Letters to the Editor, Sept. 13 edition of The Madisonian

Democrats showing moderations, Republicans showing extremism

Dear Editor,

All Presidential Elections are important but for women, the one being held in less than 60 days, looms especially large since there are stark difference in regards to abortion by the two major political parties. The platform for the Democratic Party states, “Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.” The Republican platform on the other hand bans abortion in all cases, even in rape, incest and when the life of the mother is endangered.

In my view, the Republican position on abortion and other social issues is extreme. But they are also extreme on issues such as social security and Medicare. The Republicans want to place all or most of social security funds in the hands of Wall Street and whims and ways of the roller coaster stock market. And Republicans are intent of changing Medicare as it now stands and make it a voucher system where retirees would be placed at the mercy of insurance companies.

The Republican Presidential ticket of Romney-Ryan, to be voted on in November is extreme to the nth degree. I can drone on for a long time about the flip flop positions taken by Mr. Romney regarding abortion or health care since 1994 but will leave that for a different time. I can also drone on about Mr. Ryan’s war on women where he attempted to refine the definition of rape. Or, Mr. Ryan’s sweeping plan to remake social security and Medicare. Or, the Romney-Ryan Debt Plan that throws the middle class under the bus along with the poor, infirm and the elderly. But here too, I will leave that for a different time.

Personally, I only vote for candidates who are tolerant and compassionate. I avoid supporting candidates, regardless of party, if they attempt to govern far to the right or left of center. I hope everyone will focus intently on the stark differences between the Democratic and Republican Parties regarding social issues. It is the most important Presidential election in decades.

In my view, the Democrats are taking a moderate, middle of the road approach, looking out for the middle class while the Republicans are once again, extreme to the nth degree when it comes social issues and individual freedoms such as a woman’s right to chose.

And what else is new, you ask?

Jerry Welch


Answers and facts about the size of the sheriff’s department

Dear Editor,

Madison County population growth has been approximately 23 percent over the last 20 years.

The sheriff’s department has remained relatively static at an average of eight officers over that same time frame.

Over the last 10 years the sheriff’s department has seen an 80 percent increase in calls for assistance, and a 70 percent increase in criminal investigations. The last 10 years has seen two homicides (not one in 20 years). One of these five other people were wounded by gunshots. Sheriff’s vehicles include two 2006 and two 2009 Durangos. Three of which have well over 100,000 miles on them. Not “five brand new vehicles” as was opined. The canine unit, which would have cost the County $30,000 has been funded entirely by private donations (demonstrates public support for the program) and outside funding. Not Madison County tax dollars! Remote areas require patrolling, crime occurs everywhere. Example – meth-lab busts. Yes we’ve had them in good ole MadCo. The facts are objective. It’s difficult to apply the facts (objectivity) to “family gatherings being patrolled.” So here I’ll be subjective. Myself, I’d have no issue with a sheriff’s vehicle driving by one of my gatherings. In fact, I hope they stop in for a visit and a bite to eat. I operate under the premise that that if you’re not guilty of something, then why should a peace officer make you uncomfortable.

Mr. Monaghan, the facts have proven all of your opinions that you espoused as gospel to be dead wrong. The only thing “gold-plated” about Madison County’s law enforcement is the quality and caliber of those folks who serve and protect us, the residents of Madison County. There is so much more to say about this, stats, etc. There is limit to the length of these letters, so I’m limited with this “answer.” Suffice to say (unless the editor investigates, or I’m invited to say more), stop at the courthouse and visit with our sheriff and the staff. I’m sure Sheriff Dave and all our peace officers will be more than happy to accommodate you and your interest in our sheriff’s department. After all, it is Madison County, Montana. And the sheriff’s department belongs to us.

Kim Hudson


Community support makes World Strides program a reality

Dear Editor,

I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the Ennis Community on behalf of the Ennis World Strides program.

World Strides is a science based field trip based out of Orlando, Fla. While in Florida, students participate in a simulated space mission and astronaut training experience at Kennedy Space Center, snorkel with the manatees outside of Tampa, test Newton’s Laws of Motion in a physics lesson at Magic Kingdom, interact with the dolphins at Sea World, visit Spaceship Earth and the Living Universe at Epcot, journey on a wild animal “safari” at Animal Kingdom and learn about special effects at Universal Studios. Our days are busy, starting around 6 a.m. every morning and not hitting the beds until 10 or 11 p.m. each night. Although exhausting, it is a once in a lifetime experience that none of these kids will ever forget.

Your generosity and continued support of our fundraisers helps make this an opportunity that many of our young adults can enjoy. As our trip is too costly to expect parents to pay out of pocket, we have relied and will continue to rely on fundraisers to help finance a portion of our trip. We do this so that every student receives an opportunity to participate. Without fundraising, many of our youth would not be able to partake in this experience; it would be only affordable to more affluent families. We feel that this program is important as it builds confidence, independence and responsibility. Additionally, it promotes cooperation and global awareness while teaching students life skills (budgeting, fundraising, time management and public speaking).

Recently, we held our fourth car raffle. The students faced a very challenging year due to the current economic conditions. As in years past, we had many generous individuals and businesses that purchased several tickets, but came up short the night of our event. We pushed forward though, as we did not want to disappoint those who had purchased tickets. As we approached our top eight with an offer (monetary, rather than give the car away) they were discussing whether or not to accept the “deal,” I heard someone whisper, “It’s for the kids.” The top eight then shocked us all by accepting the “deal.” By doing this, they ensured that the World Strides students received four times more money towards their trip than by “going for the car.”

As usual, the generosity of our “little” community gave their support to our kids. The gesture made the night of the car raffle was heartfelt and heartwarming and made us all remember why we live here! Although these programs are not “necessary,” they do help shape our children into the adults they will become. Because of the support of our families, school and community, our children are growing up with confidence and hope. Every positive experience our youth participates in brings something positive back to our community.

Kelley M. Knack

World Strides Coordinator


Madison County residents owed an apology

Dear Editor,

If Bryan Monaghan of Raleigh, N.C. has just been visiting Madison County for these 20 years, what vehicle was he getting a tag for at the V.C. courthouse? Maybe one of our “bloated sheriff’s officer’s” could look into that.

Maybe he failed to see the many city police cruisers, or highway patrol zipping to and fro on our rural roads as he was vacationing.

Did he notice that except for the roads connecting our small towns, our rural roads are gravel covered – could this be the reason why our sheriff’s department drives 4-wheel drive vehicles?

One of the ways to insure the safety of our students is to keep drugs out of our schools, plus dogs are a great help to find out of state tourists who get lost or hurt on hikes. They’re also helpful to catch run away felons from that prison 80 miles away. A drug-sniffing dog is a great deterrent for drugs in school lockers or chasing a burglar!

There are a lot of crosses on our county roads. The reminders of road accidents where someone’s loved one lost a life. We need deputies to work these accidents, to stop traffic violators, all those semi trucks coming from Dillon to Whitehall, the overflow of hunters during deer and elk seasons.

Usually when a “visitor” writes a letter like this to the local newspaper, it is after that “bloated sheriff’s department” caused a large cash transfer to the county treasurer.

Considering our sheriff and his deputies are our only law enforcement and with the job they’ve done, I think Mr. Monaghan owes Madison County residents an apology.

Maybe the sheriff can look into what vehicle this 20 year visitor from N.C. was getting a Madison County tag for?

Bill Hanley

Twin Bridges

Dog whistles, adjectives and an admirable conservative

Dear Editor,

Australians coined the phrase “dog whistle politics” to describe communication intended to have different meanings to different audiences. Adjectives that confuse rather than clarify are clues to the presence of high frequency sophistry. Consider “Real Americans,” “Legitimate Rape” and “Natural Law.” An easy test is to look at the negative of these phrases: “Unreal Americans,” “Illegitimate Rape” and “Unnatural Law.”  If the negative is nonsense, someone is letting the dogs out.

Bob Wagner’s latest letter to The Madisonian contains the phrase, “… this objective truth?”  Apply the negation test and decide if this is a clear request for information, or an attempt to summon canines.

Conservatives used to stand for limited government. Now, those who describe themselves as conservatives suffer from an unseemly and apparently irresistible urge to use the coercive power of government to insert themselves into the most personal of decisions.

A favorite politician and a conservative worthy of respect, Barry Goldwater, said: “However, on religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D.’ Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of conservatism.” – Congressional Record, September 16, 1981

Craig Shirley

Madison County

Miller explains her decision to run as Independent

Dear Editor,

A letter to voters of House District 71:

The question “where does Kim Miller stand?” has been asked often over the last few weeks. It’s a good question and something I asked myself frequently before deciding to run for the office of state representative of House District 71. I’m writing to publicly address this question, and also state why I chose to run as an Independent.

My father moved to Montana with a dream to give his four children the opportunity to be self-reliant and grow up in such a beautiful place, and I could not be more thankful. My character is rooted deeply in my appreciation for Montana and the area in which I now live. I adore this land and am inspired by the people.

My intent for office is to maintain the integrity of our communities, support the health of our land, and promote the prosperity of the individuals of this area.
I have chosen to run as an Independent, as I have become disheartened by partisan warfare. The current pattern of contempt between parties disregards the common man and woman. I am neither fully red nor blue; I am only for the community in which I live, which I believe is a stance more dynamic than one where your representative aligns firmly with one party. Where do I stand? I stand for my neighbor, my husband, my children, my granddaughter, my father, and I will stand for you.

Kim Miller

Independent Candidate

House District 71

Virginia City

Electing good leadership important, Shaw endorses Republican ticket

Dear Editor,

Getting government out of the way and letting “We the People” get this great country back to work should be the top priority for Montana and this great country. It is a travesty to allow unemployment to rise out of control and more than eight percent and our veterans at 25 percent. We need to stop or get rid of all those unnecessary regulations that are nothing but roadblocks to getting people back to work. We all know we need some regulation, but when they do nothing more than give obstructionists’ ways to stop progress then enough is enough. Just look at what Montana has to offer to get us going again, agriculture, oil and gas. Wouldn’t it be nice to be energy independent? Montana has every mineral known to man, plus the rare earths and all the timber in the world to help aid in putting people back to work. Don’t you wonder when you hear people complaining about the coal trains? To me they mean jobs for many Montanans. The people complaining about them must not have a family to raise or a business that depends on coal mining, mineral extraction or timber industry. With our timber industry unable to log because of the obstructionists’ stopping every move they make, don’t you think it’s time for “We the people” to step in. Please don’t get me wrong, mining, logging etc. should be done responsibly. Our Montana landscape is next to none, and we will protect it.

Election Day is just around the corner, and we need people that can lead our state and country back to prosperity, people like Rick Hill, Steve Daines, Congressman Rehberg, and Governor Romney.

Folks this is probably the most important election of our lifetimes or maybe ever. We are in big trouble, so we must elect people that will make the right decisions, not like our two senators that would like nothing more than to turn our great state into one big national park. Please Vote!

Ray Shaw

Candidate House District 71


Turner outlines his position on key issues

Dear Editor,

My name is Richard Turner. I’m a retired teacher running as a Democrat for Senate District 36 (Madison and Beaverhead Counties plus Whitehall). Since I live in Dillon, I’m not very well known in Madison County yet.

I’m a little to the right of some Democrats in that I don’t think Montanans need more gun regulations and I don’t oppose rigorous wolf management.

If I’m elected, I’ll work to defend the 1985 Stream Access Law. I support private property rights, but anglers and floaters shouldn’t have their access to public waterways further limited.

I favor easy and less expensive access to medical marijuana for those who need it. Eventually – though it probably won’t happen in my lifetime – I’d like to see possession of small amounts of marijuana decriminalized. Busting and prosecuting casual marijuana users is a huge waste of tax dollars and law enforcement resources. It also ruins lives.

And it’s time to stop the relentless and cowardly persecution of homosexuals. As things stand now, employers can fire workers for being gay. Landlords can evict tenants for being gay. If gay people want to get married, they should be allowed to.

Finally (and where I differ most markedly from my opponent Mrs. Barrett), I trust women to make private medical decisions about their bodies. Politicians shouldn’t be trying to remove these decisions from women and impose their own.

I’m asking for your vote in November.

Richard Turner



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