Letters to the editor June 14
About Jeff Beals’ ‘progressivism’
Regarding the TRR story, “Jeff Beals Progressive Campaign,” in the June 6 issue.
Why do candidates need to lie to boost their own ratings, when it is so easy to dispute the misinformation? Beals says he is the “most progressive” because he is not accepting money from corporate lobbyists or corporations outside our district. He says he is “the only” candidate we can trust to work for Medicare for All.
He is not the only candidate to take these positions, and he knows it, because they have all been participating in forums together for more than a year. Dave Clegg and Gareth Rhodes pledge to work for Medicare for All. Dave Clegg not only supports HR 676, but he has worked for the past four decades to hold insurance companies accountable for the harm they do to individuals. He, too, is running a true grassroots campaign, not accepting large corporate donations or PAC money, and promises that he never will, that he will be accountable only to the citizens who elect him. Gareth Rhodes is also running a grassroots campaign, visiting every nook and corner of our very large district, talking to people wherever he finds them.
All the candidates have spoken against the threat of militarism, not just Beals. Furthermore, Clegg has been working for peace and justice all his life. He volunteered for VISTA, he is on the Human Rights Commission working to end the school-to-prison pipeline, he has spent thousands of hours working in the community. As a lawyer, he has sued and won against corporate polluters, and he supports the development of a green infrastructure and the good-paying, sustainable jobs it will create.
People should take it with a grain of salt when candidates say “I am the only... “ and do their own homework, read not only what candidates say, but look at what they’ve done, and make their own informed decisions.
Time to prioritize the dairy crisis
In the June 7-13, 2018 issue of The River Reporter there is both a news story by Fritz Mayer on the “Local dairy crisis” and an editorial asking, “Does Washington really want to save small dairy farms?” The current instance of the widespread small-dairy-farm crisis involves six local dairy farms whose contract with Marcus Dairy, a processor, has been cancelled with little notice. The answer to the question of whether Congress cares, with the exception of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, is “no”.
This is another instance of “the market” making a decision that makes sense if the market should always be the final word—the bottom line being the “bottom line.” Aren’t there other values, some even economic, that justify government, federal and state, intervening with a program whose bottom line is saving these farms? Even economically, the tourist industry worth close to $500 million annually, is dependent on the rural nature of Sullivan.
Part of the beauty that makes Sullivan where I choose to live is driving past a field in its seasonal appearances: hay field, corn silage, not to mention a field of cows and calves. Of course if you are a dairy farmer and your life is dictated by the routine required from sun up to sun down, aesthetics are not your motivation. Still, the fact that families choose the farming life for generations says something about being connected to nature so directly. Isn’t that life worth saving?
Do we really feel that the Walmart model, driving smaller business out of business by more efficient practices based on scale, is the culture we want to live in, even if prices are lower? Shouldn’t we be citizens before we are shoppers? Walmart is not responsible for Sullivan’s current problem, but they have “opened a 250,000 square foot milk processing facility in Indiana,” thereby cutting off Dean Foods from 600 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores.”
It’s time for all our federal and state representatives to place this crisis at the top of their agendas.