Letters to the Editor: March 1

March 1, 2013 

Restore military voting provisions and pass SB 1

Our state Senate should reconsider its recent decision to strip Senate Bill 1 of provisions that would ensure military votes are counted.

As a Marine Corps veteran who served two tours in Vietnam, and the proud father of a son in the U.S. Air Force who has served in Afghanistan and is currently stationed in Italy, I know from experience how unreliable and slow overseas mail can be.

As it was originally filed, SB 1 would greatly improve military and overseas voting by allowing ballots to be returned by electronic transmission and by creating a two-day extension for ballots to be received.

The testimony in favor of the original bill given at the Feb. 21 Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs was compelling, while evidence against was outdated and weak.

According to media reports, Senate President Robert Stivers conferred with Sen. Mitch McConnell before these key provisions were taken out of the bill.

We owe our military men and women better. We cannot stand idly by while some elected officials choose to play games.

My son lives and serves by the Air Force core values of "Integrity First," "Service Before Self" and "Excellence in All We Do." He and all our military personnel have the right to utilize all the available modern technology to have their votes count.

It is my fervent hope the General Assembly will demonstrate courage and show Stivers and McConnell that the rest of Kentucky stands with the military. Pass SB 1 as it was originally filed.

Don Butler

Bowling Green

Fighting 'ghosts'

The Democrats identify a taxing and spending problem by Kentucky's special districts, so what do Auditor Adam Edelen and House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, do?

They recommend more spending to oversee them; to grow state government.

The Herald-Leader endorses that nutty idea because it likes Democrats, but this should not be partisan. Elected officials have to take responsibility for taxes, not a database.

Shame on you for going along with this baloney. The taxpayers need to know this is nothing but a scam. Fiscal court members need to approve special district budgets and tax rates, otherwise "ghost government" problems will never go away.

Sue Ann Ritchko


Disdain for U.S. laws

Public servants Robert Damron, Jared Carpenter and their legislative buddies have proposed making it a law that the "Commonwealth of Kentucky does not recognize federal statutes, regulations, and other actions" that might seek to limit the numbers of deaths from firearms each year.

It is disturbing that our elected officials in Frankfort would be urging citizens to disrespect a federal law before learning what it might be. There are, of course, expensive and often wasteful ways of challenging acts of Congress, though that demands a very thoughtful approach.

Should this proposed bill become Kentucky law, it will be struck down by the same legal structure for which Damron and the other sponsors have such disdain.

What is the point of this political stunt? In light of the 15,000 gun deaths each year, there is significant support from many everyday citizens for reasonable limitations on firearms.

What is it about Damron, Carpenter and their cohorts that has them display such disdain for our country, our Constitution, our laws and our free election system?

The vast majority of law enforcement officers have deep concerns about the widespread availability of guns.

Are we going to ask our law enforcement to disobey the law of the land while long legal processes are in place?

Why not wait to see what Congress does before starting to grandstand as a political ploy?

What are these presumably good people trying to teach children and young people about the law?

Thomas M. Dicken


DNA bill illegal

I am 110 percent opposed to Kentucky House Bill 89, which would allow police to collect DNA samples from suspects arrested for felony crimes.

First of all, such a law fundamentally violates (or would violate) a person's constitutional rights. The Fourth Amendment states that a person is secure against unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fifth amendment states that a person is not required to testify against oneself.

HB 89 was thought up by the likes of your Ray Larsons, Jack Conways and police chiefs who are too stupid and lazy to solve crimes the proper way. With that in mind, they have to threaten and intimidate to get their evil ways.

Lastly, HB 89 is illegal because there is no oversight of the police or prosecutors and what they would really do with all the DNA they collect.

I always thought that a person is innocent until proven guilty.

John T. Jurgensen


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