SEN. MIKE CRAPO
Senator should beremoved from office
Recently one of our Idaho senators, Sen. Mike Crapo, was arrested and pleaded guilty for driving under the influence of alcohol. His blood-alcohol level was a .14, the legal limit being .08. Crapo admits he was wrong to drink and drive and stated that he was “grateful, truly grateful, that no one was injured.” Luckily, in this case there are second chances. However, choices come with consequences, and I think Crapo should be removed from his Senate seat. We should not allow people to represent us and make our laws if they break them and endanger others’ lives in the process.
EMILY COLEMAN, Boise
A little bit too honest?
It may be that Sen. Mike Crapo is a little too honest to be in the public spotlight.
If Sen. Crapo had been like Larry Craig, he could have held a press conference at the Depot, surrounded by fawning Republicans, and bellowed, “I am not a drinker!”
Or he could have deflected media attention by taking the Helen Chenoweth approach, proclaiming, “I have spoken to God, and he has forgiven me.”
Or he could have studied the performance skills of Butch Otter, who knows a thing or two about DUI. Imagine the difference if Sen. Crapo had said, “I was simply sampling one of the excellent Idaho vodkas in preparation for a major campaign to sell them to China.” The visions of money coming into Idaho and taxes being lowered are enough to deflect the attention of any red-blooded Idahoan.
Unfortunately, the opportunity to use such well-tested Republican deflection tactics has passed. At this point, all I can advise Sen. Crapo is, as my father once advised me regarding vodka: Don’t mix liquor with soda pop. If a man is going to drink it should only be whiskey and branch water.
GARY L. BENNETT, Emmett
Religion is not relevant
I believe the Idaho Statesman has been unfair in its coverage of Sen. Mike Crapo. This includes stories and editorials. In all the years I have known him or observed his actions, he has never used his religion in running for election or in expressing a moral view. The Statesman, however, has taken his religion and used it in every story regarding the DUI Mike received. I cannot remember ever seeing the religion of prominent citizens or politicians being used by the Statesman in its reporting of DUIs, sexual harassment, tax evasion or whatever. If Mr. Crapo had ever flaunted moral superiority, I could understand the Statesman making an issue of his religion. The fact is, Mr. Crapo never has done so. I am not LDS or Republican.
LARRY CHASE, Boise
Straying from the faith
I am writing to you in response to the individual who recently wrote that she was upset because she believed people were picking on her religion in light of Sen. Mike Crapo being arrested.
The majority of members of the LDS church believe they are better than us gentiles due to their lifestyles, e.g. no consumption of alcohol, caffeine.
During the years I spent in Salt Lake City doing my graduate work, I had many colleagues and acquaintances of the Mormon faith who openly consumed alcohol.
I recall reading an article published with some facts and figures from the state tax department, referring to the dollar amount collected just from taxes on alcohol sales. It was stated that if all the alcohol consumed in the state of Utah was in fact consumed by non-Mormons, there wouldn’t be one sober man, woman or child in the state.
It appears that the good senator, who at the time of his unfortunate incident while driving in Virginia, will now have to submit to having an ignition device installed in his car to ensure he doesn’t have another unfortunate incident.
DR. GEORGE R. GORTON 1ST, Boise
Is DUI an indicator of professional decisions?
As to Mr. Chuck Chappell’s comments on Sen. Mike Crapo (Letters, Jan. 13), you’re missing the point. People are calling him a hypocrite not only because he is a public official and was endangering the public with his willful disregard for the law, but also because, as a public official, one’s personal preferences (i.e. his religion) are known, and alcohol use is prohibited by the Mormon Church. I’ll admit I don’t know this as a fact, but using the Catholic Church as a comparison is incorrect as alcohol is not banned by that organization. A hypocrite is one who says one thing and does another. (No comment here on politicians or religious leaders.)
Bottom line — drinking and driving is dangerous to oneself and others. As a public official, one should at least attempt to set an example of a law-abiding citizen. The Mormon Church can make its own decision about this particular member. Is Mr. Crapo human? Yes. Do people make mistakes? Yes. Should voters question Mr. Crapo’s personal decisions as an indicator of his professional decisions? Perhaps.
TOM DEMPSEY, Boise
Is he cowardly, oris he incompetent?
When I read about Sen. Mike Crapo being arrested for DUI, I called his office in Washington, D.C., to express my concern about his embarrassing behavior. I couldn’t talk to anyone but was told by the recording that my call was important and that if I left a message and phone number someone on his staff would return my call. After more than a week of waiting, no one called.
At the same time I called Sen. Crapo’s Boise office. The voicemail said to leave a comment or opinion, hit extension 10. I did that and was told by the auto attendant that the voicemail box was full. I called the Boise office back and hit 0 for the receptionist. That also took me to the same voicemail which was full. Bottom line, I couldn’t leave a comment or talk to anyone at either of Sen. Crapo’s D.C. or Boise offices.
I have concluded that Sen. Crapo is either cowardly, hiding behind his voicemail, or is too incompetent to respond to his voicemails. Either way, I am one constituent that will never vote for him.
DAVID MINERT, Kuna
The sheepdog’s role
Sheep, wolves and sheepdogs. Most of the people in our society are kind, gentle and only hurt one another by accident or under extreme provocation. Some in society are wolves who feed on the sheep without mercy. They are evil and capable of horrible deeds. We also have the sheepdogs that protect the sheep and confront the wolves. These people have some capacity for violence but retain respect for their fellow citizens.
If you want to be a sheep, that comes at a price. You and your family will suffer if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, the sheepdogs are going to protect the sheep and hunt you down. But if you want to be a sheepdog, then you must make a conscious and moral decision to prepare yourself when the wolf comes knocking at the door.
The tragedy in Connecticut reminds us how most people are decent honest sheep, and we cannot eliminate society’s wolves. We need to dispense with the odd liberal ideas about self-protection that hinder the sheepdogs who can save you from the wolves.
DAVE SZPLETT, Kuna
Senators didn’t listen
I’ll admit right up front that my granddaughter was a member of the Cecil Andrus Elementary School honor choir that performed for the opening session of the Idaho Senate. I know the hard work they put into the preparation and how excited they were to be singing in the state Capitol building before the “august” body of senators. Imagine my disappointment, then, when throughout their performance of three songs, Sens. Branden Durst, Dean Cameron, Les Bock (my own newly elected senator), Monty Pearce, Steve Bair, Cherie Buckner-Webb, Jeff Siddoway and Bert Brackett spent the time perusing their laptops, shuffling papers and checking their smartphones. They didn’t even have the courtesy to act interested. Now I know that a performance by elementary school kids may not be as stimulating as, say, figuring out how to do an end-run around the school propositions’ defeat, but I’m wondering what those sweet children thought when (if) they realized that their efforts didn’t warrant 10 minutes of attention of some of our “esteemed” lawmakers.
CARROL KELLER, Boise
Simplot mansion: Why not simply convert the former Simplot home into small apartments for the legislators to use while they are in town for their yearly sessions? Charge a nominal fee which will go toward the upkeep of the residence and help maintain the grounds so all of us can enjoy its magnificence and beautiful American flag as we drive by.
MIKE RIEBS, Star
Why all the worryabout Wall Street?
Over the cliff, I doubt it.
Why the worry about Wall Street in the cliff? They do not work through the profit and loss sheets?
Private enterprise is before the fact. Bringing asset money and asset labor together as working capital by the profit and loss sheets, to create products and services for the use and consumption side. This is sold through again the profit and loss sheets, creating earnings, costs, business support expense, income, profits for balance sheet, and taxes for education and infrastructure for business.
JOHN WEST, Emmett