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Letters 10/18

Letters to the editor, Oct. 18

The following are letters from the Oct. 18 edition of The Sandy Post.

Smith: 'no nonsense?'

In a recent edition of The Sandy Post, I saw two testimonial letters extolling the virtues of Rep. Patti Smith. The first one claimed she was a 'no-nonsense' person but provided no evidence or examples to back up this claim.

The second letter, while containing considerably more substance, talked about what a good friend Patti has been to the sailboat racers in the Columbia Gorge.

Most of the people I know are not sailboat racers. Many of them are hardworking mothers and fathers who are struggling to survive in today's economy. They are desperately trying to avoid getting sick because of inadequate medical coverage. They are worried about the possibility of their jobs being outsourced and having no medical coverage at all. They are concerned that their children are not getting the quality education they need to have a successful life.

I suppose if you consider finding solutions to these and other difficult problems, which are facing Oregon's Legislature every day, to be nonsense, then Patti Smith is a no-nonsense person. At least rich sailboat owners can sleep at night, knowing Patti Smith is looking out for their interests.

But what about the rest of us? (TRACY TRIPLETT / Sandy)

Smith and Metgser a great team

It is rare for me to endorse any candidate as a totally local businessperson with four businesses in the Welches area. This election is unusual as I admire the hard work of two candidates from different parties who have served East Clackamas County very well.

Rep. Patti Smith has done a remarkable job and deserves our praise for many things but especially for helping to write the tough meth legislation. Since that legislation has been implemented, Clackamas County has not had one meth cook operation. She understands the economic struggle of the mostly small businesses that circle Mount Hood.

Sen. Rick Metsger has been a tremendous help in dealing with the Oregon Department of Transportation to increase transportation options and fighting for more state troopers to keep our roads safer. He also was great support to the anti-meth legislation.

Both of these candidates understand the difficulty for former timber dependent communities to adjust to today's economic realities. They know the total community cost of undocumented workers and our school and health care crisis. We can depend on both to serve us well at the legislature. (MIKE WELLS / Welches)

Smith doesn't 'Stand for Children'

I'm writing to bring public attention to an issue involving the candidacy of incumbent Patti Smith for Oregon House of Representatives District 52. In the Sept. 20 issue of The Sandy Post, Rep. Smith listed her endorsements as including Stand for Children. Their purported endorsement of Smith seems unlikely, as she had been given a rating of 'zero' by Stand for Children (on a scale that gave a rating of 100, for example, to our senator, Rick Metsger). This unusually low rating squares with Smith's consistent record of working and voting with House Speaker Karen Minnis and Majority Leader Wayne Scott against issues benefiting children.

The education of our children is too important an issue for facile politics. Moreover, we now have a tremendous opportunity to vote for someone whose background in Head Start uniquely qualifies her for this important post.

A vote for Susan VanOrman is a solid investment for all of us, especially our children. (STEVE WINKLER / Sandy)

Smith no friend to education

Patti Smith, the incumbent representative from House District 52, has voted consistently with those who would strip support for Oregon's schools. Although her glossy campaign mailings in the coming weeks will no doubt show pictures of her with school children or have statements from her supporting education, Ms. Smith's voting record tells the true story. She voted against full school funding of $5.4 billion (HB 2858); voted to freeze school funding at recession-era levels, excluding corporate taxes entirely from the school funding formula (HB 2450A); voted to cut the capital gains tax by over $200 million, money that should have gone to our schools (HB 2332); and voted for a handful of corporate tax giveaways amounting to nearly $300 million in tax breaks for corporations which already pay a declining share of taxes. This forces the burden on families to make up the difference or face more cuts to schools.

The candidate with the best credentials to put Oregon's schools back on track for quality education is Suzanne VanOrman. Having worked as a teacher at the primary, middle school and high school levels, Ms. VanOrman served for over 21 years as executive director of the Mid-Columbia Children's Council serving children from birth to 5 in Head Start. She views excellent public schools as a basic right and a basic responsibility for all Oregonians. She has vowed to work for closing tax loopholes to make sure that corporations pay their fair share for the education of our children. She will work for adequate stable funding for our schools and will strive for the resources to reduce classroom sizes so children can receive the individual attention they need to thrive.

When it comes time to decide which candidate will be better for Oregon schools, the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. Clearly Suzanne VanOrman is the choice. (JOHN F. CHRISTENSEN / Corbett)