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Featured reader letters

Note: The following letters ran in the Oct. 20 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

We can't be the Divided States of America

Patrick (PJ) Magee

River Falls

I recently went to vote absentee as my wife and I will be traveling back from a trip the day of the election.

This is the 10th presidential election that I’ve had the opportunity to vote in. I’m an independent thinker, lean more right than left, am a practicing Catholic, and believe values and character are important.

This election, I’m very dissatisfied with the choices we have. Trying to be fully objective and to be sure that I don’t have any blinders on, I could not in good conscience, pull the lever for either major party candidate.

I think we need to have higher expectations of the presidency, the most important job in the land, and arguably, the most influential position in the world.

Those of you that have been following it — and I hope most have been — know we could write a few books on the negatives of both candidates. These two don’t qualify to those higher standards in my mind.

My vote here went to morality. We need to get back to more of that in this country and expect more. Of course I’m not that naive to know that one of these two will win.

I will continue to hope and pray that the winner over-delivers to my expectations on what I think the next four years will bring. I hope that she/he “resets” the rhetoric and works towards finding collaboration and compromise to get our nation working together again and getting things done.

In the end, we are electing a president and Congress to be “for the people,” and not for themselves. We need to get back to the “United” States of America, not the “Divided” States of America.

God help us.

If she can’t take a little heat, move on

Tim Bylander

town of River Falls

Referring to reader letters in the Oct.6 and Oct.13 River Falls Journal, it’s disappointing to see two good people at odds over politics — both civically minded, dedicated community members.

I agree the use of terms like “fear of sunshine” and “pay to play” does cast doubt on the impartiality of the parties involved.

Although the thought of an accusation of partisanship by Senator Harsdorf, who walks the party line as if it were a high wire with no net, is almost laughable. However partisan politics is not an invention of either the AAUW or Harsdorf, it is plainly the sad state of our political system.

It is also irrelevant in this case. The members of the AAUW are no doubt educated intelligent women and a force to be reckoned with. They are not, however, assassins.

Regardless of their political orientation, they are citizens, taxpayers and voters. Politicians do not pick their constituents — the constituents pick them and Harsdorf took the job for better or worse.

Now she works for them and she owes them an audience, it's part of the job.

Dismissing people just because they disagree with you is a dangerous way to do business and has sunk more than one organization.

Imagine if Donald Trump wins the election and turns down an invitation to meet with the NAACP or Planned Parenthood because they are partisan. Or if Hillary Clinton gets elected and does likewise with the NRA. Either would be unacceptable.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if Senator Harsdorf can't take such a minuscule amount of heat, she has no business in politics.

That's a game for the big kids. Perhaps she should move on.

This is who you want representing us?

Anthony Pedriana

River Falls

I think it’s wrong to criticize Senator Harsdorf for doing what senators are supposed to do — namely, vote in accordance with the majority of people they represent.

In that regard, I must assume that those who support Harsdorf are aware that she:

  • Authored and passed a motion to cut $250 million from the UW System — $2.87 million at UW River Falls and $4.6 million at UW-Stout, costing a combined $7.5 million and 110 jobs in her own district. (Senate Amendment 6 to SB 21)

  • Voted against funding for students with disabilities. (Senate Amendment 14 to SB 21)

  • Voted to insulate lead-paint manufacturers from prosecution when their product proved hazardous to children. (JFC Motion #999)

  • Voted against the expansion of BadgerCare, resulting in a loss to taxpayers of $360 million in federal funding that would have otherwise been available. The money must have gone to some other state. (Senate Amendment 12 to SB 21)

  • Voted to gut Wisconsin’s open government laws and block access to public records. (JFC Motion #999)

  • Voted against a motion that would have allowed Wisconsin residents to refinance their student loans at a lower rate. (Senate Amendment 20 to SB2)

  • Voted against the creation of a non-partisan method of redistricting and thus end the absurd gerrymandering practices for political purposes. (JFC Motion #154)

Wisconsin Senate District 10 represents an educated and distinguished voting bloc. People there would never choose someone who acted in opposition to their core values.

Would they?