Letters to the editor: Aug. 31 - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

Letters to the editor: Aug. 31

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Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2008 6:38 pm | Updated: 9:38 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

We encourage readers to submit letters to the editor on issues of interest to East Valley residents. Submissions should be no longer than 300 words, factually accurate and original thoughts of the writer. Please be brief and include name, address, city and phone number for verification. Letters and call-in comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Submit your letter to the editor

PROPOSITION 105

What 'majority rule’ should really mean

Is Clint Bolick serious (“Majority rule would curb state spending,” Aug. 13,)? If so, his majority rule initiative, Proposition 105, doesn’t go nearly far enough. Why should the majority of registered — as opposed to actual voters — be required to approve only initiatives that would increase taxes or spending?

An initiative that reduces spending or taxes could have a huge effect on Arizona’s infrastructure or quality of life. Should a minority of registered voters be allowed to impose such change? What about an initiative that would affect the administration of public schools or prisons in Arizona?

Come to think of it, legislators frequently refer to voters’ important questions which they, our elected representatives, are unable or unwilling to resolve. Should a minority of registered voters be allowed to decide policies for the entire state population? We had better extend majority rule to referendum approval as well.

Maybe Bolick is really on to something. Why not require statewide office holders to be elected by a majority of all people eligible to register to vote? After all, that would just require candidates not only to persuade voters of their abilities and good ideas, but to motivate them to register and vote!

NANCY JAMISON

TEMPE

CORPORATION COMMISSION

Wong deserves vote

The 2008 ballot features the most diverse and competitive race for the Arizona Corporation Commission in recent memory. Whether Republican or Democrat, you will have clear, distinct and qualified choices worthy of serious thought.

Two years ago, Gov. Janet Napolitano tapped Barry Wong to serve out the remainder of Commissioner Marc Spitzer’s term when President Bush appointed Spitzer to the Federal Energy Commission. I had the honor of serving as policy advisor to Wong during his half year interim term.

From day one, Barry was a student of the job — consuming the intricacies of complex water, power, telecom and securities cases with remarkable agility. It was the rule, not the exception, to see the light on in his office long after closing time. Many a conversation was spent on the “what ifs” of pending decisions. Finding the right balance, setting careful precedents, making the best choices. Simply, Barry Wong was an exceptional commissioner.

Voters in the Republican primary will have three choices. Based on the record, experience, knowledge of the job, and a precious quality called “statesmanship,” consider saving one of those votes for Barry Wong. You’ll have no regrets.

ERIC GORSEGNER

PHOENIX

CONGRESSIONAL RACES

Schweikert, Bitter Smith both offend

Enough. David Schweikert and Susan Bitter Smith are not the only two people running for representative in Congressional District 5. Yet I get mail almost daily from Schweikert calling Bitter Smith liberal, which goes with the mail get from Bitter Smith calling Schweikert liberal. The insults and half-truths from both sides have reached truly unacceptable levels.

Particularly obnoxious was a mailing from Bitter Smith’s campaign talking about how Arizona families can’t afford Schweikert because he voted to increase fuel taxes 44 percent. It’s only in the tiny print that you read he did this 1993, and that the tax was on diesel, which (particularly years ago) almost no individual families use as fuel. Sorry, but that was clearly twisting something far beyond what really was. And please explain how claims (in the mailing got yesterday) that Schweikert employed “risky financial schemes,” “violated state law,” and “used improper accounting practices” constitute a “liberal record”? They may speak of incompetence or lacking integrity, but you can’t possibly twist that into “liberal.”

Schweikert is just as disgusting with, as an example, the offensive campaigning from him in the article “Susan Bitter-Smith Intimidates Voters with Handgun” from his Web site. Although referring to an advertisement from her, the headline makes it sound as if Bitter Smith is running amok pointing firearms at people and threatening them. And the lines in the article that she “makes one wonder if she truly needs help” and that she shows “certain psychological imbalance” are appalling.

The good thing about all these mailings and the outright hatred between these two is I am fully convinced that real choice is among Jim Ogsbury, Mark Anderson, Lee Gentry or Laura Knaperek — anybody but Susan Bitter Smith or David Schweikert.

RON SELLERS

PHOENIX

Give Gramazio your vote

The primary is Tuesday and as an East Valley resident I’m quite pleased to say that there are two Democratic candidates for the House of Representatives from Congressional District 6. The East Valley’s current representative is Jeff Flake who promised voters he would only run for two terms. Well, here we are six years later and he broke his promise.

Ask yourself what Flake has actually done for Arizona and the answer is very little: he consistently votes against the interests of middle-class and low-income families, he consistently votes against children and their needs. The only clear choice is to vote for Chris Gramazio in the upcoming primary. His four defining issues are health care, education, transportation and the economy, issues that we should all be concerned with. Visit www.chrisgramazio.com and be thankful we have a candidate who is willing to stand up to Jeff Flake.

KRISTINE E. TOLMAN

MESA

MARICOPA COUNTY ELECTIONS

Prior assessor had no scandal

Steven M. Ellsworth, in Aug. 27 letter, wrote that we should vote for Keith Russell for Maricopa County assessor since he “is the first assessor since 1950 to serve in this office without some type of scandal.” He is wrong.

Ira Friedman, a Democrat, served in that office from 1989 through 1993 to the very best of his ability. He should be credited with the concept that the businesses through their personal property tax audit revenues could entirely finance the Maricopa County Assessor’s Office.

Also, we finished several projects that were unfinished and left over from prior Republican assessors. Friedman was never indicted by any law office while he was a great advocate for the individual homeowner. Maybe the statement should have been that Russell is the first Republican assessor since 1950 to serve in this office without some type of scandal! That might be a true statement.

DAN SIRKS

FORMER CHIEF DEPUTY, MARICOPA COUNTY ASSESSOR’S OFFICE

MESA

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION

Russia is a serious threat

A recent Sam Coppersmith column followed his usual practice of avoiding rational discussion of issues by instead making personal attacks. In this instance, he chose to trivialize the danger of Vladimir Putin’s Russia, preferring to use this as an opportunity to demagogue John McCain (“Mr. Furious attacks foreign policy, Opinion 2, Aug. 24).

During the past several years, I have traveled and lived in countries of the former Soviet Union and am in regular contact with persons living there, including in Georgia. There is no danger of “returning” to the days of the Cold War because that group of Russians led by Putin never abandoned it. Russia is now controlled by a group of individuals associated with the KGB and including “persons of power” who appear to be businessmen, but in fact perform an additional role of advancing the interests of the “state.”

This KGB group designated Putin to restore the power and influence of the former Soviet Union. All means have been used including assassinations and corruption. The main goal of this group is not really to restore Russia to its glory days. Instead it is to use this yearning to manipulate the average Russian while increasing the extravagant fortunes of these persons in power.

Putin is showing his muscles now because the recent high prices for oil make it possible to finance. Despite Coppersmith’s flippant remarks, for a considerable time McCain has shown capacity to understand this threat and to address it.

MIKE RICHARD

MESA

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