The party that negates women’s equality

Even before the Anita Hill hearings, even before the majority of Iowa’s male legislators recognized that the force of the Women’s Caucus must be acknowledged and respected, we were working our agenda. Which included criminalizing spousal rape.

As lead on the debate, I was astounded when a generally quiet male conservative colleague lifted his mike and asked for recognition to speak. Most of my male Republican colleagues had risen to ridicule our bill. Most of their opposition comprised incredulous queries of “You mean if my wife says ‘no,’ I just say ‘OK, Honey’?”

But this middle-aged husband looked squarely at his colleagues and said, “Yes. And then you take a walk or a cold shower. Because she’s your wife and you must respect her.”

Our bill became law.

I recalled that moment while watching the Senate hearings on Supreme Court confirmation and Jeff Flake’s request for further FBI investigation into the current conflict. He stood as the lone Senate Judiciary Republican to truly respect a woman who surrendered her pain and her privacy and exposed herself to national ridicule. Flake stood for justice, his oath of office and lived out the integrity that we should expect from our elected officials.

I cannot believe that the party that championed the ERA has become the party that officially negates women’s equality and humanity. The recent hearings were not only a referendum on one man’s suitability to serve on the Supreme Court. In fact, they were an exercise in raw political power that ignored a woman’s angst and experience and which spoke directly to the majority’s determination to forge ahead no matter the facts.

They reflected a political party’s view of seeking truth and justice and honoring women as equals to men in the eyes of the law. They failed. And I mourn.

Sue B. Mullins, Loveland

Please vote yes on Proposition 112

According to a recent article in The Denver Post, while the combined river storage in the Colorado River reservoirs is at 47 percent of capacity, the Blue Mesa Reservoir west of Gunnison is only 39 percent full. Overall, reservoir storage statewide is at 82 percent, which is considered to be half full, according to federal data.

Nonetheless, since water is a sine qua non for every type of life, all efforts must be galvanized to carefully utilize, monitor, and care for this precious resource.

Fracking uses, and wastes, exceptionally huge amounts of water. Approximately, 4.6 billion gallons of fresh water are consumed each year in Colorado. Each fracked well uses at least 2 million to 5 million gallons. Half of that water comes back up and is permanently and lethally contaminated by the toxic chemical stew used in the process. This malignant fluid (known as “produced water”) is typically disposed of in underground injection wells.

In 2015 alone, Colorado injected more than 27 billion gallons of such poisonous wastewater into the ground, thereby forever removing that water from the earth’s water cycle.

In addition, those very wells, along with all the well holes themselves, erode after time. When those wells fail, Colorado’s groundwater and aquifers are at risk for injurious contamination, making that water also unfit for human consumption and agricultural use.

Besides those largely unseen leaks into groundwater and aquifers, there were 619 documented spills in Colorado in 2017: 93,000 gallons of oil into soil, groundwater and streams; 506,000 gallons of produced water, including direct flows into waterways. Also, according to the COGCC website itself, among the more than 5,000 registered spills in recent years, 43 percent contaminated groundwater.

Proposition 112, Safer Setbacks, will help protect our long-term freshwater supply. Please vote yes.

Tom Stumpf, Longmont

Tax cuts are good for Colorado economy

As a longtime Coloradan, I am proud to report that Colorado’s economy is one of the best in the nation. Unemployment is low, our economy is flourishing, and judging by how quickly our population is growing, it seems people across the U.S. are taking notice.

It’s not just our economic health that makes Colorado great. It’s our potential for innovation —our ability to not only succeed at what’s been done but to blaze trails into new and exciting industries.

But with great innovation comes great risk. Fortunately, the latest round of tax cuts encouraged our business owners and community members to take that risk. With more take-home pay and less red tape, starting that dream business or expanding an existing company became a real possibility, not just wishful thinking. Colorado even boasted the fourth most startup activity in the country this year.

That could all change if these tax cuts are left to expire, which is a real possibility. Luckily, the House has taken the first step in extending these tax cuts. For the future of our economy, let’s hope Congress continues to advocate for Tax Cuts 2.0.

Libby Szabo, Golden

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