Letters: 10/6/16

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No on 71
Corporate interests led by oil and gas promote Initiative 71, asserting “special interests” pollute Colorado’s Constitution. Banking several million dollars, corporate special interests that control our statehouse target the last vestige of Democracy — the citizen ballot initiative — having spent almost $5 a signature alone (almost $1 million).

“71” proponents cite Nebraska’s “higher signature requirements,” belying the fact that Nebraskans have four times longer (almost two years) for signature gathering, making Colorado’s ratio of signatures to time much more stringent.

Requiring geographic signature distribution — 2 percent of registered voters in each of 35 senate districts — is like requiring statewide candidates to obtain votes/signatures of 2 percent of registered voters in each senate district. Geographic signature distribution requirements were overturned in 2014 by a Nebraska District Court as a violation of the Constitutional Equal Protection and Due Process clauses, denying equality among citizens. Under pretense of serving people, “71” serves only the wealthy.
Michele Swenson/Boulder

Democrats for Danish
I’m a lifelong Democrat and I’ll be voting for Paul Danish for Boulder County Commissioner.

The current commissioners clearly have no intention of meeting their primary responsibility to maintain county roads, instead seeing a new tax as the only way forward. (The courts ruled against the commissioners’ earlier attempt to place a special tax on subdivision residents and ordered refunds!) Danish will prioritize the road repairs and accomplish them without a new tax.

The current commissioners have just illustrated the ultimate group-think in issuing their foregone conclusion about locating affordable housing in Twin Lakes, showing a total disregard for other options put forward by the community and glossing over the fact that some of the land in question is a legally “dedicated” parcel that can only have certain specific uses to benefit the existing community (a fact that members of the community, not the commissioners, uncovered!). Danish sees the numerous flaws in the commissioners’ Twin Lakes agenda and proposes other ways to increase affordable housing.

There are more issues… but these two convince me that the current commissioners have become skewed toward a narrow predetermined perspective. We desperately need some balance so that County governance better reflects the residents of Boulder County.

Paul Danish has a long history of making great things happen in Boulder County, including his work in promoting open space and a plan for responsible growth that bore his name. He’s an extraordinary problem solver and communicator, and he’s told us exactly what he thinks and how he’ll do the job (danishforcommissioner.com). With Danish, we will get clear thinking, fairness, and transparency in government, not the foregone conclusions of the current commissioners.

I urge all voters, regardless of affiliation, to vote for Paul Danish for Boulder County Commissioner.  Email DemocratsForDanish@gmail.com to help.
Chris Ennis/Longmont

Voting third party and not voting
A “meaningful” third party vote, or a refusal to engage in the system, may seem attractive when we largely disagree with the two major candidates, but please consider what’s at stake. America has its problems, but also many good things; a relatively clean environment, a recovering economy, some social security, access to abortion, not terrible international relations, not to mention a potentially progressive leaning Supreme Court which has huge implications in all areas for decades to come. These things are not a right but a privilege, gained through the election of competent individuals.

Hillary may represent the status quo, but Trump represents a wanton destruction of so many of this country’s goods. If we stand idly by, if we allow destructive forces to take hold when we could have helped prevent them, we are complicit. Who do we want running our country, centrist Democrats or right-wing Republicans? The last 16 years have provided two strong examples of these types of governments, and one ran our country into the ground while the other has slowly worked to rebuild it. Is Hillary perfect? No! But the choice between her and Trump is day and night.

Either Trump or Hillary will be president in November, and the American voters will decide this. A vote for Hillary is a vote to keep our country intact, while voting third party or refusing to vote is tantamount to standing by while the rest of the country elects President Trump.
Tim Christensen/Boulder

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