Letters 8/20/20


Gardner fails on women’s health care

A senator’s primary job should be promoting the health of our citizens. It is beyond belief that in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, with millions losing their employment-based health insurance, Gardner supports repealing the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, thousands of newly unemployed Coloradans are without health insurance. It is disturbing, but predictable that Senator Gardner’s campaign website lacks a single word on women’s health care.

As a Colorado legislator he voted against requiring health insurance companies to provide coverage for contraception or labor and delivery. He voted against providing workplace accommodations for nursing mothers and against Medicaid coverage for family planning for low-income women. He voted to repeal funding for school-based health centers. He voted numerous times to defund Planned Parenthood, often the only affordable health care for gynecology and cancer prevention for low-income women. He voted against allowing pharmacies to supply emergency contraception. He voted against allowing military sexual assault victims to have someone not in their direct chain of command to rule on their case.

When will Gardner ever support women and their health care?

It does not matter what Gardner says, or what the flashy ads say, just look at how he votes. How will you vote?

Scott Johnson, MD/Loveland

One person, one vote

Here’s a disturbing fact: In two of the last five elections, the presidential candidate who had the most popular votes LOST the election. That’s you, George W. Bush and Donald Trump.

These two contenders were able to seize the White House because the electoral college system is broken. A system that allows the candidate who lost the popular vote to win the presidency is broken because it silences the will of the voters.

The only way that we can ensure that every Colorado voice is heard and every vote is counted is through National Popular Vote (NPV). Prop 113 guarantees the presidency to the candidate who wins the most votes in all 50 states.

NPV does not abolish the electoral college but works within the guard rails as described in the U.S. Constitution. Don’t be misled by those who would have you believe this mandate will abolish the electoral college. That is simply not true. NPV changes the votes of Colorado’s electors from whichever candidate wins the most votes in our state to the candidate who earned the most popular votes nationwide.

Gov. Polis signed the NPV into law last year because he knew it was good for Colorado. He recognized that NPV will require presidential candidates to run a 50-state campaign rather than paying attention only to those states where the race is close. That means no more “fly-over states.”

I urge all Coloradans to vote Yes on the National Popular Vote, Prop 113. Join 14 other states and Washington, D.C. to affirm that every vote should count equally and every vote should matter. NPV is good for democracy and it’s good for Colorado.

Catherine James/Boulder

(Editor’s note: Prop 113 is a referendum on the NPV law Polis signed in 2019.) 

Trump does not support democracy

The coming election is about democracy versus dictatorship. It’s possibly the most important election in world history. 

Trump is a classic “strong man” who dreams of being a dictator. He will cripple American democracy, and create a police state. We can already see this in Trump’s sending federal troops to urban areas to crush protests and encouraging local police to be violent and repressive; we can see it in Republican attempts to curtail voting; we can hear it in every menacing comment Trump makes. 

So, what happens if Trump clearly loses and refuses to leave office? Here’s what his silly script will sound like: “The liberal Democrats have encouraged illegal aliens to mail in fraudulent ballots and cheated! I, the greatest president the country has ever had, have decided to reject these fake results.” He’ll try to get the Supreme Court to back him, and in the meantime, he’ll call for a de facto civil war, telling those he sees as allies, (“bikers,” violent white supremacists and other heavily armed rightists, fascists within the police and military) to attack protestors and anyone who dissents, even non-violently. His message will be, “To save us, I’m taking over. Anyone who opposes me is going to get hurt.” 

Trump neither understands nor supports democracy; in that sense, he’s fundamentally unAmerican and a betrayer of the nation. He’s a thug who in the name of Make America Great Again will destroy all that’s great about America. At the end of Saving Private Ryan is the heroic death of Captain Miller (Tom Hanks); his last words are “Earn this.” Do we honor the sacrifices of those who fought against monarchy and tyranny in the American Revolution, the “honored dead” of Gettysburg, and especially those who fell to destroy a dictatorship of Nazis, by enthroning an American Hitler? If Trump triumphs, these patriots will have “died in vain,” and government of the people, by the people and for the people may indeed perish from the earth. 

Paul Dougan/Boulder

Boulder fracking ban

CU Boulder’s breathtaking backdrop of the Flatirons, perfect weather and abundance of outdoor activities has led to its ranking as the number one college town in America, and attracts thousands of out-of-state students making up half of the student population, including myself. For this reason, it is in Boulder County’s best interest to preserve its pristine natural environment, which has led to its popularity and reputable name.

A ban on fracking is necessary at the economic, environmental and social level. Fracking pollutes the air, drains our freshwater supply, intensifies climate change and contaminates crops and soil through flowback returns. Despite the newly released CDPHE study revealing how the “exposure to chemicals used in oil and gas developments, such as benzene, may cause short-term negative health impacts” and that “there is a possibility of negative health impacts at distances from 300 feet out to 2,000 feet,” the process of fracking is still underway, all while we are in the midst of a global respiratory pandemic. The COGCC needs to increase the distances from homes, schools and other occupied buildings beyond what is currently proposed in the objective criteria, given the preponderance of health studies indicating serious harm to public health and safety at distances of 2,500 feet and beyond.

Colorado communities deserve full due process and a halt to permitting to allow time for a thoughtful, thorough process that enables public participation in rulemaking at the state and local levels and accomplishes the intention of SB19-181 — protection of public safety, health, welfare and the environment.

I am disappointed that the county commissioners decided not to let the voters decide on a ban on fracking. I am calling on them to take continued action to protect us from the dangers of this polluting industry.

Kacie Beth/Boulder

World Plant Milk Day

I’d like to applaud Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ recent appointment of Ellen Kessler to the public at large position on the State Board of Veterinary Medicine. The board activities include licensing veterinarians, investigating complaints, disciplining violators, and making, amending and adopting reasonable rules and regulations that govern the conduct of veterinarians. The board is made up of five veterinarians and two public members.  Ellen’s appointment has caused quite a stir in the animal agriculture community. Why?

Ellen is a vegan activist. Let’s break that down since the word vegan evokes ideas of radical individuals and dreadlocked hippies. Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose. How about activist? A person who uses or supports strong actions in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue.

So Ellen supports strong action in favor of excluding exploitation and cruelty to animals for any purpose. It seems like that’s exactly the person you want on a board which regulates the conduct of veterinarians (a person qualified to treat diseased or injured animals). Ranchers and farmers can continue to needlessly kill animals for profit with an advocate for the animals on this board.

This in no way impedes on their ability to exploit animals for profit. However, one day I would like to live in a world where we no longer support exploitation of animals or humans in our society. Where farmers grow plants, not raise animals for murder by exploited human workers at slaughterhouses like JBS in Greeley.

 If you want to live in that world too, maybe start by switching to plant milk. Aug. 22 is world plant milk day. Visit worldplantmilkday.com for more information.

Joshua Smith/ Boulder

End the Muni

How much has the City of Boulder spend so far on this quest? Is this an ego thing? Please give it up…You’ve spent thousands on this idiocy of your “proud Mary” surge. Try to co-plan with Xcel your objectives and timelines, and let the public get relieved of your useless ambition and pursuits.

Tom Valeski/internet

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