Bill Owens has every right to observe and adhere to his own religious beliefs; we all respect that fundamental core of American rights. What he may not do, and what he might do if he were to be elected as chief executive officer of Colorado, is impose his beliefs on others--he's tried it before.

The real question is not whether Bill Owens is a religious man. The real question is whether Bill Owens is a "book burner" and, therefore, fundamentally ineligible to serve as the governor of Colorado. I, for one, won't vote for him.

Richard G. Hamilton

In "Life of the Party," Bill Owens labeled Senator Dorothy Rupert (D-Boulder) as a person "who thinks less than anyone else in the legislature." Interestingly, Bill Owens made this comment while cautioning a group of fellow Republicans not to engage in "liberal-bashing" and to put on a moderate face.

There is nothing wrong with Bill Owens disagreeing with some of Senator Rupert's ideas or even objecting to her proposed legislation. However, suggesting that Senator Rupert is thoughtless not only violates reality, but it also violates generally accepted decorum. Those of us who work with Senator Rupert feel that she is nothing less than a thoughtful and thought-provoking legislator. Senator Rupert possesses an outstanding record in her concerns on human rights, children's issues, the environment and health care.

In a representative democracy, honest debate is necessary to illuminate divergent political convictions. However, in an age of declining political civility, statements such as those made by Bill Owens can only further erode the public's confidence in the ability of elected officials to work in a cooperative manner for the public's interest.

State senators Doug Linkhart (D-Denver), Pat Pascoe (D-Denver), Terry Phillips (D-Louisville), Peggy Reeves (D-Fort Collins), Frank Weddig (D-Aurora), Stan Matsunaka (D-Loveland), Ed Perlmutter (D-Golden), Bob Martinez (D-Commerce City), Dave Wattenberg (R-Walden), Dottie Wham (R-Denver), Mike Feeley (D-Lakewood), Gloria Tanner (D-Denver), Joan Johnson (D-Denver), Rob Hernandez (D-Denver), Bill Thiebaut (D-Pueblo) and Jim Rizzuto (D-La Junta)

Dog Days
T.R. Witcher's April 2 article about bounty hunters and bail-enforcement agents, "Bondage & Domination," was rather interesting. Rather scary, too. The fact that a character like Dog is able to engage in this type of business shows that the state legislature missed the boat a long time ago by not regulating the bail-enforcement industry.

At the present time, anybody who wants to can become a bail-enforcement agent. The way it sounds, the bail-bond industry isn't too picky about who gets licensed, either, so it isn't so surprising that the whole industry is under a cloud thanks to a few oddballs.

Apparently, somebody finally woke up. A bill to regulate these types of operations was finally introduced during the 1998 legislative year, but it got the ax for some reason. Hopefully, somebody at the State Home for the Terminally Bewildered will get a workable piece of legislation in the hopper again; we need it. Until the bail-enforcement business is regulated, those people that are doing a good job will continue to live with the bad rap caused by a few bad apples.

Them that lays down with "Dogs" gets up with fleas.
Name withheld on request

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