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Your letters

There, there, Ken. The postcard you accuse me of attacking you with did not come from me. I had no knowledge of it, and no control over it.

You know this, and yet you accuse me of an attack on you, which is misleading and dirty politics directly attributable to you.

As for my agenda, I have created a record of leadership and accomplishment, working on both sides of the aisle, as a respected member of the legislature these past eight years. My record is reality, not a pocket full of empty promises.

Al White, State Representative House District 57

Candidate, Senate District 8


I wonder, if Jesus happened to be running for President of the United States right now, how would he be perceived and portrayed by his opponents?

His platform would certainly contain an all-inclusive provision to take care of the poor and sick (Matthew 10:8). He might even ask us to share with our disadvantaged neighbors (Luke 14:12-14). I guess that would make him a Socialist.

His agenda of upsetting the status quo would include chastising our leaders for the way they’ve been managing things (Luke 11:46), so he would be labeled anti-American.

He might be criticized for who he associated with and accused of palling around with criminals (Matthew 11:19).

If he talked about negotiating with our enemies (Luke 6:27-31), he would be accused of being a terrorist sympathizer and soft on defense.

His message of hope and change and his inspirational speeches would have his opponents deriding him as the “Messiah” (Luke 23:35-39).

His motives and message would be viewed with suspicion. He’d be accused of being a dangerous criminal, and people in a crowd would shout out “Kill him!” (Matthew 27:22).

Hmm. I guess that would make Jesus the Democrat, and his opponents, Republicans.

WWJD (What Would Jesus Do)? He’d vote for Obama.

Sue Gray


As the day to vote gets nearer, I thought it was appropriate to share a writing by Rev.William Boetcker, written in 1916, and used in a pamphlet published for Abraham Lincoln.

It is called the “The Ten Cannots” :

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.

You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.

You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.

You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.

You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.

You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.

You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.

You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.

And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

Please keep these ten self-evident truths in mind while you fill out your ballot…

Joe Blanc


We are finding out our valley isn’t as “insulated” from the national economy as many of us once thought. The Aspen and Vail economies have seriously declined for the first time in decades; almost immediately the Garfield County economy has gone into big decline. Just ask any business owner or someone trying to sell their home; things have quickly become bad. The only reason our economy has not plummeted even further, is because the oil and gas industry has been investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Western Colorado, providing thousands of jobs and paying millions of dollars in taxes. This money circulates many more times through just about every business in our community. The industry also donates millions of dollars to schools, clubs, and charities.

Unfortunately, the national economy and plummeting natural gas prices (dropped about 70 percent in the last few months) are hurting this industry, and they are pulling back to survive. At the same time, they are being attached by anti-industry people and groups from Aspen to Montana to Washington D.C., who are spending thousands of dollars in our local elections to support anti-industry candidates. Make no mistake, we are at a crossroad. The anti-industry groups want to drive the industry out of here; and the candidates they are investing tons of money in will try to impose fees and put regulations in place which will drive the industry away.

The crossroad is pretty simple. Do we want to kick this important economic engine out of the county, or do we want to provide a business environment which will allow them to stay?

I lived through the “Black Sunday” recession here in the 1980s; it was brutal and it crippled our economy for a decade. Why would we impose a recession on ourselves by voting for candidates that are openly hostile to our primary economic engine?

The Glenwood Springs Post Independent endorsed Mike Samson and John Martin.

Please follow the paper’s advice and vote for these men, who will hold the energy industry to high standards but will not drive them away.

Kent Jolley

Glenwood Springs

As a member of the committee to develop an assisted-living facility in Eagle County, I learned about the Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) at the end of last year. Offering an exceptional alternative to an assisted-living facility, the executive staff from the Denver PACE opened the possibility of developing an Eagle County center. In order to expand this program into Colorado’s rural areas, reimbursement of their program was 5 percent less than other Medicaid programs in the state, and asked me to contact Al White.

On February 25th, I e-mailed Al White, a member of the joint budget committee, explaining our desire for a PACE Center in Eagle County, and how reimbursement was impacting the program’s expansion into rural areas. I was very impressed, and certainly surprised, when Al’s return e-mail arrived the following day asking pertinent questions about the reimbursement. We exchanged e-mails, questions and answers for the next few weeks. Al researched the problem and put the financial model to a test to determine if it was feasible to increase the Medicaid reimbursement for this program. He learned doing so would save a great deal of money for Colorado. Al White did bring about equality of Medicaid reimbursement for PACE and similar programs. Within a few months, it saved the state money, and enabled expansion of their program to Eagle County and other rural areas in Colorado.

Since I have had the pleasure of meeting Al White, I have found him to be a man of his word, one who works for all of us and who values our way of life in the mountains and valleys of this district. He has proven his dedication to serving us and to Colorado seniors and their families who will benefit from PACE expansion. His campaign flyers give a phone number and say call him any time, and he means it.

My vote for the Colorado State Senate seat is for Al White, because I know firsthand

how well Al represents all of us.

Claudia Alexander-Smith


I just moved to Carbondale to from Southern California, and I have been reading the local papers to learn about the area, job hunt and to keep informed about the upcoming election.

I was a fan of McCain in 2000, but am backing Senator Obama this election. I do however, wish with the current economic crisis, Mitt Romney were there instead of McCain.

Two of the letters I read from “Your Letters” Thursday section left me with a strange feeling, so I feel the need to respond. The first letter mentioned Senator Obama did not release college records, Selective Service registration, medical records, baptism papers, or articles from the Harvard Review, and that he was Marxism/Socialist. The second letter brought up Senator Obama not placing his hand on the Bible and believing in what our founding fathers fought for, or for God. I have read a fairly large amount from both candidates web sites and Googled other sources. Here is some information I found.

Obama received a law degree from Harvard, graduating magna cum laude. McCain finished 894th out of a class of 899. Selective Service, Google brought it up, Obama is registered. Obama’s medical records: one-page report: healthy. McCain’s medical report for the past eight years: 1,200 pages. Obama did not have to write at the Review, he oversaw the paper and was the president. Marxism/Socialist? Obama backer capitalist Warren Buffet, who thinks he under-pays taxes, does not think so. As for the baptism papers, when the founders wrote the Constitution, they specified “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” (Article 6, section 3)

Go to Senator Obama’s web site to read his tax plan, then compare to historical rates. But, I am guessing from your tone, you would not even try to consider the other side; I do hope I am wrong.

Senator Obama does believe in what our founding fathers fought for “personal freedoms, freedom of religion, freedom to be a Christian (me), or Muslim or Atheist.

Burke Stefko


Garfield County’s recent move to solicit big-industry’s funding of a deputy is an alarming continuation of seriously-flawed and risky public policy from our failed leadership.

In 2003, around the same time we contested EnCana’s illegally forced access and threatened a sit-in, EnCana also funded a deputy.

The investment must have paid off, because in 2006, one of EnCana’s subcontractors, bearing signs of intoxication, drove a semi onto our property, uprooted a number of large trees and damaged a vehicle while exiting the property.

When the deputy arrived, he essentially coddled the driver and treated my family like criminals ” angrily sequestering them to a distant section of the yard and stressing the driver was merely frightened. To our knowledge, no sobriety test was conducted.

When we later phoned the department to learn whether trespassing charges had been filed, the driver’s privacy prevented us from gaining information. We never learned what happened and ended up settling the matter with EnCana privately.

Fortunately, we filmed the incident.

Encouraging private enterprise to finance public safety demonstrates extraordinarily poor judgment.

Martin and McCown don’t want to impose upon industry by enacting a fair-impact fee, like Rio Blanco. Private meetings with industry, closed-door sessions, property right giveaways “these actions only enhance the public’s well-suspicioned perception of corruption.

Another seep erupted on our property in June. The county (excluding recused Tresi Houpt) has refused to conduct ground water sampling or even ask the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) for it. The oil and gas liaison has not even visited the site.

This county is in serious jeopardy ” from our water and wildlife to our air and roadways. We need genuine leadership. Not an incumbent wielding slick, special-interest-funded literature and fearful of falling from industry’s politically-motivated favor. Not John Martin, who would pass all the risk and burden onto citizens.

Tresi Houpt needs help defending our county. I support Carter’s desire for transparent governance, and Bershenyi’s commitment to strong, balanced negotiations with an industry whose big-money influence continues to infiltrate our law enforcement services.

Lisa Bracken


He has consistently demonstrated unabashed loyalty to industry with absolutely no concern for Garfield County citizens, or the environment, wildlife, air or water we all need to survive. He and McCown’s latest industry favor steals private property, giving it to industry for free worker housing. Whatever industry wants, industry gets from Martin, at any cost to citizens. Consider the risks and liabilities landowners have inherited, while Martin gives industry the go-ahead to pillage.

1. Industry can claim as much land as they want. More wells mean more land and more housing.

2. “Temporary” can extend into over a year on a pad with multiple wells. Another pad? Another year.

3. Landowners cannot set foot on their land claimed by industry for the 40-80 years industry occupies it.

4. The landowner continues payments, mortgage, insurance and taxes.

5. Martin has forced all responsibility and liability for workers onto the landowner,

including court costs if there’s a problem or the owner contests his “imperial proclamation.”

6. No surface use agreement is required. Industry posts a small bond and moves in.

7. These workers are a rough bunch, many of whom are into drinking, drugs, have felonies or other records. They live on the private property 24/7 with full access to the landowner’s home, possessions and intimate knowledge of the landowner’s daily routine. Workers can do whatever they want without fear of being caught when the landowner is not around. Yet the landowner is burdened with proof of theft or destruction.

8. Martin has put the safety of landowners’ families at serious risk. The county assumes no responsibility, nor even knows who is occupying which property or when. What about single moms, the elderly or older kids staying home alone? Would you let your kids play outside in their own yard with these workers around? I know I wouldn’t.

This is what John Martin calls “respect” for the citizens and “balanced” leadership. Thank God he is up for “the boot.” Please vote for Stephen Bershenyi to replace him and Steve Carter to replace McCown.

Emma Eicher


For those who are not yet decided on who the best candidate is to represent this district in the Colorado State Senate, I would like to urge all to vote for Ken Brenner. I moved to Steamboat Springs in 1965 and have considered Ken one of most upstanding, hardworking, honest and caring individuals I have ever known. Having lived his entire life in the Valley, working on a farm, coaching kids, helping the injured, he brings a depth of knowledge and insight that would be of great benefit to the region and the state.

Contrast this to his opponent who sets up temporary housing wherever it is politically convenient.

The choice is way too easy. Someone with deep, honest ties or one who hides where his home, or heart really is.

John Eakins

Grand Junction

I am Ken Brenner, Democratic candidate for Colorado Senate District 8. A recent letter by Western Tradition Partnership has unfairly depicted the Colorado Conservation Voters as a “radical right-wing enviro-group”. I have personal experience working with the CCV, received their co-endorsement for the 2008 campaign and have found them to be professional and non-partisan in their conservation efforts.

I have worked with CCV on the issue of defending western slope water by supporting Recreation Water Rights and improving the in-stream flow programs that protect the health of all rivers and streams in Colorado. Republicans and Democrats, ranchers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts have all found common ground in conservation efforts led by the CCV that will help leave Colorado a better place for future generations.

Ken Brenner

Steamboat Springs

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