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More Election Letters

CHECK THE FACTS

There has been a shameful, false political dialogue during the presidential primary. This dialogue has come from supporters of a candidate who is supposed to be known for his honesty. I cynically suspect this dialog originated on the Republican side of the isle and was conveniently picked up by the Sanders campaign when they saw it would work. Bernie Sanders and his supporters continue to spread the lie that Hillary Clinton is some Wall Street puppet. Funny how Donald Trump says the same thing, hmm? She supposedly takes millions of dollars from Wall Street. At least that is what you would think based on the response from Sanders supporters.

 According to OpenSecrets.org, a mere 3.9 percent of Clinton’s donations have come from individuals associated with Wall Street. In addition to this fact, she was the eleventh most liberal senator when she served.

 The Sanders campaign has managed to paint Bernie as the perfect politician and Hillary as nothing more than a Republican in disguise. So according to Sanders and his people, Joe Biden is a Republican, too. Hillary’s voting record was more liberal than the vice president's. This false accusation, that Clinton is a corporate puppet, is a blatant smear, and it is creating the stupid and dangerous idea that Clinton and Trump are the same. 

 Guess who benefits when progressive are divided and waste their votes? The Republicans. It’s a wonder we ever win. All they have to do is start some rumor that a Democrat isn’t pure enough and the left-wing will self-destruct. 

Accusations don’t make something true. Check the facts and use your head.  

It is easier for some of us to believe that a spoiled-brat bully, who inherited a fortune and squandered a fortune, and got bailed out four times after he declared bankruptcy, is the “honest” candidate. Yes, I have heard self-proclaimed liberals say this, while a hard-working, dedicated public servant, who has spent her entire career fighting for women, children and families gets vilified from the right with a cynical assist from the left — sick and sad.

Irene Henjum, Springfield

 

GRATITUDE

Thanks go to Bernie Sanders. Bernie's famous forefinger is pointing the way toward revolutionary change. Unexpectedly, Bernie has become a political spirit guide to a million exuberant millennials. Bernie proudly holds high the banner of democratic socialism. Happily, his candidacy signals the demise of red-baiting as a political weapon for use in service to the oligarchy.

Thanks also go to the Bernie Brigade of local volunteers, including our very own exuberant millennials as well as boomer tag-alongs. Ellen Furstner's Bernie T-shirts will be worn around town for years to come. Her “Imagine”-ative design will long linger in our memories and in our hearts.

And thanks go to Matt Keating, our fearless leader. His warmth, strength and clear focus give us inspiration and direction. Remember that name folks: Matthew Keating will one day be our Mayor. Or, how does "Governor Keating" sound? Or ... "Congressman Keating" is nicely alliterative.

Ronald Blanton, Eugene

 

CITY STOOGES

My cowboy hat’s off to Councilor George Brown. Our community owes him a debt of gratitude for blowing the lid off the closed-circuit culture currently entrenched in the upper echelons of what passes these days for city of Eugene “management.”

What could easily be seen as a comedy of stooges from afar loses every bit of its bitter humor when experienced up close by the troves of civic-minded residents who have volunteered their precious time and energy in answering the laughable call for “citizen participation” only to see our precious time and energy effectively tossed in the garbage bin by those holding positions of power who ignore — if not actively obstruct — our efforts, and even get paid to do so on our taxpayer dime!

This all couldn’t have been exposed at a better time, just as we in Ward One are being asked to fill the palpable void that will be left in the wake of George Brown’s departure from the City Council. Pay close attention to who’s endorsing who; do we want to further bolster the ranks of business-as-usual, or do we want to elect someone who will carry Mr. Brown’s torch of accountability and transparency? I’m voting for the candidate that George recommends himself. I’m voting for Emily Semple.

Scott Michael Perey, Eugene

 

ANGRY VOTERS

2016 will go down as the year of the angry voter. On the right and left, there is a rising furor against the status quo. Speaking from the left, the mainstream Democrats aren't cutting it, from national to local levels. Though never great, the Democratic Party has become more embedded with the corporations with each passing year.

That's why I'm suggesting progressive citizens vote against all incumbents and the candidates endorsed by the mainstream Democratic Party insiders. Yes, in some ways it's just a protest vote, but it sends a needed message.

On the national level, I'll be voting for Bernie Sanders and against Sen. Wyden, who supports job stealing trade agreements.

Statewide, here's a few environmental reasons to vote against business-as-usual Democrats: Kate Brown voted against wolf protection and for arial spraying. Val Hoyle supports the Jordan Cove LNG facility.

Locally, the Eugene government's decisions have failed miserably for citizens facing rising rents and gentrification but is a boon for real estate speculators, construction companies and developers. As proof, witness the inflated costs of City Hall, the subsidization of the substandard Capstone apartments and the too cozy relationship between the city manager and the Rowell Brokaw architectural firm.

Emily Semple for City Council and Scott Lanfield for mayor are the only candidates to take a strong stand against the MUPTE privatization of public funds and the Downtown Urban Renewal District. They have called for hard look at the unelected, unaccountable city manager type of government. They'll be getting my vote.

Scott Fife, Eugene

 

CITY OVERSIGHT

Thanks to George Brown for his service on City Council. He has been a voice of the people. He provides actual oversight of city government on our behalf. That is his role as a councilor. He got the word to the public about the City Hall budget and did so eloquently, not frivolously. No matter the topic, the public needs the facts in order to weigh in sensibly, guide City Council and push them for appropriate oversight of the city bureaucracy and improve staff responsiveness to real public engagement. Emily Semple is the candidate who will be most responsive to the public and serve in the role George Brown has had on council.

Jennifer Frenzer, Eugene

HELP OUT EXTENSION

I am a retired biochemistry professor who moved from Oklahoma to Eugene in 2006. I took the master gardener course here. In 2012, I heard a talk on “Diagnosing Plant Problems.” As I was walking away after that talk, in one of the happiest moments of my life, I suddenly realized, “I could learn to do that!”

So a few other Lane County master gardeners and I studied and then began to coach the other master gardeners in how to diagnose the plant problems that the public brings to the OSU Extension Plant Clinic at 10th and Jefferson in Eugene.

The dozens of volunteer master gardeners who staff the plant clinic depend on a small number of professional staff at the heart of the Extension office. If you vote “yes” on 20-239, those staff positions will be stabilized. A small investment of public funds will be amplified through the service of the many volunteers these professionals support. The $250 tuition fee those volunteers pay for the master gardener training course will be decreased. The levy will also decrease the current $100 annual fee for participation in Lane County’s 4-H program.

Margaret Essenberg, Eugene

 

VOTE FOR VAL

I am active in the Democratic Party and in our schools. The clear choice for secretary of state is Val Hoyle.

She shares our values and is a strong champion for the things we care about: clean, honest government; fair wages; equal pay and rights for women; fair elections.

She was one of the leaders who improved our elections, getting up to 300,000 more Oregonians the right to vote. Whereas the other side is trying to keep people from voting, Val is busy opening up democracy. She walks her talk and gets things done.

These are all the job of the secretary of state, and I trust her more than any other candidate to do the right things for Oregon. I urge every Democrat to vote for Val Hoyle — get your ballots in today!

Laura Illig, Eugene

 

LEAVE HAMLET ALONE

Jake Klonoski [Viewpoint, May 5] doesn’t understand Hamlet. I don’t entirely blame him for this, as his reading smacks of some literature class bent on reducing the iconoclastic tragedy to a morality play constructed to reinforce the dominant social justice narrative. 

The real problem with Hamlet? Too much rage and not enough women. In this view, Shakespeare penned a critique of toxic masculinity. It’s a potentially fruitful perspective from which to explore the play, except in the hands of people too eager to find support for their forgone conclusions.

Klonoski’s outline of the play as an argument in favor of voting for Hillary reveals him to be just such a reader, eager to distort the story to serve his ends. To his credit, Klonoski does take this effort to unintentionally revealing hilarity, when he transforms Polonius’ famous advice to his departing son: “This above all: to Thine own self be true” into malicious whispering.

That’s right, kids: The “wise Oregon voter” knows better than to be true to themselves! Rather, the wise deceive themselves so as to better deceive others. In Klonoski’s sober view, being true to oneself is fool’s gold set out to misdirect the unlettered on the path to the promised land. And as being honest with oneself and others is nothing but a false promise, Hillary Clinton is the best choice for Oregon!

Is it any wonder that Clinton is doing so poorly among young people, whose sense of right and wrong hasn’t yet been twisted into something so comically tragic?

Timothy Michael Shaw, Eugene

 

FIGHT BACK

We have a black president; next year we’ll have a woman president. Nothing changes, except for the worse. Environmental disaster, daily shootings, rising suicide rates, record drug use ... the emptiness of no-community mass society in late civilization. Pathologies are multiplying.

Eugene has a green, liberal mayor: ugly development, tax gifts to big companies, let’s sell Kesey Square, etc. There was the utterly toothless Occupy scene a few years ago; last Friday, the gutless, oh-so-nonviolent demo largely blocks away from the Trump tumor.

Bernie is a gesture; don’t look for the details. System needs to try to bring in the disaffected youth. 

More basically, do you really want to feed, reproduce, legitimate politics, which accompanies what is producing ruin on all fronts? Instead of the humiliation of being a good citizen, drop out, fight back.

John Zerzan, Eugene

 

VOTE FOR MCALISTER

As a former citizen of Springfield, I am proud to endorse Kris McAlister for Springfield City Council. For as long as I have known Kris, he has been working towards better. This has been his slogan for personal as well as civic growth for more than a decade. Over the years, I have learned to improve the community I live in and not move away to an established community. Through social media, I have viewed my old high school colleagues; some have families, some are focusing on their careers, and a few are focusing on their communities. I am one of the few who left, but after seeing how much progress Kris has made without an office, I can honestly say that I would gladly move back to help the effort of improving Springfield as a community.

As a call to anyone who may know my name or my story, please vote for Kris McAlister this election. He has the ability to be an important civic leader the likes of which Springfield has not seen for some time.

Tarrah Meyer, Salem

 

 

SPECIAL SPACE

Mike Clark countered Betty Taylor’s motion to save Kesey Square with suggestions for more discussion. Hasn’t it been discussed enough and hasn’t he heard that the citizens of Eugene want Kesey Square saved for community gatherings? Is this another Capstone or City Hall mistake? We could add beauty and special features to this public square, but I do believe this is a special open space!

Ruth Duemler, Eugene

 

IMPRESSED WITH DONATION

As a lifelong progressive, I am very impressed with the recognition given secretary of state candidate Val Hoyle by conservative icon Michael Bloomberg. While the former New York mayor’s $250K contribution to Hoyle’s campaign is clearly recognition for her fearless advocacy of common sense gun safety legislation—a cause that Bloomberg also supports — it also indicates Hoyle’s ability to reach across traditional party lines to gather support for foundational progressive issues. In an era when even modest campaign contributions can be tied to past or future favors, it’s refreshing to see a candidate being rewarded for taking on difficult challenges, building coalitions, and achieving results … all while holding true to her core progressive values. 

Ron Burley, Eugene

 

VIGILANT COUNCILOR

Emily Semple shows several qualities that make her the best candidate for Eugene city councilor Ward 1. But her stand on MUPTE, the corporate welfare program that gives tax subsidies to downtown developers, best illustrates those qualities.

Semple knows that businesses no longer need subsidies to build downtown. There have been a number of hotels and grocery stores that have been built recently by developers who are willing to pay their fair share of taxes. Several defenders of MUPTE [multiple unit property tax exemption] have argued that MUPTE can be used to make developers build affordable housing, but the recent repeal by the state legislature (of a ban on inclusionary zoning) gives us a less costly way of requiring that people of all economic backgrounds be able to live in Eugene.

Other defenders have pointed out that there have been some much needed reforms in the MUPTE rules. I think these changes are valuable, and they do address the violations of state and federal labor laws that have plagued MUPTE projects in the past. But violations of labor laws have not been the only problem with MUPTE projects. There is the fact that land downtown has suddenly become valuable. We don’t need to bribe people to build here. 

Another problem is that these proposed reforms need a vigilant councilor to make sure that the city staff follows through. We have seen council pass any number of motions, such as Envision Eugene and the Climate Recovery Ordinance, only to have the city manager and staff drag its feet when it comes to implementing them. Semple will see to it that the city bureaucracy is accountable.

The choice is Semple.

Art Bollmann, Eugene

 

 

CLARK’S RECORD

Republican Councilor Mike Clark and his supporters make much of his experience in city affairs. However, experience is not always commensurate with leadership, communication skills, common sense and wisdom, all of which a mayor requires.

A look at how Clark has approached the role of city councilor does not lead me to believe that his experience has given him such qualities. Clark has consistently voted against common sense solutions to homelessness and wise investments in library services. He has not demonstrated leadership regarding climate change, voting against carbon reduction measures. He has shown a worrying tendency to shoot from the hip, as revealed by his poorly thought-out motion of Oct. 21, 2015, that threatened to dismantle Envision Eugene, a multi-year public process involving hundreds and hundreds of hours of citizen input.

Eugene’s mayor needs to be a gifted communicator that can bring people together and find common ground. The mayor must couple a healthy respect for business with a thorough grounding in social and environmental issues. I’m backing Lucy Vinis to fill that role. 

Julie Daniel, Eugene

 

TRUMP ASCENDANCE

The New York Times commented that Trump is “the most volatile and least prepared presidential candidate in modern times — a demagogue who offers nothing but xenophobia, isolationism and vague, empty promises.” His ignorance on issues appears to be willful and a hallmark of his campaign. And this is admired by thousands?

Trump’s ascendance has made it clear that there is great store of emotion and dissatisfaction in the country. But he offers no vision, just a fanning of flames. We must assume that this is what many people have come to like — no thought, no policy, no analysis, no details, only trash-talking agitation.

So what is disturbing is not Trump himself but the huge number of Americans mindlessly rallying around him. If it’s injustices they are angry about, they seriously need to calm down and start questioning themselves and their candidate. Can we get down to some details here? And what means great?

Trump’s mugging, his gestures, his cult of personality and thrilling promises of making America great again eerily echo a similarly compelling demagogue of the early ’30s who ran for office in another land, promising his people renewed greatness, and he won. And the world was sadly never the same again.

Russ DesAulnier, Eugene

 

DEMOCRATIC SHAKEUP

 For those who find the inevitable crowning of Hillary Clinton from the paid mainstream media repulsive, take heart. Unlike TV, the internet is for change in DNC rules to allow candidates like Sanders to have an unbiased route to the top. Win or lose, many interesting things are going to happen. An army of Sanders supporters will surround the Philadelphia convention center. Perhaps a million or more with cell phones watching every minute of the process under orders to crash it if the rules committee tries to blow through Clinton using skullduggery.

Barney Frank has been appointed by the establishment to set the convention agenda. What to watch for is whether he tries to rush through rules saying the ayes have it when they don’t. Most important is whether Bernie will be allowed to speak before a roll call of first ballot votes are taken or after it. After could spell doom for the progressive socialist movement this go around, and if Frank puts this forward, then look out. The sidewalk audience outside will disrupt the whole thing.

Whether Bernie wins the delegates over or not, the first objective is to change the future of DNC rules governing elections. The super delegates must be squashed. Super PAC influence must be tamed. Insurgent candidates must be welcomed. In the end, no matter what, Bernie is now the most famous U.S. senator in America, indeed the world. If Clinton should lose, she and Bill will fade into oblivion, but if she wins, Hillary can look forward to Bernie in the Senate dogging her every minute of her administration. CSPAN ratings will soar as establishment policies become transparent and evaluated on a case-by-case congressional workload basis.

As Bernie does this, the process of filling seats with his kind of youthful progressives will systematically take place. Sanders spearheaded all of this, but he doesn’t care if he personally wins anything, just as long as the revolution goes on to make greed illegal.

Stay tuned, folks. Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren could end up being the democratic ticket this summer. Anything can still happen. Ignore the television pundits who try to push you into accepting the oligarchy forever in politics.

Daniel Woodmark, Eugene

 

DELUSIONAL LIBERALS

That someone would choose to support Hillary — or worse, Bernie — shows the basic, ill-educated, uninformed, delusional thinking liberal voters have.  

Ian Curtis, I’m glad you’re enthusiastic about being part of America’s democratic process, but you spell out precisely why people below the age of 30 shouldn’t vote: You haven’t lived or experienced enough life to make a truly informed decision. Being part of the video game generation who screams for  $15 an hour to work your summer job — which should be a stepping stone (not a career) — and for people to hand you everything for free, teaches you nothing about life and the hard work it takes to be successful. 

Liberals want to vilify the “evil, corrupt 1 percent.” Yet, they fail to have the fundamentals of how that undermines America as a whole. You hate people for working hard and being successful. You point and blame them for your personal failures. You say they are greedy. How is it not greedy to steal their money to supplement your failures? This is bass-ackwards thinking.  

Work a hard physical job, provide for your family, pay some bills. Then you’ll have an appreciation for the American way, where you get what you earn, and life isn’t handed to you. 

I’m sure in this liberal town, I’ll be labeled as a racist, a hater, bigot, etc., simply because I believe you should work for what you have. But it’s the American way.  

James Hadd, Eugene

 

VINIS DESERVES VOTE

I urge the election of Lucy Vinis for mayor of Eugene. I have personally known Lucy for decades and attest to her progressive social and political view in addition to her fierce independence and honesty. She is a woman of her own convictions and nobody’s clone. I have also worked with her opponent City Councilor Mike Clark when I served as the first chair of the Eugene Police Commission and later as the first chair of the Police Citizen’s Review Board. Mr. Clark epitomizes the typical partisan right-wing conservative Republican viewpoints. He is the political consultant to many Republican candidates who usually don’t fare well in Eugene political races because of their conservative views.

Lucy Vinis will make us proud and deserves our vote.

Munir Katul, Eugene

 

VAL IS EFFECTIVE

I’ve had the good fortune to know Val Hoyle for many years.  She’s been a respected and effective legislator in Salem, advocating for school funding, supporting small businesses, and expanding access to the vote. Val is my choice for secretary of state. She backs up her statements with action. She’s gone door to door with other education supporters to pass school bond measures. Her years as a businessperson make her uniquely aware of the challenges that small businesses face. Val listens to all sides of complex issues and makes informed and thoughtful decisions.  She’s been an impressive Democratic leader in the Oregon House of Representatives, and will bring those same skills and ethics to the office of secretary of state. Vote for Val Hoyle for secretary of state.

Sarah CaseEugene

 

CLARITY AND SENSE

As a Ward 1 voter, I have been to several of the forums for the candidates running to replace George Brown. In these forums, Emily Semple has always stood out.

While the other four candidates have offered extraordinarily vague answers to questions on controversial issues facing the ward, Semple has been clear and unequivocal regarding the issues. Three stand out.

She has called for a moratorium on the MUPTE tax exemption. The fact that there have been a number of large projects built downtown without tax waivers means that MUPTE has outlived whatever usefulness it might once have had. Past misuse of the MUPTE has also made the tool suspect in the eyes of the public.

Semple stands with the neighbors in the South Willamette rezoning issue. She firmly believes in renter’s rights and truly affordable housing. Most importantly, all citizens have to be included in planning neighborhood changes. 

And while all of the candidates agree that there are serious issues with accountability and trust in our municipal system, Semple is the only one to note that this has been ongoing problem in our city government. She, along with a growing number of city residents, call for a close look at charter reform to ensure that all are represented.

We need Semple’s clarity, courage and common sense to face a new era, as Eugene faces new and unprecedented challenges.

Kristen Brandt, Eugene

 

SUSTAINABLE SKOV

I am excited to support Josh Skov for the Eugene Ward 1 city council race. Josh understands that prioritizing sustainability and protecting our environment is good for us and the local economy. An expert in sustainable business, an entrepreneur and a business owner, Josh has worked with businesses and government agencies to adapt for realities of climate change. He understands that business and the environment are not adversaries but partners in a making our future brighter, healthier and more successful. Josh wants to bring this experience and vision to our city council. Let’s support a candidate who is serious about climate change and our environment, who understands how the economy can thrive as we embrace these values and who has a proven record of success. Join me in voting Josh Skov for Ward 1 city councilor.

Harriet Merrick, Eugene

 

BRINGING OREGON TOGETHER

I stand with Val Hoyle. I met Val in 2012, when she struck a chord in my heart. She spoke to a gathering of students about the importance of education and what it meant to her to represent working families. Since then, Val has paved her way representing working families, demanding paid sick leave and raising the minimum wage, fighting for historic investment in our schools and encouraging moving away from coal dependence.

Above all else, she has played a key role in expanding access to birth control and reproductive healthcare. Val knows how to bring Oregonians together to get things done, and that’s why I stand with Val.

Val has fought hard for Oregonians and it’s been remarkable to see her work as a progressive force in our Legislature. What’s even more remarkable is to think about her plans as Oregon’s next secretary of state, to keep Oregon moving forward.

Michaela Kurinsky-Malos, College Democrats of Oregon, Corvallis

 

OPEN LETTER TO GOV. BROWN

As pointed out by the Statesman Journal on May 3, you understand the criticisms of the superdelegate system. If so, why don’t you do something about those criticisms? You seem intent on supporting Hillary Clinton, regardless of the Oregon primary results. Well, isn’t representing the majority of registered Democrats in Oregon more important than the simple transparency you esteem? Just because the nominating process is less-than-democratic doesn’t mean you are powerless to restore some of that democracy. This would merely require standing with the voters’ preferred nominee. If it be Clinton, so be it. But, if Sanders wins, and especially by large margins, I would hope that, as someone who claims the appellation of “Democrat,” you would infuse an inkling of that representative governmental ideology back into our flagging system. Considering you inherited the governorship, I would further implore you to stand with voters in this matter, as your capitulation would demonstrate a respect for the power vested in the people.

If “the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few,” then likewise, “the votes of the many should outweigh the votes of the few.”

Phillip Davey, Eugene

 

NO TO SALES TAX

I attended a candidate debate recently for the State Representative House District 14 candidates. The debate revealed a major critical difference between two of the candidates. I was appalled when James Manning said that “a sales tax would be worth looking into.”

Sales taxes hurt the poorest among us. They are very regressive taxes. A friend of mine described what the impact of a sales tax would be on her. “I recently bought tires for my minivan and it cost me my last $160. A 7 percent sales tax would have made that purchase cost an extra $11.20. For that same amount I can purchase 20 boxes of Winco macaroni and cheese. My family can’t afford that.”

The citizens of Oregon have voted down every sales tax proposed. We do not want a sales tax. We need to have our large multi-corporations pay their fair share in taxes by passing Initiative Petition 28 this November. We can’t shoulder this burden alone.

Vote “No” on James Manning.

Zenia Liebman, Junction City 

EDITOR’S NOTE: James Manning also supports IP 28.

 

WE CAN DO BETTER

Today someone mentioned “Snake Oil Hoyle” to me, and it reminded me just how little she has done on environmental issues as our representative. It’s always Big Business and institutional jobs with Val.

She is busily running for secretary of state (through 2016 legislative session too), which we all know is the jumping off point for every Oregon governor. Because of this, I advocate that we elect someone else to that position.

The next governor, unlike Kate Brown so far, needs to strongly advocate for mitigating climate change with strong carbon taxes; preserve our CO2 absorbing forests; make corporations pay fair share of taxes for services and education; save what wildlife diversity is left; stop aerial spraying of herbicides on people and animals; develop clean, green, family-wage jobs that keep Oregon healthy, and implement much needed affordable housing projects across this state!

Neither Kate nor Val are that person. Sorry, EW, but you messed up on these two.

For governor, look at Democrat Julian Bell of Ashland, a well-spoken and smart carbon tax proponent. For secretary of state, look at Brad Avakian, who’s done a good job as legislator and labor commissioner.

The governor and secretary of state offices are far too important in our future for just anybody to use as a stepping stone to power.

Robin Bloomgarden, Eugene

 

WARHAWK HILLARY

As a psychologist, I predict politicians’ likely behavior by past behavior, not campaign posturing. Democrats supporting Hillary Clinton, especially minority and anti-war women voters, should do likewise.

Latino voters should review Hillary’s role deposing elected Honduras President Zelaya and strong-arming Latin American nations to recognize the illegal coup government, exposed by recently assassinated Honduran civil rights activist Berta Caceras. Thrown into chaos, Honduras suffers the world’s highest murder rate with thousands of desperate refugees we incarcerate and deport.

Black voters should remember Hillary’s role in Bill Clinton’s administration, including welfare “reform” ending AFDC and facilitating the New Jim Crow, NAFTA-accelerated loss of inner city jobs to lower-wage foreign labor markets, her racist language enthusiastically supporting private prison proliferation and  three-strikes sentencing, and trade sanction threats against Nelson Mandela to block generic HIV/AIDS drugs for South Africa involving her campaign chief, John Podesta.

Everyone should remember Hillary’s warmongering against Iraq as a senator and Libya as secretary of state. Her warhawk legacy-bearer, former Cheney adviser and Hillary’s State Department Press Secretary Victoria Nuland, later promoted to assistant secretary of state, orchestrated the Kiev coup ousting its elected president at a cumulative cost of $5 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars, installing a puppet president to neo-liberalize Ukraine and move NATO belligerently closer to Russia.

And Naomi Klein has pronounced Hillary with her cozy corporate ties “uniquely unsuited” to confront climate change with urgency.

Bernie Sanders polls much better than Hillary against Donald Trump, and Republican scrutiny of the Clinton record could well result in a Trump presidency.

Jack Dresser, Springfield

 

DEAR BERNIE BACKERS

I know you love and admire Bernie; I do, too. If he wins the nomination I will definitely vote for him. I probably will develop more enthusiasm as the general election approaches.

I also admire Hillary Clinton and I can’t understand the level of dislike you have for her. I know you will be disappointed if Bernie doesn’t win the nomination. Please consider the reason I am so excited about Hillary Clinton.

When Hillary was born in 1947, there were seven U.S. representatives who were women and a single female senator. In 1965, the year I was born, there were 11 U.S. representatives who were women and two female U.S. senators. Today there are 84 women U.S. representatives, which is 19 percent of the House. There are 20 women senators. 

Although we are making progress, women are still under-represented in our national government. It is important to elect a woman president. If you can’t see the potential excitement in that, maybe you should contemplate what it would mean to millions of older women who would love to see a woman elected president in their lifetime.

If you are a male Bernie supporter, it is easy for you to say it doesn’t matter. Every U.S. president looks just like you. If you are a female Sanders supporter, please consider what it will feel like if Hillary makes history.

Most of the negative information you have heard about Clinton is unfair. She is under fire constantly from the right and the left. Please stop and think about what you are doing when you so easily believe the Republican generated misinformation about Clinton. She is not evil; she is not the enemy.

Try to see the world in shades of gray and degrees of liberalism. Sure, Bernie is slightly more liberal, but she’s not as far away from him as you have been led to believe. I think the polarization in this country needs to end; it is not productive to assume that anyone who isn’t as liberal as Bernie is the same as a Republican.

Irene Henjum, Springfield

 

WAR CRIMINAL

In response to Deanna Kuhn’s defense of Hillary Clinton [Letters, April 7], I wouldn’t blame Eugene Weekly for publishing an unfavorable image of Hillary on their cover because I don’t like her either. Hillary Clinton is like Henry Kissinger with a vagina. In addition to expressing warmth and affection toward that known war criminal, as Secretary of State, Hillary has exhibited the same lack of regard for democracy and human life that Kissinger exhibited during his reign. Hillary supported the military coup in Honduras and somehow saw fit to repeat in Libya what the Bush Administration did so successfully in Iraq: replacing a flawed but stable government with a lawless, bloody breeding ground for ISIS. WTF, do these people want the world to be a turbulent, unstable place?

Hillary’s claim that the vast amount of money that she takes from corporate and other special interests doesn’t influence her decision-making is patently absurd. For God’s sake, the woman has spent decades swimming like a fish in a vast ocean of money. How can she even begin to know how her beliefs, values and worldview have been influenced by that world she thrives in?

And to think that this odious person may end up being the more “liberal” of the two “choices” we’ll be given in November? No wonder Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls!

Robert Bolman, Eugene

 

VALUED LEADERSHIP

As a registered nurse practicing in the Eugene area, I’ve always valued local leaders who demonstrate a genuine commitment to our community and who make improving our health care a real priority. That is why I strongly support James Manning for state representative of House District 14 in west Eugene and Junction City.

A 24-year Army veteran, James’ career and engagement in our community reflect a life devoted to public service. As chair of the Bethel School District Budget Committee, James has been a leading voice for increasing K-12 funding. He also led the creation of a scholarship fund to aid local students in poverty.

In his service as Eugene Water and Electric Board commissioner, James works to ensure every household has access to electricity and running water at a fair rate.

Having access to affordable health care, education and decent employment affects my patients’ health. Through his values, experience and leadership, James has made it clear he understands the connections between strong communities and individuals’ health.

I urge you to vote for James Manning in House District 14 to help make Eugene a more vibrant, prosperous place for everyone in our community.

Cheryl Brewer, Eugene

 

BAD ENDORSEMENT

 I believe your endorsement of Sen. Ron Wyden for re-election is at odds with your endorsement of Bernie Sanders for president.

In his time in Congress, Wyden has supported every so-called “free trade” deal, going all the way back to NAFTA in the early ’90s. Wyden was one of a small minority of Democrats to support CAFTA. Sanders, and our local representative in the U.S. Congress, Peter DeFazio, have opposed all of these agreements, on the basis of loss of good-paying jobs and for these agreements allowing environmental laws to be challenged with loss of business profit being the criteria. Wyden voted in favor of the infamous repeal of the Glass-Steagall law.

Banking speculation took off with Glass-Steagall gone. The repeal was a major factor in the collapse of the financial sector. As a cornerstone, Sanders has the reinstatement of this regulation.

And, Wyden teamed up with Republican Paul Ryan in an attempt to destroy public health insurance by turning Medicare into a voucher program. Sanders, on the other hand, supports public insurance for all. 

Kevin Stine, currently serving on the Medford City Council and Wyden’s opponent in the May 17 primary, is a progressive in line with Bernie Sanders.

Eugene Weekly should have endorsed Stine!

Stephen M. Amy, Eugene

 

STRIVES FOR ALL

James Manning is a great choice for State Representative, District 14.

I’ve known James Manning since 2005. We both served on a homeowner’s board for a number of years and we visit frequently. James is caring and balanced in his approach, and he is thoughtful and informed when making decisions. James will strive to hear from all, and he will seek to find common ground. I, for one, am tired of polarizing and party-focused politics. I would very much appreciate seeing someone in office that cares about all of District 14’s constituents. James worked very hard to obtain his bachelor’s and master’s degrees and he is presently working on his Ph.D. James has also given back to this community for many years. James’ work ethic and caring attitude will serve our community well and will also reflect favorably upon us all.

Steven L. McIntire, Eugene

 

VOTE BERNIE

Thomas Edsall’s April 27, 2016 New York Times column, “How the Other Fifth Lives,” makes vivid the growing economic spread between the top 20 percent (upper middle as well as upper class) and the rest of us.

When you combine Edsall with others — and Bernie Sanders’ campaign — the force is persuasive:

Andrew Sullivan’s May 2, 2016 New York Magazine article, «Democracies End When They are Too Democratic» about how the conditions for tyranny in the U.S. are all too ripe;

April 26, 2016 interview with Thomas Frank in In These Times «... on How Democrats Went From Being the ‘Party of the People’ to the Party of Rich Elites»;

Leading social philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre’s 2014 Notre Dame lecture on “Heedlessness” (available on YouTube) about the inattention to structural injustice in our society;

Leading political theorist Charles Taylor’s 2012 lecture “Is Democracy in Danger?” reminds us the ancient Greek word “demos” means “the people” in the sense of non-elites, that is, common people — and how we’re in a vicious spiral of distrust in a rigged, ineffective system that leads to less voting, which leads to further distrust in the system and so on — which undermines the key democratic value: citizen equality; and

Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page’s oft-cited September 2014 Perspectives on Politics article, «Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups and Average Citizens,» concludes average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no political influence, while business interests and economic elites have a substantial impact on policymaking. Many have sensed this. Gilens and Page document it.

Burn down the house! Vote Bernie!

Sam Porter, Eugene

 

GO WITH GOLF

“Golf … is the infallible test. The man who can go into a patch of rough alone, with the knowledge that only God is watching him, and play his ball where it lies, is the man who will serve you faithfully and well.” — P.G. Wodehouse

James Manning, our Democratic candidate for state representative in House District 14, personifies the P.G. Wodehouse quote. I have had the pleasure of playing golf with James on numerous occasions, and I can assure you that we both see more than our share of real estate on the golf course. I’ve never seen James down about a bad shot. He just sees it as an opportunity to improve.

James plays bad golf shots as he plays other adversities in life — with good humor and a positive approach toward an effective resolution.

A vote for James is a vote for turning challenges into opportunities.

 

Fred McCord, Eugene