Letters to the Editor for March 1, 2018

With ‘A’ grade from NRA, Herrera Beutler ‘complicit’ to shootings

According to reporting by KIRO news, Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler has received more NRA funding than any of the other Washington state senators and representatives. Over the years, NRA has contributed more than $95,000 to her campaign.

In light of the horrific Parkland, Florida, shooting, I was surprised Representative Herrera Beutler’s Vancouver, Washington, office was not able to provide information on her stance for gun control. Her office said they would get back to me with a response soon. I’ve waited four days and have not yet received a response. In my own research, I found that Representative Herrera Beutler scored a low 20 percent on the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and she scored 0 percent on the Brady Campaign on Expanding Background Checks. The NRA has given her an “A” grade. These ratings were given for the time period after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.

Her lack of action on any semblance of legislation to stop gun violence and acceptance of NRA contributions renders her complicit to these horrible acts.

Susan Walsh-Enloe, Washougal

Elect Democratic candidates to solve immigration reform

Americans’ memories for political events are notoriously short-lived, but one event should NEVER be forgotten amid our great immigration controversy. That involves the bipartisan immigration reform bill that the U.S. Senate passed by a veto-proof 68-32 margin on June 27, 2013. The bill included a nationwide employment eligibility verification system (E-Verify) and stricter border control, along with a path to citizenship for eleven million undocumented immigrants, an innovative temporary worker program, and increased visa numbers for skilled foreign workers. Quoting an opinion piece in the Jan. 20, 2018 Spokesman-Review, “there were enough supportive Democrats and Republicans to pass the reform in the House as well, but then-Speaker John Boehner didn’t put it up for a vote.”

Purportedly, among House Republican leadership, Washington state’s Fifth Congressional District Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers was complicit in this assault on democracy and majority rule. House passage of this bill would have rendered it law with then-President Obama’s signature, thus avoiding all the acrimony, stress on immigrants and wasted time and money that has ensued.

This legislation could still be rescued by the House, but certainly won’t happen until we make better choices, like generally electing Democrats, including Lisa Brown to replace McMorris Rodgers.

Norm Luther, Spokane, Washington

Legislators should fund county trail system

With the spring of 2018 nearly upon us, I want to state how very important our trail system is in Clark County. These trails are an integral part of daily exercise in the out-of-doors, whether that is walking, running or cycling, plus in many cases, transportation to and from work, school or a friend’s home. It is important for us to have trails to utilize for socialization as well. A healthy individual or individuals make(s) for a healthy society, and as a result, less trips to the doctor for illness. It is simply a win-win. Our location here in the beautiful Pacific Northwest makes these trails especially desirable on a fair-weather day. Please include these points in your coverage of the infrastructure debate. Additionally, I would ask Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, as well as Senators Patti Murray and Maria Cantwell to include funding for connected trails as part of a balanced transportation system. Thank you for your time and attention.

Kathleen Blair, Vancouver