Letters to the editor: Nov. 2 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Nov. 2

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Posted: Sunday, November 2, 2008 7:30 pm | Updated: 9:10 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor


Thom’s criticism was incorrect

In a recent letter to the editor written by former Mesa City Councilwoman Janie Thom, there were a few points that were factually inaccurate regarding the bond proposals on Tuesday’s ballot. While every voter has the right and duty to decide on ballot measures, it is imperative that the information regarding those measures is factual and honest.

The fact is Questions 1 and 2 will reduce police and fire response times, and improve key streets throughout the city to make them safer and less congested. The mayor and City Council cut the original package by 58 percent and have ensured that all funds will be earmarked and audited.

It was stated that existing stations would be remodeled after just being constructed five years ago. The truth is the last fire station in Mesa was completed in 2002 and no existing stations are to be remodeled. The new stations being built will help relieve two stations built in the 1950s that do not have basic things like women’s restrooms or diesel exhaust removal systems.

Fire trucks have a useful life of 11 to 15 years and bonds used to purchase new equipment will be paid off within that time period.

Many of the street projects will be jointly funded using voter-approved Proposition 400 funds or shared costs with neighboring cities.

There is absolutely no truth to the assertion that this bond money will be used to extend light rail in Mesa. There are no funds in this package for light rail. The argument is completely false and should cause each voter to question the accuracy of assertions coming from the source.

I urge you to be a part of building a better Mesa and vote “yes” on Questions 1 and 2. For more information, visit www.yeson1and2.com.




Out of the question for now

Mesa, “city of broad streets and …,” you know the rest.

Here we are facing what some are calling worst economic depression in American history, and Mesa is asking for an additional $111 million for street projects in Question 2 on the Nov. 4 ballot.

While many Mesa folks are losing their homes, their jobs, their savings and their financial security, now is not the time for the city to be asking them to ante up even more for asphalt.

It was just two years ago that Mesa’s voters approved a local sales tax increase (from 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent) to raise the $250 million necessary to match the regional half-cent sales tax allocation to bring $585 million in Proposition 400 street improvement dollars to Mesa.

Weren’t the road projects outlined for Mesa in Proposition 400 the most critical ones? Now we are told there are 13 additional “critical” road projects in Mesa needing local funding that the measure didn’t cover.

Furthermore, the $150 million in light rail line extension funds for Mesa from Proposition 400 could be better spent covering these “critical” road projects, rather than asking Mesa’s taxpayers to accept a new and additional secondary property tax to pay for them.

Stop these road projects, stop the light rail train, and stop this burdensome taxation.

Vote “no” on Question 2.



Proposition 102

Children are not a duty

After reading several times the commentary in support of Proposition 102 by Phillip Moon (Perspective, Oct. 26), I have one more reason to be opposed. His rationale in support of Prop. 102 is unbelievable.

With each reading I came away with the distinct feeling that it’s his belief the main purpose of marriage is to produce children for the benefit of the government. He also indicates the government should have no interest in allowing same-sex marriage for the reason that such unions would not produce children or be of benefit to the government. These beliefs mirror in a way a belief rampant in Nazi Germany in the 1930s that having children was a duty. If these are the beliefs of Moon and other supporters of Prop. 102, that is scary!

My wife and I have been married for more than 51 years and have seven children, 12 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. We married because we love each other and are committed to share our lives, not to support government coffers or to give society its next generation. Our children have given us great happiness as well as sorrows. We were both born in the 1930s. My wife was born in Germany and saw firsthand what was going on.

While too young to be personally concerned for herself in that regard, she is well aware of what was happening. We view the attitude exhibited by Moon’s article with great trepidation and as what we believe to be a hopefully very limited, extremist view.



Judges shouldn’t decide

Judges have clearly become the most powerful people in our whole country — by completely redefining marriage in Massachusetts, California, and now Connecticut. This is ridiculous! Judges are supposed to be interpreting the law, not turning the law upside down to accomplish political goals.

The point of democracy is that the people get to decide when we want to make a dramatic social change. These judicial rulings are not democracy — they’re tyranny. The votes of the people mean nothing when judges can just willy-nilly make their own rules to fulfill the desires of a small minority of people. Our only hope to stand up to these judicial tyrants is for all of the states to amend our constitutions so that the people actually get to have a say.

Here in Arizona, we do have the option to amend our constitution this fall with Proposition 102, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Arizonans have always wanted the people to have the power, not the government, and passing Prop. 102 keeps the power with the people. Vote “yes” on Prop. 102 this election.




Mitchell respected, works for children

I have known and worked with Harry Mitchell for many years. He is the type of individual we need in Washington during these very difficult times. He cares about the future direction of our country. His decisions are driven by his desire to do what is right for us and our children. He is respected by members of both parties. With legislators like Harry Mitchell, we can fix what is wrong with this country.



Schweikert above the smears

As someone who has been in politics a very long time, I have become immune to the negative attacks that are a part of a campaign. It is a war of ideas and that’s why, as in war, it is rightly referred to as a “campaign.”

However, the hard part is seeing a volley of lies lobbed at someone you care for, that you know are not true, and you feel helpless to do anything about it. Such is the case with David Schweikert, who is the Republican candidate for Congress in District 5.

I have known David since he was a teenager when I was a teacher at Saguaro High School. He joined a political club I sponsored at the time.

Later, he decided to run for public office himself and was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives at the age of 28. Recently, he served as Maricopa County treasurer.

David served with distinction in the Legislature where the leadership elected him to the position of majority whip. As Maricopa County treasurer, he protected the taxpayers’ money by investing $300 million of their money and didn’t lose a cent. In both positions, he exercised good judgment and personal integrity. He is a man of principle with extensive financial experience, whom we can trust to make wise financial decisions that will put our country back on solid economic footing.

So, the opposition can lie all it wants to misrepresent and impugn the character of a fine young man like David. I just want to set the record straight by stating the truth from a personal perspective. A lie is a lie — no matter how many times you tell it. Don’t believe it!




Do your research

This note’s intent is not to persuade anyone to vote for a particular individual nor a particular initiative, but rather to urge us to vote in a certain way, the way our democracy or any democracy has always intended the electorate to vote — with our reason.

The wiles developed by mass-media advertising science have crept into our election process with two particularly sinister approaches: One, disingenuousness with the presentation and naming of initiatives; and two, marketing of the candidates as products rather than presenting substantive arguments on positions. I feel disheartened that the electorate is being intentionally tricked on many fronts. Initiatives are named exactly opposite to their true impacts. Candidates argue over irrelevant points which their handlers have determined will excite voters.

Please read the initiatives and the arguments for and against them; don’t just judge by the title while in the voting booth. Please study the candidates’ positions; ignore the sound bites. And if on Tuesday you can’t articulate why you are voting as you are on a position or candidate, just don’t vote on that item. Don’t allow yourself to be a pawn in the degradation of our election process.



Use vote to support the disabled

Every vote counts! We’ve become more aware of this as we have seen elections decided by smaller margins than ever before. One highly influential group which represents 20 percent of the state’s population can make a significant impact on the outcome of an election. Who is this group? Arizonans with disabilities.

As the director of Advocacy Programs at Arizona Bridge to Independent Living and member of the Arizona Disability Advocacy Coalition, I have seen the impact voting or failure to vote can have on our community and nation. I encourage you to seek information before entering the polls to make sure you are voting in favor of candidates and programs that support the independence and economic self-sufficiency of people with disabilities like the AHCCCS Freedom to Work program.

Staying involved by voting puts all of us in the position of having more control of our money, community and overall well-being. Be sure to get out and make a difference with your vote on Tuesday!






McCain now a neo-con

There are countless reasons not to vote for John McCain. The main reason is that the senator has transformed himself from a maverick to a neo-con, the same neo-cons that sat in the Oval Office and had the majority in Congress between 2001 and 2007. This same Republican Party, without any resistance, implemented every foreign and domestic policy they wanted. These are the policies that have created the economic mess here at home and the mess in the Middle East. And for some reason John McCain wants to continue down the same failed path.

McCain’s campaign slogan of “Country First” is a joke. “Party First” would be more like it. He has adopted the Karl Rove strategy of winning at all cost. A prime example of this is his pick of a vice presidential running mate. This decision could not have been more political. Was she really the most qualified person for the job? Absolutely not! Am I happy he picked Sarah Quaylin as his V.P. pick? You betcha!



Tax reform key issue

John McCain talks about lowering the corporate income tax and cutting the capital gains tax rate, and Barack Obama talks about refundable tax credits. How about some real tax reform? Even if McCain succeeded in lowering the corporate income tax rate, we’d still have double taxation of dividends. Almost a third of corporations pay no income tax already, so therefore the rate cannot be “too high.” As Ford and GM show, not all corporations earn a profit, and the corporate income tax is a tax on profit.

No profit, no tax. Meanwhile, eliminating the capital gains tax on homes encouraged flipping and speculation. There’s got to be a better way.

On the individual side, a 30 percent single tax rate against which to apply those refundable tax credits — starting with one for payroll taxes paid — would help. On the corporate side, I’d use the 30 percent rate also — but with a radical change: a tax credit for dividends paid, and possibly also for payroll taxes paid. For example, if a corporation earned $1 billion in gross profits, taxed at 30 percent — it would in theory owe $300 million in tax to Uncle Sam. But suppose the corporation paid out $100 billion in dividends from its net earnings: with my plan, the corporation gets to reduce its $300 million tax liability to $200 billion, lowering its rate to 20 percent. This is better than tax deductibility of dividends as an anti-speculation devise.

In regards to Barack Obama’s “refundable tax credit” idea, there is no reason for more than one tax rate. Double taxation of dividends is not defensible. People work to earn profits and government shouldn’t tax away the incentive to earn, save, or invest. It’s better to keep it simple.



Obama is too scary

I know the ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin will keep us out of harm’s way. Joe Biden has already told us to “mark his words,” that we will have a national/international catastrophe hit us within six months if Barack Obama is elected president.

Obama’s inexperience and naivete has definitely had an impact on our enemies. They love him and want him president. That should make you ask, “Why?” It’s very obvious in my eyes, he is a dangerous man. The company he keeps scares me to death, not to mention his wife, Michelle, who would not make a great first lady.

She’s never been happy in our United States.

I’m 61 years old and was a Democrat all my life until this election. I am a Republican now as I do not want socialism or my wealth to be distributed; I don’t want socialized health plans and I do not believe in killing babies during any term of pregnancy. I support our troops wholeheartedly, and I want to have as many guns as I please to protect myself.



McCain doesn’t support vets

This campaign has been diverted in many ways. One issue that is very important to veterans is that we have been passed over. John McCain has repeatedly voted against or not voted at all for just about every veterans bill that has been proposed or passed on the Senate floor. John McCain, the “honored veteran,” is not being honest with other veterans when he claims to stand up for all us and take care of us. This is why many veterans have switched parities and will be voting for Barack Obama. McCain has not done any favors for any active or inactive military men. This why McCain only gets at 20 percent favorable rating from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and Barack Obama gets an 80 percent rating.

Yes, veterans, before you go to the voting booth, be sure you know John McCain is not a friend to veterans.



Don’t let Obama appoint judges

I’m a longtime conservative Republican precinct committeeman, and haven’t been a big fan of John McCain in the past. He’s not as conservative as I’d like. But this year, it’s not about voting for McCain. Rather, it’s about voting against Barack Obama. I’m concerned more on what his election will mean to generations of Americans if he wins this election.

Can you imagine giving control of the country to Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid? These four are among the most liberal members in Congress and not only will you see your taxes increase and our troops yanked out of Iraq before the job is done, you’ll see something far worse: the appointment of two to four Supreme Court judges and dozens of liberal district and appellate court judges.

Gay marriage is legal in three states. In all three, the courts decided against the will of the people. If Obama and Biden get elected, you’ll see this kind of elitist liberalism spread like wildfire across the nation. The appointment of two to four Supreme Court judges could damage our country for generations to come. This year, the court ruled 5-4 that citizens do have the right to bear arms. Five to four! This is the Second Amendment to the Constitution, folks. How can the court be split 5-4 on something that’s part of the Constitution? They also voted 5-4 that the detainees in Guantanamo Bay are eligible for habeas corpus rights.

I’m urging you to do exactly what McCain’s mom urged us to do this spring, and that’s hold your nose and vote for her boy!



Record is what makes Palin popular

How many public officials have a 90 percent approval rating? The president’s rating is 25 percent and Congress’ is even lower at a dismal 12 percent. In contrast, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has soared in public opinion polls and holds a steady 80 percent approval rating. Why do Alaskan people love her? It’s simple, Sarah Palin is not your typical politician.

Sarah Palin does not merely make empty promises, but actually delivers what she says. For instance, during her campaigning, Palin promised ethics reform in government. Within her first few days of office, she introduced and ultimately signed into law ethics legislation that stood up to special interests, while securing the common good. Palin also promised to cut back on government spending and during her term as governor, she has vetoed nearly a half a billion dollars in wasteful spending.

This is what the American people are looking for in leadership. Someone who holds herself accountable and delivers on her promises.



Obama doing his best to fool us

Why blame Sen. Barack Obama for not talking about his background? A succession of relationships that include radicals like Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., William Ayers, Rashid Khalidi, and particularly Khalid Al-Mansourg or crooked politicians like Tony Rezko and Allison S. Davis is not a group I would expose to the world if given a choice. Some of the organizations he was a member of or supported in the Illinois arena are likewise better left undiscussed, from his viewpoint.

Why the concern about increasing taxes on big companies? The CEOs and others in those companies are clearly getting ridiculous annual salaries. If we increase the company taxes, they won’t have the funds to continue that, right? Of course those companies also are the ones who create jobs, pay dividends, and whose stock value my retirement fund depends upon. They are also the source of most of the contributions to organizations like the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, food banks, shelters, etc.

Hmm, as I wrote that it sort of sound like cutting off my nose to spite my face. Maybe we could just get legislation that allows the government to regulate how much those individuals make.

On Obama’s health plans, I don’t see them as being so far out. I am on the management team of a small nonprofit company and I can purchase the care he proposes for our employees today. Of course, neither my company nor the employees can afford those premiums but Obama will get the necessary legislation to regulate the insurance companies and doctors so we can afford it.

So let’s give Obama a break. It is difficult to make socialism sound like free enterprise except to those who currently don’t have jobs or retirement programs.



Palin’s ideas about VP’s role misguided

Peggy Szoke (“Angel on McCain’s shoulder,” Letters, Oct. 20) exults over the possibility that Sarah Palin might become the next vice president as “the right choice for the nation and the world.” She further fantasizes that Palin will be an angel on John McCain’s shoulder to help him make tough decisions.

I’m laughing out loud. The office of vice president is largely ceremonial, symbolic and pointless. Are we to believe, for instance, that the president would need to call Palin at 2 a.m. and ask whether we should nuke Iran? I think not.

This fuzzy faith in our future is the typical reaction of those who have been snookered into thinking the vice president has anything at all to do with parties, power or the political landscape. Indeed, the vice president’s sole function is to draw people like Szoke into dreaming that you can counterbalance a confirmed socialist like McCain with down-home sentimentalism and the scripted chuckles of “Saturday Night Live.”

The only difference between her party and the other is in the rapidity at which we will be shackled by the coming totalitarianism.



Support Obama to support life

During the past few Sundays I listened to homilies on the Catholic Church’s position on the sanctity of life and the opposition to abortion. I questioned whether a Catholic in good conscience, following church doctrine, should vote for a pro-choice, abortion rights candidate? This question has become a national debate. The Catholic bishop in Joe Biden’s hometown of Scranton, Pa., has ordered every priest in the diocese to read a letter warning “that voting for a supporter of abortion rights amounts to endorsing homicide.”

A pretty strong indictment against a Catholic who wants to vote for the Democratic ticket!

I care deeply about the sanctity of life. I also care for the thousands of children and families killed in Iraq, the bombed destruction of a country, and our military lives lost in war. I care about the children and adults in our country without health care. I care about the inability of parents to buy food and the families who lost their homes because of predator lenders. I care about the poor education received by inner-city youth and for many citizens who have lost their life savings in an economy destroyed by the uncontrolled greed and manipulations in our financial institutions. I am also very concerned about the increasing unemployment and negative international reputation of our country.

Recently I became aware of a statement from the U.S. Catholic bishops in 2007 explicitly allowing a vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights if the vote was cast for other “morally grave” reasons.

Consequently, the bishops urged Catholics to thoroughly examine their conscience on all the issues before they vote.

After considerable thought, reflection and prayer I concluded that there are a significant number of morally grave issues in this election. This is why I encourage all citizens who care deeply for the sanctity of life, who may or may not oppose abortion, to vote for Barack Obama for president.



Government has always spread wealth

The latest John McCain assault — on the concept of “spreading the wealth” or, more accurately, redistribution of wealth — is as mindless as his entire economic plan. Spreading the wealth is a bit of jargon used to describe what the government has been doing since our Constitution was ratified. That is how the federal government functions. Every tax dollar one pays is redistributed by Uncle Sam for services, administration, goods and all the other things he spends money on. Who paid for the transcontinental railroad, the interstate highway system, every military expenditure and on and on?

Aren’t tax breaks for oil companies, foreign aid, paying indirectly for lobbyists and giving congressional raises all redistribution of wealth? It begins with the tax code and ends if or when the country goes bankrupt.

So I hear the Republicans whine about this like they just discovered it happens. And what could be a bigger redistribution than the bailout they voted for the very institutions that fill their campaign coffers? People forget that it’s the endless numbers of low-paid people who make factories hum, sell the goods in the stores, fix our utilities, punch our registers and restock our shelves that make it possible for the mucky mucks at the top to indulge themselves. How did the reasonable idea of paying a living wage become distorted into a phrase, “spreading the wealth,” that makes it ring of inequity and downright theft? The theft begins on payday for the wage earner. His golden parachute has no rip cord.



Experience better

John McCain has 22 years in the military and is an undisputed hero. He has spent many years as a U.S. senator. Sarah Palin was a mayor and is the governor of Alaska. Palin has more executive experience than Barack Obama or Joe Biden. Neither Obama nor Biden have ever managed so much as a drugstore.

Imagine now you need surgery. Your family doctor tells you he can refer you to one of two surgeons. The first has been practicing for two years and is a nice fellow. The second has been practicing for more than 20 years and does fine work. Both are available. Choose experience. Do it for the country. Do it for your family.



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