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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

October 18, 2008 at 4:05 PM

Governor’s race

We’re no tin-pot town

Amid all the clamor surrounding the presidential and gubernatorial campaigns, there’s one thing many people seem to have lost sight of: Great damage is done whenever one party controls everything, no matter which party holds the reins.

To anyone who looks at the issue without the filter of partisan hatred, it’s a very dangerous thing to hand total control to one ideological group and leave the other out in the cold. That defeats the entire purpose of the check-and-balance system our forefathers put in place, and effectively disenfranchises large segments of the population.

This is not the best way to make government responsive to the needs of the people, especially given the propensity of legislators at all levels to pander to those special-interest groups and individuals who paid to get them elected.

Washington has been controlled by one party for years.

Because of the overwhelming imbalance toward the left in King County, the result is a huge state deficit and some of the highest taxes (and lowest return on those taxes) in the country.

Our state government is out of control and out of touch.

In order to maintain some semblance of representative government and keep the ideological zeal of the party in power in check, we need to make sure that at least one branch of government, whether it be the House, Senate or executive, remains in the hands of the opposition party.

Otherwise, we’re no better than those tin-pot dictatorships where people can vote for anyone they like — as long as it’s the guy in power.

— Winston Rockwell, Kirkland

Go back where you came from

Of course the BIAW-sponsored ads about the casinos are racist [“Spokane Tribe upset about casino ads,” Politics & Government, Oct. 10].

I don’t understand where the state would have any claim to revenues from a business run by a sovereign nation. One would think the citizens of Washington would be glad the tribes have developed an industry to provide jobs and social services to their member.

Maybe we should just give the land back to the tribes and go back to where we came from?

— Craig Illman, Seattle

Family-leave insurance is still around

The Seattle Times’ Oct. 15 editorial misinterpreted Gov. Christine Gregoire’s temporary suspension of family-leave-insurance startup funding [“The Times recommends … Carlyle, Pettigrew, White in districts 36, 37, 46, Times, editorial].

Legislators funded initial costs for the program, to the tune of $6.2 million in the 2008 supplemental budget.

While development of the computer system needed to administer it has been suspended, the program remains on the books.

In the past week, the governor, House Speaker Frank Chopp and Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown have each reiterated their support for finding a funding source outside the general fund and implementing paid family leave. They, like tens of thousands of Washington’s families, understand that this program will provide economic relief for middle-class families and give all our children the best start in life.

Given national economic trends, we want an even stronger family-leave plan in the future, with more-comprehensive benefits to ensure working families stay out of poverty during tough economic times. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the coming legislative session to fully fund this crucial program, making Washington a better place to live, work and raise a family.

— Sen. Karen Keiser, Rep. MaryLou Dickerson

Comments | More in Election, Politics, Washington Legislature

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