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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Nov. 3, 2022

Nov. 3, 2022 Updated Thu., Nov. 3, 2022 at 8:28 a.m.

Preserve our democracy

Think of the patriots who fought and died so that America could self-govern, under the rule of law with democratically elected government. From the Revolutionary War to the Civil War to World War II, these patriots fought to keep America free and preserve our rights as American citizens. Such a proud heritage!

In a few weeks, America may return power in the U.S. House and Senate to a party led by an ex-president who refuses to accept the results of the 2020 election. Hundreds of his party’s candidates for state and federal elections are election deniers, unwilling to promise that they will honor the results of the election unless they win.

Voters have an historic choice. They can put at risk the democracy built by so many patriots by giving more power to the party whose leadership and many of its state and federal candidates are not willing to abide by elections. Or voters can keep this party out of power, which would give Liz Cheney and other true conservatives a chance to reform the party so it can once again be a constructive force.

Patrick Keegan

Spokane

Cash versus character

I appreciated the articles in the Oct. 23 Spokesman-Review regarding campaign financing. The influence of money on our democracy disturbs me deeply. Just look at the race for Washington’s 5th congressional seat. According to OpenSecrets.org, the Cathy McMorris Rodgers campaign raised $5,808,554 as of Sept. 30. It costs an average of $300,000 to rear a child in this country. Cathy’s campaign has spent $4,589,556. Enough to raise 15 children, not for one year, but for 18. All that money just for one two-year term. Meanwhile, her challenger Natasha Hill’s campaign, spent $223,897 with $67,203 on hand, or 5% of the funds available to CMR’s campaign.

I don’t want my country sold off to highest bidder. So, I’ve followed the Natasha Hill for congress website, watched videos, attended a Zoom event and watched what seemed an unpublicized, last-minute debate with McMorris Rodgers. The debate is on the PBS website. My research indicates Hill is a person with integrity, compassion, a desire to learn and willingness to collaborate with others for the benefit of our region and our country. Plus, this owner of her own small business, a law practice in Spokane, clearly knows how to work.

Please, if you’re like me and think the character of our leaders matters, ignore those expensive ads and take some time to become an informed voter.

Virginia Colvig

Pullman

Integrity, truth still matters

Al French and I go back about 25 years to our days with the neighborhoods, so I have had many years to watch his chameleon-like transformation from neighborhood activist turned “developers’ best friend” once elected to Spokane City Council. I have seen him pose as a Democrat to court city votes and then declare as a Republican to guarantee a win at the county level. I have seen him flip-flop on his support for buying the toxic race track numerous times before eventually selling it for a song just as property values started to soar. And I was speechless as he repealed the negotiated profit-sharing agreement with the Spokane Tribe to please his friends at GSI and oppose the Spokane Tribe’s application for their now very profitable casino.

Rumors of kickbacks and ethics charges are artfully dodged while Al takes credit for everything but the weather. You might shrug and say, “Just politics,” but now Al has sent out a flyer that is full of bald-faced lies not only about his questionable accomplishments but about his opponent Maggies Yates’ stand on the important issues facing Spokane County. No wonder those Republicans who ran against him are now endorsing Maggie. Because, believe it or not, integrity and truth still matter. Go to electmaggieyates.com for the real answers. Al French is a disgrace. Thank God we have a real choice in Maggie.

Bonnie Mager

Cheney

Affordable housing and property taxes

Every day the news media talks about the problems of affordable housing for the homeless, the younger generation and the struggles they all face finding affordable housing. It is very sad that they never mention the role property taxes play in the affordable housing equation, especially the impact on senior citizens who have lived in their homes for 30-40 years, and now are getting taxed to where the property taxes make up the majority of their house payment.

With more and more young people choosing to live in rental properties and not sharing the burden of property taxes, the senior citizens are shouldering more and more of the burden. Why isn’t this an issue the news outlets want to talk about? This should be a major issue for all government offices (candidates) coming up for elections.

Let’s start getting the news media involved, since you all seem to like taking the underdogs’ position and trying to help them. Let’s make housing more affordable for all and drive down property taxes by sharing the burden equally amongst everyone who lives in Spokane County. And please don’t tell me the people that live in rental housing share the burden of property taxes in the form of higher rent. While I acknowledge they may be told that as an excuse to raise their rent, we all know that many big developers get a 10-year exemption from property taxes under the umbrella of “building affordable housing.” Give me a break!

Lyal Funk

Spokane Valley

Vote for freedom

Hey everyone, remember as you’re marking your ballots that if we don’t save our democracy, it won’t matter what we want to see happen because we will never again have a say in it. Please, please vote to keep America free.

Laura Hegel

Spokane

Who is to blame?

Now that the midterms are less than a week away, I feel very strongly about this subject. Since Donald Trump came into politics, I blame no one other than the RNC for this debacle. How in God’s name could a political party nominate, then elect such an unqualified person to the highest office in our country?

There was no vetting of this person. To make him our leader, a person who never wanted it in the first place, who has always been self-serving, never having served in any political office, told more than 30,000 lies in four years and having the most chaotic administration in the history of the U.S., was the worst mistake ever made.

I also blame him completely for the Jan. 6 Insurrection.

I do not care if he won the most primaries, someone should have stepped up and said, “Sorry, you are not qualified in the least to be POTUS.” He could have run as an independent. So, still to this day, he is out there spewing more lies and still a well-known charlatan and grifter. The other day on TV, a news bulletin came on that said at last count there are 513 election deniers running for public office. My fear is, it will only get worse.

Beware, our Constitution is hanging by a thread and if these trends continue, our democracy will no longer be here.

Once it is gone, it’s gone.

Barb Beck

Colbert

Crull for District Court

As an attorney who has spent the vast majority of my career practicing in Spokane County District Court, a person who grew up in the Valley and a parent of two small children, I hope you’ll join me in supporting Deanna Crull for District Court judge in the upcoming election.

Deanna is a local attorney whose experience makes her uniquely well suited for this judicial position. She’s been a prosecutor, she’s been a defense attorney, she’s worked in public service, she’s worked in private practice and she’s been a judge, presiding over the exact dockets she would handle if elected.

Deanna is someone whose legal acumen is second to none. She’s hard-working, accurate and efficient. I’ve worked on cases with her as a defense attorney and I’ve had her rule against me when she was on the bench. And in every setting, I felt heard, respected and like I was treated in a fair manner.

Deanna isn’t out to be in just any elected position. She isn’t out to legislate from the bench. She does exactly what we should all want our judges to do: She studies the law, she does the work on every case to know the facts well enough to be just and she applies the law to those facts equally, regardless of who is before her.

Please join me in supporting Deanna Crull for district court judge. Our community would be well served and our court system would be better for her presence.

Steven Clark

Spokane

Support for Al French

Without a doubt, the most critical race in Spokane County is the one for 5th District county commissioner. Since this race is in a swing district, it may very well decide which political philosophy controls our county.

Experience counts. Our current commissioner, Al French, has done more to grow Spokane’s economy than probably any other recent elected official. It is crucial that voters re-elect him. Bringing new industries to Spokane County and creating jobs is his expertise and his passion. While his opponent is a personable and well-spoken young woman, she has absolutely no expertise in this area.

Besides his success in invigorating our economy, it is crucial to re-elect Al French if we hope to reduce crime in our county and improve public safety. We are experiencing record levels of crime and homelessness thanks to unsound policies at our state and city levels that too often demonize law enforcement and fail to hold accountable those breaking the law.

If Al’s opponent is elected, she will just add to these problems with more empathy for the criminal rather than for the law-abiding residents of our county. Al is endorsed by those who are hired to keep us safe. Yes, we need special courts like mental health, but those committing crimes also need to be held accountable, which Al’s opponent fails to mention.

Vote for Al French if you want to continue to attract jobs to Spokane and create policies that make our community safe again.

Gretchen McDevitt

Spokane

Bloomsday needs a reboot

I recently reread the statement provided by the current (and remaining) Bloomsday board members regarding their decision to remove Jon Neill from his role as race director. It was beyond disappointing to see how blatantly they ignored the communities’ concerns and the issues recently brought to light.

Former board members and employees described the current board as creating a “toxic work environment” and used words like “hostile,” “intimidation,” “aggressive,” “unjustified decisions,” “reckless” and “a culture that is just wrong.” These comments, along with six former board members resigning, prompted a weak and telling response from the board to say, “The current board is getting along and we wish Jon well.”

Are you kidding me? They should have just said, “Move along, nothing to see here.” What if another beloved community organization was accused of this? Would we stand by or demand more transparency?

As the former CEO for Visit Spokane, I understand community accountability and this is not it, not by a long shot. The major sponsors of this event better step up and demand accountability here; otherwise, they too will be complacent in accepting such behavior and culture. This is not a disgruntled employee. It’s former board members saying something is rotten. Reassigning Jon’s role because it’s “become a big job?” The event is down almost 15,000 runners, so could it be a coincidence that Dori Whitford recently retired from teaching and now wants the job? Maybe so, but someone needs to find out.

Harry Sladich

Spokane



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