Letters to the Editor

Letters: Sept. 27, 2019

Trump’s Ukraine ask: Is it crime?

Now here’s a sanitized headline: “Trump asked Ukraine’s leader for Biden inquiry” (9/21/19, TCH). A few of us out here might prefer, “Trump asked Ukraine for dirt on Biden in attempt to secure win in upcoming 2020 election.

Nothing like a presidential candidate and president asking a foreign power to undermine USA’s democratic process: First gassing for Russia’s help in the 2016 election and now for the 2020 election. Seems the Republican just can’t win honestly without having to cheat.

Lastly I have to ask: Is this a crime?

Bink Owen, Walla Walla

Time to dose GOP with antibiotics

Republicans are the Glenn Beck-ish foretellers of doom should America succumb to the socialists’ siren call. They are fond of conflating socialism with the failures of socialist states, like corruption-plagued Venezuela, prone to confuse socialism with communism and to then segue seamlessly into “godlessness.”

Meanwhile, Republicans are remarkably silent on the fate of Americans victimized by the very real machinations of unfettered capitalism. The rogues’ gallery of corporate malfeasance is far too long to even list, let alone describe here, but consider just the latest scandal.

The drug industry, an industry many naively think of as bound by the Hippocratic oath (encapsulated in the phrase, “First do no harm,”) instead operates according to the capitalist oath, first make as big a profit as possible. Their incentive is to sell pills, not to save lives, but to increase revenues, and when one is concerned about health outcomes, that’s what’s termed a “perverse incentive” — one that’s caused over 70,000 opioid deaths in America.

Perverse incentives infect heath care in America, which delivers the least effective, most expensive care among the world’s developed nations. Attacking this infection is what Republicans call, “socialism!” Well, it may be time for a dose of antibiotics.

Richard Badalamente, Kennewick

Pacheco election ad raises concern

Ed Pacheco’s primary election ad stated, “Some of the changes I would like to see done are allowing the majority of all contracts awarded by the city to be first offered to local contractors,… the city will donate annual money to Kennewick charities….”

In my opinion, those statements raise concerns. The contracting process for public entities involves competitive bidding. The city shouldn’t “offer” local contractors a project that excludes others. Local contractors already enjoy some built-in advantages such as lower mobilization costs and less need to pay workers per diem. If there is a “rating bonus” or being local, make that clear in the bid documents and state the bonus “value.” Thus, out-of-town contractors can make an informed decision on whether to bid.

Charities certainly serve an important community role. However, the distribution of tax dollars shouldn’t include payment to an organization just because it does good works. There may be a process by which the city might award a contract to a charity or nonprofit for a specific, defined service (e.g. soup kitchen, after-school program, etc.). But, it’s not okay to donate city funds to a charity “just because” they serve a worthy cause.

Donna Parkes, Kennewick

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