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Oct. 24, 2018, letters

Oct. 24, 2018, letters

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IM25 can save young lives

I have been practicing medicine in Rapid City for 38 years. Although many days are happy I frequently have tragic days where I have to give people bad news. Those days are often brought on by tobacco-related disease. That is why I am so in favor of IM25.

The measure would raise taxes on cigarettes by $1 a pack and use that money to reduce technical college tuition. Raising tobacco taxes is good medicine. It helps people who want to quit using tobacco with the financial encouragement they need to finally stop. It is estimated that nearly 4,000 South Dakotans who are presently smokers would quit if this ballot passed. Higher prices also discourage new people from picking up a deadly addiction. Children are very sensitive to price. It is estimated that this proposal would decrease youth smoking by nearly 11 percent and keep 3,200 kids from becoming adult smokers. Prevention truly is the best medicine.

If we lower tuition for South Dakota’s technical Institutes, this will help keep our young people educated and working in South Dakota. We have a chance to change the future for our state, and improve and save lives by increasing the tobacco tax. Do not be persuaded by the over-the-top million dollar ad campaign by Big Tobacco. This measure is good for South Dakota, it taxes only smokers, and is good public health policy, especially for our children.

Dr. Allen E. Nord

Rapid City

Hank and Marianne Fridell

We are supporting Tim Bjorkman for Congress. He has practical insight into the most pressing issues facing our state and nation. His experience as an advocate and circuit court judge are key in the strong compassion he has for people. His stances on issues are thorough and thoughtful. They also make good economic sense.

Bjorkman believes money from special interests and PACs have too much influence in our current politics, and he will not accept this funding. His campaign funds come from S.D. residents like us. He understands the sacrifices people make for their country. Three of Kay and Tim Bjorkman’s sons and a daughter-in-law have served in the Army and Iraq.

Tim Bjorkman believes that the highest return on investment we can make is in our people. Check out his thoughtful and clear solutions and positive campaign. We believe that you will find hope and inspiration there, too.

Hank and Marianne Fridell

Custer

GOP slate good in District 34

The residents of District 34 have a great slate of Republican candidates for the state Legislature this year — Jeff Partridge for Senate and Mike Diedrich and Jess Olson for the House of Representatives. I have known Jeff, Mike and Jess for many years. They each are thoughtful, committed and strong community advocates. They each bring a unique, positive perspective to the legislative process that will benefit the residents of South Dakota and Rapid City.

They each also bring a wealth of professional experience, which is always a plus in Pierre. Jeff, Mike and Jess also have demonstrated tremendous commitment to their community as evidenced by the numerous groups and activities in which they are involved.

It gives me great comfort to know that these three will continue in the steps of some of the great people we have elected from District 34, namely Mac McCracken, Ed McLaughlin, Dan Dryden and Craig Tieszen. All three of these candidates will carry on the legacy of these fine legislators, and I am grateful for their willingness to do so. Please vote Partridge for Senate, Diedrich and Olson for the House of Representatives in District 34.

David Lust

Rapid City

Amendment W for the people

As a conservative independent, I am proud to be from a state that has a robust referendum and initiative process. But there are some in Pierre who don't like sharing power with the voters. Amendment W is a new anti-corruption measure that will ban lobbyist gifts, hold politicians accountable and, at its core, protect our initiative and referendum rights.

“Didn't we already vote on this and didn't the Legislature undo it?” Yes. In 2016, we voted to clean up corruption in Pierre with strong ethics laws. But politicians declared an emergency and repealed them. Amendment W is our opportunity to make clear that we really do want transparency, limits on lobbying gifts, and true ethics oversight. Further, Amendment W states that if politicians want to undo a measure passed by the voters in the future, they have to send it back to us for the final say.

South Dakota is a representative constitutional republic, but 120 years ago we realized we also need a means of direct democracy. In 2018, we have a chance to renew our commitment to direct democracy. Please vote yes on Amendment W for "We, the People.”

Sharon Gray

Vermillion

Bjorkman offers a ray of hope

Tim Bjorkman’s campaign for Congress is a ray of hope on a bleak political landscape. Tim saw the corruption in Washington, D.C., and in South Dakota (a 2015 State Integrity study ranks South Dakota 47th in the country) and felt the personal call to try to re-establish fairness and justice. For example, he refuses to take any money from PACs, corporations, or national party.

His opponent, Dusty Johnson, a career politician who was part of the administrations that presided over the Gear Up and EB 5 scandals, also brought Maria Butina to address S.D. youth (Butina is currently incarcerated and alleged to be an unregistered Russian agent.). Johnson welcomes big money from self-interested PACs and corporations who know that giving him a donation means he will be indebted to them. FEC filings confirm he’s taken over $200,000 from out-of-state special interests, including the Koch Brothers. Those groups aren’t giving him money because they think he will make a great congressman for South Dakota. They want to influence his vote.

Tim Bjorkman will work for all South Dakotans. As a retired judge, he has a deep wisdom honed by his work with the people of our state.

Stephen Manlove

Rapid City

One proud Republican for Sutton

I am the woman from Burke named in the second paragraph of Saturday’s letter to the editor. The writer has never met me and knows nothing about my beliefs. Her statement that I’m a longtime Democrat would be what…misleading? I find it insulting that she would mislead people into thinking that I would sit in front of a camera and lie about who I am.

I have been a registered Republican since I turned 18, which was in 1972. I am married to a Democrat, Tom Glover, and he did serve as a legislator, not a senator. So we do have a mixed-marriage — and often some great political debates, although I’m not sure what any of that has to do with the commercial. My parents, conservative Republicans, raised me to think for myself and stand up for what I believe. But more importantly, they raised me to be a proud American. I have the freedom to vote for whomever I choose.

I will vote for Billie Sutton, not because he’s a Republican or Democrat, but because he is what we need in Pierre: a new voice and an honest, hard-working person who will do what is right for South Dakota, not just follow party lines. I was not being misleading on the commercial, I was being honest.

Peggy Glover

Burke

Hats off to Billie Sutton

Kristi Noem is back to her Washington-learned slash and burn negative advertising she used against Marty Jackley in their primary. Her latest negative ad about Billie Sutton concludes," ... He is hiding under a cowboy hat.”

I only occasionally wear my Stetson but was proud to have worn a helmet for my country and routinely wear a baseball cap to cover my bald head. Hat owners of South Dakota unite. Be you cowboy, armed services or sports hatters, we can all be proud of Billie. Kristi, look under Billie's hat. You will find the next governor of South Dakota. Let's give Kristi a cowboy boot back to the Washington swamp to which she has become so comfortable.

I agree with the Rapid City Journal, with Billie,"what you see is what you get. He looks for common ground… Sutton inspires more trust that he can get some of the big things done….”

Tom Katus

Rapid City

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