Letters to the editor for Thursday, April 9, 2015

Change must come to our political system

I often justified current bad behavior by citing past bad behavior — when I was 10 years old. Both political parties have been guilty of obstruction. Thank goodness the filibuster disappeared. The tactic by Reid is to not allow any discussion or vote, although he was not elected by national popular vote but instead by a narrow margin of well-organized union voters from a state ranked 36th in population. Reid disliked obstruction, yet he practiced it with impunity.

Change won’t happen by justifying current bad behavior by past bad behavior. I choose to focus on the present and anticipate a future where we have term limits, open discussion, and actual up/down votes.

I respectfully disagree that voting on issues is ever “a waste of time.” Should discussion and votes actually occur, maybe the low 50 percent number of registered voters casting votes would increase to the 60 percent voting in 1968.

Remember the voting age was lowered to 18 years in 1971, thus increasing the number of eligible voters, yet that did not increase the percent who vote. Thank you, Marty, for the exchange of ideas. Perhaps this debate will energize an apathetic citizen who has lost faith in our political system.

Gretchen Godfrey

Carson City

Logan Act won’t be enforced

Recently a couple of readers of the Appeal sent in letters castigating Sen. Dean Heller’s signing of the Senate Open Letter to the leadership of Iran. Comments made were that it was “shameful,” “nearly treasonous,” and “uncalled for.” There was reference to the Logan Act (named after Dr. George Logan who traveled to France in 1798 to try and prevent war between our two countries, and, in fact, the war was averted).

The Logan Act has never been enforced since its enactment. It is hardly likely that any senator will be charged because of the constitutional “speech and debate clause,” which exempts members of Congress from arrest or prosecution for acts done in their official capacity. Heck, a member of the Senate can slander you from the floor of the Senate, as Sen. Reid did to Mitt Romney prior to the last presidential election by saying he had not paid his taxes and was a tax cheat. No evidence presented and no apology offered when it became clear that the statement by Sen. Reid was a lie.

Sen. Heller nor any of the other 46 who signed the letter are guilty of any misdeed. I would suggest that those bashing Sen. Heller brush up on the United States Constitution regarding treaties. It is a pity that many of those on the left lack that understanding.

David Knighton

Carson City


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