Media bias strikes GOP in Pitkin County |

Media bias strikes GOP in Pitkin County

An article appearing in the Sept. 13, 2019 issue of The Aspen Times was headlined “Pence’s visit underscores murky area of campaign law.”

I read the headline and the article with a sense of irony given that the only things “murky” about the subject matter of the article were first, the author’s apparent desire to perpetuate coverage of Vice President Pence’s recent visit to the Aspen area and, in so doing, to “out” the anonymous donors who responded to Sheriff Joe DiSalvo’s concern about getting reimbursed for security costs incurred for that visit (of which only about a third were Pitkin County’s) and second, Pitkin County’s policy on reimbursement concerning visits by sitting vice presidents and others requiring augmented protection.

Taking each of these murky areas in reverse order, the Pitkin County Republicans have several times asked that the county and the sheriff issue a clear statement of the county’s policy regarding the circumstances in which they expect reimbursement for security costs and from whom. As the article makes clear, there is no policy on this subject, different politicians and others in the political sphere having been treated differently by Pitkin County.

On the subject of outing the civic-minded people who came forward to help shoulder the security costs associated with the vice president’s visit, one can only presume that this was done by the author of the article as a warning to others who might try to arrange similar visits to the Aspen area by politicians disfavored by the author.

We all bemoan the sorry state of our political discourse. This is felt particularly acutely in Aspen, where conservatives are a distinct minority. When adults are afraid to say that they are Republicans or support certain candidates for fear of being ostracized by the community or having their businesses boycotted and children are fearful of the impact on their grades and college recommendations if their political views were to become known, one has to wonder what the Aspen Idea means in practice.

Frieda Wallison

Old Snowmass