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Election Letters, Nov. 3

No on meals tax

The other day I was talking with a couple of meals tax proponents.

Question: What if the meals tax doesn’t provide enough funds for police service?

Answer: The funds don’t go for police, they go into the general fund.

Question: Wouldn’t it be more honest to have an initiative asking if Jacksonville should continue to have its own police service?

Answer: There is plenty of money in the general fund for police service.

Huh?

I am puzzled — the agenda of the proponents is unclear, and they have put no candidates forward for the three City Council seats that are on the ballot this year, so they are clearly unwilling to do the work needed to govern the city in a coherent manner.

Jacksonville is a wonderful place. Let’s not sully our reputation by penalizing a few small business owners to satisfy the agenda of a few. Vote no meals tax!

Tom Pratum

Jacksonville

Oppose Walden

I am one of the 160,000 seniors in District 2 who receive Social Security and Medicare benefits, and I strongly oppose the re-election of Greg Walden.

Walden has repeatedly voted for Republican budgets that would gut Medicare, and is one of the top 10 recipients of campaign donations in Congress from Big Pharma. I am outraged by the tax cut bill Rep. Walden supported. It doesn’t help retirees with limited incomes, but lines the pockets of the wealthy. Republicans have the gall to say we must pay for this through cuts to “entitlement” programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

If you are a senior who is dependent on Social Security, disability benefits, or Medicare, you can’t afford to vote for Greg Walden to represent your interests in Congress. Please join me in voting for Jamie McLeod-Skinner to protect our health and the retirement benefits that we have earned.

Marty Dennett

Ashland

Front-page copout

I was distressed and disappointed by your front-page cop-out in refusing to endorse either candidate for governor.

Yes, it was gimmicky and received a lot of attention, placed above the fold on the front page as it was. But you failed your readers, most importantly because the next governor will oversee the redistricting process that will follow the 2020 Census. That, with any luck and a lot of hard work by Oregon Democrats, will address the outrageously unfair House District 2 gerrymandering that has allowed a Trump-loving punk from Hood River to represent many of us in Southern Oregon for too many years.

John Enders

Talent

Endorsement reasoning

Even when I disagree with your editorial opinions, I generally appreciate your reasoning. I was startled and disappointed with some of your language and reasoning in your endorsement of Walden.

I was particularly alarmed by your endorsement of his support for the “dismantling of the Affordable Care Act that sets the stage for a more equitable solution.” Really? What equitable solution is that? Walden and his party have never offered that more equitable solution and, as you note: “Walden, who ranks high in the House Republican leadership, remains in the best position to deliver legislation beneficial to his constituents and his state.” I’m afraid we will be waiting a long time with his leadership.

Seth Kaplan

Applegate

MT blows it

Wow, Mail Tribune, you really blew this one!

Do not give Walden another two years to represent corporations and be servile to Trump. “In this political climate”, (MT) our country desperately needs a Congress with some backbone to no longer toady for Trump, totally degrading American values and reducing public dialogue to hate-filled invective, resulting in the hatred we see exhibited by unhinged followers of his undeniable clarion calls to violence.

We desperately need Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s acknowledged integrity to be part of the certainly Democratic House majority of integrity and principles to represent actual people’s issues — not soulless corporation’s wants. On health care, one of the few areas Walden has led was to repeal the ACA with no replacement. Walden led on the tax scam to further enrich the few and increase our debt by trillions — gaining a seat at the Rose Garden beer party.

Daniel Davis

Talent

Endorsement unconvincing

Your editorial “Give Greg Walden another two years” needed a reality checker. It did acknowledge he hasn’t earned another term, but warned him “to do more for his constituents this time around,” as if a gentle scolding from the Mail Tribune would cause Walden to change.

You said Walden’s failed attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act “set the stage for a more equitable solution.” What? It’s common knowledge that his replacement legislation penalized pre-existing conditions, among other injurious measures, and even Trump called it “mean.” The opioid legislation Walden “pushed through” actually passed the House 396-14. I imagine congressmen falling all over themselves to climb on that bandwagon.

You did pronounce Jamie McLeod-Skinner the most worthy opponent Walden has ever faced. Indeed, candidates with her intelligence and dedication don’t come around often. What a shame that instead of endorsing integrity, you chose to curry favor with a politician.

Molly Tinsley

Ashland

We are better than this

How upsetting, upon return from travel, to find a negative campaign ad in our mail. It contained the usual trappings of what we’ve come to expect in such (thankfully) rare missives: bold-faced one-word slurs, a garbage can containing a doctored, grainy photograph of the candidate, and a couple of alleged and unsubstantiated “quotes” demeaning women. The purveyor of the ad did not have the courage to identify themselves.

We’ve known Jeff Golden for a decade. One need only visit the archives of his show Immense Possibilities and witness his interviews of producer/writer, Executive Director of Women’s Empowerment Lisa Culp, Dr. Vandana Shiva, or Ashland’s own Christiana Clark and they will get a sense of the respect and admiration he accords women. Jeff deserves our support.

Oregonians are better than this negative campaigning.

Andrew and Barbara Seles

Ashland

My choice, my future

Growing up in the Rogue Valley Greg Walden has been “my representative” as long as I can remember. Yet I have never seen him in our community or at any event here. How can Greg Walden fight for what our community needs if he’s not connected to the people he’s supposed to represent?

I’ve met his challenger, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, five times. I have seen her at local events and heard how she plans to help communities when she is elected.

I’ve learned from Jamie about her extensive knowledge on water management and Indian law, and that she opposes Jordan Cove. As an indigenous woman, those issues are key for my vote.

At an event for Jamie, while carrying a heavy box one-handed due to a shoulder injury, Jamie said, “Oh, here, you shouldn’t have to carry that, let me help.” Now that’s the representative I want. Someone who cares.

Isabella Tibbetts

Talent

Voting for Golden

I have just received the second nasty-gram mailing from the Jessica Gomez campaign about Jeff Golden.

I have now voted for Jeff Golden. Our country turns around next week from years of negativity and divisiveness to a new set of leaders bringing us together. Jeff is and has been that sort of community leader we need in Salem and has the resume proving it.

More importantly, the negative ads in this campaign set the candidates apart. Denigrating the other guy might make a certain segment of folks feel good, but does nothing positive or productive. Jeff is a strong, powerful force for the good of our state. Vote for a future for Oregon free from the politics of divisiveness and enabling the destructiveness of negative campaigning.

We are all better than this.

Jim Akins

Phoenix

Choose Jensen

Having worked at the Oak Knoll golf course, I have observed Stephen Jensen over the years. His personal and civic strengths lie elsewhere because he continuously demonstrates the ugliest golf swing I’ve ever seen.

I support Jensen for the following simple reasons.

First, a little-known fact: He was drafted as a conscientious objector and served as a medic in Vietnam. That shows me character.

Second, Stephen has deep roots in our town, moving here in 1972, and he has developed a wise and broadly intelligent understanding of our community. That shows me connection.

And finally, as a renowned teacher of high school students, he directs yet listens, he challenges yet accommodates, and he demands yet collaborates. That shows me competence.

Character. Connection. Competence. Jensen is the obvious choice.

Tom Winmill

Ashland

Yes on EP school bond

Eagle Point School District has demonstrated outstanding stewardship for more than a decade, including a balanced, sustainable budget during one of the toughest economic spirals in the past 50 years.

During that time, the conservative budgeting practices of the Eagle Point School District put students first by not cutting a single school day. Eagle Point has been a statewide leader in student safety, attendance, and career technical education. Eagle Point High School’s graduation rate has shown steady increases over the past five years and the lowest dropout rate in Southern Oregon at 0.79 percent!

The only avenue for local school districts to fund new schools and large capital projects is through the bond process. I trust the Eagle Point School District to continue their excellent model of conservative budgeting practices putting students first with this $95 million bond. Yes on 15-182!

Dianne Mihocko

Eagle Point

Vote McLeod-Skinner

I’m marking my ballot for Jamie McLeod-Skinner. Jamie’s not supported, funded or influenced by big-monied corporations like her opponent, who has lost focus on the people.

Jamie went to school in Ashland and Eugene. Jamie has lived and worked in Southern, Central and Eastern Oregon. Jamie’s familiar with the 2nd District, traveling its entirety, talking and listening to the people. Jamie knows us, our area, interests and needs. Jamie is interested in working at bipartisan levels to solve concerns and not polarizing the parties.

Jamie is concerned with our investment in education from primary through graduate levels. I like her idea to establish programs giving college and trade school students an opportunity to offset tuition costs with pledged work in public service. Our granddaughter’s fiancĂ© is participating in a program in Texas.

Jamie believes there must be affordable qualified health care.

Vote: Jamie McLeod-Skinner

Robin Griffiths

Grants Pass

Vote for Greg

The Oct. 23 headline for a Kaiser Health News piece was irresponsible. The theme was drug makers give lots of money to campaigns, lobbyists, and even charities. “ [P]harmaceutical companies tend to play the field, giving to a wide swath of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle” (emphasis mine). The article says money was given to nearly 80 percent of lawmakers.

In light of Walden’s support for the Patients and Communities Act, it’s clear Greg’s focus is on improving health — and health care — for all of us. I’m not so confident of what his opponent can bring to the table by comparison.

Whatever possessed her to think she can represent the U.S.’s eighth largest House district when she failed to hold the Phoenix city manager’s job? She created an untenable work environment. She was fired March 8, 2017, after just four months.

Vote for Greg!

Robin Lee

Medford

Yes on 102

Measure 102 has wide support because it will strengthen our economy and help solve Southern Oregon’s housing crisis. Measure 102 amends the state Constitution to allow local governments to partner with local businesses and nonprofits to help build more affordable housing.

As a millennial I know how hard it is to find an affordable place to live. There are few apartments and rent keeps rising. Unfortunately, some of my friends have already been priced out of the Rogue Valley and have been forced to other areas of the state. But 102 will help to solve this crisis by helping us secure more federal resources and by creating more affordable places to live.

Help Oregon’s younger generation by voting yes on Measure 102.

Garrett West

Medford

Political losers

Gov. Kate Brown and Knute Buehler have shown their true colors early on, thankfully in time for me to avoid voting for either of these two backstabbing losers!

Neither has offered us any guidance or solutions regarding what they could do for us, or how to effect any positive changes. It has all been vicious.

I have no need for either of these. Through their ads, they have lost any hope for my vote. I will choose one of the others, expressly for that reason and I strongly suggest your readers do, also.

Bob Bartlett

Central Point

Walden bad for Oregon

Drug companies finance Walden. Do you think his opioid bill that he touts so loudly will be done for the people of Oregon? No, it will be done in ways that benefit Big Pharma — like Bush-era laws that prevent our government bargaining down drug prices for Medicare.

The lumber industry also finances Walden; you think his fire suppression bill will stop wildfires the way studies show are effective? No, he’s just written a bill for more clearcutting and calls it fire suppression. Studies show that larger trees should not be cut: They don’t catch fire in a thinned forest and they provide cooling shade.

Walden proposes that sales of the largest trees will pay for the fire suppression programs (which makes such programs ineffective!). Yes, we should thin the forests, but Walden wants them clearcut. Wake up people — Walden is bad for Oregon!

Doug Smith

Ashland

Dump Walden

He voted to send the economy over the cliff. Supported sabotaging health care. Wants to allow pre-existing conditions to be deleted from health insurance.

Supports a crass president. Get rid of him. Dump Walden.

William Dames

Medford

A fresh approach

After I watched the debate between Jamie McLeod-Skinner and Greg Walden, I was struck with renewed enthusiasm for a candidate that would not be beholden to corporate money.

We need fresh approaches in Washington with no strings attached. In Jamie we have the honesty, intelligence and compassion that can renew Oregon’s future.

I want my vote to count for just such a future. I’m voting to send Jamie McLeod-Skinner to Washington to work for all Oregonians.

Sandra Pastorius

Ashland

Bring Wilstatter back

As a town that professes to promote diversity, Ashland now has a chance to include age diversity. Al Wilstatter, age 93, is again running for a City Council position (position 3), for which he was elected in 1968.

He is seeking to fulfill only the remaining two years of Greg Lemhouse’s position, for which he feels he still has the drive and energy left to sustain his commitment. His main reason for re-entering the fray is his disagreement with the City Council’s “cavalier” dismissal of the Budget Committee after their questioning certain aspects of it. As a committed citizen since 1966 and an ex-business owner, Al continues to attend council meetings. Having spent two delightful evenings him during the past six months, I can attest that he still has all his marbles and a fervent desire to use his wealth of experience for the benefit of his beloved Ashland.

Donnelly Fenn

Ashland

Retain Sheriff Sickler

Having hired Sheriff Sickler some years ago when I was a captain and later the chief of police for Klamath Falls, I feel qualified to comment on the character, intellect and innate abilities of Sheriff Sickler. As a patrol officer, Sheriff Sickler immediately impressed me with his common-sense approach to problem solving and seemingly natural aptitude to excel as a police officer.

Now living in Medford, I again work somewhat closely with the sheriff’s office in my capacity as a state employee. I have had the opportunity to observe Sheriff Sickler as a deputy as he rose rapidly through the ranks within the sheriff’s office and was later appointed sheriff. This, in my view, was a very wise decision.

I encourage you to join me in casting your ballot for Sheriff Sickler and retain him as our sheriff. You will not be disappointed.

James Hunter

Medford

Puzzling endorsement

I’m having a tough time understanding your lukewarm editorial endorsement of Walden for Congress (Oct. 28).

First you run an important article about Walden receiving top payments from the pharmaceutical industry, the same companies that pushed opioids claiming they weren’t addictive. Then you choose to endorse Walden anyway.

You say you like McLeod-Skinner’s ideas but wonder if we can afford them. Then you support Walden, who voted for tax breaks for the super-wealthy, thereby raising our debt to $33 trillion in 10 years.

Frankly, this muddled endorsement doesn’t sound like past editorials, which have been smarter and better written. If it’s coming instead from Rosebud Media, the new parent company, shouldn’t that be disclosed?

Doesn’t the public have the right to know what an endorsement really represents, not the best reasoning of the editors, but the politically expedient choice of the money guys? As a subscriber to both your “local” papers, I’d like to know more.

Ann Magill

Ashland

Walden’s horrific record

Walden’s record speaks for itself — on health care alone, he has voted nearly 70 times to kill the Affordable Care Act and he supports killing pre-exisiting conditions coverage. He advocates gutting Social Security (which we have funded ourselves) and Medicare. Walden has received more dollars from large drug companies than any other U.S. Representative. We are not his constituents, the large corporations and multi-millionaire donors are.

The MT’s endorsement of Walden because of his high rank in the GOP that would let him pass laws for our state is not sound thinking as he has done the opposite, with few exceptions, all these years. He is in the pocket of big businesses and big donors and answers only to them. Have you seen him at any town halls? We cannot afford another two years of Greg Walden.

Kristin Sivesind

Ashland

Vote no on 105

I love Oregon. I love the sunny summers and rainy falls/winters/springs. I love the coast and the mountains, Powell’s, the Painted Hills and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Most of all, I love that Oregon welcomes people from every walk of life, every gender and sexuality, every religion, every race and nationality.

I do not love Measure 105. Measure 105 is not welcoming, and it is not Oregonian. It will lead to racial profiling and fear.

My love for and my faith in a welcoming God calls me to vote no. If you love Oregon too, vote no on Measure 105.

Rev. Paula Sohl, associate minister, First Congregational UCC

Ashland

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