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Gazette Premium Content Readers comments on aftermath of the recall election,

Letters Published: September 19, 2013

Political reality for the coming years

Well, our city has once again grabbed national headlines for dubious political practice. Now that "the people have spoken and our right to be listened to has been heard" (by a whopping 51 percent to 49 percent margin), we can usher in Bernie Herpin's era of political leadership. I can only wonder what group will recall him when he dares to involve himself in a political cause that half our hopelessly divided city does not support. It was hard to stomach the realization that this election could foreshadow our political reality for the coming years. First, we exercise our right to cast our vote for the politician we favor, and then a few months later we exercise our right to recall the same elected official because they dared to sponsor and support legislation with which we do not personally agree.

After returning from a two-week trip to Norway this summer, my wife and I were asked by friends what major difference we saw between the two stellar countries. We both agreed that the Norwegians did not possess the innate suspicion, fear and hatred of their government that I see many Americans so overtly displaying.

If we respected our political process enough to work with our government and our elected officials to move our country forward, perhaps our high quality of life could even be improved. My pessimistic thoughts tonight after this very expensive recall may yet prove to be unfounded. Perhaps Herpin will exhibit through his actions that he is a champion of all people in our fair city: left, centrist and right. But if he is not, then I suppose another group will demand his ouster because "their rights" have been violated by their needs and wants not being met.

Rob Gustke, Manitou Springs

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Election sends a powerful message

The money (and the dishonesty it bought) has spoken and the system is broken. Through a manipulated system, 26 percent of the district voters (and 0.2 percent of the city voters) have been able to recall quite possibly the politician who is the most honest and has the most integrity in the history of Colorado politics. He also becomes a cautionary tale.

This election sends a powerful message to politicians throughout the country. Vote against special interests and you may be recalled.

This recall reminds the rest of the country that if Colorado can be bought, so, too, can other states. It takes only a bunch of money and lots of dishonest commentary. Additionally, it can be as small as 0.2 percent of the community that decides that fate.

Contrary to your misleading (nay, dishonest, deceitful) editorials, Sen. John Morse's office has always made the effort to return any communications.

Of the 10 bills that Senator Morse sponsored, Republicans had some sponsorship in six of them. Of the 400+ bills that passed the legislature, there was bipartisan support in 95 percent of them. You maintain that he didn't represent his constituency. That constituency voted for Barack Obama and against Doug Lamborn last election. Just what type of legislation do you think they want? The gun legislation that was implemented was favored by the majority of the people of the state of Colorado, especially the background search legislation.

The people have, indeed, spoken, although unfortunately so very few of them. That's disappointing.

Bill Mead, Colorado Springs

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Part of the democratic process

I disagree with Rick Palacio (chairman of Colorado Democratic party) when he stated in The Gazette that "a good legislator should vote his conscience." A good legislator can go into a voting booth, like you and I, and at that time he/she gets "one" vote for his/her conscience. When the legislator votes in the Colorado Assembly, they should vote the way the people in their district put them in office to do. This is called representative government.

Also in the article, Rep. Exum stated that jobs and education are important. I agree, but when he stated that those things are important to "our party" I disagree with that wording. All legislators in the assembly should be voting for what is good for all Coloradans, not voting along party lines.

I feel the recall procedure is an important part of the democratic process. When elected officials vote in the assembly contrary to that of their constituents, and they don't even consider constituent input, the voters have the right and obligation not to wait for the next election, but to initiate a recall.

Ken Martinez, Colorado Springs

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Passing a law won't have any effect

This is in response to Mike Siffins' letter published in the Sept. 12 issue of The Gazette.

He assumes/accuses, that people who believe the Constitution is the basis of our government and should be protected, believe that our guns are more important than a human life. Really...!? Wow, I don't quite know what to say.

Let me start by discussing a few points from the letter.

First, he states that James Holmes, the Aurora theater shooter, used a machine gun. Not true. Holmes did not use a machine gun. For the record and simply stated, a machine gun will fire all ammunition with one trigger pull.

Second, he mentions the tragedy at Sandy Hook. Connecticut has a very strict assault weapon ban and this was in place before the shooting. So, with laws in place banning his gun, how did the shooter get it? Criminals are just that, criminals, because they do not obey laws.

Third, it was stated that what we need to do is to provide common-sense safeguards to protect citizens. I am in total agreement, with the emphasis on "common-sense". As I stated above, criminals break laws. Merely passing a law making something illegal won't have any effect on those wanting to break the law. It will only affect the law abiding citizens, as in the case for stricter gun control laws.

How many hundreds, thousands, of laws pertaining to guns are on the books at the state and national level? And yet, criminals still commit crimes using them.

I don't have all the answers, but what I do know is, yes, we need laws concerning ownership, use, and possession of firearms. Common-sense laws, laws that will actually work and have a positive effect. We need to actively enforce current laws. Punish those who break the laws with out letting them off easy. That would be a good place to start.

And as far as inferring that I like my guns more than a human life, you are way off-base!

Scott Walker, Colorado Springs

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