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OPINION: Sad story spirals due to govt’ shutdown

Jim Hoffman
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Free Press Weekly Opinion Columnist

George is a retired disabled veteran of the Viet Nam era.

While George is distressed that, should he desire, he may not be able to visit some memorials in Washington, D.C., he is more distressed over other matters in his life. His wife has been furloughed from her job with the local office of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The House of Representatives has moved legislation to pay her in full once the current shutdown ends, but the possibility she will not receive her next check and some checks thereafter is of greater immediate concern.

George is also hearing that his retirement check may cease in the very near future. He has never been real flush with cash and his savings are admittedly slim. Given the probability their full income will quit being delivered has not been kind to his blood pressure. He worries a lot nowadays.



He worries that maybe he will have to swallow his pride and apply for some assistance programs including maybe even food stamps. He worries because he has read that Congress has passed a bill reducing food stamp expenditures by some $45 billion. He worries because he does not even know if the unemployment office and food stamp offices will be open if he and his wife are reduced to asking for help.

He knows folks keep talking about the Constitution and how important it is and how our elected officials need to support and honor it. He knows that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is opposed to this shutdown because it is clearly bad for business. He ponders why he has not heard anything from the local Chamber urging our representatives to end the shutdown. He just wishes those people we elected to Congress would fulfill their Constitutionally-mandated function and pass a budget.



KONOLA THROWS HAT IN RING

In a surprising move, we now a have an announced Democrat running for election in Mesa County.

In what has become largely a fool’s errand, Claudette Konola has announced her campaign to keep Ray Scott from capturing the State Senate seat currently held by Steve King. Konola jumped into the race because “no other Democrat would.” That may be due to the very clearly demonstrated fact that a candidate opposing the Republican in any local race will garner 35% of the vote, not much more, not much less. You could probably get that 35% without campaigning, and campaigning may gain you a mere few votes more.

We wish her well as she goes up against Ray “I’ll serve only one term” Scott, who has served more than one and now wishes to be promoted. In his favor is the fact his website no longer boasts of his ownership of what had become a non-existent company. One could check his legislative record to determine if his accomplishments extend beyond sponsoring and co-sponsoring legislation.

There are readers out there who have, on more than one occasion, taken me to task for being less than even handed. Their claim is that I single out conservative Republicans for ridicule while ignoring liberal Democrats. Again, let’s be fair, exactly how many local liberal Democrats have been available for ridicule? Maybe Konola will join the ranks of foot-in-the-mouth politicians and qualify for mention and criticism in the near future.

It has been noted that she has already broken ranks with those liberal Denver Dems and announced her support for gun control as defined by the NRA. That is certainly a wise stance for any politician running for office in Mesa County. She has vowed not to toe the partisan Democratic line and represent her district as befits the local sentiment. Even with that huge concession, it is seriously doubted that anyone with the (D) behind their name is going to poll better than the predicted 35%.

Jim Hoffman is a local Realtor and investor who, when not working, loves skiing, camping and fishing (in season). He may be reached at freepressjim@gmail.com.


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