Hall in hot water
We are having second thoughts now about our endorsement of Hillary Hall for Boulder County clerk and recorder, given the major boo-boo her office made this week in printing the language of one ballot measure under the title of another. Seriously. This is about having the correct language on the ballot, arguably the most basic, important duty that the clerk and recorder has.
The language of the county’s open-space measure was printed under the title of the city’s ballot question on the Xcel franchise fee. Anyone doing even the most cursory job of proofreading the ballot should have caught that.
Whether it was her fault or one of her staff members, the responsibility falls on Hall’s shoulders, and while this may be a moot point if the franchise fee question is decided by a large margin, it should never have happened.
Political gloves come off
We must be in an election week. There have been all sorts of carefully timed attacks on candidates, just so they will be fresh in voters’ minds when they head to the polls.
Even a race for University of Colorado regent has not escaped mention. Granted, this is the one regent race that matters, the one between CU law Professor Melissa Hart, a Democrat, and incumbent Steve Bosley, a Republican. This is the race, as we’ve pointed out in these pages, that could turn the Board of Regents blue for the first time since 1980, if Hart is elected.
So the Colorado Democratic Party sends out a press release on Oct. 25, pointing out that despite Bosley’s claim that he doesn’t get paid as a regent (it’s true, they don’t receive salaries), he has collected more than $24,000 in expense reimbursements during his six years on the board.
Yes, Dem party Chair Pat Waak is right that former banker Bosley could probably afford to pass on reimbursements when he can loan his own campaign $42,000, especially considering steep tuition hikes at CU every year.
But Bosley correctly counters that he chaired two presidential searches during that time, which involved traveling around the state to gather input on what people wanted in a president, traveling around the country recruiting candidates and being reimbursed for purchasing gifts for the search committee members. He asserts that there were plenty of other times that he declined to be reimbursed for expenses (including the past six months, during his campaign) or stay overnight in hotels when he didn’t have to.
If anything, this simply highlights the fact that there is not much incentive for CU officials and employees to carpool when you can get 45 cents a mile. A round-trip drive from Boulder to the Colorado Springs can put about $80 in your pocket, but uses less than half a tank of gas.
Regardless of who wins the election, this needs to change. It’s not right to reimburse CU brass at ridiculously high rates while students get swindled on tuition.
The recent case of WikiLeaks releasing thousands of classified documents about the Iraq war reminds one how important it was that our country’s founders protected the power of the press in the First Amendment. Yes, in some cases, it might endanger national security when media outlets circulate the content of sensitive information. That’s why the government should closely guard its most secret documents, like strategies, in a time of war.
And it’s why news organizations should act responsibly when deciding how to use such information when it is leaked to them.
But there is usually a reason something is leaked to the press in these cases, and it usually involves some sort of wrongdoing or, at the very least, carelessness, by our government. Otherwise, there would be no motive to release it.
We hope the latest WikiLeaks release does not prompt stronger regulations that inhibit the press’s ability to gather and disseminate news.
After all, that’s one of the reasons we’re here, to serve as a watchdog for the people, to make sure our democracy stays on track and that our government is held accountable for its actions. The Pentagon shouldn’t be allowed to use its power to bury its shit in secret.