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Shake your booty 

Shake your booty It's a long-standing custom for elected officials to cash in on their electoral success by way of gifts and perks from various interests. In the past four years, Gov. Bill Owens has nearly doubled his official salary through gifts and perks. By contrast, Democrat Rep. Merrifield has accepted a grand total of $35 in gifts. But as our elected officials keep reminding us voters, there's no free lunch. Gifts always have strings attached, with returned favors and special considerations expected. For more see page 9.
click to enlarge Tom Fagin 	  -  - Downtown -  - Software developer   -  - Should politicians be free to accept gifts from - business and corporate interests? If they're - sufficiently small. -  - Define "sufficiently small." Small enough not to - exact influence. Less than a thousand dollars cumulative - total. -  - Is it important to know what gifts from special - interests your representative accepts? Yes, to reveal - potential conflicts of interest. -  - If someone offered you a free golf trip to Vail, would - you think they expect something back? Of course. - It wouldn't be wise use of their money if they didn't get - something for it. -  - If you could pick a gift for your least favorite - politician, what would it be? Roget's - Thesaurus for George W. Bush.
  • Tom Fagin

    Downtown

    Software developer

    Should politicians be free to accept gifts from business and corporate interests? If they're sufficiently small.

    Define "sufficiently small." Small enough not to exact influence. Less than a thousand dollars cumulative total.

    Is it important to know what gifts from special interests your representative accepts? Yes, to reveal potential conflicts of interest.

    If someone offered you a free golf trip to Vail, would you think they expect something back? Of course. It wouldn't be wise use of their money if they didn't get something for it.

    If you could pick a gift for your least favorite politician, what would it be? Roget's Thesaurus for George W. Bush.

click to enlarge Irene Craig 	  -  - West Side -  - D-11 bus driver   -  - Should politicians be free to accept gifts and perks - from special interests? If one's offered, why not - accept it? -  - Should the public be privy to the gifts elected - officials accept? It's always good to know who's - doing what. -  - Would you assume they want something in return if - you were offered a free golf trip to Vail? Nothing is - free. -  - If you could give your least favorite politician the - gift of your choice, what would it be? He or she - would have to do my job for a week to see how real - people live.
  • Irene Craig

    West Side

    D-11 bus driver

    Should politicians be free to accept gifts and perks from special interests? If one's offered, why not accept it?

    Should the public be privy to the gifts elected officials accept? It's always good to know who's doing what.

    Would you assume they want something in return if you were offered a free golf trip to Vail? Nothing is free.

    If you could give your least favorite politician the gift of your choice, what would it be? He or she would have to do my job for a week to see how real people live.

click to enlarge Crystal Verdon 	  -  - Cheyenne Meadows -  - Acting teacher  -  - What happens when politicians get gifts from special - interests? It pushes their mind in a certain direction - so they play favorites. -  - Why should the public know about these gifts? - So we know who is influencing them. -  - If you were offered a free golf trip to Vail, would the - giver be hoping for something in return? I'd - certainly ask what they wanted in return. -  - What gift would you give your least favorite - politician? His or her salary would depend on what - they've done for voters as a public servant in the past - year, so they can see that what goes around comes - around.
  • Crystal Verdon

    Cheyenne Meadows

    Acting teacher

    What happens when politicians get gifts from special interests? It pushes their mind in a certain direction so they play favorites.

    Why should the public know about these gifts? So we know who is influencing them.

    If you were offered a free golf trip to Vail, would the giver be hoping for something in return? I'd certainly ask what they wanted in return.

    What gift would you give your least favorite politician? His or her salary would depend on what they've done for voters as a public servant in the past year, so they can see that what goes around comes around.

click to enlarge Michael Jones 	  -  - Chelton & Academy -  - Martial arts instructor   -  - Should there be a limit on politicians accepting gifts - from special interests? Yes. It's a form of lobbying, - of soliciting influence. -  - Should politicians have to reveal all gifts accepted? -  Yes. If they accept a gift from tobacco interests, - we pretty much know their stand on that. -  - Would a free golf trip to Vail imply an obligation on - your part? In politics it would. Nothing is free in - politics. -  - What gift would you offer your least favorite - politician? The Tao of Pooh to George - Bush.
  • Michael Jones

    Chelton & Academy

    Martial arts instructor

    Should there be a limit on politicians accepting gifts from special interests? Yes. It's a form of lobbying, of soliciting influence.

    Should politicians have to reveal all gifts accepted? Yes. If they accept a gift from tobacco interests, we pretty much know their stand on that.

    Would a free golf trip to Vail imply an obligation on your part? In politics it would. Nothing is free in politics.

    What gift would you offer your least favorite politician? The Tao of Pooh to George Bush.

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