Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

County Clerk enforces voting laws without prejudice

I too have had my vote invalidated by our County Clerk, Tami Green. My response? Whoops, got to make sure my signature is consistent. Signatures being crazy seems to run in my family, but since that incident I have taken my responsibility as a voter more seriously and ensure that I am following proper voting procedure.

I have found Tami Green to be an excellent non-partisan county clerk who takes her job seriously and enforces our voting laws without prejudice. To see her attacked because of the petitioners own lack of foresight is appalling and shows their lack of character.

Loran Joseph

Baker City

Standing up for Loren Hughes, a good American

This is in response to Brian Addison's letter to the editor of June 1, 2012, in the Baker City Herald and his feeble attempt to discredit Mr. Loren Hughes of La Grande. Let's start by portraying Loren Hughes as the person he really is - an honorable veteran of World War II, a man who fought for our freedom, liberty and property rights; a community-minded man who has helped his community in many ways; a man who has worked tirelessly for a lot of years in an effort to protect our public lands. He has worked with the government agencies in charge of our public lands to ensure they are the good land stewards they are supposed to be, and not bend to private interest pressures.

I am very disappointed that people who have known Loren Hughes, worked on a lot of different issues with him and know him for the good American citizen that he is, have not come forward on his behalf.

You may not agree with Mr. Hughes on everything, but to allow these untrue, trashy statements about a good man who has served his country and contributed a great deal to his community to go unchallenged is just plain wrong.

Bob Kern

Baker City

Recall is an unnecessary cost to taxpayers

I see that the attempt to recall two Baker 5J school board members failed to obtain enough valid signatures. I'm relieved.

If you want to divide a community, have an unnecessary recall election.

If you want to ding your fellow taxpayers for $10,000, sign an unnecessary recall election petition. That's what it will cost School District 5J, according to Baker County Clerk Tami Green.

In recall elections, there is no free lunch.

Yet, when Chief Petitioner Kerry McQuisten showed up on my doorstep a couple of weeks ago, she told me that it would not cost the district anything, because there was a dedicated fund to cover the expense. If such a fund exists, where does she think the money comes from? Taxpayers!

Before McQuisten's petitions failed to qualify, she said that if the board members did not resign, the $10,000 expenditure could be laid at their feet.

I'd say McQuisten's got the cart before the horse. If McQuisten had not launched the unnecessary recall campaign and voters had not signed the petitions, that's when the taxpayers could have been spared paying the $10,000 expense.

It should be noted that McQuisten and those who signed her petitions are not required to pay any fee whatsoever.

If one is dissatisfied with the performance of public officials, there's an inexpensive and convenient way to get rid them: vote them out of office at the next election.

Gary Dielman

Baker City

We need a new approach to dealing with drugs

I would like to respond to Jerry Boyd's letter about why we shouldn't legalize drugs. The first thing that will become evident to him is the limitations of the daily presses. I'm sure he will like to respond but in two weeks nobody will remember what either of us were talking about.

Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result and that has been what we have been doing since Nixon started his war on drugs. As the drug series on the History Channels points out we haven't gotten anywhere on combating drugs, unless you think that having only 48 percent of junior high school kids having tried pot as opposed to 50 percent in the 70s progress. Anyone who wants drugs can get them. The statistics are out there. I wrote an article in the weeklies a while back about our drug problem, the U.S. having the highest incarceration rate in the world and how I thought the only thing I did over the last 30 years was to provide jobs for cops, prison guards, head shrinkers etc. Jasper Coombes answered with a good letter about just how many people we employ in the drug war.

But here is a new slant. Doing something different, maybe full legalization of all drugs, and a tax for rehab or something would avoid a coming civil war. I say that because of the leftwing push for gun control that is sure to end in some kind of bloody conflict should they get their way. The left hates gun violence but fail to make the connection between cartels and black-on-black inner city drug wars.

I think the last people you should allow to set drug policy is the police, just as you don't ask a general about invading a country to star a war. Yes, listen to their point of view but make policy after a wide-ranging debate. After society at large defines the bad guy then the cops and military can take them out but we need to chart a new course. Those that make their living in a situation will always advise the same course.

Steve Culley