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Election Letters, Nov. 1

Karen cares

Recently I was at a senior event. Rep. Mike McClain and Karen Rippberger were both invited to learn about senior and disabled programs. The event was very informative, especially for law and policy-makers wanting to work in Salem.

This was the third event like this I attended. Before nobody from House District 55 or Senate District 28 bothered to attend. I was so pleased that someone came this time. Karen Rippberger listened attentively and engaged the presenters with thoughtful insights which would otherwise not have been shared. Afterward, Karen stuck around to visit with seniors and program presenters. She really understood what was said.

I am so glad Karen cares enough to show up for events where she can learn what seniors and disabled life is like.

Being a non-affiliated voter, I seldom fill in my ballot’s ovals for House or Senate districts. But this time I will.

John Curtis

Eagle Point

Vote for Golden

I realize a campaign takes a significant amount of money, but our politics is off the charts ridiculous how much candidates spend to blast each other with mean TV, radio and print ads.

How about we all wake up and vote for candidates who are smart, practical and principled!

Jeff Golden is not taking money from PACs, he is raising campaign funds through individuals like you and I. He is running his campaign on integrity and sincere concern for our environment and the health and well-being of Oregonians. He is not resorting to charging his opponent with out-of-context, personal and untrue attacks.

Please join me and vote for Jeff Golden for state Senate.

Bobbie Wild

Ashland

Please vote

In my lifetime, there has never been an election as important as this one. We need to come together as a state and as a country to solve the enormous problems facing us in the 21st century. For that we need representatives who are not beholden to the big money of corporations. We need leaders who are beholden to us, the people, and not to the money of foreign governments.

We need to vote our values, in a practical way. Ask which candidates will address the issues important to our communities without putting their heads in the sand, or voting consistently at the behest of their funders.

Which candidates come and talk to us, the voters?

Remember, in the 2016 election, only 43 percent of the population turned out. If you don’t want to be ruled by a minority, paid for by an elite or worse, please vote.

Tod Davies

Ashland

Vote for Cromwell

Please join me in supporting Judge Laura Cromwell for Circuit Court judge. I’ve been involved in the local criminal justice system since the 1970s. I’ve worked with many exceptional people who served as lawyers and judges in that system. Judge Cromwell is among those I most highly respect.

Laura is an exceptional prosecutor. She is someone who believes in innovative solutions to underlying causes of crime and reducing repeat offender recidivism. Laura gives her time to make the community better.

In my experiences, she provided training to members of the Talent Police Department when I was police chief there. She volunteered her time to train credit union employees at a special evening training session.

My point is, Laura Cromwell offers devotion to criminal justice on many levels. Please vote for Laura Cromwell for Circuit Court judge.

Mike Moran, retired Talent chief of police

Eagle Point

Who paid?

I received a flier in the mail saying negative things about Jeff Golden, whom I consider to be of the highest integrity. The flier talked about something Golden supposedly said about women in a book — published in 1971! Surely anything someone said 47 years ago does not mean they cannot make a valuable contribution as an elected official now. Heck — they voted Kavanaugh in!

Unfortunately, there is no one to complain to about the flier, because it lists only a P.O. box in Arlington, Virginia. So why does someone in Virginia have anything to say about Oregon elections? And who paid for it?

A few weeks ago one of those phone survey people called with questions about whether I would vote for Jeff Golden or his opponent. Of course, I answered every question positive for Jeff Golden.

Jessica Bryan

Ashland

Vote for a Democrat

The only chance we have of changing the deadly situation our country has been in for the last two years is to vote. And, the only choice we then have is to vote for a Democrat. This will be tough for some, but a Democratic Congress — both houses — would give us back at least some checks and balances, because there is no way this blatantly corrupt Republican Congress will ever give us protection from the most corrupt administration ever.

Don’t forget: Republicans have also extensively used voter suppression tactics (pure and simple cheating!) and Republican gerrymandering (legal, but definitely unethical the way they’ve done it). Also, most important, Donald Trump was foisted upon us by a minority of voters. Had the millions of voters who didn’t vote, voted, it might not have turned out so poorly. Vote! And vote for a Democrat.

V. Kile

Medford

Support Cromwell

The elections for Circuit Court judge are often an afterthought for many voters; however, these positions have a significant impact on our society.

A judge must possess the skills to interpret the law and administer justice in civil, criminal and juvenile cases. The position should not filled by politicians or unqualified individuals.

I have met and discussed these responsibilities with candidate Laura Cromwell. I am impressed with Judge Cromwell’s resume and experience. Cromwell is supported by law enforcement, DA Heckert and her fellow judges. She is passionate about mental health issues and the drug epidemic in our community.

I urge voters to cast your vote for Laura Cromwell, a vote that will elect a judge who stands for justice and accountability.

Ted Krempa

Medford

Supporting Jessica Gomez

If the Mail Tribune is holding politicians accountable for clean air in Southern Oregon, please start with Jeff Golden. It was under his leadership, as a country commissioner some 30 years ago, that we greatly reduced the harvesting of a renewable, recyclable and biodegradable resource: timber. Now Mother Nature is forced to log the forests. Her method: fire. We are seeing and breathing each summer the results of Jeff Golden’s poor leadership. He had his chance. Let’s go a different direction. Please vote for Jessica Gomez.

Tom Hall

Medford

Climate all-stars

Before I retired in 2014, I led a two-year project on climate and health for Jackson County Health and Human Services. What I learned about our changing climate was extremely frightening and heartbreaking.

Honestly, it is hard not fall into despair and hopelessness. Every once in a while I have a glimmer of hope — a time when a simple action promises to pay big benefits. This is such a time.

I have studied the candidates in this election and there are some real climate all-stars that will work for us for years to come to adapt and mitigate the coming climate crisis. Please strongly consider voting for: Jamie McLeod-Skinner, U.S. Congress; Jeff Golden, state senator; Pam Marsh, state representative; Tonya Graham, Ashland City Council; Lanita Witt, county commissioner; Stuart Warren, Phoenix mayor; Darby Ayers-Flood, Talent mayor; Eleanor Ponomareff/, Talent City Council; and Julian Bell, Ashland parks commissioner.

Susan Bizeau, RN

Talent

Voting for Kochlacs

I have known Charles Kochlacs for the last 20 years. While working in the same building, I have seen Charles interact with clients, staff and office mates.

He is a good attorney while being knowledgeable, kind, calm and responsive. He is an active member of our community with his involvement with Cub Scouts, youth sports, and as a member of programs including the Psychiatric Security Review Board (juvenile panel), Northwest Seasonal Workers, Mediation Works/Resolve, Oregon State Bar criminal law section and the House of Delegates.

He has experience as an attorney working with criminal, civil, family and juvenile law. Charles has been a pro tem judge in Jackson County, and has been recognized by 74 percent of the local attorneys who participated in the bar preference poll as the candidate of choice over the recently appointed opponent.

You can see why I am voting for Charles Kochlacs.

Kathryn Hall-Mueller

Medford

Vote for Rick Dyer

What qualities should we look for in our Jackson County commissioners? Knowledge, experience, leadership, listening skills, empathy, fiscal responsibility, the list goes on and on. Who has these requisite skills? Rick Dyer does, that’s who!

Rick has done an outstanding job serving the citizens of Jackson County for the last four years and will continue to do so when he is re-elected. Rick has a unique background: A college degree (from SOU) in business and accounting and a law degree, he successfully owned and operated a small local business, was general manager of several local auto dealers and a two-term member of the RVTD board, and now, Jackson County commissioner.

It is for these reasons and more that the Mail Tribune endorsed Rick for a second term as Jackson County commissioner. Please join me in voting for Rick Dyer for Jackson County commissioner!

Jack Lewis

Medford

Meals tax unfair

A meals tax is inherently unfair and unreliable.

Not everyone eats out regularly, and tourism in Jacksonville is very seasonal. This means that not only is the tax not evenly shared, but there is no way to guarantee or predict how much the meals tax would bring in on a monthly basis, leaving our police force potentially unfunded and compromised.

Jacksonville’s $20-per-month utility surcharge helps pay for its police department. The surcharge is fixed for the next five years and cannot be raised during that time. Additionally, qualified, low-income households can avoid paying anything. The utility surcharge can only be used for police services and nothing else.

The surcharge is a safe and guaranteed way to help fund our police; the meals tax is not. Vote no on Measure 15-180.

Kate Ingram Flaherty

Jacksonville

Kochlacs for judge

Charles Kochlacs is the most qualified candidate to be the next Circuit Court judge.

Lawyer jokes aside, Kochlacs won the Jackson County bar poll by a margin of 109 to 39 votes for his opponent. The local lawyers are in a good position to evaluate the abilities of one of their own. The bar poll should be given great weight.

There is more to being a good general jurisdiction trial judge than being a Deputy D.A. Charles Kochlacs has a public defender background in the criminal field, and vast experience as a lawyer on the civil side of the practice of law.

Jackson County’s trial bench is presently top-heavy with ex-deputy D.A.’s and public defenders.

The public needs a judge with civil experience to process the volume of civil cases presently pending.

Charles Kochlacs will make a great trial judge. Please give him your vote for Position 4.

Mitchell Karaman

Medford

Jeff Golden for Senate

Vote for Jeff Golden for Oregon State Senate District 3!

Jeff is innovative, dedicated and caring in his approach to the broad spectrum of services he has provided our region over the decades. At this time his ability to bring people together is particularly needed. I’m thrilled with his candidacy and know that he will serve with intelligence, compassion and integrity!

Ann Johnson

Ashland

Vote yes on 106

In response to the flier put out asking voters to vote no on 106, may the voters be aware of several misconceptions that have been put forward by the information included in that flier.

This is not a back-door ban on abortion! This is a measure to simply stop taxpayer funding of elective abortions — a personal choice or convenience. It is not at all meant to stop abortions that are medically necessary.

Women who need reproductive health care can still receive that care any time at a wide range of health care clinics. Those of us who support measure 106 are simply asking that our tax money not be used to pay for elective abortions.

Vote your conscience and your choice by voting yes on 106.

Bette Strouth

Medford

Vote for Golden

On Sept. 11, 2001, we were a nation in shock. I recently remembered that during that awful time locals found a place to express our sadness and fear. We found a good listener who had shown a calm, respectful manner. The program was the Jefferson Exchange; the host was Jeff Golden.

Jeff’s skills encouraged communication in a non-dogmatic way.

At other times he also showed the ability to respectfully challenge political people (including Democrats) who were evading answering tough questions.

During the recent debate with his opponent, Jeff had specific strategies for what needed to be done to solve state problems in collaboration with others. His opponent just restated the problems instead of providing viable strategies.

Jeff Golden brings knowledge, skill and experience to deal with vexing state issues including PERS. (I am a PERS recipient.) I encourage everyone to give him your vote for state Senate.

Joyce A. Woods

Ashland

Yes on Measure 102

Measure 102 will not only begin to repair our state’s housing crisis by allowing tax dollars to be used in the private sector but it will also provide more jobs and an economic boost.

As a civil engineering designer and a home inspector in-training, I feel strongly that Measure 102 can provide additional work to support myself and others in the construction and real estate industry. Measure 102 will increase affordable housing projects throughout Oregon that will in turn provide new jobs to the skilled trades, design professionals, property management employees, inspectors and real estate companies, not to mention investors, looking not just for a profit, but to make a real difference in their community.

Measure 102 makes sense in a big-picture kind of way, bringing in more jobs for more Oregonians. Please vote yes for Measure 102.

Alex Thorpe

Jacksonville

Golden for gun safety

I’m marking my ballot for safety — commonsense gun safety — with Golden for Senate.

Reducing gun violence is one of his goals, and a value of safety is near and dear to my heart. Jeff Golden has many values I share, so I’m asking my friends to vote today, and take a big step to assure families and communities are safer from gun violence.

Sure, hunters are good people; but using military weaponry outside of war is not OK!

Thank you for joining me in voting for Golden (and Jamie McLeod-Skinner, too!).

Dr. Lauren J. Oliver

Ashland

Brown’s quiet leadership

I’m so disappointed that the Tribune recently argued essentially that because neither Kate Brown nor her opponent had shown leadership, voters shouldn’t vote for either candidate — and yet urged people to vote.

Even if neither candidate has accomplished as much as we’d like, Kate Brown would be a better choice. Under her leadership, Oregon significantly raised the minimum wage, passed laws to phase out coal and double renewable energy production, created Oregon Promise to enable low-income students to attend college, expanded gun background checks, made birth control available from pharmacists, approved sick leave for state workers, passed ethics reforms, achieved the lowest unemployment rate on record — and much more.

In contrast, her opponent offers the same pie-in-the-sky promises we’ve heard for decades, without explaining how he’d pay for them. We should treasure Kate’s low-key, effective style in this time of outlandish lies, empty promises and name-calling.

Gretchen Ousterhout Hunter

Eagle Point

Jamie cares

It’s amazing to me that Greg Walden thinks that someone can get to the ripe old age of 60 and not have pre-existing conditions. Rarely do all of our physical challenges begin after our hair grays.

Needless to say, most of us seniors would be unable to pay for all the medical care we need. Any increase in payments or decrease of Social Security will be extreme, really deleterious to our financial welfare. Jamie cares. So she gets my vote.

Margaret Nelson-Quin

Ashland

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