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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Who’s being näive? Am I, or is it the Glenwood Springs Post Independent Editorial Board? I was shocked and surprised on Thursday to read their endorsements of Mr. Martin and Mr. Samson for Garfield County Commissioners. After attending a candidates night in Carbondale, the choice between Mr. Samson and Mr.Carter seemed obvious. Mr. Carter’s command of the issues and his knowledge of the workings of government were miles above those of Mr. Samson.

The Post Independent’s editorial board chose Samson solely on the basis of his background in education, otherwise they were as complimentary of Mr. Carter. So where is the board’s näivete? In making their decision, they ignored the fact the election of Samson and the politician Martin would result in the same stalemate which has plagued the board for years, the 2-1 vote against Tresi Houpt’s concerns for balance between the environment and quality of life and the gas industry’s agenda.

Quoting the paper’s endorsement of John Martin, “We also feel that Mr. Martin has shown the willingness to break with party ranks and side with Democrat Tresi Houpt on issues and decisions made by the commission.” Really? Since when? Since he started running for re-election?



According to the Post Independent’s front-page article of October 18, Western Heritage, a 527 group, has paid $10,000 to Tindall Marketing to help pay for television voter contact for Martin and Samson. Most of the money the 527 group currently has comes from Paul Randy, the chairman of Orion Energy. I urge readers to go back and read the entire article.

Who is näive? Not the voters who will be supporting Stephen Bershenyi and Steve Carter.



Nancy Kyner

Carbondale

As we enter the final few days before voting, I ask that all voters think about candidate qualifications.

Steve Carter was the longest-serving county judge in Colorado, after being appointed by the Governor of Colorado as the youngest judge by several years.

He has more than 30 years of experience as a judge, a city attorney for Rifle and Parachute and an attorney. He is used to listening carefully, to making fair and hard decisions and to putting the community first.

Steve is an ideal candidate, and we would do well to recognize and elect this man to be county commissioner for all of us in Garfield County.

Herb Feinzig

Carbondale

A postcard sent for my opponent in State Senate District 8 claims if elected, I will increase health care prescription drug costs, reduce your options for health insurance and promote higher taxes.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As to raising drug costs, my opponent’s Republican Party forced Medicare to accept full pricing of prescription drugs. Medicare recipients could have saved billions had program administrators been allowed to negotiate drug prices.

My opponent states I am in favor of a state-run, taxpayer-funded health care system that, “Denver bureaucrats will get to decide where, when and how you receive health care.” I don’t have a clue where he gets this idea. Colorado can do more to contain costs, ensure accountability and make sure all Colorado citizens can access health.

He claims I will raise taxes. For as many years as my opponent has been in the Legislature, isn’t he aware of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR)? Without the consent of the governed, no new tax can be passed. If there is a need for additional revenue, the people of Colorado will have to agree to it.

My opponent states under my plan you will “end up paying for someone else’s health care coverage, in addition to your own.” You already are! About $1,000 of every family policy premium goes to compensate providers for unreimbursed services.

Furthermore, county and state governments are picking up the tab for indigent care not covered under a program. One of the tasks set out by the commission is to eliminate this charge.

My agenda coincides with Governor Ritter’s 208 Blue Ribbon Commission, and I will work to implement the 32 specific recommendations. My opponent has provided no program and only attacks with, at best, misleading statements.

Ken Brenner, Candidate for State Senate, District 8

Steamboat Springs

Here’s why it’s so important we elect Stephen Bershenyi and Steve Carter. One thousand plus gas wells will be drilled in Garfield County each year for the next 15+ years. Along with those wells come compressor stations, pipelines, waste storage facilities, and processing plants, all producing tons of pollutants, 24/7.

A front-page article in Sunday’s Denver Post (10/26) described the recent and dramatic increase in spills of toxic materials being reported in Colorado ” particularly in our gas-producing regions. This comes as no surprise to folks living in the gas patch, who see these spills as standard operating procedure in the nasty business of producing natural gas. They will tell you for every spill reported, dozens more go unreported. Meanwhile, reports are being published daily which document the very real health impacts to those living near gas development.

For years, people have pleaded for help from the county ” for protection from those health impacts associated with gas wells and production facilities. All they’ve received is a pat on the head as they’re told “it’s all your imagination ” everything’s just fine,” or “our hands are tied and there’s nothing we can do.” Contrary to what John Martin has been telling us, counties do have a say on how energy development occurs.

We need commissioners who represent all residents of the county and have a vision for future generations. We can’t undo the damage that’s already occurred, but it’s clear that Stephen Bershenyi and Steve Carter will put an end to the cozy relationship Commissioners Martin and McCown have enjoyed with the energy industry, and they will serve as commissioners with integrity and a vision for the future which doesn’t include groveling at the feet of the gas industry.

Stephen Bershenyi’s right, there is a clear choice ” business as usual, or real reform.

Bob Utesch

Glenwood Springs

Considering John McCain is in his seventies and has health problems, it is more than likely Sarah Palin will replace him within the next four years as President of the United States, assuming the Republicans win the White House again.

The big question is why, if the Republicans are pinning their hopes on “experience in leadership,” didn’t John McCain choose one of the hundreds of much more highly qualified experience in leadership vice presidential possibilities available?

Instead, what he has managed to do is ask voters to decide between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama to lead our country out of very difficult times.

And fortunately, Obama, in choosing Joe Biden, has made a responsible choice of an experience in leadership vice presidential candidate.

Clay Boland Jr.

Carbondale

I encourage all citizens to vote for environmental candidates in the upcoming election. Most of these candidates will be Democrats. We cannot continue to give Republicans a blank check to destroy and pollute our beautiful State of Colorado by pushing gas drilling and oil shale development.

Bush, Cheney, and Haliburton have already had that blank check. It is time to shut off the gas drilling industry in Colorado. They already have too many permits and too many cheap leases.

This is the best example of special interest greed at its highest level, and it is right here in Garfield County. The gas companies are polluting our air and water supplies as we breathe.

This is why the Garfield County Commissioner race is so crucial. The gas companies have a blank check to do anything they want with current commission members Martin and McCown. Let’s stop giving blank checks to the polluting gas companies.

Vote Democratic, and vote for Steve Carter and Stephen Bershenyi for Garfield County Commissioner.

Randy Fricke, chairman/The Committee To Save Colorado

New Castle

12. Stephen is endorsed by conservation groups who see him as the person “to protect Garfield County’s quality of life and protect property rights.” John Martin is endorsed by oil and gas who claims he has the “vision for the communities of Garfield County.”

11. Stephen sees his job as commissioner as one of oversight and supervision of industry. John sees himself as a partner with industry. He recently partnered with big oil to improve a road to their property and want to extend a $23 million tax credit.

10. Stephen believes industry must pay competitive prices for the extraction of our resources. John wants to give industry the best deal possible.

9. Stephen believes we the people need to be more involved in decision-making. John is the “decider.” He decided our county didn’t need to be part of the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) board. He voted to keep us outside the problem-solving process.

8. Stephen plans to work closely with the county’s mayors on county-city issues. Under John’s leadership, city-county relationships have been polarized.

7. Stephen believes big business and industry must be regulated in order to preserve and protect our way of life. John believes big business and industry can regulate themselves.

6. Stephen contends the county would be $91 million richer if Garfield County was collecting impact fees like La Plata County. John says that wouldn’t work here.

5. Stephen will protect individual property rights. John decided industry needs were more important than property rights. He allowed industry to erect man camps on private property.

4. Stephen will make affordable housing a priority. During John’s 12 years, he has done little to address the county’s housing shortage for working people.

3. Stephen will lead the county in the research and development of alternative energy. John hasn’t made this a priority.

2. Stephen will acquire more open space. John has failed to lead in open-space acquisition.

1. Stephen Bershenyi is the leader we need for change.

Walter Gallacher

Glenwood Springs

Does anyone else think it’s interesting that so many letters supporting Democrats Stephen Bershenyi and Steve Carter for county commissioners are coming out of Carbondale? And also, the Aspen Daily News endorsed both candidates.

I know that I’m not comfortable having two people with such close ties to Carbondale and Aspen making decisions for the entire region of Garfield County. I’m voting for Mike Samson and John Martin.

Charles Sanders

New Castle

Every day there are letters in the paper about “change,” and that as a country that is what we need. I agree with the statement, but first and foremost if we cannot or will not change ourselves, how can we tell and expect our government to change?

I am voting for McCain. Why, people may ask? Well, you see, he is the only one who is running who knows what it is like to “give your all” for our country. He fought for your freedom and mine! And he almost died for us.

Barack has not, he will not even salute our flag or place his hand on the Bible. How come? Does that not scare you? It does me. I do not want anyone running our country who has no respect for what our ancestors fought for or what we stand for, or for God.

We are all entitled to our beliefs, however if it was not for men/women like McCain we would not have the freedom to do so. McCain/Palin is for change. They are for you and I. Your children and grandchildren.

So please look at who and why you are voting for. Pray hard our country is protected.

Alane Larison

Rifle

In all the muck and mud being tossed around in our local races, Mike Samson has managed to stay above the fray, ignore the third-party nonsense from the environmental groups and gas companies, and run a positive campaign. It’s not hard to understand why the Glenwood Springs Post Independent endorsed Mike Samson for commissioner.

Mike Samson is a communicator with common sense who will listen to all sides of the issues. I have no doubt he will serve as commissioner with the best interests of Garfield County in his heart.

Bill McKinley

Glenwood Springs


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