Election mail bag Nov. 2

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Value of clean water

As the owner of a real estate company with offices on Flathead Lake and the Clark Fork River, I have learned the economic value of clean water when it comes to property values. The simple fact is property on our lakes and rivers is more valuable when the water is clean and crystal clear.

So as a businessman, I will be voting Yes on I-186 this fall.

There is economic value to a state blessed with countless rivers and lakes. In 2015, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks reported that fishermen and women spend $907.8 million in Montana annually. That is an astounding number.

One of the most amazing things about our state is that we do not have to sacrifice water quality to grow our economy. In fact, maintaining and enhancing our water quality is good for business.

Montana has a long history of irresponsible mines that end up polluting our rivers. Montanans recognize the impacts mining has had and the risks it continues to pose to our environment.

I am not opposed to mining. As a business owner, I understand the important role mining plays in our economy and way of life. I-186 does not apply to existing mines or future expansions. I-186 requires new metals mines prove they can remedy water pollution without leaving it behind forever.

You, the taxpayer, should not have to pay to clean up the messes of big mining companies.

As someone who loves our rivers, streams, and the life they support, I will be voting Yes on I-186. I will also be voting Yes on I-186 as a real estate professional, who understands that by protecting clean water this initiative is literally protecting the value of our homes. I hope you’ll join me.

— Ric Smith, Polson

Value of hard-rock mining

I am opposed to initiative I-186, which will appear on the Nov. 6 Montana ballot.

For about 50 years I worked in the minerals industry as a lawyer, a manager, and an owner of a business involved in hard rock minerals exploration and development.

I-186 will discourage, if not eliminate, future hard rock mineral exploration and development in Montana.

Anyone interested in how hard rock mining affects the economy of Montana should examine a comprehensive study entitled “The Economic Contribution of Montana’s Hard Rock Mining Industry” published September 2018 by The Bureau of Business and Economic Research of the University of Montana.

—Bruce L. Ennis, Lakeside

Who Said This?

In response to Gil Jordan’s recent quote by Ronald Reagan regarding the moral values the Republican party holds dear (and still does):

Can you guess who said this in his Inaugural Address?

“Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”

It was John F. Kennedy. I ask the Democrat party what has happened to you? What has happened to personal responsibility, belief in capitalism, truth, common decency and sense, patriotism, doing the best we can do for OUR country.

The Democrat Party wants you to believe they are all heart but in truth they have turned into left wing socialists supporting an agenda that has no interest in contributing to our economic, social and spiritual health. They believe in the exact opposite of John F. Kennedy’s popular quote.

—Denise Grenier, Bigfork

Brodehl a man of integrity

I am happy to write my very first letter to the editor in favor of Randy Brodehl for Flathead County Commissioner!

Randy has a long history of public service…more than 30 years as a firefighter and Kalispell Fire Chief and 8 years as a Montana state legislator. Randy has not only served on the Appropriations committee (determining where the money goes) but also on the Law & Justice committee (so he has experience dealing with issues like increased crime due to drugs). I know him and his family; Randy is a man of integrity who works hard and listens well to make the right decisions.

This is a critical time of growth in Flathead County, and I want a commissioner who will 1) fight for our individual rights by resisting federal and state overreach and 2) work hard for public safety. Because the county commissioners are in charge of the county budget, I want a commissioner who will be fiscally conservative. Please join me in voting for Randy Brodehl for Flathead County Commissioner!

—Jonene Bernhardt, Kalispell

Voting for Blair

I attended the candidate forum for House District 11 last night. the two candidates shared their positions and answered questions. We started late as Rep. Derek Skees arrived a half-hour late, but still covered several important topics and were able to get a feel for the candidates’ agendas.

Derek Skees is opposed to funding health care, opposed to requiring mining operations to provide a plan to guarantee their ability to clean up and protect our water quality, and does not support funding higher education.

JoBeth Blair supports all three. She has a can do attitude and an energy to meet the challenges our state will be facing. She is open to working for us with the Republicans for collaborative solutions. This is a woman who has knocked on 2,200 doors and talked to us. More importantly she listens.

The decision rests with the voters. I will be voting for JoBeth.

—Kathryn Shaw, Lakeside

On the caravan: Think about it

I feel it is my civil duty to comment on the false, fear based news that there is a “caravan of criminals and middle easterners” heading toward the Mexico-U.S. border.

These are people from mostly Guatamala and Hondoras who are fleeing violence in their country. Most of them are families with children who are looking for refuge in what used to be a country who welcomed them. They are 1,000 or more miles away from the border, and they are walking.

Last time this occurred, by the time the group arrived at the border there were a few hundred of them and they applied for asylum legally. Under Trump, a lot of them were not granted asylum.

Nonetheless, this in NOT a “caravan of criminals” and the ridiculous idea that any “Middle Eastern” criminal would fly all the way to South America and then walk to the border is ABSURD. Please just THINK about that.

You should be far more afraid of a caravan of Republicans from Washington coming to gut our health care, particularly pre-existing conditions, and your Medicare. THAT is what Republicans have already said they want to do. Please just THINK about that.

— Susan Cahill, Kalispell

State advancing favoritism

Two students graduate high school together. One chooses a career and decides to utilize the University System to achieve it. The other works as an apprentice in a family business. The first is subsidized by the second and his family and/or the business that he is apprenticing under. Why is this just?

How is the state not advancing favoritism, even “elitism,” by subsidizing some career choices over others? How is it that egalitarianism enacted into public policy and implemented by force of law is moral and just but free markets, which leave charity voluntary rather than forced, are not?

Vote against the 6 mill levy.

—Rick Jore, Ronan

Clark has deep roots in Flathead

Tom Clark’s experience and knowledge of the Flathead make him an ideal candidate for County Commissioner. Tom believes Flathead citizens are the best voice for determining the needs of our community. We need to preserve and protect our unique water system and Tom joins the overwhelming majority in opposition to the proposed water bottling plant. Tom Clark has deep roots in our area and his in depth understanding of our community is the leadership we need for the future.

—Ron de Yong, Kalispell

More than a politician

As election day approaches, I feel confident in knowing that I put my early vote in for Andy Shirtliff for District #5 Public Service Commissioner. I’ve personally known Andy for many years and he has shown me that politicians CAN be more than just politicians. His approachable personality instantly makes you feel at ease.

Sure, Andy has a long list of political experience, skills, accomplishments and achievements to his name, but he also has the compassion and dedication to understand what the public needs/wants, and has the determination to bring that to fruition.

Andy takes initiative to truly listen to those around him and focuses all his efforts into fixing what needs to be fixed. You can trust he will get it done! His extensive experience and professionalism has proven to me that not only is he intelligent, but he is passionate and committed to taking on the responsibilities of representing the public’s concerns. I couldn’t think of anyone better to represent me and my community for district #5 PSC.

—Shawna Kugler-Ohman, Kalispell

Support Sid Daoud for HD8

We have knocked over 3,216 houses in the neighborhoods of HD 8, which is every accessible house in the district. The best part of being out at the door is getting to know the needs, concerns and issues that are on the minds and affecting the lives of the people I am running to serve in Helena. The reception has been phenomenal - many voters are excited that there is finally an independent choice on this year’s ballot. With the visceral left-right war raging in the news and on social media, district 8 residents find it refreshing to discuss the issues that are important to them with a candidate who cares and is willing to collaborate for solutions that are in their interest, not special interest. The results of our efforts walking the district, along with being endorsed by the Montana Shooting Sports Association and Montanans for Limited Government give hope for a more independent Montana. I appreciate your support and hope to earn your vote.

—Sid Daoud, Kalispell

The D.C. fat cats

Anyone considering voting Republican during upcoming elections would do well to repeat the following mantra on the way to the voting booth: “The D.C. fat cats just scored a big tax cut for themselves, and now they’re targeting my Social Security and Medicare.” Now repeat once more for effect: “The D.C. fat cats....”

—Steve Barrett, Kalispell

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