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A Doug sighting
Finally! Doug Lamborn's campaign has appeared ("Oh, you shouldn't have," News, Dec. 31). It is too bad he couldn't be bothered to show up during the actual election, but, better late than never, I guess ... unless you are a constituent.
In the article, Jarred Rego is quoted extensively, and it is noted that he is the campaign spokesman as well as Lamborn's congressional spokesman. According to the campaign finance filings, Jarred Rego was paid a total of $3,000 for communications consulting. Since Mr. Rego regularly jumped back and forth between the roles, usually in the same interview or call, who tracked when he was working as the congressional spokesman and when he was the campaign spokesman?
This matters because the government pays the salaries of congressional staff. The government means you and I. So why would a so-called "small government" proponent want us to pay for his campaign staff?
Also, while the Fifth congressional district covers five counties, I don't believe that Lamborn actively campaigned anywhere in the district. During the campaign did he appear at any event that was open to and advertised to voters? Not only was he reimbursed almost $4,000 for mileage, his campaign spent over $11,000 for airfare. That is a lot of travel that did not happen in this district.
Yes, the campaign is over. And, yes, Doug Lamborn won reelection. But as a constituent and a military mom, I will be holding him accountable for what he does and does not do in Washington. We had a glimpse in 2014 of the leadership we could have had in Congress. Since we are still stuck with Lamborn, it is up to all of us to demand more and better from our elected officials.
— Christy Le Lait
'Bold action' required
As we take stock of the past year, let's not forget that the World Meteorological Organization has predicted it will end up being the hottest year ever recorded. For us here in Colorado, rising global temperatures have already led to wildfires and extreme floods in recent years.
While 2014 brought ample evidence that global warming is real and happening now, it also brought important progress on climate. In June, President Obama proposed the Clean Power Plan to slash carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, the nation's single largest source of global-warming pollution.
What will 2015 bring? We need to continue to advance the kind of cuts in carbon scientists say are necessary to avoid global warming's worst impacts. First up is making sure the proposed Clean Power Plan survives expected attacks in the U.S. Senate, and for that we need Senator Bennet to make a New Year's resolution to vote for bold action on climate.
— Anna McDevitt
Environment Colorado, Denver
Our country has an incredible and unmatched protected public lands legacy that allows hunters, anglers, hikers, backpackers, outfitters, equestrians and others the opportunity to experience parts of our country as they were in the days of Lewis and Clark and, more recently, Theodore Roosevelt. One such area is Browns Canyon, a scenic and rugged region in Chaffee County between Salida and Buena Vista on the Arkansas River.
In 2005, former Fifth Congressional District Rep. Joel Hefley, a Republican, sponsored a bill to designate Browns Canyon a national wilderness area. Unfortunately, despite continued widespread support for protecting Browns Canyon, the current partisan paralysis in Congress has prevented a wilderness bill from moving forward.
Fortunately, there's another option: a national monument designation. It was a hunter-conservationist (and Medal of Honor recipient), Teddy Roosevelt, who is responsible for much of the public lands heritage Americans enjoy today.
Roosevelt made Devils Tower in Wyoming the first national monument on Sept. 24, 1906. Since then, more than 100 national monuments have been established by presidents under the authority of the Antiquities Act. The president of the United States can establish a national monument by executive order, or Congress can by legislation.
George W. Bush, for example, used the Antiquities Act for a breathtaking conservation achievement — protecting some 200 million acres of islands and territorial ocean waters that hold geological curiosities, archaeological artifacts and spectacular marine wildlife.
Now it appears that President Obama is poised to follow in George W. Bush's and Teddy Roosevelt's footsteps here in Colorado, by designating Browns Canyon a national monument.
Protecting our American heritage is an act of patriotism. Our heritage helps us appreciate our country's special place in history. The Republicans who passed the Antiquities Act and the presidents who used the law understood that. So does President Obama.
— David A. Lien
Chairman, Colorado Backcountry Hunters & Anglers
To Give! and receive
Before Indy Give!, most nonprofits started the budget year hoping that fundraisers were successful enough to keep our doors open. Galas, balls, breakfasts, bike rides, running races — with the huge number of secular nonprofits in El Paso County, there will never be a shortage of events.
Give! changed the local landscape. Nonprofits included in Give! found they could spend more time on critical missions and less on fundraising.
At 11:59 p.m. Dec. 31, Indy Give! ended. Those of you who made donations to one or more of the 75 nonprofits, thank you! The Trails and Open Space Coalition was fortunate to be one of the 75, and while I can't speak for others, another successful Give! will mean TOSC can spend more time in 2015 on programs that lead to improved trails, open spaces and parks in our region.
To businesses that provided donor rewards and amazing incentives, a hearty thank you. Here's hoping new patrons show their appreciation by supporting your establishment.
To those boards and others who provided matching grants, you gave us the kickstart we sorely needed and contributed greatly to our success.
To the Independent, thank you for being passionate about our community and understanding the link between philanthropists of all ages, successful nonprofits and a thriving region.
To all the nonprofits involved, here's to your continued commitment and worthy missions.
— Susan Davies,
Executive director, Trails and Open Space Coalition
Back to Wounded Knee
Jan. 1, 1891, four babies were dug out of the snow and frozen blood in a ravine on Pine Ridge Reservation. Somehow, these little angels survived three days in a blizzard, wrapped in their mothers' shawls, before being pried from their mothers' dead, loving embrace.
This new year, keep one resolution. Strive not to point machine guns at people. Then if you feel like it, do 20 chin-ups and have a cigarette.
— Kenton Lloyd
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