Monday letters: Readers offer thoughts on county, state House and CD3 races, Glenwood 2C

Editor’s note: Any remaining election-related letters to the editor must be submitted by noon Wednesday, Nov. 2 to be considered for pre-election publication. No letters will be printed or published online after Friday, Nov. 4. Please see our letters policy for instructions to submit letters.

Prepared vs. unprepared

On Nov. 8, voters must decide which candidate has what it takes to represent HD57. 

Perry Will is the most bipartisan legislator in Denver. He has been clear about what he is focused on: cost of living, better healthcare access, and protecting our water and public lands. And he has the record to prove it:

Elizabeth Velasco runs a small business and serves as a public information officer during wildfires. But Ms. Velasco has not provided any detailed positions or answered tough questions about the issues.

I urge voters to watch the Club 20 debate: 

Velasco couldn’t answer a basic question about prior appropriation doctrine, the foundation of water rights in Colorado. When asked about wolf reintroduction, she said she “didn’t think” she supported it. In a recent email, she promised “new ideas” but her website offers vague bullet points, not specific policy proposals.

This is worrisome. It concerns me as a rancher that she doesn’t know about water rights and hasn’t reached out to the ag community. It concerns me as a business owner that she doesn’t have specific ideas to address cost of living. It concerns me as a parent that she doesn’t outline any proposals for how she would work to support rural schools.

That is why I am voting for Perry Will, a proven leader who has worked with Republicans and Democrats alike to solve the problems we face in HD57.

Chance Jenkind, New Castle

Moller ideal for clerk

Becky Moller is an ideal candidate for Clerk and Recorder. She is smart, capable, and experienced. A vote for Becky is an opportunity to bring a fresh set of eyes from the private sector to the office. 

She has prioritized focusing on how the Clerk and Recorder can best serve residents — identifying office closures during the lunch break and turnaround time for documents as areas where changes are worth considering. 

Becky has volunteered countless hours to a variety of organizations and boards within Garfield County while building a successful and well-respected business. It does not take a heavy hand to make substantive changes that benefit both constituents and employees, but it does take the type of commitment Becky would bring to the office.

Laura Makar, Woody Creek

Thoughts on CD3 choice

This letter is directed to the working men and women of the 3rd Congressional District. Those working 40-plus hours per week, maybe you work two jobs and are struggling to get by. Those that cannot fill your car up with gas without wondering if you will overdraw your checking account or have enough money to pay the rent or mortgage. Those that are finding it hard to get by in this “Build Back Better” economy.

I have a few questions that I would like you to think about before you vote. First, do any of you think that a millionaire that owns a multi-million-dollar home in Aspen understands what you and your family go through when it comes to paying bills? Do you think this millionaire looks at the grocery ads on Wednesday to be sure he saves a few dollars when buying groceries? Do you think this millionaire has ever had to tell his child, “I am sorry, but maybe next Christmas or on your birthday we can buy that for you?” Do you think this millionaire, if elected to represent you in Washington, will have your best interests in mind and not the interests of his political party?

Some people call the woman he is running against “stupid.” Apparently if you’re a woman, if you do not have “white collar” job, if you work construction, wait tables, cook, or even start a small business that does not make millions, it makes you “stupid.”

The bottom line is, I would rather have a person that understands what it is like to try and make a living in this district, a person that has worked a job like waiting tables, represent me and not someone that spends more on a Friday night dinner at a fancy restaurant in Aspen than you or I spend on our monthly groceries. 

By the way, if this millionaire is elected, you and I will be paying for benefits that he will receive for the rest of his life with our tax dollars. 

I guess the rich do get richer!

Doug Meyers, Silt

Ready for CD3 change

We have a very important election coming up, both nationally and locally and we have some decisions to make. For the last two years our district has been saddled with a petulant child who thinks “owning the libs” is governing and her sole purpose is to line her own pockets. I, for one, am sick of that and ready for change. For that reason I will be supporting Adam Frisch for congress. 

Not only has he presented a platform, plan and ideas, but he has been traversing the district and talking to anyone and everyone who will meet with him. This is something we are not seeing from his opponent, as she spent all last week in Tennessee at a fundraiser. Yes, in Tennessee, raising money. Somehow that leads me to believe that her representation will be anything but her district. 

Adam wants to represent all of the district, not just the select few that benefit some big donors. Adam has already shown that he is willing to vote against his personal wishes if it benefits the community, go check his votes during his time on the Aspen City Council. Do we want someone who will vote party over people or someone who will do what’s best for all of us? I am going to vote for the candidate that puts policy ahead of mud slinging. Join me District 3 and let’s move beyond this current embarrassment.

Aidan Wynn, Aspen

Jankovsky acts in county’s interests

If you care about the rule of law and supporting Garfield County agencies that protect our safety and security, vote for Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County Commissioner in the upcoming midterm election. Tom understands that the U.S. Constitution is the supreme law of the land, and upholding it is critical to the continuity of our democratic republic. Without the rule of law, there is tyranny and injustice. 

The agencies that assure the rule of law is upheld have been under attack. Police and sheriff officers, EMS, firefighters and military personnel routinely put themselves in harm’s way for the safety of others. A hostile attitude from left-leaning leaders towards these everyday heroes only adds fuel to the fire in situations that are already volatile. Supporting Tom J for commissioner is a vote for the safety and protection of law abiding citizens and the first responders who speed to our aid when needed.

Tom is a man of action. He has supported first responders throughout his term in office. Thanks to Tom’s leadership role, the Garfield County Rifle airport has become a hub for wildland firefighters in western Colorado. It is a base of operations for federal, state and local fire fighting agencies that protect our homes, businesses and lands. 

Also, as a fiscal conservative, Tom’s role as County Commissioner has been a tremendous asset to Garfield County residents. Tom’s ability to balance the books, think ahead and prioritize has been honed not only over his terms as County Commissioner but in his years of experience as the general manager of Sunlight Mountain Resort. Under Tom‘s leadership, law enforcement and first responders, including school resource officers, have received the funds they need to excel at their jobs while still balancing the budget. 

Thank you, Tom J, for supporting the rule of law and the people who uphold it. Vote for Tom Jankovsky for Garfield County commissioner.

Frank McSwain Jr., Glenwood Springs

Moller has good moral compass

I have known Becky Moller since 2008, when we jointly served on the Parks and Recreation Commission for the town of Carbondale for over a decade. During the time that we worked together, it became clear that Becky cares deeply about making a difference in her community. She has a strong sense of justice and is someone I consider to have the highest integrity. Becky is not swayed by popular opinion and has a strong sense of character. She isn’t afraid to say what needs to be said and to follow law and procedure as it is laid out before her. As the county clerk, she would serve as the chief election official for the county, and I have no doubt that she would do so with the honesty and integrity I’ve come to expect from her. I believe she will work hard to bring the office up to date, secure elections and create change where needed. 

Becky’s moral compass always points in the direction of what is right and for that reason, I believe she is the best person for this position.

Tracy Wilson, Carbondale

Christian nationalism un-American

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Our First Amendment. Government and religion are to be separate. Freedom from religion is just as important. Otherwise, which religion should we be forced to follow? The 1st Amendment has been a long-standing bedrock of our democracy and our form of government.

The separation of church and state is under attack by people embracing Christian Nationalism. That ideology says that the U.S. is and should remain a Christian nation and that Christianity should be prioritized by the state. This is incompatible with the First Amendment which prohibits the government from imposing or endorsing a particular religion. But there are those who would prefer that we ignore that founding document. And some believe in the use of violence to enforce their beliefs.

Lauren Boebert argued in June that “the church is supposed to direct the government. The government is not supposed to direct the church.” 

Tom Jankovsky attended Cornerstone Christian Center in Basalt and applauded and gave a standing ovation to far right-wing speaker Christian nationalist David Barton, founder of the WallBuilders. Barton is opposed to immigration, LGBTQ individuals and separation of church and state. 

Christian nationalism is not Christianity, nor is it ordinary patriotism or mere pride in being American. It is a perversion of both Christianity and patriotism. That’s why over 24,000 clergy, church leaders and lay people from across the U.S. have signed a statement of “Christians against Christian Nationalism,” which argues that Christian nationalism is “distorting both the Christian faith and America’s constitutional democracy.”

Christian nationalism is not just undemocratic, it’s profoundly un-American.

Donna Yost, Glenwood Springs

Pass 2C

Please vote “yes” for a diversity of housing types and affordability in the city. It is now (and past) time to address solutions on multiple fronts and methods. With the physical limitations of the narrow Roaring Fork Valley, housing and traffic challenges face many including residents, commuters and employers. The need exists to learn, cooperate, adapt and help fund a diversity of housing needs and types.

Passage of 2C will not provide absolute solutions. It is a commitment and another tool for Glenwood to address in multitudes of ways, from helping with traffic volumes by providing workforce housing, to building community and helping provide housing stability. Approval will bolster involvement with recent regional housing efforts and discussions. It is an embarrassment there is just one Habitat for Humanity home in the city versus so many others from Basalt to Rifle. Proceeds will help to partner with other entities, private and public to provide and keep housing affordable.

While on city council in the 1990s I spearheaded the creation of the Housing for Tomorrow board, the precursor of the current Housing Commission. For Tomorrow, knowing there would always be a need and palatable efforts today would never be enough as our community and population needs evolve and change. Recently, some private employers and Re-1 with passage of a bond issue have worked to provide staff housing, addressing needs alone and with public help.

I’ve seen the needs of aged and disabled residents, threats to and need to protect mobile home parks, and ongoing needs of many private and public employers to retain and attract staff. I am so curious to see vote No on 2C signs at businesses. Do those employers provide their staff housing? Or do they pay wages allowing them to have quality affordable housing close to work? Are their employees happy, financially stable and secure to provide for themselves and their families? 2C will be an expansion of the accommodations tax paid by guests. 

A happy, positive and stable workforce can provide untold dividends compared to one stressed, unhappy or inadequate to meet the needs of customers.

Greg Jeung, Glenwood Springs

Another voter for Moller

I am writing to offer my wholehearted endorsement of Becky Moller for Garfield County Clerk and Recorder. I’ve known and occasionally worked with Becky for 10 years and have always found her to be conscientious, knowledgeable and prepared. 

As a friend she is incredibly kind. However, even while knowing Becky these many years, I must say that I didn’t know her political affiliation until she expressed interest in this position; she is just not an overtly political person which is exactly what the Clerk and Recorder should be. 

Becky wants to modernize the office to better serve the citizens of Garfield County. She will make an excellent Clerk and Recorder because she truly lives by her slogan, “Defending the Process For All.” 

I urge everyone, regardless of party affiliation, to support Becky Moller for Garfield County Clerk. I am incredibly proud to be able to say I have voted for her.

Rhonda Busk, New Castle

Boebert’s done some good

I felt the need to write a letter to the editor to encourage people to realize what wonderful things Lauren Boebert has done in a such a short time as our representative.

According to Lauren’s January 2022 newsletter, in her first her first year as congresswoman she made 20,168 calls, authored 17 bills, 153 Legislative Amendments, seven Resolutions Filed, $77.5 million in federal grants benefiting CD3, 62 mobile office hours, $403,529.12 in benefits returned to constituents, 21,304 letters to constituents, 15 nominations to the U.S. Service Academies, 466 meetings w/constituents, 655 cases worked for constituents.

These numbers provide a snapshot of all the work she has done for Colorado. It is impossible to adequately capture all the great things that transpired this year including helping veterans receive proper care, assisting seniors with Medicare issues, nominating Colorado’s brightest to our prestigious service academies.

While in office, Boebert fought for better access to quality medical care and secured $1.74 billion in funding for Community Health Centers, eight of which are in her district.*

Boebert also worked to allocate $48 million to the U.S. Forest Service. These funds are important and will help mitigate the state’s wildfire hazards. It’s a legislative win that will help the U.S. Forest Service “prevent wildfires and responsibly manage our forests.”*

She has also worked to allocate $10 million in funding for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ Indian Irrigation Fund. Unbeknownst to most people, this legislation helps provide irrigation to the Southern Ute Native Americans. She also voted to secure $515 million to help fund law enforcement, firefighters, education, and other community efforts through the Payment In Lieu of Taxes (PILT) program.*

The opposition uses Boebert’s life experience from 16 years ago in a negative fashion. Boebert is the first mom to represent Colorado’s 3rd District. We should pride ourselves on these successes and her passion to represent all Coloradans.

*Washington Examiner 10/10/2022 by Christopher Tremoglie

Deborah Boerner, Ridgway

Dems honest about the issues

I wish that our politics could be an honest debate about policies. Regular working people are suffering due to the high cost of housing, health care and energy. Our whole society is at risk due to climate change, income inequality, gun violence and the erosion of democracy.

The Democratic Party hasn’t always lived up to its ideal of representing working people, but I believe it still does a vastly better job of championing policies that actually try to address our problems and make life better for all. 

That’s why I’ll be voting for Democrats pretty much down the line in this election. After the Jan. 6 insurrection and Trump’s part in it, it seems like a vote for Republicans is just a vote for chaos and thuggery. 

And in my opinion, Lauren Boebert is the worst of the whole self-serving, democracy-shredding bunch. She represents no one in Congress but herself. If you’re at all on the fence about her, I advise voting for her opponent Adam Frisch.

Dave Reed, Carbondale

Inflation a red herring

The Republican Party is ecstatic about the current inflationary situation, maybe because that is the only issue they are pinning their hopes on to retake Congress. 

Costs for goods were already at some of their highest levels before Biden took office, in part because of COVID relief spending enacted under President Trump. That money exceeds current Democratic spending by $1 trillion and kept many households and businesses flush with cash and ready to spend once restrictions eased. This cash influx, pent-up demand along with supply chain issues have been big drivers of the current inflationary situation.

It appears there is no Republican plan to combat inflation, several ideas are being promoted within the party, such as raising the eligibility age for Medicare and SSI to 70. Raising the age limit for Medicare means folks will need to stay on private insurance or go uninsured until then, given that a repeal of Obamacare is also on the radar. Most recipients of Social Security retiring at the current retirement age of 67 cannot afford to wait until 70 to collect benefits that they have been putting money into all of their working life. 

Another popular Republican plan is extending the Trump tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, both of these fly in the face of fighting inflation. Extending the three corporate tax breaks will add roughly $600 billion to the federal deficit in ten years outpacing Biden’s student debt relief program. In 2018 after the Tax Cuts Act, 91 profitable Fortune 500 companies paid no corporate income taxes and 379 profitable corporations paid a tax rate of just 11.3% on their income. 

Rather than pumping more dollars into the economy furthering inflation Republicans should focus on enacting taxes on big corporations and the ultra-wealthy to reduce the deficit.

Pam Rule, Montrose

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