Letters to the editor — Sept. 23, 2020

Mayor’s actions, rhetoric cause of concern

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was held Aug 7-16. It has been reported that there have been many hundreds of positive COVID-19 cases, in at least 11 states, directly attributable to this event. Minnesota has reported that more than 50 participants have tested positive and one fatality. An analysis of cell phone data revealed that 61 percent of all U.S. counties had a resident that was one of the more than 400,00 people attending the rally.

One of these misguided, tone-deaf participants was Mayor William Armacost. Unfortunately, Clallam County is now included in this continuing, deadly story.

More recently, on Aug. 27 and Sept. 3, we were informed that Mayor Armacost is a vocal supporter of the QAnon movement. QAnon contends that there are national conspiracies plotting multiple nefarious actions against the United States. No illegal activities have been disclosed that support any of these radical theories.

QAnon has also been linked to racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim and anti-vaccine positions. Armacost has stated that QAnon is a movement fighting for the truth, and that Antifa and Black Lives Matter should be labeled as terrorist threats.

As more is being revealed about this man’s disturbing beliefs and troubling personal behavior, the question if he should remain on the city council and mayor of Sequim needs to be addressed.

Chris Cornell

Sequim

Change needed on council

Generally I believe an elected officials personal views are not germane to their official duties, especially if they work to keep personal lives and professional conduct separate.

However, since the Sequim mayor has chosen to mention his personal conspiracy views while he was representing the city of Sequim that action transcends normal delineation. He alone brought together his personal conspiracy oriented views to his official capacity as mayor of our great city.

If we are not careful and elect people who do not embrace conspiracy theories our wonderful city may soon be added to the list of cities that are run based on unfounded ever shifting conspiracies and intolerance. We all have a right to free speech, but with that right comes responsibility.

The mayor has clearly stated his position, and while I do not add my voice to those requesting his resignation, I will add my voice to anyone who wishes to run against him. Let the voters decide.

While he may have conducted himself professionally and apolitically in the past going forward constituents have to wonder how much of his actions are now based on sound principal and city focused action versus some conspiracy flavor of the day.

Kevin Butler

Sequim

Mayor should resign

When the mayor of Sequim openly, proudly traffics in some of the worst, most ridiculous, most dangerous conspiracy theories, it’s time he stepped down from the demands of his office and seeks treatment.

“QAnon” is not a “movement that encourages you to think for yourself.”

It is an effort to get you to blindly accept assertions and allegations without thinking about them at all. To think for yourself you have to ask questions about, demand evidence — verifiable, accurate evidence, work through the arguments being made to see if they make any sense.

QAnon is not a “movement of people … fighting for truth and freedom and … shin(ing) the light on evils of humanity.”

It is a group of people who believe in and spread a variety of baseless conspiracy theories, every one of which has been repeatedly debunked.

It is a group of people for whom facts, evidence, logic — reality — are either irrelevant or are twisted beyond recognition, taken out of context, or constructed in bizarre, nonsensical ways to support their “theories.”

Time was when the notions propagated by QAnon were as summarily and properly dismissed as the rantings of your crazy uncle or the drunk at the far end of the bar. That it has now moved into the realm of “acceptable” should be raising all kinds of alarms.

That our mayor is urging others to support it the way he does? Unbelievable.

And just because people disagree with you doesn’t mean they’re “ignoring” your “constitutional rights.”

Ken Stringer

Sequim

Consider Chapman’s record, vote for Forde

Since 2010, state spending has increased more than 3.5 times faster than population growth.

Mike Chapman has voted for nine of 10 new taxes, totaling almost $10 billion.

On his campaign postcard, Chapman boasts he is “second to none” in “supporting our small businesses.” Why did the National Federation of Independent Business rate him at 40 percent? (nfib.com/assets/WASHINGTON2018_Voting_Record.pdf)

Chapman told the Aberdeen’s Daily World he hadn’t voted for a “sales tax increase, property tax increase or small business tax increase” as representative.

He voted for three Business and Occupations (B&O) taxes and a Travel Agents (small business) Tax.

In 2019, Chapman approved $1 billion in yearly payroll taxes on every Washington state worker for a Long-Term Services entitlement providing for only specifically identified workers (washingtonvotes.org/RollCall.aspx?ID=790663).

He voted to remove required local voter majority approval for some city councils or county commissioners to impose local sales and use taxes, to allow school districts higher property tax levy limits, from $1.50 to $2.50 per $1,000 valuation, and voted for real estate excise tax hikes.

He voted to remove for business property exemptions with fewer than 60 lodging units and to tax specific vacation rentals.

One of 11 Democrats, Chapman voted against Senate Bill 6660, titled “Improving fiscal responsibility by replacing the spending limit with additional four-year balanced budget requirements.”

Facts speak truth!

Our 24th district needs Sue Forde, campaigning against Mike Chapman. She will use common sense and conscientiously, always consider each legislative bill’s effect on all constituents.

Vote for freedom with Sue.

Eric Foth

Port Angeles

Inaction toward violent protesters ‘will backfire’

Two police officers were shot in the head at point blank range by an attempted assassin in Los Angeles County, Calif., on Sept. 12. This is something one would expect in Afghanistan; a classic example why a federal law is needed for a mandatory life sentence, or death, for anyone convicted of such crimes.

Minutes later, on camera, “protesters” chanted “We hope they die,” while blocking the entrance and exits to the hospital emergency department where these two officers were taken!

Those despicable actions and statements are in agreement with audio and video we’ve seen on national television many times, with protesters chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now.”

In New York City, rioters/anarchists that are arrested are promptly released without bail posted. In Portland, Ore., the local prosecutor is refusing to charge those arrested. Because of this, the Oregon state police have declined a request to assist with the lawlessness and violence in Portland.

This open disdain of and non-enforcement of laws by mayors and prosecutors is disgusting and is actively promoting violence.

Far-left, grievance-driven mayors and others must think there is political advantage to continuing and encouraging this urban anarchy. Common sense says it will backfire — beginning Nov. 3.

Richard Lohrman

Sequim

What do you value in elected leaders?

We each have our own values, right? Sometimes we cast our votes based on specific characteristics we look for in our candidates of choice that reflect the values we hold dear. There are many qualities that great political leaders have. I hope you can a few that will influence your vote.

Number one on my list is honesty. Being honest can sometimes be difficult because it makes individuals vulnerable. It reveals who we really are and discloses our mistakes, which gives others the opportunity to criticize or reject openly.

Honesty develops character and builds credibility and trust, which are the foundation to evoke confidence and respect from those around you, and in the case of political leaders, teammates and constituents.

We expect our leaders to respect different views, analyze problems and identify the best solutions, based on what is good and right and in the best interest of the nation as a whole. The president is incapable of honesty and fails miserably using this measurement.

Honesty is a quality I associate with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. They will get my vote for president and vice president.

Bill Biery

Sequim

Consider Lincoln’s legacy

Abraham Lincoln has been in the news a lot lately. However, it is not because of the great things he has done but rather about people tearing down his statue. Statues for Lincoln and other patriots were not erected thinking they were perfect people, but rather to remember the good things they did for our country.

There has also been a lot of talk recently about changing the constitution, abolishing the electoral college, and defunding the police. Lincoln wrote the following about our founding fathers and the constitution:

“They meant to set up a standard maxim for a free society, which should be familiar to all, and revered by all; constantly looked to, constantly labored for, and even though never perfectly obtained, constantly approximated, and thereby constantly spreading and deepening its influence, and augmenting the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere … Its authors meant it to be, thank God, it is now proving itself, a stumbling block to those who in after times might seek to turn a free people back into the hateful Paths of despotism.”

Now, approximately 160 years later we are in the “after times” of which Lincoln spoke. There are people who are speaking hateful things and encouraging the rest of us to follow a path that leads to despotism and dictatorship. Do not go there.

Continue to work for a society that improves “the happiness and value of life to all people of all colors everywhere.”

Vote for people who protect you. Vote for people who care!

Terry Trudel

Port Angeles

Forde deserves your vote

Sue Forde, opposing Mike Chapman in next November’s election, understands the challenges of building successful businesses.

Sue started, owned and operated, and sold several businesses, including a print business and newspaper shopper. Presently, Sue owns and operate a website design and consulting business. Sue empathizes with business peoples’ growing worries about increasing taxes, regulations, and meeting payroll, especially since Inslee’s business shutdown.

If elected, Sue’s support for small business will remain a top priority. She vows to never vote for a capital gains or income tax. Instead, she will work to limit government’s size and reduce taxes and regulations. She will endeavor to increase government accountability and transparency.

In his mailed primary election postcard ad, Chapman boasted he is “second to none” in his small businesses support. Why did he receive a 35 percent rating from Association of Washington Businesses for his 2019 votes? (justfacts.votesmart.org)

Here are just two examples of his votes against small business: In 2017, Chapman voted for HB 2015 removing “lodging excise tax exemptions for premises with fewer than sixty lodging units and tax certain vacation rentals, short-term home-sharing arrangements, and other used dwellings.”

Also in 2017, he voted for HB 1298 to prohibit employers from advertising job openings that exclude people with criminal records from applying and from including any job application questions seeking information about an applicant’s criminal record until the applicant is judged “otherwise qualified.”

Help yourself by helping small businesses. Replace Chapman with Sue Forde.

Shelley Taylor

Sequim/Port Angeles

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