Lawmakers should protect families

The new census data just released shows that one in eight Americans are living at or below the poverty line. So why are some members of Congress taking aim at the very programs that help to better working families, put food on the table, and get the basic minimum to survive?

Programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps) and the Earned Income Tax Credit helped millions of impoverished people, half of them children, out of poverty last year. Gutting these programs to pay for a tax break for millionaires is unconscionable.

We at RESULTS Rapid City hope to count on Sen. John Thune, Sen. Mike Rounds, and Rep. Kristi Noem to stand with the families and children of South Dakota.

Christopher Mann

RESULTS Rapid City Chapter

Arpaio deserved a prison sentence

Arizona's Sheriff Joe Arpaio named his lock-up tent city a “concentration camp.” He did everything he could to make their conditions a living hell. He succeeded.

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Prisoners committed suicide in his concentration camp at a rate that dwarfed other county jails. Twenty-four percent of the 157 prisoners who died in his jail were logged as taking their own lives. The second highest rate was 14 percent in Philadelphia over the same period. He only fed them twice a day. He took away their salt and pepper to "save money." He used chain gangs- a hold-over from the Jim Crow period where prisoners were used as cheap “slave” labor. The temperatures in the tents could reach temperatures of up to 130 degrees. Many prisoners died of heat stroke. lt got so hot that some of their sneakers melted.

Instead of receiving a pardon from Trump for defying a federal judge's court order to quit racial profiling, Arpaio should have spent years in jail for his causing so many deaths and his use of cruel and unusual punishment. A presidential pardon is basically an admission of guilt. Arpaio is a deplorable man.

Robert Ackerman

Rapid City

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