Enemy identified

A week ago, Gov. Bill Ritter called a press conference to oppose Amendment 46. Many of the state's major papers at least those in the Denver area published statements opposing it, too. Now, the Colorado Springs Independent has made its opposition known in El Paso County.

When I Googled to find who is saying "yes" on 46, the search returned the name of someone from California. There was also information on the Ku Klux Klan supporting a similar proposal in Michigan. Makes the question pretty easy for me; a voter in this state who believes we should keep moving toward the goal of equal opportunity.

I'm voting "no" on Amendment 46.

Kira Pasquesi

Colorado Springs

First-class concerns

Thanks to Ralph Routon for the open letter to Gov. Bill Ritter (Between the Lines, Oct. 9). The coming vote is at risk locally in several ways, including John Gardner, apparently guilty of perjury and deception, supervising Diebold voting machines, which are susceptible to hackers committing vote-fraud. Together with misinformation and possible deletion of names from voting rosters, we seem to be in deep feces.

County Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink astonishingly sent us mail-in ballots with envelopes requiring 59 cents postage and no warning that a first-class stamp was not enough. At least he could have put on the envelope "additional postage required." Not doing so is rank negligence or intentional deception, either of which should be grounds for job dismissal.

All this, after voting fraud going back to 2000, when one Supreme Court judge cast the deciding vote stopping the Florida recount, effectively giving the U.S. presidency to the son of the man who appointed that judge to the court! And the judge refused to recuse himself, making the loser of the popular vote the "winner."

We can't take any more of this.

The open letter's detailed analysis shines light on some previously unrecognized opportunities for voting frauds. Also, the follow-up letter from Gov. Ritter to Secretary of State Mike Coffman is encouraging. It looks as if special scrutiny is now being focused on the coming election.

Larimore Nicholl

Colorado Springs

Scary motives

Yikes! I read in the Indy that our fearless County Clerk and Recorder Bob Balink maintains a steady stream of FOX News in his offices. Being in public office while maintaining partisan policies is wholly unprofessional a remnant of our small-town, good-ol-boys leadership, which I thought we outgrew. And now I have to mail him my ballot.

Furthermore, I wonder why Balink doesn't print the appropriate postage required on envelopes provided for mail-in ballots. I don't believe my vote was counted in 2004, when I was nave enough to think my standard-letter postage stamp would deliver my ballot into the election count. After what we learned about the election hijinks in Ohio that year, I am suspicious that this small detail isn't an oversight. A clerk and recorder who truly wanted to count all the votes would print the postage required on the envelope.

Having a strongly partisan individual supervising the office charged with counting our votes should be a grave concern to us all. Quite frankly, I don't have any confidence that my vote will be recorded accurately, or even recorded at all.

I would be interested in knowing what systems of accountability we have to ensure the accuracy of his counting and reporting. Do we have safeguards? Real safeguards, not just reassurances?

Laura Corr

Colorado Springs

Advice for voters

I'd like to thank the Indy for reporting on the latest voting shenanigans of our elected officials. As much as they scream about voter fraud, it's usually a Republican official causing the most harm to our voting rights. We all need to keep the pressure on these guys to count every legal vote.

Just a note of advice from a semi-experienced voter to our newest ones: You can check your registration here: sos.state.co.us, If you plan to vote in person, know where your polling place is. Check them here: car2.elpasoco.com/elepolls.asp. Bring proper ID and vote for all the Democrats you can find! The ballot's full of them.

To paraphrase Randi Rhodes: Bob Balink can't steal the election if it's not close enough to steal.

Bud Gordon

Colorado Springs

Touch, Roupe

I am writing to express my disgust with campaign literature being circulated by Kit Roupe running for state representative in House District 17 (see "Think ignobly, act locally," News, p. 16). Her mailing states, not just once but twice, that her opponent is a violent protester. Interestingly, Kit never mentions her opponent's name, and I am assuming that is a feeble attempt to avoid a libel suit.

Her opponent is Dennis Apuan, whom I have known since I moved here five years ago. Mr. Apuan is one of the most peace-filled, loving, compassionate human beings I have ever met. He has dedicated his entire adult life to making this world a better place for all people, even those who misrepresent the truth like Kit Roupe. He does not have a violent bone in his body.

I strongly encourage those in District 17 to cast their vote for Dennis Apuan and not for the deceptive Kit Roupe, who obviously has a problem with integrity.

Jane Madden

Colorado Springs

Storming back

Recently Douglas Bruce indicated that I, as Stormwater Advisory Committee chairman, had publicly admitted the issue was not put on the ballot because Council knew it would lose. His statement is so inaccurate. I actually stated my feeling that many people hold that sentiment, but I know that was not true. Council conducted a very public process, and Bruce decided not to participate. Stormwater Enterprise was created with great citizen input, much thought and the community's best interest.

Bruce thinks if he keeps spreading bad information, people will start to believe him, but his facts are not accurate. This is not a tax, and it has been determined, by the Colorado Supreme Court, to be a legal fee. He says many of the 278 municipalities don't have a stormwater enterprise, but he doesn't tell you that the major cities in Colorado do. He tells you the enterprise is devoting only 49 percent of revenue to projects and the rest is overhead; the truth is, 92 percent of revenue is directly spent on projects.

Bruce created two initiatives that would damage the city greatly because he is only interested in tearing down our city. I am tired of Bruce trying to "destroy" this city, as he has publicly stated. Do your own research, get the real facts and vote no on 200 and 201.

Tom Harold

Colorado Springs

Unlikely 1A allies

We write to stand united on the single most important issue facing our community today: our public-safety crisis. Because of this crisis, we stand behind and support Initiative 1A, the "Safer Community Initiative."

It is the result of a 20-month citizens' study examining public health and safety needs of our community. This study determined there is a crisis, and these citizens requested the 1A initiative be placed on the November ballot.

Initiative 1A addresses the critical emergency services of the Colorado Springs police and fire departments, 911, the health department, the sheriff, district attorney and coroner offices, and needs of other emergency and public-safety agencies. It addresses our public-health needs through programs for child and adult protection services, food and water safety inspections, and drug abuse enforcement and protection. When these services are understaffed, it endangers the lives of officers and firefighters who respond to emergencies, and the lives of those they are trying to assist.

These needs are addressed with a targeted and fiscally responsible one-penny sales tax. We say "targeted" because the penny tax will not apply to food and groceries, prescription drugs, gasoline, utilities, home mortgages or rent, many of the necessities we have as families. We say "fiscally responsible" because of the 10 largest counties in this state, we are the lowest taxed per person, and if this initiative passes we will still be the lowest. But at this time, we are so dangerously low that the lives and health of our citizens are at stake.

Our emergency, public safety and health agencies need your help to combat crime and dangers we and our children face on a daily basis. To learn more, visit csceg.org, and we ask that you join us in voting "YES on 1A."

Dan May

District Attorney-Elect

John Newsome

District Attorney

Colorado Springs

Trouble at UCCS

As a student at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, I think of our university as encouraging open-mindedness and acceptance. I was appalled to learn about a recent act of intolerance by the student government president against the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender community.

On Sept. 26, the student government passed a proposal from SPECTRUM, a campus club, which requested funding for an event on National Coming Out Day. However, when the proposal reached SGA president David Williams, he refused to sign it, stating, "I disagree with the message on religious grounds." He added in an e-mail: "I want to make it clear that I DO NOT APPROVE this proposal, and I will never support Spectrum or their agenda. I have personally seen what this message and lifestyle can do, and I want nothing to [do] with it."

This proposal, which automatically earned approval once Williams refused to veto or sign it, is meant to help create a positive campus environment while raising awareness about the GLBT community. Instead, Williams has helped to underscore the incredible lack of acceptance our society still has. That this took place at a university, a place meant to represent the open and free interchange of ideas, is especially ironic. Yet, only last year UCCS dormitories were vandalized with homophobic hate speech.

Williams' citing religion is an example of faith being used as a weapon against those needing our compassion. He may believe he is taking a moral high road, but he's reinforcing a divisive attitude. He therefore becomes a pawn of an institution that preaches intolerance in the guise of moral superiority.

Beth Payne

Colorado Springs

Enough is enough

I am appalled at the way this presidential campaign is sounding. There have been nasty ads and innuendos from both sides. I do not like the misleading ads run by the Democratic National Committee, nor do I care for some statements made during the campaign speeches. I am especially disgusted with the nastiness coming from Sen. John McCain's campaign.

The thing that angers me is the intensity of the delivery. The line of decency has been crossed. McCain and Palin, stop the viciousness. It does you no good. Stick to the issues that matter, like health care, the Iraq war and definitely the economy.

Sharon Kushner

Colorado Springs


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