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Letters to the editor Sept. 19

| September 19, 2022 12:00 AM

Zinke loves our country

Vote for Ryan Zinke for U.S. House. Ryan is a Montana boy and a patriot through and through. Ryan grew up in Whitefish and graduated from Whitefish High in 1980. I graduated from Flathead High in 1979 and did not know Ryan at that time, but my mother did.

My mother taught at the Whitefish Junior High for 15 years (1969-1984). She told me that Ryan was one of her favorite students. When Ryan first ran for Montana House, my mother told me that in the 1970s one of the fun activities they taught at the Whitefish Junior High was a mock legislature. She told me Ryan was one of the stars of that mock legislature. Ryan participated with such passion that she wasn’t surprised that he ran and won the race for his first term in the U.S. House. Even at that young age in the 1970s, my mom told me that Ryan had a deep love for our country.

My mother was also proud of Ryan for his success as a Navy SEAL. She said she was not surprised that Ryan was so successful in his life because of his passion and ability to work hard for what he believed in and his love for our country. Prior to my mother passing away a few years ago, we ran into Ryan at the Kalispell Center Mall and Ryan gave her a big hug. They had a short chat about those good old days in the 1970s when she taught Ryan and there was such love for this great country.

Ryan loves this country and will make Montana proud in the U.S. House. Ryan will always protect and defend our constitution. Please join me in voting for Ryan Zinke for the U.S. House in the general election.

— Jeff H. Larsen, Kalispell

Repke is the serious candidate

John Repke’s lengthy background in finance makes him well qualified to scrutinize the balance sheets of utility companies as a public service commissioner, and make careful mathematical projections of future costs, supplies, and demand. He can build a sober consensus to set utility rates that are fair to Montana families, while ensuring utilities can provide reliable service well into the future.

Repke also seems to have the right intentions to hold utilities accountable for investing ratepayers’ money prudently, and to clean up some of the corruption and malfeasance that taint the Commission today.

I have spoken with Dr. Annie Bukacek personally, and I can say confidently that she is terribly unsuited for the PSC. She has long been a caustic presence in Flathead Valley, agitating for one extreme-right cause after another. Lately it seems there is no harebrained conspiracy theory she won’t enthusiastically subscribe to.

On the county Board of Health, she was an everpresent obstacle to consensus and rational policy, reflexively dismissing expert recommendations and instead loudly promoting herself to her fanatical, misinformed devotees among the general public.

Now she’s actually tilting at windmills and trying to cast solar panels into darkness, throwing around wildly distorted, selective facts to try and fool people into thinking manufacturing this hardware, and scrapping it or recycling it when it wears out, causes worse pollution than oil or coal — fuels that are extracted using dirty, dangerous processes and then pump plumes of pollutants into the air as they are burned, every hour and every day in the lifetime of a power plant.

No matter what party you belong to, if you want fair utility rates and reliable service, it makes sense to elect a serious person like John Repke, not a wild-eyed firebrand like Annie Bukacek.

— Edward Salmon, Columbia Falls

Vote to protect Montana

What do you picture when you think of Montana? Is it the huge swaths of hikeable nature? Our varied individual liberties? The nation’s best fishing and hunting? Or is it privacy from the chaos and prying of more populated states like California?

Fifty years ago, Montanans decided that these things were important enough to our culture to be enshrined as rights within the state constitution. The product was the creation of the greatest constitution in the nation; one chock full of rights that average Montanans see the fruits of each and every day.

Although our constitution continues to receive widespread support in our state, it is now in grave danger. Out-of-state corporate special interests and out-of-touch politicians are trying to change our constitution and remove our rights against the wishes of regular citizens. If we elect a Legislature that stands for its own self-interest instead of Montana’s, the features of Montana that we love may slip away.

If we truly love our state, how can we stand for the destruction of our constitution? When casting your vote this November, I implore you to consider what makes our state great. Vote to protect your own rights, and vote to protect Montana.

— Georgia Balius, Missoula

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