Election mail bag Oct. 22

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Vote YES for I-186

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Ben Franklin wrote that back in the day before the Internet and all our modern sophistication. Does it still apply?

Take hard rock mining. Mining was largely responsible for Montana’s rise as a state. But we can look at many places across our state where the impacts of mining persist.

Butte, Anaconda, the Clark Fork River and many other locations have required hundreds of millions of dollars to repair damage to our water, land and communities. No one knows what to do with the Berkeley Pit.

The Zortman-Landusky mine in eastern Montana has cost Montana taxpayers more than $50 million dollars to treat wastewater leaching from the closed mine. Montana taxpayers are on the hook pretty much forever for about $2 million a year.

We, as voters, can bring an end this ‘subsidy’ to irresponsible mining by voting in favor or I-186, the “YES for Responsible Mining” ballot initiative.

I-186 would require the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to deny permits for new hard rock mines if the mine’s reclamation plan does not “contain measures sufficient to prevent the pollution of water without the need for perpetual treatment.”

Now that’s an ounce of prevention. Vote YES for I-186.

— David Hadden, Bigfork

Brodehl has conservative values

I am encouraging my neighbors in the Flathead Valley to vote for Randy Brodehl to fill the District 3 seat on the Flathead County Commission. Randy is a man of faith, integrity, conservative values and unmatched experience. He has been a small business man, administered the Kalispell Fire Department as Chief and served on the House Appropriations and Judicial Committees while serving in the Montana House of Representatives. He will be a great addition to the balance of the Commission.

­— Bob Faulkner, Kalispell

Who Said It?

Can you guess which U.S. President said this in his Inaugural Address?

“How can we love our country and not love our countrymen? And loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal them when they’re sick, and provide opportunities to make them self-sufficient so they will be equal in fact and not just in theory.”

It was Ronald Reagan. I ask my Republican brothers and sisters what has happened to your party? What happened to the appeal to our better natures? When did personal attacks and self-promotion replace mutual respect and doing what’s best for the country and the world?

We all have a chance Nov. 6 to turn things around and begin the process of healing we so desperately need.

See you at the polls.

— Gil Jordan, Coram

GOP’s attempt to undo Roosevelt

Normally I am supportive of the Republican ticket. However I detest the attempt by some Republicans to undo what I consider a great Republican president accomplished for all Americans. The setting up of public lands for all Americans to enjoy. Now we have the attempt by some republicans to undo what President Teddy Roosevelt accomplished.

This is why I support Jon Tester. He is fighting to preserve our public lands.

He is fighting to preserve our Medicaid and Medicare programs that so many Americans depend for their medical care. The elderly and the disabled. Remember the nation of Israel under the Mosaic law had means to care for those needing assistance. Christians were commanded to care for those in their congregations that needed help.

He also has provided for those that have served our country. Instead of, at times, having to travel some distance for medical care it is now available from local sources.

For these reasons I encourage others to whom these issues are important to join me in support of Jon Tester in his bid for re-election.

— Robert Tebeau, Kalispell

Tester wrong for Montana

In this midterm election, as an independent thinker and voter, all I see is Democrats complaining about tax cuts, saying they are for the rich, you are sounding like a sorry song from the past. The Trump tax cuts were for hard-working Montanans. Tester gave a NO vote for the people of this state. Montana’s pay scale is number 15 out of 16 western states. He should check the statistics before he votes NO.

As the ranking member of the Homeland Security committee Tester skipped 76 percent of hearings. Kate’s law was a No vote from Tester, he supports sanctuary cities, and he supports open borders. What more needs to be said? A country without law and order is not a country fit to live in. It has become obvious that Tester cares more about his party than the citizens of this state.

As far as the rise in premiums, due to Obamacare, let the truth be known, Tester was the final vote for Obamacare. Now Tester is trying to blame the other guy. With all the money Tester has taken from lobbyists there is no way he can make decisions that will be good for Montana.

— Julia Fehrs, Bigfork

We had better step up

America will heal-to-wholeness. Regardless of what has become a very dangerous-to-our-democracy politically divisive environment, there is a sensible way forward. As Abraham Lincoln declared about our nation in his Gettysburg address: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”

Ever hear of “Populist” or “People’s Party”? This goes back to 1800. In 1882 James B. Weber was the party’s candidate for president. The People’s Party did not survive but” populism” did.

Consider these quotes by Roger Hickey in the Huffington Post way back in March 2014: “A new progressive populist movement is rising up in the United States. Inspired by an expansive vision of greater economic opportunity for all Americans, this movement is also fueled by anger over politicians’ broken promises.”

Further: “Millions of Americans have come to realize that much of our democratic system is now owned by moneyed elites who use their power to resist real change and to manipulate the economy for their own financial gain. Even the mass media know something big is going on.”

And lastly: “We are the richest country humanity has ever seen, and we are at our richest moment. Yet hardworking Americans keep coming home to ‘a plate full of worry.’ This is largely because over the last few decades the wages of the bottom 80 percent of Americans have fallen or stagnated while the super-rich rake in all the profits. We can do better, and we must.”

The shock waves surrounding our present situation in America has only one clear answer. That clear answer is for the vast majority of voter-eligible people to get out and vote. Remember Lincoln’s words: “Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

This goes to the heart of what formed our nation and what is needed to advance its formation. The ball is in the court of “We The People.” Can we all agree that we had better step up to our great opportunity for healing-to-wholeness?

— Bob McClellan, Polson

Small business is not a dirty word

Why is health care such a dirty word with some politicians? Politicians who talk out of both sides of their mouth, on one hand saying how small businesses are the engine of economic growth in Montana, and on the other hand trying to eliminate health care for everyone.

What’s up with that?

Small businesses in Montana are started by entrepreneurs, with cojones of steel. Individuals with an idea, who take a leap of faith (usually without a regular paycheck), who with hard work and a little luck, can bootstrap our way to creating a business that can survive.

It isn’t just the lack of a regular paycheck that entrepreneurs must face … it’s also the lack of health insurance coverage. With the stupidly high cost of health care today, any incident can turn disastrous.

Politicians who staunchly oppose Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (it’s the same thing), are in truth voicing their strong opposition to the creation of new small businesses.

I am a small business owner. If it weren’t for the ACA, I could not afford health care coverage for my family.

Sen. Jon Tester gets this. Supporting a health-care system that allows an entrepreneur to have some type of safety net, in case someone in his/her family needs health care, is simply supporting Small Business.

Sen. Tester knows Obamacare isn’t perfect, but he supports health care for all. He doesn’t apologize for his position, nor should he. To oppose the Affordable Health Care Act, or some new version of it, is to oppose Small Business.

A vote for Senator Jon Tester is a vote for the honest support for the safety net that entrepreneurs need to start and grow small businesses. Small business is not a dirty word, and neither is Sen. Tester’s support for healthcare.

— Tom Britz, Whitefish

Second-grade memories

The recent kerfuffle concerning presidential advisor Stephen Miller and his third grade teacher’s reminiscences about little Stephen, brought back memories of my second grade teacher. Like Stephen Miller, I suspect my habits and personality were challenging to my teacher.

It seems like I was always being sent home for something. I didn’t mind it much though as it was always a rewarding mile walk home, wandering aimlessly through the west side of Great Falls, toward my destiny with my mother.

I was the middle of five boys that my parents brought into the world in their first decade of marriage in the late 1940s and early 1950s. We Muri boys all got into trouble periodically, but I seemed to have more school related problems than the older two. The two younger brothers didn’t count much as they were still in diapers or just learning to run about the house and yard on 5th Ave NW; baby sister was a good decade in the future.

My mother was generally good hearted toward me and my teacher. When my mother went to a parent-teacher conference, and my teacher told my mother, “Mrs. Muri, I really don’t know how I should say this, but I just don’t like Tommy.”

My mother, without missing a beat, simply replied, “Oh, don’t worry about it too much, Tommy doesn’t care that much for you either.”

— Tom Muri, Whitefish

Choose a side

Good people of Montana. Democrat or Christian. You can’t be both.

— Michael Dickerson

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