Our readers' views

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Government officials work for us

As a recent transplant to the state of Washington, I have voted in all of the elections for which I have received a ballot. I have done this my entire adult life no matter where I have become a resident. I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but I read information on subjects that come up for vote and also candidates running.

Reading the news stories regarding the suspension of Initiative 960 makes me wonder — if the majority of the voters pass something and then those in the elected positions decide that this is not the right thing to pass and change the will of the people — what is the sense of voting? The elected officials are going to do whatever they want anyway. So why do they need me to vote?

It appears to me that the federal and state governments have forgotten that they work for us and are there just to have a job and an income.

Robert Kettenring

Vancouver

Too much money has been wasted

A few items stand out in the March 9 Columbian story “Light-rail alignments divide community.” Nine-hundred million dollars to build three miles of light rail. They say not to do math in public but I will take a whack. That’s $300 million per mile. Is this the best use of public money? A 44-minute ride on light rail from Vancouver to Portland? For a 10-mile transit that means averaging 14 miles per hour. This is progress?

Another point from the story was that “7 seconds” adds “$190,000 a year to the operating costs.” What? Unfortunately no elected official has stood up and said “I’m as mad a hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.” Already over $72 million has been spent on planning for this fairy tale $4.2 billion bridge boondoggle.

Locally, has more time and money been wasted on a project other than the Columbia River Crossing’s new I-5 bridge?

Elections have consequences so this November vote against anyone who supports this mess.

Jon Haugen

Vancouver

Columnist criticized

It was disappointing to read a campaign ad masquerading as an opinion column this early in the year. Ann Donnelly’s March 11 column, “Wash. Dems ignore calls for reform,” was little more than a thinly veiled campaign ad for Rep. Jaime Herrera, R-Camas, that included a little bit of opinion on our economic troubles.

I know Donnelly personally and ordinarily enjoy her columns. But I find it disappointing that The Columbian limits me to 100 words in support of my candidate of choice, yet allows her 605 in support of hers. Many of us have brought up serious questions as to her candidate’s judgment that are not being addressed. Instead, we are treated to a column that continues to ignore our questions. Surely the editorial board can do better.

Lew Waters

Vancouver

Democrats’ achievements are many

In his March 9 letter, “Democrats have disappointing record,” Rick Jackson reminded us that a vote for a Democrat will “most often result in a vote for a loss of freedom and expanded wasteful government.” Prior to President Obama, Bill Clinton was the last Democrat in the White House; he led us into financial solvency and left our nation a significant financial surplus. Yeah, that was bad. Much better the Republican following him who wasted the surplus before borrowing billions more to finance two wars.

As to a “loss of freedom,” does anyone remember which of the two OK’d torture, allowed unauthorized wiretaps on Americans and left an imploding economy to his successor? I ask because apparently some people have already forgotten.

Roy Wilson

Portland

Sen. Bunning had right idea

It was in the news recently that Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., had refused to sign off on unemployment extensions for many thousands of people whose benefits were running out. He was naturally overruled by the rest of the Senate. Our Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., stated, “Today we have a clear-cut example to show the American people just what’s wrong with Washington, D.C.” She was right on.

The Democrats had passed a “pay-as-you-go” policy that is supposed to make spending deficit neutral. Bunning, in his opinion, saw this as not deficit neutral. He suggested that, instead of borrowing more to make the unemployment extensions, you take unspent money from the stimulus package to pay for it. His suggestion would have been deficit neutral. The Democrats refused to do that. This is the reason he drug his feet. I suggest that Murray is the “clear-cut example to show the American people just what is wrong with Washington, D.C.”

Joe Thielman

Vancouver

Support troops; bring them home

I support our troops by demanding that they are brought home. Our service men and women deserve to return to their families, and our government needs to use taxpayer money for health care, jobs, education and other people-friendly issues.

Katherine Baum

Vancouver

Summit was badly produced show

I was very disappointed with the so-called health care summit. As a business professional who understands effective meeting structure, I was unable to see any structure (or point) to the summit. Where was the agenda or objectives? How were the objectives going to be addressed and measured? Where was the defined purpose of the summit? All I saw were a bunch of people talking all over the board with no clear purpose or direction.

Does our government think its citizens are stupid? Do they think we don’t know showboating when we see it? Having the president act as meeting facilitator was beneath the position and was an inappropriate function of his office. He’s the president, not a community organizer.

That was a big waste of time and taxpayer dollars. Aren’t we proud of our politicians.

Debra Kalz

Vancouver

Loyalty is wavering

In light of the ongoing scandal surrounding the Catholic Church clergy, involving countless instances not only of sexual abuse but of complicity at all levels of the church hierarchy in its cover-up (a new spate of allegations is surfacing in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands), one has to wonder at the implications for loyal, believing Catholics.

What future can one have in a religious institution to which we cannot entrust even the physical safety of our children?

Dustin Finney

Vancouver