ attention, much less secure redress of grievances concerning development-related air, water, and noise pollution; traffic congestion; underfunding for bus service; protection of private property; and drilling-related housing on public land and on private property under “use by right,” which many consider wrong.

Citizens have grumbled, protested in more systematic ways, even run ballot measures ” all disregarded. Or perhaps measures were introduced in commission meetings, discussed dismissively, repeatedly voted down, two-to-one, by Martin and McCown on the three-member commission and then disregarded. It’s the disregard that riles folks. Many are, in fact, quite irritated, and resolved not to take it anymore.

Now it’s a new race, with just John Martin as incumbent.

Stephen Bershenyi stands apart. He has based his campaign on opening county government to voters and paying attention to them; he has pledged in writing to do so. Vote for Stephen Bershenyi to maximize your say in Garfield County government.

Jerry Rankin

Glenwood Springs

Obama will raise the long-term capital gains tax rate from 15 – 28 percent, and distribute hard-earned wealth (house equity) to the welfare-dependent poor. It’s been called “tax fairness for the middle class,” but should be called “ways in which the government can collect more taxes to pay for entitlement programs (health care, education etc.).” Sounds good, but it has never worked.

When corporate taxes are increased, government ends up collecting less capital gains tax revenue. Investors realize what it’s going to cost. Little investment, little capital gain.

As a community organizer (radical activist) trained in radical socialist methodologies, Obama’s change promotes nothing more than income redistribution.

The surest way to begin an economic disaster is to increase penalties for investments. When investment drops, look for 12-18 percent unemployment.

Obama’s Global Poverty Act S.2433 implants a comprehensive policy to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015 has been renamed the “Global Poverty Tax.” This would commit the U.S. to spending $845 billion over and above what we already spend on foreign aid.

The U.S. taxpayer will pay in what amounts to a redistribution of income not from the U.S. “haves” to the U.S. “have nots,” but to the world’s “have nots,” mandated by the U.N. in its Millennium Declaration of 2000. Only 30 percent of American foreign aid ever reaches the poor, the rest goes to corrupt dictators. We will be funding our own demise.

Obama, deep down, actually hates the U.S. Don’t forget, his roots are in Kenya, a country that is very Muslim and very poor. The word capitalist is not in his vocabulary.

His leftist resentment against our system can be traced back to his days in Hawaii and at Columbia University, smoking dope, drinking in excess and listening to the aging communist poet Frank Marshall Davis debate the teachings of Saul Alinsky (Marxist, Communist mindset), on the pitfalls of capitalism. I can’t believe this guy is running for president.

Our world is upside down. Think long and hard about this before you vote for Obama.

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs

As the mayor of a Garfield County community and a retired teacher from Garfield Re-2 School District, I support Steve Carter and Stephen Bershenyi for Garfield County Commissioner. I am looking for candidates who will listen to our communities needs and work together with our towns and cities. Steve and Stephen will do that. I am looking for candidates who will weigh all of the facts and make decisions considering all of the people of Garfield County. Steve and Stephen will do that. I am looking for candidates who will capitalize on today’s economic momentum in the local region by investing for tomorrow’s economic health. Steve and Stephen will do that.

Please vote for Steve Carter and Stephen Bershenyi.

Keith Lambert

Rifle


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