Summit Daily letters: Amendment 71 doesn’t empower the people
October 13, 2016
I disagree with (County Commissioner) Dan Gibb's claim that Summit County voters "don't have a say" regarding the initiative process. Further, stating Amendment 71 has bipartisan support neglects the fact that opposition to Amendment 71 also enjoys bipartisan support, but more importantly includes the private sector, which is the vast majority of voters, rather than a list of inconvenienced politicians.
One of the clearest examples of potential harm Amendment 71 may cause comes from realizing it could have prevented Colorado voters from ending cannabis prohibition. Summit County and other rural mountain communities played an important part in that successful initiative process and we should continue having access to it, left unchanged, for when politicians fail citizens. Nationally, politicians either ignore this important issue or fight against it, frustrating the majority of citizens who want to end cannabis prohibition.
Colorado's initiative process is already sufficiently difficult. To make things worse, politicians also have resorted to devious measures to prevent the process from working. An example is in 1998 with Colorado's attempted medical cannabis amendment. It should have been placed on the ballot, but Secretary of State Vicky Buckley said citizens did not have enough signatures. A lawsuit forced a recount, which she still said was short. All this occurred late and the election ballot contained the amendment question, but Buckley refused to count it, stating it did not have enough petition signatures. Then, Buckley died unexpectedly, and after her death, boxes of petition sheets were found in her office and a recount of all the signatures initiated by proponents proved the state made a mistake. A judge then ordered the medical marijuana question be placed on the ballot again on Nov. 7, 2000.
Previously, it was known as Amendment 19, but when a Colorado judge placed it on the election ballot, it was labeled Amendment 20, and citizens across the great state of Colorado were asked to vote "4 -20." And it passed.
Another example to expose 71's flaws is Florida, which voted overwhelmingly to allow sick citizens to use cannabis, yet their initiative failed because it required more than 50 percent of the vote.
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Ending cannabis prohibition through Colorado's constitution also makes it difficult for prohibitionist politicians to sidestep voters, which they've tried to do. By extension, our successful ability to use the initiative process in Colorado is helping end cannabis prohibition throughout the country including states that do not have the initiative process.
So, if Amendment 71 is not good for Colorado voters, who is it good for? Examples to help answer that question include how grass-roots efforts use the initiative process to do things such as label food products only to have large corporations spend huge sums of money to stop those efforts. Politicians may like these types of amendments due to their ability to gain endorsement money during future election campaigns from large corporations.
Most citizens value a government of the people, by the people, for the people. Ending or watering down Colorado's initiative process removes power from the people and puts it in the hands of politicians and corporations.
Vote no on Amendment 71. When politicians take away every granule of sand from the beach, we are left with nothing.
Support the sane candidate for president
Morgan Liddick generously dismisses Trump's bragging about sexual assaults as "exaggerated romantic successes" and cites numerous "failures" of the present administration, presumably aided and abetted by Hillary Clinton in her role as secretary of state. He hypocritically cited the statistic that 47 million people live in poverty, not mentioning the fact that congressional Republicans have repeatedly and consistently voted against raising the minimum wage. Other statistics he noted about home ownership and unemployment are much better today than they were at the end of George W. Bush's second term. I am one of the legion who believe that by any measure, except maybe health care, America is the greatest nation in the world — we don't need a failed businessman to make us "great again."
I am not a psychiatrist — so, to paraphrase drug advertisements, ask your doctor — but it is clear to me that Donald Trump is an egomaniac (I'll be the greatest president this country has ever seen), and he is delusional (I'll make Mexico pay for the wall), and he is paranoid (I only lost because the judge was Mexican. If I lose it's because the election is rigged). Is he really mentally fit to be president of the United States?
People say they don't trust Clinton because of the emails. She admitted this was bad judgment, and the attorney general determined that an indictment was not appropriate, possibly because previous secretaries of state had also used their private emails for public business. Trump, by comparison, has used his nonprofit foundation, funded by others, to illegally pay for personal expenses and to make political contributions. I predict he will be indicted for this after he loses the election.
So I am voting for Clinton. She is not a criminal, she has tremendous experience, and she is dedicated and a hard worker. She deserves your vote.
Liddick's lunacy grows by the week
I am asking you to terminate the weekly hate manifestos from Morgan Liddick. His recent trivialization of Donald Trumps sexual attacks were the end.
I have three daughters, two granddaughters and a wife; all are appalled by the thoughts a man can put his hand down their pants or up their skirt and it is not a sexual assault. The defense of these assaults by the former "family values" gang is reprehensible.
Two women, Jill Harth and Nancy Odell, have given testimony that this was done to them by Trump in his house while he was married.
This man and his campaign of insults and depravity has divided this country beyond belief.
Now more than ever we need to unify this country, and Summit Daily can do its part by dismissing Liddick and replacing him with an objective reasonable conservative or hire a liberal writer to counter Liddick's bilge.
Trump's foul language is not the only reason this man in not qualified to be president. His stiffing of persons and business such as a piano salesman, a painter, an architect and three little girls who performed at his rally in Pensacola is another example. Add his campaign of hate insults, derision, mocking the disabled, a self-serving tax plan, mocking veterans and a litany of unsavory acts and words.
W. Gerald Bird Jr.
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