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The Readers' Forum: Dems not responsible for delayed school projects

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Quick to blame

The Oct. 8 letter “Democratic policies” blames the delay of three local school projects (“Three school projects delayed,” Sept. 28) on “the policies of the Democrats we’ve put in power.”

Projects around the world have been delayed. These must be some powerful policies.

Conservatives are always quick to blame Democrats whenever things go wrong, despite Republican responsibility for the Great Recession of 2008 when George W. Bush was president and the millions of jobs that were lost when former President Trump failed to handle COVID and its accompanying economic challenges.

It’s a very narrow and flawed way of looking at the world and it will lead to more misery.

Don Hubbard

Winston-Salem

Republican fealty

I was watching the debate in Ohio between Rep. Tim Ryan and candidate J.D. Vance to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman. Ryan referred to former President Trump’s statement, on stage, about Vance kissing his ass — crude, but nothing new.

Ryan claimed it should have been seen as humiliating. He knows no one who would have put up with being treated that way.

Vance claimed it was just a joke, which everyone present understood.

I honestly don’t know which is true, even after watching it on tape. But I would not put up with anyone even joking about me in such a demeaning manner. And considering Trump’s practice of humiliating his political allies, I wouldn’t be surprised if that were his intent.

Trump’s recent racist attack against former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao should have been condemned by Republican senators, along with his violent rhetoric aimed at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. None of that was a joke. But Republican voters will punish representatives who stand up to Trump or call him out. They will only support candidates who happily accept being humiliated by Trump. Trump has become their god.

The real God is not likely to be pleased by that development.

William Lowe

Winston-Salem

A fossil-fuel fleet

I was surprised to learn from John Deem’s Oct. 17 article (“Plan to buy standard patrol cars draws critics”) that the same Winston-Salem City Council that adopted a broad-based sustainability resolution two years ago was still in the market for an all fossil-fuel police fleet. Large and small police departments in North Carolina and across the country have started the transition to electric vehicles despite supply-chain issues (which we’ve known about for 2½ years now, so can we stop using that as an excuse for bad public planning?). So why hasn’t Winston-Salem taken a first step? Was there really no room in a nearly $1.7 million purchase to try out a couple of EVs and see where there are issues to resolve?

We might never know the answer. This proposed purchase came from the city manager’s office (with no input requested from the sustainability commission), and first became public when it was included as a consent agenda item (meaning no debate planned) for an Oct. 10 finance committee meeting at which there was no opportunity for public comment. After some questions by council member John Larson, the proposal passed unanimously and was referred to the full City Council for a vote on Oct. 17, initially also on the consent agenda.

The public was only allowed to comment after the vote.

Does this sound like good governance and management? Does our City Council even want our input? Maybe you need to call your council member and find out.

Matthew Mayers

Winston-Salem

Rogue’s gallery

Alex Jones is a nutjob. His insistence that the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax led to innocent people — already suffering the deaths of their children being murdered — being harassed and threatened by strangers. The nearly $1 billion fine for his lie is too low.

Trump lackeys Steve Bannon, Roger Stone, Michael Cohen, Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort have all been convicted of crimes, some of which former President Trump pardoned.

Come on; who is friends with that many criminals?

Incidentally, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County at-large school board candidate Sarah Absher boasts that Flynn has endorsed her. Flynn has embraced the QAnon conspiracy and the Jan. 6 insurrection. His endorsement alone should sink her.

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene is a white supremacist who doesn’t care about anyone’s rights if they’re not Christian and Republican.

Tucker Carlson is a white supremacist who peddles the racist “Great Replacement” theory nightly.

Gov. Ron DeSantis lied to vulnerable refugees and misappropriated government funds to ship them off to another state, for which he’s now facing criminal charges. But, hey, it’s OK to break the law to shove it to those libs and immigrants.

This rogue’s gallery is like something out of Dick Tracy. But it’s what passes for Republican leadership these days.

These extremists and their friends will be running the country after November — if the rest of us don’t vote for Democrats.

Mark Lawson

Winston-Salem

Get things done

I am writing this letter to support Dan Besse for the at-large seat on the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners. Dan served on the Winston-Salem City Council for 19 years, representing the Southwest Ward. During that time, he demonstrated a commitment to both the residents of the city, as well as those living in Forsyth County. His rationale for becoming a county commissioner is to further the work of serving all of Forsyth County. Prior to his work with the City Council, he was a member of the Environmental Management Commission and the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission. He is also an attorney, where he devoted his time to the legal aid system.

His goals included improvement in the education system, assuring adequate funding to not only improve performance but to attract and retain great teachers. He has pledged to tackle the problem of affordable housing, particularly for working families, by partnering with local cities and investors to develop affordable housing.

His top priorities include increasing accountability of county government for all residents regardless of where they live, along with improvements in safety programs and health services for all residents. He is a champion of strong communities. He regularly goes into the community to hear what folks are concerned about throughout the year, not just during election season.

I strongly support Dan Besse for at-large commissioner as a man who will get things done. He says what he will do and does what he says.

Brenda Ross

Winston-Salem

Baffling

“Donald Trump’s private company arranged for the Secret Service to pay for rooms at his properties in excess of government-approved rates at least 40 times during his presidency, including two charges for more than $1,100 per night, according to documents released Monday by a congressional committee” (“Committee: Trump room bills ‘exorbitant,’” Oct. 19).

That’s taxpayer money that former President Trump moved into his own coffers. He could have allowed the Secret Service to stay in his own properties for free. It’s something a patriot might do.

Another instance of “America First” actually meaning “Trump First.”

It’s so baffling that people are still buying what this con man is selling. I guess they’re desperate to prove something.

Peter Ziskin

Winston-Salem

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