Letters to the Editor for Nov. 1, 2018

Hold Herrera Beutler accountable for ‘selling out middle class’

I sincerely hope that Washington Congressional District 3 voters will hold Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler accountable in the midterm election, as she has completely failed the people she is supposed to represent.

Herrera Beutler has refused to conduct real town hall meetings with her constituents, hiding instead behind highly controlled conference calls. She has repeatedly voted to dismantle health care protections for Americans while she and her family receive generous taxpayer funded health care. She has voted for large tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that are already resulting in exploding deficits and which her GOP colleagues are now saying will require major cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Congresswoman Herrera Beutler has effectively sold out her middle class constituents’ future so that corporations flush with cash can become even richer.

Finally, at a critical time in our nation’s history when we need real leadership within the GOP, she has been completely AWOL. While the president praises white supremacists, allows Russia to attack our democracy, does nothing about school shootings, puts children in cages, dismisses the credible accusations of sexual assault victims and engages in the abuse of power and corruption, Herrera Beutler continues to say and do absolutely nothing.

The people of Southwest Washington deserve someone who will stand up and fight for us and our values, but Herrera Beutler has proven that she won’t do it. Please vote her out on Nov. 6, and let’s give Carolyn Long a chance.

Ken O’Day, Camas

Owe it to future generations to vote yes on I-1631

As a citizen of our community and the state of Washington and a parent of children in the Camas School District, I believe it is imperative that Initiative 1631 be passed. The premise is simple — polluters pay for the damage and harm they cause to our environment. A fee is charged to large fossil fuel polluters. That money in turn is invested in clean energy, clean air and water as well as healthy forests. Washington can lead the way on environmental justice and simultaneously create thousands of green energy jobs in our state and communities. Big oil has spent more than $20 million trying to defeat I-1631.

We owe it to our children, grandchildren and our local communities throughout the state of Washington to ensure a healthy environment, to reduce pollution and invest in clean energy alternatives. Please join me in voting yes on Initiative 1631.

Karen Pickering, Vancouver

Vote Boyes for PUD commissioner

Dan Boyes is not new to Skamania. We have known him for over 20 years. We are happy to support Dan for PUD commissioner. Dan has a heart of gold, and we have known him to be ethical and a person with common sense. He studies issues and weighs information from both sides to make educated decisions.

Dan already has experience as a PUD commissioner, and we think he is doing a great job.

We are happy with his work representing us on the west side of the county, and urge you to also vote Dan Boyes for PUD commissioner.

The Miller family, Skamania

Vote to protect health care for Americans with pre-existing conditions

When I considered divorcing 10 years ago, a significant consideration was my pre-existing health conditions. Divorced, I’d have to purchase health insurance on the private market, but pre-existing conditions made me ineligible. My relief when the Affordable Care Act passed was immense. No longer did my future depend on insurance eligibility.

Republicans are committed to removing protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Millions of Americans would lose eligibility for private health insurance — or if lucky, they’d pay an exorbitant surcharge for coverage.

What are pre-existing conditions? The list is long: arthritis, asthma, high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, epilepsy, cancer, diabetes, lupus, sleep apnea, depression, anxiety and pregnancy are just a few examples. A Health and Human Services study in 2014 estimates 51 percent of the non-elderly, 75 percent of those ages 45 to 54, and 84 percent among those ages 55 to 64, have at least one pre-existing condition. Even millions of younger people, including one in four children, have a pre-existing condition.

This year, “vote health care.” If you’re healthy now, vote for your friends, family or neighbors who need coverage. It’s the right thing to do. And one day, you might need protection yourself.

Lisa Stevenson, Washougal

Vote Herrera Beutler for Congress

It’s impressive to see the pen-pal campaign for Democratic congressional candidate Carolyn Long. They all say the same thing: she’s articulate, she can speak, blah-blah-blah. What would you expect for a professor with a captive audience day after day? If Long truly wanted to run, why didn’t she stay in Salem, Oregon, and contest Rep. Kirk Schrader? The answer to that is more than obvious. Not to mention all you have to do is see the map to see what the Dem’s aims are: take over the entire West Coast. That simply can’t be allowed to happen. What happened the last time a constitutional law professor was voted on? To the White House — yeah, that guy (former President Barack Obama) Uh, yeah. That didn’t work well at all.

Our salmon and steelhead are being decimated. Herrera Beutler is working very hard to preserve this precious resource that is disappearing before our very eyes.  The jobs that depend on this sustainable resource are immense and far-reaching.

Speaking of jobs: rather than having these classroom-sized “town halls,” Jaime actually does results-driven find-a-job mixers for voters to attend. What’s Long going to do? Refer us voters to the career center?

If you want to keep local, healthy fish with those good omega-3s coming to our local stores, you best vote Jaime Herrera Beutler. A vote for anyone else is a vote for extinction and the ruination of the fishing industry from Ilwaco all the way to Idaho. Vote Jaime for the preservation of salmon-steelhead-sturgeon.

J.A. Kerfer, Camas

Retired doctor supports Herrera Beutler for Congress
As a retired doctor, I’ve spent my life becoming acquainted with the challenges that folks face when they need care. It’s one of the reasons I’m supporting Jaime Herrera Beutler for Congress this year, just like I always have. It’s easy to run campaign commercials promising to care about health care, but Jaime has done the hard work to actually make it better.
I have worked with Jaime to significantly improve laboratory diagnostics for current technology and for the future. Jaime has done a lot to promote the lab technology that will eventually cure cancer – something many of us may benefit from (and will be able to thank Jaime). Jaime has done a lot to improve women’s health and especially for young women. In terms of infant mortality in the world, the USA is number 54 from the top and Cuba has a better infant mortality rate. Jaime has worked hard to make pregnancy and delivery safer. Jaime reached across the aisle to form a bi-partison caucus to address these issues. From what I have seen Long would not even know where to start on these complex issues.
When the Washington Insurance Commissioner okayed plans that would have cut most south county residents’ access to doctors, Jaime rolled up her sleeves and worked the issue until that access was restored.
Jaime has helped secure a long-term extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. And she’s champion of the bipartisan ACE Kids Act that would eliminate zip code barriers for really sick kids on Medicaid who need specialty care. She also is a champion of the Pre-existing Protections Act of 2017 that would prohibit insurance companies from discriminating against people with asthma or diabetes.
I’m afraid that her opponent’s support for a single-payer system would lead to delayed health care, and would reduce incentives for our best and brightest to go into medicine. I’m also concerned that the $32 trillion price tag would crush Medicare’s finances and diminish the program for seniors and those living with disabilities who really need it.
We can’t afford to have Jaime leave us now — she’s doing the work we need to make our health care better. If you care about your own health, vote for Jaime.

Brad Jensen, Camas

EDITOR’S NOTE: Democratic Congressional candidate Carolyn Long has not come out in support of a single-payer health care system. Asked about the issue by our sister newspaper, The Columbian, Long said she needed more information about a single-payer system before making a decision, but that she did support a public option. Different than single-payer, a public option would enhance, not replace, the current marketplace of health insurance providers. “I think the public option is the best way we can get support of people,” Long said. “I don’t know what Medicare-for-all is going to look like; I don’t know how we’re going to pay for it.”

Vote Kick for Skamania County prosecutor

We remember what it was like in Skamania County before Adam Kick was elected county prosecutor. Rather than operating according to the law, it was politics or even intimidation at play. If someone dared to challenge the powers that be, the game plan was to simply run people out of time, energy and money. Adam changed that pattern by consistently assessing actual legal statutes for the issues being contested. Further, the quality advice he provided commissioners and other elected officials has helped the county to effectively navigate perilous legal challenges through a time of turbulent change and reduced financial resources.

Over the 13 years since we’ve come to know Adam, we’ve been impressed with his genuine concern and efforts to understand any given situation. His integrity and fairness ensures that both civil litigation and criminal prosecutions are based upon evidence, facts and the law, rather than personal whims or politics surrounding the events.

Adam’s depth of experience and knowledge in successfully prosecuting major crimes such as murder, abuse, assault and rape is invaluable to our residents. We urge you to vote for the most experienced, hardest working and competent candidate, Adam Kick.

Keith Brown, Teresa Robbins,
West end residents
Skamania County

Vote Kraft for 17th District

The more other candidates and public figures disappoint us with their failure to do what they promised, or to disagree in a polite manner, the more we applaud Vicki Kraft. She is a quiet, strong presence who adds a positive element to any gathering or discussion. She does not try to please everyone, but she respects everyone’s opinion and behaves in an unfailingly collegial manner. Her principles are well expressed and closely adhered to, even in complex issues such as transportation. She is a standard bearer for thorough, grassroots research into the thoughts of her constituents. She famously was the only vote for transparency in the legislature, so standing alone when necessary is within her skill set. At a time when our county is challenged with higher property and other taxes, with others threatening this election, it is essential that we return Vicki Kraft to the legislature from the 17th District.

Ann Donnelly, Vancouver

Vote Hoff for 18th District, Position 2

I am writing this letter to voice my support for Larry Hoff in his campaign for state representative, District 18, Position 2. I had the privilege of working with Larry for 14 years as a member of his senior management team. Larry is fair, level-headed, respectful and open to listening to opposing views, while analyzing the facts before making a decision. Larry’s career as a leader in the financial services sector positions him to be the perfect state representative, with a perfect balance of people skills and business knowledge.

Christopher Bradberry, Woodland

Republican prosecuting attorney: Re-elect Democrat Adam Kick

In 2011, I applied to become Skamania County’s chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney. Adam Kick was the newly elected prosecutor. When interviewed, I informed him that I had long been a conservative Republican activist. Knowing Adam was elected as a Democrat, would this affect my prospects? Without hesitation, Adam told me that he did not care about that. He only wanted someone experienced, conscientious and hard-working.

Adam hired me and lived up to his word. He never micromanaged my work, but was always available to answer questions, brainstorm ideas or just be a sounding board. I was infamous for working late into the evening, but Adam often did the same. I am extremely proud of the work we accomplished together during my three-plus years as his chief criminal deputy. I left only because I had a great job opportunity closer to my religious community, but I often wonder if I should have stayed. Working with Adam and all the wonderful people in Skamania County was one of the highlights of my career.

There is nobody I would trust as prosecuting attorney more than Adam Kick, and I have worked for some of the best public attorneys in Washington. He is energetic, ethical and effective. He is one of the smartest lawyers I know. There is nobody more dedicated to Skamania County.

I am still very committed to the Republican Party and to conservative principles. It is not in spite of, but because of that conviction, that I support Adam Kick’s re-election for Skamania County prosecutor. As a conservative, I believe in personal accountability. There is nobody more committed to holding people accountable than Adam Kick. I believe in small, effective government, which requires leaders willing to go the extra mile and who are not afraid to work hard, even into the late evening or on weekends. That defines Adam Kick. I believe in transparency, honesty and fairness. That is Adam Kick. I believe that government closest to the people should be available to its constituents. Adam has an ability to connect and communicate with everyone, and he treats everyone with profound respect, regardless of who they are. These are the qualities conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans should agree are vital for elected officials, especially those charged with the great responsibility of prosecution. That is why I strongly encourage the people of Skamania County to re-elect Adam Kick for prosecutor.

Yarden F. Weidenfeld,
Former chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney for Skamania County
Mercer Island, Washington

Voting does matter
Believers of the false left-right paradigm political theory should check themselves this election as they always tend to not vote. Yes, voting for the Republican or Democratic candidates will do nothing to hinder the massive and grotesque size of our government. I hope readers of The Post-Record lament this very real problem as I do, but the Democrats are stooping to the lowest of low with their false narratives and politics of divide and hate.
Recently I visited the campaign office of Carolyn Long on Mill Plain. As I expected, the people I talked to confirmed what I already observed in campaign ads (television and radio here and in California where I conduct business) and letters I read in the opinion page of The Post-Record — like the latest letter to the editor published on Oct. 25, and the many that were published prior. The sad reasoning goes like this: My opponent supports Trump policies; Trump is a racist; therefore, vote for me, the Democrat. As a disclaimer, I neither read nor heard a campaign ad that said, “Trump was racist.” I’m inserting this premise here because the political discourse from left politicians, voters and the tactics employed by the Democratic Party to propagate their messaging for this election is relentlessly hateful, divisive and Donald Trump is used nauseatingly as a rallying point. And violence is a by-product: check California Congresswoman Maxine Waters call for violence at a rally this year. Inspiring right? So inspiring that a Democrat supporter attacked Republican Sen. Rand Paul at his home and broke his ribs in 2017. Where does this violence and hate come from?
Let’s take a look at the top of the Democratic Party for answers. It is well documented that former President Obama had a relationship with radical ‘60s criminal-terrorist Bill Ayers, who bombed government buildings. Or maybe we can cite the book, “Rules for Radicals,” written by radical Saul Alinsky. This book, which is dedicated to Lucifer, is the Bible of the left.
The politically left have used tactics and fake movements — if they were not fake, they were eventually co-opted by the left — that amazed me in their magnitude and ability to distract from real issues and control political discourse. With much help from CNNs of this world, we have witnessed the following: Me Too Movement — men vs. women; Black Lives Matter — black vs. white; Occupy Wall Street — rich vs. poor; Antifa — pretend “anti-fascists” vs. “fascist” Donald Trump and his “racist” supporters; illegal immigrants vs. all who prefer legal immigrants; gay vs. straight, and transgendered people vs. all who prefer a men label and a women label on bathrooms. Now, let’s toss in the ferocious smear campaign on Judge Kavanaugh, and the violent paid operatives at the Trump rallies — see Project Veritas — in 2016, and now “the caravan,” which I predict will offer emotionally charged photo opportunities: the messaging we’ll see 24-7 on CNN will look like this: big evil Trump won’t let the mommies with babies into our country.
The left have introduced us to the term “politically correct.” Here is the latest example of that: In just the last week or so Megan Kelley gets fired from NBC for saying the word “blackface.” An Oregonian editorial writer gets ostracized for having an opinion: Said writer writes a positive review of the conservative group Patriot Prayer and their leader, Camas High graduate Joey Gibson. One just cannot stray an iota from the 3-by-5 card of acceptable political discourse. Sad.
Why the hate, divide, lies and violence? Why are people getting publically shamed, losing jobs and going to jail? Why has the left made politics very personal? As I have written before, the left have no ideas, and if they do have ideas, they think those ideas aren’t good enough to win elections. Then we get lies: At Carolyn Long’s campaign office, I viewed a beautifully printed piece of scare tactic (geared toward the elderly, no doubt) about Rep. Jaime Herrera Butler wanting to end Social Security. Really? Every politician knows that even mentioning Social Security is political suicide.
With this said, one should first question the integrity, viability and sustainability of the party behind this manufactured political reality. Then one should realize that the Democratic Party has nothing to offer in the way of solutions to the many real issues and problems we have. After that I think one should ponder this question: Do I want anyone from the Democratic Party in places of power — local, state or federal? At minimum, I hope your initial conclusion as is mine will be this: voting does matter.

“Freedom” Frank Alonso, Camas

EDITOR’S NOTE: According to Politifact, a nonpartisan, Pulitzer prize-winning organization that checks the truthfulness behind political claims, President Trump’s claim that California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was “inciting violence” is questionable and needs context. Here is what the Congresswoman said in her speech regarding the federal government’s policy of separating children from their asylum-seeking parents and detaining them indefinitely at the southern U.S. border: “Mr. President, we are not afraid of you … and while you think you have gotten away with everything that you’ve done, we are going to show you that you haven’t gotten away with anything. We want the children back. We want them connected to their parents. We want it done now. We are going to insist on it. If you think we’re rallying out here, you ain’t seen nothing yet. … so let’s stay the course. Let’s make sure we show up wherever we have to show up. And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”
Additionally, federal prosecutors said politics did not play into the reasoning behind Rene Boucher’s assault on Sen. Rand Paul in November 2017. Instead, prosecutors argued that Boucher, who had lived next to Paul for 17 years, had “had enough” after he saw Paul stacking brush near his property line — a source of contention between the neighbors for many years.
Regarding Alinsky’s book, “Rules for Radicals,” Snopes, another nonpartisan fact-checking organization, has deemed an allegation made by presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson “mostly false.” Snopes explained: “Alinsky wrote an epigraph describing the rebellious angel Lucifer as ‘the first radical known to man’ in his book, ‘Rules for Radicals,’” but said Carson’s statement that Alinsky “acknowledged Lucifer on the dedication page of the book” was false.
Journalists do not consider information from Project Veritas to be unbiased. The “project,” which secretly records academics, politicians and social service organization workers, was founded by conservative activist James Edward O’Keefe III, and has been widely criticized selectively editing and manipulating video and audio to create fake recordings. Snopes and Politifact said they were unable to fully assess the truthfulness of Project Veritas videos purporting to show violent operatives “planted” by the Clinton campaign at Trump’s 2016 rallies. Snopes stated: “Project Veritas’ October 2016 election-related sting videos reveal tidbits of selectively and (likely deceptively edited) footage absent of any context in which to evaluate them. Unless his organization releases the footage in full, undertaking a fair assessment of their veracity is all but impossible.” To read a full assessment, visit snopes.com/news/2016/10/18/project-veritas-election-videos/.