'Dark Money,' #RockTheVoteCOS, nonprofit ethics, and more 


Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • email: letters@csindy.com

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Outside, looking in

While I admire the enthusiasm and energy of Ms. Furda and Ms. Simison in "#RockTheVoteCOS" (Publishers' Note, April 29), I must sadly throw in some reality. I am 55, and I don't live in Colorado Springs, so I don't have an immediate stake in the upcoming mayoral race. What I can offer is some anecdotal evidence that things are not good.

Most of the people I know who are in the demographic age group the publishers are trying to motivate can tell you all about the NFL Draft or the big boxing match from this past weekend, or the Broncos' 2015 football schedule. They don't feel they have a part to play in the current political system.

Why should they? Two pages later in the same edition of the Independent, was an article headlined "PAC attack," describing the moneyed interests that influence the candidates. As long as big money from special interests and business continues, regular folks are going to feel they don't matter much.

My solution would be limited public financing for all candidates, with no other contributions allowed. I realize this flies in the face of the First Amendment, but it is an option.

My prediction: John Suthers is the next mayor of Colorado Springs. City for Champions will continue to roll along, potholes will continue to be a problem.

— Dave Naumann


What 'dark money'?

Merv Bennett and Larry Bagley must have been living under a couple of rocks for the last decade. They don't know what "dark money" is ("PAC attack," News, April 29)?

Give me a break.

They need "more information"? What? Don't they read anything other than the Gazelle, which has the political philosophy of "Keep the citizens in the dark and feed them horse excrement"?

Do we citizens think these two will vote for our interests? Fat chance. Colorado Springs is stuck with these two for the next four years. Let's hope that the damage inflicted is minimal.

Don't look for road and bridge repairs anytime soon. Or any solution to stormwater issues. Or rebuilding CSU's aging water mains. But look for them to put on their cheerleading outfits, complete with pom-poms, yelling: "C4C, Yeah! C4C, Yeah! We support money-losing ventures with taxpayer money! Yeah! We'll vote to fund all the infrastructure needed for the Olympic museum without costing the USOC a dime. Yeah!"

— Gary Casimir

Colorado Springs

Just rackets

Your cover story of April 22, "Storming the corporate castle," only focused on the world of for-profit corporations. The "not-for-profit" corporations have their list of irresponsible actions as well, ranging from mistreatment of employees, to strong-arming the communities they claim to serve, to plain old greed.

Many, many years ago, a very wise CEO of a local nonprofit took me aside and told me, "Matt, you silly boy, it's not about helping people; it's all about money, turf and power." Eric Hoffer, the fellow who wrote The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements, puts it thusly: "Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket." If you look closely, you can place all of our nonprofits somewhere on that continuum.

The poet Wendell Berry nailed corporations of all sorts with the following: "A corporation, essentially, is a pile of money to which a number of persons have sold their moral allegiance."

This is a personal issue for me, as I received a life-changing screwing from a local faith-based nonprofit a few years ago. (A story for another time!) One of the executive staffers actually told me a direct quote from The Godfather: "Don't take this personally, it's just business."

I have found, in this life, that I can forgive people pretty well. I remain at a loss as to how one forgives a corporation.

— Matthew Parkhouse

Colorado Springs

New Trojan Horse?

With friends like this, who needs enemies?

There are two issues currently troubling America that are far more pressing than the things that get the media attention, as they will impact our freedom and eventually our way of life. They are the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and a call for an Article 5 constitutional convention. While they both sound like a good thing, they can be very dangerous.

The first is an introduction to an amalgamation or merger and monopoly similar to the European Union. In fact, the ultimate goal of the people promoting these treaties with other nations is integration with the European Union, Russia and China, and eventually world government.

The countries in the EU were assured they would not lose their voice and vote, but member nations have very little say-so in their own fate indeed — they are economically and politically less free than before.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership issue is being championed by Obama and the Republican Congress under the guise of "free trade." (What's that again?) Yes, most Democrats are against it, as the unions feel the danger of losing even more jobs to overseas workers. Who is for it? Big multinational corporations and banks.

The second issue is a call for an Article 5 constitutional convention. Supporters are certain that we can get something like a balanced budget or some other noble goal. The problem is, how can they control it? The answer is likely not, as the "hard left" is just as enthusiastic as the "far right" in their support.

Furthermore, why bother to amend the Constitution if it is not being adhered to currently? Why risk rewriting the whole Constitution? It strikes me as dangerous as the Trojan Horse.

— June Heimsoth

Colorado Springs

Question of race

I recently had my license plates stolen. While filling out the online police report, I, as the person reporting the crime, was required to declare my race as either white, black, or Hispanic. There was no other choice, including the choice not to reveal my race, or even "other." The report would not be accepted until I made a choice.

Why is this important? Why aren't other races listed? Why do I have to reveal this information at all?

— Mark S. Young

Colorado Springs

Response from CSPD Lt. Catherine Buckley: The Colorado Springs Police Department reports using the NIBRS (National Incident Based Reporting System). This program has the following categories for race: White, Black, Native American or Alaskan American, Asian, Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and Unknown. The reports generated by CSPD are turned into the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. CBI in turn provides federal reporting. The parameters for reporting are set federally.

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