Letters 10-24-2016

It’s Obama’s 1984 Several editions ago I concluded a short letter to the editor with an ominous rhetorical flourish: “Welcome to George Orwell’s 1984 and the grand opening of the Federal Department of Truth!” At the time I am sure most of the readers laughed off my comments as right-wing hyperbole. Shame on you for doubting me...

Gun Bans Don’t Work It is said that mass violence only happens in the USA. A lone gunman in a rubber boat, drifted ashore at a popular resort in Tunisia and randomly shot and killed 38 mostly British and Irish tourists. Tunisian gun laws, which are among the most restrictive in the world, didn’t stop this mass slaughter. And in January 2015, two armed men killed 11 and wounded 11 others in an attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. French gun laws didn’t stop these assassins...

Scripps’ Good Deed No good deed shall go unpunished! When Dan Scripps was the 101st District State Representative, he introduced legislation to prevent corporations from contaminating (e.g. fracking) or depleting (e.g. Nestle) Michigan’s water table for corporate profit. There are no property lines in the water table, and many of us depend on private wells for abundant, safe, clean water. In the subsequent election, Dan’s opponents ran a negative campaign almost solely on the misrepresentation that Dan’s good deed was a government takeover of your private water well...

Political Definitions As the time to vote draws near it’s a good time to check into what you stand for. According to Dictionary.com the meanings for liberal and conservative are as follows:

Liberal: Favorable to progress or reform as in political or religious affairs.

Conservative: Disposed to preserve existing conditions, institutions, etc., or to restore traditions and limit change...

Voting Takes A Month? Hurricane Matthew hit the Florida coast Oct. 6, over three weeks before Election Day. Bob Ross (Oct. 17th issue) posits that perhaps evacuation orders from Governor Scott may have had political motivations to diminish turnout and seems to praise Hillary Clinton’s call for Gov. Scott to extend Florida’s voter registration deadline due to evacuations...

Clinton Foundation Facts Does the Clinton Foundation really spend a mere 10 percent (per Mike Pence) or 20 percent (per Reince Priebus) of its money on charity? Not true. Charity Watch gives it an A rating (the same as it gives the NRA Foundation) and says it spends 88 percent on charitable causes, and 12 percent on overhead. Here is the source of the misunderstanding: The Foundation does give only a small percentage of its money to charitable organizations, but it spends far more money directly running a number of programs...

America Needs Change Trump supports our constitution, will appoint judges that will keep our freedoms safe. He supports the partial-birth ban; Hillary voted against it. Regardless of how you feel about Trump, critical issues are at stake. Trump will increase national security, monitor refugee admissions, endorse our vital military forces while fighting ISIS. Vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence will be an intelligent asset for the country. Hillary wants open borders, increased government regulation, and more demilitarization at a time when we need strong military defenses...

My Process For No I will be voting “no” on Prop 3 because I am supportive of the process that is in place to review and approve developments. I was on the Traverse City Planning Commission in the 1990s and gained an appreciation for all of the work that goes into a review. The staff reviews the project and makes a recommendation. The developer then makes a presentation, and fellow commissioners and the public can ask questions and make comments. By the end of the process, I knew how to vote for a project, up or down. This process then repeats itself at the City Commission...

Regarding Your Postcard If you received a “Vote No” postcard from StandUp TC, don’t believe their lies. Prop 3 is not illegal. It won’t cost city taxpayers thousands of dollars in legal bills or special elections. Prop 3 is about protecting our downtown -- not Munson, NMC or the Commons -- from a future of ugly skyscrapers that will diminish the very character of our downtown...

Vote Yes It has been suggested that a recall or re-election of current city staff and Traverse City Commission would work better than Prop 3. I disagree. A recall campaign is the most divisive, costly type of election possible. Prop 3, when passed, will allow all city residents an opportunity to vote on any proposed development over 60 feet tall at no cost to the taxpayer...

Yes Vote Explained A “yes” vote on Prop 3 will give Traverse City the right to vote on developments over 60 feet high. It doesn’t require votes on every future building, as incorrectly stated by a previous letter writer. If referendums are held during general elections, taxpayers pay nothing...

Beware Trump When the country you love have have served for 33 years is threatened, you have an obligation and a duty to speak out. Now is the time for all Americans to speak out against a possible Donald Trump presidency. During the past year Trump has been exposed as a pathological liar, a demagogue and a person who is totally unfit to assume the presidency of our already great country...

Picture Worth 1,000 Words Nobody disagrees with the need for affordable housing or that a certain level of density is dollar smart for TC. The issue is the proposed solution. If you haven’t already seen the architect’s rendition for the site, please Google “Pine Street Development Traverse City”...

Living Wage, Not Tall Buildings Our community deserves better than the StandUp TC “vote no” arguments. They are not truthful. Their yard signs say: “More Housing. Less Red Tape. Vote like you want your kids to live here.” The truth: More housing, but for whom? At what price..

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · No score at the end of...
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No score at the end of the first quarter

Stephen Tuttle - May 31st, 2010
No score at the end of the first quarter
And we’re off. The first wave of 2010 elections are over. Depending on
who you listen to, the results were a shocking repudiation of Barack
Obama or a complete rejection of all incumbents, or the first signs of
a tsunami of conservatism, or the beginning of the tea party era in
American politics. Or none of the above.
The messages were so mixed it’s impossible to draw broad conclusions
no matter what the experts say.
In Utah, three-term U.S. Senator Robert Bennett didn’t even make it
out of the state Republican convention. Bennett, whose conservative
credentials used to be considered solid, was whacked from the right by
tea party members, something called the Patrick Henry Caucus (PHC),
the Eagle Forum and the Club for Growth. Their common thread is
distrust of the government, a love of the Tenth Amendment (state’s
rights) and less regulation of business. Their next target is Orrin
Hatch, thought to be too willing to be bipartisan. Clearly, the
conservatives are on the march.
On the other hand, out in Arkansas two-term U.S. Senator Blanche
Lincoln, the youngest woman ever elected to the Senate at 38, was
deemed not quite liberal enough for that state’s Democrats. She ran
afoul of the traditional Democrat coalition by failing to support a
public option in the healthcare reform bill. Her punishment is a
run-off against Lt. Governor Bill Halter who has most of the
institutional support and money.
So one Republican not conservative enough and one Democrat not far
enough to the left.
Elsewhere, Democrat-come-lately Arlen Specter, a Republican U.S.
Senator for 30 years, was crushed in the Pennsylvania primaries by
two-term Congressman Joe Sestak. The results here are a little easier
to understand – Democrats voting in a primary election tend to shy
away from a candidate who came to their party a couple months ago, was
an old pal of George W. Bush, and fully admitted he switched parties
not because of some deeply held philosophical beliefs but because he
believed it would be easier for him to win as a Democrat. Sestak, a
solidly middle-of-the-road Democrat and a retired three-star admiral
in the navy, will now face Republican Pat Toomey in November. Toomey
should be conservative enough for even tea party supporters.
In the special election to replace the late John Murtha, a Democrat in
a fairly conservative Pennsylvania congressional district, Democrat
Mark Critz, a former aide to Murtha, defeated Republican Tim Burns in
a race that defied the notion that Washington insiders are doomed this
election cycle. But Critz won’t be able to relax for long as he has
to defend his seat in November.
Out in Hawai’i, the seemingly impossible happened as a Republican won
a special election for a House seat in Barack Obama’s home district,
but even that’s a little deceptive. Two Democrats both decided to
stay in the race in a fit of obstinate self-destruction. They split
60% of the vote and their Republican opponent walked away with the
seat with 40%. His reign will likely be a short one as he has to
defend his unlikely victory in November.
Out in Arizona, voters actually passed a one percent statewide sales
tax increase as the state tries to fill a $2 billion budget deficit.
For those who haven’t been paying attention, Arizonans taxing
themselves is fairly unusual.
And then there is Rand Paul in Kentucky. The son of Congressman Ron
Paul, this is one clear victory for the tea partiers. Ordinarily one
would assume Paul will skate into the Senate in November in a
conservative state, but he has had some post-primary problems with his
mouth. Seems Mr. Paul is not so sure the Civil Rights Act or the
Americans with Disabilities Act are not intrusions on the private
“Unfair” was the word he used. But he wasn’t quite through. He also
said he thought President Obama’s criticism of BP and their inability
to stop the Oil Spill from Hell was also unfair. He actually said,
“Accident’s happen” and the president’s criticisms were
Yikes. One wonders if the good Republican voters of Kentucky were
aware of that thinking when they went to the polls. Actually, it
doesn’t much matter since they are filling the seat of retiring
Republican Jim Bunning who was a terrific major league pitcher but who
has been a decidedly minor league U.S. Senator. Philosophically, Mr.
Paul won’t be much of a change.
So what does it all mean? Not much. The old bromide that all politics
is local is pretty much true, endorsements from sitting presidents
during off-year elections have never meant much and there were too few
elections to determine any real trends. There is most surely anger
with Washington and incumbents but we already knew that. So far, that
anger has been directed at both Republicans and Democrats. Since
Democrats hold more seats up for grabs it’s likely they will bear the
brunt of voter discontent.
But every race in every state will have its own set of issues specific
to just that race. For every decision in Michigan that turns on
unemployment there will be decisions in Arizona that turn on illegal
The one thing we can be absolutely sure of is this: the Big Money
special interests will find a way to protect themselves and they
really don’t care who wins elections as long as they still have the
real power.

Steven Tuttle is a political consultant who formerly wrote for the Arizona

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