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Letters to the editor Aug. 18

| August 18, 2022 12:00 AM

The Forward Party

In this divisive era, the American people have lost faith that our government can make meaningful change. We’ve crammed a diverse, mosaic of national ideas and innovations into two political parties that force ideological purity and hyper partisanship. This extremism just might ruin our country.

One problem is in the incentives. Winning elections is not linked to finding solutions. 90% of incumbents in Congress win reelection despite a 21% approval rating because 88% of those seats are gerrymandered to be noncompetitive: either one party or the other wins... Every. Single. Time. If you’re a congressman, all you have to do is appeal to the 10% who vote in your partisan primary. Keep the extreme wing of your party satisfied, and you’re safe. Frustrate them? You’re gone.

The Forward Party is launching a brand-new movement of American citizens who believe it’s time to allow the mosaic of American ideas to flourish. Through community nonpartisan communication and election reforms like Ranked-Choice Voting and Open Primaries we can shift the focus from the radical followers to the 90%.

More than that, the Forward Party is fostering a movement of citizens who want a culture full of a diverse array of ideas to solve problems for the good of ALL people. We are doing just that.

I encourage you to join the Montana community by visiting ForwardParty.com/Montana.

Not left. Not right. Forward!

— Elaine Fraticelli, Missoula

Supports Tranel

We are fortunate to have Monica Tranel as a candidate for our new Western District for the House. She lives in Montana, gets out to talk to people, and is a strong supporter of veterans. These are her words: “I’ve talked with veterans from Columbia Falls to Victor, and heard their need for access to health care and a Congress that is willing and ready to work for them, not against them. Honoring our veterans for serving our country should not be a partisan issue. I will work to fulfill our country’s promises to those that have served.”

Many Montana veterans have been exposed to toxins in the line of duty, but have had no coverage for resulting conditions. Now the PACT (Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxins) act has passed.

PACT expands access to VA health care services for veterans exposed during their military service, and makes sure they will receive screenings and services related to potential exposures.

It was not an easy bill to shepherd through Congress. At one point, Republican opposition, based on the bill’s mandatory funding, killed it. With public opposition, and Democrats’ hard work, the bill was revived and passed, with the understanding that mandatory funding was needed to make it work.

In this climate, Congressional oversight will be critical to making sure the bill is implemented as quickly and as smoothly as possible. This will require a strong commitment to our veterans.

While candidate Ryan Zinke was largely silent on the issue, and Steve Daines was famously caught in a fist-bump with other Republicans when the first bill was defeated, Monica Tranel was on the trail, talking to veterans and their families, and supporting PACT.

With Tranel in the House, and Tester in the Senate, veterans will have the oversight they need and deserve.

— Gail Trenfield, St. Ignatius

Olympian V. charlatan

Have you no shame Ryan Zinke? What happened to you? Where have the Reagan, the Racicot Republicans gone? Why are there Trump flags, he’s not our President anymore? Ryan, why aren’t you running on your own accomplishments instead of trying to ride Trumps coattails? Are you a RINO? I think you are a Trump acolyte, are you?

I was a Zinke fan when he first entered politics - not anymore. Zinke was initially a good Montana legislator, then he got the opportunity of a lifetime, work in President Trump’s Cabinet. Ryan’s true character came out when he relocated to D. C.; he showed he belonged in the swamp by quickly moving to enrich his personal wealth. He got fired - who does that?? Zinke had a chance to make us proud, instead, he embarrassed us.

A Navy Seal VS an Olympian? Tough choice? Who’s got more character? Not much of a contest there? Monica Tranel has more character by a mile; she is smarter, tougher & more authentic. She’s not a pretend cowboy, her dad was a psychologist who chose to raise his family of 10 kids on a ranch, a Montana ranch.

Our country, our state, can’t afford another old, fat, white guy making laws that affect 50% of our population; women, it’s time to “take your country back”! I’m a D-lite and a proud cross-over voter, always have been. Ten years ago, I wouldn’t have written this letter, today, I’m compelled to.

— Jim Edwards, Helena

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