Vail Daily letter: Letter was inaccurate
May 20, 2011
There is a significant problem with one of your recent letters to the editor that should render it unfit for publication (“Get Boulder out of our politics,” Jason Wade Osborne, Friday’s Letters to the Editor).
While of course he is welcome to make the various charges against me that he does from his own perspective, he also states regarding me that “his stated aim was to take over a state’s representation for his own personal benefits and reasons.”
This is not factually true, and while he can certainly question my motives if he cares to and accuse me of taking on a state’s representation for my own personal benefit (although frankly he should substantiate such a serious charge), what is unacceptable is him citing me as a source saying that I stated that my aim is to take over representation for my own benefit.
Even if I was the most nefarious villain and had the motives he ascribed to me, I would also have to be a complete idiot to state my aim. Surely such a dubious and slippery character as he purports me to be would mislead people about his goals and in fact not state that they were taking over a state’s representation for their own benefit. If he charges that I myself have said that I sought to take over representing Colorado for my own benefit, he needs to find the quote.
The book he cites later in the paragraph has nothing of the sort in it but rather describes the “four horsemen” effort that well predates my own run for Congress by several years and in which I don’t claim anything close to wanting to take over representation for my own benefit.
I ask that you apply a reasonable standard of truth to letters to the editor. Accusing me of various nefarious motivations is perfectly fine, but incorrectly asserting that I have admitted to them as my “stated aim” is not.
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There are numerous other factual inaccuracies in the letter including an assertion that I introduced or support the “Hidden Gems” proposal, which as you know I did not. The letter that Osborne refers to and responds to correctly identifies my bill as the Eagle and Summit Wilderness Act. In fact, I share Osborne’s concerns regarding Hidden Gems, which is why my consensus bill, supported unanimously by Eagle County and Summit County commissioners, only designates as wilderness areas that many user groups have agreed to.
In fact, most of the area that we provide permanent designation for is already managed as wilderness. We do not close any active bike trails. No doubt we don’t have unanimity, but we also propose the areas with broad local support for wilderness designation, as your reporting (which Osborne obviously doesn’t read) has made clear.