Letters to the Editor for June 24, 2014

Former state senator supports Graser

I have known John Graser since he was a high school student of mine.

He was as hard working then as he is now. John’s achievements are too numerous to list here, but worth checking out.

Although we come from different political backgrounds, he never speaks of partisan issues. His focus is entirely on our citizens. He is the only candidate that has a real plan for putting more officers on the road and addressing problems we’re seeing in Clark County.

I’m voting for Graser, and I ask you to make him your choice for Clark County sheriff.

Al Bauer, former Washington State senator, Battle Ground

Vancouver can do better

On June 2, the Vancouver City Council passed a resolution calling for the Port of Vancouver to cancel a lease with Tesoro/Savage to site the West Coast’s largest oil terminal at the Port. They joined several other Washington cities — Spokane, Tacoma, Seattle, etc — voicing grave concerns about the safety of oil trains.

Although this must have been difficult, I think it was the right thing to do at this time. The Council clearly showed their deep concern and commitment to the health and safety of their constituents. They also set a helpful example for other communities contemplating a similar action about dangerous oil trains passing through their cities.

Much more work needs to be done before this kind of rail traffic can proceed safely. The design of the majority of rail cars in use now is unsafe and outdated. These cars have been banned in Canada. Why are we still using them here?

Fortunately, this story can have a happy ending if the Vancouver waterfront development, which has been planned for years, can go in. It will supply many more jobs for the community and be a huge draw to this area. Vancouver can do better than an oil terminal.

Diana Gordon, Washougal

Open letter to DNC and RNC

Both the Democratic National Committee and the Republic National Committee have sent me letters asking for money for the upcoming election cycle. I have decided to not support either this year.

Normally I would; the RNC does some things that I like, and the DNC does other things that I like. So I examine the credentials of each individual candidate, weighing the various campaign promises, and support the candidate I feel comes closest to matching my own values.

This year is different.

There is one issue that I feel is so important that it rivals any of the others for first place; and at the same time, this issue is consistently ignored by both parties.

I want campaign donation reform, and neither the DNC and RNC is doing anything at all to address it. Here is what I want. Encourage donations to the campaigns of federal office candidates by the following: First, allow deduction of donations for federal office candidates (or parties) from the AGI (Adjusted Gross Income), up to$1,000, for every taxpayer who is also a registered voter.

Second, allow deduction of donations directly off of income tax owed (up to another $100) for each taxpayer who is also a registered voter. That adds up to $1,100 per taxpayer, against the IRS federal income tax. That doesn’t limit giving more if one wants. I recommend aiming this money at paying off the national debt.

Third, for all donations over $1,500, apply a graduated tax designed to reach 50 percent at $10,000. For every dollar donated at and above this level, 50 cents is to go toward paying off the national debt.

Next, prevent out-of-state money from influencing local contests. Make it illegal for moneys collected out of state to go toward a campaign for or against a state representative or state senator. Only in-state money is allowed.

Also, make it illegal for moneys to be donated for any political purpose by any person (or nonperson) which is not a voter. I mean for “any political purpose” to mean everything. Radio ads, TV ads, made-for-TV movies put up on cable channels.

I think the playing field should be leveled. Make this apply to wealthy folks who pay out of their own pocket. They have one vote just like me so they should have the same restriction on donations that I have.

Finally, when these rules are violated, set a fine of $10 for every dollar which is illegally donated. This fine is to go toward paying off the national debt.

That’s what I want. If the two big national political committees want my support, they will put this into their plan for the future. Right now, I’m looking around for another party, no matter how small, which is willing to work toward these goals. That’s the party to which I’ll give my support.

This plan is pretty much limited to donations only. It doesn’t address other issues, such as a private party going out and making signs of a political nature, without the sanction of a particular candidate. It doesn’t address non-candidate issues, such as changes to the law. It doesn’t address in-state races. All of those need to be addressed as well.

Morry Secrest, Washougal

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