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Defending lobbyists

WILLARD JENKINS

WATERLOO — The Courier’s Sept. 8 editorial on lobbyists prompted this letter. There is more to the statehouse lobby story than how much money is spent.

Lobbyists provide information to legislators. Iowa has 150 legislators, and they tackle more than 2,000 bills every session. It is impossible for legislators to have the knowledge breadth needed to accurately develop and vote on so many bills. They need information.

Community colleges spent the most. Their lobbyist’s role is to inform the legislators on programs, offerings and discuss improvements in seeking the legislators’ support. How else would the legislator get this information?

Yes, the pharmaceutical industry spends a lot. But, if law changes are needed to support new and beneficial drugs, the legislative channel to learn is through a lobbyist.

A new legislator quickly learns which lobbyist to trust, and the few he can’t. On major issues, the legislator obtains information on both sides. If the legislator makes a mistake, that mistake belongs to him or her, not the lobbyist.

Yes, money is spent on lobbyists, but I think the Iowa lobby is a very solid and useful part of good legislation. Most lobbyists live in Iowa and they, too, want good government.

Consider the source

DAVE SMITH

WATERLOO — “Consider the source.” That is a question my wife and I have been asking. When one hears a comment or a media report it is wise to consider the source. Unfortunately many in the mainstream media use data from the Southern Poverty Law Center. It has become widely known the SPLC knows no poverty ($100 million-plus in assets) and does not know law.

The SPLC has become a discredited, left-wing political activist organization that seeks to silence its political opponents with a “hate group” label of its own invention. Rhetoric from the SPLC is being used far and wide. This is part of a well-thought-out strategy by the left to ultimately silence conservatives in the market place of ideas. Their goal is to crush groups on the right.

How’s that for tolerance? How well are we doing at considering the source?

Ash trees

RON MILLER

WATERLOO — I read an article (Aug. 30) written by Tim Jamison about people in the Prospect Boulevard area in the west side of Waterloo attaching yellow ribbons around ash trees and asking for donations to help replace the trees. First of all, have these trees been checked to see if they are infected with the ash bore? Then I suggest you ask for donations to treat these trees.

We have five ash trees and have treated them every two years; this year it cost a little more than $1,000 for all five trees, and we’re told there was no ash bore activity.

Please consider treating all ash trees in Waterloo/Cedar Falls; it will not only save money but preserve beautiful trees that most of us will never live long enough to see replacements grow as big.

Hearing aid legislation

DEAN PEDERSEN

CEDAR FALLS — As a member of the Iowa AARP Executive Council I would like to take this opportunity to thank Sen. Charles Grassley for his support of over-the-counter hearing aid legislation.

While AARP does not politically endorse any party, it is important AARP acknowledge when our representatives work to pass policies that improve the lives of our 370,000 AARP members in Iowa and across the country. This legislation will allow the FDA to identify hearing aids that can be sold over the counter. This will help lower the cost of hearing aids for all Iowans.

Again, thank you Senator Grassley for your support.

Anti Trump

GARY DUNEMAN

WAVERLY — I would agree the news occasionally attacks Trump for unimportant items, as Dennis Clayson indicated (Sept. 10). However, that should not detract from the numerous deficiencies Trump has as a human being and as a president. In a previous letter I indicated the media and public should be unrelenting in observing what Trump is doing in the office of which he is supremely unqualified and dangerous. He is deficient in the emotional and ethical development required to understand the needs of anyone but himself. His campaign and subsequent oratory is a ruse to get people to support him. He uses people for his benefit. Even prior to his election the judicial system found him guilty of numerous violations of the law.

Look what has happened since his inauguration, and it is only beginning. In case you did not read my first letter I need to be sure you completely understand how strongly I feel about a man who is a pathological liar, an extreme narcissist, a criminal, emotionally immature, unworthy to hold the office the presidency, deficient of the education and wisdom to make decisions required of his office and morally bankrupt. This is why people object to Trump.

Traffic cameras

MATT VAN EE

WATERLOO — After learning of the opinion expressed by a Hudson resident regarding Waterloo’s decision to move forward with a three-year trial run with red light cameras at dangerous intersections, I feel compelled to respond.

I and others I have spoken to — from Waterloo and surrounding communities — are hopeful these cameras will have the same effect they have had in other towns around the country, reduced collisions and fewer fatalities on our roads without effecting commerce.

I’m pleased to see parents whose teen drivers receive a red light camera citation will be able to assign the violation to their teen driver rather than have to foot the bill themselves as the owner of the car. If fear of getting a ticket is what makes someone stop at a red light, making a driver safer, then so be it.

If you have not been in an accident or had a close call because someone else ran a red light, then consider yourself lucky. Putting this proactive safety measure in place is the right thing to do. Thank you to city council members for listening to Waterloo residents and doing something to help keep our driving public a bit safer.

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