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Opinion

  • This month, Jefferson County residents will receive mail ballots for the “odd year” election. Among other questions, we will be asked whether to extend term limits for certain county officers and the district attorney, not the county commissioners.

    These will be presented as two separate ballot questions. In both cases, a “yes” vote would extend limits from two consecutive four-year terms to three consecutive four-year terms.

    I plan to vote “yes” on both.

  • By Hannah Hayes

  • My fellow community members:

  • The year 2010 is shaping up to be one of the most active primary seasons in recent Colorado history. In the U.S. Senate race, Democratic incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet (who was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter when Ken Salazar became secretary of the interior) faces a spirited challenge from within his own party from Andrew Romanoff, former speaker of the state House.

  • Whenever Colorado’s budget is in distress, it seems that the biggest target is always on the back of higher education. The four biggest pots of general-fund moneys in the state budget are Medicaid, prisons, K-12 education and higher education. For practical, political and legal reasons, the first three are generally pretty protected. Higher education is often left to bear the biggest brunt of the reductions.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    Amy Goodman is a journalist to be admired. For more than 13 years, she’s been on TV and radio with “Democracy Now!” assisted by Daily News columnist Juan Gonzales. Amy is a tireless worker for independent media, and her energy and ability to inspire a crowd are awesome to watch. You can’t help but marvel at the incredible drive bundled in such a small package. She has fans and volunteers in tow wherever she goes.

  • One of my dad’s favorite stories about me is when he took me to the Big Top to buy a kite when I was 5. We found everything we needed for 97 cents. I handed my dollar to the store clerk and waited for change. When I asked for it, he told me it was for the governor. I said I didn’t want to buy a governor. After my dad and the clerk explained that the governor was going to use my 3 cents for the road to get to the store and the school I would soon attend, I acquiesced and let him keep the change I had anticipated.

  • As in physics, politics has a handful of immutable laws. One of these is the Law of Overreaching, which states that the party in power will inevitably overreach.

    Majority parties tend to act as though the entire population shares their core agenda. The problem with this, of course, is that for the most part no majority is possible without the support of a sizable number of voters who aren’t affiliated with either party.

  • We’re all familiar with the endless solicitations for credit cards in the mailbox, but the most desperate one I ever received was an actual check for $100. All I had to do was endorse it and I’d get the cash — along with a new credit card. No strings attached, right?

  • By Hannah Hayes

  • After the assassination of Sen. Robert Kennedy in 1968, his brother Ted ended a moving eulogy by saying, “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it. Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world.”

  • By Hannah Hayes

    After hearing the phrase “health care reform,” it’s sorely disappointing to see how shallow the thinking goes. All that’s being talked about is how to pay for exactly the same kind of health care that many Americans already have. The finances of medicine are in shambles, but true reform should go much further if the aim is to raise the quality of life.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    There’s a June 6 article in Forbes magazine called “The Best and Worst Cities for Recession Recovery.” Colorado has one city on the “best” list, Boulder, because of its technology industry and the university creating stable jobs. At the top of the “worst” list is Flint, Mich., with “the longest road to recovery.”

  • When I served in the legislature, there was a guy who e-mailed me often to remind me of what an idiot I was. He didn’t like the way I voted on a bill, and he let me know about it — again and again and again (most people don’t realize it, but Colorado state legislators don’t have a full-time staff, so when you’re e-mailing or calling your state representative or senator, the person taking the message is probably the legislator himself or herself).

  • Chalk up another victory for open government. The Board of Governors of Colorado State University has released the tapes of an obviously illegal executive session and paid the legal fees of newspapers in Fort Collins and Pueblo.

  • Although I don’t agree with President Obama on many policy issues, his “beer summit” last week turned out to be a novel and very effective way of using the power of the presidency to defuse a potentially volatile situation.

    And while it remains to be seen what the longer term effects will be, it may turn out to have a significant positive impact on race relations going forward.

    The controversy erupted a few days earlier, when African-American Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates accused Boston police Sgt. James Crowley of racial profiling.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    So much vitriol has been directed at Michael Jackson and probably too much adoration. His bizarre behavior has been subjected to intense scrutiny. Typically, a celebrity must fit a certain mold; not being a pedophile is certainly essential, and being too odd puts you dangerously outside the mainstream.

  • I’m one of those people who can’t help but shift into lecture mode whenever people complain about jury duty. I automatically launch into how jury duty is a privilege and that it and voting make living in our democratic society so special. Despite my civic pride, I hadn’t been called for jury duty since 1994 and hadn’t been on a jury since 1992.

  • I recently spoke to a political pollster, who told me he is seeing strong evidence that Americans (and Coloradans in particular) are increasingly frustrated with their government’s culture of reckless spending, both at the state and federal levels. This is not a partisan issue, he said, since significant numbers of Republicans, Democrats and independents all share this concern to one degree or another.

  • By Hannah Hayes

    For 30 years Iran has slowly been staging a rebellion. The recent election and demonstrations may be a turning point for those with legitimate grievances against the repressive mullahs. It is unclear to what degree there was voter fraud, yet students, women and the middle class have certainly raised profound issues while risking everything. Unfortunately, there is not yet a sufficient coalition present that unites these groups of revolutionaries with labor, military, ethnic groups and oil producers.