Vail Daily letter: Mehrnia for district attorney
November 2, 2016
In relation to your informative editorial last week and the resulting hodgepodge of endorsements of the various candidates, I am curious to see the logic behind the Summit Daily's resounding endorsement of nobody.
We are fortunate to have an incumbent candidate with the lack of character Bruce Brown has displayed. This man has blatantly ignored the mandate that got him to the office in the first place four years ago. Promises of "implementing a policy of restorative justice," of mentoring inexperienced deputies and of supporting an inclusive atmosphere between the bench, law enforcement officials and the DA's Office have all been thrown out in the way a fickle child would discard a new pet once its novelty had run its course.
Major cases have been lost, the District Attorney's Office is a shambles, the candidate's own radio ads have targeted the bench as being too lenient on crime and his own philosophy has about-faced from a position of moderation to its current iteration, where the Democratic candidate is now the purveyor of overcharged cases and the need to take a hard-line stance on all crime. Conveniently, his own legal indiscretions do not merit the self-same scrutiny he now espouses.
Four years on from 2012, the electorate is, if anything, worse off than from where we started and, according to Mr. Brown, the only thing we can do is give him another four years to do the things he promised four years ago. I'm sorry, but we have heard that tune before. Fool me once shame on you, but fool me twice …
We then have Bruce Carey, the Republican challenger. One can applaud his service in the military and his commitment to changing the focus of the DA's Office away from the numbers game of convictions and towards a more progressive focus on reducing recidivism.
However, Mr. Carey has previously worked for the office he now hopes to lead, and that tenure ended somewhat inauspiciously with his firing. Compounding this is his censure from the bar relating to charges for attempted bribery in 1993 and one again has to wonder as to the fit of the man for the post. It's ironic that Mark Hulbert has endorsed his fellow Republican as the man to fix an office that is inherently "rudderless." Mr. Hulbert should be well acquainted these accusations as they were the self same accusations of institutional malaise that facilitated Mr. Brown's ascendancy to the lofty position he now occupies.
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Lastly we have the independent challenger Sanam Mehrnia — someone that has admitted to her own brush with the law without the need for investigative journalism to goad her mistake to the light. Ms Mernia has had the term "inexperienced" thrown as a negative term in relation to her aspirations, yet both her political rivals have had their experience with being on the government's side of the courtroom and it has ended in disaster in both cases. There is an old saying that "inexperience is what makes a young man do what an older man says is impossible." Ms. Mernia is free from the jaded trappings of the current district attorney, free from the broken promises of a failed executive. Nobody has experience of a position until they have actually taken up the challenge and commence to the task at hand. She has self-financed an independent campaign that has both the GOP and the Democrats acknowledging that she is more than a legitimate contender. She's the only candidate who is still on the front end of a legal career, she's the only candidate who brings the vital energy, passion and competency that is needed to bring real and modern changes to the way all participants are treated in the criminal justice system. She has established and proven her skill in the courtroom. She has shown that she has the capacity to turn her errors into positives, to learn from her slips and turn those missteps into the strong grounding of her convictions. She has been on the winning side of her trials 95 percent of the time and has earned the admiration of law enforcement and the judiciary in the Colorado 5th Judicial District.
It is time to let fresh blood effect positive change in your community. It's time to reject the old boys club way of doing things and affirm the idea of a fresh perspective. Both the major party's candidates have run mutually toxic campaigns. Sanam is the only candidate that has not run character assassination advertisements in our local print and radio media but has chosen to address the need for change. It's time to say "no" to the Bruces and "yes" to someone that has the attitude to reinvigorate and effectively lead our unkempt prosecutorial system. On Nov. 8. vote Sanam.
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