Letters to the Editor: Oct. 15

| October 15, 2020 12:15 AM

Daines should vote against filling Supreme Court seat

Honorable Senator Daines: The American Indian Caucus of the Montana State Legislature would like to express our deep concern over your recent commitment to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat that has been recently vacated upon the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

We strongly oppose the filling of this vacant seat prior to the next U.S. presidential inauguration.

Notably, the U.S. Supreme Court plays a critical role in the unique government-to-government relationships that exist between the United States and Native American tribal governments. The U.S. Supreme Court fashions legal doctrines and renders legal decisions, which have played a major role in shaping and formulating the complex landscape of Indian Law.

Such decisions are imperative to ensuring that Native Americans have equal opportunity to life and prosperity.

For example, decisions made by the U.S. Supreme Court have impacted Native American civil rights, including the critical right to vote and have a voice in our democracy. Court decisions have also interpreted hunting and fishing rights, property rights, water rights, taxation, criminal and civil jurisdiction, and tribal sovereignty.

We cannot afford to entertain the prospect of a rushed decision on the highest court, especially when there is so much at stake for Indian people.

You have already gone on record during the last administration against filling a Supreme Court vacancy until a new President is elected. Your words were to not confirm a new Supreme Court Justice “until the American people elect a new president and have their voices heard.”

We are asking you to stand by your word and vote ‘no’ on filling this Supreme Court vacancy until our President is inaugurated. Our children’s futures are in your hands.

We implore you to take the time to make an informed decision and truly consider the massive implications that your decision will have on Montana Natives and for all of Montana.

— Sen. Susan A. Webber, SD8; Sen. Frank Smith, SD16; Rep. Bridget Smith, HD 31; Rep. Shane A. Morigeau, HD95; Rep. Jade Bahr, HD50; Rep. Rae Peppers, HD 41; Rep. Sharon Stewart-Peregoy, HD42; Rep. Barbara Bessette, HD24,; Rep. Tyson Running Wolf, HD16; Rep. Marvin Weatherwax, HD15; Rep. Jonathan Windy Boy, HD32

Thank you for supporting food banks

We are in the second month of the 2020 Town Pump Foodbank Challenge, which started Sept. 1 and runs through Nov. 30. During this time period the Town Pump foundation will match every dollar that we raise up to $12,000. The board of directors (who are all volunteers), our volunteer workers and all our clients at the Polson Loaves and Fish Pantry, Inc., would like to first of all thank Town Pump for being there to help all the Montana food banks for the last 19 years. Their challenge, “Be a Friend in Deed, Helping Those in Need,” has helped all the food banks in Montana keep their doors open and help those people with food insecurity.

They granted the pantries an additional emergency grant of $1 million in April, which helped all the food banks in Montana keep their doors open with such uncertain times as we are experiencing this year.

It has been a very difficult year for so many people because of the coronavirus, job losses, business closures and school closures. Many of the food banks have cut back on their volunteer workers to protect them against Covid-19, or many of them can’t work because they are also in that very vulnerable group. We have never closed our doors, but have adjusted accordingly so that clients and volunteers have the least amount of exposure but still provide healthy food for our clients.

The generosity of all of our donors has been amazing. We would like to acknowledge and thank the Whitefish Credit Union at this time for their generous donation. It is caring people like these and our individual donors that overwhelm those of us volunteering at the pantry. Without their help and yours during the Town Pump Challenge over the last 19 years, many of the small pantries would not have been able to serve their communities healthy, nutritious fresh produce and foods, as well as keep their doors open and available to those that are in need. The number of clients has fluctuated greatly this year, possibly because some of our clients were so fearful of getting sick that they didn’t utilize the pantry. We will continue to serve our clients’ needs in the best way possible with the continued help of the Town Pump Foundation and all their employees, as well as those individual donations that are so important to us.

Thank you.

— Polson Loaves and Fish Pantry board of directors

Where do you stand?

To all Democrat candidates:

Pro-life or pro-abortion support is a huge election issue, especially among Catholic and Christian communities throughout the country, as well as here locally.

My question to all of you Democrat candidates is: Where do you stand on the current Democratic Party’s support of abortion and why have you not addressed the issue in all of your election advertisements or local papers?

There are many Catholic/Christians in the Mission Valley, both tribal and non-tribal citizens. We have a right to know how you will vote on this issue in the future.

The current Democratic Party supports abortion, including funding for Planned Parenthood, abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Fifty million-plus abortions have been performed in this country since the Roe v. Wade decision with the Democrat Party’s support.

According to the recent issues of Catholic Vote publications, the Catholic Church does not support the Democrat Party in this election, primarily because of this specific issue. Obviously, the Christian communities appear to agree.

So, the question I put before you … where do you stand on this issue? Not responding to this publicly will lead me and others to assume you agree with the current Democrat policy and we will vote accordingly.

— Joelene Frey, Polson

Tired of divisive politics?

Tired of both parties hiding behind party-line agendas, blaming each other for work that isn’t getting done on health care, education, the economy, a clean environment and fair taxes?

I’m tired of it, too. That’s why I'm voting for Gerry Browning for Montana House District 12. She has the energy and skills it takes to move politics in a direction that serves all Montanans.

I’ve known Gerry for many years and worked with her in many community settings: Polson business community, volunteer and service organizations, groups with shared interests and common goals. I’ve watched her help groups that are bogged down by different opinions. I’ve observed her helping splintered groups refocus on shared values, vision and goals. I’ve seen her guiding groups toward common ground and a path forward. To do this Gerry listens intently, explores all sides of issues, engages in civil dialogue and urges groups to do the same.

With these skills Gerry will work effectively with colleagues in the Legislature, regardless of party affiliation. She won’t get stuck in differences. She’ll work to build common ground from agendas on both sides of the aisle. She’ll help accomplish goals that benefit all Montanans.

Please vote Gerry Browning, HD12.

— Sue McCormick, Polson

Pavlock is an exceptional choice

A few words about Lisa Pavlock, candidate for Montana House District 93k: Lisa has been our neighbor for several years and I’ve gotten to know her and her husband well. I can personally testify to her character. She is a very decent, ethical, hard-working and intelligent person who will do a great job of representing us in the Legislature. Lisa’s a longtime educator, having taught school for over 20 years. She truly cares about people, as everyone who knows her can testify. She has a sharp intellect and works well with people; listens, responds, hits the ball back over the net. From Arlee to Polson and beyond, we are very fortunate to have such an outstanding candidate for the Montana House, and I hope you will join me in voting for Lisa Pavlock, House District 93.

— Eugene Beckes, St. Ignatius

Elections have consequences

The coming election will determine what the next several decades will look like in Congress and in the courts.

The Democrats have been talking about stacking the courts and creating new states for some time. The House of Representatives under Nancy Pelosi has already voted to make Washington, D.C. a state, and they are discussing making Puerto Rico a state as well. Such actions would guarantee adding four new Democrat senators. In Montana that would be a disaster for our logging, oil and gas industries, and make every business plan hinge on the mercies of environmental fanatics. We already know activist judges rule continually against our natural resource industries.

For the first time in decades we are seeing a change in the courts thanks, to President Trump and a Republican Senate. That is why there is so much at stake in this election.

With President Trump's re-election and a Republican Senate, we can continue de-politicizing our federal court system. If President Trump loses, all we have standing between us and an authoritarian liberal justice system is a Republican Senate.

Electing a Republican Senate has never been more important. Vote for Sen. Steve Daines on Nov. 3

— Cynthia Waterman, Big Arm

Vote Republican

I am voting Republican because:

I support law and order and oppose any defunding of police.

I am tired of rioting and looting in the name of protest in mostly Democrat-run cities.

I believe raising personal and corporate taxes will have a negative effect on our economy.

I believe that the Democratic Party today does not represent the majority of Montana.

I oppose blanket amnesty for the 12-22 million illegals in our country today; I want secure borders and am for restricting access from countries that harbor terrorists.

I want to keep my 2nd Amendment rights to keep and to bear arms.

I oppose the “Green New Deal”.

I support the sanctity of human life at all stages.

I oppose government control of all health care and the elimination of private options.

I support capitalism and oppose socialism.

If you agree, please join us. Vote Republican … for our future, the future of our children and grandchildren, and the future of our Republic.

— Marlo Maddy, president, and Dorothy Ashcraft, vice president, Lake County Republican Women

Browning will protect public land

We want to express our enthusiastic support for Gerry Browning’s candidacy for Montana House District 12. We are confident in her ability to bridge party lines to actively represent all of her constituents. Her longtime residence and proactive role in our community make her an outstanding candidate.

Gerry is a strong advocate for Montanans who value our public lands, which are an extremely valuable economic benefit to all Montanans. Past efforts by some in the Montana Legislature to sell off our public lands to corporate and wealthy private buyers with records of closing access have shown us that these special places need advocates. Gerry will be the advocate that we have not had in this area for a long time. These public lands need to stay in public hands.

Montana has both benefited and suffered from the impacts of natural resources development and management. Our economy has thrived from reasonable and well-planned utilization of forest, rangeland, water and mineral resources. However, the state is littered with abandoned energy development sites and wells where corporate exploiters have pulled their profits from and then walked away from, leaving Montanans to cover the cleanup costs. Many of these sites have polluted our waters, degraded local wildlife populations and their habitats and left ongoing health problems and deaths for our fellow Montanans. These abuses must stop, and corporate responsibility must be required.

Gerry will be a strong advocate for fighting against these abuses and holding these industry polluters accountable. She will also be a strong advocate for the development and enhancement of clean energy resources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric energy and the new jobs that will be generated.

In closing, we strongly encourage you to vote to elect Gerry Browning to the Montana House of Representatives in House District 12.

— Dale and Marilyn Becker, Polson

Browning values education

As an educator for over 40 years teaching at Polson Middle School and Salish Kootenai College, I want someone in the state Legislature who values education. We need someone who understands the complexity of our learning institutions and who values learning. Gerry Browning has been a valued member of the Polson School Board, has worked as a volunteer in the Polson schools, has earned a degree in nursing, and has three daughters who attended the Polson schools who have gone on to receive college degrees. Gerry states that we must continue to adequately fund K-12 public education. Our state constitution, Article X states: “equality of education opportunity is guaranteed to each person of the state.” Gerry shares my passion for education and learning.

— Charles Bertsch, Polson

Browning for HD12

Local elections matter. I have known Gerry Browning for many years, and am writing this letter in support of her for our local legislative seat, House District 12. Gerry believes in a quality K-12 education for everyone, because education is the basis for a healthy economy and provides the opportunity for all kids to grow into productive and confident adults. As a Polson School Board member for seven years, Gerry successfully negotiated employee contracts while staying in budget. Gerry is endorsed by the Montana Federation of Public Employees (MFPE) and has the public support of over 70 local teachers in addition to over 100 other supporters. All three of her daughters are products of our local schools, and even though she worked, Gerry always found time to volunteer in her children’s classrooms. I am a small business owner and former teacher, and I strongly agree with Gerry, making education a priority and protecting our great state and all of our people. Gerry Browning is the right candidate to represent us in Helena, a fiscally responsible, wise and dedicated leader. Many local elections are determined by just a handful of votes, so consider voting early to make sure your vote counts.

— Judy Preston, Polson