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Letters to Editor

Third party

Dear Editor:

“The tree of liberty must from time to time be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure” — Thomas Jefferson. Never thought I would, but I am actually asking a legitimate question: Do we need a revolution, or will we go not-so-quietly as the “new Romans” into the history book. Or will we form a new, real, political party?

What’s the chances of a third party saving us from ourselves? Is our only chance to survive the corruption of the conservative billionaires to create a new revolutionary party willing to tell it like is and do what’s necessary? “We need a third party on the stage of the next presidential debate to look Americans in the eye and say, ‘These two parties are lying to you. They can’t tell you the truth because they are each trapped in decades of special interests. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. I am going to tell you what you need to hear if we want to be the world’s leaders, not the new Romans,’” — Thomas Friedman.

Hey, you say, “We got the Tea Party.” Only if we wish to tie America’s longterm interests to group of aging racists in their Medicare-paid motorized chairs whose primary belief seems to be that time travel back to 1776 eliminates all problems. For the first time in their lives, baby boomers are hard up against it economically, and “white fellow” is becoming outnumbered and it’s got his bowels chilled with fear.

As Politico recently pointed out, every major contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination who isn’t currently holding office and isn’t named Mitt Romney have received contributions from Fox News. Media moguls have often promoted the careers and campaigns of politicians they believe will serve their interests, but directly cutting checks to political favorites takes it to a whole new level.

“Modern American conservatism is, in large part, a movement shaped by billionaires and their bank accounts, and assured paychecks for the ideologically loyal are an important part of the system. Scientists willing to deny the existence of man-made climate change, economists willing to declare that tax cuts for the rich are essential to growth, strategic thinkers willing to provide rationale for wars of choice, lawyers willing to provide defense of torture, all can count on support from a network of organizations that may seem independent on the surface but are largely financed by a handful of ultrawealthy families,” Paul Krugman..

So, what’s it to be? More of the billionaires running America, M-4s and MREs, or a new, real, political party that seeks solutions?

Dave Blake

Pete’s money

Dear Editor:

The political cartoon in last week’s paper showed a donkey and elephant sitting across the table from each other. The caption above the donkey was “our deficit spending is bigger than yours” and the caption above the elephant was “well-we started it.” I have heard and seen this analysis of our current economic problems on numerous occasions and feel compelled to offer a clarification and correction.

Our economic problems started during the depression years under FDR. The Wagner Act encouraged unionization of our industries. Fannie Mae was created to encourage home construction and Social Security was created.

Then in the late 1960s during the LBJ administration we got Medicare, Medicaid, and Freddie Mac (which further encouraged home production).

Then in the 1970s under the Carter administration, we got the Community Reinvestment Act which encouraged (and even forced) loans for housing to unqualified buyers.

In 1971 Nixon took the U.S. off of the international gold standard so we could pay for foreign goods with fiat currancy. At that time foreign suppliers had no choice since we are the biggest consumer in the world.

Then there was the oil embargo of 1973 which greatly increased the cost of oil.

Due to huge imports of foreign manufactured goods and oil we became a debtor nation sometime in the mid 1980s.

All of these events have culminated in a huge U.S. budget and trade deficit and severe weakening of the dollar with gold at $1,340 an ounce. Forty cents of every dollar spent by our government is borrowed or simply created out of thin air by our Federal Reserve (that is another big cause of our problems).

So, the current economic problem can be traced back over many years and many administrations. It is not correct that it was created during the last administration. Today, in a country of 310 million people, 41 million are on food stamps.

We got away with our economic sins as long as we had no foreign competition and cheap fossil fuel, but that is no longer the case. We are now entering a period of fundamental economic change and the old rules do not apply.

Remember, you can rob (tax) Peter to pay Paul and be assured of Paul’s vote. But soon Peter will run out of money.

Gil Johnson

Full time

Dear Editor:

I am writing in support of the candidacy of Natalie Woodruff for assessor. I believe Natalie offers the unique skills and experience for this position. Natalie has worked in the title insurance business in Archuleta County for a number of years. In doing so, she has acquired and applied the necessary experience with the legal description of properties in our county. This is a vital skill for the position of county assessor.

In addition, Natalie will offer a “full time” approach to the position of assessor. She understands that the citizens of this county are her employer and deserve to be treated in a fair, courteous manner. When the property owners of this county ask questions about their assessment, Natalie understands that they are entitled to a prompt and courteous explanation.

Having worked in the clerk and recorder’s office, Natalie brings an important understanding of the relationship between the clerk’s, treasurer’s and assessor’s offices. In addition, she will provide a cooperative working relationship with the Board of County Commissioners.

I believe that Natalie Woodruff provides the specialized and vital skills, training and experience needed to serve the citizens of our county. In addition, she brings a customer oriented approach to the position. I urge her election as assessor so that all of the citizens of this county can benefit from her approach to this important position.

Jan Jorgensen

Right choice

Dear Editor:

Bruce Whitehead is the right choice for state senate this year.

Bruce and his wife, Becca, live southwest of Durango near Breen, where they are raising their two daughters, Isabel and Risa. Bruce is a fourth generation Coloradoan who grew up camping and hunting, and has a real appreciation for the natural beauty of Colorado and understands how important it is to the economic viability and quality of life that support the communities of southwest Colorado.

He is not a career politician and never sought out political office. He was asked by many community leaders of both parties to consider filling the Senate vacancy and stepped up because he knew how important it was, and that he could make a difference for southwest Colorado.

I truly appreciate Bruce’s can-do attitude and his get-the-job-done work ethic. He is not all talk; if he tells you something is going to happen, he settles in and does it. You won’t hear from him promises that he won’t keep; he is straightforward and his message doesn’t change with the zip code or the group. And, when he finds out about a problem he can help with, he goes out and does something about it.

Bruce brings to the table a career working for the Division of Water Resources, retiring as the division engineer for southwest Colorado. His nearly 30 years of experience working on water, agriculture and natural resource issues are invaluable to the state of Colorado and to advocating to protect western slope water, or water.

That water experience also gives him a unique skill — he can bring together people who are strongly opposed to one another to find practical solutions. This ability to sit down with folks you disagree with and find solutions is vital in this time of difficult decisions at the state capitol. Take a look at the bills he carried during this first session on his website and you’ll see that he worked with Republicans on a majority of them to find workable solutions, not ideological ones.

I am amazed by the energy and dedication that he has exhibited, and pleased with his desire to hear directly from the residents of Archuleta County so he can better represent us. Unlike some of our elected officials, he really wants to hear from the people of our county, not just our elected officials, so that he can best speak for the eight counties he represents.

Since the legislative session ended in mid May, he has held three town halls in Pagosa Springs. First, he did a legislative recap, then a meeting to hear from us about water and agricultural issues within Archuleta County and, most recently, he brought together a panel to discuss with our small business owners the services and incentives that are available to assist them through this tough time. This is in addition to attending various meetings and events in the county. Also, he has spent time here in Pagosa, knocking on doors to talk with voters about their ideas and concerns.

Bruce has the kind of hands-on practical problem-solving skills we need, combined with a strong work ethic, and a real desire to give back to the state that has given him so much.

Please, when you get your ballot, or show up at the polls, vote Bruce Whitehead for state Senate — he’ll fight for you.

Clifford Lucero

Embarrassment

Dear Editor:

J. Paul Brown would be a huge embarrassment to SW Colorado if elected to the state house. Not only does he not “believe” in climate change, he does believe that the health care bill includes a secret army and that the UN, working with arch-enemy Hillary Clinton, is conspiring to take away our guns which will lead to ”civil war.” Possibly he will lead this civil war since he’s already threatened, in a public hearing, to shoot anyone from La Plata County or DOW who comes on to his land to inspect gas wells. Really, I’m not making this up; it’s all on the record. This extremist voice is not representative of us in the 59th district. We have a hard enough time being heard in Denver and Brown would be laughed at, not listened to. But even his extremism might be tolerated if it weren’t for his hypocrisy.

His signs claim “Less government, more freedom” and he says the way to make agriculture profitable is to “scale back government”; nice sounding, empty slogans. But wait; when you look up USDA subsidies you will learn that J. Paul Brown received payments totaling $176,334 between 1995 and 2009. You, Mr. Brown are the beneficiary of the very “handouts” you claim to detest; you depend on government subsidies and a government funded predator control program or you would “go out of business” and you dare tell the citizens of Southwest Colorado, who have never received a dime, that you want to cut education? Or is government only bad when it benefits someone other than you? I actually support programs that keep small farmers in business but I don’t support hypocrisy.

Fortunately we have a sane, solid, centrist candidate in Brian O’Donnell. O’Donnell is someone who listens instead of spouting rhetoric, who will seek sensible solutions rather than ideology and who will build consensus rather than being divisive. Check out his web site at www.brianodonnell.org and you see in-depth specifics on the issues. Let’s elect Brian O’Donnell and send someone to Denver to make us proud.

Dave Masse

Enough

Dear Editor:

We just found out today, 10/11/10 that there will be no increase in social security for the second year in a row.

The Pagosa SUN has cut back by not publishing the TV guide anymore.

City Market is cutting back by closing an outdated store.

Ace Hardware has cut back by closing their lumber yard on Putt Hill.

UBC cut back by closing their lumber yard.

An article in the Denver Post (10/3/10) titled “Tax hikes on the back burner,” stated “Given the state of the economy, few towns are putting requests for an increase on the ballot.”

Our commissioners just don’t get it! They recommended a 1.5 mill levy increase on top of the already inflated property tax we are now paying.

To the Education Center: I feel your pain.

To the county commissioners: Do you feel our pain?

Citizens of Archuleta County: Vote against any tax increases! We are taxed enough already!

John Meyer

Stolen

Dear Editor:

Please let the mothers, wives, girlfriends, and daughters in the Pagosa area know that two signs that recently disappeared from our property are stolen property. These are dark brown metal signs (approximately 7x20) printed with white letters that say “KATIE GULCH” and “JENNIE GULCH.” These signs were screwed on to 6x6 posts along the private road that passes by our home. They were placed there 10 years ago to honor our daughters, and they mean a lot to us. If someone has given you either of these signs, be aware that you’re the victim of a person who doesn’t know right from wrong, or worse, we suppose, you’re the victim of a person who’s been taught right from wrong but has no respect for those teachings. It’s really sad that a person would go to some effort to take something that doesn’t belong to them. Please don’t encourage or reward such behavior by keeping an item you know to be stolen. You can call us at 264-5717 or you can return the signs to the Chromo Mercantile on U.S. 84 in Chromo — no questions asked.

Thank you for doing the right thing.

Kathy and Rich Muth

Hunters

Dear Editor:

The big game season is almost here. Some people may not agree with the pursuit, but I do not hear anyone complain when they hear golfers saying they shot a birdie or eagle (some humor). Being an addicted hunter/fisherman I always take interest in the challenge. The hunters are not hard to spot with the orange caps and jackets so I make it a point to make small talk such as, Any luck?, Where are you folks from? Thanks for coming and have a safe hunt and trip home. I remember one gentleman telling me he has come to Pagosa hunting for 18 years and that is the first time anyone said that to him. I truly believe we are a real friendly town and just a bit of effort will prove it. Let’s keep them coming back and help our economy.

In closing I would like to thank Cindy Gustafson for her positive letters. Her glass is always half full.

Don Papierniak

Priceless

Dear Editor,

On Aug. 31, 2010, I participated in the Pagosa Springs Community Development Corporation’s first Strategic Planning Retreat. Open to the public, I was pleased to find that about 80 other interested people were also present to learn what the CDC hopes to accomplish in our community. Following an engaging presentation by Steve Vassalo, executive director of PSCDC, we were asked to rate 28 recommendations that were compiled from Steve’s interviews with over 100 county residents on what they felt would most benefit Pagosa Springs.

As a Pagosa resident for 16 years, this is the first time I have experienced an opportunity such as this to personally rate issues that are important to me. Like others, I was disappointed that opportunities for youth and young families did not make it to the top ten of the voting summary, but was ecstatic that the Archuleta County Education Center’s Global Learning and Enterprise Campus, and support for the November Referendum 1.5 mill tax increase to enhance the campus, scored 9.44 out of 10.

When I moved to Pagosa in 1994, I had deep concern for the welfare of the children in Archuleta County. With the assistance from staff at the Archuleta County Education Center, I found mentors and the help I needed to pursue an education related to children and families. With their direction and support, I began progressing toward the field of child and youth advocacy. Due to sheer tenacity I eventually earned a B.S., but had to do this outside of Pagosa. It took years!

Now my 27-year-old son and his 22 year-old expectant wife would like to further their education, and there is absolutely nothing here. Driving to classes in Durango in the winter with a newborn is out of the question, so they are now enrolled in limiting and very expensive online classes through Pueblo Community College.

Don Goodwin has put together what I believe is an exceptional program to help young students. His educational and professional background demonstrates many years of experience in providing strategic and operational plans in advanced technology at colleges and universities, and speaks highly of his dedication and ability to improve the lives of students and ultimately our entire community.

If anyone has any questions about the Education Center board members’ funding request, I highly encourage you give them a call, then vote yes on Nov. 2 ballot issue 1B: For most of us with homes valued between $100,000 and $250,000, the monthly increase is less than three dollars; the benefit to students and our community is priceless.

Liz Parker

Moderate

Dear Editor:

I want to add my voice to the many who have endorsed Brian O’Donnell for the state Legislature. I have gotten to know Brian over the last few months and have always been impressed with his passion and his reason. As he himself has said, he wants to continue to govern in the moderate and rational style championed by our current Rep. Ellen Roberts (at least until she was pushed to the far right by her primary opponent), and her predecessor, Mark Larson. On Oct. 4, Brian received a letter from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund giving him an “AQ” rating, which means the NRA regards him as a pro-Second Amendment candidate. I may not necessarily agree with Brian’s position on this issue, but I think it shows that he is not wedded to a rigid ideology. He previously received an endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police. The only negative about Brian that his opponent, J. Paul Brown, can muster is that Brian is young and inexperienced and hasn’t held elected or appointed political office, as Mr. Brown has for many years. Sounds like a recipe for fresh and independent thinking to me.

A recent postcard attack campaign against Brian, apparently directed toward independent voters, was really over the top. The postcard said Brian “spent years in Washington as a high paid lobbyist.” In fact, he was paid $20,000 a year as the executive director of a charitable organization that fought to protect Native-American ancestral hunting grounds from multi-national corporations that wanted to desecrate them. Not exactly Jack Abramoff! The card goes on to make totally unsubstantiated allegations that contributions from the dreaded “Washington, D.C.” and corrupt “special interest friends” all over the nation were fueling Brian’s campaign. The postcard was sent by a group calling itself “Colorado Citizens for Accountable Government.” A meticulous web search failed to find any website for or any other mention of this group, its membership, or funding sources. Odd for a group that professes to value accountability! Incredibly, they even got the telephone number for Brian’s campaign wrong, suggesting that they may really be one of these shadowy out of state “527” organizations that are trying to buy the election.

Mark Larson himself called Brian a “great candidate” in a recent letter to The SUN. He still supports Mr. Brown, apparently only because Mr. Brown is a businessman and Republican. Mr. Larson says that he does disagree with Mr. Brown on social issues. I was glad to hear that, as Mr. Brown has said, “Hillary Clinton is talking about a treaty with the U.N. to do exactly that,” referring to taking away our guns, a flat out lie, and predicting an ensuing civil war. He does not say how the U.N., which has difficulty assembling a few thousand troops for peacekeeping operations, is going to take away nearly 200 million guns owned by nearly 50 million Americans. Unfortunately, Larson then took a breathtaking leap of logic by stating that Brown’s social views don’t matter, because the House rarely takes “social” votes. Huh? So, votes on education, health care, welfare, jobs and the economy, the environment, abortion, taxes, etc. have no “social” impact? Sensibly, Brian responded to this gobbledygook at the recent debates in Durango with, “I’m going to focus on solutions, not conspiracy theories.”

I encourage all voters to embrace sense over slogans, dialogue over diatribe. Look at Brian’s website, www.brianodonnell.org. An analysis of issues that are truly important to Southwest Colorado would clearly suggest that the best candidate for District 59 is Brian O’Donnell.

John Porco

Change

Dear Editor,

I think it is time for a change of our representative to the United States House of Representatives. John Salazar seems to forget the people here as soon as he gets inside the ”beltway” and the glitz of Washington politics. When he initially ran six years ago I thought he would be a good representative of our middle of the road political ideas. At first that seemed to be true. But in this past congress it has become painfully clear that he is addicted to the Liberal Democrat power base and the special interest groups. He is firmly under the control of the Obama — Pelosi — Reid Gang. He voted the Partyline over 97 percent of the time in this Congress. About the only important vote that wasn’t Partyline was his vote against Cap and Trade, which I think had a lot to do with British Petroleum’s major presence here, AND the fact that Nancy did not need his vote. He will not take a stand on the Democratic retread of the “Village at Wolf Creek” until after the election. I wonder why? He said that he doesn’t like “Fat Cat” Bankers but seems to like the even Fatter Cat Oil Companies and billionair Texas Developers.

He voted for the enormous stimulus package that only Joe Bidden thinks has helped our economy. He was all for the health care bill that will cost trillions and have the same problems as Britain’s and Canada’s or worse. This President and Congress are completely, and I mean completely, out of control, and John Salazar is right there with them, instead of protecting our interests. We are the people that will have to try to pay for all of this prolific spending. It must stop. It has to stop or this country will go bankrupt.

John Salazar has been a major disappointment to me and will not get my vote this time.

Dick Riethmiller

Rights

Life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness rights bestowed upon us by our creator, and acknowledged by the United States Declaration of Independence.

Oppressive governments deny these God-given rights, as our country does to its unborn citizens. It is within our power to change this by voting yes on Amendment 62, because when you do, “the term person” shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being (actual wording).

If we end abortion as a national policy, perhaps God will turn his holy wrath from America and leave a blessing in its place.

Jim Sanders

Scary

Dear Editor:

Easily available. Highly addictive. Widespread abuse. Proven to be extremely medically harmful in laboratory animal tests and to humans. Causes death. A gateway drug. Overdoses daily. Negatively affects our children. Has been proven to cause an elevated sense of euphoria, which could lead to hallucinations or worse. User parents encourage and enable similar behavior for children. Use rampant throughout our schools. Criminal activity surrounds its acquisition and use, including children assaulting other children and theft. Groups of users gather for the sole purpose of imbibing and then afterward drive under the influence. Government statistics to confirm all of the above statements. Diverse personal opinions and public debate regarding it use.

How can we allow this to happen in our community? It must be stopped — banned, even — in order to protect those poor dupes who refuse to Just Say No.

Scary stuff.

Sugar.

Lauri C. Ross

River dispute

Dear Editor:

Farm Bureau members need to take note that the governor’s River Access Dispute Resolution Task force that will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 13, at the Glenwood Springs Recreation Center, 100 Wulfsohn Road.

The meeting will run from 1 to 7 p.m. Public input will be heard from 5 to 7. Your voice makes a difference. We have dealt with this issue this spring and summer. A decision was made to let the governor appoint a task force to craft a dispute resolution or resolve future conflicts between river users and private landowners of Colorado waterways.

Farm Bureau members should make their voices heard regarding rafting and private property rights. These disputes should be settled at the local level.

You can send your input to riveraccess@state.co.us or you may mail a letter to Colorado Department of Natural Resources, 1313 Sherman Street, Room 718, Denver CO 80203. Send it to the attention of Kim Burgess.

This is a very important issue. Rafters have tried to get a bill passed that says they have the right to get out of their rafts and trespass on our private property. If they succeed we have lost control of our property. That’s a taking, so please do your part to save our private property.

Betty Shahan

Selfless

Dear Editor:

I really got to know Bob Hart in the last two years while working with him on the Town Tourism Committee, which he has served as chairman. The TTC has accomplished a great deal in the last couple of years, mostly due I think to Bob’s leadership style. Bob does not lead by dictating, bossing, or even directing, but by mentioning, encouraging and challenging members to commit, participate, and not be afraid to come up with new ideas. As a result, even though some weeks we may have four to six different subcommittee meetings, most of the TTC members are more than willing to take time from their busy lives and to happily attend and contribute. That, I think, says a great deal for the atmosphere that Bob has brought to the TTC and I know he will be able to bring that same spirit to the Board of County Commissioners.

Also, I have the greatest admiration for Bob’s inner willingness to sometimes be unpopular on a particular issue “because it is the right thing to do” he says. To me that speaks volumes about his inner integrity and selflessness.

Speaking of selflessness, Bob has used his company’s time and resources to do a great deal of voluntary work for the community. From helping build the popular water features in the river to now helping with the new sledding area on Reservoir Hill, he spends hours each day in meetings concerning the community. Bob doesn’t just talk about ideas, he gets involved and gets things done.

In the last couple of years I have really come to appreciate these and other qualities in the character of Bob Hart which will be of great value to the community and the county government as the next county commissioner. For these reasons, I fully endorse Bob Hart for county commissioner.

Jim Smith

Broken promises

Dear Editor:

Many critics of the George W. Bush administration, especially those Democrats looking to place blame for the current state of the economy and general malaise affecting our country, insist on placing the blame on Bush because he signed into law some of the bills which created the deficits we now face. You hear this constantly from the mainstream media and liberal pundits on radio and TV. They also love to talk about how Bush turned a $200 billion Clinton surplus into a $1 trillion deficit. These critics conveniently overlook an essential and highly significant fact, however: It was the Democratic Congress, I repeat, the Democratic Congress that passed each one of these bills. Given their majority in both houses, if they hadn’t wanted them passed, it would not have happened. So who is really responsible for the current state of affairs?

Furthermore, these same Democrats also conveniently overlook another significant fact, as pointed out recently by Steve Moore, an economic writer for the Wall Street Journal. Moore notes “they ignore the 9/11 attacks that happened less than a year after Bush became president. Those attacks were fiscal game-changers, jolting the economy to a temporary standstill and requiring unplanned spending for homeland security and antiterrorism efforts.”

Moore also reminds his readership of the promise Nancy Pelosi made the day she became Speaker of the House, to wit: “Our new America will provide unlimited opportunity for future generations, not burden them with mountains of debt.” As I recall, she also promised transparency in government. The cold reality is that future generations, thanks to Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barack Obama, now face mountains of debt. And congressional legislation, such as the health care bill, was made into law without the public and many legislators, both Democrat and Republican alike, being given adequate opportunity to read it, much less comprehend and debate it. And don’t forget Obama’s flip-flop regarding his promises to broadcast the health care negotiations on C-SPAN. When this did not happen, Obama’s press secretary, Robert Gibbs, refused to answer repeated questions about the broken promises. So much for transparency and promises.

Is it any wonder that many Democrat members of congress, as we approach the midterm elections, are running scared? They have every reason to be and if the polls are right, we will soon be giving the boot to many of them. Oh happy day!

Gary Stansbury

Prepared

Dear Editor:

I have just returned from a statewide economic development conference where a topic of significant interest was presented in the general session,”Education: The Best Economic Investment.” Because I strongly adhere to this philosophy, the topic clearly caught my complete focus. Several declarations were made that I wanted to share with the citizens of Pagosa Springs and Archuleta County. Number one, “People with a Bachelor’s degree will earn $1 million more over a lifetime versus those who settle for a lesser education.” This is an economic reality that we should not ignore. Even in today’s society, $1million is not an insignificant amount! Parents and students alike should take this to heart. Knowledge is power and especially when it relates to economics. Number two, “The jobs that require an associate’s degree and higher are going to grow twice as fast as those jobs that do not.” In simplistic terms, minimal paying jobs are going to be fewer and more in competition as the higher paying jobs that require more education are going to be more plentiful. We need to ask ourselves ... which pond do we want to fish, the one with an expanding inventory of fish and larger ones or the pond with a stagnant number of fish, smaller in size? I believe the answer is rather obvious. And thirdly, this quote reintroduced from the 2005 Colorado Legislative Council Staff, “The most important factor in a company’s location decision is the availability and skill of the labor force.” Despite incentives, quality of life issues, etc., if the competency of the labor force is lacking, nothing else truly matters. The aforementioned should not be taken lightly as this is the “reality” of today’s society and job market. The more prepared an individual is and with the higher degree of education, this person will outdistance his or her competition and communities will do likewise in the recruitment of more and higher paying jobs.

Steve Vassallo

Campaign money

Dear Editor:

Both candidates for county commissioner tout their “local values.” I see the importance of a candidate sharing the values of their constituents and of “having some skin in the game” where their local community is concerned.

Deep Throat suggested one should “Follow the Money.” So, I decided to review the campaign finance reports filed on the Colorado Secretary of State’s TRACER website to see if they’disclosed any differences between Bob Hart and Michael Whiting. (The reports cover only through Sept. 4.)

How much money has been contributed to the campaign? Hart shows $9,916 and Whiting shows $5,050.

How much of the money came from outside Archuleta County? Hart received just 6 percent from outside the county. Whiting received 58 percent from outside the county.

Of the outside money, how much came from outside Colorado? Hart received only 6 percent from outside Colorado. Whiting received 34 percent from out of state.

Of the out-of-state money, how much came from Texas? Hart received no money from Texas. Whiting received 22 percent from Texas contributors.

How much came from big contributors giving $500 or more? Hart received 5 percent from large contributors. Whiting received 59 percent from large contributors.

Are contributors writing “attack” letters to our local paper? Hart and his supporters have no letters published in The SUN. Whiting has two letters. The first was from Mike Hayward attacking on ethics (9/9/10) without disclosing he was active in the Whiting campaign and was a $1,000 contributor. The second was from William Jordan (a Fort Worth, Texas resident) launching the “Conflict” question (9/23/10) without disclosing either his Texas residency or his $2,300 in money and non-monetary contributions to the Whiting campaign.

Based on these reports — submitted by the candidate’s campaign committees — I find it difficult to accept a Whiting claim to be “In Touch With Your Values.” The reports show that Whiting funds over half his campaign from outside our county, accepts almost 60 percent of campaign funds from a few large contributors, and supported having large and out-of-state donors submit attack letters to The SUN as though they were authored by ordinary citizens.

No crime here on the part of Whiting. But if local values and ethics are important in a county commissioner, then these campaign finance reports strongly suggest a vote for Bob Hart.

Dick Warring

Editor’s note: You are in error when you state there have been no letters in support of Bob Hart printed in The SUN. There was one letter from a Hart supporter submitted and printed Sept. 30. There were two such letters printed Sept. 16. There are two printed in this week’s SUN. The state site now shows Whiting with 43 contributors July 27-Oct. 7, (12 out-of-town and seven out-of state) and Hart with 52 seperate contributions April 2010 to Oct. 7 (six out-of-town and five out-of-state). The out-of-state component in either list of contributions is not fully unpacked until it is determined how many of the donors are property owners and at least part-time residents ofArchuleta County.