Letters for July 27, 2010

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Arizona law encourages racial profiling

It is hard not to see the similarities in the direction our nation is headed and that of the late Weimar Germany, and a shame that even our community is being run by racial bigotry and ignorance.

I am appalled that the Washougal City Council supports the unconstitutional Arizona immigration law that encourages racial profiling.

The law forces the police to determine the immigration status of anyone they suspect of being an undocumented immigrant. Councilman Jon Russell, who sponsored the resolution, has a clear agenda by using the issue as a scapegoat in these difficult economic times and is supporting an all out assault on the Latino community.

It is not a law-enforcement or national security issue, but rather an economic, social and political phenomenon that has to be addressed at the root cause — primarily a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement and its effects on agriculture in Mexico, which displaced millions of workers.

It is time to stand up for justice, confront the bigotry and racist policies of local officials, and ally ourselves with the local immigrant communities.

Travis London, Washougal

Benton for Castillo

I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that this year’s election is one of the most important in our lifetime.

That is why I am supporting David Castillo for Congress here in southwest Washington. David has unmatched qualifications for this job. He is the only candidate that combines solid private sector experience with public sector service at the highest levels of the state and federal government and a military/national security background.

Can you imagine having a member of Congress who comprehends how free-market business works, who understands the shortcomings of government operations and knows how to fix them, and who actually served his country in uniform? That is precisely the experience we need to send to Congress today and David Castillo is the only candidate with it!

Having solid, core convictions that are rooted in real life experience is what helps leaders make tough decisions. You will not see David supporting legislation sponsored by unions, that force workers into government unions (HB1329 – 2009/10) – unlike one of his opponents, State Rep. Jaime Herrera.

Also unlike Herrera, Castillo would not vote to allow the government to oversee and arbitrarily adjust rates for private sector health insurance companies (ESB5261 – 2008) – an idea that President Obama would like to implement nationally.

Finally, David would have never voted to raid $229 million dollars out of our state’s savings account because the party in power threatened to raise taxes. (HB3197 – 2010) Representative Herrera did just that this year and the Democrats still raised your taxes.

Castillo understands the fundamentals of our economic system because he’s worked in it and seen firsthand the success and prosperity generated by America’s private sector when small business owners are freed from government regulation and allowed to compete and grow.

Castillo is the only choice in this race who understands what it will take to return fiscal sanity to Washington DC. Please join me in supporting David Castillo and ensuring we have an experienced, qualified leader to represent us.

Don Benton, State Senator 17th District

Praise for resolution

I would like to commend the city of Washougal council for adopting a resolution to encourage state representatives of the 15th and 18th legislative district to sponsor legislation similar to the immigration law recently voted in in Arizona (Senate Bill 1070).

This law mirrors existing federal law, establishing that violating the federal immigration law is a state crime as well. Illegal immigration places severe financial burden on our resources and creates disregard for the laws of this country. To address this problem is the right thing to do.

The idea for this resolution came from a private citizen who is very concerned about the direction our country is heading. He took the time to attend a council meeting and voiced his concerns. His voice was heard and action was taken. This is how our system is supposed to work. And it does, but we have to get involved.

Elena Kokta, Washougal

Rivers has great ideas

Ann Rivers is a true public servant and committed to bringing change.

I have had the opportunity of working with Ann Rivers, candidate for state representative in the 18th District, on multiple Relay for Life functions and have seen, first hand, her passion to serve the community.

As survivor chair for Relay for Life, Ann is one of the reasons we are able to be so effective and help the local community. She is dedicated to keeping Southwest Washington a great place to live, work and raise your family.

For many years, Ann has been involved with many local community organizations assisting schools, families, and the local business community.

Ann’s commitment to helping Southwest Washington is undeniable. She is running as a servant to the people and with the passion to bring change. She is aware of the struggle ahead, but is confident and committed to fighting for the change of direction we so desperately need.

Not only is Ann full of great ideas and the solutions we need, but Ann is a person of high integrity. She possesses strong values and the integrity to not waiver in her convictions once she is elected. We need someone like Ann, who functions as a servant, yet serves with passion and commitment to the needs of her constituents.

The solution for this state to get out of the mess it’s in is for us as voters to elect representative that have solutions and are a true public servant. Ann Rivers is both of those and I hope you will join me in electing her to be our next state representative.

Shelly Farra, Camas