Election mailbag: Our readers weigh in on candidates, issues

Our readers weigh in on candidates, issues

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Support I-186 & clean water

As a Cub Scout in Ohio I remember hiking to the headwaters of a small mountain stream. We all stopped and drank the cold, fresh, water from our tin cups. That was in the 1950s.

Today I wouldn’t chance to drink from any stream. Some, multi-colored from abandoned mine discharge, I’m not sure I’d even stand in. Our world has changed. Our rivers and streams have changed, and we’ve changed them.

When I returned from Vietnam I took up fly fishing. Initially I got into it for the recreational aspect. In time I found it was my escape; my relief from the stresses of life and my career. The one place I could go where all of my troubles were literally washed away, carried off by the current. Today I volunteer with a new crop of veterans, helping them cope with their stresses through the magic of time spent on a Montana trout stream. There is a genuine measurable therapeutic value to casting a fly, watching a fish rise, and losing yourself in the flow of the water around your legs.

Unfortunately over the years we have lost some of those precious waters and others are threatened by those who refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

I am not anti-mining. I use products every day that were mined somewhere. But if a mining company walks away from a site and leaves a mess behind it should not be yours and my responsibility to pick up the tab for the cleanup.

Actions have consequences and we need to be held responsible for our actions. Ballot initiative I-186 is an effort to require mining companies to be prepared to clean up their sites if they close. That’s not an attack on mining. That’s about doing the right thing for all Montanans. —Jim Borowski, Kalispell

Decker for Lake County commissioner

Lake County Commissioner Gale Decker is asking us to trust him and support his request for a second six-year term in office, representing our interests in county governance.

During his first six-year term, he has demonstrated an exceptional personal ability to “grow into a job function” (that none of the rest of us were apparently willing to do as demonstrated by our lack of filing to run for the open position that he filled) that has served the best interests ?of ?all 30,000 residents of Lake County.

If you are uncertain as to why he should garner your “vote” in the upcoming November election, I recommend you visit his website at www.galedecker.com and he’ll explain it to you.

The Lake County commissioners office is currently manned by the best, and most qualified staff it has seen in many, many years. Keeping it at that level of competency would be nothing short of a miracle, but miracles do happen and your vote for Mr. Decker would be a tremendous step in the right direction.

No, I am not a friend of, nor related to Mr. Decker. I am ?simply a taxpaying ?citizen and resident and I judge affiliation free, based upon performance and attitude and my standards are high. Gale Decker has shown he has all of our best interests at heart in the performance of his duties as county commissioner. Once you find you agree, you won’t have to think about it again until you are filling in your ballot. —Michael Gale, Ronan

Rosendale uses tricky accounting

If there’s one thing Montanans care about, it’s honesty. We like being able to take folks at their word. When the people trying to represent us are sneaking around, or going behind our backs, it raises red flags.

A prime example of this is the fact that Matt Rosendale is using dirty accounting tricks to sneak around the law and allow his out-of-state, wealthy friends to contribute more to his campaign than legally allowed.

Senate candidate Matt Rosendale recently got caught exploiting a campaign finance loophole to get more cash out of his out-of-state millionaire donors. When his donors had contributed as much money as they legally could to his 2018 campaign, Rosendale started having them cut checks to pay him back for his debt from his 2014 campaign. Which would be fine — if Rosendale didn’t then immediately give his 2018 campaign a loan for the exact same amount of the check his donors just cut.

This is basically how money laundering works: You funnel money through several different channels so that its origin is concealed. What Rosendale did might technically be legal, but effectively, he is finding a workaround to campaign finance limits that Montanans approve of. Montanans don’t want more money in politics — we want less!

Rosendale is deliberately going behind Montanans’ backs to try and pump more cash into his campaign, and to me, it stinks. I would never vote for someone who so clearly doesn’t understand that transparency is a Montana value. —Edd Blackler, Bigfork

Tester is king of the swamp

Jon Tester, king croc of the Washington Swamp, surprised no one earlier this year when he disparaged President Trump’s nominee for secretary of veterans affairs for no other reason than to win a little street cred with the far left with nothing to substantiate his accusations.

Tester has sat on his perch as ranking member of the VA Committee in the Senate for years now, yet he has done nothing to advance the cause of Montana veterans. As the VA scandal blew up and revealed the systemic, fatal problems with the department and the rank hypocrisy of the Washington politicians who claim to fight for our nation’s bravest men and women, Jon shrugged his shoulders.

In Montana, he’s promised a new veterans home for years in Butte, and amazingly the funding gets approved during the year of his bid to be reelected. Was the concern about getting the home built for veterans or for having something for his campaign? Only Tester can answer that question, but the timing sure seems suspicious. Veterans or politics? Our veterans shouldn’t be political pawns used for campaign purposes.

Sen. Tester has consistently stood as an obstructionist to President Trump’s efforts to make a difference in Washington, voting against nominees to courts and administration positions as well as bills that just made good sense for Montana and the United States.

Enough is enough. Drain the swamp in 2018, defeat Jon Tester and vote Matt Rosendale. —Keith Sibbert, Kalispell

Fuller for HD8

I was delighted to read the letter to the editor by John Fuller printed in July in the Daily Inter Lake. His letter masterfully and boldly covered our God-given right and responsibility to protect ourselves and those incapable of protecting themselves as embodied in the Second Amendment, the School Safety Act, and the prolife movement.

Having known John for some years now, it has been evident that he is an insightful, kind, intelligent, reasonable, and articulate man. I did not know of his boldness in defense of truth until I read the letter.

John Fuller is running for House District 8 in this upcoming November election. We need his qualities at work in Helena. I encourage you to vote for John Fuller for House District 8. —Annie Bukacek, Bigfork

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