Letters to the Editor

Election letters (web only): Nov. 3

Lexington Herald-Leader

Stuart for District 2

Abraham Lincoln said, "If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem."

That rings true for the 2nd District. We're represented by one whose ethics are repeatedly called into question and who has fractured the community through missteps. It's time for the honest change Michael Stuart will give us.

Lexington attracts global attention through business, faith, tourism, education and the arts. With Stuart, the district will get someone we can be proud of as the world looks on. He's a strong advocate for residents and businesses, with hard work done with thoughtful assertiveness, transparency and trustworthiness.

Stuart's business acumen is invaluable — his focus is on improving quality of life through job programs, a safety plan and educational opportunities. He will build and maintain strong relationships in the government and community.

Invest in the future by casting a vote for Michael Stuart.

Paula Fischer


Bledsoe a leader

It is my honor to recommend Amanda Mays Bledsoe as the 10th District council member. She and I have served on non-profit boards together.

Bledsoe has strong leadership skills, which enable her to bring people together to accomplish common goals. We are neighbors, and we run together, take our children to the park together and talk about the future of Lexington.

She has a heart for the people of Lexington and the ability to get positive results impacting our community. I encourage my neighbors in the 10th District to vote for Bledsoe on Tuesday.

Nancy Boatman


Larson for at-large

Jon Larson, candidate for council at-large, knows how hard it is to be a single parent.

Twenty-three years ago, he decided to raise a child unrelated to him, while practicing criminal defense. The father was in prison, and the mother had psychiatric and addiction issues. Larson took the mother into his home, without government assistance, and was present in the delivery room when her daughter was born. He loved and provided for Sara as his own. When the mother became abusive and moved out when Sara was 11, he took full custody as one of Kentucky's first de facto custodians.

The mother died when Sara was 17. Today, Sara lives with Jon and his wife, Sari, She has completed her education and has a young son of her own.

Larson's experiences as Fayette County's judge-executive, as well as his experience budgeting as a single parent, qualify him to be elected.

Gale Hopkins


Sheriff's office works

As a team member of the Office of Sheriff, I can attest to the fact that the office and the Fayette District Courthouse is open 24/7. This has always been the case.

I am proud to be a member of a team of men and women of character and integrity whom along with our sheriff, are well trained and committed to service.

Melony Cox


Kay for equality

Steve Kay has earned another term on our city council because he hears and values the wide diversity of our city.

I've worked on LGBT issues in Lexington for years, and I am confident that he believes in full equality for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

He worked collaboratively with other council members to ensure the recent expansion of domestic-partner benefits for city workers. I know that he will continue to lead in the same way on other fairness issues as we continue to build a diverse, inclusive community.

If you support that sort of fair and equal city, I hope you'll join me in supporting Kay.

David Cupps


Boyd for judge

I support Traci Boyd for family court judge. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her through several community groups and believe she is crucial to the families who appear in family court.

I have observed her passion for expanding mental-health services to low-income families, her commitment to advocating for individuals with disabilities and her dedication to preventing domestic violence.

She is a fellow member of the Lexington Rotary Club and has worked with me on a variety of projects to better our great city.

Lexington needs a judge who can exercise sound judgment and utilize the problem-solving skills necessary to resolve considerable issues concerning families in crisis. Boyd has spent her entire career working in Kentucky's family court system. I know of no one more experienced, more qualified, more caring or competent.

Jeanne W. Clark


Compassion doubtful

Why are Mitch McConnell and Andy Barr running ads designed to show how compassionate they are? Did they run out of attack ads, or is this to avoid defending their records?

Compassionate people care about families who now have health care for the first time. McConnell vows to get rid of the Affordable Care Act.

Compassionate people know poor families rely on food stamps. Barr called his vote to cut food stamps "compassionate" because it would force people to go to work.

Compassionate people know raising the minimum wage could lift families out of poverty. Both argue that jobs would be lost. Is that what happened in the 21 states with minimum wages above the federal level?

We're glad McConnell helped Noelle Hunter get her daughter back. What are his plans for helping Kentuckians? We're glad Barr helped his sister and made his mom proud, but he didn't make Kentuckians proud when he voted to shut down the government.

Shirley Baechtold


We need Grimes

We need Alison Lundergan Grimes in the U.S. Senate. She wants to solve problems. She would not pass the buck as Mitch McConnell does, blaming President Barack Obama while blocking solutions.

Grimes would be accountable to ordinary people — she has over 112,000 of them as donors. McConnell is accountable only to the super-wealthy.

Grimes would create jobs. She has a jobs plan that's detailed and realistic.

Grimes would eliminate tax breaks for companies shipping jobs overseas and offer tax incentives for small businesses here.

Grimes would support raising the minimum wage and equal pay for women. She would reduce the crushing burden of student debt.

Grimes would take a balanced approach to coal, securing jobs while protecting the environment. She has received the United Mine Workers' endorsement.

Grimes would maintain health care for the 500,000 Kentuckians who have gotten it through the Affordable Care Act.

It is time to retire McConnell.

Col Owens

Fort Michell

Vote for health care

Your vote will have overwhelming effects on your family's health care. Vote for those who will do their best to ensure your family will have the health-care coverage they need.

Last month, the Government Accountability Office revealed that HealthCare.gov has security risks that could compromise personal information and privacy. This summer, a hacker was successful in uploading malicious software to HealthCare.gov and the breach went undetected for more than a month.

How did the current senator vote a year ago on the law?

Instead of reducing costs by an average of $2,500 per family annually, as President Barack Obama repeatedly promised, premiums have risen. More than 30 million Americans are still without health coverage.

Again, how did the current senator vote on the Affordable Care Act?

Health care run by a government bureaucracy or you? Which do you think a new senator would support?

Russell Carr


What $100,000 buys

"Something's Rising; Appalachians Fighting Mountaintop Removal," included interviews with people speaking out about the devastation of strip mining.

Jack Spadaro, who worked for the Department of Natural Resources, the Office of Surface of Mining, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration, was on the team studying the 2000 collapse of the coal slurry impoundment pond in Martin County operated by Massey Energy.

He states: "While they were being investigated, Massey Energy made a contribution of $100,000 to Mitch McConnell, who was the head of the National Republican Senatorial [Campaign] Committee. And of course, Mitch McConnell is very chummy with Don Blankenship, the head of Massey Energy, and McConnell is married to Elaine Chao, who's secretary of Labor, who has jurisdiction over the Mine Safety and Health Administration."

Hours after the Bush inauguration in 2001, the head of the team was fired. The report was "scrubbed," and Spadaro refused to sign it.

McConnell has been for coal companies, not for miners.

Neil Eklund


McConnell no match

At least five United States senators from Kentucky have served over 20 years — Henry Clay, Alben Barkley, John Sherman Cooper, Wendell Ford and now Mitch McConnell.

In determining whether McConnell should represent Kentucky for another six years, voters should ask: "Is he the same caliber as Clay, Barkley, Cooper and Ford?"

Clay is responsible for the compromises of 1820 and 1850. Barkley became majority leader and led the Senate when it passed Social Security and TVA legislation. Cooper became a respected leader on foreign relations and cosponsored landmark legislation regarding presidential power.

Ford as chair of the Commerce subcommittee on aviation was responsible for investments in our airports and was cosponsor of legislation that expanded voter registration.

The most significant bill sponsored by McConnell is the 2007 legislation which removed warrant requirements for National Security Agency surveillance targets.

Will another six years of McConnell benefit Kentucky and America?

Paul L. Whalen

Fort Thomas

Bledsoe experienced

I am proud to support Amanda Mays Bledsoe, a candidate for the council's 10th District seat. I have known her for more than 10 years, and she is one of the smartest and most dedicated people I know.

Bledsoe is a woman of integrity, who knows the value of hard work. She understands the issues that affect families and individuals in our city and really cares about others. As a graduate of the University of Kentucky's Patterson School, she is also knowledgeable about public policy and government and will put her years of education and experience to work for real people like you and me.

She will be an elected official who sees public service as a calling, not a path to power, privilege or partisanship. If you live in the 10th District, please give her your vote. More information about her stands on the issues is available at http://www.amandaforlex.com/.

Trudi Matthews


Alvarado dedicated

As a pillar of our community (and the 2014 Winchester Sun Physician of the Year) for more than 15 years, Dr. Ralph Alvarado has shown dedication to his patients and to our community.

He came to Winchester with plans to create an all-inclusive health-care facility, saving patients time and money by offering a physician, lab and imaging in one location.

Recent developments in health care have shown him to be a man ahead of his time. Although some of his ideas were met with opposition, Alvarado persisted; putting the needs of his patients above the objections of naysayers.

His attention to patients led to advancements in the quality of health care in Winchester, and his dedication will certainly carry over to the state Senate.

Our family has been honored to be on the receiving end of his capable care and are confident in his ability to help lead our state.

Thelma Thomas, Sharon McCord, Cathy Cobb, David Cobb and Matthew Cobb


GOP aids the rich

A woman featured in a recent article showed a curious trait about Republicans. She was working such a small job that Obamacare had given her medical care for the first time. Yet she is going to vote Republican because her parents had done so.

How ungrateful can Republicans be?

Republicans care for the rich of society who make money for themselves and create jobs overseas. Obama Democrats are bringing jobs back to America, providing health care and working to prevent climate change.

If you care about your Social Security, Medicare or democratic society, you will vote Democratic. If you vote the other way, you will end up with the rich owning you, your guns and GMO food while they have all the good food and money and control the police. Be discerning when you vote.

Keith Williams


Leadership change

How many of the following do you believe needs improved leadership and more effective management by the federal government?

1. Ebola response

2. Economic expansion and job creation, especially coal

3. Immigration and U.S. border control

4. ISIS response

5. Fast and Furious gun scandal

6. Benghazi tragedy

7. Veterans Administration scandal

8. IRS scandal

9. Compliance with the U.S. Constitution.

10. Loss of health-care control to Obamacare.

If you believe the leadership and management of those issues could be improved, you can make an impact by giving Republicans an opportunity to make changes and return us to our basic values.

Mitch McConnell could lead the Senate out of this quagmire.

Neita Falkner