Recent letters to the editor from Gazette readers.
Response to Grantham's column
Some of the great lies in political history:
Richard Nixon - I am not a crook.
Bill Clinton - I did not have sex with that woman.
Barack Obama - If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan.
Now Colorado political history has one of its own, and from these very pages in a guest column by state senate President Kevin Grantham.
One can only imagine the tears of laughter rolling down his face when he was typing the words, "The Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (or TABOR) also stands as a critical bulwark against the kind of runaway taxing and spending we see in Washington, as well as in many states, which is why Statehouse Republicans can be counted on to uphold the letter and spirit of that law, (italics mine) against overt and covert attacks it constantly faces from big spenders and spending interests."
Statehouse Republicans can be counted on to uphold the letter and spirit of TABOR?! This from the man who colluded the Democrats to pass a massive tax and debt package without it going to the voters as TABOR requires!
And we thought Bill Clinton had chutzpah for lying right to the public's face.
Senate Bill 267, which passed in the final three days of last year's session, raised your taxes, via a tax on your hospital stay, by nearly $600 million a year and raised debt by $1.8 billion. That's billion with a B.
But the true insult to all Coloradans was that Grantham, and the bill's sponsor Jerry Sonnenberg, refused to let you vote on this mammoth tax increase by labeling it a "fee."
How telling that the same year the Republicans in Washington worked to bring us an historic tax cut, Republicans in Colorado like Sens. Grantham, Sonnenberg and Owen Hill raised taxes while denying you a vote on them.
And now we know what kind of respect Sen. Grantham has for you saying he upholds the letter and spirit of TABOR.
Now you might have more sympathy for Monica Lewinsky.
Why give the Dreamers a pass?
It seems like when journalists report on subjects, they generally go to great lengths to accurately describe the problem and the alternatives, then they interject an opinion or conclusion statement unsupported by facts to bolster their position or their desired outcome.
The Jan. 8 Gazette viewpoint on the "Deadline looms for DACA" by the Oklahoma Editorial Board, concludes with their opinion that "Dreamers, most of whom lead responsible and productive lives in this Country." This statement is probably the key that is supposed to convince us of the desired outcome. I feel that this is a statement that is superfluous and is not supported by reported facts.
What and when was a study done that concluded or delineated the percentage of Dreamers that do not have criminal records or those who have accomplished anything significant that warrants special recognition or consideration from the government to override their illegal status? Who did this study and when? If it was done then let's see the results. Are Dreamers going to be individually screened to determine eligibility or will it be a blanket application of the program?
I have no ax to grind, but I would like to know why they should be given a pass on their illegal status? What makes their crime not a crime?
Concept of prosecutorial discretion
Many thanks to Mayor John Suthers for his Jan. 7 letter to the editor describing essential principles of American government, such as the rule of law and the respective roles of the legislative branch and the executive branch.
I wholeheartedly agree with much of what Mayor Suthers wrote and believe we all (even senators and presidents) benefit from a civics refresher.
But another touchstone of American criminal jurisprudence that Mayor Suthers omitted is the important concept of prosecutorial discretion.
As the former district attorney for the Fourth Judicial District and the former attorney general for the state of Colorado, Mayor Suthers knows that prosecutors are not robots, mechanically enforcing any and every law passed by the Legislature, regardless of history, context, or public opinion. Prosecutors - both elected district attorneys as in Colorado and appointed attorneys general as in the federal system - jealously guard their unreviewable prerogative to decide who and what to charge.
This particular Coloradan has her fingers crossed that the U.S. attorney general for the District of Colorado will heed the history, context, and public opinion regarding Colorado's marijuana laws and make his charging decisions accordingly.
Giving latitude to elected officials
After rereading John Suthers' letter to the editor (Sunday, Jan. 7), I came away with him praising those state-elected officials who follow the law. I find this interesting because in our city he appears to give great latitude to our elected officials.
I am referring to a land development, specifically 543 Robbin Place in Old Colorado City. This project was passed by City Planning Commission and survived two appeals to the City Council.
Both were concerning the safety to residents both new and old when the only access to these three duplexes (six houses) is via a 12-foot alley. Both city and international fire safety codes state that access via an alley must be a minimum of 20 foot. Other issues in the first appeal included the steep slope of the hillside allowed due to extreme landslide issues, even with mitigation, according to Colorado Geological Survey. The steep slope also raised concerns of proper drainage. The safety for pedestrians, as well as increased traffic etc., were also addressed as there will be no sidewalks.
Through my neighbors and our investigations we discovered not only the work, specifically the drilling for the caissons and pouring of concrete, had been done without some permits but it also in a preservation area. City planning has acknowledged that, "Yes" they have gone into the preservation area.
Suthers sings praises of those who "follow the law" at the state level while allowing city government officials to ignore the law if it brings in developers.