Emmer will stand up for transparency at City Hall

Dear Editor:

Good news traveled fast to Boulder. Maurice Emmer will be running for mayor of Aspen. Why does a Boulderite care? Colorado’s activists dedicated to election quality and election transparency, as well as local governments’ adherence to sunshine laws, see the harmful regional ripple effects of Aspen City Council’s anti-transparency policies. No doubt Maurice’s entry into the debate will make more voters aware of Aspen’s unhealthy practices.

When my friend Harvie Branscomb requested a review of the 2011 election ballots under the Open Records Act – ballots that were absolutely anonymous and untraceable back to their voters – Aspen dragged him into court, threatening him with financial penalties for merely asking to see public records. Identical requests for records from Pitkin County and other counties’ elections were honored with no problem.

The city of Aspen is known across the state as the most aggressive fighter against election transparency, even claiming that Aspen is not subject to Colorado’s open records laws. I spoke with one councilman (a current candidate for mayor) at length to oppose Aspen’s stance but could make no headway. Council has fought against Colorado election transparency all the way to the state Supreme Court and, thankfully, lost. However, if their efforts had been successful, all voters across the state would have suffered.

I know Maurice through the Colorado Voter Group, a politically diverse group of Democrats, Republicans, Greens, American Constitution Party, Libertarian and unaffiliated voters who advocate for election integrity. I urge Aspenites to vote for Maurice. He will be a leader who cares about the fundamental democratic values that make a difference to every citizen.

Mary Eberle