Letter: Vote Udall for the good of Colorado | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Vote Udall for the good of Colorado

Vote Udall for the good of Colorado

I am writing to urge all of our residents to vote in the Tuesday election and to cast your ballots for Mark Udall for U.S. Senate.

Udall has always been supportive of the many issues facing Western Slope counties, from working on bipartisan immigration reform to ensuring the continuation of federal land payments for counties to hammering on privacy issues and pushing back on the NSA to standing up for women's fair pay and reproductive choices.

This last issue has taken on great significance in this election, and for good reason. Families shouldn't be denied access to various forms of birth control — Yes, men are part of the discussion and are affected by the family planning options their wives or girlfriends have available. Condoms vs. an IUD or hormonal implant? Politicians playing to the religious right should not make that choice for anyone.

Women shouldn't have to discuss their medical histories — Heavy bleeding? Breast tenderness? Diminished sex drive? Weight gain? Irregular periods? Family history of blood clots or cancer? — with Walmart pharmacy clerks to select the right hormones in their over-the-counter birth control pills not covered by insurance.

Can you imagine men being told they have to discuss the causes of their erectile dysfunction with a Target pharmacy clerk in order to get over-the counter Cialis or Viagra not covered by insurance?

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I asked Cory Gardner when he was first running for Congress if he would move to restrict access to abortion at a Q&A session during a Water Congress conference. His answer to the group was along the lines of "I am not about social issues, I'm about jobs, jobs, jobs." A classic non-answer and clearly not how he behaved in Congress when co-sponsoring the federal version of a personhood bill, or trying to change the abortion restriction exceptions for rape and incest to being only for forcible rape.

Other issues are at stake in this election. I have firsthand experience with a great many Republican leaders who want to see all federal public lands given back to the western states so that they can "get them on the tax rolls" — leased, subdivided and sold off to the highest bidder. I can guarantee that a Republican Senate will move this misguided concept to the top of the agenda for their oil and gas big money donors.

The Republican-controlled House of Representative has been unable to pass a transportation bill for years, failed to even take up immigration reform, delayed and then larded-up the most recent farm bill with massive subsidies for large agri-business while cutting food stamps for seniors, children and members of the military during the Great Recession. Gardner voted for the Paul Ryan budget to turn Medicare into a voucher program and to shut down the government during Colorado's flooding disaster across the Front Range. Please, please do not allow this sort of dysfunction to cross over from the House to the Senate. Please be sure to vote, and vote for Senator Mark Udall for the good of the nation and the Colorado we love.

Rachel E. Richards

Aspen