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Hey, Chuck:

Lying is wrong

What a sorry situation we are observing in politics at all levels of government -- scandal, lying, cheating, obscene amounts of money changing hands, attack advertisements, etc.

The latest local example of this was exemplified by Chuck Broerman, head of the El Paso County Republican party, after his attempt, as he put it, to be "creative in getting our message out to the voters" ["Nabbed in Parking Scheme," Oct. 24-30].

A statement in a follow-up article in the daily newspaper, which sums it up nicely, was "Broerman said he didn't know giving false information was against the rules."

We strive daily to teach our children the difference between right and wrong and, sadly, are served up many examples of wrong from the realm of politics, particularly leading up to an election.

Giving false information is lying and it is wrong! The poor voter turnout each election is not a symptom of voter apathy; it's a strong statement of voter disgust! People realize that business interests hold the attention of the elected, that they are being lied to, and that those who hold power will do whatever it takes to keep that power.

We desperately need true representatives of the people from outside the current parties if those parties choose to continue to ignore the majority of the people.

That said, please vote your conscience on Nov. 5 even if it means choosing the lesser of the evils. Then on Nov. 6, we can make the founders proud by working together to return representative government to the people.

-- Mark and Alexandra Robinson

Colorado Springs

A little overkill

When I heard there was a worldwide protest for peace instead of war, I decided I should do what I can right here in Park County to promote peace. So I held a Rally for Peace.

Getting the word out rather late, I was not surprised when no one joined me. What did surprise me was the heavy police presence. There must have been five deputies, maybe more, driving around me for three hours. They were doing surveillance from hilltops around me, etc. I was wondering if maybe I missed the announcement of a presidential motorcade, foreign ambassador visit or something. Finally, I determined they actually were there to watch me.

Let's take a look at this. Five-plus deputies, for three-plus hours, to keep watch on one guy, standing on a corner, holding a sign that read "Peace Now." A little overkill, don't you think?

This is the same police department that had no time to investigate a violent burglary and vandalism in 1999 and again in 2000. Oh yeah, I was the victim, and I would still like some assistance on this, you guys!

Furthermore, Americans have been misled about peace activists. Since we disagree with the establishment's approach to world problems, we have been demonized and completely misrepresented. Because we have facts about the government and military to share that most people are not aware of, we must be discredited, lest the truth be known!

You hear about violence, e.g., the WTO rally in Seattle, etc. Yet after closer investigation, we find that in every instance, the violence was perpetrated by a handful of misguided individuals or by agent provocateurs sent in by the Feds. These people do not represent those of us who would merely like to see peaceful solutions to the world's problems.

Please take the time to get to know one of us and I'm sure you'll agree.

-- Roger Easley

Fairplay

Throw away the key

I believe the Independent's assessment of the El Paso County Jail Bond issues is flawed [Endorsements, Oct. 17].

The short-term fix of sending our prisoners to other county jails compares very unfavorably with the long-term solution offered by expanding our own jail. Other counties charge about $55 per day, or $20,000 per year to hold one inmate.

So if El Paso County were to contract with other counties to hold 250 inmates per year, the annual cost to the County would be $5 million. This cost appears to be marginally cheaper than the annual cost of the two ballot issues. However, the sheriff would incur additional costs to transport these prisoners around the state, assuming that there would be 250 beds available to rent.

More importantly, securing 250 additional beds is not a long-term solution, while building an 850-bed addition (for about the same annual cost) is projected to meet the County's needs for 15 to 20 years.

As to your call for "long-term judicial reforms," most sentencing practices are governed by state laws and not by local policy. The sheriff's office and other county agencies have vigorously promoted the use of electronic monitoring, and this option has helped reduce pressure on the jail.

You also refer to sentencing reform for "victimless and drug crimes." On a typical day, less than 1 percent of the prisoners in our jail are there strictly for marijuana offenses. The crimes for which most inmates are being held -- drug manufacture or distribution, robbery, assault, burglary, and driving under the influence -- are hardly victimless.

-- Henry Sontheimer

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: The author is the criminal justice planner for the El Paso County government.

Retire them young

I support term limits strongly. We need to keep Colorado's elections honest and fair and without term limits that is impossible.

Term limits make sure that the people in office use their time wisely. They also make sure that we don't end up with another Strom Thurman, who is almost 100 years old.

The power of incumbency is oftentimes too strong to overcome. Give the people a chance to be heard. Vote no on Referendum D and no on Referendum A.

-- Leo Smith

Colorado Springs

Monkey business

Traditionally the Republican Party has favored the wealthy, powerful corporations and military. Historically, the stock market and investments have not done well under Republican rule.

Unions were formed to give negotiating power to the regular working person. Also, unions serve as an oversight over corporations with their lack of ethics, scruples and integrity, therefore Republicans favor union busting.

Our current regime is just into making millionaires into billionaires, creating a powerful empire, censoring us, taking away our constitutional rights, creating a theocracy and leaving ordinary people powerless. This is integrity?

The common, regular ordinary people are just pawns of the powerful, wealthy corporations and armchair generals.

In view of all this, it is beyond my comprehension why the ordinary, hard-working people would ever vote Republican.

Democrats, others and non-Republican issues can't even keep a political yard sign up in this county -- I know, I have tried for 10 years. Can't mention all the other Republican monkey business due to lack of space.

Let's get some balance and democracy back. Regime change at any level begins at home. Please vote.

-- Jacqueline Marquis

Colorado Springs

Bag of empty promises

Time to tuck away the freakin' horns, wipe off the silly non-professional conniving smiles of delusion. You suit-wearing ties are way too tight and it has truly caused your brains oxygen deprivation. Hence each of you has lost focus on the very people who voted your asses into that position.

Every political campaign always starts out with a good list of agendas, but somehow loses it effect once the incumbent is sucked into the mighty arena of greed. There has to be at least one or two honest politicians out there somewhere on Planet Earth ...

It is election time once again! Heck, who would not want to move into this occupation -- when you think of the crap these elected offices pull off and still come out smelling like a rose? I won't mention the Clinton administration -- what a freakin' farce that eight-year nut roll produced.

These very people supposedly are running our very country. They will display the red, white and blue person, but only out in public. And that is only because it is being "politically correct."

It seems like this whole political roller coaster has turned into a control thing. When all else fails, let us raise taxes. Or you will create a new department such as "Homeland Security." If the FBI and the CIA would of been doing their jobs, and not trying to fight this long battle with the "war on drugs" maybe we would have been able to detect a real threat from an outside source, verses focusing on who can bust a drug runner.

When are you politicians and government officials going to take care of your own? Stop promising us the freakin' stars, when it is a shit sandwich you really want to hand us.

Hopefully this time around, the people who vote you into office will not end up with a bag full of empty promises. Please commit to your political promises, and let us get back to "We the People" vs. "You the Government!"

-- Dan Maurico

Fountain

Independent Endorsements *

U.S. Senate: Democrat Tom Strickland

Governor: Green Ron Forthofer

Attorney General: Democrat Ken Salazar

State Senate District 11: Democrat Tony Marino

HD 14: Libertarian John Bernston

HD 17: Republican Mark Cloer

HD 18: Democrat Michael Merrifield

County Commission 5: Democrat Dean Tollefson

Amendment 27: Yes

Amendment 28: Yes

Amendment 29: Yes

Amendment 30: Yes

Amendment 31: No

Referendum A: No

Referendum B: Yes

Referendum C: No

Referendum D: Yes

Referendum E: No

El Paso County Jail Bond 1a & 1b: No

District 11 bond issue: Yes

* The Indy's complete endorsements appeared on Oct. 17 and can be read in full at

www.csindy.com

Early Voting Info

Early voting for the Nov. 5 ballot continues through tomorrow, Friday, Nov. 1. You can vote now on electronic touch screens at the following three El Paso County locations:

(1) Clerk & Recorder's Office, Centennial Hall, 200 S. Cascade Avenue (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

(2) Clerk & Recorder's Office, Chapel Hills Mall (north side next to JC Penney) (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

(3) Clerk & Recorder's Office, 115 Fontaine Blvd., Widefield, Colo. (Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)

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