Attorney General spends hour with residents

Ken Salazar makes campaign stop in Craig, discusses violence, telemarketing, water

Attorney General Ken Salazar made a campaign stop at the Craig Holiday Inn Thursday morning and told 10 local residents he grew up in a small farming community and understood the concerns of those in small towns like Craig on the Western Slope.

"I'm here because when I ran for attorney general I wanted to make sure I represented the entire state of Colorado," he said. "That's important to me because of the ranching area in which I grew up."

Salazar made the visit to Craig between stops in Steamboat Springs and Meeker on his re-election campaign trip.

Several local law enforcement officials attended the meeting including members of the Craig Police Department and the Moffat County Sheriff.

Moffat County Schools Superintendent Pete Bergmann and District 57 State Representative candidate Terry Carwile also attended Salazar's talk.

Issues discussed included water and private property rights, what Salazar has done during his term to make communities safer and safety in schools.

"When I ran I said I want to protect land and water interests in the state of Colorado," Salazar said. "I spend a lot of my time working on water issues because coming from an agricultural community I realize water is the lifeblood of a community."

Water on the Western Slope needs to be protected, he said.

"It used to be all water boards on the front range had to do was come over the mountains and take water from the Western Slope back over," he said. "I think those days are over. Things have changed. The only way now in which water can be moved is if some benefits are provided back to the basin from which the water is taken."

Salazar listed some of his crime fighting accomplishments during his term including:

The creation of the first-ever Attorney General Gang Prosecution Unit.

The creation of the State Foreign Prosecutions Unit to prosecute murderers who have fled Colorado to Mexico.

Development of the Safe Communities-Safe Schools Initiative and creation of the Anti-Bullying Project.

"When I ran I also said I wanted to make communities safer," he said. "It's been an honor to work with the 13,000 law enforcement people across the state."

One area Salazar said he would like to continue to work on is law enforcement training.

"I think we need to do more in terms of law enforcement training," he said. "We need to make sure we're training the men and women we put out on the streets to protect our communities."

Salazar said he has spent time in the schools discussing what needs to be done to make schools safer.

"I've spent a lot of time in schools talking about what could be a positive legacy of Columbine," he said.

Another accomplishment Salazar said he is proud of is the passage of legislation creating tough new laws on sweepstakes, particularly Publishers Clearing House.

"Senior citizens were paying up to $5,000 a year for magazines because they thought it was increasing their chance of winning $1,000,000," he said. "They weren't."

Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead voiced his support for Salazar at this morning's meeting.

"It is about unanimous that all sheriffs across the state support Ken including me," he said.

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