This letter is a response to local Republican Chair Dave Hamilton’s letter attacking U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and President Obama. Mr. Hamilton is angry about two issues: (1) Why he (and a wider audience) didn’t get to harass the Senator when he was in Ouray on Tuesday, August 18, and (2) Senator Bennet and President Obama are supporting the kind of health care reform that he, his fellow Tea Baggers and the health insurance industry don’t like.
I will answer (1) and spend only a few words on (2) since it rehearses the rightwing/ Fox News efforts to provide the kind of disinformation, which has already been answered in many forums.
As to (1), the Senator’s schedule to include Ouray was decided on short notice. Even as late as Friday, August 14, I was told there was a 50/50 chance the Senator could include Ouray County. Only on Sunday, August 16, did I get confirmation that Senator Bennet would be able to stop here.
Luckily, the Linns had graciously agreed to allow the use of their home in the event the visit occurred. Given the time constraints, I invited the media, both mayors, and both city administrators, and encouraged others to invite Republicans. I admit it never crossed my mind to invite Mr. Hamilton, and I am sorry that Senator Bennet has not returned his phone call. Regardless, Senator Bennet is among four U.S. senators who have spent the most time traversing his state meeting with constituents in town halls and forums.
Regarding (2), reform of health care and health insurance is needed because the present system is broken, inefficient, costly, and some would say corrupt. A public option would provide competition within this system, and it is ironic that the Republicans fear that it would be popular enough to successfully compete, or that they would be so intent on defending the insurance industry against most people’s interests.
Mr. Hamilton and the rightwing of the Republican party now use the health care reform issue to denigrate illegal immigrants (who are excluded from subsidized coverage) and make up “socialism” claims. In the past, this right-wing has successfully fomented fear and hatred among a significant percentage of the American population to advance agendas detrimental to the human face of our country. At some point, this has to stop.
– John Hollrah, Ridgway First-Time Homebuyer Thanks
We are writing to express our appreciation to the Telluride Association of Realtors and its generosity with the First Time Homebuyers’ Assistance Fund. We understand how truly special Telluride is, and we are tremendously happy to have a little piece to call our own.
This purchase is by far the largest investment we have made as a couple. It is exciting, yet scary to understand the responsibility and liability that is intertwined with owning one’s first home. The support provided by TAR’s First Time Homebuyers Assistance Fund is tremendously helpful and appreciated.
After living in Telluride for a combined total of 24 years, we recognize that a big part of what makes Telluride exceptional is the generosity exemplified in our region, as with TAR’s FTHBAF. As year-round residents, we will follow TAR’s lead by contributing to the Telluride community in our own ways.
Thank you to the Telluride Association of Realtors for helping our American dream become a reality.
– Ryan Kusuno and Rhea dePagter, Telluride