Farm Bureau endorses Beebe

To the editor,

Business and leadership isn’t anything new for John Beebe; he’s owned successful businesses and led several volunteer teams to success. These are just two reasons the La Plata County Farm Bureau supports John Beebe for LPEA Board – District 4.

The LPEA Board should be run with the local community’s best interest at heart – no agendas or personal interests, but for the people. John believes in the value of affordable electricity solutions that are less about government and special interest and more about the needs of the community.

John Beebe isn’t running with the support of any large corporations behind him, he’s running with the community behind him, which should carry much more meaning and should be enough to win your vote. Join us and vote John Beebe for LPEA Board – District 4.

– La Plata County Farm Bureau Board of Directors

Support early childhood ed

To the editor,

The Early Childhood Council of La Plata County (ECCLPC) is hosting a Public Awareness Event on Thurs., April 14, from 6-8 p.m. at the Durango Arts Center. This event is particularly exciting not only because of the impact we hope it will make on the community, but also because it is the first of its kind here at the Council.

The ECCLPC offers support and resources to families, child care programs, and early childhood professionals in our community. From child care referrals for parents to numerous community-based trainings for teachers, the ECCLP has had an impact on the Early Childhood community in the region since 1998. Last year, under a regional grant from The El Pomar Foundation, the Council distributed over $68,000 to our communities and benefitted 2,188 children. Because it is rare to receive advertising funding as a nonprofit, we are often operating behind the scenes and have limited visibility in our community as a result. We are more than excited to get our name and face out into the public in an unprecedented way, and would greatly appreciate the chance for you to help us appreciate and value early childhood educators.

 For our event there will be a screening of a documentary called “The Raising of America.” In addition, there will be free prize items, food and a cash bar. We will also unveil our public awareness campaign that features posters that encourage the public to send in texts of praise for early childhood teachers. The texts will be sent to participating teachers weekly as “fan mail.”

For more information, email, kimberlieb@ecc

– Kimberlie Brown, regional collaboration coordinator, Southwest Colorado Early Childhood Collaborative

Hairpiecing together democracy

To the editor,

So you think you live in a democracy? One person, one vote. That’s what we’re told, right? Wrong. Our system to elect presidents is not that simple OR that democratic. It’s confusing as hell for one thing, plus the Democrats do it differently than the Republicans.

Every four years, presidential candidates compete in a series of state primaries or caucuses before the general election to decide their party’s nomination. At stake in each state is a certain number of delegates, or individuals who represent their states at national party conventions. The candidate with the majority of their party’s delegates wins the nomination. Most of the time.

Delegates are often party activists, political leaders or early supporters of a given candidate. Delegates can also include members of a campaign’s steering committee or long-time active members of their local party organization.  

For Democrats, candidates are generally awarded delegates on a proportional basis. For instance, a candidate who receives one-third of the vote in a given primary or caucus receives roughly one-third of the delegates. The Republican side is more varied. Some states award delegates on a proportional basis, some are winner-take-all. 

The Democratic candidate needs at least 2,382 out of 4,763 delegates to win their nomination. The GOP candidate needs at least 1,237 out of 2,472 delegates to win their nomination.  

Both parties reserve a certain number of delegate for its high-ranking officials, who generally are not bound (or are “unpledged”) to a specific candidate heading into the national convention (unlike pledged delegates). On the Republican side, these include the three members of each state’s national committee, representing less than 7 percent of party’s total delegates in 2016. On the Democratic side, super delegates include not only members of the national committee but ALL members of Congress and governors, former presidents and vice presidents, former leaders of the Senate and the House, and former chairs of the Democratic National Committee. This group represents about 15 percent of the party’s total delegates in 2016.

These unpledged party operatives and professional politicians can vote for whoever they like regardless of how the voters in their districts voted. Nothing democratic about that. And that’s both parties.  

So, after the long primary season, the two major parties have their conventions which are typically mostly ceremonial, simply ratifying the candidate who has already secured the support of a majority of delegates. However, in the rare presidential election cycle in which a clear frontrunner for either party does not emerge during the primary and caucus process, several rounds of voting at the national convention may be needed to crown a nominee. Pledged delegates are generally required to vote for a specific candidate in the first ballot (unpledged and super delegates are not), but they may all be allowed to vote for any candidate in subsequent ballots. This becomes important this year.

So to put this in context for 2016: the Donald Trump wrecking ball is currently scaring the crap out of the so-called establishment side of the GOP. They fear (correctly) this human piece of garbage will hand the presidency to whomever the Dems nominate, whether it’s Kim Kardashian or even worse, Hillary Clinton. Plus, as an added bonus, Trump will severely harm the chances for all the down ticket Republican candidates who also will be on the ballot next November. Suppose Hairpiece doesn’t get the required 1,237 delegates by the time the primary season is over and is 10 or 15 short, that’s when the fun happens at the convention. Then any of the  delegates can ignore the will of the people and nominate someone – Cruz, Kasich or even Paul Ryan (who’s not even running!) – whom they feel would stand a better chance at winning the presidency, regardless if he even received one vote from a common person. Democracy? When it’s convenient.

– Bill Vana, Durango


In this week's issue...

January 25, 2024
Bagging it

State plastic bag ban is in full effect, but enforcement varies

January 26, 2024
Paper chase

The Sneer is back – and no we’re not talking about Billy Idol’s comeback tour.

January 11, 2024
High and dry

New state climate report projects continued warming, declining streamflows