Editor’s note: Today is the final publication for candidate endorsement letters for the Nov. 8 general election.
Reader tells why he’s backing Buchanan
To the Editor:
I want to share a personal story. I have a different perspective than a lot of people in Jackson County.
For many years I was an addict. I know the struggles of addiction and how much someone may want to get clean, but just can’t. I have been there. I was arrested many times and I remember being interviewed by Rick Buchanan very often. The one thing that sticks out in my mind is he always took the time to encourage me and offer help to me to stop using drugs. Rick was always compassionate even though he still had a job to do.
Rick understands the drug crisis in Jackson County and what must be done to fight this epidemic that has affected so many families. Rick Buchanan made a difference in my life and this is why he is my choice for sheriff.
Daniel Wallace, Sylva
Democracy is a fragile thing
To the Editor:
In his Oct. 6 Opinion piece, “You’re not entitled to your own set of facts,” Tom Campbell wonders where the voices of the silent majority are. I think I’ll toss my voice into the ring.
The far right wing of the Republican party has always had more than its share of delusional people: anti-vaxers, hollow-earthers, people who think the Apollo moon landings were faked and those poor souls who believed that the world would end on a particular date at a particular time and sold all their possessions in anticipation.
With the rise of the internet, these kindred spirits found a home. We now have people who believe that the Democrats are running a ring devoted to the kidnapping, sexual abuse and cannibalization of children. Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up. Now, exactly the same kind of delusional thinking has arrived in the form of the Big Lie; the idea that Donald Trump actually won the 2020 election and had it stolen from him by a vast conspiracy.
This is now mainstream Republican thought and is being used vigorously by almost all candidates. This is terrifying. If they do well in the coming election, Republicans will see this as a viable strategy and we will never again witness the smooth transition of power that this country has been proud of. Every result the Republicans don’t approve of (those they lose) will be litigated to death.
I think most people believe that our democracy is a strong one, buttressed by our Constitution and the division of powers between the legislative, executive and judicial branches. This is far from the truth. Our democracy is a fragile thing. It is supported by the good will of men and women who put their country above their politics. Well, we just lost half of them.
John McMacken, Cullowhee
Farmer is the right choice for sheriff
To the Editor:
My name is Chad Jones. I was born and raised in Jackson County and graduated from Victory Christian School in 1994. I’ve spent a great deal of my life away from my hometown, serving 10 years in the U.S. Marine Corps and then the following years spent in the oil and gas industry working all over the continental United States.
I’ve seen a lot of “change” in our home since permanently moving home in March 2019 and I’m sad to say a great deal of it isn’t good. We have drug dealers and slum lords running Jackson County. We have about 1 in every 32 school age children dealing with homelessness.
Break-ins and theft are at all time highs. It seems every week I hear of another overdose related death. Where does it end? When will we as a county and a people have had enough and make a stand against this nonsense?
Jackson County has serious problems, and those problems require serious leadership from our sheriff, not bought leadership.
Those problems require an experienced leader with a proven track record in law enforcment.
Those problems require Doug Farmer be elected as the next sheriff of Jackson County.
Make no mistake about this. The Jackson County sheriff election of 2022 is likely the most important local election of our lifetime, and it will directly affect every single household in Jackson County.
I encourage you to take the time to pray about your choice for sheriff and if the Lord so leads you to vote for Doug Farmer. Please get to the polls and cast your vote for Doug. The future of this county and her children depend on it.
Chad Jones, Canada
Al Platt will be terrific state representative for NC 119
To the Editor:
Al Platt will be a terrific N.C. 119 District representative. Al is an upstanding, respected and successful businessman, a family man and community advocate from Brevard.
If elected, Al will work hard to serve the needs of the people in Jackson, Transylvania and Swain counties. He will vote to expand Medicaid to help working families have healthcare while creating jobs and strengthening rural economies.
Al knows we don’t have a shortage of teachers, rather a shortage of people who are willing to be underpaid, overworked and disrespected. He knows how hard teachers work and how important they are to our children’s education.
He believes our climate is changing, that we still have a chance to change things and leave our planet better than we found it. Al believes our democracy is important!
Al’s opponent, incumbent Mike Clampitt, has proclaimed being a proud Oath Keeper for years. He only spoke out to say he didn’t condone the Oath Keeper participation in the Jan. 6, 2021 Insurrection after his name publicly appeared on a leaked Oath Keeper membership list in the fall of 2021. Clampitt is now saying he hasn’t been a dues-paying member of the group for several years. It seems to me being a member, at any point, of a group like the Oath Keepers that has consistently espoused extreme conspiratorial anti-government rhetoric since its founding should be disqualifying. Publicly distancing one’s self from the group only after a failed coup shouldn’t absolve them from the consequences of past membership.
Can we really trust Clampitt to uphold our fragile democracy? Vote for Democracy. Vote for Al Platt for NC House District 119.
Carolyn Cagle, Sylva
We can’t afford Scott’s proposal
To the Editor:
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida, chair of the Senate Republican Coordinating Committee who is responsible for electing Republican senators in 2022, came up with a Plan to Rescue America which seems to have a varying number of points. The presumption is that newly elected Republican senators will embrace and support his plan. His plan contains most of the MAGA talking points, a few I want to mention here.
On the one hand he wants to cut taxes on the people who are paying them, i.e. those making more than the standard deduction, which is a common Republican means to increase the debt. But his initial companion (since rescinded) proposal was to tax all those Americans making less than the standard deduction. That was somewhat watered down to encourage all Americans under 60 to work and pay taxes. Another one of his callous proposals is to put all laws on the chopping block every five years, including Social Security and Medicare, as a way to do away with them, another MAGA dream.
This would also put the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act and numerous other important statues at risk. In addition, he links conservative religious doctrine and science in a rather bizarre way. He would have children recite the Pledge of Allegiance, salute the flag, and learn that America is a great county, despite SCOTUS decisions that do not force these requirements. The Senator would eliminate diversity training and any recognition/acknowledgment of past wrongs based on race or other characteristics. All in all, a MAGA wish list.
I don’t know that Ted Budd has officially adopted or endorsed this plan, but the Senate Republican Coordinating Committee is expecting newly elected Republican senators to support it. We can’t afford this plan in North Carolina and the only way to stop it is to elect Cheri Beasley (D) as North Carolina’s next senator on Nov. 8.
Eric Myers, Sylva
Cheri Beasley is the better choice
To the Editor:
Along with voters of both political parties, I am concerned with the future of democracy and the form of government that has given the citizens of our country freedoms and rights that are protected by the United States Constitution.
Many times, these rights are challenged, and at times they become clarified or in some cases seemingly expanded or diminished. Most recently, many women, in particular, have questioned their equality under the laws since the SCOTUS decision overturning Roe v. Wade. This decision has added to the partisan fray that has been explosive, unyielding and downright destructive over the last few elections. It seems our U.S. Congress has been paralyzed in its lawmaking duties and problem-solving role while wrestling with partisan nonsense. No one benefits from this, other than perhaps, the participants in the fray.
We are facing yet another election cycle that seems to be nothing but a repeat of accusations of leaning too this way, or too that way, with the intent to scare a voter into voting with fear, rather than making a rational, thoughtful decision on how to cast their votes.
We should be looking at policy preferences, ability to perform the job, and most important the willingness to do a job for all of their constituents. The U.S. Senate seat is a good example of the candidates that offer choices of voting out of fear versus voting to choose a candidate that will provide thoughtful, balanced input to legislation.
Cheri Beasley is a former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice. Sitting on the bench forces an individual to balance facts and law and reach a conclusion that is fair and just.
Contrast this to her irresponsible opponent who skipped U.S. Congress floor votes to attend a CPAC convention. Additionally, Beasley’s opponent is a member of the Freedom Caucus. This a tip-off that a vote for that candidate will be a continuation of the shenanigans that have been ongoing since the early days of Mark Meadows. And we now know where that led us.
So, instead it seems like voting for a candidate that took an oath to justice and had to balance the interests of divergent points of view would give North Carolina a voice of wisdom that could represent us to accomplish the legislating that needs to get done.
Pam Krauss, Webster
Not about ‘niceness’ but about effectiveness
To the Editor:
If my nine years of service in the Army as an infantryman has taught me anything, it’s this: You don’t pick leaders because they are “nice guys.” As a team leader, squad leader, and interim platoon sergeant I was called many things. But rarely if ever a “nice guy,” though they knew I’d give them the shirt off my back or buy the baby formula and diapers when money was tight.
But not once, when the fight started, did my soldiers look to me for leadership because I was a nice guy. They looked to me because I was fair, I had a track record of performance, and I was in the mud with them every step of the way. This is why Doug Farmer has my vote my sheriff.
Throughout his time in law enforcement, Doug has been the primary officer in making hundreds of arrests and taken part in many more thorough investigations and other supports. With drug use and overdose, panhandling, property damage, and all sorts of other crime on the rise the choice is clear.
Rick Buchanan says he is willing to take part in a debate. It seems he has been given just about every reasonable accommodation to do so. Yet he still avoids the debate. On the other hand, Doug has been willing and ready to debate under almost any reasonable circumstance but just can’t find his opponent.
Doug also spent time in Iraq training their police. That is not something they let just anyone take part in. Time spent over there is no vacation, either. At an event a couple weeks ago, I spoke to a man who told me a story about when Doug arrested his friend many years ago for DUI and then helped him, as the passenger, get home. Times were different then. The same gentleman was arrested for a crime he didn’t commit but was released because Doug did a proper investigation showing they had the wrong guy. He was appreciative of Doug’s fairness and willingness to do the work. That could have been a life-altering event. These are just a couple of testaments to his fairness and willingness to do the dirty work.
When talking to people who aren’t aware of the issues, the main reason I hear they vote for someone is because they are a “nice guy” or a “sweet lady.” I haven’t met anyone who hasn’t said Rick or Doug aren’t nice people. But niceness shouldn’t earn you a vote. Performance should, experience should, and the willingness to do what is needed when others aren’t willing should earn that vote. That’s why I emphatically support Doug Farmer as the next Jackson County sheriff.
Edward Thurston, Whittier
Vote against election deniers, for democracy
To the Editor:
If Donald Trump is so smart, if he loves America as much as he claims, why did he not show us the “election flaws” in 2016? As you recall he won that hotly contested election. Yet, for the next three years he said and did nothing. He had the ideal position to analyze the process, identify flaws (and there are some) and recommend changes that would strengthen democracy.
Then as the 2020 election approached, he began his rant about the possibility of a rigged election, still with no suggestion of how to make it more secure. Does this sound patriotic to you? Is there any hint that Donald Trump was working for democracy?
Why no action to secure the election system in the face of an election which he lost massively? Here’s the simple yet dangerous truth: Donald Trump is the “hood ornament” of a national movement to re-write our Constitution in favor of the wealthiest individuals and businesses. There are various groups working relentlessly at this endeavor. They are right-leaning in political philosophy. Many at the worker level are your neighbors. Some know what the goal is. Others are merely loyal Republicans or independents who hope for the best for America.
Now, hope won’t save democracy. Americans need to study democracy and decide if they/we actually want to keep our form of government. If not, then vote however you want. If you do cherish democracy, then vote against election deniers. A big hint here – most of them are Republican. I doubt that there has ever been an election that was perfect. But near-perfect elections will uphold democracy. Merely harping about a few flaws is only meant to undermine the process.
Let’s identify the election deniers and vote against them. Vote for democracy!
Dave Waldrop, Webster
Says Buchanan has right leadership tools
To the Editor:
Rick Buchanan, candidate for Jackson County sheriff has served under four different sheriffs during his career. Through those years he has gained workable knowledge of all duties and obligations of the office of sheriff.
Rick has the leadership skills and the ability to work with the citizens of Jackson County to arrive at solutions to the problems we face. The office of sheriff is “of the people and for the people.” As our sheriff, Rick will humbly serve the people with integrity.
I am expressing my support for him as our next sheriff of Jackson County. Rick became a member of my department in 1991, and has dedicated himself to serve the citizens of Jackson County as a sworn office for 31 years.
I am asking you to vote for Rick Buchanan on Tuesday, Nov. 8, to ensure the people of Jackson County continue to have the best possible leadership in the office of sheriff.
Bob Allen, Sylva
Allen is a former Jackson County sheriff.