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Opinion

Fri., March 30, 2012, midnight

Letters

Redistribution is the norm

Steve Dunham wrote March 7 of the “socialistic redistribution of wealth,” but he has no idea what this means. The only method used by government to accomplish any purpose is to redistribute wealth, whether the taxes are collected to build a highway, fund firefighters, or the military.

No matter what the money is used for, it is collected from one person and paid to another to accomplish some purpose. This is the redistribution of wealth, and it is not socialistic. It is how every government in the world operates, as it is the only way that a government can operate.

Every economic system in the world has socialistic and capitalistic elements. There are hundreds of millions of small family-owned businesses in China, and a few hundred Wal-Marts, and there is universal health care in the more progressive capitalistic countries. Neither pure capitalism nor pure socialism works. This is the lesson of the economic history of the world.

Dale Raugust

Spokane

Grateful for water law

This month, along with World Water Day, we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Enacted to restore and maintain our nation’s waters, the CWA set the precedent for our waterways to be drinkable, swimmable and fishable.

Today, the mission of the CWA is far from being fulfilled, with about one-third of the nation’s waters still unhealthy. But it’s all relative, right? In developing nations, 2.2 million people, most of them children, die every year from diseases associated with lack of access to safe drinking water, inadequate sanitation, and poor hygiene, and 1.1 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water.

Bottom line: We are extremely lucky. But there is one important point that is often forgotten: there is no new water. The water we drink and enjoy today is the same water future generations will drink and enjoy. It’s not an unlimited resource. So, in an effort to protect our local water sources, carry out the goals of the CWA, and further the efforts to achieve clean water internationally, World Water Day is the perfect time to wake up, get involved, and support your local Waterkeeper in protecting our water sources.

Caitlin Fuller

Spokane

Keep PCOs on ballot

Your March 8 editorial opposing HB 1860 uses faulty logic. Your comparison of the public election of Democratic and Republican precinct committee officers to elections for Rotary clubs, fraternities and sororities shows a serious misunderstanding of how government works.

Precinct committee officers are the heart and soul of our political parties. Service clubs and fraternal organizations play no legal role in electing or appointing candidates.

When there is a vacancy in an elected partisan office (as when Sen. Bob McCaslin died), PCOs of the person’s party recommend three names to fill the vacancy, a requirement of the Washington State Constitution.

It is also the legal duty of PCOs to nominate candidates for partisan office during an election cycle, since the top-two primary ignores partisan ties. Isn’t it better to have publicly elected officers leading that process?

Yes, PCOs could be appointed by party leaders. However, that could very well lead to the party boss, Chicago-style politics we fought to keep out of Washington. Electing precinct-committee officers maintains the right of people in each precinct to choose local party leaders. It provides grass-roots political input.

You call it a “self-serving charade”? I call it a small price to pay for democracy.

State Rep. Sam Hunt

Olympia



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