Soap Box

Keep dark money out of politics

To the editor,

Three in four Americans perceived corruption as widespread in our government, found a Gallup poll. Abuse of power and corrupt behavior is an issue both political parties find intolerable. Special-interest campaign finance, gerrymandering, unethical Washington lobbyists and voter suppression were all targeted for reform in the recently passed anti-corruption House Bill HR 1 – For the People Act 2019.

Keeping dark money spending out of politics is a priority to me. This bill makes it harder for wealthy interests to anonymously dump large sums of money behind politicians to influence their vote. It levels the playing field of democratic values. I was disappointed to find that Rep. Scott Tipton voted no on the bill, as the bill’s aims are broadly popular with the American people.

I question who Tipton is representing.

– Catherine Neill, Durango

Turner can navigate choices ahead

To the editor,

A vote for Jack Turner is a vote for a cleaner energy future at LPEA. Energy technologies are changing rapidly, requiring knowledge and experience to navigate the important decisions ahead that will affect our co-op for years to come. We need our energy sources to be both affordable and sustainable. Jack is someone I trust to ask hard questions, research, debate and tackle new challenges. He was elected by his peers on the Board to serve as a delegate for the Colorado Rural Electric Association (CREA). Jack has served on the special Power Supply Committee to study the opportunities of power supply and identifying options for increasing LPEA’s flexibility to provide more local renewable transmission. We need his forward-thinking leadership. Your LPEA ballot will arrive early April in the mail.

– Ed Atkinson, Durango

HB 1177 gives hope to families

To the editor,

As a one-time state lawmaker who had an “A+” NRA rating and a former Republican candidate for governor, I’m strongly supportive of HB-1177 – a bill that would provide extreme risk protection orders to temporarily remove firearms for those in the midst of a crisis.

My perspective on this issue is personal. Our family was in constant fear of losing our eldest daughter to suicide nearly a decade ago. She was just a child of 17 years at the time. Today, she’s healthy and successful.

Our family took action and removed all the firearms in our home. However, today Colorado’s families, especially those who have adult family members living on their own, don’t have such capabilities to take preventive measures.

I challenge the members of the Legislature, especially my fellow Republicans, to find common ground and work together in a bipartisan manner to support a thoughtful, comprehensive bill that balances 2nd Amendment protections with desperate families coping with a loved one in the midst of a crisis.

Each member of this committee has an opportunity to make a real difference and reduce suicide in their community, help and protect law enforcement, and, most importantly, give hope to desperate families. Please act!

– Victor Mitchell, Castle Rock, Board member, Mental Health Colorado

1A recoups money lost to internet

To the editor,

To the very real extent that the 1A sales tax will replace local sales taxes we no longer pay when we purchase goods online, 1A is simply a continuation of the community investment we’ve long made to maintain our city’s streets.

Moreover, the burden of 1A will be shared fairly among all those who use Durango’s infrastructure – town citizens, county residents working and shopping in town, and visitors from out of town alike.

Please join me in voting yes for 1A, and for Durango’s well-maintained future.

– Scott Graham, Durango

Wisner next-generation leadership

To the editor,

It’s that time, Durango, to dust off any political apathy and return your ballot for City Council and the sales tax question. I’m supporting Marcos Wisner for council. He is a Durango native, which is almost a rare breed these days. Marcos works very hard as a business owner, employer and community member. Let’s vote in the next generation of leadership for our fair city.

– Beth Lamberson Warren, Durango