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LETTERS: The pain of a Vietname vet; Oppressing free speech; Better off today?; and more

By: ltr
December 28, 2011

A matter of right, not permission

I applaud Bradley Smith’s Dec. 24 column on the proposed reforms of Colorado’s campaign finance rules.

In 2008 and 2010, I was obliged to comply with these rules to speak against the proposed “personhood” measures on the ballot. I had to track and report the names and addresses of contributors giving $20 or more, plus the occupation and employer for contributions of $100 or more. Any errors meant that I could be dragged into court by my political opponents and forced to pay thousands of dollars in fines.

To say that these campaign finance laws violate the right to free speech and silence small-time citizen activists like myself is an understatement.

Secretary of State Scott Gessler’s proposed reforms are a step in the right direction: He aims to make the rules more objective and less burdensome. I urge the Colorado Legislature to take the next step: repeal as many of these campaign finance laws as possible.

Colorado residents should be free to speak about elections (and fund the speech of others) as a matter of right, not permission.

Diana Hsieh



What happened to states’ rights?

I object to your poll question in Your View (Dec. 26) “Should the federal government ban talking on cell phones while driving?” It’s none of the federal government’s business.

What happened to states’ rights? Shouldn’t you have also asked if “the state government....?’ I guess I need to repeat the Tenth Amendment since so many can’t remember. “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” I am appalled that the federal government makes the states pass laws under threat of having their highway funds withheld. The federal government is usurping the powers of the states granted by the Constitution.

Why do we continue to let the federal government walk all over us? Where are our representatives when they should be defending us? What happened to the Supreme Court, which is supposed to uphold the Constitution? If we don’t demand that this type of federal action stops, we will end up no better off than when we were ruled by King George of England.

Do those 90 percent that voted yes really want a federal law? I hope not. There is a big difference.

Kurt Hansen

Black Forest


Are you better off today?

On all of my visits to stores this season, I have noticed that just about everyone pays by food stamps or welfare card. What a shame!

Is this where Obama’s leadership has brought us? During the 1980 presidential election, Ronald Reagan asked us if we were better off now than we were before.

The answer ushered in Reagan’s election. Once again, America: Are you better off today than three years ago?

This president feels comfortable placing all the blame on the former administration. One can interpret that statement as: “Does that mean nothing he’s done has worked? And what has he done different?” At this juncture, I would vote for a field mouse over Obama!

Paul Sherer

Colorado Springs


Lack of recognition still hurts

I would be the last person to begrudge warmly and enthusiastically welcoming home our troops from combat zones. I am extremely proud of our fighting forces and their willingness to volunteer their services realizing the possible consequences.

But this morning when I saw Wayne Laugesen’s editorial with the headline “Welcome soldiers with open arms,” a pain shot through my heart, and tears came to my eyes. I am a survivor of 46 months of “boots on the ground” in Vietnam.

I am as proud of my service as these troops are of theirs. I never once saw a headline such as this — it still hurts!

Ron Wilson

Colorado Springs

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