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Don't speak for me

Along with several hundred others, I attended the Oct. 28 "Civil Dialogue About Politics," at which Indy publisher John Weiss and Jim Daly from Focus on the Family were the speakers. Both men were affable, articulate and well-informed, and I applaud their participation.

I do, however have a bone to pick, and it's a big one. Mr. Daly frequently prefaced his opinions with "Christians believe" or "the Christian position is." Many moderate and progressive Christians in our community would strongly disagree with some of his statements, such as that the most important issues facing this country are abortion and gay marriage. As I read the Gospels I find Jesus speaking frequently about money, power and the needs of the poor, and virtually never about sex. Can we talk about jobs, the environment, national security, and growing economic stratification instead?

I will gladly affirm Mr. Daly's right to speak for some conservative Christians, but please don't presume to speak for me.

— Kathleen Beck

Colorado Springs

The un-Christians

When pastors preach politics from the church pulpit they are not only breaking the law and trampling on the Constitution, they are also presuming Republican values are the only Christian values. Most biblical values are not about abortion (there are no verses about abortion in the Bible), homosexuality (about eight verses — most about degrading sexual practices and the unequal power relationships of man and boy, rich man and poor young man, etc.), or about how good it is to be prosperous (a few verses here and there).

Yet Christ's first mission statement says he came to free the captives, to set at liberty those who are oppressed. Jesus consistently stood on the side of the underdog and the outcast, the scorned, the outsider. He treated women equally, and loved those of other cultures, religions, and races. He spoke against those who would try to follow the Letter of the Law but forgot the Spirit of Love. The entire Bible rages against those who don't treat the poor and disadvantaged justly. The un-Christian values of the Far Right scare me. Christ is the liberator — not the oppressor!

— Dr. Linda S. Seger


Silent candidates

For the past 20 years, Citizens Project has hosted nonpartisan candidate forums and produced voter guides because we believe the community deserves honest, real-time answers from prospective candidates on issues of concern to all of us. We are all better off when we are fully informed ("Forums: time for a change," Between the Lines, Oct. 24).

Historically, our election education forums are well-attended and provide earnest debate, which in turn allows candidates the opportunity to connect with voters. However, this year Citizens Project was disappointed by the number of candidates who chose not to accept our invitation to answer voters' questions in an unfiltered discussion.

Specifically, 26 of 34 candidates declined invitations to the 2012 election forum, and only 13 of those candidates completed our survey. A striking trend is obvious: In contested races, very few Republicans and no American Constitution Party candidates embraced the opportunity to address social issues, leaving many Democrats and Libertarians to discuss policies and plans without challenge or rebuttal.

During the 2011 municipal election, seven of nine mayoral candidates and 13 of 21 City Council candidates participated in the forum while five members of the Doug Bruce slate boycotted. Based on the 2011 participation rates, and because we're seeing low bipartisan participation rates statewide (for example, the League of Women Voters' Vote411.org and the Denver Post voter guide), we do not believe there is a flaw in the format, as Mr. Routon wrote in his column, but rather a flaw in candidate accountability.

Citizens Project is careful and deliberate in assessing trends and modifying plans to accommodate emerging technologies. Rather than pointing to the forum format, let's instead point to our candidates and hold them accountable for their refusal to provide their constituencies with open, honest, issue-based information and direct communication.

— Kristy Milligan

Executive director, Citizens Project

The future of 64

If we don't pass Amendment 64 we stay where we are now. If we do pass it the Feds will be the ones who decide whether or not that means anything. And regardless of how 64 fares with the voters, one of the prominent presidential candidates has displayed obvious disdain for it's prettier older cousin, medical marijuana. In the end Amendment 64 will probably turn out to be just another opinion poll.

— Steve Suhre

Colorado Springs

Pay your own way

My health insurance premium for my wife and me is $683 per month. I pay the first $10,000 of out-of-pocket medical costs each year as a deductible, and it has zero prescription drug coverage.

We are stuck with this plan we enrolled in 10 years ago (at $230 per month) prior to my wife having her thyroid removed for cancer ($9,000 that year out of pocket, and then the new year started and I paid $4,000 more). Now that my wife has a "pre-existing condition," no insurance company will take us as a new customer, and we are at the mercy of our current insurance company.

That $4,000 I paid? That was for a follow-up scan to make sure they got all the cancer out. While an earlier scan cost only $600 (from a company that only does scans) the follow-up scan cost $4,000 because my wife went to a local hospital for it.

When I got the hospital bill, I called to point out the error but was told it was not an error. I asked how it could possibly cost $4,000 for a scan that takes about 20 minutes and costs $600 just down the street. After giving me a bunch of made-up reasons, in exasperation a hospital executive finally told me the truth: "We have to cover the costs of all the people without insurance that come here for care, so that is why you have to pay $4,000."

Obamacare fixes this by making everyone pay for their own insurance. All of us who have insurance are paying for those that choose not to. Obamacare is not a government takeover of our health care; it is the government taking back our health care!

Look into the facts before you believe all the hype.

— Jeff Hall

Colorado Springs

Same old BS

Romney vs. Obama. Democrat vs. Republican. Christ, what a joke. It's like voting for Coke over Pepsi. Or Burger King over McDonalds ("My candidate's flame-broiled!"). But take a look under the bun and it's the same freeze-dried bullshit.

Party politics has this country by the throat, and that's not gonna change any time soon. Which means nothing is going to change. Americans need to take a clue from the French Revolution and hit the streets.

Unfortunately, since most of us are struggling to pay the mortgage/rent and trying to decide whether to put food on the table this month or purchase the prescription drugs that keep us from kicking the bucket, that's not likely to happen. So, we'll continue to vote for multi-millionaires that are light-years removed from the general population and who have absolutely no idea what it's like to work a blue-collar job and live paycheck-to-paycheck. They'll shovel us shit and call it sugar and we'll eat it up. And while voting only reinforces the illusion of choice, I guess it's better than doing nothing.

— Christopher Curcio

Colorado Springs

Black and white

If it were not for two things, this presidential race would be no contest. I realize that there will be those who will strongly disagree with me and possibly be offended, but if President Barack Obama did not have a foreign-sounding name and if he was not a black man, Mitt Romney would not have enough votes to still be in the race. Mitt Romney is the "Great White Hope" for many white males and it is essentially white males who have given Romney his major support. There are also many conservative born-again Christians who have temporarily swallowed their fear of Romney's "cult religion," apparently because having a Mormon in the White House is preferred over having a black man in the White House.

I believe that the vitriolic anti-Obama folks cannot all be objecting to policy issues, some of which may even be beneficial to them, and many of these people cannot have a complete understanding of the complex issues with the Affordable Care Act, for example, to have that be their primary reason to oppose Obama and his administration.

This is not only my view — it is somewhat widely discussed in private— but it has not been part of our public discourse. I realize that my suggestion of racism at work in this election will not convince any blatant or covert racists to change their position. But we should at least acknowledge that racism is a factor, as is an anti-foreigner sentiment, with Obama being characterized as a "foreigner."

I argue that if each presidential candidate were being measured purely on their policies and leadership abilities, this would be no contest. President Obama would be the clear winner.

— Robert McAndrews

Colorado Springs


Forward thinking

Republicans want to take our country back. Back to what?

The economic policies of the Bush administration, which led to the recession? Another unfunded war, which led to the deficit?

More deregulation of the banks and lax oversight of financial institutions, which led to the American taxpayers paying for the rich to play?

Repeal of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare)? This legislation encourages people to get preventive health care in order to avoid much costlier visits to an emergency room, among many other cost-saving improvements. Turning Medicare into a voucher system? Privatization of Social Security? Cutting taxes on the wealthy at the expense of the middle class? Many of Mitt Romney's advisors are from the Bush administration, a clear sign that he embraces these retro policies.

My retirement plan is up from when President Obama took office. I see the unemployment statistics going down and many people I know are finding employment. Housing prices are rising, and new building is picking up. The United States could soon be the world's biggest oil producer under President Obama, whose policies also encourage less-polluting energies such as wind and solar.

We all want to move forward, as does Gen. Colin Powell, who served under President Bush and has endorsed President Obama because of concerns of Mitt Romney's inexperience in foreign policy. This is a complicated world, and we don't want to trust the security of our country to two men who have no foreign policy experience. Under President Obama, we have decimated Al Qaeda by killing their leader and brought our soldiers back from Iraq. President Obama has forged coalitions that imposed sanctions that are crippling Iran's economy, a far better solution than war.

I like the direction that America is going and want to go forward, not back to the policies of the past.

— Linda Larroquette


Dave vs. Doug

Don't vote for Doug Lamborn out of habit. Better to not vote for any candidate for House District 5 than to automatically fill in the "R" bubble.

Voters in Congressional District 5 no longer have to settle for Doug Lamborn's ineffective "representation." In six years, Doug has not passed ANY proposed legislation — he's zero for 37. But Doug has sponsored/supported legislation that would kill jobs in Colorado that do work on green energy/conservation (Fort Collins) and opposed wind energy tax credits (Vestas, multiple locations). Doug votes for subsidies for oil, gas and coal, like any of the carbon-based energies are ever going to go away, subsidy or no subsidy.

There is a reason that constant incumbent Doug has primary fights — Republicans like myself deserve better. Now is the time to vote "Independent."

Independent candidate Dave Anderson has concrete ideas for keeping jobs in America — and making new ones. Anderson has achievable measures — he doesn't waste time blathering about issues decided by the Supreme Court, not Congress.

Dave Anderson directs his attention to things that Congress can actually do something about — trade, goods production and energy consumption. I'm voting for effective representation — I'm voting for Dave.

— Tim Haley

Colorado Springs

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