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Taxes and Mcmorris

(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) In her email to constituents, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers exclaimed “This is huge!” And indeed it is HUGE! The recently-passed tax bill is a HUGE boondoggle for the rich!

The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that, under the law, the middle fifth of American households will see an average increase in after-tax income next year of $930 while the top 1 percent gets an average increase of $51,140! This is paid for by an approximately 1.5 trillion dollar increase in national debt over 10 years (nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office). That is HUGE!

Economist Lisa Brown, former Washington state Senate Majority Leader from Spokane and Chancellor of Washington State University Spokane, including the new medical school, is running against McMorris Rodgers. Brown’s analysis: “The fundamental reality of this [tax] bill is that 83 percent of the benefits go to the top 1 percent, and I don’t see that as pro-most families. And I don’t see it as pro-economy either.” (Spokesman-Review, 12/21/17)

My heartfelt thanks to the Republican Party and its loyal echo, McMorris Rodgers, for my first monthly middle class increase in income from the bill. In fact, I’ve already spent it—at the Dollar store. That is MINISCULE!
Norm Luther
Spokane, WA

January 8, 2018

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Misleading Comments about McMorris Rodgers

(LETTER TO THE EDITOR) Tom Horne’s 9/14/17 Spokesman-Review letter (“Read CMR’s Comments”) is very misleading.  Repeatedly, Cathy McMorris Rodgers has simply parroted Republican Speakers of the House of Representatives John Boehner and Paul Ryan, with no mind of her own.  Nevertheless, McMorris Rodgers is listed among House Republican leadership.  As such, she joined the leadership’s block of a full House vote on the June 27, 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate, even though it had enough votes to pass the House at the time.  Enough House Republicans joining Democrats favored the bipartisan Senate bill for it to become law with then-President Obama’s signature had Republican House leaders, including McMorris Rodgers, allowed a vote by the full House.  The law would have ended deportations except in criminal cases. Thus Mr. Horne’s statement that “Cathy and the Republican leadership want ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ like the Senate passed in 2013, which would give legal status to almost all 11 million illegal aliens“ is completely false.

Most definitely, her idea of “comprehensive immigration reform”  is altogether different from that of the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate.  As usual, McMorris Rodgers simply follows the Republican House leadership, and it advocates a draconian approach to immigration.

Norm Luther
Spokane, WA 99223

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Smith-Barbieri Fund

(Letter-to-the-Editor) What a great, informative article Shawn Vestal wrote for the Friday Spokesman Review! Our community is richly blessed to have Sharon Smith and Don Barbieri doing their magic in many directions.

For several years, my husband and I were the State Committee man and woman representing Skamania County for the Democratic Party. Sharon Smith was the outstanding state vice-chair for a time, and we were so disappointed when she chose not to run again. Now we have moved to Spokane and your article beautifully explains the great ways she is using her skills and energy. We can see that the change was in a good cause, and feel that Spokane is very lucky to have this team living out their values with such generosity.

Roz Luther
Spokane, WA

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Walmart is Detroying Us

(Posted for Keith Milligan) In 1976, I was working at a small family owned hardware store in Covington, LA. It was enough to  support me and my new family until Wal-Mart came to town. My hrs. were cut in half which caused considerable financial hardship on me as the sole provider, at the time, of our young family. Needless to say, I don’t shop at Wal-Mart, with such a negative impact on my personal finances caused by their arrival into my hometown at the time.

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Rob McKenna won the first debate? I don’t think so

Rob McKenna has been making his rounds with the outlandish claim that he won the first debate with candidate Jay Inslee for Governor of Washington.  The debate occurred in Spokane two weeks ago.  Maybe McKenna thought  it was a contest to be the most annoying, or the most elitist, or perhaps who could bash middle-class American’s the hardest.

To quote one audience member who was at the Jay Inslee vs. Rob McKenna debate, Rob McKenna was apparently “blaming homeowners for the financial crisis.”

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NeuroPolitician has some things to say about the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate in Spokane last week.  He did not like it much.  I have to agree.  Political debates usually put me to sleep.

Candidates rarely say anything interesting.  Candidates know that debates rarely influence the outcome of races, except when one of them screws up big time.  Therefore, in this era of gotcha politics, candidates are incredibly cautious in debates.  Typically, one or both sides insist on no cross questioning, no outside cameras, and no questions from the audience.  Consequently, political debates usually end of being exactly as NeuroPolitician describes below. You can read his entire post that was prompted by the Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna gubernatorial debate on his blog.

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Candidate for Governor, Jay Inslee, recently spoke to community leaders in Spokane.  Jay Inslee placed an emphasis on job creation and matching our educational system to the needs of the work force in Washington State.  As a U.S. Congressman, Jay helped create millions of jobs  accross the country through his vote for the Stimulus Bill.   An example right here in Spokane County, is the Demand Energy Project in Liberty Lake.

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Denny Dellwo announces run for the Legislature

This is great news for anyone that holds a fondness for the working class, tolerance of one’s neighbors, restoring the state budget, and the general idea of sanity.  Democrat Denny Dellwo is challenging incumbent John Ahern for the 3rd Legislative District Seat in Spokane.

Denny should be a very strong candidate, and the eccentric Ahern appears vulnerable.  Dellwo was elect to the  Washington State House of Representatives years ago, but then chose not to seek re-election. He instead wanted to go back to the private sector. Now he is eager to return to public service.

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Ben Stuckart off to a great start

Spokane Council President Ben Stuckart has hit the ground running to address the issues on which he campaigned.  Police reform is on the top of his agenda.

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New Spokane County Jail Will Not Be on the 2012 Ballot

It came as no surprise, but it is now official.  The County of Spokane will not be placing a construction bond on the 2012 ballot to finance their proposed new Spokane County Jail.

New Spokane County Jail

Back in 2011, the Spokane County Commission and the Sheriff’s Department were planning to place their construction bond on that years’ ballot. However, they retreated from that election year as well. There was and still is a growing public reluctance to spend tax dollars on massive new public works projects like a new Spokane County Jail when alternatives have not been fully explored.

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