Letters to the Editor, Oct. 26, 2018

District 8; Initiative 1631

Repeated misinformation

I am disheartened to see repeated misinformation about 8th District candidate Dr. Kim Schrier’s views on taxes. Terry J. LaBrue and Derek Flint wrote in their letters to the editor about the false claim that Dr. Schrier will raise state income taxes and energy taxes. The truth is that she is running for U.S. Congress and will have no more authority over state tax decisions than I will as a fellow citizen of the state.

Bob Schnebly wrote in his letter to the editor about Dr. Schrier’s responses to a candidate questionnaire from the 31st Legislative District Democrats, and wondered what does she “mean when she says she favors ‘strengthening’ the death tax?” Had he kept reading her response, he would see she meant “closing loopholes such as the GRAT loophole for the estate tax.” This is the very loophole that allowed the family of President Donald Trump to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes. Bob’s concern about heirs losing a farm because of this tax is also misinformed. The tax code provides several options to help farmers: “special use” valuations to lower the value of farm land, allowing 15 years to pay off taxes if the heirs continue running the farm, and only requiring interest to be paid on the taxes for the first 4 years.

I hope voters inform themselves of facts before casting their ballots, such as a 17-percent increase in the budget deficit due to the tax reform that candidate Dino Rossi supports. We know exactly what we will get with one more GOP millionaire, out of touch with working class citizens, kowtowing to the Trump agenda in Washington, D.C. I am ready for someone who is ready to represent me instead of corporations and take a stand for my rights.

Danica Nelson

Issaquah

Rossi ad is false

Recently an advertisement surfaced claiming that Dr. Kim Schrier, who is running for Congress in the 8th Congressional District, supports a state income tax. This ad is false. Schrier is running for Congress, a federal position in which she cannot even vote on state issues like an income tax.

This false narrative is an insult to the voters in the 8th District. It is an insult because it hits at a core value every voter shares, regardless of party: we want our money spent wisely.

At the time this false narrative is being drawn, candidate Dino Rossi supports tax cuts for the 1 percent of Americans. The tax cut last December, and the one snuck through Congress last month, are not a means to ease the financial burdens of the average American, but rather a way to appease the largest GOP donors with the biggest checks.

Rossi’s false ad criticizes Schrier for supporting a “state income tax” that she can’t even vote on while he and his party are irresponsibly giving tax breaks to those who need it least, not folks like you or me. Schrier believes in dismantling income inequality. Amidst the false ads, she’s the real deal.

Remember to vote by Nov. 6, no postage necessary.

Alexandra Johnson

Snoqualmie

Comparing the candidates

This year, Washington’s 8th Congressional District election offers a real choice for voters. Most elections present a guy who leans left versus somebody on the right with little difference between them – and neither candidate has any real interest in the voters they’re supposed to represent.

This year, in this race, there is a difference. We still have one candidate who represents “business as usual” but another who offers a real change. Candidate Dino Rossi has made a career (and millions of dollars) out of backroom deals with questionable ethics. Candidate Kim Schrier has made a career out of caring for the sick and injured. Schrier has publicly taken an oath to work in her patients’ best interests and to protect them from harm. Rossi appears to have taken a private oath to work in his donors’ best interests and to protect President Donald Trump from impeachment (the presumed price of securing a GOP nomination). On the one hand, we have an “experienced” politician who knows all the lobbyists and all the ins and outs of shady political deals. Rossi promises to cut taxes for the wealthy and social programs for the poor. On the other hand, we have a newcomer who has yet to be tainted by big-time politics. Kim Schrier promises to work for the benefit of all her constituents.

I don’t know that Kim Schrier is a saint, and I think Dino Rossi is more venal than evil, but the choice is clear. Vote to make a real change, or vote for the same old stuff. It’s up to us to make a difference.

Terrence Fisher

Sammamish

Schrier will protect patients

When you get your ballot, you will literally hold my wife’s life in your hands.

My wife has beaten cancer twice, but if an ominous shadow appears on an X-ray again, she will need health insurance that covers pre-existing conditions. Without insurance, death and bankruptcy are much more likely for our family.

Dr. Kim Schrier is the only Congressional candidate in the 8th District who is committed to health care. Schrier has a pre-existing condition, and empathizes with people who have them. Her commitment to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and her proposal to let us pay to join Medicare are critical to my wife’s safety. Dr. Schrier also has the common sense to advocate Medicare be allowed to negotiate drug prices.

Republicans across the nation advocate repealing the Affordable Care Act and its protections for citizens with pre-existing conditions. In the Voter’s Pamphlet, Rossi doesn’t even mention health care.

My wife has been my partner and best friend for 21 years. I don’t know what I would do without her.

For my wife’s sake, please get that ballot mailed early. Set a schedule, figure out how to decide on the other races, but please be sure to vote.

Frederick Wamsley

Redmond

Two choices, two paths

If you are still wondering if you should vote for 8th Congressional District candidates Kim Schrier or Dino Rossi, let me simplify your choice.

There are two things certain in all our futures. First, if we don’t die early, we will grow older. Second, if we grow older, we will likely need medical care — both ordinary and extraordinary. It’s these two simple facts — aging and health — that have given rise to the three-part social safety net of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

On Oct. 16, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called for cuts to those social safety-net programs. Please realize that McConnell just cut taxes for the rich — people who didn’t need the money — but now McConnell is calling for cuts to absolutely indispensable programs for most Americans — indispensable because the middle class and the poor don’t have the money. Is it wise or moral or even democratic to bankrupt the middle class and the poor to serve the rich?

My motives are personal. My mother relies on Medicaid in her Pennsylvania nursing home. My brothers and I rely on Social Security and Medicare.

So the choice is simple. Choose Dino Rossi, a Republican like McConnell, and you’ll likely choose the path to bankruptcy — literally — for your older relatives, or yourself, or yourself when you have to support the people you love. Choose Kim Schrier, a Democrat, and you’ll choose the path to humanity and decency. Which person are you?

John Scannell

Sammamish

1631 offers bright future

I’m voting “Yes” on Initiative 1631 as soon as I get my ballot, and I’m writing to urge my neighbors to do the same. This initiative is our best chance to ensure a healthier, safer future for our children.

I have lived on the Sammamish Plateau for 25 years. I’ve raised my family here as active members of the community and enjoy the stunning natural beauty of our part of the world. And I’ve spent my career working to ensure children in Washington and around the world have the chance to have a brighter future.

Voting “Yes” on I-1631 is a tangible, practical step we can take to make this future possible. In the face of profoundly discouraging news from the recent United Nations climate report, and on the heels of this past summer’s choking smoke, we should seize the opportunity I-1631 gives us to do something positive. This is our chance to support significant pollution reduction and invest in the health of our precious, shared natural resources.

It feels great to have something good to do.

I’ve seen the “No” ads, and I’ve seen who’s supporting the “No” campaign. After a decade of living in Alaska it is clear to me that this “No” campaign is entirely funded by profit-driven, multi-national oil companies. The ads are clever and insidious, but it is easy to see through them when you know who is behind it all.

On the other hand, the “Yes on 1631” campaign is an incredibly broad coalition – it’s not just environmental groups. It’s the entire Washington State Medical Association and dozens of other health care associations, churches and faith groups, small and large local businesses, unions, tribes and advocates for communities of color and other marginalized groups. All of those groups share my vision for the healthy future of our state, our country and our planet.

As a mom and an advocate for children, I want to give all of our children hope for their future, I know I want to be on the positive side of history here.

I hope you all will join me in voting “Yes” on I-1631.

Beth Bazley

Sammamish

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