LETTERS

Big Mac Attack
I agree wholeheartedly with Patricia Calhoun's excellent editorial on Coach Mac ("Is Nothing Sacred?," January 18). I swear she read my mind!

"The Preacher" truly is a hypocrite in every sense of the word. His criticism of people's lifestyles needs to begin at home.

Rosemary McManis
Denver

Coach McCartney's gone now. Give it a rest.
Joe Vigil
Denver

I was very glad to read Calhoun's column on Bill McCartney. It seems to me that he is not the only hypocrite in this story, though--the media is certainly to blame, too. How can the papers print all those other stories and never mention the article?

Jane Howard
Denver

Ms. Pee Calhoun: "Is Nothing Sacred?" represents the most mean-spirited article I've read in my seven-decade life.

You, Hillary Clinton, Pat Schroeder and Connie Chung continue to give new meaning to the word "bitch."

Name withheld on request

No Newt Is Good News
Regarding Kenny Be's Worst-Case Scenario in the January 11 issue:
Go, Kenny, go! I doubt that Newt's real visit to the White House was as amusing. Although with Clinton suddenly making nice with the "Squeaker" of the House, it could have come close.

Larry Price
Denver

I think Newt really wanted to tell his mom that Hillary's bitchin', but he didn't want to put his secret love in front of Kathleen. Think about it. It really falls into place. Newt didn't return Bill's congratulatory phone call for an hour, trying to think of what to say if Hillary would have answered so as to look like a stud. Newt really wants to tell her that he's her Bubba--not Bubba! If Hillary had answered, it would still have been ga, ga, da, da, blush, blush, etc.

Connie Chung, you know if there's no privacy in America, how can there be a secret? You did a great job. Keep up the good work, because you know the real world. You're "bitchin'," too.

Robert Brill
Golden

The Party's Over
I was very concerned by what I read in Arthur Hodges's article, "The Two-Percent Solution," in the January 11 issue. Colorado voters pride themselves on their independence, as is proven by the fact that a third of them register as unaffiliated. Now it appears that former secretary of state Natalie Meyer would like to take our independence away by making it almost impossible for third-party candidates to qualify. I encourage all independent-thinking voters to fight this proposal.

Otherwise, consider the alternative: the same old Republican and Democratic candidates!

Howard Levy
Denver

I strongly object to Arthur Hodges's characterization of all third parties as "fringe parties."

Colorado is the only state that doesn't allow more than one candidate on a petition. Most states allow a third-party slate petition for all candidates running for office in the same district, such as statewide or countywide. Colorado allowed this until Natalie Meyer abolished it by executive fiat in 1984 without notifying affected political organizations. Before that, a third party only needed 300 signatures to place candidates on the ballot for all statewide constitutional offices. Under current law, the same slate would need 7,000 "valid" signatures--or twice as many actual signatures--for ballot access.

Colorado is the only western state that doesn't have a mechanism for third parties to qualify all of their candidates for the ballot via a single party petition and/or nominating convention. If such a mechanism were created, it would go a long way toward opening up the political process.

In 1988 only 300 signatures were needed to place a third-party or independent candidate for state legislature on the ballot. That hurdle was probably too high, as only four such candidates were on the ballot in Colorado that year. However, the requirement was increased to 1,000 signatures in 1989. After Natalie Meyer instituted her new disqualification procedures in 1991, it became nearly impossible for anyone but Democrats and Republicans to run for the state legislature. By 1992 Colorado was the only state with no independent or third-party candidates on the ballot for the state legislature. There wouldn't have been any in 1994, either, if Judd Ptak and Joanne Conte hadn't won their lawsuits against Natalie Meyer.

Hodges stated that Libertarian Judd Ptak collected more then 750 valid signatures to get on the ballot for Senate District 13, but that he needed 1,000. Actually, Ptak collected 1,256 signatures. Meyer's office threw out 500 of those signatures using ruthless disqualification procedures that she invented in 1991 to keep third-party and independent candidates off the ballot. Prior to 1991, candidate petition signatures were accepted as valid on their face unless challenged by private citizens. Before this change was made, petitions were certified in two to three days. Now the process can take as long as two months, thus wasting taxpayers' money and undermining campaigns.

Natalie Meyer has widely abused the power of her office in a systematic effort to destroy democracy. Can we count on better behavior from Meyer's successor, Vikki Buckley? Doubtful. One can only hope that Colorado will someday emerge from behind Natalie Meyer's iron curtain.

Gary Swing
Denver

Strike Force
Regarding Bill Gallo's "Year Strikes Out," in the December 28 issue:
In view of the recent lack of progress in the talks between the players and the owners of the baseball teams, I was surprised that the owners finally stood up for themselves and made it clear they have made up their minds. The payroll has to be in the control of someone, and since they own the teams, they should be the ones to make those tough decisions.

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