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GOP policies destroying the middle class

South Dakotans are fortunate to have agricultural jobs and a nearby oil patch. Otherwise, we'd be like most of the country, with little more than nursing for careers with a living wage. Among my acquaintances, software engineers, salesmen and military veterans have put on scrubs.

We need an assertive government response to the loss of our middle class, as investment moves to computerized systems requiring fewer workers, as American "job creators" create jobs overseas, not here. The Republican approach remains cut taxes and regulations on "job creators" even further than already done since 1980, regardless that as corporations and the wealthy got richer and freer, they just exported the best jobs, pushing middle class workers into the working poor. Democrats, while failing to produce tax and regulatory policy keeping American capital producing American jobs, at least advocate an intact safety net. Democrats seem to understand that corporations are artificial creatures of the state, protected and nurtured by the state, bearing public responsibilities beyond maximizing share price. Corporations breaking their end of the social contract kill our middle class.

 If you want more of the same, with less Social Security and Medicare, keep supporting the current generation of Republicans.

— Peter Hasby, Rapid City

Kooiker a supporter of those with special needs

Mayor Kooiker is an exceptional supporter of the Special Olympics Rapid City FLAME organization. Due to his efforts, our organization was able to use city facilities for the first time.

The mayor supports holding the area track games at Sioux Park and helped us secure the Parkview fields for softball practices. He helped make it possible for us to hold the first-ever state softball games in Rapid City. He appears at almost every major Special Olympics event held and speaks meaningfully to out-of-town guests, families and athletes. He has congratulated each and every athlete at our athlete recognition events.

I appreciate all he has done for the children and adults with special needs.

— Shelly Bolyard, Rapid City

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Allender has the skills, vision to be mayor

I have had the opportunity to work closely with Steve Allender for many years. Throughout that time, he has been consistent in his character. He is a person of great integrity, who leads with great respect for others. He's intelligent, an effective speaker, a great listener, a person with a business mind, and he also has a great sense of humor.

Steve Allender is a class act. Now, more than ever, Rapid City needs effective leadership. We need someone who: gets the big picture; listens to us, whether we agree or disagree, and he will welcome all to the table; is a uniter, not a divider; not only has a vision for a bigger, better future for Rapid City, but also has the wisdom to implement those plans; focuses on maintaining and improving roads and infrastructure, both now and longer term; will provide strong economic development leadership, creating new business and quality employment opportunities; does not hold grudges; stays calm and rational amidst even the most tough situations; is an effective communicator you can trust.

That is Steve Allender. If you have any hesitation, go meet him. Find out for yourself why he deserves your vote.

— Gina Nelson, Rapid City

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