Comments provided 'laugh'
MAY 25, 2021
Thanks, Sen. Shope, for the laugh as well as the disingenuous comments about the need for bipartisanship and cooperation in the U.S. Senate. Your defense of the filibuster — so there can be bipartisan consensus on legislation — leads me to believe you are planning a run for federal office and want to start genuflecting to Sen. Mitch early. We all know Republicans aren't allowed to work in a bipartisan fashion by orders of the Senate leader. We also know that they have been given opportunities to shape legislation to their liking and they still vote no.
And please, keep your admiration of Sens. Manchin and Sinema to yourself because we all know that's not sincere unless they are voting with Republicans. You are citing them as defenders of democracy so tell me, where do you stand on Rep. Cheney and her comments? How about the "Big Lie"? Election (non)fraud? Cyber Ninjas? Supreme Court nominee process? Voter suppression? Jan. 6 sedition? Independent commissions? etc. etc.
Let's face it, you want to hold on to the filibuster to thwart Dems' popular legislation and defense of democracy. You don't want to lose the filibuster because Republicans believe only they should be allowed to govern regardless of what voters want. Lauding Sen. Sinema for standing up for the institution of the Senate and then stating "simply blocking the other side is not the answer for either party's goals" is the most hilarious comment of all. That's exactly what Mitch McConnell pledged to do to President Obama and to President Biden. Are you calling him out?
I know why you guys write this stuff. If Republican voters are deluded enough to believe Donald Trump should be president, they will believe anything.
Paula Maniszko, Casa Grande
MAY 18, 2021 - Supporters fooled by Trump
Seventy-four million votes for Trump in November 2020. Most by any incumbent in history and lost. This makes Trump the “Biggest Loser." The people that voted for Trump seem to be under the impression he won and was cheated out of his second term. Of course this is the “Big Lie” Trump started and his staunchest followers believe.
Of the 74M votes, 10% will always think this way. The remaining are the ones buying “oceanfront property in Arizona” or haven’t had a new thought of their own in 30 years.
The voters are not going to be hoodwinked again by the Republicans' message of hate and division.
MAY 13, 2021 - Audit of PCSO important
I recently read that a number of Pinal County residents are asking the Pinal County Board of Supervisors to conduct an audit of Mark Lamb's Sheriff’s Office. I believe there are more than enough red flags to warrant a full-scale audit.
Our sheriff is launching a subscription-based TV network — “American Sheriff Network." Where will the money come from for funding? How will Sheriff Lamb find the time to balance running this network and leading the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office?
We’ve never gotten to the bottom of Lamb’s relationship to the suspicious shenanigans involving LD8 Rep. David Cook and his purported girlfriend lobbyist. How much money did Lamb take in while promoting his so-called border posse? What became of the funding for the “gun safety training” for his poll watcher militia during the 2020 election? Exactly how much has been taken in from the federal government and how are those dollars being spent?
The taxpayers of Pinal County deserve to know if we’re getting our money’s worth from each and every county-wide agency. Sheriff Lamb has been immune to accountability despite some very questionable enterprises.
I join the growing number of Pinal County voters who demand a full and transparent audit of the Sheriff’s Office. That audit must include a thorough examination of training methods, policing policy along with every single aspect of resource use and finances. Anything less would amount to complicit malfeasance.
MAY 10, 2021 - Don't Mix Politics, Education
Re article May 6, “Teachers must present both sides of ‘controversial issues’”:
It is truly remarkable that the GOP, which claims to be the party of limited government and personal freedom, finds so many ways to be all about legislative overreach and freedom killing. Just goes to show that actions speak much louder than words.
The Arizona GOP, following the radical right-wing lunacy sweeping across red state legislatures, is currently eyeballing ballots, perverting their own election laws, criminalizing women’s reproductive decisions and now sticking their intrusive noses into classrooms.
The GOP is redefining sex education to fit their extreme religious mythology, thus keeping students bewildered and less safe. Their newest bully assault on education raises “alternative facts” to equal status as truth. For example, teachers will be fined if they don’t teach the “good side” of slavery, the Holocaust and climate change. “Big lie” election results must be seriously presented along with actual voter tallies. Propaganda is being put on equal footing with facts, data and science.
Whether you’re a current or retired educator (that’s me), a parent, student or advocate for quality education, you should be outraged. Fact-based education is being subverted by political and conspiracy fueled indoctrination. Our youth will be influenced in the classroom by subjective opinion rather than objective truth. Let’s be clear, we don’t even know who decides which lies get spread first.
Politicians should not determine educational curriculum. The classroom must never become an indoctrination platform — I shudder when I picture German students of the 1930s and ‘40s wearing brown shirts and goose-stepping with arms raised in salute to the Fuhrer. SB1532, as amended, will take us in that horrible direction!
MAY 8, 2021 - Audit Needed for Officials
Truth, trust, transparency and accountability are words that are desperately needed to guide all levels of government today.
At recent Pinal County Board of Supervisors meetings and throughout our country, we’re witnessing expressions of distrust about the most essential principles of our unique republican form of democracy — questions about the integrity of our voting process and questions about equal justice under the law.
These stubborn questions manifested themselves in January by violence at our nation’s Capitol, a place where I worked for 24 years, and last month by a historic criminal trial of a law enforcement officer.
It’s not an overstatement to say that these dramatic incidents question the very essence of our unique American experience in self-governance — questioning the authority of the federal system itself. For most of us, that basic question was decided 156 years ago.
Nonetheless, today our country and our county continue to face confusion and division by stubborn questions that are strongly held opinions but largely based on demonstrable untruths.
I have no doubt, however, that this confusion and division can be overcome by people of good will coming together in civil dialogue to speak respectfully and truthfully.
That is why two weeks ago after listening to a number of fellow citizens who spoke about their lack of trust in our voting system, I requested the Board of Supervisors to authorize financial and performance audits of those responsible for voting and for law enforcement in Pinal County — the Elections Department and the Sheriff’s Office.
I have faith and trust that by conducting these audits we can help restore respect for our country’s most troubled institutions — voting and law enforcement.
For these reasons I again urge the board to implement those audits.
APRIL 24, 2021
Voter fraud does not exist to the extent that state legislators should waste time and taxpayer money on an insignificant problem. Can you find me 100 fraudulent votes that would have affected the outcome of any Arizona state, county or local election, when the winners are 300-plus votes ahead? With more serious problems of water shortage, failing schools, a pandemic, etc., our legislators should be focused on these.
As far as the number of racists in this country, it is far greater than what politicians tell us. My father grew up in Jim Crow Mississippi, and I have experienced it (Jim Crow) personally. And it is still practiced by many in this country. I know what it looks, smells and feels like to be the victim of these people on a weekly to daily basis. I have lived in five states in the USA and traveled abroad many times, and I know the difference. As a leader, please give supporting information or at least personal experience when speaking about racism or racists. Thank you.
In the April 1 edition of the Dispatch there was a letter to the editor in which the statement was made “… the Georgia voting bill requires verification of the voter. That's it!” That was a bit deceiving. It would take more than 200 words to list all the provisions that were included in the bill, so here’s a brief summary.
The bill included: limitations on the number of drop boxes; increased state power over counties; many restrictive measures for absentee voting; shorter time periods for requesting mail-in ballots; changes in ID requirements for absentee ballots; restrictions on third parties advocating for mail-in ballots; no more use of the mobile voting buses that were purchased to help with long voting lines; and, of course, the prohibition of individuals in most locations to give relief to voters standing in line by handing them snacks or water.
Each one of the facets of the bill have many complicated parts, but the point is that a lot more was done than just requiring verification of the voter.
There was one good thing in the bill. Early voting is expanded for most counties — maybe only by one day on a weekend, but still, good job.
As a lifetime advocate for public education, I am dismayed by our Arizona Legislature’s continued efforts in the opposite direction. Despite the unequivocal voice of Arizona voters at the ballot box time after time, our state representatives feel compelled to thumb their collective noses at the will of the people.
In 2020 we voted to pass Proposition 208, which set up a dedicated funding mechanism for public education. The 2021 Legislature sees SB1783 introduced — it’s a legislative work around intended to undo this funding source.
In 2018 we voted no on Prop. 305, an attempt to expand ESAs (vouchers) beyond the original intent. Voters realized that this expansion would come at a cost to over 80% of Arizona’s student population. ESA expansion was defeated by a nearly 2-1 margin. The 2021 session has seen the introduction of SB1452, yet another attempt to circumvent voters and undermine public education.
Other public education attacks are also pending in the current session. SB1400 and HB2063 are aimed at taking away the ability of teachers to make decisions in their own classrooms.
I urge you to contact your state representatives and senator and tell them to vote no on all of the bills listed here as well as any others that would hurt public eduction in Arizona.
Call 800-352-8404. LD8, ask for Shope, Cook and Pratt. LD11, ask for Leach, Roberts and Finchem.
Public education will wither and die without our vigilance and support.
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
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
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
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
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