Partial term shouldn’t be held against Beeson |

Partial term shouldn’t be held against Beeson

Dear Editor:

Regarding John Colson’s article in the Post Independent on April 23 (“Defense attorney questions D.A.’s eligibility for re-election”): The article questions whether current District Attorney Martin Beeson, who stepped up and filled the remaining partial term of a recalled district attorney, can run for a second term of office due to term limits.

Colson refers to a legal opinion by Attorney General Ken Salazar that states that term limits “have no application to partial terms of office but rather apply only to full terms.”

Salazar’s ruling states that term limits don’t apply to partial terms.

Salazar, a Democrat, was the past attorney general, the top attorney in the state. His ruling is not a favorable ruling by a similar political party member in favor of his party’s politician, as Beeson is a Republican, and Salazar’s opinion was made years ago, in 2000.

If you, John Colson, as a member of the press, are going to give voice to attorney Tom Silverman’s personal and partisan opinion, you need to do some investigative reporting by studying Salazar’s opinion. Also, how about asking the current Attorney General’s Office for its opinion on Salazar’s previous ruling on this matter and reporting that?

Think about it, folks: Salazar’s ruling makes practical sense and is not a partisan issue, as it applies equally to both parties’ candidates serving any partial term of any office. How would you get anyone to fill a partial-term vacancy in any office?

If filling a short-term vacancy for a few months would prevent that same person from legally running for that office for the full term (in this case four years), the taxpayers would be the losers, as most short-term vacancies would sit empty for the remaining term, until the next election cycle.

Term limits are a good thing. But filling a partial-term vacancy should not count against a person’s ability to run for his own full term of office. The person stepping up to fill the vacancy did not create the vacancy in the first place. Bottom line: We need people to fill partial-term vacancies. Partial terms should not count against that person’s ability to serve his own full elected terms.

Bob Jenkins

Woody Creek

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