Harris doesn’t belong in Congress
Regardless of whether Mark Harris knew about McCrae Dowless’ past and methods, Harris has demonstrated a large amount of naivetéand utter lack of judgment.
He believed Dowless because Dowless told him what he wanted to hear. He did not think it necessary to vet Dowless, and Harris disregarded his son who saw major red flags.
This lack of judgment is a serious problem for someone who considers himself able to govern. He doesn’t belong in Congress.
Lucinda Lucas, Charlotte
Don’t delay new election in the 9th
There is no excuse to delay months to hold a new election in the 9th District. Other countries hold elections in weeks, not months. Give potential candidates one week to file. Hold the primary four weeks later. Hold the general election six weeks later. Seat the winner immediately after.
Ninth District citizens deserve a representative now, not in six or nine months.
Jack Trlica, Charlotte
John Harris showed guts, integrity
I’m a registered Democrat. I applaud John Harris for his open and bold testimony before the State Board of Elections.
It took guts and integrity to do what he did, given the circumstances.
Guts and integrity, among other decencies, have been in short supply in politics for a long time. John proved there are still some decent people. However, it’s unfortunate there are so few of them in government at every level of elected office in our country.
Mack McRae, Charlotte
Tax hike for arts? Voters be wary
In response to “A tax hike for the arts? There’s one big glitch” (Feb. 17 Editorial):
The writer is a John Locke Foundation senior fellow.
The Observer editorial board is right to feel queasy about giving county commissioners a new slush fund with tens of millions from a proposed quarter-cent sales tax for the arts, but they underestimate how large the slush fund could be.
Regardless of promises made by county commissioners to use the $50 million for arts and affordable housing or anything else, their promises could quickly expire.
Voters in Buncombe County learned the hard way. In 2011, Buncombe voters narrowly approved a sales tax increase on the promise that funds would be spent on capital needs at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Instead, since 2013, Buncombe commissioners have siphoned more than $15 million (20 percent of tax receipts) into the county’s general fund.
Mecklenburg County voters should be spared the same fate.
Joseph Coletti, Raleigh
Change the way US elects its president
The current way we elect the president is broken. Someone can get more votes nationwide and still not become president. Please support legislation to guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the entire United States.
Risa Patterson, Raleigh
A misleading picture on socialism
In response to “The downside of Sanders, socialism” (Feb. 22 Forum):
Forum writer Jim Cherry wants to define socialism as Marxism.
Some of the countries with the highest standards of living in the world – Germany, Scandinavian countries, Canada – have democratic socialist policies in place. Higher tax rates are offset by low health care costs and access to quality education for all.
By definition, socialism looks out for the common good of the people. We have it here in public education and public services and benefits shared by all.
Using Venezuela as a model of socialism is misleading. Starting with poorly implemented populist policies under Chavez, Venezuela has evolved into a dictatorship under Maduro where looking out for the common good went out the window years ago.
Melissa Lamprich, Tega Cay
An alternative on defense spending
We spend over $700 billion on “defense” every year, much of it on research and development. Why not spend some of these resources on renewable energy and improving U.S. energy infrastructure?
Controlling oil production and distribution has driven most of our actions in the Middle East. Redirecting resources to solve renewable development and improve the inefficient U.S. infrastructure would reduce the pressure for the U.S. to control Middle East oil.
It would also shift the attention from invading the Middle East, creating refugees/jihadists.
We constantly challenge the smartest among us with “DARPA-hard” problems that seem unsolvable. Why not apply some of these resources where they can help humanity?
Don Schonder, Charlotte