Arrow-right Camera

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Sunday, July 12, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Clear Night 66° Clear
News >  Nation/World

Letters To The Editor


Can’t afford to keep Senn

As an insurance agent with 20 years of experience, I can agree with the woes consumers now have finding affordable, quality insurance.

Before Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn’s four-year fiasco, I could offer my clients many companies to compare. Competition among them kept costs in line. Now, only a few companies are doing business in Washington. Most left rather than try to deal with her tyrannical administration.

Under Senn, companies were forced to accept clients with pre-existing illness, with no ability to adjust rates and coverage, guaranteeing a loss on business in Washington. Profit is the lifeblood of any business.

As articles in The Spokesman-Review mention, her own administration is fed up, due to her abrasive style of dealing with everyone.

If her last four years were successful, we would see a better insurance environment here than Oregon and Idaho have. However, a few calls will prove that more companies and lower costs are available there.

I don’t think the people of Washington can afford four more years of Senn. I know that Anthony Lowe can and will create an environment of choice and affordability. Gary Graupner Spokane

Senn’s sin is puttng consumers first

The recently renewed attack on state Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn is interesting. Is it any wonder the insurance industry wants her skin? Could it be that she’s pro-consumer? Could it be that she’s not a rubber stamp for the insurance industry?

Senn has increased accessibility of health care for Washington citizens. She has eliminated the “pre-existing” excuse not to pay for medical expenses. Affordability and transferability of health coverage from job to job now protects workers and their families. Senn established the volunteer Seniors Helping Seniors program.

All of this is well and good. Perhaps most galling to the insurance industry is that Senn has successfully rejected over 150 rate increases.

It’s not surprising that employees who worked for previous passive insurance commissioners have problems. Going from an office where the carrier came first to an office where the consumer comes first is a major change.

Politically, timing is everything. Rehashing of old complaints and filing of new ones by unnamed complainants - at a time when the complaints can’t be resolved before the election - is not accidental.

Ours is one of the few states that has an insurance commissioner elected by citizens, rather than a political appointee, typically a former insurance executive. Let’s keep the fox out of the hen house. Ed Dawson Spokane

Senn not there to humor lightweights

I am appalled at the arrogance of state Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn. I can’t believe an employer would actually expect her workers to do “what she tells them to do,” as reported Oct. 9 (“State auditor investigates Senn after whistleblower’s complaint”). Such hubris.

Perhaps these people should have to work for a real hardnose, without the protection of a labor union. Then they would know the real meaning of “my way or the highway.”

Senn is not the darling of big business, especially the insurance business. Her goal is to protect the consumer and some insurance providers are finding the heat more then they can stand. Following Harry Truman’s advice, they are getting out of the kitchen. Have no fear. If there is a need, there will be those who serve that need.

Dedicated public officials often find they are too busy doing their job to suffer fools. I expect Senn is one of these. My advice to these so-called whistleblowers is that they should follow the practice of certain insurance companies and move on. It’ll be a long four years for them serving under a no-nonsense commissioner with better things to do than cater to their sensibilities. Maybe a few years in the military would better prepare them for the job. Lois Meadows Spokane

Senn enemies good reason to keep her

Big insurance companies do not like Deborah Senn. That is a good reason for the working folks to vote for her.

The big insurance companies say they will leave this state if Senn is re-elected. That is the best reason to re-elect her.

We have local folks who are willing and able to start local insurance companies. Then, the profits will remain in Washington and not go to a distant home offices. Let’s re-elect Senn. Barbara Lampert Spokane

Vote no on I-655

Hound hunting or bear baiting is viewed as an unsportsmanlike method of hunting. When a faun, doe or elk calf is attacked by a bear or mountain lion and is mangled beyond recognition, or if a jogger is half eaten, we can use these as examples of what will escalate if Initiative 655 passes.

All these species must be managed according to their present habitat. Vote no on I-655. Vasic Avedisian Spokane

Craswell right about gay mortality

Ellen Craswell cited a legitimate source when she said that the median age for homosexuals is 42 to 45 years old.

(“Craswell’s words on gays shock, please,” News, Oct. 12) Dr. Paul Cameron and his colleagues conducted research on 6,714 obituaries from 16 U.S. homosexual journals from 1981-1993 and compared them with a large sample of obituaries from regular newspapers. The median age of death for homosexuals was virtually the same nationwide. Less than 2 percent of homosexuals survived to 65. His research was presented at the Eastern Psychological Association Convention in 1993.

Homosexuality is unhealthy, but that’s not the only reason state governments have a compelling interest in denying a marriage license to same-sex couples. The survival and vitality of our nation depends on stable families that produce productive, law-abiding citizens. Stable marriages, with one man and one woman, have a better chance of passing on the values and character that assure self-restraint.

Homosexual relationships, on the other hand, are anything but stable. According to an American Journal of Public Health article, only 2 percent could be classified as “monogamous,” lasting anywhere between nine and 60 months.

Homosexual activists acknowledge that redefining marriage to include same-sex partners would assure government and societal affirmation of their lifestyle from a legal standpoint. This would impact the First Amendment rights of businesses, school children, churches and individuals. Why would Gary Locke want to legalize this kind of assault on our culture? Penny Lancaster Spokane

Keep those tax cut promises

In 1992, I was an officer in the Association of Washington Business and heard gubernatorial candidate Mike Lowry tell AWB and a live, statewide radio and TV audience that he would only raise taxes as “a last resort.” After he was elected, Lowry suddenly announced he would have to raise taxes even before the Legislature convened in 1993.

Last week, gubernatorial candidates Gary Locke and Ellen Craswell both told AWB and the state on TV and radio they would eliminate the remainder of the tax increase from 1993 - in particular, the B&O; tax hike. They need to.

While Locke did not go as far as Craswell on the subject of taxes, he nevertheless did promise to lower them. That is a commitment to thousands of small business owners like me across Washington which should be kept by the new governor and Legislature in 1997. Larry Stanley Spokane

Moyer’s negative ad unseemly

I’m disturbed by the negative TV ad John Moyer is currently running against Rep. Lisa Brown. The ad is manipulative and dishonest.

I’ve known Brown for 12 years as a trusted friend and colleague. I’ve always admired her integrity and commitment.

Unlike Sen. John Moyer, Brown made a conscious decision against any kind of negative campaigning. I support her decision and urge voters to join me in rejecting negative campaigning from any candidate. Ursula Hegi Nine Mile Falls


Keep city out of private business

Perhaps it is a misperception, but it has been my understanding that the purpose of a city was to provide services not available from the private sector. Staff writer Alison Boggs’ Oct. 11 story regarding River Park Square indicates our city fathers don’t understand what they were elected for.

I have examined the proposal and find that the lease discussed covers all the land under the present parking garages at Post and Spokane Falls Boulevard, most of which is owned by affiliates of Cowles Publishing Co. It would seem that if this were such a fine deal and bound to be successful, the Cowleses could manage without city help.

To agree to a lease that would cost $12 million over 20 years is at the very least something that should be submitted to the voters.

The agreement calls for the city to run the entire parking facility, which could be contracted out. The city is not structured and not intended to get into proprietary functions.

We are going through an election where there is much talk about downsizing government and privatizing various departments. Even the schools seem to be in jeopardy. This is the wrong time to take a chance that the property owners won’t take.

Let’s get back to what the City Council was elected for - just run the city, not the Cowles’ want list. Richard B. “Dick” Hopp Spokane

City priorities all wrong

Recently, my wife and I rode about 20 miles through the neighborhood streets of Spokane. Those streets were broken, cracked and full of potholes.

They were a shame. Citizens, you were right to vote down the street bond issue. Your council has no sense of priority as far as the neighborhoods are concerned. The members are interested only in spending your money on downtown. They spend your money on their priorities, not yours.

At council, it was revealed that the Convention Center parking lot fund (set aside by ordinance for maintenance and operation of the parking lot) has $400,000 in excess funds. The mayor wanted to spend that money on studies and acquisition of new properties for and in the downtown area.

Several citizens suggested the money be directed to the street fund for repairs. The response was that the money is not usable for that purpose due to the ordinance. Then there was a call for a vote on a motion to amend the ordinance that created the fund, thereby enabling the council to spend the money on its priority: downtown and River Park Square. John Talbott Spokane

Preservation efforts appreciated

On behalf of the Eastern Washington State Historic Preservation Committee, I want to commend Rosauers for its renovation efforts that help preserve the unique historic character of Browne’s Addition. This committee works to raise community awareness about the uniqueness and value of our architecturally and historically significant buildings and neighborhoods.

We’re happy that other organizations support this effort and are making a commitment to adapting these buildings to a modern culture. We hope historic preservation will be a part of renovation occurring in other parts of our city and downtown. Joanne Halstead Moyer, chairwoman Historic Preservation Committee of Spokane


Dole wants to repeat states’ success

In two debates, Bob Dole and Jack Kemp made their case for cutting tax rates by 15 percent over 3 years, cutting the capital gains tax in half, a $500 tax credit per child, abolishing Clinton’s tax increase on 5.5 million senior citizens, getting rid of the IRS and going to a flatter, fairer tax, and finally, cutting spending, eventually getting to a balanced budget amendment.

What do President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore say? This is all a “scheme that will blow a $550 billion hole in the deficit.” Well, look at what governors have done. In 1994, New York Gov. George Pataki won over liberal icon Mario Cuomo and inherited a $5 billion deficit and businesses leaving in droves. In just two years, he’s cut the deficit, cut taxes and created 10,000 jobs.

What really stinks is Clinton and Gore taking credit for it, and then denouncing Dole and Kemp for wanting to do the same thing with the country. Why? Because it works! If it worked for New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, etc., why not for America? Because Bill Clinton is a big government, tax and spend, redistributionist liberal who doesn’t want it to work.

The most powerful weapons Clinton has are the tax code, fear, lies, and doom if you dare to keep more of what you earn. Dole and Kemp believe and trust the American people, not the government, to do what’s best with what you earn. That isn’t just rhetoric. It’s based on what has worked before, and will work again. Mark Duclos Spokane

Watched, listened; I’ll vote Democrat

After watching the Oct. 9 vice presidential debates, I’ve finally made up my mind on who to vote for.

I had mixed feelings. I felt I should give Dole a chance to voice his opinions. However, after viewing the debates between President Clinton and Bob Dole and between Jack Kemp and Al Gore, my decision was actually no contest: the Democrats win, hands down.

The Republicans are out only for more taxes. Dole’s facial expressions on Sunday actually made my mind up. Jack Kemp’s obnoxious attitude and totally incomprehensible speeches sealed the Republicans’ fate with this voter.

Their ticket is totally against abortion choice.

They are for only families, although both parties actually care nothing about my social position.

They will cut Medicare.

I am one of the unforgotten minority who desperately need a tax break - single, divorced, earning minimum income, no insurance and - most important - I have no children at home. What about me?

I do feel that President Clinton will be re-elected; he is the best we have at this moment. Suzann O’Sullivan Embury Hayden, Idaho

Clinton effort a positive one

With every day that passes, it becomes more evident that Bob Dole is not running in this election on his strengths. He is running on President Bill Clinton’s weaknesses.

Fair game in any election, except for this: The weaknesses Dole is using as a platform are minuscule compared to Clinton’s strengths. America needs more positive action and less negative reaction. Clinton-Gore is the positive ticket in this race, with or without the Good Paper’s endorsement. Donna Anderson Moscow

Your one vote can be crucial

One often hears “one vote doesn’t make a difference, so I’ll not vote.”

Every one of the following events was decided by one vote: 1645, Oliver Cromwell got control of England; 1649, King Charles 1st was executed; 1776, U.S.A. chose the English language over German; 1845, Texas was admitted to the Union; 1868, President Andrew Johnson was not impeached; 1875, France became a republic; 1876, Rutherford B. Hayes became president; 1923, Adolf Hitler got control of the Nazi Party; 1941, the U.S. Selective Service System was retained scant weeks before Pearl Harbor.

In 1994, in Washington, three legislative elections were decided by 10 votes, five votes, and three votes, respectively.

Special interests, e.g. the radical religious right, know that a militant voting minority often wins over the “too busy,” nonvoting majority. Citizens have a duty to vote. Use it or lose it. Julian Powers Spokane

Local journalism is essential.

The journalists of The Spokesman-Review are a part of the community. They live here. They work here. They care. You can help keep local journalism strong right now with your contribution. Thank you.

Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter

Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

Swedish Thoracic Surgery: Partners in patient care

 (Courtesy Bergman Draper Oslund Udo)

Matt Bergman knows the pain and anger that patients with mesothelioma feel.