Summit Daily letters: HD 61 candidate takes issue with Summit Daily endorsement
October 22, 2018
HD 61 candidate takes issue with Summit Daily endorsement
The Summit Daily endorsement of Julie McCluskie for House District 61 is based on personal qualities, like Julie: "understands," "has compassion," "desires to improve the community," "would do her best," "is an eager learner and listener," and has "energy and thoughtfulness."
These are desirable qualities, but voters should decide on the basic issues, not just personal qualities. They should decide which candidate has the best position on the issues. The issues are:
Energy: McCluskie would enrich purveyors of "renewable" energy, at the expense of taxpayers and consumers. That's wrong. We need an energy system with a variety of technologies to provide reliable, affordable, and clean electricity. There should be no government mandates or subsidies for renewables.
Environment: McCluskie thinks climate change is not only the most important environmental issue but "the No. 1 threat to our way of life." This dramatic posturing takes attention away from our most serious environmental issue: the growing demand for our dwindling water supplies. As District 61 representative, I will fight against efforts of out of state and Front Range consumers to take our water.
Health care: McCluskie makes feel good pronouncements like, "Health care is a basic human right. Every man, woman and child deserves access to high-quality, reasonably-priced health care." That attitude gave us Obamacare, which raised costs, taking money from taxpayers and patients and giving it to the health care industry — providers, drug companies and insurance companies. And, let's be honest, to the Democrats, access to health care always includes abortions. A better approach is to open the health care market to competition, allowing citizens to find the best affordable health care for them in an open competitive market.
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Education: Public school bureaucrat McCluskie wants taxpayers to give more money to public school employees, as if our current public school system is perfect and more money is all we need to improve our kids' education. The U.S. already spends more on education than almost any other country and our kids do not perform as well. We need to curb public school monopolization and offer more choices to parents and students, for example: home schooling, charter and religious schools, and using the internet as an educational tool. We may not need to spend more money. We do need to spend it more wisely.
Workforce Housing: McCluskie wants to spend taxpayer dollars to subsidize housing for tourist industry employees and public employees in expensive resort towns. I believe if wealthy counties like Pitkin, Eagle and Summit want to use their taxpayers' money to subsidize local real estate development, they can. They should not expect low income working people in Denver, Pueblo or Fort Collins to approve their state taxes going to help wealthy counties solve their housing problems.
Transportation: McCluskie's website is silent on what actions she would support to improve the vital I-70 corridor. I support Ballot Proposition 110 to increase funding for Highway Projects. Many of the projects covered by the proposition are in the I-70 corridor and District 61. I live in the westernmost part of District 61 and travel the I-70 corridor from Cedaredge to Denver. I am more familiar with the corridor and its issues than Julie McCluskie.
FitzSimons' brother responds to statement
"I'll address it by saying this: My brother is one of the reasons that I am committed to finding solutions for people with severe and persistent mental health issues in this community. I love my brother, and I will not disparage my brother." — Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons, in response to brother's endorsement of Republican challenger Derek Woodman.
This is a surreptitious poisoning of my reputation. It is a sanctimonious and disingenuous tactic to embarrass me in a backhanded way. Is this a man who takes the high road? He has disseminated misleading claims about me. He has disparaged me in a very hypocritical way. I would urge my brother to be more transparent about his past and stop preaching from the pulpit. I once again urge the voters in Summit County to exercise due diligence and to cast your vote carefully and honestly.
Support Jaime FitzSimons for sheriff
As a Republican and current employee of the Summit County Sheriff's Office, I feel that I need to speak up about this sheriff's race. I have worked for the sheriff's office under both the good ol' boy system run by Minor and Woodman as well as the more professional system under Sheriff FitzSimons. This has given me the unique perspective of working for a command staff who saw no need to change things and one that is always seeking to become better and more professional. Sheriff FitzSimons always strives to make the organization better and as a result, we have all become better.
We now have better equipment, constant training opportunities, and a staff that truly works for and cares for the community we serve. We no longer do things the way they have always been done because we can't, we're better than that now. To continue to operate as Woodman operated would be more than a step backwards, it would be a leap into the past. One big example is with evidence storage. We are now accountable for our evidence and store it in a new state of the art evidence vault and have a well-trained evidence technician to track and maintain it. Gone are the Woodman days of sticking money and guns into a desk drawer for storage. That is an indefensible practice that could easily lead to temptation and corruption. There must be systems of accountability in place and they are firmly in place now.
We are now an agency that prides itself on transparency and responsibility to the community. We cannot do as Woodman did during the forum and throw out unconfirmed statistics as fact. By his own admission, he made those stats after "anecdotal conversations." Law enforcement professionals cannot confuse anecdotes with facts. It quickly erodes community trust.
The bottom line is that if you vote for Derek Woodman, you are voting for a return of an outdated good ol' boy way of doing things. If you want a professional and forward thinking sheriff's office, then you must vote for Jaime FitzSimons because the alternative is just ridiculous.
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