Conservative commentary:

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— Unlike football, where the dimensions of the field of play are defined and consistent, baseball allows a lot of latitude, particularly with regard to the distance between home plate and the outfield fences. This latitude has allowed teams to "tailor" their park from season to season to fit their particular personnel. You might say that, if we employ the following definitions presented in the Encyclopedia Britannica, football is conservative (providing a level and equal field of play) and baseball is radical.

n Political conservative: Political attitude or ideology denoting a preference for institutions and practices that have evolved historically and are thus manifestations of continuity and stability. Conservatives believe that the implementation of change should be minimal and gradual.

n Political radical: In politics, one who desires extreme change of part or all of the social order.

So how does a conservative find himself being a radical? When consensus, compromise and political correctness erode principle and integrity beyond all recognition. To continue our baseball analogy, suppose that all nine starters of a certain team are power hitters. It is determined that 85 percent of their fly balls are hit to right field and travel an average of 285 feet. The current right field fence is 300 feet from home plate. Knowing that moving the right field fence in 30 feet will not go unnoticed, they announce that they are going to move it in 60 feet. After a great controversy, the team agrees to a "compromise" to gain a "consensus" and only moves the fence in 30 feet. At year's end, when this team has won 95 percent of its home games and set single-season home run records, the rest of the league asks that the fence be moved back 30 feet. The liberal press immediately brands the league as radicals, racists, and Bible-toting conservatives who want to negate the spirit of compromise and consensus.

Unfortunately, so-called "moderate Republicans" (Republicans in name only) have abandoned the two most basic principles that were the foundation of the party: low taxes and limited government. Mark Hillman, former Colorado state treasurer, wrote an excellent article two weeks ago exposing the deceit and deception of Referendum C. Hillman showed conclusively that the tax increase from Ref. C far exceeded the amount represented and has not been spent for the purposes advertised.

Sadly, for the two years in which "Colorado fell behind because of the recession," Republicans had control of the House, the Senate and the governor's mansion, and could have addressed the issues honestly and sanely. Instead, as in our baseball example, they moved the fence in 60 feet and destroyed the Taxpayers Bill of Rights. Now, we can never push the fence back. Our current Republican state senator and Republican state representative were incumbents for those two years.

Ref. C was presented to Routt County Republican leadership by Jack Taylor and Al White. Several questioned how and why an issue of such enormous and potentially devastating consequences was put before the committee after it was a done deal - resplendent with boxes of slick and glossy promotional brochures. Jack and Al essentially said we were too stupid to understand. This despite the creative mathematics in Ref. C's promotion that are rivaled only by White's calculation of the percentage of time that he resides in Hayden and the fact Ref. C was rejected by party leadership in the vast majority of Colorado's counties.

We got the shaft, they got committee appointments and chairmanships from their Democrat friends. Sadly, I believe that had the party nominated and elected people who put principle over perceived political expediency, we would still have the faith and votes of the citizens of Colorado.

Paul Epley is a longtime Routt County conservative activist, holds a PhD in biology from the University of Southern California, and is a director of the Conservative Leadership Council of Northwest Colorado.

Comments

Mike Lawrence 6 years, 6 months ago

All, The discussion on our Web site provides a valuable forum for public discourse and the exchange of ideas, and it is not the intent of newspaper staff to limit the conversation that takes place here. But personal attacks of any kind cannot be allowed in this forum, and that is my reason for removing all three of the above comments. Please focus your comments on ideas and opinions about issues relevant to the community. Call or e-mail me anytime if you wish to discuss this further. Thank you for reading and for your interest.

Mike Lawrence City editor Steamboat Pilot & Today (970) 871-4233 mlawrence@steamboatpilot.com

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backfromiraq07 6 years, 6 months ago

Thats sad that the personal attacks cannot be taken on the internet, yet Paul Epley can continually attack Al White in print. His false claims are the reason I said what I did and as long as the pilot prints his falsehoods, I will address him every chance I get.

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CoJustice 6 years, 6 months ago

Welcome Alumni! Quite a few participants on this forum have attended USA, and many are competing for the highest valedictorian ranking. A number of applicants are pending. (USA = University of Smart A**)

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Slapper 6 years, 6 months ago

this drivel should never been printed. what can be said is that when ever you hear a conservative go boo hoo like poor paulie decisions made were probably the correct ones. this guy is getting very old.

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Rick Akin 6 years, 6 months ago

What are the "falsehoods" and "drivel?" What does Paul have wrong? How can we take your argument seriously if you don't cite specifics and just say the other side is a liar?

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backfromiraq07 6 years, 6 months ago

The first falsehood is that Paul was ever Al's campaign manager. You know he wasnt Rick. Paul borrowed $300,000 dollars from the Whites and couldnt pay them back, so now he for whatever reason takes it out on them? What are you guys trying to pull? Al has done everything he can for the district and you have all supported him in every endeavor until now. Is it because of one issue, because ref. C was TWO Years ago! This is sad and Al deserves better from your group. Paul Epley and Rick Akin, you were ousted out of the county party structure and now you are trying to get your revenge by starting a dreaded political action committee (527) to do what? So far it is simply to attack one candidate, Al White. You guys were ousted out of the party for one reason: your crazy right conservative ideas did not match the county or Al's district. Step aside and move to Colorado Springs where your Right wing nut buddies can understand your thoughts. As for us in the Northwest, We Dont!

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id04sp 6 years, 6 months ago

Cool.

Don't know what happened exactly, but looks like some truth came out.

Bottom line: Don't lecture me about your politics when you don't have the good of ALL of the people in mind.

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Slapper 6 years, 6 months ago

al white has made a number of votes that have po'd his fellow repugs. If only the rest of them could do the same instead of following the party line. That goes for the left as well. i want elected officials here and in dc to make their votes on what is the best for my country rather than as been the norm for decades what is in the best interest of corporations. al very well may get my vote this time.

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Rick Akin 6 years, 6 months ago

I take it from the responses that you cannot cite anything in this editorial that is false. If you want to write an editorial endorsing Al White, I encourage you to do so and I expect the Pilot would run it, but bear in mind that you will have to give your name for a change. I would also encourage you to be factual, rather than making up "oustings" by the party as no such thing ever occurred. There are lots of Conservatives that will be happy to debate, but you do not get to make up facts.

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backfromiraq07 6 years, 6 months ago

Rick, why are you and your wife along with Paul Epley no longer members of the Routt County Republican Party? I am sorry for using the word ousted, I guess I will change it to dishonorably discharged due to lack of care for actual character. What exactly is "lots" of conservatives that would be happy to debate? I hope you are speaking of more than yourself and your own self-interested 527 group as "lots" of consevatives. As for things in the editorial that were false let me ask paul, did those "glossy promotional brochures" convince the state to vote the way they did? Also is it true that Al White or Jack Taylor siad that constituents were "too stupid to understand"? Both are FALSE! I should expect a liar like Paul Epley to make these claims, but I did not expect you to back his lies up...

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QuitYerWhining 6 years, 6 months ago

First off to expound the usual conservative pabulum that the conservative movement is all about "low taxes and limited government" really chaps me. Lower taxes for whom? I don't consider corporate tax breaks a tax break for actual tax paying citizens. Plain and simple this is "Corporate Welfare". Don't feed us the tripe that this will benefit all through "trickle down" which is more akin to being urinated on. While the Bush administration and his toady conservative Congressional members (who seem to be leaving the party in droves:now that the party is over and no one wants to clean up) continue to throw good money after bad to the tune of some 50 billion dollars on a "War" that in reality is the single most expensive security operation to protect the oil industry which simultaneously created a lucrative market for both the oil and defense industry. You gotta admit when they plunder they think BIG. How does that lower my taxes and limit government? The war budget is a beast of its own and even the Bush administration cant stomach the thought of lumping those staggering numbers into the National Budget. They speak in third person terms as if this money to pay for this war is not actually tax dollars but more like contributing to the collection plate at church. Stupid me when they say "limit government" they actually mean "limit the control of government". Consolidated Government Control is actually the correct term. The Patriot Act was the boldest move towards realizing this goal. Those of you who go to the poll and vote straight ticket because of one or two sound bite issues (ie abortion and gay rights or any other benign issues in the grand scheme of things) get what you deserve. A mess.

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id04sp 6 years, 6 months ago

Conservation easements are a scam. They remove millions of dollars in direct tax credits from the tax system for the benefit of wealthy land owners. Al White is in favor of these arrangements and has worked for pro-conservation easement legislation in the Colorado legislature.

Mr. White is a relatively wealthy fellow if you care to look around at the paperwork on his holdings in Grand and Routt counties. There may be other property elsewhere. He's got several business interests going in Winter Park, and dang it, he probably pays a lot of taxes. I don't blame him for finding ways to avoid paying them. I'd like it better, however, if the Republicans would find ways to let ME pay less in taxes.

Hypothetically, if a married couple has taxable income of $1,000,000 for 2007 and pay the straight tax on it, they get to keep and spend $677,794.00 of it however they choose. If they place $120,000 of fair-market land in a conservation easement, they can use $120,000 in tax credits against their tax liability, and have an extra $120,000 to keep and spend. They can still use the land for grazing or other "conservation" purposes, or just use it to surround their million-dollar home to keep out the riff-raff.

It would take me a lot more than one year to pay $120,000 in income tax to make up the credit somebody else got for a conservation easement.

I can understand giving tax breaks and credits for energy exploration that will directly benefit the continental United States through greater supplies and lower long-term prices. I can understand tax breaks for people who create jobs and goods and services which grow the economy and result in a net tax revenue increase in the long run. I can't understand the benefit of a conservation easement to myself and the other common folks who can't go out there and hike or camp or fish, etc.

I believe our legislators should be required to disclose their tax returns and report items such as use of conservation easement credits for their personal financial benefit so that we can see it before we vote for them. What would be wrong with that?

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Slapper 6 years, 6 months ago

must not forget those in dc in respect to taxes enabled the outsourcing of jobs that continues to this day. something that has also wounded our country severly.

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