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Letters To The Editor 12/20/2018

December 20, 2018

Redistricting reform

Editor: Fair Districts PA volunteers spent Nov. 6 getting voters to sign a petition requesting that state legislators pass legislation to rewrite the manner in which congressional districts are drawn after the 2020 census.

The House of Representatives is the “people’s house,” yet legislators failed us in the last session. The first vote of the new session puts rules in place for the next two years. In Pennsylvania just one leader can shut down a vote on a popular bill with strong bipartisan support.

People need to ask legislators to pass reform bills to guarantee debate and a vote on the House floor on strong bipartisan bills. Volunteers sent the petitions to House members to alert them that the fight is not over. You can help by requesting your state representative’s vote to ensure this reform happens in that critical first vote in January.

Gov. Tom Wolf took action to build on the bipartisan support generated by Fair Districts PA, a grass-roots group, for making Pennsylvania’s redistricting process more fair and nonpartisan. He signed an executive order establishing a redistricting reform commission. This commission will review nonpartisan redistricting processes in other states that reduce gerrymandering and provide opportunities for public comments at community meetings. Recommendations based on this process will be given to the governor and Legislature for a nonpartisan redistricting process. People must attend one of these meetings and voice our concerns and recommendations to this commission. Watch for the announcement of such a meeting in our area.

As witnessed by the recent midterm elections, fair redistricting produce fair results in Pennsylvania’s U.S. House races. Nine Democrats were elected and nine Republicans were elected. Under REDMAP 2010 our gerrymandered districts resulted in Republicans gaining 13 of the 18 seats in Congress despite the fact Democrats received more votes at the polls.




Misnomer in title

Editor: In November a letter to the editor promoted a local political action committee known as Progressive Women of NEPA.

Anyone reading the letter was likely to believe the main objective of the political committee is to help get more women elected to political office. However, the letter is very deceiving.

Progressive Women of NEPA is a far left political action committee. This group is completely opposed to any women candidates who do not embrace progressive ideology. Women who are conservative or libertarian are left out. Most potential independent women candidates are also left out by this organization.

Several prominent women in Northeast Pennsylvania have been elected to public office. For example; state Sen. Lisa Baker, of Lehman Twp., was first elected in 2006 and has been re-elected three times. State Rep. Tarah Toohil, of Butler Twp., was elected to represent the 116th House district in 2010 and has been re-elected four times. State Rep. Karen Boback, of Harveys Lake, was elected to represent the 117th House district in 2006 and has been re-elected six times. Laureen Cummings is doing an excellent job serving Lackawanna County as the first women ever elected as a commissioner.

Progressive Women of NEPA refuses to support women like Baker, Toohil, Boback and Cummings because those candidates do not adhere to a left-wing agenda.

Progressive Women of NEPA is not really concerned about having more women elected to political office. The real aim of this group is to promote ideas that are far to the left of center.




Bad for democracy

Editor: With President Donald Trump in the White House, our democracy could be on the path to dictatorship.

The first evidence is an effort to control the press or even do away with it and freedom of speech. Other evidence comes from his talk about trying to change laws and the Constitution to suit him, like changing the limit on presidential terms from two to as many as he wants.

He doesn’t believe in climate change, so he withdrew the United States from the Paris agreement even though icebergs in the arctic are melting faster than anticipated and sea levels are rising. He wants more coal mining and fossil fuel development, more drilling for oil in our national parks. He doesn’t believe reports from the CIA or FBI and sides with our enemies, such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Those are signs of a person desiring to be a dictator.

The Republican Party is helping him try to achieve this. Those who continue to support him benefit from his tax cuts or are not willing to consider the long-term consequences. They also don’t seem to care that most people do not benefit from the tax cuts.

Some of those who continue to support him are white supremacists and anti-Semites. Thanks partially to his rhetoric, anti-Semitic events increased by 57 percent in 2017, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Trump continues his bullying and calling people he doesn’t like or who disagrees with him terrible names. He seems to lie every time he opens his mouth. He wants to spend billions of dollars to build a wall at the border with Mexico just because he wants it. These are all signs of a person with dictatorial desires.




Executive outrage

Editor: Every U.S. president in office since the premiere of “Saturday Night Live” in 1975 has been the subject of its ridicule and satire, but the current thin-skinned commander in chief has threatened to sue the show or take it off the air for its spot-on swipes at him and his wretched regime.

Of course, the show will go on, regardless of his Twitter tantrums. Coincidentally, rearranging the letters in “Saturday Night Live” gives an apt description of his ridiculous reaction: “Naively distraught.”



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