Have you have seen this ridiculous 1/2-page ad run today by a group of republicans in the Plaindealer smearing Lynn Padgett’s good name? It resurrects the lies of a certain realtor/ developer/ Republican group that were exposed 8-9 years ago during the discussions about Section 9 – Visual Impacts.
The lies that were put forth then and discredited then were repeated in today’s ad by an outfit calling itself the Ouray County Integrity Project, which on the SOS website states its only purpose is to “Oppose Election of Lynn Padget” (selected as Commissioner of the Year in 2011). A misnomer, the so-called Integrity Project has nothing to do with integrity.
It is the republicans effort to smear Lynn Padgett and get John Peters / Ned Bosworth elected as county commissioners.
This is only the first of their smear campaign and we need to respond swiftly and directly with one or more ads of our own. While Lynn will continue running her own ad campaign focusing on her attributes, our ad can confront the lies head-on.
To do this, we need your help.
‘The Shameless republican propaganda’
We hear often that the November election is the most consequential in our lifetime. But the importance of the election is not just which candidate or which party wins. Voters also face the question of whether the American democratic experiment, one of the boldest political innovations in human history, will survive.
Our democracy’s enemies, foreign and domestic, want us to concede in advance that our voting systems are faulty or fraudulent; that sinister conspiracies have distorted the political will of the people; that our public discourse has been perverted by the news media and social networks riddled with prejudice, lies and ill will; that judicial institutions, law enforcement and even national security have been twisted, misused and misdirected to create anxiety and conflict, not justice and social peace.
If those are the results of this tumultuous election year, we are lost, no matter which candidate wins. No American, and certainly no American leader, should want such an outcome. Total destruction and sowing salt in the earth of American democracy is a catastrophe well beyond simple defeat and a poison for generations. An electoral victory on these terms would be no victory at all. The judgment of history, reflecting on the death of enlightened democracy, would be harsh.
The most urgent task American leaders face is to ensure that the election’s results are accepted as legitimate. Electoral legitimacy is the essential linchpin of our entire political culture. We should see the challenge clearly in advance and take immediate action to respond.
The most important part of an effective response is to finally, at long last, forge a genuinely bipartisan effort to save our democracy, rejecting the vicious partisanship that has disabled and destabilized government for too long. If we cannot find common ground now, on this core issue at the very heart of our endangered system, we never will.
Our key goal should be reassurance. We must firmly, unambiguously reassure all Americans that their vote will be counted, that it will matter, that the people’s will expressed through their votes will not be questioned and will be respected and accepted. I propose that Congress creates a new mechanism to help accomplish this purpose. It should create a supremely high-level bipartisan and nonpartisan commission to oversee the election. This commission would not circumvent existing electoral reporting systems or those that tabulate, evaluate or certify the results. But it would monitor those mechanisms and confirm for the public that the laws and regulations governing them have been scrupulously and expeditiously followed — or that violations have been exposed and dealt with — without political prejudice and without regard to political interests of either party.
Also, this commission would be responsible for monitoring those forces that seek to harm our electoral system through interference, fraud, disinformation or other distortions. These would be exposed to the American people in a timely manner and referred to appropriate law enforcement agencies and national security entities.
Such a commission must be composed of national leaders personally committed — by oath — to put partisan politics aside even in the midst of an electoral contest of such importance. They would accept as a personal moral responsibility to put the integrity and fairness of the election process above everything else, making public reassurance their goal.
Commission members undertaking this high, historic responsibility should come from both parties and could include congressional leaders, current and former governors, “elder statespersons,” former national security leaders, perhaps the former Supreme Court justices David Souter and Anthony Kennedy, and business leaders from social media companies.
Congressional leaders must see the need as urgent and move quickly with common purpose. Seeking broad bipartisan unity on such an initiative at such a fraught time goes against the nature of the political creatures we have become. But this is the moment and this is the issue that demands a higher patriotism. No member of Congress could have any valid reason to reject any step that could contribute to the fundamental health of our Republic. With what should be the unanimous support of Congress, the legislation must call upon the election campaigns of both parties to commit in advance to respect the findings of the commission. Both presidential candidates should be called upon to make such personal commitments of their own.
If we fail to take every conceivable effort to ensure the integrity of our election, the winners will not be Donald Trump or Joe Biden, Republicans or Democrats. The only winners will be Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Ali Khamenei. No one who supports a healthy democracy could want that.
“This pandemic is nothing more than a power grab by the government,” said Ken Orvis of Ridgway. “This is overreaching and we will not tolerate tyranny.” Orvis said this tyranny would be met with “whatever force is necessary,” and “if you heard this as a threat, you’re right.”
(Jamiel Law for The Washington Post)
President Trump thinks he knows better than anyone, but not because he actually knows very much. His 2016 campaign was run from the gut, under the explicit rationale that “experts are terrible” and that whatever someone with a degree and years of experience could do in any area of government, he could do better relying on instinct. His White House has conducted itself according to this philosophy, to devastating effect.
Our Democracy in PerilPart four of a series of editorials on the damage President Trump has caused — and the danger he would pose in a second term.
From debt to taxes to renewable energy to trade to jobs to infrastructure to defense, the president has declared himself the best informed in all the land. What need, then, for a science adviser — a post Mr. Trump left vacant for 19 months? Why worry if more than a third of senior positions in the Pentagon or Department of Homeland Security have no confirmed appointee? Why not drive out most of the workforce of the Agriculture Department’s Economic Research Service, as the administration did, intentionally, by abruptly moving the agency to the Kansas City region?
The best sort of expert, in Mr. Trump’s view, is the kind with no independent judgment at all. “My function, really, as an economist is to try to provide the underlying analytics that confirm his intuition,” White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has said. He continued: “And his intuition is always right in these matters.” When a public servant can’t provide those comfortingly confirming analytics, he risks excoriation by tweet and in person, at best, and removal from his post at worst. The West Wing and the Cabinet are in a constant flux of professionals hired, discarded, hired and discarded again: four chiefs of staff, four national security advisers, five Homeland Security secretaries.
The so-called adults in the room in the early days of this term have left and written books about how unpleasant it was to be in that room. Often it didn’t matter anyway, because this president rarely listens and almost never reads. He has been called “unbriefable.” Only once or twice a week does he bother to listen to the intelligence briefings other presidents received daily, and even then he reportedly interrupts with kooky conspiracy theories, or spends his time marveling over a miniature weapon constructed as a visual aid to hold his wayward attention. He takes the advice not of the most qualified, or even most persuasive, person around him but of the person who manages to sneak in the last word.
The intelligence community has been a particular casualty, being responsible for issuing the verdict the president least wants to hear, or least wants others to know: that Russia helped him in the 2016 election and is working for him again this year. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats got the ax for refusing to obscure that assessment. His acting replacement, Joseph Maguire, was ousted after he had the nerve to defend his aide and election security unit leader Shelby Pierson, who herself had the nerve to tell the House Intelligence Committee that it was the community’s consensus that Russia was trying to help Mr. Trump win again.
Yet a similar contempt for competence and impartiality has seeped through the government these past four years. The Justice Department has suffered, and the State Department, as a former ambassador and former undersecretary said, has seen “the most significant departure of diplomatic talent in ages.” Almost half of the agency’s career ministers left or were forced to leave in the initial two years of Mr. Trump’s tenure. Those who stuck around have been treated with scorn. Marie Yovanovitch, pushed out of her ambassadorial post in Ukraine after a smear campaign by Rudy Giuliani and other presidential henchmen, is only the most prominent example.
The complete lack of interest in performing essential functions well has had immediate costs: When the administration agreed, under pressure, to reunite the children it was keeping in cages at the border with their parents, it couldn’t — because it hadn’t bothered to keep close enough track of the parents to find them. With diplomats who have spent years forging relationships and representing U.S. interests suddenly yanked away from their duties, enemies started to take advantage; China has stepped into the gap in global influence. Allies are ceasing to trust.Default Mono Sans Mono Serif Sans Serif Comic Fancy Small CapsDefault X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large XX-LargeDefault Outline Dark Outline Light Outline Dark Bold Outline Light Bold Shadow Dark Shadow Light Shadow Dark Bold Shadow Light BoldDefault Black Silver Gray White Maroon Red Purple Fuchsia Green Lime Olive Yellow Navy Blue Teal Aqua OrangeDefault 100% 75% 50% 25% 0%Default Black Silver Gray White Maroon Red Purple Fuchsia Green Lime Olive Yellow Navy Blue Teal Aqua OrangeDefault 100% 75% 50% 25% 0%Opinion | Trump has changed the GOP. Its future looks more like Tucker Carlson than Larry Hogan.While the pandemic represents the most immediately lethal consequence of the know-nothing president’s disdain for know-how, an even greater danger looms. Mr. Trump conducted his campaign crowing that climate change was a “hoax,” and he acted on this inanity by withdrawing the United States from the Paris accord. Meanwhile evidence of the threat to the planet becomes steadily more alarming, especially where the destructive impact of that extra 2 degrees Celsius has already become apparent — algae blooming, lobsters dying, century-old redwood trees burning, unfrozen lakes depriving ice fishermen of their income, homes washing out to sea. Greenhouse gas emissions shot up during Mr. Trump’s tenure after three consecutive years of decrease. Yet the Environmental Protection Agency blithely goes on deregulating; this administration has so far rolled back 100 supposedly burdensome strictures. The revised policies on mercury pollution, automobile emissions, methane leakage and more run counter to research, some of it produced by the EPA’s own advisory board. Four more such years would mean the loss of even more livelihoods and lives than the coronavirus is claiming today.
The contempt for good performance and for facts is devastating to the government. Talented professionals in all sectors, forced to play sycophants, instead are choosing to leave, while the next generation of talent is choosing not to apply. Nine former intelligence chiefs put it just right in The Post this spring after Mr. Trump gutted the National Counterterrorism Center’s leadership of seasoned professionals: This isn’t only about a few respected senior officers and the immediate risk to security posed by their unceremonious dismissal. It’s about the future — about the workers who will calculate that fealty is more important than honesty, and about the “countless more talented young Americans” who “will decide that federal service, indeed public service, is not a worthy calling.”
All these manifestations of deliberate ignorance come together in a disdain for gathering information at all. When his own government produced an assessment that global warming left unaddressed would ravage the U.S. economy, Mr. Trump said, “I don’t believe it.” Maybe to avoid a repeat of this inconvenient news, the EPA has written a rulegiving itself permission to ignore good science by restricting the type of research it considers usable. When the Census Bureau was told to remove undocumented immigrants from the head count, then cut the time-intensive process short by a month, it prepared to paint a picture of the country the president wants rather than the country that actually exists. Emblematic is Mr. Trump’s insistence that more covid-19 testing creates more cases. This, of course, isn’t true. More testing would reveal cases where they already exist, making it possible to try to understand the disease’s course and arrest its spread.
But the degradation of data collection serves one obvious purpose: If we don’t gather information, we cannot see the depth of Mr. Trump’s failures. Another term could allow Mr. Trump to complete the demoralization, politicization and destruction of a workforce that was once the envy of the world: the American civil service, health service, Foreign Service and uniformed military. In everything from consumer safety to air quality to life expectancy, the results would be catastrophic. But there would be nobody left to measure them.