Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor: Election 2018

Cindy Wilson

As professional educators we have a front-row seat on what is happening in school buildings across the Treasure Valley, and a good understanding of education policies and procedures. We also know that real leadership, grounded in the best interests of students and built on experience and dedication, is what Idaho needs from our state superintendent of public instruction. After careful consideration and vetting of the candidates, our choice is very clear. Cindy Wilson is the right candidate for public education in Idaho, and we are unwavering in our support of her in this race.

Cindy is a highly accomplished and decorated educator who has the respect of her peers in the profession. She was named to the Governor’s Task Force on Improving Education, where she helped craft the recommendations that have enabled Idaho to make some headway on teacher compensation, resources for districts and other improvements. She was also appointed to the Idaho Board of Corrections and understands the importance of investing in public education.

Cindy will make it a priority to establish a culture where teachers are respected and are given the autonomy to utilize their experience and training for the benefit of their students. She understands the challenges facing our smaller and rural schools, and the importance of finding solutions that ensure every Idaho child has access to a quality education.

Eric Thies, president, West Ada Education Association; Eric Maine, president, Nampa Education Association; Kelly Garey, president, Caldwell Education Association; Shelley Hopkins, president, Kuna Education Association; Amanda Rinker, president, Vallivue Education Association; Jackie Shull, president, Mountain Home Education Association and Stephanie Myers, president, Boise Education Association

Steve Berch

I support Steve Berch for Distrrict 15A state representative who will work hard for the people of Idaho and the people he represents. Steve is a supporter for Proposition 2 — the ballot initiative to expand Medicaid. It is a win-win for all Idahoans. It will help the working poor who can’t afford health insurance. It will bring back our federal tax dollars of $400 million to support the Medicaid expansion, and it will help grow our economy and provide more jobs.

Carol Stirling, Boise

Paulette Jordan

Hey, you who hasn’t voted yet ... I’m talking to you. If you’re Republican or Democrat, please take off your Republican or Democrat-colored glasses and hear what both candidates are really saying. Listen to Paulette Jordan as if she were Republican. Listen to Brad Little as if he were Democrat. If that were true, would your reaction be different?

Most people understand that the country is now ruled by corporations who own/rule the politicians, and therefore, most are looking out for the interests of their financier rather than the majority of people.

Paulette seems to be different, aligning with both Democrats and Republicans. See how many of her ideas you agree with. Watch the debates on the PBS website. She’s very smart, and I have a gift of connecting to people and feeling their energy of who they are inside. I spoke to her for five minutes, and I can tell you that her energy is what we need to lead us into a better Idaho for all people, especially to protect it for our grandchildren. Please vote. You can still register on Election Day. Let’s elect someone who wants a strong Idaho the right way at the expense of no one.

Lisa Doyon, Eagle

Yes on Prop 2

Charity organizations should fund the working poor’s health care, say the state’s Republican leaders and their political mentor the Idaho Freedom Foundation. They encourage a no vote on the citizens initiative to expand Medicaid and instead hope relief groups will assist all the tens of thousands. So far this approach hasn’t worked and fortunately, there’s a better, proven way to provide medical coverage. Let Uncle Sam lend a helping hand. Vote yes, and America’s well-run Medicaid program will step in and close the gap. The system is already in place and functioning in 33 other states. Most low-wage earners in the nation are already covered. Vote yes on Proposition 2, and Idaho will join them in becoming its brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.

Rick L. Davis, Pocatello

Vote for change

For all of my 75 years I have felt safe in America. There was always some anti-Semitism but I never felt threatened. I am an American and a Jew and I felt safe until Donald Trump became president. Trump’s strength is telling the masses who is at fault, who to blame, who to punish and that only he can fix what is wrong with America. He promotes and praises violence. He is divisive, spiteful and enjoys the chaos he promotes daily. Wanting to be one of the dictators he admires so much, Trump smears the press and tries to silence them. Trump and his cronies care nothing for democracy. All the “right people” he knows and appointed are indicted. The Republican Congress consists of toadies and sycophants, falling all over themselves to please him.

Only the voters can change the situation that exists today. If you want democracy, if you are worried about the rising debt, if you abhor Trump’s treatment of immigrants, vote the incumbents out of office. If you want any kind of change, vote them out of office. If you don’t, you deserve the Tweeting Toddler in the White House who is destroying this country.

Joan Ehrnstein, Meridian

Blue for balance

Checks and balances. I know we live in Idaho, but it is vital you vote blue this time to change Congress. Two more years with no checks and balances on the president will bring about more dismantling of health care with loss of our precious pre-existing condition protection.

The president will continue to balloon the deficit to rake in more obscene tax cuts for the wealthy, then Congress will use the intolerable debt as an excuse to cut Social Security and Medicare. Seriously, they are already talking about it. In these times, it is not good to leave all three government branches in the same hands.

Sherrie Goff, Pocatello

Yes on Prop 2

I am a primary care physician and write to share my support for Proposition 2, the ballot initiative to expand Medicaid. I work for a community health center and most of my patients are uninsured. I spend much of my time treating patients struggling with opioid use disorder. My patients range from 18 to 75 and include white collar and blue collar workers, retired individuals, stay-at-home moms, homeless individuals and college students. It is incredibly difficult for my patients to get the treatment they need when they don’t have health insurance: the prescription for buprenorphine/naloxone (Suboxone) alone costs about $100/month, not to mention the costs of visits, labs and counseling. We are dealing with a nationwide opioid overdose epidemic, and in Boise have seen enormous increases in deaths from opioids — climbing from 1 in 2013 to 96 in 2017 (“Since 2013, Boise opioid deaths have increased a hundredfold. How do we stop it?” Idaho Statesman, July 23). I do not see how we can possibly turn this epidemic around, without expanding Medicaid and helping these individuals access treatment. Help curb the opioid epidemic. Help your neighbors access health care. Vote yes on 2.

Magni Hamso, MD MPH, Boise

Yes on Prop 1

Truth about Prop 1. Ken Andrus, first off, is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, longtime politician with a Native American casino in his back yard, longtime supporter. Fact is the opponents of Prop 1 money is coming from Native American casinos throughout this country. Their goal is to control gambling in Idaho as they have done in other states. Minnesota Native American casinos take over $750 million out of the economy. Several years ago representatives, two which I have known over 40 years, met with the Secretary of the Interior reps in Las Vegas to work on putting a casino close to Boise. Native Americans have land south of Boise, they were working on a land swap to give them even a better location. Other opponents such as the Garden City mayor, Ada County commissioners and got caught holding an illegal meeting with an investor from California on developing the fairgrounds. I was called by one of their own. When I called them out an article in the Statesman said is was an unofficial meeting. Liars. The Native Americans and their supporters have drawn a line in the sand. Don’t let out-of-state gambling interests control us.

Richard Price, Boise

No on Prop 2

Holy Pelosi. Not again. Just in case you haven’t been following Proposition 2, the expansion of “Medicaid,” let’s just think about it for a minute. It was not that long ago that Nancy Pelosi made the famous statement, “we need to pass this bill to find out what’s in it” — you remember, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your insurance carrier, it will save millions of dollars and help millions of people who can’t afford health insurance, and on and on. So how did that work out for us?

Well here we go again, this ballot initiative will provide insurance for people whose income does not qualify them for Obamacare (ACA) subsidies (yet it also provides insurance for people who are employable, but chose not to be employed and buy insurance) — it purports to recover tax dollars Idahoans are sending to Washington and are now being sent to other states who have expanded Medicaid.

This is a lie. Other states that expanded Medicaid pulled it from DC by adding money to the deficit — it has nothing to do with what Idahoans send to the federal government. By not expanding Medicaid, Idaho has avoided growing the national debt, which is already over $21 trillion.

Smart voters — and that’s who you are — will vote no on Prop 2. Let’s not get sucked into yet another health care fiasco.

Russ Smerz, Star

Russ Fulcher

As we’re rapidly approaching the election there’s really only one candidate in all the races that stands out to me as someone I can really support and stand behind. Over the past four years, I’ve had the privilege to get to know Russ Fulcher on a political and personal level and, while it sounds simple, I can honestly say he’s a good man of high integrity. I appreciate his example as a faithful husband and father, am confident he’ll stand firm for principles of limited government and protect Idaho’s state sovereignty, and know he won’t bow to unprincipled party leadership pressure. Russ is the real deal and I fully support him. Vote Russ Fulcher for Idaho’s 1st Congressional District.

Bill Zimmerman, Boise

Yes to Props 1, 2

Obviously the casinos in and around Idaho don’t want historical horse races to compete with them and are sinking money into ads. But there is another entity at work in both propositions. Sin. Right here in River City. Gambling is my favorite sin and horse racing my favorite of all. I was raised on it. I don’t partake of historical races but know that it is the only way to keep live racing. There are those that want to keep me from sinning. Good luck with that. They want you to vote against Proposition 1 to keep you and me from sinning. MYOB.

Proposition 2 also has the sinning element. A recent letter to the editor from an anti-abortion spokesperson urged voters to vote against it as some money might go to Planned Parenthood. What kind of religion would condemn tens of thousands of working Idahoans to suffering and some to death because of lack of health care because Planned Parenthood might get some money? Sinners unite. Vote for Props 1 and 2.

Lavonne Bennett, Boise

Vote ’em out

As one who has watched a loved one die of cancer, I think most of us would agree that cancer is a terrible disease. It takes over one organ after another then debilitates and, ultimately, kills the host in agony. Donald Trump has tried to gut health care, he has gutted most environmental protections, he has gutted diplomacy, he is trashing our economic future by adding trillions of dollars of debt for the immediate benefit of the ultra rich and corporations (ie: himself). We have reached a crossroads. Health care is collapsing. The environment is at an irreversible tipping point. The economy is unsustainable. Trump is like cancer. Short of major surgery (another American revolution) our only treatment against the Trump cancer is to vote his enablers and co-conspirators out of office. Vote — make your voice heard, American democracy and our future could be on its deathbed.

Robert Christensen, Eagle

No on Luker

Rep. Lynn Luker has been representing District 15 for a lot of years. While I recognize that he has done some good things for our district, the bad has finally outweighed the good. That is why I will not be voting for Lynn Luker this year.

On his website, he brags about Idaho being ranked the fifth safest state in the nation. This ranking seems to be despite Luker’s efforts to get criminals out of jail earlier and his teaming up for the past two years with the ACLU and defense attorneys against legislation to protect crime victims. He has not stepped up when it mattered. Victims of human trafficking were also betrayed by Luker during the last session. I’m tired of the rhetoric not matching the results. It’s time for a change.

Alyx Cleaver, Boise

Kristin Collum

Divisiveness is an American crisis. It’s time to vote for the best candidate, not the one from a particular party. Compare the two lieutenant governor candidates, Janice McGeachin and Kristin Collum. McGeachin has served in Idaho state government for a decade, and claims 30 years in business administration. Collum’s decades of leadership experience include 12 years in the Army, where she worked with Colin Powell in Washington, DC, and high level positions at Micron and Hewlett Packard. Both agree on gun rights and protecting public lands for the people of Idaho. But there are clear differences. Collum supports creation of an ethics ombudsman, McGeachin does not. McGeachin opposes same sex marriage and abortion. Collum believes these issues should not be controlled by government. Collum supports a gradual increase in the minimum wage. McGeachin opposes it. Collum supports expanding Medicaid, which would bring medical care to 62,000 Idaho residents. McGeachin has fought to oppose Medicaid expansion, and would continue to block it, even if voters pass Proposition 2. McGeachin represents the status quo, while Collum strongly believes in a better future, and in working together, not as two parties, but for the best interests of Idahoans and all Americans. Who shares your values?

Carolyn Fritschle, Boise

Niki O’Neal

Decades ago I was called/gratified to administratively assist with two unrelated, local, political campaigns. One seat was for an Ada County office and the other was a run for Congress. Both candidates were Democrats. Each was roundly skilled to the task — more so than their competition. Today the demonstrably superior candidate for Ada County coroner is Republican. Vote early and often for Niki O’Neal ... often as in share this timely, opportune duty with family, friends, neighbors and vigilant others.

Richard Keavy, Boise

Sharon Ullman

Vote for Sharon Ullman for Ada County commissioner — if you believe in open limited government, property tax reduction, and protection of public health and safety. She genuinely cares about the people of Ada County and wants to make sure our tax dollars are spent wisely and not wasted. Sharon has a significant impact on managing the county budget, controlling tax increases and using the taxpayer’s money wisely. Sharon brings proven leadership, open communication with the community.

Join me and vote for Sharon.

Gary Willard, Meridian