I’m no woodchuck … but I’m chucking Woody

Craig Hall, Publisher
Craig Hall, Publisher

Woody Walcher, that is.

If you’re anything like me, there are just some things you see or hear that rub you the wrong way immediately. And then they stick in your craw, enhanced by their repetition. Such is the case with Woody’s latest set of campaign radio ads that now seem as if they’ve been playing for much longer than the more than 40 years Woody’s been here.

As someone who wasn’t here when Exxon pulled out following the oil shale bust in the 1980s, nothing ticks me off more than someone saying you’re no one, or you don’t get it or who brags they lived through it—all under the guise of making themselves superior because they did something you didn’t.

I got news for you, Woody: Things were pretty crappy in Michigan in the early 80’s too, and I lived through it. Oh, and so did everyone else alive today who was around then. Some of us just did it somewhere else.

So my craw must ask: Why does your being here when “Exxon pulled out and businesses closed up overnight” make you a more worthy candidate for Mesa County Commissioner than Rose Pugliese? And how does that make you a “true Western Slope patriot?” Are you inferring that Rose isn’t patriotic? Or are you just putting forward your Western Slope props and saying you’re better than the person you must think is Carpetbagger Pugliese?

I’d have taken a little more time on my wordsmithing if were you, Woody. Rather than getting in a shot at your opponent, you’re insulting a pretty large population of Western Slope folks — who I know to be pretty darned patriotic, even if we did come to the dance outside your parameters of what it is “true.”

Speaking of wordsmithing improperly, my favorite is your line, “Don’t be led down the primrose path by East Coast lawyer Ms. Pugliese.” I realize that the play is on Rose’s name. But what exactly is the play in terms of how this makes her the wrong candidate for which to vote?

I looked up primrose in the dictionary and nearly every reference is to the flower, save two. One refers to a pale, yellowish color. So are you calling Rose yellow? The other refers to being pleasant or gay. Well, I know Rose to be pleasant, that’s for sure. And I bet anyone who has met Rose would also say that even if there’s some East Coast to her, what you’re trying to portray her as with the “East Coast” lawyer label just doesn’t stick. Man up, Woody. If you think she’s a shyster, just say so. Then again, given Rose’s campaign platform and personality, it just wouldn’t stick and saying what you really think instead of veiling it in a folksy talking point would probably hurt you and help Rose.

For full disclosure, Rose Pugliese is an advertiser in this paper. And, yes, I sold her the contract. But don’t blame me for creating a great product in which a local businessperson sees a value. And please understand I’m not defending Rose. From how much I do know about her, she can take care of herself. As for her “primrose path” that Woody thinks leads to somewhere evil, here’s the gist of Rose’s campaign for county commissioner. Rose is for government staying out of the way of business and believes economic development should include helping local businesses already operating in  the valley, not just in bringing in outside companies. In addition, Rose wants to strengthen our law enforcement to assure our individual rights and is committed to keeping an open line of communication between government and the people it serves. Finally, Rose and her husband each own small businesses in our community and Rose has donated countless hours doing pro bono legal work for those who can’t afford attorneys. The horror! If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was reading another Republican’s election brochure. I certainly find value in those values.

I don’t know what Woody is for other than a promise to lower taxes and give away his salary. But let’s look at those two items a little closer. Just how would you lower taxes, Woody? Doesn’t that take a vote of the citizens? And are you suggesting you are going to rid us of the county sales tax? Because I’d be all for that, but you’d have a problem getting paid. The only other tax we have is property tax. And those taxes should be going down as lower assessments kick in regardless of anything you’d do. As for helping the county budget and leading by example with your salary, here’s my thought. Why not just work for free and donate your salary back to the county so they could keep one or two more people on the job? Just a thought.

So, long story short, the good Republicans of Mesa County already made a choice, Woody, in spite of your efforts to force yet another one in the primary. Republicans caucused and voted for that East Coast lawyer by a wide margin. And to think, she’s only been here five short years and just doesn’t get it.

So I’ll be voting for Rose in the primary and I encourage everyone who has been in the Grand Valley less than 40 some years to do the same. But what do I know? I only snuck across the border 12 years ago.