Most commented stories on Columbian.com last week

By Matt Wastradowski, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

From the comments

Readers weighed in with thoughts on employers using the E-verify program to eliminate doubts about their workforces' eligibility.

Bill and Peggy Zimmerman, who are considering the E-verify program for their farm, discussed some of its challenges:

"One of the big problems with E-Verify is the “false positives” you can get. If you actually deny work because of the result of E-Verify to someone who is legal, you are then open for a lawsuit for discrimination. Employers can find themselves between a rock and a hard place."

James Edmondson examined how E-verify could play a part in immigration reform:

"To say, "...E-Verify would eliminate 70 percent of the state’s agriculture workforce..." is to admit the failure of our current immigration system. Rather than institutionalize that failure or crate a path to incentivize new illegal immigration, we need to let the market adjust wages to current pressures and then we can re-evaluate our immigration needs. We need to slow all immigration until we establish a baseline and only then can we intelligently reform immigration."

Note to readers: Columbian staff have been posting the most read stories on Columbian.com each week since July. We've noticed, however, that the stories that received the most traffic don't necessarily reflect the most important issues to our community of readers.

So we're trying something a little different, posting the stories that received the most comments. These stories got readers fired up for one reason or another and provide a better glimpse of the issues the community is most passionate about and interested in discussing.

What do you think about this new approach? What comments and discussions would you like to see highlighted? Tell us in the comments! We'd love to hear from you.

1) Ron Paul to hold Vancouver rally on Thursday

Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul visited Vancouver on Thursday for a political rally.

Our readers weighed in on Paul's campaign and what they would like to see at the rally:

Mark Campbell:

He has absolutely no chance at a spot on the ticket. Extremists like Paul are useful for advancing ideas into a party's agenda. A good example would be Barry Goldwater's 1964 run. It took years to gather steam, but modern fiscal conservatism could trace it's political roots to that campaign.

Trevor Winton:

What I hope for is to see Ron Paul smile. Smile because he's not alone, smile because the message of liberty has caught fire, smile because he's energized and activated an entire generation of Americans who will carry the torch and fight for the freedom that made this country great.

2) Ron Paul draws overflow crowd in Vancouver

Ron Paul, the Republican candidate with a strong libertarian philosophy spoke before a crowd of more than 1,500 people in the ballroom of the Hilton Vancouver Washington. Paul elicited rounds of applause when speaking against current military involvement overseas and the war on drugs, and prompted boos against government bailouts and the detainment of U.S. citizens without due process.

3) Clark County employers weigh pros, cons of E-Verify

In increasing numbers, Clark County employers in the public and private sector are embracing E-Verify to eliminate doubts about their workforces’ eligibility to work in the United States. But in the context of this country’s heated immigration debate, the program has more than its share of detractors who question whether it unfairly targets people and industries, such as agriculture, that rely on migrant workers.

4) Gov. Gregoire signs same-sex marriage bill

Gov. Chris Gregoire handed gay rights advocates a major victory Monday, signing into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, making it the seventh in the nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

5) Official: 2013 CRC start date not likely

Stalled support for new state transportation money likely means construction on the Columbia River Crossing won’t start until 2014, the state’s top transportation official said Wednesday. That portends a greater bridge cost and a missed deadline set by the governors of Oregon and Washington to break ground next year.