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Vail's Gordon 8 signatures short in commissioner petition bid


Vail's Gordon 8 signatures short in commissioner petition bid

Tancredo targets billions of invasive interlopers
By David O. Williams

May 30, 2008 —  Vail Town Councilman Mark Gordon Friday night confirmed he came up eight signatures short in his bid to petition his way onto the Democratic primary ballot to challenge Eagle County Commissioner Peter Runyon in August.

The incumbent Runyon now has a clear path to take on Republican challenger and former county commissioner Dick Gustafson in November’s general election.

Calling it a “bone-headed” blunder on his part, Gordon said he submitted 180 signatures of what he thought were registered Democrats and Eagle County residents. Fifty-eight of those were thrown out by Eagle County Clerk Teak Simonton for a variety of reasons, Gordon said, ranging from incorrect addresses to illegible signatures to unaffiliated voter status.

“I guess I had important things still to get done in Vail,” a clearly chagrined Gordon said.

In political news outside the valley, Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-Littleton) is once again targeting a massive wave of infiltrators devastating Colorado’s landscape, but this time the relentless anti-immigration crusader and former presidential candidate isn’t after human interlopers.

“The pine beetle infestation I believe has reached the point that we can call it a natural disaster,” Tancredo said on a conference call with reporters Thursday, announcing he has fired off a letter to Gov. Bill Ritter directing him to request a preemptive federal natural disaster designation and funds from FEMA to start building more logging roads and cutting down more dead trees.

Tancredo also announced he will introduce his Charter Forest Bill sometime next month, which will give more local control over beetle-kill mitigation projects, streamline the National Environmental Policy Act hurdles for Forest Service thinning efforts and set tighter deadlines for resolving lawsuits filed by environmental groups.

“It is for the purpose of giving the Forest Service the ability to deal with the problem without having to through the enormous and cumbersome process that presently plagues them,” said Tancredo, who in his letter to Ritter blames “radical environmentalists and poor forest management policy” for the potentially catastrophic fires that could result from the beetle epidemic.



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