LETTERS 10-27-22

We are fortunate to have Phil Weiser in office

In the October 20, 2022 edition of the Villager a column ran authored by Scottie Taylor Iverson.  It was an unqualified endorsement of the current 18th judicial district DA for the Office of Attorney General.  The copy attributed to Iverson is only three paragraphs in length.  The material is presented in black typeface.  The rest of the column is considerable in length and set forth in bold red.  It is a series of seven statements of citizens imploring voters to support DA Kellner for our state’s Attorney General to save all of us apparently from everything that threatens us and in the words of one of the quoted individuals, “…make Colorado Safe Again.”

The column doesn’t appear to be a paid ad though the layout gives it that appearance.  The Villager is of course entitled to its editorial opinions as are its writers.  The man against whom Iverson sounds the alarm is Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.  The supporters that line up to condemn Phil and support Mr. Kellner appear to be a good lineup of local Republicans, none involved in law enforcement or public protection.  Would you like to hear what other Colorado Republicans think about Phil Weiser?

His predecessor, Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman endorses Phil over Kellner.  She has a pretty good handle on the office of Attorney General.  Contrary to those quoted by Scottie Taylor Iverson she states, “I have been pleased by his continuation of impactful initiatives on school safety, domestic violence and sexual assault prevention, substance abuse treatment, and childhood sexual abuse recovery.  General Weiser deserves another four years in service as Colorado’s Attorney General.”

Former Republican Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Russ George, citing a variety of issues on which Phil Weiser has acted as Attorney General states, “This fall for Attorney General I’ll be supporting Phil Weiser.”

The Denver Post, Aurora Sentinel, Durango Herald and Grand Junction Daily Sentinel all endorse and support Phil Weiser.  If you have read or will read the Iverson piece intended to scare the reader into supporting a candidate for office consider the comment of the Aurora Sentinel in its endorsement,

“Weiser has already proved to be well suited as Colorado’s lawyer in handling the job for what it really is, not a politically expedient ploy to rook voters into thinking it should be.”  

Long before Phil became Attorney General I served as the First Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Justice in Colorado.   I live and breathe public protection and am keenly aware of the role of our Attorney General, Democrat or Republican, in serving our citizens.   We could not be more fortunate than to have Phil Weiser in the office.  He has done an outstanding job during his first term and will continue to do so in his second term.  I don’t know Mr. Kellner and have no need to disparage his service or write that I feel less safe because he is our DA in the 18th District.  I wish him well in life but it is not necessary to misrepresent the role of the Attorney General and the duties of that office or try to frighten voters to advance any one person’s political ambitions.  

Richard Nathan
Greenwood Village

Publisher’s response

Good to hear from one of our many Landmark readers.  Usually we don’t respond to “Letters to the Editor” unless the newspaper or writer is mentioned.  In your succinct and well-written letter, you do refer to one of the events covered by one of  our well-known reporters. 

A brief explanation of our covering the many fund-raising events for candidates:  We cover many fund-raisers when invited and have covered both political party events. The fund-raising events accomplish two things;  most importantly raising badly needed funds for ever increasing expensive campaigns.  Secondly, for invitees to meet, greet, and listen to candidates present why they are running for elective office.  Press coverage gives Villager readers a better view of the candidates and reveals their support.   In these contests, dollars are almost as important as votes.

In the story that you mention, invitees were asked why they were  supporting  the candidate.  The questions add more depth to the function, in addition to the social and funding  activities.

Regarding your endorsement of Attorney General Phil Weiser, we find him to be a competent Attorney General.  Coming from an academic background, he is a brilliant lawyer, academic, and scholar. 

A little history shows that he defeated very popular Arapahoe County 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler in the 2019 election.  Brauchler, switched from running for governor to avoid a primary election against Walker Stapleton and ran for Attorney General.  Stapleton went on to lose the election to Governor Jerald Polis. 

Brauchler was out and is now a very popular morning host on conservative KNUS 710 radio, weekday mornings.  His Deputy, John Kellner, was elected as District Attorney for the large 18th Judicial District. Now, splitting into a new 23rd Judicial District for Arapahoe County with the process procedure in Amendment D on this year’s ballot proposals.

Kellner, still a reserve Marine Colonel; having served two years as District Attorney will remain in office two more years, or more, if he loses to Weiser. 

Most recently his department has cracked a large auto theft ring operating in the Metro area.  Kellner is tough on crime and criminals.

Weiser, endorsed by The Denver Post, and the more liberal newspapers in the state, seems to be more on the administrative side of the many functions of the AG office.  He is the chief law enforcement official in the state with over 400 employees with a  job to protect Colorado and its citizens.  He has been especially effective on water issues and from The Denver Post endorsement is a strong supporter of Colorado’s leadership role in  protecting women’s right to have an abortion.

Colorado is leading the nation in auto thefts with the Denver Police Chief retiring in disgust over lack of prosecution of criminals. Aurora is looking for a new police chief and is short several hundred officers.

Especially appalling was the destruction on the façade of our State Capital by a mob who also set fire to the Supreme Court building.  This appears like a state that is becoming too lenient about enforcing laws against crime and criminals.

The choice is very simple for voters.  Vote for a District Attorney who is tough on crime and law enforcement or vote for an Attorney General who supports defending abortion and other consumer issues that include defending Colorado on many fronts. Both candidates are exceptional but have different viewpoints on the job description.

Bob Sweeney/Publisher

Mark Gotto Deserves Your Vote for County Commissioner

The candidate most qualified and prepared to serve District 2 County residents is Mark Gotto.  I served with Mark on Centennial City Council and personally saw his effectiveness and commitment to serve. Here’s my observations:  1) A great listener – to his constituents and his fellow electeds -he works for you;  2) Executive level leadership experience that is valuable as commissioners run departments and manage staff; 3) Understanding and experience in land use (he served on Planning and Zoning before becoming a councilmember). Zoning and approving land uses can greatly affect your property and quality of life; 4) Innovative thinker and problem solver – there are important issues facing Arapahoe County and doing things the same old way isn’t leadership. Mark will look outside the box for solutions; 5) Public Safety experience – as Centennial contracts with the Arapahoe County Sheriff Department for police (which is the largest portion of the Sherriff’s budget outside the jail), Mark has an in depth understanding of the needs and costs to provide you with a safe community.

I rarely endorse in political races without personal experience and Mark is someone I wholeheartedly support.  Please mark your ballot for Mark Gotto – we all benefit. 

Cathy Noon
Former Mayor, City of Centennial

Vote for Molly Lamar

I’m asking you to vote for Molly Lamar for the CD-6 seat on the State Board of Education. I had the pleasure of first getting to know Molly when I served as the President of the Cherry Creek School District Board of Education.  

Molly is passionate about education and supporting students, teachers, and the community to ensure that our schools produce the highest academic outcomes for every child. Molly has built strong relationships and trust throughout our community because she has demonstrated the ability to work with everyone. She puts kids, not politics, first. 

 Molly continues to serve to improve education in our community in multiple ways. She is an active volunteer in schools, a licensed substitute and works to ensure that various extracurricular programs for students work as they should. Molly is respected by her colleagues and constituents. She knows that ALL Colorado children need access to the opportunities and resources to be successful in life and I know she will work every day to see that happen.

 Please join me in voting for Molly Lamar, CD-6 State Board of Education. Her leadership and experience is the change we need.

Jennifer Churchfield

Vote for Molly Lamar

As a teacher in the classroom for 16 years, I am worried about education and what’s happening in our schools. Education is turning more towards political agendas instead of basic skills that will help our students succeed in life and it is reflected on our students’ assessments. 60 percent of 3rd grade students in Colorado cannot read at grade level. And even worse, 70 percent of 8th grade students in Colorado are not hitting grade-level benchmarks in mathematics. 

It is imperative that our State Board of Education has representatives who have served as educators in the classroom. Teachers know and understand what is needed for a successful education. Molly Lamar served in a Title I school as a bilingual kindergarten and first grade teacher. 

In addition to bringing the perspective of a teacher to the State Board of Education, Molly would be the only mom on the board to have school-aged children while actively serving on the board. This is the type of diverse experience needed on our State Board of Education, and I ask you to join me in voting for Molly Lamar on November 8th.

Ann Moore

Clean up the tax code

Cherry Hills Village (CHV) has placed an issue on this November’s ballot to update the City Code for sales tax collections from remote vendors and internet sellers. While there are many reasons for Village residents to support this issue, I would like to highlight a few of the key ones. 

First of all, it won’t change the City’s sales tax rate. It will remain at 3.5%. It will simply change the language in the code so that all businesses doing business in the City, including remote sellers, will need to collect sales tax, rather than just businesses that have a physical address in the City.

Secondly, the code change will bring the City in line with the 2018 Supreme Court decision to allow for the collection of sales tax on internet purchases. By making the change, the City can then join 205 other Colorado municipalities in joining the state’s new Sales and Use Tax System (SUTS), which streamlines sales tax collection and ensures that Cherry Hills Village is receiving the tax it’s due. Without the code change, the City can’t join SUTS. 

Lastly, modernizing our Tax Code language avoids the risk of a reduction in revenue to the CHV and the consequential reduction in services that would follow.  It could take a while to develop an alternative tax, have voters approve it and restore services, not a disruption CHV residents or City leadership want.

I’m encouraging my fellow residents to support issue 2A and update the Cherry Hills Village City Code. 

Randy Weil
Co-Chair, Villagers for Tax Code Clean-Up