When was the last time you saw a person with smallpox? You haven't, because we eradicated it across the planet. Do you respect the Rotary clubs? Good, because they spend millions to vaccinate against polio around the world. And it's almost gone. Vaccines save lives and now we need everyone vaccinated against COVID-19.
I am volunteering my time as a retired physician assistant to give vaccinations to people around the state. It is the most important work I believe I have ever done in my career. I have been following along the lives of my colleagues on the front lines and this virus is something we have never encountered in medicine ever. We don't fully understand how it works in the human body. Just when we think we know it, new symptoms arise in people who have recovered. This virus lies dormant only to strike in surprising and awful ways.
Don't get COVID and if you did, don't get it again, which you can do because we think immunity may only last about three to four months. We are seeing psychosis, stroke, heart damage in young healthy adolescents and all sorts of other issues. People are always talking about death rates but that's not the most important issue, it's about the health issues after you recover. Take the vaccine. I'm excited to get mine and then give it to hundreds of people. It is safe, it is effective. Now is the time to trust in science. Give yourself and your family the gift of life and safety for the new year! Get your COVID vaccination!
An open letter to those who refuse to take the COVID pandemic seriously:
I worked in the ER for decades. I am the person who looked into your loved one's eyes after a car accident as they pleaded, “save my life” or worse, “save my child’s life." Yet now, when we ask you to save your own life or the life of your family or neighbor, you disregard us. When did you start to distrust us so? We have brought you back after a heart attack, we cure your cancer, we help you breathe even when you continue to smoke, we develop new cures every day. We are asking now a favor in return. We are asking you to wear a mask, all the time in public. We are begging you to stay out of restaurants and bars. We are pleading with you to listen to us again as you do when the cancer doctor says, take this treatment, it will save your life.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t pick and choose, we don’t. We are not honest one minute and untruthful the next. We always have your best interests in mind. It’s what we do, it’s how we are trained.
If you are exposed, quarantine. Out of respect for others. You may feel fine but may be a carrier and give it to someone who dies on Christmas Day. You may never find out but how would you feel if you knew?
Please trust us now before this happens. When you grab my hand in the exam room and cry “I can’t get any air, I don’t want to die," it’s really too late. Don’t wait. Start here, start now. Wear a mask.
Many thanks to the employees at Pinal County Elections. While people across the country are focused on the smallest of procedures going exactly right, we in Pinal County have a cadre of true professionals who know what the Elections Procedures Manual expects of them. Along with several other employees at the Recorder's Office, the "Elections Six" work together as a seamless team all year to make many details fall into place, like a giant jigsaw puzzle, at elections. It has been a pleasure working with you all!
Hollace Lyon, (outgoing) Chair
Pinal County Democratic Party
When they’re not battling flames or braving toxic smoke, most firefighters serve as health care professionals. Of the 37 million calls U.S. firefighters receive each year, about two-thirds are medical. And out in the desert, a 40-minute drive to the hospital means first responders are on-site during the critical, early stages of heart attacks, head injuries, strokes and overdoses.
Like so many nurses, police officers and other frontline workers in rural Arizona, our firefighters are over-committed and severely understaffed. In Red Rock, where I live, the Avra Valley Fire Department oversees more than 265 square miles. And because of budget challenges, the number of firefighters on duty each shift was recently cut from seven to three.
Firefighters confront so many dangers and take on so much responsibility to keep our communities safe and healthy. Certainly, the least we can do is ensure that they are taken care of.
For years, 15% of Arizona firefighters with cancer were denied workers’ compensation because they couldn’t prove their work contributed to their disease. But earlier this year, our Legislature passed SB1160, which guaranteed benefits for firefighters with cancer. Just four state senators voted against the bill — including Sen. Vince Leach, LD11, who thought automatic benefits would cost too much.
I understand our state’s budget and the need to spend our money wisely. But these heroes risk their lives every day to keep us safe, and we need to do everything we can to ensure that their needs are met.
JoAnna Mendoza - Red Rock
The writer is a Democratic candidate for state Senate in Legislative District 11.
I’ve been involved in political discussions on Nextdoor (a local social media site) discussing various topics. Some posts were good, some questionable with regard to facts and some were really ugly, nasty name calling.
I’d like to tell you a little bit about some interactions. I find that it’s interesting to hear folks say that one party or individual is better than the other. This often comes from one’s personal perspective and isn’t that what we’re doing when we vote?
A couple of the topics that were discussed:
One state getting more relief money over another when it doesn't matter what party is in charge because there are both party members in that state and by saying not funding one state, aren’t you hurting “everyone” in that state! Kind of silly to fight about which state needs the help when all of our states needs it.
What has been going on within the political negotiations for the financial help. Do we really know what is being negotiated or just what each party tells us? Again, kind of silly.
The good and bad points of Biden vs. Trump as our future leader. Of course, there are good and bad points on both sides.
Isn’t this really what we are trying to decide when we vote? To discern what the each individual has to offer and make our decision accordingly? However, I noticed how much credence we put on our past experiences that happened years ago with person “A” or party “B." Or are we looking at what our country needs today?
Whatever your views, get out and vote (Democratic of course), then go back and share some love with your neighbors! May God truly bless and be with us all.
Joseph Pazier - Casa Grande
We read yet another letter to the editor decrying the “radical socialism” of the Democratic Party (R. Wells, Oct. 8 Dispatch). Not just socialism but radical socialism. Where, I ask, is this radical socialism? In what policies? In what politicians? Is a concern for well-funded and inspirational public schools radical? Is trying to secure quality affordable health care for all Americans radical? Are our public librarians really communist spies in disguise? Radical? These things aren’t even socialist. They are simply America at its best. Please stop with the blind, fear-mongering radical socialism line. Our real concern is, or should be, radical capitalism.
While tens of millions of Americans suffer the worst degradations in modern history, Wall Street just keeps humming along. Sure, there was an initial, serious blow to the markets last spring, but since then things have been moving along quite well. The rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Perhaps R. Wells is correct in arguing that regular folk shouldn't be paying the bill. Amen to that. Corporate profits and the casual rich should be taxed at a higher rate to rebuild and preserve the well-being of our nation. Trump's history of tax evasion is beyond belief. Adam Smith, in "The Wealth of Nations," makes it clear that if those raking in the profits do not reinvest in the infrastructure, the system will collapse. This is not radical nor is it socialism. It's sane and healthy capitalism, something Democrats are fighting for.
Paul Machelor - Casa Grande
The efforts of Democrats to make voting easier are met by resistance from Republicans: mailing ballots to all registered voters; same day voter registration; automatic registration; no-excuse absentee voting. Republicans are having none of it. Instead, they actively try to make it harder to vote by passing overly strict voter ID laws; requiring witness counter-signatures on mail-in ballots; reductions in polling places; last-minute changes in polling places; fewer and outdated machines in minority voting precincts; purging qualified voters from voter rolls.
In Texas, there will be only one drop-off site per county, meaning that Harris County, with over 4 million residents, 70% of whom are non-white, will have one drop-off site for ballots. This pattern is repeating all over the country where Republican governors or secretaries of state call the shots: make it as hard and as inconvenient as possible for people to vote, especially voters of color, senior and youth voters. And in California, Republicans are illegally putting up unofficial drop-off boxes for ballots in defiance of a court order to cease-and-desist. Recent changes to the USPS are obviously designed to negatively impact the vote-by-mail process. This is just a sampling of their efforts to suppress the vote.
Clearly, Republicans are scared and willing to do anything to shift the vote in their direction. It would appear that they are afraid of true democracy, where the people decide the outcome of an election. That scares them because they know that they only win elections if fewer voters turn out to vote. 2020 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year for voter turnout. They have reason to be scared.
JP Pierce - Coolidge
I’m writing to all patriots who strive for the U.S. to grow into our stated ideals: indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Please consider the questions and answers stated below before you vote for U.S. president and all down-ballot races.
What do Vladimir Putin, Russia, the Proud Boys; the Ku Klux Klan, QAnon, other affiliated and non-affiliated racists, white supremacists, xenophobes, misogynists, conspiracy theorists, voter suppressors, billionaires and millionaires who’ve benefited from Trump’s tax cuts, two-faced millionaire white televangelists along with their pseudo-Christian cult followings and COVID-19, science and climate change deniers have in common? Most support Donald Trump and the gutless Republican senators, representatives, governors and mayors who to avoid Trump’s wrath have enabled Trump to divide our country and mete out liberty, pardons and wealth to himself and his loyal subjects while vengefully punishing true patriots, like Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who honored his oath and spoke the truth about Trump.
What do Americans who value and want to protect health care, Social Security, the environment, clean air and drinking water, voting rights, a living minimum wage, unions, women’s rights, gay rights, marriage and gender equality, a free press, education; Americans who believe in science and climate change, that Black Lives Matter, that Trump’s policy separating immigrant children from their parents is unconscionable, and that Trump grossly failed Americans in his response to COVID-19 have in common? Most support Biden and Democratic candidates who’ll work to unite the U.S. and make our American ideals more attainable for all Americans.
Admittedly these aren’t exhaustive lists of supporters for either candidate. But, have you more in common with Trump or Biden supporters? Patriots, if you aspire for liberty and justice for all, please vote for Biden and all Democrats down ballot.
Deborah Burdett - Casa Grande
With so many wild and crazy things swirling around us all in 2020, I’m concerned that some really important issues will get neglected and ignored. Among the most crucial for the future of Arizona and America is the long-term future of public education.
My late husband Randy and I committed our professional careers and much of our retired lives to public education. We knew that the best way to achieve social and economic prosperity is by having access to quality education. The early rise and success of the American middle class was fueled by an educational system that was affordable and universally available. American industry thrived because it could rely on a workforce that was well prepared and educated.
We’ve seen a dramatic shift over the past several decades. Quality education has become increasingly expensive and less available to working families. In Arizona, legislative decisions have pushed our once highly regarded system to nearly the worst in the nation by virtually every metric. Arizona is falling behind — critical teacher shortages, unsafe and poorly equipped classrooms are among the symptoms.
Today we’re faced with a decision, do we as Arizona voters pass Proposition 208 and improve public education funding or leave the status quo and ignore the problems. Prop. 208 is not a silver bullet, it’s not the perfect solution, but because we’ve got a state Legislature that continues to fail its constitutional duty, it’s all we’ve got right now.
I urge you to vote yes on Prop. 208. Even more importantly, I urge you to elect new state legislators who are committed to making sure future Arizonans have the social and economic opportunities only a quality education can make possible. In LD8, vote for Barbara McGuire for state Senate and Sharon Girard for state House. In LD11, vote for JoAnna Mendoza for state Senate and Dr. Felipe Perez for state House.
Susan Wortman - Casa Grande
Once again, Donald Trump proved how little he respects women. He believes that women will unequivocally support a SCOTUS appointment based solely on gender. Gender is hardly the criteria upon which RBG’s shoes can be filled. He makes it perfectly clear that he has no understanding of what Ruth Bader Ginsburg meant to America. As a woman, and as an American citizen, I feel insulted and dismissed.
Justice Ginsburg was the champion and lioness who fought tirelessly and ferociously to defend the dignity and rights of every American. For her to be unethically replaced by anyone who takes a completely opposite view is an outrage and an affront to every American.
Let’s be clear about what’s at stake for the next several generations of Americans. Women will lose the right to choose, be subjected to dominance by a minority religious opinion and be kept from employment and economic equality. Despite overwhelming support for the Affordable Care Act — the only line of defense for pre-existing conditions and keeping 10s of millions covered, it will be lost with no plan to replace it. American workers and consumers will lose protections and the right to participate in the economy they drive. The march toward increased voter suppression will escalate with further gutting of the Voting Rights Act. The shift toward autocracy and theocracy will undermine and dilute democracy beyond recognition. Any hope of sensible gun safety or environmental reform will be dead on arrival. Racial injustice will continue unabated.
I’m a woman who believes in much more than an insincere nod toward gender. I would ask that the Senate do the same. I’m a woman who believes America needs a Ruth Bader Ginsburg fighting on our behalf.
Stephanie Seigla - Casa Grande
In these difficult times, we need elected officials who know what is best for Arizonans. And state Sen. T.J. Shope doesn't fit that bill. He has starved school systems and got a special tax break for his buddy who might be flying Shope's banner over Casa Grande and Johnson Ranch.
Meanwhile former state Sen. Barbara McGuire brings experience to the job. Far better experience than Shope. She was a champion for employment in her district; that includes forging deals with those across the aisle in service of that cause, recognizing the potential of our natural industry and taking her crusade all the way to the White House.
Barbara McGuire will get the job done if she's re-elected to the state Senate. How do I know? Because she's done it before.
Mike Conway - Casa Grande
There has a been a barrage of letters to the editor in recent months criticizing the Trump administration and those supporting him. I am heartened to see it. On the other hand, to even discuss this man makes me uneasy. In our entire history, there is no president (perhaps except for Nixon) who produces this effect in me, and so many others. This letter would likely be rejected by the Dispatch editor if I used language to describe how I sincerely feel about the current occupant of the White House. I can hardly type his name. Just yesterday, we read a letter from Ms. Levatino calling Joe Biden a corrupt elitist. OK. I won’t argue the fact that anyone who makes it that far up the ladder probably has some dirt on him or her.
I am a lifelong Democrat. My grandfather was a union organizer in New York. One of those guys standing up for the working man. The current occupant of the White House keeps ranting (and ranting) about his support of the little guy. I don’t see it.
I will vote for Joe Biden not because I am a Democrat but because in all my life, I have never seen a greater threat to what truly makes this nation great (which has nothing to do with red hats). Never in my life have I felt such anguish for our country. Never have we witnessed such imbecilic trash coming from what is supposed to be our highest office, an office we teach our children to aspire to and admire. Never have we seen such a lack of intelligent discussion about issues critical to the well-being of our nation. In fact, what exactly has this man done in his time in office beside tear us apart with idiotic tweets and total nonsense?
Those reading this who still support the current president and plan to vote for him, I beg you to reconsider.
Paul Machelor - Casa Grande
York/Vindman column in last Thursday's paper was truly a sad article to be published. Alexander Vindman, late of the United States Army and the National Security Council, was a dedicated immigrant who has served valiantly, being vilified again because he “might have” told someone the information that caused Trump (our bully in charge) to be impeached. As a result of his testimony in the impeachment hearings, the bully stopped him from getting a promotion and removed both him and additionally his brother from their high-ranking positions in the White House. And now the article is again vilifying Vindman because the whistleblower was possibly one of the individuals he might have told about the incident. To top it off, people are still trying to find out who the whistleblower is rather than holding the individual who did the impeachable offense accountable.
I, like many others, praise Vindman for having the courage to defend our democratic principles. He saw a problem and eventually had the courage to tell what he (witnessed) heard to Congress. Of course, sad but true to Trump's vindictiveness to anyone who says anything bad about him, Vindman is no longer in uniform. How many good people does Trump have to vilify before Republicans realize what a menace he is to our nation? The gutless ones in the Senate that shirked their constitutional duties will pay for it in the end.
America needs your vote. Please vote early for Democrats.
Joseph Pazier - Casa Grande
Before the pandemic struck, 750,000 Arizonans had no health insurance. Due to layoffs and lost jobs, many more have since joined these ranks. Sadly, Arizona also has the third highest rate of uninsured children in the country. A report from one year ago put that number at 146,000. Too many children who can't see a doctor when they are sick. Too many children whose families could be on the brink of bankruptcy should they have a severe accident or illness.
Due to the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there may soon be a newly appointed judge. This is a critical issue because health care is on the line. If the Trump administration has its way, they will invalidate the Affordable Care Act and millions more will become uninsured. Insurance companies will go back to excluding people of all ages due to pre-existing conditions. Almost 7 million U.S. citizens will be unable to qualify for care because they will have had COVID-19. Even those with an asymptomatic case will find themselves uninsurable. Did you know that the Arizona Legislature can help? They can expand KidsCare, our state health program for children. They can help provide other avenues of insurance for those unable to access insurance if they lose their jobs. They can help bridge these gaps. That legislation is not in force yet, but it could be. To do so we must elect legislators who care about health care and want to make sure everyone has access to the care they need and can afford. Please vote for and elect legislators who will put the health and welfare of your family first. We are in uncertain times. COVID is not going away anytime soon. You deserve to be healthy so you can protect your family and keep them safe.
Sharon Girard - Eloy
The writer is a Democratic candidate for state House in Legislative District 8.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg. You did more to protect our democracy than anyone else. It wasn't fair that you had to be the firewall to the Supreme Court whims of Trump and the Republicans, but you stayed in. You should've been enjoying retirement years ago, but you kept fighting. You did what you could, and now we have to hold Mitch McConnell accountable. He cannot be allowed to shove a nominee through with less than two months until the election. He made the precedent with Merrick Garland, and that was far before the 2016 election.
I fully expect McConnell to "change his mind," though. He and his compatriots in the Senate don't care about how it would look. Morals and honor don't matter to them. But they do to me and the Democratic Party. And they did to the Notorious RBG. Rest in peace, Ruth. We will continue your fight.
Ryan Summers - Casa Grande
An open letter to Vice President Joe Biden: As you enter into the debates with Donald Trump, may I offer you some advice? Don’t get in the mud with him, ignore his childish insults and behavior, and don’t let him come even close to getting under your skin. Should he engage in that behavior, which I’m sure he will, just stop, take a second and remind him that you’re there to debate the facts and the terrible state of the union under his “leadership" or lack thereof. You aren’t there to debate a child.
When he persists with his usual inane, lying, boorish behavior, I suggest you respond with the same quiet dismantling that Joseph Welch unleashed on Joseph McCarthy during the 1954 Army hearings. Certainly the quotes from those hearings are just as applicable to Trump today as they were to McCarthy back then. “Until this moment, Mr. Trump, I think I have never fully gauged the full and total extent of your cruelty or your recklessness. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency? If it were in my power to forgive you for your reckless cruelty I would do so. I like to think I am a gentle man, but your forgiveness will have to come from someone other than me.”
You have the high road over this disaster of a “president." Let history repeat itself with a calm, yet powerful, takedown of Trump. Quote the words from that quiet man from Iowa. They’ve never been needed more.
Robin Jenkins - Arizona City
To date, almost 195,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and the U.S. has over 6.4 million confirmed cases of the virus. Thousands of Americans are recovering, some left with lifelong debilitating medical conditions.
During a Feb. 7, 2020, recording of Trump speaking to reporter Bob Woodward about the COVID-19, Trump admitted that he knew that the virus was airborne, very lethal and that it attacked all ages, even children.
How many Americans' lives might have been saved if on Feb. 7 Trump told the American public what he told Woodward? How many lives would have been saved if Trump, knowing the ease of transmission and the lethality of COVID-19, told Americans to wear masks and physically distance back in February? We’ll never know, because Trump candidly relayed the dangers of COVID-19 to Woodward but was calculating in his lies about the pandemic to the American people to whom he owed the truth. Trump has blatantly and repeatedly lied to the American people about COVID-19 for the last seven to eight months. Trump’s at 20,000 lies and counting since he took office.
Trump also admitted to Woodward that he liked to play down the pandemic. Yesterday, Trump unapologetically admitted that he played down the pandemic to avoid panic. Trump played down the pandemic because he thought it would benefit Trump. Trump takes care of Trump at anyone’s expense, this time to the peril of Americans.
Trump is unfit to be president. Trump has the blood of Americans who lost their lives in this pandemic on his hands. Most Republican congressmen, governors and mayors enabled Trump instead of standing up for their constituents. None of them deserve your trust or your vote. It’s time for change. Please vote early for Joe Biden and all Democrats down ballot.
Debbie Burdett - Casa Grande
I’m amazed and not at all pleased with the suddenly aggressive letters to the editor I’m reading lately. This is especially true of the one in Thursday’s edition written by Mr. Meyer. Finding and expressing fault with what’s going on in our country is as American as apple pie. However, for some reason, Mr. Meyer feels he’s being personally attacked.
One hundred years ago white women won the right to vote; it took black women a while longer. Gay men and women can now get married in America — yet, they can still be discriminated against when it comes to housing and employment. Picket lines were walked by Americans whose heads were bashed in as they stood their ground for fair wages and safe working conditions. After too many mass killings in America, high school students told us they’d had enough and demanded some sensible action be taken. Racial, economic and criminal injustice is once again making headlines across America.
None of these issues are being shoved down anyone’s throat. None of these are meant as blaming, as much as seeking justice and improvement. To be clear, raising any of these issues does not make anyone less American, nor should it lead to anyone being told to leave the country. It is exactly that kind of venom being used by a president against anyone who disagrees with him.
Please understand, no one is now, will be or has been coming to take away your guns. People seeking freedoms and equality are not a threat to the freedom and opportunity of others. Religious freedom includes freedom from having to accept any religious beliefs. Advocating for change in America is not un-American. While Mr. Meyer states clearly that he doesn’t care, I certainly care and I hope you do as well. Our country needs care, compassion and understanding now more than ever before.
Susan Wortman - Casa Grande
The two major political conventions are complete. What a stark difference. The Democratic meeting was all about bringing the country together, controlling the outbreaks of the pandemic, getting people back to work, moving forward on race relations. Conversely, the other party, formally known as Republicans and now Trumpsters, talked about gloom and doom, fear and hate and no idea how to control outbreaks of the pandemic.
The Democratic candidate comes across as thoughtful, organized and will do anything and everything for the people of the United States. The Trumpsters' candidate cannot articulate two thoughts without lying about both. #45 is a fear-monger so full of hate for anyone disagreeing with him he strikes out at perceived wrongs, resorting to calling his detractors names just like a 5-year-old.
People rationalize their support for #45 saying "promises made promises kept."
Yes, he got two judges on the Supreme Court but they have ruled against #45 more times than not.
Mexico has not paid for the border wall as promised by #45.
The so-called tax break is equal to a Starbucks coffee every day but even this will go away automatically in six years. The tax breaks for the 1% and corporations are permanent.
#45 promised to get rid of Obamacare. Even if #45 did, he has nothing to replace Obamacare, and tens of thousands of Americans would be harmed health wise and financially.
Really, do you actually think #45 cares about the American people?
Kim Allen - Arizona City
The Republican Party is in trouble, and not just because it may lose the upcoming election. It faces a threat to its very existence as a viable force in U.S. politics. The Republican base is shrinking. Older, non-college-educated white persons, Baby Boomers primarily, make up the majority of the Republican Party. But that Baby Boomer generation is declining and no longer makes up the largest portion of our population. Within 30 years, white people in general will not even be a majority in this country. The trend has been quite clear since 2008. Republicans have lost the national popular vote in very election since then. Party leaders know all of this but are captives of Trump’s base. The Democratic Party, however, is growing. And that growth is coming from minorities, young people of all colors and disaffected Republicans, primarily suburban white women.
I am a Democrat, so why should I care if the Republican Party implodes? It is because I firmly believe in a strong two-party political system, which has served our country well throughout our history. All politicians of both political parties need to be held accountable to the will of the voters, and voters need to have viable alternatives.
What path forward for Republicans? My advice is to read Ronald Reagan’s “shining city on a hill” speech. It speaks of America as a shining beacon of light sitting on a hill with a gate open to all, who live in harmony.
The Republican Party is sick and needs to be healed. Its current condition is similar to a person who has a boil on his skin. You first treat a boil by lancing it. Donald Trump is that boil. My message to Republicans is: It’s time to take your medicine. When Trump is gone, the healing process can begin.
Diana Oleson - Eloy
This letter is in reference to two “cartoons” that have been viewed on Vince Leach’s Facebook page: one that has a woman with a baby in her arms and “Black Community” written on her hip and a donkey on the couch by her, while she is bemoaning the fact that she’s scared to leave the Democratic Party because it has told her she “would never make it on her own.” The other is picturing a white woman being robbed by a Black man, and he’s saying basically “lots o’ luck — the police have been defunded so they’re not coming to save you.”
Because of this blatant display of racist, misogynistic and insulting opinions on his Facebook page, Arizona state Sen. Vince Leach has convinced me that this is his mindset and that he does not belong in a leadership role. Not only does he express his own personal feelings and thoughts regarding the current racial crisis, he also speaks for the party, the Republican Party, on this issue as well as the issues of policing, welfare and the relationship that the Black community has with the Democratic Party.
Supporters of Mr. Leach, is this OK with you? Are you fine with saying “yes” to a guy who publicly demonstrates this kind of low opinion of Blacks and women?
Please consider openly denouncing Vince Leach, the senator for Legislative District 11. He is an embarrassment to the people of my district and should be censored at the very least and reprimanded by his party leaders. I hope his people realize that he is only reinforcing the view that the Republican Party is racist and intolerant and has a condescending attitude toward women and minorities.
Ann Turner - Arizona City
Do you value your Social Security benefits? The availability of unemployment insurance should you find yourself out of a job? Thank FDR, a Democrat. Do you value Medicare or Medicaid? Thank LBJ, a Democrat.
Now ask yourself: Who, for decades, has campaigned to eliminate, reduce or privatize these programs? Republicans and Libertarians. Right now, behind closed doors, Mitt Romney is rallying Republicans to support his TRUST Act, which aims to gut Social Security benefits. The Republican response to soaring deficits is to cut benefits to seniors, children and the disabled. Meanwhile, Republicans are the source of ballooning debt and deficits.
Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act led to reforms in corporate and personal taxes that significantly impacted revenue (negatively) while benefiting the ultra-rich. George W. Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which promised to spur economic growth and “pay for themselves,” instead only escalated income and wealth inequality and reduced federal revenues by $1.8 trillion between 2002 and 2009 while increasing the debt. When Republicans cut taxes, it benefits the 1%, not working people or retirees.
Now think back over the decades and try to itemize the ways in which Republicans have made your life easier or more successful (assuming you are not part of the 1%).
Even now, in the midst of a health and economic crisis — with 110,000 Americans dead and counting, with 40 million Americans unemployed and counting — Republicans balk at passing new legislation that would offer additional resources to Americans who are struggling to survive. And our “leader”? He is focused on finger-pointing and name-calling, on ending the ACA, stopping U.S. support of the WHO, silencing the CDC.
Who is your friend and who is your foe? It has never been clearer than now.
JP Pierce - Coolidge
For every job created while Arizona begins to open up again, countless people will apply for it. Employees should be able to demand their employers take at least minimal precautions against the spread of COVID-19. After all, any single business not acting responsibly can cause a spread throughout its community.
Unfortunately, employees may be put at the mercy of their employers, with no recourse except to give their jobs to the next person in the unemployment line. Why? All GOP state representatives voted to pass a short-term law that removes any threat to businesses for non-compliance with the CDC’s already-watered-down COVID-19 guidelines by prohibiting employees and customers from suing businesses where they contract the virus.
Even worse, some of the Pinal County legislators, state Sen. Leach, Rep. Finchem and Rep. Roberts, have gone so far as to sue Pima County to prevent businesses from adopting minimum standards of public health during this pandemic! Customers have the option to walk away. But employees are left with only one choice — to quit. With unemployment highest since the 1930s, it is an employer’s market, so if they want a job, employees and their families have to take the risk.
If you believe we should be working together to bring back the economy, open up Arizona and still protect everyone’s health, vote for Democrats this fall. It is obvious that Pinal’s GOP representatives think business comes first at all costs, even the health of their employees and customers.
Hollace Lyon - Saddlebrooke
All of a sudden, voting by mail around the country, including Arizona, has become a hot issue. Yet at least 73% of voters in Pinal county vote by mail and have consistently done so for some time. It is very reliable. Attached to your prepaid-postage ballot you are given a tear-off receipt, where you may go online and follow up to see if your ballot was received. How much more reliable can that be? You receive checks, driver's licenses and legal documents by mail, why not ballots? Oregon has gone to all mail in ballots. It is definitely constitutional and legal. We are worried that in November there may be a resurgence of the virus along with our regular flu season. Many poll workers are of an age that puts them at high risk for the flu and COVID. We learned this in March with the presidential preference election when poll workers, concerned about health risks, didn't show to work the polls.
There is concern that this could cause some poll locations to close and many voters to be inconvenienced. Save yourself a trip. Why risk it? What if you become ill, or are caring for a family member or can't get off from work, or have an emergency of some kind on Election Day? Exercise your most precious right and vote from your couch, in your pajamas if you choose. It's your right. Remember, voting is the most patriotic thing you will ever do. Sign up to vote by mail today at servicearizona.com.
Sharon Girard - Eloy
The writer is a Democratic candidate for the state House in Legislative District 8.
They’re at it again! State Legislative District 11’s Leach, Finchem and Roberts are abusing their powers by sticking their collective noses into business that’s none of theirs.
Saturday’s Dispatch article by Joey Chenoweth points out that these political extremists are calling on Arizona’s attorney general to prevent the Pima County Board of Supervisors from taking action intended to keep the public safe. Never mind that the Pima board took action based on input from over 120 members of the business and faith-based communities. Never mind that the Pima action is in compliance with CDC guidelines. Never mind that overwhelming citizen feedback has been not only positive but is asking for even more restrictions.
This is a familiar pattern for these three extremists. They’ve thwarted attempts by voters to clean their local environment, take a sensible step on gun safety and shine a small light on campaign financing — each of these in communities well outside of LD11 borders.
Meanwhile, I’m left wondering why these elected representatives are not lifting a finger to increase COVID testing in a state that recently ranked 51st in the nation. Why aren’t they pushing for heightened safety precautions before opening public schools? Why aren't they screaming for more protections for residents and staff at nursing homes? Where is their action regarding the growing number of domestic violence cases in Arizona or the poor heath care available for veterans?
The answer is simple: They don’t care about anything but political power. The solution is also simple: Run them out of office in the 2020 election. LD11 can do so much better!
Robin Jenkins - Arizona City
I am in tremendous fear for my family’s life and mine. It will only be a matter of time before someone I love and know ends up dead, and trust me, I would prefer never to think like that. I’m an optimist, and so I can only hope that all this time will be enough to stop the spread of COVID-19. But, it sure doesn’t help with everyone sending in letters, whining about their rights and how they shouldn’t have to take precautions. Well, if you don’t care about yourself, then think about everyone else! In your crazy zeal, you could catch the pathogen and then hug your grandma and inevitably spread it to her!
Your ignorance and “patriotism” will end up killing people! Donald Trump is a very, very good example of that. He talks like a little child and bullies people. He tweets and yaps out lies. We need unity, and above all, stability. I would prefer to stay in for many more months, as long as it helps to stop the virus from harming more people. I would hope every one of those complaining about their rights being violated and deciding to show their xenophobia gets over their selfishness and listens. And no, I don’t mean Fox News.
Cissie King - Casa Grande
While many of us appreciate the fine line that doctors, nurses, and scientists must walk in trying to get reliable information out to the public while simultaneously avoiding the wrath of Donald Trump, few appreciate the fine line that Trump must walk in trying to appease the various factions of his base. For example, in suspending immigration, Trump gains the support of one sector of his base, the white nationalists, while other sectors, business and the 1%, do not embrace that policy. Pity poor Trump, trying to appeal to both the everyday working schmuck and the ultra-wealthy at the same time.
While blocking immigration appeals to some of Trump's base, just imagine the hardships the rich will face if Trump successfully limits immigration. Businesses may have to pay their workers a living wage with benefits like health insurance and paid leave time, and the rich will suddenly be faced with the challenge of mowing their own lawns, cooking their own meals and raising their own children.
JP Pierce - Coolidge
Usually, I can barely stomach a piece written by Cal Thomas. Today's piece, "Slanting of COVID-19 coverage," is an exception. Mr. Thomas follows the lead of Trump by castigating the media for their slanted coverage, using various quotes from Nicolle Wallace, David Brooks, Thomas Friedman and Joe Scarborough as examples. The thing is, those quotes all ring true in exposing Trump and his Republican sycophants for the inept, unfit bunch they are. So, I encourage Mr. Thomas to keep at it with the quotes. Keep showing the disaster that is Trump and the Republican Party. I love it!
To analyze further, let’s look at other articles in today's Dispatch: 1) Problems with the small business loan program preventing funds from getting to the true small businesses that need them. 2) The terrible treatment nurses received, here in Arizona, from re-open protesters egged on by Trump's "Liberate" tweets. 3) The response from residents on the border to continued construction on the wall, despite concerns about workers and Border Patrol coming into their small, isolated communities and possibly bringing the virus with them. 4) Health care facilities, in San Diego, that had planned to hire foreign nurses to deal with a shortage and now can't, due to his immigration ban. 5) The dangerous nature of Trump's "medical statements" in general.
I guess from all of this I should determine that the conservative-leaning Dispatch is slanting their coverage as well? Nope. There’s just too much out there to be ignored.
Nicholas Moorehouse - Casa Grande
Does everyone finally realize how horrible the conservatives are? How corrupt the Republican Party really is? They no longer work for our country. No, they work for Trump. Fox is just as corrupt. Trump has gotten people killed just because of his “advice.” More people will die because he said people can use this concoction. There are no medical facts backing up this. If it was true and worked, then hospitals would be using it right now. But they aren’t. And using ultraviolet light wouldn’t work either.
These are harmful to us. And so is Trump. And so, I ask all who support him: Is he worth it?
Janet Myers - Casa Grande
I must admit that it takes quite a bit to get my jaw to drop these days. Too many wild and crazy events and stories have dulled senses and sensibilities. Yet, I nearly fell out of my Saturday morning chair when I read the letter posted by Brad Marsh of CG.
Mr. Marsh accuses “New Democrats” of spreading mantras of “hate and disinformation” via letters to the Dispatch editor. He does this without citing a single specific example. OMG folks, when did providing actual facts become hateful disinformation?
As one who reads the Dispatch every print day, I have yet to see any Democrat write anything except to call out the dishonesty and incompetence of the administrations at the federal and state levels. Is it hateful to question Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis that has America with the world’s most infections and deaths? Is it disinformation to highlight Ducey’s late response or LD11’s Leach threatening of cities and mayors trying to protect their citizens?
What we’re seeing in the daily briefings does not match the truth at the front lines of the virus battle. While what I call #FauciFacts are helpful, most of these events have become campaign rallies. Reporters get humiliated — governors pitted against each other — self-praise as hundreds die each day. I can’t stand to watch any more of it.
Regardless of your party affiliation, I urge you to look for the facts. I beseech you to trust and believe the experts and scientists. I hope that you and your family stay safe, as does our nation and our democracy.
Ryan Summers - Casa Grande