News and Tribune

October 3, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Oct. 3, 2012

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — Voters group hosting forum, not 9th debate

The South Central Indiana League of Women Voters is thrilled to celebrate our first year serving Clark, Floyd and Harrison counties as a nonpartisan political organization advocating an informed citizenry. As a group, our efforts have always been to inform voters about public policy and candidates during this election season.

The South Central Indiana League of Women Voters invited Rep. Todd Young, candidates Shelli Yoder and Jason Sharp to a formal debate immediately after the primary as our membership was excited to be hosting a debate in our area, to offer the citizens a nonpartisan venue to meet and hear their candidates for representative of the 9th District.

We reminded all candidates participating of the League of Women Voters stringent protocol which we must comply with that stipulates all candidates must be present for a debate to be held. While both candidates Yoder and Sharp confirmed their availability for the debate, incumbent Todd Young would not give us a definitive answer, even when asked in person by our President Teresa Perkins and Membership Chair Barbara Anderson, as well as countless emails and phone calls encouraging his participation by several members of our group.

We spoke with his campaign team who said we would hear back. We have not heard from them. We were unable to confirm with the incumbent and sadly will not be having a 9th District congressional debate for this election season.

We hope to remind all candidates running for office this November that it is their duty to meet and discuss their viewpoints with the citizenry to promote positive communications with the district they are serving, as well as understand and hear the voices of those for which they are speaking on behalf of.

While we will not be hosting a debate, we will be hosting a Local Candidates Forum free to the public to meet Clark and Floyd county local candidates at 6 p.m., today, at the Jeffersonville RiverStage in Jeffersonville. All are welcome and encouraged to enjoy refreshments and participate in the silent basket auction to benefit the South Central Indiana League of Women Voters.

— Teresa Perkins, South Central Indiana League of Women Voters

Editor’s note: Teresa Perkins is a candidate for Greater Clark County Schools Board.

Reader defends Obama’s record

Below is my reply to those who were interested enough to post opposition to my letter to the editor Sept. 26.

So, let me get this right. You are saying the Romney/Ryan ticket is not one and the same. Hmm ...

Also the $716 billion cut to Medicare, mentioned by one Republican, does not reduce any benefits to seniors. None, zero, zilch.

The reduction is to providers, fraud and waste. Republicans want you to think it is reducing senior benefits. The fact is Obamacare has increased senior benefits.

Obama stopped the second Great Depression with no help from the Republican party, which created this mess. Republicans lost us 8 million jobs during the great recession. Obama has created 30 straight months of private-sector job growth for 4.6 million jobs.

When Obama took over the worst recession in history the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. The unemployment rate is now 8.1 percent. This is only 0.3 percent higher.

Because of Republican policies, unemployment was once more than 10 percent. We were losing 700,000-plus jobs a month. Do you have amnesia? Did you forgot how much money you lost in 2008 because of Republican policies in your retirement savings?  

The stock market has doubled from its low under Obama. I guess he gets no credit for this either.

During the Great Depression, unemployment went to 25 percent. The melt down in the market was just as bad in 2008 as in 1929.

Also, take the following information in mind. The highest tax rate in 1929 was 26 percent. Does this ring a bell? Low tax rates for the millionaires and billionaires do not create jobs or stop great depressions. Also, a Republican president was in control during the 1920s. Does this ring another bell?

Stop watching Fox News and listening to Rush Limbaugh and get the real facts. In fact, go to my website if you want real facts.

— Ray Beaufait, Charlestown

Want a chance to explore the Ohio with ACL?

Living along the mighty Ohio River is a real treat. Watching the barges travel up and down the river has always been a spark for discussions: “Where are they going?” “What are they hauling?”

For almost 100 years, American Commercial Lines has been transporting items such as coal, grain, steel, petroleum and chemicals along our waterways. Have you ever wished that one day you could cruise along in one of the gigantic towboats that travel up and down our river?

Well, here’s your chance.

ACL has graciously offered a two-person, multi-day ride on one of their towboats to be auctioned off during the Howard Steamboat Museum’s Annual Wine Tasting on Friday. You can have the opportunity to interact with and watch the crew at work as well as enjoy the beautiful river scenery.

If you are interested in this opportunity, you have two avenues to obtain a towboat cruise of your dreams. First, you may attend the Wine Tasting event at the ACL’s fifth-floor conference room overlooking the river. There will be a variety of wineries present as well as the New Albanian Brewing Co., and food. The cost is $40 per person. There will also be a silent auction.

Can’t make it to our wine tasting? Then you can call the Howard Steamboat Museum 812-283-3728 and offer a bid for this once-in-a-lifetime cruise. We can take your bid information over the phone.   

Jeffboat has offered a Churchill Downs Jockey Club Suite for our silent auction as well. The suite holds 24 guests and the package includes $500 for food and beverages. You can also bid on this item by calling the museum.

The Howard Steamboat Museum Wine Tasting Committee would like to thank ACL and Jeffboat for their support in this fundraising event. Our beautiful museum must raise funds every year for operating expenses and the funds from this event will support that goal.  

See you at the wine tasting.

— Shawn Turner, fundraising chair, Howard Steamboat Museum, Jeffersonville

Perkins comments on response to repair work

I want to thank those who contacted me to talk about the recent news story about a small repair job in the 3rd District.

My district always supports the Autumn on the River festival in Bethlehem. It has been held their for many years. The recent newspaper story in the News and Tribune needs to be addressed.

The owners of the large field in Bethlehem always donate their land for festival parking. I was requested to help shore up some of the shoulder, to try to make it a litter safer, as the time for the festival was fast approaching. I was glad to help.

Concerns about people falling or tripping and possibly injuring themselves were discussed with me. This was not a personal favor as those who started the story apparently described to the News and Tribune. It was prevention — in advance work as we anticipated another large fall crowd in the area again.

Yes, of course I know the owners. It is part of my job to know residents in my district and it is their right to approach their commissioner on things like this.

My predecessors in the 3rd District, Whitey Garrett and Vicky Haire, were always available for small terrain, drainage or road work in each district. It is our job to help maintain or make safe any area that is used by the public.

Being available to help in outlying areas is precisely why the legislature has always required that commissioners live in their maintenance district. Bethlehem is in my 3rd District for maintenance.

I know this is an election season and some want to try to embarrass the commissioners office. But this shoulder repair work was helpful to the public who use that field. If we could help to make that field, and surrounding area, a little safer as the festival approaches, it was the right thing to do.

— John Perkins, Bethlehem

Are you an American or Christian first?

A letter to the editor in the paper on Sept. 13, 2012, by Beth Dorsey tried to show how America was losing its faith values. It misinterpreted an article of Bill of Rights. The person went on to identify “political correctness” as a symptom of America losing its values and included taking God out of schools as another symptom of losing our faith values.

The writer forgets most Europeans left their homes because of Naturalistic religions and the wars and killings of Christian against Christian, all in the name of God. The last thing our founding fathers wanted to do was to start a new country by repeating the mistakes of the European home lands with sectarian wars.

As America began, certain states had state religions of Protestant origin. Some where Methodist, Baptist, etc. If you preached another denomination’s message other than the state’s official religion, you could be arrested, ousted from the state or put in stocks in the town square.

Prayers in school had to meet the standard of the official document of the state religion. The founding fathers wanted no part of the divisiveness of running religion in the new America. This was the reason for the separation of church and state known as Article 1 of the Bill of Rights.

Schools and the 10 Commandments are an example of separation of church and state. Which set of 10 Commandments would we post, the Jewish version, the Catholic version or the Protestant version, or all three to appease all? God has not and never was thrown out of schools. Teacher and principal-led prayer has been done away with. That’s because prayer would be led by someone with a particular denomination doctrine.

Instead, we now have Christian clubs that are sponsored by teachers or students and they meet after school with the same rights and freedom of the other school clubs. They pray, discuss the Bible and read it and bring their questions that are relevant to the Bible study. In 12 years of grade and high school in Clark County, the only prayer anyone had was before a test by individuals. So we now in school have more faith expression than ever.

I’m  not sure what Miss Dorsey meant by political correctness, but to me, it elevates the sanctity of humanity by eliminating phrases that debase people.

As far as God and country, that sounds contrary to Christianity. Paul said we are to be ambassadors, a light to others is what Christ said.

Since Christianity lives in all countries, America is not an exception in God’s love for people of the world. God and country is used mostly by politicians to get us into war and unite our nature to others.

Ask yourself it you are American first or Christian first. There is a difference.

— Steven Fetter, Jeffersonville