Rifle man guns for Truden in Aspen
The petitions to recall Colleen Truden have arrived in Aspen.”I don’t encourage the name-calling,” said Chuck Gray, holding a recall sign and a clipboard with petitions, after one man yelled his thoughts about the district attorney from a passing car.The Rifle man was standing on the corner of Galena and Main streets outside the courthouse, trying to gather as many signatures as possible before it started to rain. Three more clipboards with petitions were on the ground near Gray, who was wearing a T-shirt with “Recall D.A. Sign Here” printed on the front and back.A larger recall event is planned Saturday in Herron Park. But Gray said he couldn’t wait any longer.”People kept saying, ‘You need to be in Aspen,'” he said.Also, managers of the Super Wal-Mart and City Market in Rifle both denied petitioners’ request to station themselves outside the stores. Gray said they did not want to get involved.So he came up here and started around noon. In 90 minutes, he said, he had gathered nearly 50 signatures. He was getting 40 to 50 a day on Grand Avenue in Glenwood Springs, Gray said. Truden opponents must gather 5,455 valid signatures to force an election.Truden has come under fire since six deputy district attorneys have resigned since she took office, along with four staff members. Truden has also sparked outcry by paying her husband for computer work and for failing, critics say, to live up to campaign promises to be tougher on crime. Her financial management resulted in Garfield County’s seizure of her office’s credit cards.But Gray has seen plenty of Truden supporters also.”I get flipped off about once a day,” he said as thunder rumbled down Independence Pass. “But yesterday I got flipped off three times.”A guy wearing a dress shirt and khaki pants signed his name, then rode off down the sidewalk on a skateboard.”I’ll need all six boxes on line 4 filled out,” Gray told a man who walked across Main Street.Recall candidate Martin Beeson confirmed that he will be at Herron Park on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Carla Peltonen of Aspen is helping to organize the event. The self-admitted political novice has placed ads in both newspapers.She said she picked Herron Park, one of the town’s lesser known parks, because of its parking spots and availability. It is just off Main Street on Neale Avenue, near the Original Street curve. The Aspen Saturday Market will also be nearby, she said.”I’m a taxpayer and she should be representing me to the best of her ability,” Peltonen said. “She should be there to protect the taxpayers and she’s not doing it.”Back near the courthouse, Gray picked up the clipboards as it started to sprinkle and walked to his car.”Have to get these out of the rain or they’ll be ruined,” he said.Chad Abraham’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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