Date = Nov 2, 2000

Dave Sanderson Letter to Longmount Paper Editor:

"If you believe the plea bargain-addicted, Ramsey-tainted Boulder County District Attorney's Office is fine just the way it is, stop reading this. If you wonder whether it may be time for meaningful change, that perhaps we can do better, read on.

I am an outsider to the 28-year DA 'system' built up by and around Ramsey DA Alex Hunter. Hunter has run the office since first elected back in 1972 (that is not a typo!). Hunter graciously is stepping down, but has anionted my opponent - a 15-year Hunter-trained deputy - as his successor.

The jaded system jealously supports my opponent. Why? Because she is the system. Consider her supporters: Hunter himself; long-time elected Sheriff George Epp (Hunter's assistant Bill Wise ran Epp's last campaign), who recently equated growing a few marijuana plants in Ward with life-threatening DUI's and road rage; Denver DA Bill Ritter, who approved the highly criticized and intrusize search warrant of The Tattered Cover Bookstore; Adams County DA Bob Grant, a founding member of the Alex Hunter good old boys club; and all 25 current deputy district attorneys desprately campaigning for life-tenure.

I am an outsider - like you - questioning the system (i.e., the Ramsey fiasco, highest plea-bargain rate in the state, soft on child molesters, easy on felons, 34 percent increase in domestic violence crisis calls, botched DNA evidence in the gang-rape case, etc.). I say the emperor wears no clothes, and for that I have been viciously attacked and criticized.

In my 10 years of law practice based here in Boulder County (following three years in New York City), I have handled hundreds of criminal and civil cases in most of Colorado's state and federal courts, while managing my own successful private general-practice law firm and raising my young family. I have a history of pro bono activity, including numerous awards recognizing my commitment to legal services for the disadvantaged, the disabled and for environmental causes. Most recently, I received a certificate of appreciation from the Colorado Women's Bar Association in recognition of my pro bono work in the area of fair housing law.

I have been a member of the Colorado and Boulder Bar Associations, the Colorado and Boulder Criminal Defense Bars, the Faculty of Federal Advocates, the National Associations of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Bar Association.

In my years running a law firm litigating different cases in different places, I have developed the broad legal background and managerial experience needed to fill the many roles of the mainly administrative district attorney (the Boulder DA's offfice has an annual budget of $3 million and some 50 full-time employees). Please consult my website,, for more on my background and supporters.

During that same time period, my opponent has handled only a narrow range of sex cases (far fewer than 1 percent of the annual caseload) only in the highly cloistered Boulder system. And while it is certain that my opponent has tried more criminal cases in the Boulder system (it is what she is paid to do), she is and has been a one-trick pony with no managerial experience.

I will lead the Boulder DA's office to a better place. I believe the office needs meaningful change, that it is time to clean house. I believe we can do better, that our DA's office can be a national leader rather than a national joke. I envision a reinvigorated and innovative Boulder justice system, based on new blood, new energy, fresh ideas, renewed optimism and a new peace of mind.

The choice in this importnat, non-partisan race is as crystal clear as the autumn sunlight: If you want change, vote for me on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Dave Sanderson,
candidate for Boulder County district attorney Gunbarrel"