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Opinion >  Letters

Letters for Sunday, Nov. 6

Give it a break, Cathy

Please CMR, stop with the TV ads. They are so erroneous and misleading. Fighting for this, fighting for that. How? Just blames the “open” southern border for flow of fentanyl. Here are some actual facts that are reality.

CMR says the drug is flowing like a river from the southern border as the drugs are mixed in with the migrants. Such lies and she knows it. I don’t disagree that there are major problems at the southern border with the flow of migrants. But the migrants aren’t carrying sacks of fentanyl. Nope.

Brian Sule the executive director of DHS transnational organized crime mission center, stated earlier this year, “We’ve seen some instances perhaps of migrants and drugs as a mixed event, but they are still rare.”

Customs and Border Patrol data from 2021 states that 96% of fentanyl seizures took place at legal ports of entry, versus just 4% between ports of entry. Meaning the borders between official border crossing areas. One of the largest ports of entry is at Long Beach. The majority of fentanyl comes from China and most of it comes through the thousands of Chinese containers flowing from Long Beach and other ports of entry.

U.S. Federal agencies have stated over and over again that migrants are rarely used as drug mules.

Source for these percentages come from the Cato Institute, which is a very libertarian think tank.

These are the true facts. Stop deceiving the public, Cathy.

Jason Ernsting

Nine Mile Falls

Failure of prosecutor’s office

Recently I responded to a summons for jury duty at the Spokane County Courthouse. Did I roll my eyes and, along with the several dozen others who were summoned, hope we wouldn’t be chosen while joking about ways to get out of it? Yes.

Once selected, did I, along with 13 fellow citizens selected to serve that day, immediately assume a somber attitude in the realization of the profound responsibility invested in us to ensure that justice was served in Spokane County? Also yes.

Our jury was assigned to the trial of a defendant charged with first degree murder, the highest possible charge for a murder. The trial lasted three days, after which we deliberated for two days. The defendant had clearly taken the life of another human.

To convict someone of this crime requires evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the murder was premeditated. However, the prosecutor offered not one shred of evidence that this was the case. Given our instructions from the judge, the legal definition of the crime which we were bound adhere to and the utter lack of evidence from the prosecutor justifying this charge, our jury had no legal or ethical alternative but to unanimously acquit the defendant of murder.

We were sickened and frustrated that this was our only option.

Did the victim and their family receive justice on this day? Was the defendant held accountable for the killing? Is Spokane a safer community as result of this trial? Absolutely not.

Kristin Mansfield, DVM


Vote Kim for election integrity

False information about voter fraud has caused unnecessary scrutiny of our Idaho elections even though they have been declared basically free of fraud by the secretary of state’s office.

It is disturbing that Alexa Kim’s opponent, Julie Fry, posted on the Latah County Republicans website ( two examples of election fraud that supposedly happened in 2020, but have since been debunked: one in Wisconsin ( and the other in Arizona ( Such spreading of unsubstantiated voter fraud information by someone who wants to be a county clerk, is totally inappropriate.

Alexa Kim has had four years of elections experience in the Latah County clerk’s office. She knows the job and has seen first hand how fair and secure our Idaho elections are.

Alexa Kim’s experience will allow her to continue to support our rights in fair and secure elections. Idaho does elections right. Let’s keep it that way by voting for Alexa Kim for Latah County clerk.

Cynthia Magnuson


Vote for Yates commissioner

At the Medical Lake Founders Day in June and at a recent gathering in Cheney, I talked with Maggie Yates and also heard her speak about her vision for Spokane County. Maggie is a good listener, is knowledgeable, experienced and cares about the future of Spokane County.

A big concern for Cheney residents and probably the whole of Spokane County is trains. Besides noise, particle pollution and concern for climate change, much improvement is needed to prevent dangerous derailments, fires and oil spills. Maggie Yates believes rail safety is a multifaceted issue, which considers the number of trains as well as the number of at grade crossings in District 5. She supports efforts to address working conditions and the right of collective bargaining.

Presently BNSF and Union Pacific trains travel smack through the middle of Cheney and Spokane. A few years ago before double tracking to the Gorge, BNSF and Union Pacific averaged 52 and eight trains respectively per day through Cheney, according to these companies. Recently, one track in Spokane was damaged in early Oct., requiring the closure of Division Street for repairs for a whole day. Furthermore, BNSF has refused to honor one of the important demands of the railroad workers, paid sick leave. Of course, it is unsafe for everyone to have trains driven by people who are not well.

Vote for Maggie Yates 5th District county commissioner, who already is a strong voice for the welfare and safety of people and businesses in Spokane County.

Nancy Street


Visionary leadership

Growing a local economy is challenging for the best of leaders. We have seen politicians make promises of prosperity that were never fulfilled. We do have an elected official that has delivered on that promise, and that is Al French. It was his vision and experience that lead to the creation of the West Plains Public Development Authority, now known has S3R3. The West Plains under his leadership has become the fastest growing light industrial area in the state, bringing thousands of good paying jobs with benefits to Spokane as well as growing our tax rolls to support services in your neighborhood.

It was Al’s vision that saw the strength in bringing the city of Spokane, Spokane International Airport and the county together as partners to promote the West Plains. He led the effort to bring millions of dollars in infrastructure to support this growth. It was his leadership that resulted in Caterpillar, Highline Grain Growers, Amazon, Prime Air, the Douglass Legacy Business Park and many more to build on the West Plains. These businesses located here instead of North Idaho or other parts of the state.

Over 6,500 neighbors now have good paying jobs with benefits that would not be here if not for Al French’s vision, creativity, work ethic and leadership. A vote for Al French is a vote to continue our economic prosperity. Please join me in voting for our collective success and vote for Al French for commissioner.

Tom Tilford


Second chances

While I believe in second chances, today’s criminals seem to have an unlimited supply. From the Legislature and its police reforms handcuffing our cops, to courts who release them almost as soon as they are booked. Who stands for us? The prosecutor. Larry Haskell has been there on the front lines pushing back against woke policies, seeking justice for the crime victim. We cannot let someone who hasn’t practice law in 35 years be the head prosecutor.

Ann Peltier


Student loans

Before the pandemic, the main student loan problem was the effect it had on their ability to purchase a large expense item such as a house or car. One easy solution would be to forgive all student loans and pass the debt to all taxpayers. I have a hard time accepting this option and I would like to offer a solution.

What if the government were to acquire all private and government student loans, then add a surtax based on their income that tax year. The surtax would be a fixed amount based on their taxable income (like 7%) until the loan is paid in full. There would be no interest collected on the loan for the duration of the surtax. Some may never pay off their entire loan, but they would pay something toward their loan. The amount the individual pays would be fair to all taxpayers. A similar system could be setup for new student loans, thus providing a means for all students to attained higher education.

Ron Voights

Post Falls

No discrimination in District Court

Having worked for Spokane County for almost 20 years, I had the privilege of working in the prosecutor’s office for 18 of those years. I experienced working in the units of district court, drugs and property, domestic violence, juvenile and major crimes. Not once did I ever see a sign of discrimination. None. Why? Because it doesn’t exist.

Heidi Schoening


CMR takes a bow on dams

Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dan Newhouse take a bow for saving the Snake River Dams when they have nothing to do with it. It’s a scientific question, not a political one. Although scientists and economists on both sides make convincing arguments, climate change is the major culprit. Snake River fish runs have gone boom and bust over the last 45 years, so there are factors other than the four dams at work. In British Columbia and Alaska, fish runs have plummeted on free running rivers without dams so the common factor is the warming ocean.

CMR and Republicans don’t “believe” in climate change as if it were some sort of social issue. Climate change is a fact. Tearing down multibillion dollar dams that generate electricity is not the answer, put that money to work on climate change mitigation. Vote for Natasha Hill and Doug White to get the job done.

Leonard Butters


Waldref for county commissioner

I have had the pleasure of knowing Amber Waldref as a friend and community advocate for the past 20 years. Amber and I met when I was chair of the Logan Neighborhood Council. I could tell right away that being a servant leader is her calling. Amber seeks input from others, is inquisitive, pays attention to the needs of our community and puts initiatives into action on behalf of others. As a city council person for eight years, Amber demonstrated her dedication to our community. She worked tirelessly to ensure that our city was safe and vibrant and that public services were accessible to all. I have no doubt she will continue that passion in her role as a county commissioner. I hope you join me in voting for Amber Waldref for Spokane County commissioner.

Karen Byrd


2023 gas tax increase

Gov. Inslee signed the Climate Commitment Act into Washington state law in April 2021. We will feel its effects starting in January 2023. Various organizations have analyzed this act and have concluded that the price of gasoline in Washington state will increase by 45 cents to 55 cents per gallon in 2023. This will occur because large emitters of greenhouse gas such as refineries, pipelines and petroleum distributors will be required to buy carbon credits to offset the greenhouse emissions they produce. The cost of these credits will be folded into the production cost of gas and diesel. The price of the carbon credits will increase over time with additional gasoline and diesel price increases. Since local media has not covered this subject, you can search “Washington state gas tax” in your browser for confirmation of my letter’s content. How much of net zero emission objectives can we afford as a state or nation?

Time for a change in direction! Vote Nov. 8 for candidates supporting rational approaches to climate management.

Garith Krause


Disagree for the right reasons

It is reasonable to disagree with Sen. Patty Murray’s positions. However, David Barnes’ letter (“Yes, we do blame Murray and the Democrats,” Oct. 25) is riddled with falsehoods.

He blames Sen. Murray and the Federal Reserve for inflation due to quantitative easing, but the Fed is independent of Congress, not taking its direction in developing monetary policy. Inflation is more likely a result of COVID-era purchasing habits that overwhelmed the global supply chain.

Mr. Barnes blames Sen. Murray for gas prices by quashing the XL Keystone pipeline, but the pipeline was conceived specifically to move Canadian oil to Houston to ship entirely to China. It wouldn’t have provided any oil to the U.S.

Mr. Barnes blames democrats for “no cash” bail and defunding police. No police department has been defunded, let alone by the U.S. Senate. No bills regarding bail have been introduced in Congress because criminal courts are the purview of state and local governments, not the federal government.

Finally, Mr. Barnes cites “uncontrolled borders” as “another Democrat idea,” but no legislation to address borders or immigration has passed since the Immigration Reform Control Act of 1986. The IRCA, introduced by Alan Simpson, R-Wyo., enjoyed bipartisan support and granted amnesty to millions of undocumented immigrants. That law didn’t include any means of “controlling” any border, indicating no interest in doing so from either party.

There are legitimate reasons to vote against Sen. Murray, but none of the reasons included in the letter qualify as such.

John Perkins

Spokane Valley

Midterm elections

How would Jesus vote? As the personification of tolerance, forgiveness, peace and commitment to aiding the sick, poor and underprivileged, Jesus would certainly favor universal health care, expansion of social services and policies which protect minority and LGBT rights. He would support low-income housing projects and increased funding for community mental health and drug addiction rehab as means to help address the issue of homelessness. With respect to crime, I suspect he would be lenient with sentencing, increase emphasis on rehabilitation in the criminal justice system, oppose the death penalty and deplore the proliferation of firearms. If you share these values, vote Democrat on Nov. 8.

John Charyk


CMR’s Trojan horse

The Trojan horse in our midst holds CMR. Compare how she votes to her claim to represent us. Cathy voted no in 2021 on a measure to control gas price gouging. As for lamenting inflation, she voted to permanently reduce corporate taxes (some already at zero) in 2017. And recently voted against the Inflation Reduction Act.

Her votes for families? We’ve lost over 16,000 kids 17 and under to gun deaths since 2011. She voted against background checks and against banning assault weapon sales to kids under 21 in 2022.

She voted to repeal the ACA seven times! And no to reducing drug prices. She voted no to raising the federal minimum wage, frozen at $7.25/hour since 2009. (Her net worth is over $4 million). For retirees, in 2017 she voted to cut Medicare by $173 billion over 10 years. Medicaid by $1.3 trillion.

Cathy nixes taxing big earners and nixes reinstating IRS employment levels. Her rationale for voting against compensating veterans for exposure to burn pit toxins? A black hole.

CMR voted no on veterans smooth transition to health care. Recall she voted no on the Voting Rights Act. She represents big oil and big pharma, her biggest contributors, not locals.

Cathy’s no vote on contraception rights is an affront to all women of all ages. Behold CMR’s Trojan horse! Vote Natasha Hill to give the struggling middle class a chance.

Carol Ellis


French is the best for the job

Al French is the best choice for county commissioner, District 5. He has been a leader for Spokane County in job creation, holding the line on taxes and working to protect our community.

French’s district leads Spokane County in new businesses coming to Spokane and per capita income because of his ability to bring great paying careers to our community. The many moving parts that were needed to bring Amazon to Spokane was choreographed by Al French and that paved the way for other businesses to look at Spokane because of the efficient way the county was able to facilitate the needs of the new Amazon location. The county faces challenges in many areas like housing, crime and the economy. We need Al French’s expertise to lead us through these challenges and protect the taxpayers at the same time. As the economic reality hits seniors who struggle with meeting their tax burden, Al French has promised to hold the line on tax increases. This is critical for residents of Spokane County. And Al is endorsed by law enforcement because they know he has their back. We need Al’s help to provide better support for our law enforcement, work to find solutions to our increasing crime issues and work to update our criminal justice system.

Vote Al French, he is good for Spokane County.

Robin Ball


Law and order

Cathy McMorris Rogers’ campaign advertising portrays her as a “law and order” candidate. Her actions do not match her words. This “law and order” candidate betrayed the Capitol police, who saved her life, by failing to hold those responsible for the attempted overthrow of the Constitution on Jan. 6, 2021, accountable for their actions. She has comported herself like someone who witnesses a crime and just will not call the cops because it would be personally inconvenient. That is not an action that supports law and order.

Does someone who coddles thugs really deserve re-election?

Michael O’Dea


Government accountability

I was amused when the party, whose only platform point in 2020 was whatever Donald Trump wanted, recently put out a platform for 2022 that promised an economy that’s strong, a nation that’s safe, a future that is built on freedom and a government that’s accountable.

That’s what we all want but they have no specifics on how to accomplish those pledges. Meanwhile, the party currently in power is trying to help all Americans against fierce opposition.

Republicans have said, if they are the majority after the election, they will cut Social Security and Medicare or shut down government until they get their way, while making previous tax cuts for the wealthy permanent.

Doesn’t sound like such a strong economy.

As for a safe nation, building a wall won’t cut it. Freedom is a Republican word for taking the decision about an abortion out of a woman’s and her doctor’s hands and giving it to one governing party. Yet, they want education in the hands of parents but not the education professionals.

None of that is government accountability.

Our congresswoman is OK with that and doesn’t take into account that maybe her constituents want infrastructure improvements, climate change addressed, drug prices lowered, voting rights for all, a woman’s right to choose and much more.

She and her repeal-and-replace friends must still be working on a health care plan.

Here’s what we really need: Natasha Hill.

Dave Trimmer

Spokane Valley

Your vote is your power

I am so tired of the GOP claiming to be the party of freedom while the supermajority Idaho Legislature acts as the morality police for all of us, legislating away our autonomy and freedoms to be who we are, love who we want to love and make our own decisions about what’s best for our own children and families.

They have assumed responsibility for defining exactly when life begins and how we each should pursue life, liberty and happiness according to their rules.

We are all different and we should celebrate those differences and let people live their lives to the fullest without infringing on their rights and freedoms.

Extremists refused to wear masks to protect themselves and others during a pandemic, claiming masks were an infringement of their personal freedom and rights. How do they not see the irony when they refuse to understand why we feel they are infringing on our personal freedoms and rights?

We should all have the freedom to control our own bodies and our own lives.

Your vote is your power. Use it. Young people are turning out in record numbers as voters. Join them by registering and voting on Nov. 8. Vote for Democrats. They are the ones who really care about protecting your freedoms and rights.

Gretchen Wissner


S-R doesn’t value conservative subscribers

Subscribers of The Spokesman-Review, beware! It is now apparent that if you are a conservative, The Spokesman-Review is not your friend and does not value you as a subscriber.

That was made quite clear on the opinion page of the Nov. 1 edition. The picture of the bloody hammer with “MAGA” printed on it was a shameful ploy to persuade your readers that somehow citizens with a conservative view are responsible for the attack on Paul Pelosi.

Whatever happened to journalistic integrity and neutrality? Opinion page or not, the picture was offensive, dishonest, biased and sends a clear message to those of us who subscribe to the paper.

Joel Novin


Vote for what you love

Don’t vote based on what others hate about this country. Vote for what you love.

David Clark


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