Monday letters: Republicans, Trump, GOP, Soto and Robinson, Mitsch Bush, wolves, Hanlon, Boebert, and Martin and Samson |

Monday letters: Republicans, Trump, GOP, Soto and Robinson, Mitsch Bush, wolves, Hanlon, Boebert, and Martin and Samson

Republicans lost my vote while Democrats earned it

I was a lifelong Republican, but now I am the Coordinated Campaign Manager for the Garfield County Democratic Party — here’s why:
I chose my original party affiliation based on my understanding of history and the values my family had instilled. Fiercely patriotic, with a deeply held faith, and members of my family serving in the military, I seemed naturally aligned with the Republican Party. For 25 years, I worked to elect Republicans to local, state and federal offices. On Capitol Hill in Washington DC and Denver I served those officials. Over time, I noticed a trend developing within the party that today has caused the irretrievable decay of its moral and intellectual core.

I’ve seen consistent efforts to purge moderate voices. Thoughtful Republicans were labeled “RINOs” and challenged in primaries producing “ideologically pure” candidates. Being boisterous and divisive now proves a candidate’s merit for leadership and is valued above interest in or knowledge of policy, (Please see: Boebert, Lauren).

The Republican Party is divorced from its intellectual roots, fueled only by emotion and fear. They believe in tax cuts, regardless of deficits. The Christian faith is threatened, though Trump can’t name a favorite Bible verse and Biden is a devout Catholic. The Second Amendment is on the verge of repeal, yet gun ownership soars. Abortion should be criminalized, though the abortion rate was higher pre-Roe v. Wade. And, they love their endless internet-fueled conspiracies, which conjure so much fear of “leftist agendas” that any amount of un-American authoritarianism is acceptable to save the country. Governing in a style reminiscent of the oft quoted Vietnam paradox, Trumpists seem to believe they must destroy the Constitution to save it. This is not conservatism.

Most Republicans abandoned their principles to follow Trump. Others, intimidated into silence, abandoned us when we needed principled leadership. Still others, chose to leave their party rather than betray their principles. Regardless, today’s Republicans are unworthy of office and deserve defeat at every level, so that a future center-right party might appreciate its ideological limits — never indulging Trumpism again.
Democrats didn’t just earn my vote, Republicans lost it.

Aron Diaz

Has Trump improved your life?

On the bright side, I am grateful to have Jean Albercio and her team responsible for the hard and careful work that I know is going on at the courthouse, and I am grateful to live in Colorado, a state that makes voting easy, inclusive, without forcing voters to stand in long lines and worry that their registration may suddenly be missing or altered. Locally, if I remember, Jean was re-elected by enough votes to show Republicans, too, respected her competence.

Voter suppression is ugly and has gone from a silent craven tactic of the Republican party, to being out loud and legimatized. Not in Colorado.
I can honestly say that the Democratic ticket represents what we need to move our county, state and country forward: all of us. The Republican agenda entrenches power, is reflexive to money and ignores the giant issues of climate change and social justice. Social justice ignored destroys Democracy and climate change ignored destroys our world.

Unexamined fealty to Trump, or guns, or oil and gas, or reducing government, is like gang loyalty. We don’t belong to a gang, we live in a country.

Most notably Important at the top of the ticket is the protection of everyone’s health: the mask wearers, the non-mask wearers, the insured, the uninsured, the rich, the poor. No one wants to watch their neighbor die of disease or incur unpayable debt. Of all his character flaws and misanthropy, Trump almost seems proud of this one. Spineless Sen. Corey Gardner lopes right along behind him.

The bottom of the ticket, our county commission officials, affect us day to day. A change in Garfield County is frightfully overdue. The current commission makes decisions based on a time past when gas drilling was the economic engine of Western Colorado. This will never be the case again and with good reason if you notice the West burning. It is not theoretical. Climate change requires new views and consideration that younger, and may I add intelligent, informed, female, commissioners will bring. Samson and Martin can not protect the economics of a diminished, dying oil and gas industry and it is disturbing they will use our tax money, mitigation money, to try to do just that.

Has Trump improved your life? Be honest.

Barb Coddington
Glenwood Springs

Longing for a kinder, gentler GOP

I met Russell George when I was a reporter for the Glenwood Post and he was the Republican District 57 State Representative from Rifle. Later, George would become Speaker of the House and director of the Division of Wildlife, Department of Natural Resources, and Department of Transportation.

I could see George was an astute, amicable man so we became somewhat friendly. When I told him my father was a retired attorney, George asked if he could meet him. So, the three of us had lunch and I endured an hour of legal-speak. The two lawyers got along well even though my father made light of the preponderance of water attorneys in Colorado.

“Water rights are a property right,” he said, “and we covered that in our first year of law school.”

A water rights attorney himself, I doubt if George agreed with my father’s assessment, but he respected his opinion and merely smiled.

This is why George has refused to endorse his party’s nominee for the Third District U.S. Congress seat, Lauren Boebert. George harkens back to a day when Republicans were primarily decent people who advocated for small government and a free-market economy, but never presented this ideology as dogma.

Boebert represents the new wave of Republicans that are leaning past conservativism into fascism. Their mantra is, “I love America and since you disagree with me, you must hate America.” That’s not only no way to create consensus, but it’s downright un-American itself.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams fought like cats and dogs when they were inventing the United States. They agreed on very little, but they listened and they compromised and what they came up with turned out be a pretty fair country.

George has endorsed Boebert’s Democratic opponent, Diane Mitsch Bush, because he sees himself in her. Different views on the issues, yes, but both realize government in America is a team sport. We don’t have benevolent dictators controlling our lives, but freely elected representatives of the people working with other legislators to achieve the will of the majority.

Fred Malo Jr.

Soto and Robinson will make Garfield County a better place

Here’s something to think about in the races for Garfield County Commissioner: Incumbent John Martin has been in office since 1996, and Mike Samson has been a commissioner since 2008. It’s time to get rid of these career politicians.

Beatriz Soto and Leslie Robinson have each worked hard for years to make our county a better place to live. They are in touch with our communities and the many challenges we face. The Board of County Commissioners has a huge impact on people’s lives. Soto and Robinson will serve all Garfield County residents with grace and dignity.

Allyn Harvey

Mitsch Bush is clear choice for CD3

There is a clear choice this year as we vote for our next 3rd District Representative in Congress. Diane Mitsch Bush is a strong, thoughtful leader and person of integrity. As an elected official, Mitsch Bush represented her constituency in a balanced manner. She is a master at working with colleagues across the aisle to find common ground.

Mitsch Bush understands the task in front of her. Not only has she worked on local and state issues, but during her time as a commissioner and legislator, she was engaged in national issues that impacted Colorado. She knows that we need a representative in Congress who can educate her colleagues in DC and fight for solutions to the unique issues that we are facing in rural Colorado, including lowering health insurance costs, protecting our public lands that support our agricultural and recreational economies, and bringing infrastructure projects to our district. As wildfires continue to spread across the West, Mitsch Bush knows how important it is for our country to work globally on addressing climate change, and nationally on supporting forest and grassland health efforts.

We are in need of leaders who are informed and will work to bring our country and world leaders together to address numerous issues, including the COVID-19 pandemic; high impact natural disasters; and the thousands of people uprooted by war, drought and poverty. Mitsch Bush is that person.
Please join me in voting for my friend and former colleague, Diane Mitsch Bush.

Trési Houpt,
former Garfield County commissioner
Glenwood Springs

Colorado does not need wolves

Prop. 114 wants to introduce wolves into Colorado just like the Feds did in 1995 in the Yellowstone area. Bad idea.

Ask the game departments in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming how they were treated by the heavy handed U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and their all powerful endangered species act. Very poorly.

The wolves didn’t stay in Yellowstone, they expanded in just 25 years all across the West, including Colorado.

The basic question is do we want to manage our deer, elk and moose to benefit the people of Colorado or give a high percentage to feeding wolves.
In 1995 the game units around Yellowstone issued over 300 moose licenses. Now they issue 10.

Our deer herds are nowhere near what they used to be. Let’s not pile on another high stress mortality factor.

Ballot box biology stinks. Shouldn’t we let our professional wildlife department make all wildlife management decisions based on scientific facts and leave emotional bias out of the equation.

Wolves are a bad deal for our ranchers, and guess who gets to pay for wolf management. The sportsmen and women who don’t want wolves in the first place.

Vote “no” on Prop. 114.

Don Waechtler
Glenwood Springs

Where are all the grey wolves

It all started with the legislators of Montana and Wyoming hunting down grey wolves for sport 25 years ago. Then, when they were asked to change the law because the wolves were becoming endangered, they just made it illegal to hunt them. But a short time later a lobby that represented the large beef producers in those states made it legal to shoot these wolves if they were perceived to be a threat to their herds. Guess what? Even though no proof was shown that they were losing calves or adult cattle, the ranchers were given the go ahead to hunt the grey wolves again.

Now, it seems according to Colorado Parks & Wildlife the grey wolves are showing up here and there in packs from North of Steamboat Springs to Estes Park.

So, the question is: should they be allowed to live in Colorado or not?
Wolves have been hunting in Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado for centuries. Ranchers moved into their hunting space, not the other way around. Wolves were here first.

So, why would we, the citizens of Colorado want to kill them? They are endangered, and if we do not protect them, they will be gone forever, and become just a memory, and relegated to photos in books, as to what they used to look like.

It is our responsibility to find a way to coexist with the grey wolf. It is our mandate. Humans have systematically killed off so many species using the same old used up excuse that they are encroaching on the land used by ranchers. Keep in mind in Colorado much of cattle land is leased from the federal government, and ranchers just need to understand the needs of these wolves outweigh their need to produce beef for our dinner tables. I like a good steak like the next guy, but without sounding snarky, I prefer by steak to be from the mid-west, preferably Iowa, not Colorado beef. It’s better tasting, and those ranchers do not kill a precious resource of endangered wolves so we can eat beef. Sometimes we just have to bite the bullet and understand that protecting these majestic animals outweighs protecting the profits of ranchers in Colorado. Just saying.

Steven Gluckman
Glenwood Springs

County will be healthier, more prosperous under Robinson, Soto

We have a wonderful opportunity to elect two intelligent, caring, and practical women to represent us as Garfield County commissioners. Leslie Robinson is running in District 3 and Beatriz Soto is running in District 2. You can vote for both of them, and please do.

I had the pleasure of serving on the Garfield County Energy Advisory Board with Robinson for two years. During that time I got to witness her steadfast poise and unbridled strength to stand up for communities being negatively impacted by excessive oil and gas drilling that the current county commissioners allowed. She speaks up for the people, communities, land, animals, air, water and resources of Garfield County and will serve as a true representative for progress.

Beatriz Soto is also well versed in serving the public and standing up for the environment with her work at Wilderness Workshop. Her experience as an architect gives her the tools to see how systems work and how to improve them, including the government. She is also Latina and bilingual, finally giving the Spanish speakers that make up over 30% of our beautiful county the representation that has been long deserved.

Local government has a very direct and immediate impact on our community and by electing Robinson and Soto together Garfield County will be a healthier and more prosperous place now and into the future.

Please Vote!

¡Vota Por Favor!

A.J. Hobbs

Vote Hanlon for Senate District 8

As a past member of Glenwood Spring’s City Council, I have worked closely with Karl Hanlon as our city attorney for more than three years. I have gained great respect for his level-headed thinking, ability to work with all our citizens, and, above all, integrity. He’s been an invaluable asset to the council’s economic development agenda, especially during this pandemic. His accomplishments include expansion of city-owned broadband, advocating for sustainable jobs, opposing the Rocky Mountain Industrials strip mine that would subtract jobs from our economy, and advocacy for public lands. Karl also has worked closely with municipalities across the 3rd Congressional District fighting to secure water rights and economic prosperity for municipalities on West Slope and in southern Colorado.

Adding to his integrity is his thoughtful and proactive thinking. As an advocate for Glenwood, he’s been tireless in thinking about innovate opportunities and new ways of doing routine business. While some politicians in our state have been reckless by downplaying COVID-19’s threat to rural Coloradans, Hanlon has worked directly with local communities who took this crisis seriously and knows firsthand what we need to do to better protect public health.

Hanlon listens and communicates with citizens, policymakers, state legislators and has represented Glenwood effectively with congressmen and senators. To sum it up, Hanlon knows how things work and has the energy and ideas to get things done. Please join me in voting for him as our next District 8 Senator.

Rick Voorhees
Glenwood Springs

Hanlon has big heart for DACA students, immigration

I have known Karl Hanlon for many years professionally through his work as the city attorney for Glenwood Springs, and we both served on the Alpine Legal Services board together. But in all that he has done and continues to do, what has impressed me the most is his big heart for DACA students and immigration.

As a dad, Hanlon learned about the issue through the eyes of his daughter, who’s best friend in high school was a DACA student. A few years ago, he quietly stood by her side and that of her immigrant and undocumented friends to protest for the rights of DACA students. Many of the kids were terrified to speak up and protest at all for fear of endangering their families. Hanlon used his community experience to amplify their voices so these kids would have the same opportunities as his own children. When the time came for these same students to apply for college, Karl was the first to lend a hand, from helping navigate financial aid to just making sure everyone had a ride to the college fair.

To Hanlon, the issue of immigration is not an issue of red or blue, it is an issue of human rights. Cast your ballot for Karl Hanlon. Join me to see immigration policies changed to benefit the families and kids who came here for a better life and fighting for the right to stay in the only country they had ever known as home.

Blanca Uzeta O’Leary
Member, Latino Democrats of Garfield, Eagle and Pitkin Counties

A civics lesson for Lauren Boebert

I read Lauren Boebert’s interview in Friday’s Glenwood Springs Post Independent (Oct. 16) in stunned amazement. Boebert stated her “First vote in Congress will be to fire Nancy Pelosi.” For someone who is running to represent Colorado’s 3rd District, her ignorance is mind blowing.

Let me explain to you how Congress works, Lauren. Nancy Pelosi is the House Majority Leader. Since the Democrats control the House, they elected her to lead them in the House. Similarly, Mitch McConnell is Majority Leader of the Senate. Lauren, the Democrats will not invite you to vote on their choice for House Leader.

Your lack of civic understanding is one of many reasons I am voting for Diane Mitsch Bush.

Dave Malehorn
Glenwood Springs

Crying for our country!

I watched the documentary of the Obama years in the White House, “The Way I See it,” for two hours and cried for our country and what Trump has done to it. I was hoping that my Republican friends who are still supporting Trump would have been watching it. I doubt they will turn off Fox News long enough to hear the truth and the facts.

I keep saying to my friends, “I don’t understand how people can see what is happening and still vote for Trump.” The lies and conspiracy theories that people spread on Facebook and Twitter is partly to blame for all of this. People have lost faith in the newspapers like the NY Times and the Washington Post, which I believe is “true news.” I listened in amazement four years ago when Kellyanne Conway talked about “alternate facts” (lies).

We now have a choice to either have courage and face the truth and elect a man of integrity who truly loves his family and his country, or to stay in denial and believe the lies of Trump and be content to watch thousands more people die, who wouldn’t have to die, if we had honest dedicated leadership.

I do believe the American education system has failed to teach the history of our country and to show the courage and love of our country that the ‘Greatest Generation’ possessed before WWII, living through a depression and then the war and the years after the war. The “Me” generation has taken over and look where we are! There is ‘something’ beyond your selfish needs of the day!

I’m praying for healing of this nation and for moral and strong leadership in 2021. God help us and God bless America!

Linda Carr

Mitsch Bush will develop legislation for mental health services

Diane Mitsch Bush is a sociologist with legislative experience. We need her informed voice of reason, collaboration and hope to represent us in the U.S. Congress. She understands the need for high-quality education for all children and sponsored the bipartisan Debt Free School Act signed into law in Colorado. With a job market that changes rapidly due to new technologies and now, a pandemic, Mitsch Bush understands that promoting education, whether for children just beginning to learn or adults needing new jobs and careers, will lead to healthy communities.

Mitsch Bush voted in the Colorado legislature for universal background checks and limiting gun magazines. 39,773 people died as a result of gunshot wounds in the U.S. in 2017. Sixty percent of those deaths were suicides, 61% more than death by homicide. White men make up the majority of these suicide deaths. You are far more likely to know someone who died via gunshot in suicide than in a homicide. Suicides and murders leave a wake of sorrow for families lasting generations. I know.

Mitsch Bush’s Republican opponent to win Colorado’s 3rd District U.S. House of Representatives seat wears a gun to work and arms her waitresses in her restaurant. She is a one-issue candidate with no experience to prepare her for public service. She ignored the Colorado Health Department order for restaurants to close for indoor dining and lost her license temporarily for refusing to obey this mandate to protect the health of Coloradans.

We need Mitsch Bush to help our nation develop legislation that addresses the need for more mental health services at affordable prices so that we don’t have people with mental illnesses killing themselves or others. Additionally, a step toward ending police violence is having more counselors in our communities working with police and troubled people to prevent confrontations and provide help. Mitsch Bush has been endorsed by the former Speaker of the House in Colorado, Republican Russ George. The Pueblo Chieftain has endorsed her, as do I.

Illene Pevec

Keep Martin and Samson working for us

In Garfield County we are fortunate to have three dedicated, public servants as commissioners. Two, John Martin and Mike Samson, are up for re-election. They have made and kept our county among the most prosperous in Colorado.

They support the oil and gas industry that pays the majority of our bills. Their challengers will eviscerate our county’s greatest economic engine. These opponents are disciples of the new green scheme. They will raise our taxes and Californicate Colorado.

Why change someone who has done so well for us for so long? I believe Garfield County residents are smart enough to keep Martin and Samson working for us. Please vote for Marten and Sampson.

Bruno Kirchenwitz

Soto will bring diversity of age, background, gender, viewpoints

For those that have not submitted their ballots yet, I would encourage you to vote for Beatriz Soto. Soto and I both grew up in the valley and have seen the quick and drastic changes happening around us. Soto recognizes the opportunities in these changes, and also the need for government to balance and regulate the influx of people and wealth.

As a local farmer, I have seen land prices driven up by an influx of people and a growing hemp market. I have struggled to find housing to stay in the community I dedicate my time to. Soto understands the diverse issues facing our county and recognizes the need to prioritize a protection of our cultural and agricultural heritage, a desperate need for affordable housing and measures to address the second homeowners leaving so many valuable residences vacant during much of the year, and a need for affordable healthcare and childcare. She represents hard working locals, latinos and workers who prop up the ski town industries, those looking to protect our natural surroundings for future generations and not just for extractive companies, and all Garfield county residents.

Our taxpayer money should benefit all of Garfield County, and not be spent in $1.5 million lawsuits on behalf of oil and gas fighting against clean air regulation. Soto recognizes that we all use energy and oil and gas, and can work to diversify our energy and economic streams so that we can build resilient communities and buffer against our inherently volatile economic drivers of oil and gas and tourism as we transition away. Let’s challenge the stagnant mind-set that our current county commissioners have slipped into during their comfortable past 20 years, and remind those that represent us to remember that they still represent us. Let’s elect Soto and truly have our diversity of age, background, gender, and viewpoints represented on our Board of County Commissioners.

I feel invested in the community I grew up in and call home and encourage you to vote for Soto as well for the future of our valley.

Ben Armstrong

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