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Thursday, March 11,2010

Letters | Romanoff vs. Bennet

Romanoff vs. Bennet
(Re: “The chosen one?” News, Feb. 25.) Thanks for shining some light on the Romanoff/Bennet contest. The Bennet juggernaut is all too typical of the hidebound Colorado Democratic Party machine: ignore popular sentiment and push a D.C. insider with slick, high-pressure campaigning. In fact, Bennet looks like Strickland, Rev. 3. (Strickland was the disastrous twotime loser to the incredibly weak Republican Wayne Allard; the Colorado Dems had to work hard to lose that one, let alone twice, but they did it.)

Romanoff is identifiably a Coloradan, with Colorado legislative experience. It’s good to learn more about him, since he looks like someone who could do right by us — and he’s also electable against the GOP. (Remember that Bennet wasn’t elected; he was an insider appointment.) His stance and history on PAC money isn’t the best, but he’s headed in the right direction.

Bennet, on the other hand, is eminently defeatable, and any of his likely GOP opponents would be bad for Colorado. His heavy-handed campaign is already grating against people: multiple dinner-time calls, with caller-ID blocked; frequent e-mail spam to purchased mass lists; never correcting mail bounces. To put it bluntly, why vote for someone who already uses the same techniques as con artists and porn peddlers?

Dick Dunn/Hygiene

After receiving polling phone calls regarding the Sen. Michael Bennet vs. Andrew Romanoff fight, I searched the Boulder Weekly to hear about Bennet.

Andrew Romanoff has the people?

And who is former Colorado Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon (a Romanoff supporter), kidding saying, “I’m going to vote for somebody who’s only going to represent me.”

The large and growing minority that supports re-legalizing cannabis (marijuana) should remember when then-House Speaker Romanoff enabled and supported misleading and false information regarding Amendment 44, which would have legalized small amounts of cannabis, in the 2006 Blue Book voter guide, which may have interfered with a fair election.

The deliberately placed lies were so blatant that the Rocky Mountain News printed an editorial (“Ambushing the pot initiative,” Sept. 15, 2006, http://m.rockymountainnews.com/news/2006/sep/15/ambushing-the-pot-initiative) which claimed, “The Legislative Council and its staff have made a serious mistake that will cloud the reputation of the Blue Book for years to come.”

Colorado voters were not well-represented with this abusive use of power and should not risk such behavior from a politician in the future. I still don’t know Bennet’s stand on cannabis issues, but Romanoff is a menace. Take that to the Colorado Democratic caucus coming up March 16.

Stan White/Dillon

Let’s talk health care

How are you affected by the health care crisis? You may know one of the 44,000 fellow Americans without health insurance who die every year. Perhaps you own a small business and will see your premiums go up 15 percent to 70 percent every year. Or maybe you are rocked by our economy, which will continue to totter as long as health insurance premiums increase, workers suffer high levels of illness, demand for products decreases, and jobs are lost.

It’s all about money. Insurance companies make about 30 percent on every transaction they broker. In comparison, it costs Medicare about 3 percent to do the same thing. The difference is that Medicare is not-for-profit, whereas insurance companies not only make whopping big profits but also “reward” their personnel with milliondollar bonuses for denying coverage to those who actually do have insurance. You may think you have good coverage if you have not had a major illness. Yet 75 percent of people who go bankrupt due to medical bills had health insurance prior to their illness!

Solutions need not be complex.

Support not-for-profit health organizations such as Kaiser, or, better yet, learn from every other developed country in the world with their universal health care systems. To discuss such possibilities, a free public forum is being held at the Unitarian-Universalist Church of Boulder (5001 Pennsylvania Ave.) on Saturday, March 13, from 1:30 to 4 p.m., called “Health Reform: What Now!? (Is Medicare for All the Only Fiscally Conservative Solution?)” For details, see www.healthcareforallcolorado.org and click on “Boulder Chapter.”

Carol Seideman/Boulder

Israel just wants peace

On Friday, March 6, violence instigated by Iran-backed Hamas struck Israel yet again. Those bent on harming Israel caused dozens of injuries to people at Jerusalem’s holy sites, including at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest place.

Last week, the leader of Hamas in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, urged Palestinians to unleash a new intifada (uprising). “Jerusalem is ours, the land is ours, and God is with us,” Haniyeh said. His threat of mass violence came in response to an Israeli plan to include two holy sites in the West Bank as part of a comprehensive package to preserve Israel’s national heritage and religious sites.

Jerusalem’s holy sites must remain safe and open to all religions — and only have been since Israel took control of Jerusalem in the defensive war of 1967. Before then, when both Christian and Jewish holy sites were under Jordanian control, Jews were forbidden to pray or visit these sites. In recent years, Palestinian terrorists and rioters have desecrated and destroyed Jewish and Christian holy places in areas under their control.

Christians, Muslims and Jews alike have ties to sacred areas around Jerusalem and consider Jerusalem to be their home. Nevertheless, Jews who live in predominantly Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem recently have come under fire in news reports around the world. There is no reason Jews should be prohibited to live in Arab areas, just as Arabs aren’t criticized for living in Jewish neighborhoods such as Pisgat Ze’ev. No one should question the right of Jews to live in the united city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the core of the Jewish people — with thousands of years of history connecting them to this holy city.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat underscored this point on Nov. 17, 2009, saying, “Israeli law does not discriminate between Jews, Muslims and Christians, or between eastern and western Jerusalem. The demand to halt construction by religion is not legal in the United States or in any other free place in the world. I do not presume that any government would demand to freeze construction in the United States based on race, religion or gender, and the attempt to demand it from Jerusalem is a double standard and inconceivable.”

When will world leaders understand that Israel wants nothing but peace for itself and its neighbors? When will they understand that only under Israel have holy sites throughout the country been free and open to all religions? When will they put real, meaningful sanctions on Iran to stop the nuclear program and the continued arming, funding and training of Hezbollah, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad?

The time for stopping violence and starting real measures for peace is now.

Pastor Roger Anghis/Littleton

Evaluating Obama

We live in a nation that has a black president. His election was made possible due to a large number of white voters who chose to vote for him. In fact, without the white vote, Obama could not have been elected. This should have put to rest the constant cries of racism in America. But it hasn’t. If we disagree with our president we are immediately labeled racist.

There is an old saying to the effect that if you can’t stop the message, then shoot the messenger. When people come up with legitimate objections to our present administration’s policies, there are those who will shoot them down with the cries of racism. Martin Luther King’s most famous dream was that there would come a day when people would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the quality of their character. The policies of an administration represent the character of that administration. The constant cries of racism are doing more to destroy King’s dream than to bring it to reality. In fact, if we are not allowed to disagree with someone’s policy because of his race, then King’s dream has died. It has been shot down by the very people who will support a person because of his race with no consideration of his character.

Steve Casey/Stonewall, La.

Barack Obama is a man with great integrity.

He does what he does from the soul through his head rather than from the head only.

David Krest/Paonia

KBCO leaving Boulder

Bye bye, KBCO. I remember KADE-AM/FM at 1900 Folsom, and KGNU at that site as well. KBCO has been an anchor in our town at Folsom and Pearl, along with Mike’s Camera, for a number of years. But now KBCO is moving to … the tech center? You might as well be moving to Colorado Springs. What a bummer commute for the great KBCO DJs. Oh well. Way to support local Boulder business, “KAY BEE SEE OOHHHHH.” You ought to change your call letters to KDTC or K-COSPRNGS/ FOCUSONTHEFAMILY (Corporate Division).

Kurt Hofgard/Louisville

GOP shenanigans

The Republican Party plays a montage of news anchors saying, “Where are the jobs?” Really. Did any of the GOP vote for the stimulus package? Yet many of them write letters from their desks in Congress, begging for some of the stimulus money, citing the jobs it will create (or is creating). Incredible.

The GOP tries to shake up Joe the Plumber or Welder or Roofer, to enlist umbrage against the federal (deficit) spending that pays for the stimulus. Unbelievable.

At whose feet might we lay the lack of jobs? Certainly not the 4 percent at the top of the economic food chain, the ones delivering the pink slips! Remarkable.

The very wealthy, the friends of the GOP, are quite worried they will have to pay higher taxes to reduce the deficit. Their fun since the Bush tax cuts is certain to diminish. Izzatso? The gravy train for real estate was modified in 1986 — under a GOP president — and you would have thought the sky was falling. Real estate brokers wrung their hands. But soon the commission checks returned to them. Convenient.

Hence, rhetorical questions about the end of the world and job losses, coming from those who perpetrate both, are without merit, usefulness and veracity. Absolutely.

That 4 percent need not concern itself with wondering who is eventually going to buy their $20 million houses. The better course is probably to keep them in the family. But next year the estate tax comes back. So the line forms on the right.

So get busy. Quietly, please. Gregory Iwan/Longmont

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A recent comment by Dick Dunn in March on Romanoff said he doesn't have a great PAC money stance and history. Actually he has taken absolutely PAC money for this U.S. senate campaign, and it's his stance that candidates should not take any. He has in the past but not since the beginning of 08. He is very committed to government for the people rather than corporate and special interests. He recently sold his house and gave the money to his campaign. He is a true dedicated public servant.