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Letters 10-29-14

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Stakes too high

    When I was on line for our last election, two women behind me were talking. One said, “Who are we even voting for?” Her friend answered, “Oh, I don’t know - I just always vote for the Republican!” The stakes are too high for us to have this view.
    Robert Hurt goes along with the party of “no” even when it hurts his constituents. He voted against the Affordable Care Act, trying to stop millions of Americans from getting healthcare. As a breast cancer survivor, thanks to the ACA our insurance company is prohibited from dropping my coverage for my now preexisting condition, and it paid over $36,000 for my diagnosis, surgery, radiation, and follow-up care. If you are uninsured, do you have $36,000 in the bank to pay for medical bills? Hurt doesn’t care, he isn’t worried about you.
    He voted to close down our government, costing us greater than $28 billion, according to economists. Hurt doesn’t mind wasting your money. He voted no on a bill that would keep oil from the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States. Hurt isn’t concerned about your gas prices.
    Our area needs so many things – quality, affordable Internet service for our kids, factories to return to the 5th district for good-paying jobs, solar panels to reduce our use of polluting coal - yet Hurt keeps pandering to the billionaires. I’m voting for Lawrence Gaughan, who’s not working for billionaires, but is focused on the citizens right here in our district.

Phyllis Avolio Behrer
Moneta

Warner voted for job killing Obama Care

    Our small business has 3 employees and we have provided them with health insurance for some time. We recently received notice from our insurer that our rates would be going up 68 percent to meet the mandates required by the Affordable Care Act, aka ObamaCare.
    That’s a laugh!
    Why in the world do they think a single 58 year old man requires maternity coverage is beyond me. The arrogance and ignorance of these socialist central planners is absolutely astounding! If the government was running a shoe store it would only have one style, color and size.
    Health insurance is becoming as much as the paycheck. The results of this is one layoff and consideration of more part time work. How’s that for job growth? Obama is hurting the people he’s purporting to save. 
    Senator Warner voted for this monstrosity and just like Obama, lied when he said he wouldn’t support a plan that didn’t allow you to keep your insurance if you liked it. He also voted against a national right to work law which would have stopped unions from pulling money out of your paycheck if you didn’t want them to, just to keep your job.
    This administration’s EPA is trying to control all the land near any water source through an expanded interpretation of the Clean Water Act that Congress didn’t intend. The House has passed a bill to stop them but Democrat Harry Reid won’t allow the Senate to vote on the bill.
    Every time Warner runs for office he plays up his bipartisan moderate stance. Well I look at how he votes not how he talks and he is an antibusiness big government liberal by that analysis. I’m voting for Gillespie to try to stop this big government that is strangling the economy with mandates and regulations. I hope you do too. 

Don Gardner DVM
Huddleston

Wrong assertions

    Some assert that the Sheriff has a free hand in receiving money and spending it as he sees fit. Wrong,
    My wife contacted the county and was referred to the Sheriff’s budget and to certain action items that all have to be approved by the Board of Supervisors. Secondly, the funding that the Sheriff brings into his office is mainly spent in the county in the form of salaries and vendors that are located in Bedford County. Thirdly, the Sheriff’s salary is set and paid by the State of Virginia’s Compensation Board, as are his deputies I believe. So I don’t think he is having to augment his wages with money from these other sources.
    Lastly, the Sheriff’s budget and that of Blue Ridge Thunder are reviewed by officials outside of the Sheriff’s office.

William ‘Billy’ Hastings
Stewartsville

Warner, Obama connected

    “I am not on the ballot this election but my policies are,” so spoke Obama recently.
    As one of Obama’s fervent supporters [voting 97% for these policies] you can see the connection between Mark Warner and Obama’s policies. As senator, Warner has not represented Virginia [his job] but Obama and his party. In fact he has defied Virginia.
    Rather than resigning honorably after personally disagreeing with Virginia’s vote banning gay marriage he defends his actions to overturn a democratic vote. Finding himself in the middle of Obama’s cesspool of corruption in DC why has he not spoken out publicly as senators should? The answer: no integrity. Do we want a yes-man to the political left loonies or a real Senator of Virginia?

Boyd W. Hubbard
Bedford
Supports Gillespie

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
    Mark Warner continually attempts to fool Virginia voters by claiming to be something that he is not. Shame on him.
    He tells us he is bi-partisan and that he works hard across the aisle because he is open-minded to all opinions. Yet, his voting record proves otherwise. During 2014, he has voted to support President Obama 100% of the time; during the past years his voting record is 97% to support Obama.
    One of the most important traits of a true leader is credibility; credibility is something that once you lose it, you cannot get it back. Mark Warner has lost all credibility during his tenure as Senator thus it is time for him to go.
    Please join me in voting Ed Gillespie for Senator; he is a man with credibility and will do what is best for Virginia.

Gary Reynolds
Forest

Supports
candidates for council

    I attended the Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce’s Town Council Candidate Forum on October 21. 
    It was reassuring to see a good number of interested citizens there and encouraging to hear the views of the nine candidates. I did leave with a strong, clear idea of the four (of six) candidates for two year terms for which I will vote on November 4. 
    The four new faces – Beckham Stanley, Tim Black, Walt King and Bruce Johannessen all seemed to me to be motivated, well informed, articulate and primed to begin working for the good of our town. 
    I will not get to vote for our next Mayor.  That task will fall to the newly elected council members.  But I hope our next mayor will be one who holds Bedford in high esteem, is proud to live here and will be able to display a positive, cooperative energy toward solving our problems and moving us forward.  I think that man is Jim Vest.

Mike Rieley
Bedford

Endorses Stanley, Johannessen

    Too many folks focus on the dozen or so empty storefronts downtown as a proof of Centertown’s demise.   In reality, lots of great things are happening and there are many reasons to hope for a new renaissance in downtown Bedford.  Thanks to some energetic entrepreneurs we now have food, art, music, small scale industry and apartment living that can rival any location in Virginia.  Add to these new trends, core shopping venues, local theater and symphony, artisan trail. history and natural beauty all come together to create wonderful opportunities for growth. 
    Unfortunately, apart from some really positive energy from the county’s economic development office, there has been a real lack of leadership and imagination from Bedford Main Street, area tourism, the Chamber of Commerce and the town administration and town council. Good things are happening in town despite this lack of leadership.   I can only imagine the possibilities if we could get both the public and private sectors working together for change.
    Two candidates for town council have emerged for me as key to a new kind of public private partnership that can further spur the town’s growth.  Beck Stanley has raised the bar in term of both the quality of his campaign and his outreach to listen to the various constituent groups he seeks to serve.
     Bruce Johannessen offers proven leadership in both economic development and local arts and culture growth.  In my estimation, both these candidates would serve our community well by bringing a new collaborative spirit to town leadership.
 
Patrick Ellis
Bedford
Supports Johannessen

    We are fortunate to have a number of highly qualified candidates for Town Council, and it is encouraging that so many good people are willing to step up to serve our community. 
    I have known Bruce Johannessen for many years, long before he moved to Bedford 15 years ago.  His record of service to the community is extensive. 
    He served on the Bedford Joint Economic Development Committee for four years, three of them as chairman.  He has served on the City (now Town) of Bedford Planning Commission since 2010.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Library, holds elective office in the Elks, and works tirelessly for the Bower Center for the Arts.  He has worked for the Virginia Employment Commission for 43 years. 
    Much of his work has been done quietly in the background, without much publicity.  This record, however, tells only part of the story.  In all my dealings with him over the years, Bruce has proven to be a fair-minded individual, willing to listen to all sides of an issue before making up his mind. 
    While his record demonstrates that he works effectively with others, he is an independent thinker who considers the facts before reaching a conclusion, and is not afraid to  defend his positions, even if they do not seem to be popular.  Even if he and I reach different conclusions, I have always respected the manner in which he formed his opinion.  That said, he recognizes that compromise may often be necessary in the process of governing. 
    Because of his judgment, character, and experience, I think Bruce Johannessen will be a real asset to Town Council, and I am happy to support him for that position.

Richard M. Thomas
Bedford