I would like to thank Westword for printing the article on David Shortridge, candidate for the RTD board and a member of the Nederland Board of Trustees ("Sick Transit," October 26). Reporter Arthur Hodges painted a grim picture of Shortridge, focusing on his history of filing allegedly frivolous lawsuits and his criminal record.
As a resident of the Nederland area who has been active in local politics, I can tell you that Mr. Hodges has only scratched the surface on how incompetent our town government is up here. We have a board of trustees that continually holds executive sessions in violation of the Colorado Open Meetings Laws and had two citizens arrested for speaking out at a town meeting.
We have a member of the planning commission who is also president of the local bank that finances many of the development projects the planning commission approves.
The pattern of selective enforcement of both zoning laws and criminal laws in the town is beyond belief. The town marshal is facing criminal charges but remains on active duty. One of the town deputies has also had charges filed against him, but he was put on administrative leave.
And it goes on and on up here in the twilight zone called Nederland. If you ask why our elected officials are allowed to get away with all this stuff, the answer is twofold: Nederland citizens neglect their duty to participate in the political process and hold officials accountable; and those citizens who do care about abuses of power are obstructed by state law that makes it difficult and expensive to prosecute public officials.
If any of you budding journalists out there want to do an interesting story, there is plenty more up here in Neder-Nederland.
Behind the Times
I want to congratulate Patricia Calhoun for her October 26 column, "Preserved for Posteriority." Her words exactly captured my own feeling that Benson's campaign has been a big disappointment for people like me who were looking for an alternative to Romer.
Patricia Calhoun: Are you blind, or just so bitterly biased that you have left your sick liberal brain behind as you tapped away on your word processor? Or could it be you are just another flaming hypocritical liberal who claims to be a journalist? It could be both. Is there any room in your tiny little Benson-despising mind for reason? Let's take a look at what you are passing off as "journalism."
"Preserved for Posteriority" is pure, uncontrolled, hate-venting monkey puke. Pretty strong words, you say? Well, let's try these words on for size: "stunning about-face," "background wailing from John Denver," "almost unbelievably incompetent run for governor," "walked away from debates...just as he walked away from that first marriage," "Benson's servants talking about what a swell master he is," "a bunch of roustabouts," "sipping martinis," "the only thing he's headed for is obscurity," "there are some things money can't buy." Trust me on this one, almighty masquerader of the fairness fairy: You may well have a blatantly biased, third-rate rag with a tiny band of mind-numb, all-believing idiots. But a responsible journalist you will never be.
If you are going to throw dirt, aren't you at least going to be "fair" and "balanced" about it? After all, that is what you liberal demagogues claim to fight for, isn't it? I am sure you wouldn't stoop so low as to use your influence in the community to write and print stories that favor one candidate over the other, would you? The obvious answer to any halfway self-respecting journalist would be "Of course not!" But it seems you don't even have enough brains to disguise your "hate Benson" mentality. Most professionals would never let their personal bias interfere with the responsible performance of their jobs. But I guess the key word here is "professional."
Please, Ms. Calhoun, spare me your flagellant rhetoric. In case you have been asleep for the last thirty years, crooked politicians are what the public objects to. The only form of life lower than crooked politicians are ethically bankrupt "journalists" groveling to cover up for them. If journalists like yourself were held accountable for deliberate misrepresentations of the facts and wanton character assassinations, you would be on death row.