Low-quality job, if no wage law
Sen. Mitch McConnell's badly informed call for the repeal of the federal Davis-Bacon Act in order to pay for projects such as the Brent Spence Bridge in Covington is a ploy to shore up support for his re-election. This absurdity is compounded by the fact that Kentucky has its own prevailing-wage law, demonstrating just how far out of step McConnell is.
McConnell believes wages of $15.35 an hour — what some workers on the Spence bridge are paid — are simply too high. That's roughly $24,000 a year.
In the absence of prevailing-wage laws, contractors do not compete on the basis of who can best train, equip and manage a crew.
Instead, they compete on the basis of who can find the cheapest workers. This puts the quality of construction and, in many cases, taxpayer investments at risk.
Numerous studies show that, in areas where prevailing-wage laws are repealed, substantial cost overruns become the norm.
State Director, Kentucky State Building & Construction Trades Council
Horse capital, step up
As a Kentuckian, I am proud of Rep. Ed Whitfield for his leadership in sponsoring the Prevent All Soring Tactics (PAST) Act.
It will strengthen penalties to end the corrupt industry self-enforcement scheme of cruel and illegal horse soring.
But I'm saddened that Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul chose to support the bill that would preserve the cruel devices used in the soring process, and protect perpetrators from stronger penalties.
Rather than joining Whitfield in updating the federal law to protect horses from shocking abuse and protect the horse industry from the stigma of soring, they're standing with the criminal element of the industry that wants to keep breaking the law and getting away with it.
The American Horse Council, Kentucky-based United States Equestrian Federation and numerous other horse industry and breed organizations have endorsed the PAST Act to protect horse welfare and the horse show industry.
I urge readers to contact their legislators and insist that they co-sponsor the PAST Act and reject any sham bill meant to distract from a real solution.
The horse capital of the world should take a stand to protect our noble companions from torture done in the name of entertainment.
Invest in our youth
I see that the American taxpayers, are building 77 youth outreach centers spending $25 million in El Salvador and $18.5 million in Honduras.
The larger country gets the same number of centers at a lower cost. Guatemala gets its share for $40 million, also to curb gang violence but no centers? It's a different approach, I suppose.
In my southern travels I haven't noticed much gang activity there. I guess it's my age and I need to travel with eyes wide open? I'm very much aware of such here in the U.S., especially in large cities like Los Angeles and Chicago.
I'd be far more excited to see a comprehensive approach to undocumented immigration that included a logical foreign worker program and something for the 11 million to 12 million undocumented already here.
While in the mood to build youth centers, my home county of Menifee lacks a youth center, so put our name in the hat, too.
We don't have a gang problem, but the idea has merit. I think. After many years of working with kids of all ages, troubled and not, there's nothing like good and wholesome activities to keep a kid out of trouble.
Michael A. Tyree
Expand citizen rights
The conservative mantra that federal government is the problem and not the solution is wrong. Without it, we'd devolve into 50 bickering fiefdoms and essentially disappear.
The federal government has to be big to be effective, but representatives need to understand that and work to make it operate efficiently, not purposely try to tear it down.
We're willing to elect anarchists to run our democracy, then wonder why it stalls. Voters are the problem. We need to know our history and stop pretending our forefathers were like conservatives of today.
If they had not been bold and brash progressive thinkers and doers, this nation would never have been born.
Let's return to the spirit of American patriots and expand the rights of all citizens instead of working to diminish them.
The federal government is the only way to provide guidelines to the nation and to provide general welfare of all.
We need representatives who respect governance and who are more interested in crafting policies with opponents than denigrating them.
If we demand these kinds of candidates, they will emerge. We need to stop reacting to personality propaganda and demand a government through which we can care for one another.
Joseph P. Fox