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Opinion

  • If you think you’re seeing more negative campaign ads this year, it’s not just you. 2010 is shaping up to be an all-time high — or low — for negative campaigning. It’s gotten so bad, a recent Denver Post headline read, “It’s a miracle! Some positive campaign ads!” I still haven’t seen those yet.

  • As we move through early fall and into the final weeks before this midterm election in November, I’ve been thinking of those that served our state in past legislative sessions.

  • Sometimes I wonder whether we use the right nomenclature to describe the basic political divide in America. We see “liberals” on this side and “conservatives” on that side, with Democrats generally representing the former and Republicans the latter.

    But a compelling case can be made that the political landscape is really more sensibly divided into those who believe government should have a limited role (libertarians) and those who prefer government to have a more active role (statists). 

  • People in civilized societies understand that we have collective needs that can be met only through the coordinated efforts of citizens. Many of those collective needs are met through the activities of governments. We expect our federal, state, local and special-district governments to do things that it makes no sense to do individually. We drive on public roads. We get water and dispose of wastewater through governmentally owned utilities. We educate our children in public schools. We protect our homes and businesses through governmental fire departments.

  • At what point will we finally have enough surveillance cameras? It’s hard to go anywhere without being watched by at least one, and often several, closed-circuit eyes in the sky. On a typical five-minute walk in downtown Denver, you don’t have to look very hard to find 20 or more cameras. They’re on lampposts, the sides of buildings, on ceilings, atop traffic lights and along walls.

  • Young people today have to navigate a complex world and a complicated social scene. As law enforcement officers, we want to mitigate the dangers so that teens and young adults can safely enjoy their free time. We urge parents and teens to join us in doing so. Here are some issues to consider

     

    Unsupervised parties

  • So it’s come to this. In perhaps the most favorable Republican year since at least 1994, scandal-plagued GOP front-runner Scott McInnis can’t even close the deal on his own party’s nomination, much less the general election. 

  • Women. More specifically, suburban women. Most specifically, independent and Republican suburban women.

    Now that we’ve made it through the primary process and have a race for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat between Democratic incumbent Michael Bennet and Republican challenger Ken Buck, it looks to me like the key to victory in this year’s race will be unaffiliated and Republican women voters from the suburbs.

  • In the week following the Sept. 11 attacks, Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette attended religious services at both a Jewish synagogue and an Islamic mosque. Her visit to Temple Emanuel coincided with our Rosh Hashanah services, which are very well attended, and Rabbi Steve Foster, the spiritual leader of the congregation, welcomed her publicly and made a point of telling everyone in attendance that she was attending the mosque that week as well.

  • Young people today have to navigate a complex world and a complicated social scene. As law enforcement officers, we want to mitigate the dangers so that teens and young adults can safely enjoy their free time.  We urge parents and teens to join us in doing so. Here are some issues to consider.

     

    Unsupervised Parties

  • Negative attacks, they say, have long been part of politics. In “Going Dirty: the Art of Negative Campaigning” by David Mark, we’re told that in the 1828 presidential election, Andrew Jackson’s political allies nicknamed John Quincy Adams “the Pimp,” a reference to “a rumor that while he was ambassador to Russia a decade earlier, he had coerced a young woman into having an affair with a czar.”

  • From county commissioner to Colorado governor, Jeffco voters face very crowded ballots this year, and as the primary election approaches on Aug. 10, our opinion pages will no doubt become more crowded as well.

    Before the usual avalanche of political letters to the editor — and the subsequent phone calls asking why some letters haven’t appeared — I’d like to review our policy.

    • All letters must be accompanied by a verifiable name, along with information that allows us to contact the author.

  • Did you ever have a really great teacher? Someone who changed your life?

    I’ve been lucky to have more than one. In elementary school, I wasn’t the easiest kid — you could say I was pretty tough. These days I’d surely be diagnosed with ADD (actually, to say I had an attention deficit is a huge understatement). But Mrs. Arnold and Mrs. Ballangee stuck with me. It would have been easy to ignore this rowdy kid, but they put in extra hours, helping me learn what I couldn’t have learned on my own. I’m grateful they did.

  • Legal access to marijuana in Colorado seems to be a constantly moving target. As new medical marijuana laws go into effect in our state, a number of other things are coming together as well.

    The Department of Veterans Affairs is considering a more flexible definition of post-traumatic stress disorder at virtually the same time as the state health department is being asked to add PTSD to the list of medical conditions for which medical marijuana could be prescribed. If both these things come to pass, it would liberalize access to medical marijuana for PTSD sufferers.

  • Wake up, America: Even France gets it

    Leaders of the world’s 20 industrial economies recently met in Toronto to discuss global economic problems, including the worrisome developments in European sovereign debt. The meetings resulted in a group statement announcing a concerted effort to reduce government spending.

    “Advanced economies have committed to fiscal plans that will at least halve deficits by 2013 and stabilize or reduce government debt-to-GDP ratios by 2016,” G-20 leaders announced last week.

  • One of Congress’ fundamental responsibilities under the Constitution is budgeting. With large majorities in both houses of Congress, the only hurdle Democrat leaders have in developing and garnering support for the annual budget resolution is themselves.

    Yet, this past week House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer officially announced during a speech that Congress will make no attempt to develop and pass a budget this year.

  • There’s something singularly awful about watching the worst environmental disaster in our country’s history and knowing that, with all of America’s wealth and technological prowess, nothing has been done to prevent the ongoing catastrophe that threatens an entire way of life.

  • Indiana humorist Kin Hubbard had a problem with graduation speeches: He felt that the really important stuff should be spread out over all four years, rather than saved up for one address at the end.

  • When legislative budget staffers were looking into ways to balance the state’s budget during the 2009 session, they happened onto the fact that Pinnacol Assurance, the quasi-public agency that serves as the insurer of last resort for workers’ compensation, had reserves in excess of half a billion dollars more than appeared to be necessary. When legislative leaders suggested taking some of the money to address budget issues, the reaction from Pinnacol, business interests and Pinnacol customers was swift. They said the state should keep its hands off.

  • In early May, our office learned that four people in the metro area had jewelry and cash stolen from their homes after opening the door to people calling themselves “neighbors.” As the weather becomes nicer, watch for this and other door-to-door scams. 

    Be savvy if approached by traveling home improvement contractors, magazine salespersons, or any stranger who comes to the door. Of course, not everyone who comes to your door has bad intentions. We simply advise a healthy dose of caution and a firm “no” if necessary.