From the Feb. 2 edition of The Madisonian

Wagner trying to do what he was elected to do

Dear Editor,

I’m getting a little tired of, and upset by, the letters bashing and demonizing Bob Wagner. As I see it, he’s trying to keep his campaign promises of cutting spending, and by applying the constitution as his guideline. That’s what he was sent to Helena for.

My understanding is that the veto by our governor was based on personal feelings and a pettiness to punish those who disagreed with him. Never mind all the people who were adversely affected by it.

We all agree that spending must be cut if we’re to survive as a nation, but when it comes to our pet programs, or those which will affect us adversely, we’re up in arms.

As for me, I’ll continue to support him as long as he’s trying to do what he was elected to do.

Rose Wood
Sheridan

40 years after Roe v. Wade – taking on abortion, Obamacare

Dear Editor,

When do you believe life begins? The scientific, biological fact is – at the moment of conception.

One might more appropriately ask, “What is your belief based upon – fact or religion?” To deny scientific fact would be a religious belief, or “a supposed religious belief,” based upon rejection of this fact.

For 40 years, more than 50 million lives have been lost in the battle to protect this simple truth. There are those that believe it is good public policy to continue this lie, but is it? To support this belief, one must consider the consequences. Government then becomes the church acting against it’s own doctrine –
the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Not only is this “good public policy” not good because it is contrary to the rule of law. It fails to recognize that the primary purpose of government is to protect the fundamental right to life – a life which is off limits to government because of its sovereign status from its beginning to its end.

So after one accepts the invasion of the sovereign persons right, then the question is a matter of when government is authorized to end life and who will pay for the process. In the case of the unborn, it has been the practice for the past 40 years that the taxpayer is forced to pay through taxes that are then distributed to agencies that do the dirty work. Now the question arises why are those that do not believe the false doctrine of “good public policy” compelled to contribute to a “church” that not only violates its own doctrine, but the religious doctrine of their own church.

Article I of the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” This strictly prohibits the state from becoming the “church” that it has become evident of its own acts.

This past month of January marks the 40th anniversary of a Supreme Court ruling that has produced consequences far beyond the horrors of the Holocaust – all in the name of the secular religious ideology that is being forced upon the people, but the horror is not yet over. This religious ideology that decides when life is not worth living is the foundation for Obamacare. The same generation that has faithfully paid for the extermination of over 50 million lives is now threatened in their old age.

I visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. recently. After six hours of reading, watching films and listening to audiotapes, I am convinced more than ever that not only funding for the killing of the innocent must stop; but the indoctrination of our children and the propaganda circulated and paid for with tax dollars must stop. Freedom of speech isn’t free when paid for with taxes. It is 40 years past time to rise up and demand the protection of the most fundamental property right – your life, and the innocent life of others from beginning to end.

First they came for the unborn, innocent and without sin, claiming they really do not live, and I said nothing. Then they came to accommodate those without hope that wish to abandon their lives, and I said nothing. “Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” (Niemoller, Holocaust survivor)

Rep. Bob Wagner
House District 71
Harrison

Questioning Wagner’s leadership, poor representation of district

Dear Editor,

Bob Wagner’s recent impertinent response to a House District 71 Whitehall constituent prompts a reply. Wagner’s commentary begins with the assertion that citizens who pay taxes are abused and the First Amendment is even more abused as used by one who is the recipient of said taxes. If it is an intended retort, it is a more confusing insult.

However, Wagner’s revisionist history about House Bill 351 necessitates a look at the facts.

The Treasure State Endowment Program provides grants for Montana’s infrastructure needs and last session the bill funding the program contained grants for two Madison County projects, Sheridan wastewater needs and Blaine Springs Bridge. Wagner voted against HB351 on final third reading. He stated he cast his negative vote (a direct quote) “to make a statement.” By his words, it was more important to him to show his anti-government ideology than to represent his district and constituents with a supporting yes vote for these critical projects.

Once again, poor legislative decisions wind up in the courts. Sheridan’s and Madison County’s recourse to try to retrieve funding is to spend extra tax-payer dollars by filing a lawsuit. Amazingly, Wagner then spins this action as “not being alone in his pursuit of justice.” This remedy does not vindicate Wagner’s thinking or vote. It is the only possibility to recover funding out of the mess to which Wagner contributed. Wagner, instead, blames the governor, who, when vetoing Madison County line items, reasoned that the coveted TSEP money should be prioritized and awarded to projects in districts whose representatives supported HB351 funding for their special projects.

As reported in May in The Madisonian, two commissioners, Schulz and Hart, commented on Wagner’s HD71 representation. Schulz said, in part, “that politics are now having real impacts on local communities and projects. People need to consider that during the next election cycle. I don’t think we can do anything today but I certainly think come election time we can be more considerate of the person being a true representative of Madison County.” Hart commented, “from my standpoint the breakdown occurred because of Mr. Wagner’s standpoint on things that don’t directly relate to Madison County.”

The last legislative session was rife with anti-government/Tea Party-sanctioned bills that proved to have little to do with Montana issues. Many were unconstitutional.

Bob Wagner’s record shows that his voice was and continues to be a party to this ideology. HD71 citizens must consider this when going to the polls this year.

Pat Bradley
Twin Bridges

Decreasing size of county government not the answer

Dear Editor,

As a Madison County department head I would like clarification on the statement by Mr. Yecny on “decreasing county government” – where exactly does Mr. Yecny see wasted or excessive human resources that support county residents?

While my tenure in the county is short, what I have observed and researched and what the Madison County Health Needs Assessment supports, is that a growth in county or local level government is necessary and desired by the residents to maintain a healthy, prosperous and protected community. Growth in this context can include restructuring program or process, not simply adding more bodies.

Growth in local governing is not necessarily parallel with growth in federal government; actually it supports a decrease in overarching federal government with more control being given to individual jurisdictions, i.e. giving the power back to the people who work and live within Madison County.

County government can (and does) direct services and resources to the people and environments most in need, these needs are determined by the very residents who sit on local boards, volunteer their services and respond to needs surveys. The Madison County Public Health Department will hold a public hearing on March 7 to develop strategic plans to address health and safety related issues. These plans will close the gaps in services and programs identified by residents in April of 2011.

Residents who are interesting in the findings of the preliminary meetings can read the Madison County Health Needs Assessment posted on the Madison County Public Health web site and then determine for themselves if our county government needs to be reduced. I urge residents who are concerned or better yet happy with our community to have lunch and participate on March 7. County officials and employees need the input from the community to proceed.

My opinion is my own, and not the opinion of Madison County. County government, if managed responsibility, meets the direct needs of the residents, no more, no less. This is not waste, but efficiency. Our county government, currently from the 5,000-foot view of Public Health Department, is in need of possible restructuring but is not in any way bloated. I personally do not sit idle in the public health department and neither does the public health nurse or public health clerk. On the contrary, we have identified needs from the Community Health Needs Assessment that we are struggling to meet because we are short on resources. I see other county agencies with the same constraints. Mr. Editor, county government employees are county residents that pay taxes as well, we as a group are very frugal with how we allocate our resources to serve the county. I invite the residents to help us do a more efficient job in providing services and programs by participating or by simply reading board minutes to become informed.

Theresa Stack
Madison County Public Health Administrator

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