Everything that's wrong with Al's views
Kudos to our next state senator, Cheryl Cage, for her recent Explorer column pointing out everything that is wrong about current Sen. Al Melvin's positions on energy policy.
When he is busy calling for new nuclear plants in Southern Arizona, or doing the bidding of the payday lending industry, or chopping away at funding for education, Sen. Melvin is full of bluster and bravado. You would think that anyone so confident of his positions would be eager to debate his opponent, especially since he says on his campaign website that Cage's views on the issues "are extreme and bad for our state and economy."
Melvin, however, is apparently not candid or courageous enough to face Cage in debate. He shamelessly ducked her recent challenge to go toe-to-toe in a series of public debates, lamely asserting that he was too busy "going door to door." He instead encouraged voters "to look at her website and look at my website" and said "there are many different ways for the voters to see the positions of the candidates."
During his single term as the senator for our area, Melvin has done nothing to advocate for our needs and values. He is motivated solely by his ideological precepts and the orders he receives from the Maricopa County legislative leadership, which he blindly follows, even when they run counter to the interests of his constituents in District 26. Now that he wants another term in office, he won't defend his voting record in debates with his opponent.
Since the advent of our republic, those who seek public office have debated their views in order to inform and serve the electorate. Melvin's unwillingness to debate Cage is just the latest indication of why he is unfit to be our voice in the Arizona State Senate.
Rex Scott, Tucson
Grijalva ought to repeal his 'boycott' call
This letter is in response to U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva's article in the June 9 edition of The Explorer.
Mr. Grijalva tries to defend his position in calling for boycotts of our state by national and regional organizations. He states that it was not his intention for cities and companies around the nation to join the boycott as they have. If this is the case, I want to encourage Mr. Grijalva to contact these cities and companies and ask them to discontinue the boycott and to encourage the citizens to do so as well.
Also I would like for Mr. Grijalva to join and support the "buycott." Also I would like to ask him what good are small business loans and government assistance if they have no or very little business as a result of the boycotts.
He should realize that his actions have hurt businesses, whether white, black, Asian or Hispanic owned.
If he is unwilling to take these corrective actions, I see no option but to call for his defeat in the next election, whether by another Democrat, Republican, Independent, Green, or whatever. It doesn't matter.
I'm not an angry Republican. As I have stated in my previous letters, I am proud to be a registered independent.
Harold W. Thompson, Marana
Melvin 'honor bound' to tell truth, always
In her op-ed piece in The Explorer last week, my Democrat opponent, Cheryl Cage stated that I voted consistently against K-12 funding. The absolute opposite is true.
My Republican majority in the Arizona Legislature reduced the overall budget by over $2 billion in 2009 and 2010. At the same time, we kept reductions to overall K-12 funding, (including federal, state, local property taxes) to a minimum. Per pupil funding went down $500 from $9,700 to $9,200, which is a 5 percent reduction.
It is important that all candidates tell the absolute truth regarding K-12 funding, border security, job creation, etc. I am a veteran, teacher and businessman and I have always pledged to tell the truth in all matters, large and small. As a Christian, a retired naval officer and Eagle Scout, I am honor bound to this fundamental concept.
All candidates for public office should be held to this high standard.
Sen. Al Melvin, SaddleBrooke
Giffords good reason for term limits
I can't help but wonder if the writer of this letter published in the June 16th Explorer knew of Gabrielle Giffords four years ago, when she was running for Congress for the first time?
If he does not know the four candidates running for the position now, maybe he should make an effort to learn about them.
He fails to mention that four years ago, Congresswoman Giffords ran as a moderate on the Democratic ticket. However, since being elected, she has voted with the liberals 90 percent of the time.
When I confronted her with an e-mail on her vote for the national health care program, she acknowledged that even though more than 60 percent of her constituents were against the program, she felt it was necessary and voted for it. I say she is a puppet of Speaker Pelosi and will vote how she is told to vote.
Many of her trips back home are not to listen to the people she represents, but rather they give her time for many photos published in local papers. Hers is a good example of why term limits are needed.
I say it is time for a change and get new people in Washington on both sides of the fence.
Henry Sheetz, Oro Valley
Four reasons to 'give up' on Giffords
Recently, a writer asked "Why would D8 voters want to give up Giffords?" He points out that she is on three committees and five advisory councils, which is probably average for a member of Congress. She has co-sponsored 511 bills and amendments. Is that necessarily good? Also she has attended over 500 district meetings and events. Does that include party functions and fund raisers?
Let's discuss the one area where it really matters. Rep. Giffords voted over 90 percent of the time in lock step with and under the tutelage of Nancy Pelosi. In particular, she voted for four especially disastrous bills: 1) The
$787 billion "stimulus" bill which has had negligible positive affect on the private sector, while increasing the unemployment rate to 9.5 percent (17 percent if you count the underemployed and those who have given up); 2) The 2,700-page health care act which will add over $1 trillion to the deficit while downgrading our health care delivery systems; 3) The "cap and trade" energy act specifically designed to punish U.S. energy producers, raise utility costs and taxes resulting in even greater reliance upon foreign energy sources; 4) Increase the estate tax to 45 percent on estates larger than $3.5 million, adversely affect thousands of family farms and businesses.
In the beginning of his commentary, the writer also asked "Who are the Four"?, referring to the GOP candidates. Plenty of information has been available on the internet, the media, various meetings and debates. The fact is that any one of the four candidates — Jonathan Paton, Jesse Kelly, Brain Miller or Andy Goss — would better represent CD8 citizens and voters while working to stop and maybe reverse the havoc that has occurred thanks to Pres. Obama, Sen. Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Pelosi and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
It's time for a real change.
Tom Vana, Marana
Melvin keeps oversimplifying nuclear issues
Sen. Al Melvin has been discussing nuclear issues since he began his political career in Arizona. Most recently, he ran an op-ed in The Explorer.
I do believe that expanding nuclear power production in Arizona has the potential to help meet the region's future power needs. Unfortunately, the senator consistently oversimplifies the issues involved.
The Electric Power Research Institute 2009 report is very comprehensive, covering ways to improve electric production from all sources. Sen. Melvin singles out just a small section of the report to support his thesis.
His cost figures for nuclear generation are accurate — for current production in Arizona. Just one of the complicating factors for new nukes is the availability and cost of water, issues which may doom new nuclear plants before they're begun.
Another area of oversimplification is on recycling. Al says that by opening a recycling facility in our state, we could generate annual fees sufficient to offset the entire cost of education, $5.45 billion at present. Meanwhile, South Carolina has generated only $95 million for its educational system over the last 10 years from its nuclear recycling operations.
Such exotic claims for the benefits of nukes without recognizing facts to the contrary diminish the force of the senator's arguments to the vanishing point. Complex subjects require comprehensive study.
Ron Bechky, SaddleBrooke
Why not Rep. Giffords? It's voting record
In response to the Democrat letter writer wondering what is wrong with Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, and why someone wouldn't vote for her, here is my reply.
I don't like her voting record. She voted for Obama's health care plan and lots of other things such as repealing "Don't ask, don't tell" in the military. Years ago, H.L. Mencken, a leftist, mentioned in one of his books "The Vintage Mencken," or the "Treatise on the Gods" how important repealing something like "Don't ask, don't tell" would be for the leftist cause. So his political descendant Giffords voted for repeal.
I don't want our country leaning to the left. I believe in individual rights and states rights. I don't believe in the self-anointed "smart people" like Mencken or those now in Washington running everything. And I don't believe we citizens should just shut up and let them.
I do agree with the letter writer though, I think Giffords does a great job of keeping in touch with voters in District 8, at taxpayer expense of course, and especially during the election season. Also, Rep. Giffords does vote the way her mostly out-of-state donors want her to. To find out who they are go to the Federal Election Commission web site and click on AZ District 8.
Rebecca LoPorto, Tucson
French know how to handle nuclear waste
The French have been and are recycling nuclear waste. The French receive excellent monetary return for recycling nuclear waste.
Cheryl Cage is apparent quite unfamiliar with nuclear power and nuclear waste recycling. How unfortunate that such a needed idea for Arizona is being castigated because of Cheryl Cage's ignorance.
The public needs to hear the truth regarding nuclear power and recycling nuclear waste.
Diane Lowell, Tucson