Implement RCV Now

I support Ranked Choice Voting even now that the Legislature has failed to pass the constitutional amendment that would have allowed it to continue for all elections. It can be implemented for all primary elections and for general elections for the U.S. Congress. It is an easy and much more cost-effective way to avoid run-offs, it avoids the “spoiler” effect, and it allows every vote to count either as a first or second choice without going to the polls several times.

I urge the Legislature to implement RCV now so that ballots can be printed for the November election and so that information can be provided to voters well in advance of the next election. A majority of voters favor Ranked Choice Voting. It is now important to make the system available.

Sande Updegraph,

GOP Needs to Self-Examine

It seems that right wing columnist Michael Reagan is attempting satire. His claims that Democrats and progressives are responsible for the D.C. shooting are absurd, but decidedly not funny, so I guess he misses the mark.

Not long ago, Sarah Palin released an election map listing targeted Democrats using crosshairs, urging followers to “reload” and “aim” for Democrats in her tweets. Shortly after those tweets began, Gabby Giffords, a Democratic Congresswoman, was shot at a public event; the shooter killed nine people, including a child.

Hateful, racist “cartoons” circulated in official Republican party circles about President Obama; outlandish, fear-mongering rumors about Obama’s birthplace and religion proliferated; and horrific depictions of the president being hung in effigy were found on front lawns and in right wing publications. Ultra conservatives like Ted Nugent called the president a “subhuman mongrel,” while uttering numerous racist diatribes against the president and other African- Americans. Nugent made degrading, sexually violent statements against Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi.

Donald Trump fed those fires with his own hateful lies and false promises about the president’s birthplace (remember when he swore for months he was about to reveal “the truth?”). The billionaire bully candidate later used violent language to rouse his crowds, hoping they wouldn’t notice that he can not — will not — “lock her up,” or “make Mexico pay for a wall,” or impose a “Muslim ban.” He encouraged violence, even offering to pay attorney’s fees should anyone end up in a courtroom for assault. What kind of presidential candidate does that? (And let’s not forget Trump’s recent embracing of a state legislator who violently attacked a reporter, and was convicted of assault.)

Both sides have contributed to a level of vitriol that has gotten out of control, but the GOP seems more than reluctant to look in the mirror.

Lorry Fleming,