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Is anyone besides me disgusted by the way Republican candidates courting our votes unfailingly address us as “taxpayers,” rather than as citizens?

If an organization I belonged to addressed me as “dues payer” rather than member, I would feel diminished and set up for manipulation. Although piously intoning they “put the country first,” Republicans’ campaign rhetoric relentlessly appeals to our narrowest self-interest, to the point of inciting paranoia in the susceptible among us.

Each of us plays at least three roles in our nation’s economic life. As producers, consumers and investors, we follow rules that, in our capacity as citizens, have made.

In this democracy, if we feel those rules are unfair, out-of-date, or otherwise in need of revision, citizens have the power to change them. If we allow our economic interests to distract us from our obligations as citizens to make fair and effective rules, we abandon the great American experiment in self-government, leaving a dangerous vacuum.

The financial sector created the current mess, but who unthinkingly elected all the deregulators who gave them carte blanche for their excesses? Money now plays too dominant a role in our political processes, but who was asleep at the wheel when it was upheld as equivalent to speech; and when did corporations, through legal fiction, gain the status of people? Even if we’ve been lax, we still have the legitimate power to correct our course, if we will.

This is why we need Barack Obama right now. It’s precisely his experience as a community organizer that uniquely suits him for the tasks ahead.

Community organizers empower people to determine their common good, and achieve it. If unfairness has crept into a system, or if unintended consequences have led to unwanted outcomes, community organizers’ skills draw forth the creativity, commitment and joint effort needed to set things right.

I appreciate the fact Obama addresses us as citizens, in whose capable hands the nation’s future lies. No politician in my memory (I’m 62) has shown us such respect. I hope we can be worthy of it.

Laurie Raymond

Glenwood Springs

I am currently living in Rifle, and have been working for U.S. Central Pipeline under the governance of ETC. On payday last Friday, all of the 150 laborers did not receive a paycheck for over 200 hours or over $3,000.

I feel helpless and find it detestable that a multi-billion dollar gas company would try to rip off the laborers who make their profits possible.

Please help all the families who now are without work and money get what is rightfully ours.

Chris Goodwin

Douglassville, Texas

In 1979, Obama went to Occidental College, California. He had two roommates, Muhammed Hasan Chandoo and Wahid Hamid, both Pakistanis.

In 1981, after his second year in college, he made an around-the-world trip. Where did he get the money? I never had that kind of money when I was in school.

Returning, he started back to school at Columbia, University, N.Y.C. Where did he get the money?

Next, he went to Chicago, to become a community organizer. Why not New York, where he already lived? In Chicago, he met Tony Rezko, born in Aleppo, Syria.

Rezko was convicted of fraud and bribery this year, but was still named “Entrepreneur of the Decade” by the Arab-American Business and Professional Association.

Two years later, he entered Harvard Law School. Where did he get the money?

In 2003, he returned to Chicago and hooked up with Rezko, who provided seed money for his U.S. Senate race.

In 2005, Obama purchased a home in Chicago for $1.65 million. Where did he get the money?

Valerie Jarrett was Michele Obamas’ boss. Jarrett was born in Shiriz, Iran.

May 10th, 2008 The Times reports that Robert Malley, one of Obama’s advisers, was fired after the press discovered he had 20 contacts with Hamas. Iraqi newspapers reported during Obama’s visit he would “take care of things” after he was elected.

Remember Chandoo and Hamid, his college buddies? They took care of all the “small” Internet contributions. Where exactly is all that money coming from, the Middle East?

All this information is online. Where is the press in this regard?

My fellow Americans, please be informed before you vote. Beware of the enemy from within.

Stan Rachesky

Glenwood Springs

Isn’t is interesting Sue Gray would write a letter to the editor pretending to be bipartisan after seven plus years of writing letters to the editor espousing her extreme left-wing ideology? When she complains Sarah Palin is unqualified to be a valid vice-presidential candidate, she glosses over that Palin has more executive experience than Obama, Biden or even McCain does. For Sue to say that Sarah is ignorant of our governmental structure is disingenuous at best, as Sarah as been a mayor and a governor. That would be like saying someone has no knowledge of how the school system works after being a teacher and an administrator.

She also states that Palin doesn’t understand the meaning of American freedom, because Sarah tried to ban library books. Poor Sue must not have been informed the library book ban rumor had been proven false. A quick trip to the Factcheck web site would have revealed her error. I quote: “She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a ‘What if?’ question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin’s first term.”

If Sue had bothered to go to the Factcheck web site she would have also found this quote: “She (Sarah Palin) was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.”

Sue mentions some shady dealings with a character named Mark Chryson. The article Sue references came from a magazine, not Time or Newsweek or some other reliable source, but from Salon Magazine, a liberal online tabloid. Now there is a reputable source.

So while Sue disparages and complains about “lies and fear mongering,” she uses the same efforts to smear Sarah Palin. What was the other term Sue used? Oh, that’s right, pathetic.

Joe Blanc


I urge you to support clean, affordable public transportation by voting “yes” on 4A.

Ballot Issue 4A will raise and leverage much-needed funds so that the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) can improve and expand transit services by offering more frequent service, faster bus lanes, and more convenient bus stops. From Rifle to Aspen, we have a great bus service which helps relieve traffic congestion, keeps our air clean, and boosts our local economy. So I’m willing to spend an extra four cents on a ten-dollar purchase to ensure RFTA can keep up with the growing popularity of bus transit.

Taking a RFTA or Ride Glenwood bus is a great way to save money, relieve stress, and help keep our valley beautiful. Give it a try!

Please vote “yes” on 4A, so we can have even better public transportation for the Roaring Fork and Colorado River valleys.

George Wear

Glenwood Springs

Your readers might have noticed I removed my campaign signs for State Senate from property alongside I-70 near Avon. I did so because the owner of that property, Magnus Lindholm or his corporate entities are in dispute over almost $1 million in back taxes to Eagle County and Avon.

This is not a small matter. The town of Avon felt compelled to sue the metropolitan district which manages Mr. Lindholm’s big box mall, because it owes $650,000. And Eagle County published a notice of delinquency on property taxes of $300,000.

Eagle County and the town of Avon are two jurisdictions providing Mr. Lindholm’s corporate entities with an array of public services which include roads, public transportation and police protection.

As elected officials, it is critical that we walk our talk. I believe it would be disingenuous of me to keep my signs posted on Mr. Lindholm’s property while I campaign on the platform that everybody needs to pay their fair share of taxes.

One of my principal platforms is that oil and gas companies need to cover the costs of their activity in and around the Roan Plateau and Piceance Basin. I have called on energy companies to pay their taxes in full, and work with local communities to mitigate impacts. I don’t see how I, as a candidate, can call for full tax payment by the energy industry, while advertising myself on property owned by a developer who is not caught up with his tax payments.

I encourage Mr. Lindholm and his representatives to settle this situation. In the meantime, I respectfully decline to take advantage of his prime locale, even if it means a bit less exposure for my campaign.

Ken Brenner, Democrat for State Senate

Steamboat Springs

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