Barber doesn’t play political games

The Republican National Committee ad depicts Ron Barber as a rubber stamp for President Obama.  The truth is that Barber doesn’t play political games.  He is a professional “Public Servant” for the people. He loves this work so much that he took it up from his hospital bed and directed Giffords’ staff as he recovered from two bullet wounds.  The only rubber stamp he will carry is from the constituents he serves, especially the disabled and the wounded Vets.

Kelly, having been absent from Arizona, has learned a lesson: don’t talk so much about the details, just follow the Republican ideology: jobs, reduce taxes for corporations and millionaires, reduce the debt immediately (never mind that this produced a double dip recession in the UK) and defeat Obama, whatever it takes.  He accepted an endorsement from ALIPAK, an organization Senator McCain identified as having ties to anti-Semitic, white supremacy, and Neo-Nazi groups.

We only have to go back to 2010 to find the facts of Kelly’s “ultra-right wing” thinking. On Saturday, June 12, 2010, at 10 a.m., he held a $50 fundraiser where donors could fire a fully automatic M-16 assault weapon with Kelly. The event was booked to “get on target for victory” in November (2010), and help remove Gabriel Giffords from office.

 Kelly wants to eliminate Social Security; thinks people on Medicare are on the “public dole”, that Wall Street should have no restrictions, that corporate tax should be zero, and that too much government got us into this mess! Kelly, who believes in a 10% flat tax and a 23% national sales tax, says the middle-class is unproductive, takes advantage of the rich, and should not exist. He would eliminate the minimum wage, the Environmental Protection Agency, Dept. of Education, and Dept. of Energy.  He says oil is a renewable energy and that we are tied to Middle East oil because we elect too many liberals (President Reagan rejected President Carter’s plan for domestic energy and opted for Saudis’ oil).  Grover Norquist is waiting to sign Kelly to his pledge.

Ben Love, Oro Valley

Character does really count

Like Richard Brinkley, the author of a piece in The Explorer, I think that character does count. I was deeply disturbed when former Republican governor of South Carolina, Mark Sanford, traveled to Argentina for a tryst with his mistress. His five-day absence was disconcerting to his family and staff because they did not know his whereabouts.

The news that former U.S. Senator John Ensign, R-NV, had an extramarital affair with an aide was troubling enough. But, when it was disclosed that his parents cut a $96,000 check to the aide her husband, I was really disgusted. The Ensign scandal precipitated an ethics investigation by the FBI, the Federal Election Committee, and the U.S. Senate.

I agree with Mr. Brinkley’s statement that “character is essentially saying and doing the right thing.”

So, it is puzzling to me that he does not take issue with the statement he cited on Jesse Kelly’s website blaming the Obama administration for taking the country “to the brink of financial ruin with their reckless deficits and spending programs.” Doing the right thing would involve acknowledging that the actions of George W. Bush contributed the most to the nation’s deficits.  Massive tax cuts, launching two major wars, and enacting a drug benefit for Medicare were charged to the country’s credit card.

Mr. Brinkley states that Jesse Kelly “supports protecting Social Security.” This blanket statement does not square with Mr. Kelly’s previous statements such as referring to recipients of Social Security being on the “public dole” and saying that he wants to eliminate the program.

So, Jesse Kelly can make his public persona more palatable by filming ads with his grandfather and seeking the endorsement of some senior citizens from SaddleBrooke. However, for those of us who have been paying attention, Mr. Kelly is simply using the “Etch-a-Sketch” strategy defined by a Mitt Romney aide. All you have to do is mouth the right words in the present and hope that no one delves too far in the past. To me, not much character is involved in those tactics.


Joan McKitis, Oro Valley

OV police dept is fine

After reading Dana Whitson’s opinion concerning a management study of the Oro Valley Police Department in the May 2 Explorer,  I feel compelled to offer my opinion. In this era of very tight funds, I cannot understand the stated desire for the Council to fund a management study of the Oro Valley Police Department.

I have lived in Oro Valley for many years, some of those prior to annexation. In the early years, police service was provided very poorly by the Pima County Sheriff’s office. Since annexation, which occurred over 20 years ago in my area, my family has enjoyed exceptional service by an outstanding police department. Given our experiences, I don’t see the need to fund any study at this point. I can however, point to other Departments of the Towns operations much in need of such efficiency review.

In order to have a quality police department, we must compete with other communities for officers. The State Peace Officers Standards and Training Board justifiably demands exceptional standards for police officers before they can qualify for a position. That makes it expensive to compete for the short supply of qualified officers. If our Town is to have good officers, we must pay equivalent salaries to attract officers away from taking jobs in other higher paying communities. As a consequence, our police department is expensive to operate.

Our community public safety operations are requirements of the highest priority for funding. In austere times such as these, the Town Council must fund requirements first, just as my family does.  Law enforcement and fire are first priority and should be fully funded before other operational programs. I would guess that the proposed management study would cost around $100K.  I really don’t want the Town Council to squander that sum of money on a frivolous exercise without some justification other than a personal whim by some members of our community.

It appears to me calls for a management study of the police department are being generated from a political agenda and seeking Town funds to accomplish it.

Gerald L. Perry, Oro Valley

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