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Readers continue to chime in on election, plus write in on other topics

Readers continue to chime in on election, plus write in on other topics

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Vote Libertarian this year

On Tuesday, Nov. 6 the citizens of Iowa will head to the polls to exercise their sacred right to vote. Throughout this nation’s history a million brave Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice to secure this right.

Justice Louis Brandeis, arguably one of the most brilliant jurists to sit on the Supreme Court, wrote that “Those who won our independence ... valued Liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed Liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of Liberty” and that “the most important political office is that of the private Citizen.”

I congratulate all the candidates who have exercised the moral courage to run for public office. This is the third time I’ve run for the U.S. House of Representatives and can attest to the challenges faced by candidates, especially those not with the Democratic and Republican parties. Iowa has not had another political party maintain ballot access for over a hundred years. As a proud and happy member of the Libertarian Party of Iowa we hope to make history next week. Our candidate for governor is Jake Porter, a business consultant from Council Bluffs.

Jake has run an efficient and extraordinary campaign despite the odds against him and our party. He was uninvited from one debate and excluded from all other debates. Yet he endeavored to persevere with the help of Libertarians and others across the Hawkeye State. In order to maintain our major party status Mr. Porter must receive at least 2 percent of the vote.

We hope you will consider casting a ballot for Jake Porter for governor and for the other Libertarian candidates this year. There is ample room for more voices and more choices in the democratic process of self-government. More citizens should participate in the civil conversation and exercise all of the rights enumerated in our Constitution. That is the surest way to secure the blessings of liberty to us and our posterity and to forever remain the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Bryan Holder, Libertarian candidate for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, Council Bluffs


McConkey has earned right to another term

For the last four years Charlie McConkey has admirably served as our elected representative in Iowa House District 15. Charlie has often reached out to me on behalf of a resident of Council Bluffs because he knew that they needed help. He doesn’t ask these residents where they live or their affiliation with a particular political party, rather Charlie simply asks them how he can help.

When the State Legislature is in session Charlie consults with many local community partners instead of relying on the directives of political leadership in Des Moines. He regularly calls me to give updates on pending legislation that he believes could have a residual impact on Council Bluffs. He genuinely listens to my feedback before determining what legislative decision will produce the best course of action for those Council Bluffs’ voters that he represents. Let me be clear that Charlie and I don’t always agree on every topic but I always know that Charlie McConkey cared enough to take time to make a phone call and seek my input. Charlie listens because he genuinely cares about Council Bluffs. I am a true believer that we should elect the best available political representative based on their individual capability and not vote for someone solely on their chosen political party. Why fix what isn’t broken? In my humble opinion Charlie McConkey has earned the right to continue to represent Council Bluffs in the Iowa Legislature.

Matt Walsh, Council Bluffs


Mary Ann Hanusa is a passionate and committed public servant on mental health care

I am the mother of a young man with a mental health diagnosis, I serve on Iowa’s Mental Health Planning Council and on the board of NAMI Southwest Iowa. I have worked with Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa to advance ideas and legislation for the treatment and care of Iowans who struggle with mental health issues.

Mary Ann listens, she cares and she wants to find solutions that help individuals and their families. Her commitment to make meaningful changes to better the mental health system in Iowa goes beyond just listening. She has been willing to introduce legislation and has supported bills that are truly making a difference.

Understanding the issues surrounding mental health care is not an easy task. I appreciate her willingness to learn about the many complex issues regarding mental health care and her passion which allows for “outside the box thinking.” I have seen her passion and commitment in the many discussions we have had over past few years.

Mary Ann is a passionate and committed public servant who should return to the Iowa legislature and I look forward to working with her in the future.

Anna Killpack, Neola


Research candidates’ stances on health care before voting

In the lead up to Election Day this year, I’ve heard Republican candidates suggest that state high-risk pools would be a good replacement for the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurers be required to cover individuals that have a pre-existing condition. This is NOT a good idea. Here’s why:

1) Iowa high-risk pools covered only a limited number of pre-existing diagnoses. If your pre-existing condition excluded you from commercial coverage but did not qualify you for the high-risk pool, you were out of luck.

2) Those persons with a pre-existing condition that were allowed into the state’s high-risk pool were denied treatment for their condition for the first six months of coverage. Many of the patients with these diagnoses are not in a financial position to pay out-of-pocket for the services they need.

3) The high-risk pool carried a lifetime maximum. Many of the conditions, if properly treated, could exceed this lifetime maximum, thereby forcing those who need treatment to go bankrupt or go without care.

4) Premiums are set by the state at 175 percent of the average commercial premium for individual coverage. This clearly makes coverage unaffordable for many. The premiums range in 2017 from $189/month for a 17 year-old male who does not use tobacco and elects the plan with a $10,000 deductible to $2,229/month for a 65 year-old male who uses tobacco and elects the plan with a $1,000 deductible.

5) Premiums for females were uniformly higher than those for males through the age of 59. This is clearly discrimination on the basis of sex.

As you are considering who to vote for this year, I hope you will investigate where candidates stand on this issue and if they will really take action to protect our care.

Judith Stark, Clive


Cindy Axne the right choice for 3rd District

Congressman David Young has consistently voted to repeal federal law which prohibits health insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. Cindy Axne supports requiring health insurers to cover pre-existing conditions.

Mr. Young’s unwavering support for our current president has helped bring on tariff wars which have contributed to falling prices for corn, soybeans and other agricultural products. Cindy Axne will support family farms, not just with words, but with actions.

Speaking of family farms, Mr. Young continues to spread misstatements about Cindy Axne and estate taxes. Mr. Young claims estate taxes are threatening to cause a loss of family farms. Neil Harl, a noted economist from Iowa State University, researched a period of 35 years and couldn’t find one family farm lost to estate taxes. Mr. Harl has generously called the assertion “a myth.” The main reason for there being no loss of family farms would seem to be that the federal exemption for estate taxes has been at least $5 million dollars since 2010.

It is troubling to watch Mr. Young support a tax cut which overwhelming benefits the wealthy while increasing the national debt. The yearly national debt has increased by over 25 percent in the last year. Mr. Young has no qualms about dumping this debt on the young as long as his wealthy donors are taken care of now.

Unfortunately, Mr. Young seems to have lost his voice when it comes to representing the people of southwest Iowa. Fortunately for him, when Cindy Axne is elected if there is a medical solution to his pre-existing voice problem it will be covered by his new employer’s health insurance policy.

The choice this year is easy-Cindy Axne for Congress.

Ed Noethe, Council Bluffs


Hanusa has earned another two years working for us

I am supporting Rep. Mary Ann Hanusa for state representative in House District 16, because she has shown leadership, integrity and credibility on our behalf in Des Moines.

Mary Ann listens to her constituents, and advocates for individuals and organizations who need help to solve problems. She works together with people of different views and parties to find solutions, and has served our community well.

Mary Ann will continue to serve Council Bluffs with honor. Please join me in voting for Mary Ann Hanusa for state representative.

Kathy Peterson, Council Bluffs


David Young works for people of his district

There are so many negative ads against Rep. David Young that it makes me wonder just how desperate the Democrats are to get his seat in Congress.

The people in District 3 know David Young as their congressman that visits each county in his district every year and sometimes even twice. He will have a town hall meeting or just a cup of coffee at any of the local restaurants in his district to talk with his people to see what they need. Please don’t believe those negative ads and vote for David Young on Nov. 6.

Donna Pritchard, Council Bluffs

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