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Democrats defend folks who despise them

A recent Journal letter sarcastically accuses Democrats of failure to reverse the last generations’ losses for “little guys,” and in fact creating more.

I agree that Democrats have lost battles for the middle class. Since the Republican Party shamelessly, narrowly promotes the interests of large corporations and wealthy individuals, but still can get votes from paycheck earners and small-business people by punching God-gun-gay buttons, Democrats are left defending everybody else, including a lot of voters who despise them.

Democrats therefore have a harder time focusing their efforts, which should be to maintain a healthy economic and political balance between the middle class and the wealthy, not to mention responsibility to keep our relatively few helpless citizens from starving, freezing or dying of easily preventable illness and injury.

Democratic failure is less about imperfect policy choices or personal flaws, more that America in general long since surrendered to “good for GM, good for Goldman-Sachs, good for everybody.” And if you dare say otherwise, well then you’re socialist,  best ignored if not tarred and feathered.

Paycheck people seemed to do better with tax policy, union participation, civic responsibility and corporate re-investment in America last seen under Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon. If Democrats suggest going back there, today’s righties bawl “socialism.” I say, let ‘em bawl. 

PETER HASBY

Rapid City

Family gets great customer service  

Recently we made a trip into Rapid City from Custer to go to a movie.

We had looked ahead online for show times and it was advertised at 7 p.m.

When we got there, the show was not playing at this time and would not be showing until 9:40.

I was upset and disappointed and after considering my options, decided to speak with the manager about this.

I was immediately shown into his office, where I explained my dilemma and expressed my frustration and disappointment.

He very courteously listened and then offered this, very generous, solution: He would play the movie for us, in an empty theater,  and not only that, would not charge us.

 We thoroughly enjoyed the movie (“Water For Elephants”). 

I was so impressed by this man. He made, what could have been a very disappointing evening, into a treasured memory, for myself, my husband, and our 15- year- old granddaughter.

It was wonderful to have her experience true, customer service at it’s very best.

Thank you, Paul Heir, you are a true gentleman. Our world would be a kinder place if there were more like you.

LINDA ALDRICH

Custer

Nordstrom smear is dirty politics

There are some dirty tricks going on in the Ward 2 council race. Shining light on it is the only antidote. As Richie Nordstrom put it in an email to me this morning, “slimed again.”

An outfit with the oxy-moronic name “Family Matters PAC” fronted by Hermosa resident David Astin (using a Rapid City PO Box) has sent out a vicious mailer accusing Richie of supporting what they call a  “radical homosexual agenda” and forcing acceptance of “deviant sexual behavior.”

A previous mailer last week accused Ritchie of being “anti-self defense.” The Laurenti campaign  followed with a  message saying Nordstom “Fails to disclose where he stands on family values or on creating special rights for certain groups over others,” code for anti-gay bigotry. It also points out that Nordstrom “supports complete bans on self defense.”

This appears to be a coordinated effort that exemplifies dirty politics at its worst. I call on Steve Laurenti to repudiate this vicious group of bigots and declare openly just what rights he thinks his fellow citizens who happen to feel an attraction for the same sex actually have.

WALTER ALBASI

Rapid City

Laurenti stands for family values

Steve Laurenti is the best candidate for city council in Ward 2. He is serious about doing the right thing for our city by working together to improve and build the city’s infrastructure and work to bring new jobs to Rapid City by cutting red tape and encouraging growth.

During these hard times, we watched as the incumbent pushed for an investigation of a fellow Ward 2 council member.  The incumbent sadly voted to censure her fellow Ward 2 council member. Laurenti said, “Personal, political attacks like this do not belong in our city government. Thousands of the taxpayers’ money was spent investigating and personally attacking a councilman for doing his job.”

Steve Laurenti stands for open, limited government. Closed city council meetings should be limited and recorded. He will work to protect the taxpayer and root out waste and fraud by implementing checks and balances for all city departments.

He’s a family man who will firmly support life of the unborn, while protecting children from sexually explicit material and treating everyone equally.

A vote for Steve Laurenti is a vote for honest, common-sense leadership for Rapid City.

CAROLYN A. SCHULDT

Rapid City

Kooiker listens  to constituents

We live in Ward 1 and have been impressed by Sam Kooiker since he was elected Ward 2 alderman.

Sam listens to his constituents and is willing to assist anyone being ignored by their elected officials. We be believe Sam will make an excellent mayor for Rapid City .

GARY & CAROL ENGEL

Rapid City

Kooiker responds when called 

When I had a disagreement with the city, I called my councilman, Sam Kooiker.  He was at my home in 30 minutes to discuss the problem and to see what he could do to help.

Sam works his heart out for the city government and the people that live here. Vote for Sam Kooiker for mayor.

LES VRBSKY

Rapid City

Hanks a great communicator

Mayor Alan Hanks is doing a great job leading our community, and I urge you to vote for him to continue doing work for the citizens of Rapid City.

There have been several projects between the city and the RCAS school district that have worked as a great partnership under his leadership.

Had it not been for Mayor Hanks and Dr. Pete Wharton’s communication skills, the theatre project at Dakota Middle School may not have been a dream come true.

There has been great cooperation with the construction at Central High School, and the upgrades to the physical energy plant. There are now monthly meetings including the city, county, schools and higher ed to update leadeship on projects.

There is also an emergency communication system of notification in place to include all government agencies and the public if necessary.

Mayor Hanks has been involved in many key development projects that will bring great opportunities for our youth, most recently the Authentic Youth  Community

He has deep understanding of working government, experience as a businessman, and is a wonderful public representative of our fine city.  Please make the best choice for the future of our community.  Choose Alan Hanks.

SHERYL KIRKEBY

Rapid City

Kooiker has proven track record

I have had the privilege to observe community and political activities for over 50 years. This has provided me the opportunity to make some assessments:

Government serves a basic purpose but it is not the root of growth and progress. Almost all candidates for public office claim they will cut red tape, but Sam Kooiker has the know how and the track record.

His vision for accountability and checks and balances should not be confused with “micro management.” His open door policy has won the respect of citizens, city employees and elected officials. He is committed to encouraging economic growth, and to increasing synergy between the city and the public and private sectors.

Sam is a trained public administrator and has demonstrated his ability in the private sector. Sam is ready to partner with you to help Rapid City move forward.

I am writing in support of Sam Kooiker. He is honorable, honest and dutiful . He has a servant’s heart, respects others, and he is willing to serve as mayor of Rapid City. Your vote can help make it happen.

LYNDELL PETERSEN 

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Hermosa

Chad Lewis brings new ideas to city

In Ward 3, a new era for Rapid City is available. A new generation is ready to lead. A graduate of Rapid City Stevens and the South Dakota Schools of Mines & Technology, Chad Lewis is a home grown.

He has traveled and lived outside of Rapid City, but chose to raise a family and own businesses here. 

Ward 3 can settle for old ideas or move forward with progress. It is time for younger voices and ideas on the City Council. It is time for a younger generation to take leadership in our City. 

Chad has been going door to door to meet people and listen. He is also using the internet to reach people and accept suggestions from people. Vote for Chad Lewis as Council representative for Ward 3.

KEVIN LEWIS

Rapid City

Kooiker attentive to Native Americans

The “United Urban Warrior Society” stands behind Sam Kooiker in his run for mayor. I have had the pleasure of meeting with him in person and talking to him via email and phone.

I have talked to him about Native issues in Rapid City and surrounding areas, the homeless and other issues. I was really impressed because he took notes and asked me about them later.

I talked to Mayor Alan Hanks last year. He didn’t take notes or call me back. I would like to rally the Native people behind Kooiker so we can have a mayor who is concerned about us, listens to us, and makes us feel we are part of this community. Kooiker now serves on the city council and has stood up for the little guy many times. He also has been chastised for it, but stands strong. I ask my Native brothers, sisters and friends to question Sam about  his views regarding the urban Indian’s relationship with the rest of the Rapid City community. Let him know what he can do to make life here better for our people.

JAMES SWAN

Rapid City

Wright uniquely qualified to serve 

Voters in Ward 3 have a strong candidate in Jerry Wright for city council.

Jerry has a deep understanding of our community needs. He is uniquely qualified, having been born in Rapid City, getting a civil engineering degree from SDSM&T, earning a masters degree in urbanengineering & transportation planning, serving as a city division head for 23 years and serving in the Army, Army Reserve and South Dakota Army Guard for 27 years.

The wide range of actual experiences and educational background that Jerry brings to the table gives our community a great asset to deal with the complex issues facing Rapid City in the near future.

I’ve known Jerry for over 25 years personally and find him to be an active listener, a forward thinking manager, a responsive and responsible citizen. I believe that with his commitment to the betterment of Rapid City, its revitalization and his conservative fiscal management history, he will be an excellent alderman to represent Ward 3.

Please join me in voting for Jerry Wright for Ward 3 city council.

KENT BRUGGER

Rapid City

Hansen an advocate for North Rapid

Please join me in supporting Jim Hansen for Ward 4 school board representative.

I have known Jim nearly my entire life and can say with certainty there is no better candidate.

Growing up with his children, I know how passionate he is about education. He was always involved in our school lives as a liaison officer at Garfield, North and finally Central.

He coached our teams, came to games and conferences, and supported us in all we did.  Whether we liked it or not he was involved in our lives. He expected nothing but excellence from us.

He has always been concerned about our community and has done an excellent job as a Rapid City police officer.  Being a North Rapid citizen his entire life, he has earned the trust and respect of many families.

He will be a great advocate for North Rapid families, as he understands their needs and wants for their children. He has his finger on the pulse of North Rapid and this is one of his greatest assets. 

Please vote for Jim on June 7.

CASSIE BREWER

Rapid City

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