(This letter was originally addressed to Post Independent reporter John Colson.)
I’m confused by a statement of yours in your article “Defense attorney questions DA’s eligibility for re-election” (Post Independent, April 23). Your article questions whether current District Attorney Martin Beeson, who stepped up and filled the remaining partial term of a recalled district attorney, cannot run for a second term of office due to term limits.
In your article you refer to a previous legal opinion from 2000 by then Attorney General Ken Salazar on term limits and how they affect partial terms. You make the statement, “The opinion did not specifically address the issue of how partial terms count toward the term limits allotment. The [Salazar] opinion states that term limits [now you are quoting Salazar’s opinion] ‘have no application to partial terms of office, but rather apply only to full terms.’”
According to you own admission, Attorney General Salazar’s opinion states that term limits “has no application to partial terms of office.” Your article continues quoting Salazar stating, “but rather apply only to full terms.” Salazar is stating in his legal opinion that term limits do not apply to partial terms of office. How does this not conflict with your statement in your article that “The opinion did not specifically address the issue of how partial terms count toward the term limits allotment”?
Doesn’t Attorney General Salazar’s ruling specifically state that term limits doesn’t apply to partial terms?
Ken Salazar, a Democrat, was the past Colorado attorney general at the time of his ruling, the top attorney in the State. This ruling is not a favorable ruling by a similar party member in favor of his party’s politician, as Beeson is a Republican and Democrat Salazar’s opinion was made years ago in 2000. If you, John Colson, as a member of the press are going to give voice to attorney Silverman’s personal opinion, you need to do some investigative reporting by studying Salazar’s opinion. Also, how about asking the current Colorado Office of Attorney General for their opinion, on previous Attorney General Salazar’s opinion, on this matter and reporting that?
Think about it folks. Attorney General Salazar’s ruling makes practical sense and is not a partisan issue as it applies equally to both parties’ candidates serving any partial term of any office. How would you get anyone to fill a partial-term vacancy in any office? If filling a short-term vacancy for a few months would prevent that same person from legally running for that office for the full term (in this case four years).
The taxpayers would be the losers, as most short-term vacancies (and the resultant work of that office) would sit empty for the remaining term, until the next election cycle. Term limits are a good thing. But filling a partial-term vacancy should not count against that person’s ability to run for his own full term of office. Remember also, the person stepping up to fill the vacancy did not create the vacancy in the first place. The bottom line is that we need people to fill partial-term vacancies. These partial terms should not count against that person’s ability to serve his own full elected terms.