Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Election

Diana Lachiondo

I’m voting for Diana Lachiondo for Ada County commissioner and here’s why.

Diana was born and raised in Ada County and has a deep commitment to enhancing the lives of its residents. Understanding the need for better planning throughout Ada County, Diana is an advocate for a comprehensive, countywide plan aimed at responsible growth. As we grow at an explosive rate, I feel it is critical to have a thoroughly researched, well-thought-out road map that will help maintain our open spaces and preserve our quality of life, as well as provide affordable housing for our residents.

Ms. Lachiondo knows the importance of fiscal responsibility and will use taxpayer dollars to benefit our communities moving forward. She is honest, transparent and ethical, something we desperately need in politics these days.

If Ada County voters want commissioners who are intelligent, accountable, passionate about improving lives, and will work hard to make our communities better, please vote for Diana Lachiondo.

Diana Echeverria, Boise

GOP majority

I confess that until this year I didn’t know the numbers; oh, I knew that Idaho was solid red almost everywhere but didn’t realize that our House is 59 out of 70 GOP and our Senate is 29 of 36 GOP. Massive imbalance. Explains the continued failure to address serious health, education, environment, housing, ethics and infrastructure issues. The lobbyists run Boise by wining and dining legislators egregiously; the state departments have little oversight; and nothing meaningful gets done.

Worse, ignorance of these numbers is rampant. When asked, most people tell me that the GOP has a simple majority instead of the lopsided tilt that exists. If you’re happy with what you’ve gotten from Idaho government the last four years by voting overwhelming Republican, then keep right on doing it. If not, there’s a foolproof way to change it.

Gary Hoffman, M.D., Ketchum

Brad Little

Brad Little’s new “Idaho Education Plan” makes an important point: that his top priority as governor will be to make sure Idaho prepares and keeps the best teachers for our classrooms. We’ve all seen study after study on how to improve the public school system, and there’s been one constant throughout: we need good teachers, period. Brad’s plan to increase the starting pay for teachers is a good way to get teachers into the classroom; his plan to tie on-going salary increases to better student outcomes is a good way to keep teachers over the long run. It’s not just parents of students who should care about what’s happening in our schools. The rest of us have a stake in a good school system as well, because the better prepared our students are for future jobs or more education, the better off the state will be. That’s why I’m supporting Brad Little for governor in November. He gets that the key to school success lies in every classroom, every day, with every teacher.

Paul Jackson, Boise

Russ Fulcher

Russ Fulcher, candidate U.S. Congress for District 1 here in Idaho, is the clear choice for Idaho. Russ has a proven record of leadership in the State Senate, in private business and both his public and personal life. For example while Russ served in the state Senate, he was elected Senate Republican Caucus Leader by his peers, that is leadership in action. Russ is pro-life, pro-gun and pro-Constitution. A look at the endorsements Russ has received and those that stand beside him, and the choice is clear, Idaho needs Russ Fulcher representing Idaho in Congress. The words used to describe Russ Fulcher are ‘citizen statesman,’ words with high meaning and distinction and show a clear life long dedication to the state of Idaho and its citizens. I support Russ Fulcher and encourage all Idahoans to vote for Russ this election.

Steve Christensen, Boise

Aaron Swisher

It has become obvious that we need fresh ideas and focus in Congress. Mike Simpson has been there too long, and I would be incredibly proud to send Aaron Swisher to Washington to replace him. Aaron is smart, highly educated, refreshingly honest, energetic, and down-to-earth. He listens and has the pulse of District 2 voters.

He stands in stark contrast to our current out-of-touch Congress and a narrow-minded, short-sighted, and corrupt president who mocks and defames whoever gets in his way. I have never been more embarrassed or ashamed than I was when Donald Trump stood in front of his supporters and mocked and defamed Dr. Blasey Ford and other credible accusers of Brett Kavanaugh. But, on the other hand, he professes to have fallen in love with Kim Jung Un. What? Meanwhile, Republicans turn a blind eye to his unethical, dishonest, illegal, and boorish behavior. We are paying their salaries, but they aren’t listening; so when our voices become loud and insistent, they simply call it mob rule.

I’m a 75-year-old great-grandmother, a former Republican, and I’m angry. Conservative is no more. It has now become autocratic. Let’s clean house.

Pat Entwistle, Boise

No on Prop 2

At least 21,904 people have died on waiting lists in states that have Medicaid expansion. About 650,000 disabled and handicapped have waited for years (FGA).

I would agree with Dr. John Livingston, appointed by Gov. Otter to the Your Health Idaho oversight board in April 2013, “Medicaid Expansion will allow many people to believe that when the government steps in, they are discharged of their personal obligation to take care of their own family, friends, neighbors.” Besides taking away our right to help others in a personal way, we also lose the financial means to do so. Coercion and the loss of incentive to work reduce human dignity.

Dr. Livingston highlighted, “The Wall Street Journal pointed out that there are 35 million people, mostly friends and family members who provide in-home health services to 55 million patients for free .... The price tag of this care: more than $500 billion a year .... The $500 billion is almost equal to annual state and federal government Medicaid spending.” Wow, how will the government afford to pay for Medicaid Expansion? Will we be taxed beyond our means?

Proposition 2 expands funding to Planned Parenthood and for abortifacient contraceptive drugs (RLI)

Vote “no” on Proposition 2.

Sheryl Nuxoll, Cottonwood

Ask questions and vote

United Action for Idaho has put together “The People’s Platform.” Ideals that were created and vetted over 18 months. These are: Healthcare; Medicaid expansion. Protecting and preserving Medicare and Social Security. Gun sense; Community and school safety. A caring Economy; People before profits. A strong well funded Public education PreK-16. Access to affordable higher education. Dignity and protections at work. Restoring and protecting Local control. Public lands in public hands. Housing justice. Gender and Racial equity. True Climate justice. A just Immigration system. Sovereignty for Native Nations. True Democracy; Special Interest influence out of Idaho politics. Government transparency and accountability. Paulette Jordan — Governor, Kristin Collum — Lt. Governor, Aaron Swisher — Congressional Dist. 2, Cristina McNeil — Congressional Dist. 1 have all endorsed this platform. Ask candidates in your District’s House and Senate if they endorse this platform and vote Nov. 6th for those who do. For the betterment of all Idahoans.

Jeannie Peterson, Boise

Collum, Jordan

Just a thought about the upcoming election. Janice McGeachin is running for lieutenant governor and is in my opinion (and many others) the absolute wrong choice for all of us in Idaho. She is just another wealthy, so-called conservative, person who worships Trump and believes in his fanatical agenda. There is nothing good that Janice, or Trump, will do for the rest of us in Idaho who are not wealthy. We need a real change in state leadership who will bring us into the 21st Century rather than going backward, as Janice apparently prefers. Please vote for progressive change by supporting Kristin Collum for lieutenant governor and Paulette Jordan for governor.

Richard Smith, Boise

Cindy Wilson

Where is the current Idaho state superintendent of public instruction?

I care about education in Idaho. I am a parent whose children graduated from Idaho schools and a grandparent whose grandchildren are currently attending Idaho schools. I want to hear from those who are seeking my vote.

Yet, each time I read an article about a scheduled debate or public forum at which the candidates are going to meet with the voters — it includes “Democratic candidate Cindy Wilson has agreed to participate. Republican incumbent Sherri Ybarra has not responded to repeated invitations over the past several months.” (Idaho Education News)

Why not? Why does the current superintendent choose to not participate? Is that how she really cares about the voters — the parents and grandparents of the students sitting in classrooms throughout the state of Idaho?

As a voter, I attended several forums — and Cindy Wilson was there. I heard her share both passion and knowledge for advancing education in Idaho. It’s a vision that acknowledges that she will work for the public who is trusting her to be there.

Cindy Wilson was there — and she got my vote. I owe that to my grandchildren.

Hanna Betz, Boise

Superintendent

“No one gets to see the Wizard, not nobody not no how.” These words gracing the walls of Superintendent Ybarra’s office are perfect as they illuminate her identification with a character full of hot air, sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Her accomplishments in four years: the ill-conceived, amorphous and stillborn Rural Centers, rightly spurned by the Legislature three years running, and a doubling down on Mastery Education, even though studies show these programs in Idaho have mostly resulted in “low cognitive level instruction,” stunted achievement, and isolated learners. Though the 2018 Legislature put the brakes on this pot-of-gold-at-the-end-of-the-rainbow scheme that shows little promise and much risk for Idaho students and taxpayers, this fall she wants the whole state to drink the Kool-Aid, in violation of local control [IDAPA 08.02.03.103. “Patterns of instructional organization are a local school district option.”]. Now rebranded ‘personal learning’ to fool Idahoans, she is sending out staff to push her agenda in all districts. Her top-down, one size fits all programs is radical, reckless, and unproven, not innovative.

Rather than Oz, Idaho needs a superintendent with the brains, heart and courage to truly fight for students and education. This is not about party, but performance.

Scott Cook, Boise

Dotti Owens

I unequivocally and without reservation endorse Dotti Owens for the office of Ada County Coroner. This election is not about politics but rather the knowledge and ability to conduct the critical affairs and function of the office. The primary role of the Coroner is to determine and certify the cause and manner of death for those cases which fall under the jurisdiction of the Coroner, including natural, accidental, homicide and suicide. These investigations are by their very nature complex and at times fraught with danger to the investigators. And they have at times exposed criminal behavior that might have otherwise gone undetected. Dotti has the credentials, experience, and the qualified staff that has propelled her office into the 21st century. Let’s keep it moving forward. There is no other viable choice. Experience does count.

Gary Dawson, Boise

Paulette Jordan

Lt. Governor Brad Little advertises he will seek “world class” status for our schools. Studies, from Forbes to Education Week, rank Idaho’s schools from 34th to 50th in overall quality.

Little has been ensconced in the Statehouse for 17 years. If schools were important enough to be part of his campaign, how has he used his Statehouse position to work toward betterment?

I will vote for Paulette Jordan and give her a chance. Experience tells. Little’s experience tells me that quality of schools has become a priority since he decided to succeed Butch. Too little too late for me.

Fred Kelly Grant, Nampa

Democrats

If you can’t change your mind are you sure you still have one? This is only partially humorous and speaks to many of us so ensconced in our own position we can’t or won’t even consider alternatives.

We are not voting for Trump or Pelosi nor Kavanaugh or Ford. We are voting for those who will do the best for Idaho. We all know that Idaho is “the Mississippi of the West” ranking near last in nearly all measures social and economic welfare. We have gotten to this place by adherence to conservative doctrines that clearly don’t work. Too often slogans and labels have supplanted reasoned debate. For example, “big government.” What does that actually mean? Not much, it’s just a slogan. What is needed is not big or small government but appropriately sized government that effectively meets the needs of Idahoans. Or family values: what does that mean? Very little if families struggle just to feed, clothe and shelter themselves.

It is truly time for a change and I would encourage a serious open minded look at the current crop of Democrats who have real ideas for positive change that actually puts the needs of working Idahoans first.

Tim Teater, Boise

Jim Tibbs

Jim Tibbs is an outstanding Ada County Commissioner. His leadership, honesty, sound judgment, and ability to work with others are attributes that have been evident throughout his public service career.

Tibbs’ experiences as Boise’s Chief of Police, a Boise City Council Member, Idaho’s Drug Czar, and six years serving as a county commissioner have made him one of the most knowledgeable individuals running for local elected office.

Tibbs’ background coupled with his well known conservative fiscal beliefs enables him to serve Ada County effectively.

Jim is a dedicated public servant who, if reelected, will continue to make this community a safe and progressive place to live.

Please join me in voting for Jim Tibbs for Ada County Commissioner.

Dave Neal, Boise

Oust Trump supporters

In the latest piece of fiction from Donald Trump, “Dear Leader” claims (with no evidence) that “rogue agents” killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi. (Were the Saudi agents inspired by Trump’s attacks on the press?)

Trump claimed that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford was not assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh, instead maybe someone else assaulted her (when he wasn’t making fun of her and denying the assault even happened).

Despite what his intelligence agencies said, Trump claimed that Putin did not hack the 2016 election; instead, he suggested that maybe some 400-pound guy on a bed stole Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.

There is a continuing patten with Trump of constant lying, distraction and displacement.

The only way to stop Trump’s assault on our democracy is to vote out the gutless Republicans who support him.

Nov. 6 may be the last time you will have a chance to freely vote. If you don’t vote (and vote out Trump supporters) you will have only yourself to blame for the storm that is coming.

Gary L. Bennett, Boise

Janice McGeachin

As a mother here in Idaho I will be voting for Janice McGeachin. Janice understands the importance of education for our children because she is a mother herself. Janice recognizes that a quality education is necessary for all children to have, which is why she in favor of repealing common core. Common core state standards are vague and broad as well as a difficult adjustment for both students and teachers. As lieutenant governor of Idaho Janice will be putting our children first and looking out for their best interests, that is why I will be voting for her in November. I strongly urge all mothers to do the same to ensure our children the best education possible.

Cheryl Hurd, Meridian

Simpson endorsement

I am appalled that the Idaho Statesman Editorial Board endorsed Mike Simpson because he brings home the bacon for Idaho. Is taking care of Idahoans more important than defending and protecting the United States of America? Simpson has uncritically supported Trump’s agenda: decimating the U.S. State Department, supporting thugs and dictators throughout the world, undermining NATO and the United Nation, limiting voting rights, punishing immigrants, rolling back environmental protections, rewarding the rich and ignoring middle and lower class Americans, exploding the deficit, reducing access to health care. Do none of these actions matter to Idahoans? Are we so parochial that we’ll support anyone who can take care of our special interests, regardless of the consequences to the U.S. and the world? Frankly, I thought we were better than that.

Lynne Mattison, Boise

Cindy Wilson

I’ve never been so excited to see someone run for public office as I am for Cindy Wilson, who is running for superintendent of public instruction. I adore Cindy. Twenty years ago Cindy was my high school government teacher. She managed, with a class full of seniors during the Clinton impeachment hearings, to keep discussions civil and appropriate — no small task, given the subject matter. Cindy has a great passion for education and civics. She has served under Governor Otter on the state Board of Correction and his education task force. She knows how to work with others, regardless of political affiliation, to achieve her goals. Cindy will work hard to improve the educational system for our kids. I urge every one of you to vote for Cindy Wilson.

Lisa Morse, Moscow

Yes on Prop 1

I am a local business owner, horseman and lifelong Idahoan encouraging you to vote yes on Proposition 1 in November. Passage will enable the horse racing industry to thrive again and create hundreds of jobs while giving millions to public schools and rural Idaho. Idaho United against Prop 1 raised $2.75 million and spent $2.67 million between May 25 and Sept. 30. More than 98 percent of that money, $2.7 million, came from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, which operates the lucrative casino in northern Idaho. The owners of Treasure Valley Racing have pledged every penny of profit from Les Bois Park to rural Idaho and Idaho schools through a charitable foundation. Proposition 1 is not about gambling, it is about creating jobs, saving an industry, and giving millions back to public education and rural Idaho. Please join me in voting yes.

Chip Giles, attorney and horseman, Kuna

Yes on Prop 2

For 35 years I provided health care to thousands of Idaho’s children and families. I know the emotional, physical and financial trauma to patients that cannot afford health insurance. Without insured and secure health access, families suffer and often fragment.

There are many sound reasons to support Medicaid expansion in Idaho, from providing equality of comforting care for more than 60,000 additional Idaho citizens to fiscal accountability of our health care system and government.

Idaho is full of compassionate people, who reach out to their neighbors and extended families to help them through painful times in their lives.

Let’s not lose this opportunity to speak up, and help provide essential health care for the well-being of those in great need, and their families.

Please join me in voting yes on Proposition 2, Medicaid expansion for Idaho. We will all experience some healing with its success.

Dr. Jerry Hirschfeld, retired, Boise

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