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Salazar’s track record questionable

Aspen Times writer

Dear Editor:I keep hearing some Democrats say Ken Salazar is a great candidate and is more electable than Mike Miles, but I often find that these same people know little of Mr. Salazar’s track record and don’t really have any solid basis for claiming that he is more electable.Myth and hype have no place in this important election. In my opinion, Mr. Salazar is the kind of Democrat who has turned so many people away from the Democratic Party. For example, Mr. Salazar supported the invasion of Iraq, he supports full funding for Mr. Bush’s misbegotten “No Child Left Behind” education policy, he opposes gay adoptions, he opposes any new listings under the Endangered Species Act, he opposes in-stream flow rights (while a member of the Colorado Water Conservation Board, he helped give away 40 percent of the instream flow rights in Snowmass Creek), he blindly supports the right-wing militarists in Israel, he has a reputation for kowtowing to mining and development interests, and he has a poor environmental record.Beyond just having questionable values, I believe Mr. Salazar should be investigated for criminal wrong doing in the handling of the Summitville mine cleanup – a fiasco that Mr. Salazar was involved with as director of the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Following his position at the DNR, Mr. Salazar went to work for the firm representing the polluters, who went bankrupt and left taxpayers with an unjust $181 million clean-up bill.Mr. Salazar has refused to comply with the Open Records Act regarding another fiasco he was deeply involved with, the Animas-La Plata project, which so far has cost taxpayers upwards of $500 million and primarily benefits developers, consultants and lawyers. Mr. Salazar’s record involving the State Land Board should also be thoroughly investigated – to see if it was just a coincidence that Roy Romer and some of his campaign contributors received thousands of acres of state trust lands for pennies on the dollar.Mike Miles, on the other hand, is a very progressive Democrat who hasn’t been afraid to stand up to the Bush Administration’s policies. He is a man of the highest integrity who has no strings to mining or development interests.Miles strongly supports universal health care, renewable energy, more funding for education, has a strong platform on the environment and has a well-thought-out plan for bringing our troops home as well as peace and democracy to Iraq. Miles graduated from West Point, served as an Army ranger and as special assistant to the U.S. ambassador to Russia, and now works as an assistant school superintendent.I urge all Democrats to vote for Miles in the current primary. Don’t forget to vote! Early voting is taking place at the county clerk’s office and election day is Tuesday.Scott ChaplinCarbondale


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