Saturday, September 19, 2020

Election mail bag Aug. 9

| August 9, 2020 1:00 AM

From the Democrats website: “Every four years, the Democratic Party puts together our party platform, the ideas and beliefs that govern our party as a whole.” Buried deep within this documents is the statement “... As autocrats and strongmen around the world crack down on civil society and imprison those who speak out to demand greater freedom, we will continue to bolster groups and individuals who fight for fundamental human rights, democracy, and rule of law. ...”

From this one would assume that the Democrats support “law and order” no matter who you are or where you live.

Well, how does this square with the Democrats support for sanctuary cities that flaunt the federal laws regarding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) laws on immigration and enforcement? Are the Democrats fighting for law and order when they support eliminating or reducing local police departments? When local mayors allow rioters and activists to burn and pillage homes and businesses are they “bolstering law and order”? Examples can go on ad nauseam.

So, Democrats, looks to me like “autocrats and strongmen” and your “party leaders” are speaking the same language, that is, tell the masses what they want to hear and then do what they want anyway (or what their real agenda is.)

This is how countries fail. This is what socialists and communists do to overthrow a nation.

Democrats, you are being hoodwinked by your party leaders.

—Duane Egan, Columbia Falls

Hello, the more I know about Elsie Arntzen, the more convinced I am she is doing an amazing job. As a teacher educator and researcher, I realize the importance of a highly knowledgeable leader in the superintendent position for OPI.

Elsie collaborates with parents, students, co-workers in administration for carefully crafted educational services. More than ever, we need an incumbent as the Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction. Elsie knows from statewide travel and tele-communications the complexity of teaching in these COVID circumstances, the uniqueness of students and family circumstances. She is reassuring with eyes wide open. Quality of instructional programs matter.

Specifically, with 23 years as a teacher experience, legislative experience, and administration, she knows who to contact, when, and how to shape action plans. Elsie worked hard on school safety and mental health and the procurement of CARES Act funding, rewriting the Montana Career and Technical Education guidelines for her Montana Ready Initiative. She knows the importance of highly skilled teachers for our school programs that use business, industry, military, and two-year college partnerships. She hired the new Career and Technical Education Director to assure the Montana Ready Initiative had cohesion and was a fully funded program.

—Sally Peterson, Missoula

I love absentee voting because I can take the time to pore over the Voter Information Packet to make informed decisions on issues and candidates rather than deciding on the spur of the moment in the voting booth. I may have made my mind up on issues and candidates that are high in profile, but I’d like to make good decisions on all matters that come before me as a voter – state, county, and city office holders have important responsibilities too, and some of the referenda and initiatives may have far-reaching consequences that aren’t spelled out. I may need to study up a little before I have the confidence to decide.

Voting has become an increasingly challenging task and yet nothing we do as citizens is more important. Absentee voting is simply the smarter way to vote. I urge you to sign up to vote absentee today so you too can vote with the confidence that comes from knowing who and what you’re voting on!

—Joan Rostad, Bozeman

Montana isn’t like other states in regards to bustling cities and towns. We are a state largely made up of rural communities filled with hardworking farmers and ranchers. That’s why it’s so important to have someone representing us in Congress that understands our values, needs and lifestyle.

Steve Daines has long, deep roots in Montana and has fought for farmers and ranchers since day one. He knows what it takes for rural Montana to thrive. That’s why recently Senator Daines has fought to prioritize beef born in Montana by joining a bipartisan resolution to mandate Country of Origin Labeling (COOL).

During the heart of the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. customs and border protection sought to close ports of entry into Montana. The coronavirus has already taken a significant toll on Montana agriculture and we could not afford to have these ports closed. That’s why Senator Daines fought and succeeded in keeping these ports open.

The bottom line is, Senator Daines has always had Montanan’s best interest in mind and stood with us every step of the way. That’s why come November, I will be VOTING Steve Daines for Senate and encourage all my fellow farmers and ranchers to do as well.

—Maureen Davey, Columbus

We have seen through these unprecedented times the importance and value of our hospitals, access to health care, and our health-care heroes. Now more than ever, Montanans need both quality and accessibility when it comes to healthcare. Even in the middle of this health crisis, Senator Daines has attacked Montanans’ access to quality, affordable health care.

Senator Daines says he is “committed to putting Montana first,” but actions speak louder than words. Nearly one in 10 Montanans rely on Medicaid expansion, a program made possible by the Affordable Care Act that Senator Daines wants to see struck down. Senator Daines supports a lawsuit that would rip healthcare coverage from thousands of Montanans in a time when they need it most. Daines has repeatedly refused to stand up for Montanans’ healthcare coverage in the Senate.

Is Senator Daines committed to the thousands of Montanans relying on the Affordable Care Act, or just his billionaire and corporate donors?

—Kim Mahoney, Kalispell