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Sat., Aug. 3, 2013

Dismissing Smith

Regarding Lela Taylor’s July 26 letter concerning the 7th Legislative District state Senate race: I too have eliminated John Smith from consideration. Here’s why:

I, along with a group of school directors and district superintendents, met with Smith during our annual meeting with legislators. Many of us were stunned by Smith’s arrogance and dismissive style. He rudely monopolized our limited time with stories of being personally harmed by public schools and strongly implied that his positions on our issues were already established. When we could finally share our perspectives and concerns, he didn’t even attempt to address them. Instead, he simply stood there with a dismissive smile until our meeting time ran out.

I’ve been meeting with 7th District legislators on public education issues for nearly two decades. We have often disagreed, but I have never been summarily dismissed without any explanations until now. Legislators who avoid honest, two-way communication with their constituents don’t deserve anyone’s vote.

Finally, Smith’s unsatisfactory answers to The Spokesman-Review’s July 14 inquiry about Wikipedia comments that he couldn’t remember posting (and some of which were suspiciously removed later that same day), are very troubling. Voters need to question whether he has fully rejected the bigoted beliefs he was raised on.

Andy James


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