Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor | Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018

Considerations for a moral decision

Should a Catholic vote for a politician who is in favor of abortion? Catholics should be guided by a conscience formed by Catholic moral teaching. Catholics should be against abortion, but when they go to the polls there are other life-related issues to consider. Pope Francis is very clear on this: “We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods. This is not possible.”

As you vote, ask yourself: What is the candidate going to do to protect the environment, immigrants, refugees, the elderly, the disabled? Does he or she support policies that lessen hunger and homelessness, improve education and healthcare, strengthen the economy and increase wages? Is he/she representing the interests of everyone, especially the poor, or does he/she care more about the rich and powerful?

Being pro-life means protecting all life not just being against abortion. I hope Catholics and people of good faith will not be fooled by politicians who say they are against abortion not because they care about children, but only because they want their votes. Vote according to your conscience, not your party.

Father Misael Avila,


Catholics must not vote for evil

No Catholic can vote for a candidate who supports an intrinsically evil act. Such acts include abortion, euthanasia or assisted suicide. To be faithful to Catholic teaching and not sin, one must vote for candidates who do not support these actions. There are other issues the church says we must support such as assisting the poor, parental rights, assisting immigrants, etc. But none of these justify support for a candidate who supports intrinsic evil.

What if their are no candidates who support church teaching? Then the voter would have to choose the one who most supports the teachings of the church. Catholics are permitted to vote for the lesser of two evils, even if the candidate who supports church teaching but would never be elected. This applies to candidates running even in local races. Do your homework, find out where the candidates stand.

Dan Costello, Oakdale

Vote for a new balance of power

In a few days we will be voting in the most important mid-term election in the history of the USA. Donald Trump is in control of all three branches of government. He is destroying the Justice Department and the free press. Republican leaders are derelict in their responsibilities to protect the Constitution. Trump has transformed the Republican Party into the Nationalist Party of bigotry, hate, lies, racism and disregard for the rule of law. If he is not stopped, the USA will become a dictatorship.

Since the true Republican Party no longer exists, we must bring back the balance of power by voting out the GOP. Vote for Democrats to provide a check on the executive branch. When we save our Democracy, we can then work on restoring the Republican Party. Ignorance is detrimental to your health and prosperity.

Stephen Cestaro, Escalon

On Medicare? Don’t vote for Denham

If you are counting on Medicare to cover your healthcare costs, think twice before voting for Jeff Denham. Republican bills and budgets threaten to increase health insurance costs for seniors.

This year, Republican congressional leaders proposed $537 billion in cuts to Medicare over the next decade. To save money, they will increase the age of eligibility, extending the time seniors spend on private plans. They would provide vouchers to seniors to enroll in private plans. That’s odd because Medicare beneficiaries are more satisfied with their plans than those in private plans. Republican legislation would increase the costs of private plans for seniors, too. Last year’s House bill allowed insurance companies to increase the insurance rates for those over 50. AARP estimated that will increase seniors’ premiums $3,000. Yet Jeff Denham voted yes for that bill.

Josh Harder will work to reduce wasteful spending, not increase costs to his constituents.

Anna Roberts, Modesto

Vote for those who will confront NRA

Another mass murder with an assault rifle Saturday morning. Eleven innocent people killed by a deranged gunman. How many more of these tragic crimes have to be committed before we enact a change.

Too many politicians are accepting enormous sums for their campaigns from the NRA, ensuring that anyone can purchase one of these killing machines. According to the Center of Responsive Politics, $5.9 million went to Republican candidates in the 2016 election cycle. Jeff Denham is endorsed by the NRA and got $12,000; he will not stand up to the NRA.

When I was teaching in the public schools we had fire drills. Now school have active-shooter drills. We do not value the lives of our children as we should. How would it affect you if one or more of your children died at the hands of a mentally ill individual with an assault rifle? Start voting for people who will enact common-sense gun laws.

Thomas Tyler, Modesto

We must restore balance in capital

The occupier of the White House has sown seeds of discord through tweets and rage-raising rallies which recently reaped a harvest of hate at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and pipe bombs targeting those who invoked presidential venom. Almost daily Trump demonstrates he does not comprehend the Constitution he has sworn to uphold, claiming he has the power to overturn the 14th Amendment, wrenching citizenship away from Americans in selected groups he abhors.

Unfortunately, we have lost the equilibrium of the balance of powers envisioned by the founders. This Congress rarely stand up to his worst instincts and he has tipped the balance of power in the Supreme Court.

I would have supported Josh Harder for District 10 because he is the superior candidate, but I am now inspired not just to vote but to work tirelessly to elect him because of the clear and present danger Trump represents to American democracy.

Pat Egenberger, Modesto

Denham sends our water to Westlands

Re “Trump signs Denham’s water projects bill” (Page 1A, Oct. 24): The Bee featured a picture of Jeff Denham with Donald Trump, Mike Pence and others at a signing ceremony for America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 – one of a series of photo-ops Denham has recently staged with Trump functionaries as he finds himself in a tough race against a smarter, stronger, better-educated rival.

This act would be more accurately called “The Surrender of Our NorCal Water Act.” Denham portrays himself as an advocate for local water, but he continues to push shipping our water to the south San Joaquin Valley agri-business interests he really represents, such as Westlands Water District. He pretends he is securing local water, but he’s actually paving the way to send our water south, bypassing the Delta and making up the difference with water from the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers.

Denham is aligned with David Valadao, Devin Nunes and his good friend Kevin McCarthy of Kern County, who will demand Denham’s cooperation in the water grab. A Kern water commisioner told me a year ago: “We will get your water; it’s just a matter of time.” Wait til you’re out before you start lobbying, Jeff!

Jim Autry, Modesto

Withrow clearly the best choice

Terry Withrow is the right choice for Stanislaus Supervisor. He has a servant’s heart and cares about making things better. I have seen it first-hand. I hope people do a little research and make their decision based on facts, not sound bites. There is a reason that four of Tony Madrigal’s fellow city council members have endorsed Terry Withrow. It’s not hard to figure out that there are some serious issues there. Make the smart choice, re-elect Terry.

Todd Heinrich, Modesto

Scott: Visionary, humble, dedicated

I first met Scott Kuykendall while working at the Stanislaus County Office of Education seven years ago. Since then, I have found Scott to be a calming and humble presence in a complex organization. Working at the county office requires tireless planning, endless flexibility and deep reasoning skills. Scott has demonstrated these skills in every project he has overseen. He is always honest and leads by empowering those around him. He sees areas where student needs are not being met and is a visionary in creating programs to fill the voids.

Rest assured, Scott is the right person for Superintendent of SCOE. His leadership means success for all of us.

Lisa Stegall Dokoozlian, Ripon

Change overdue in DA’s office

I voted by mail, and selected John R. Mayne for DA. I know almost nothing about him. I do know that under Birgit Fladager’s watch, the DA’s office has not brought the accused murderer of Dr. Amanda Crews and family to trial in over three years.

George Kilian, La Grange

Gas tax doesn’t help me or Valley

The gas tax is a tax on those of us who need vehicles in our work here in the Central Valley being assessed by the coastal electorate who is not affected by higher gas costs (other than the cost of everything trucked to them). It seems directed against service workers they employ but who can’t afford to live in their communities. Tell me why I should vote for or against a tax that was enacted by the state legislature? As a supporter of representative government, I am seeing a bias against my interests.

Paul Fogarty, Oakdale

The problem is wages, not housing

There is definitely a housing problem in California, but Prop 10 is not the answer. The problem is that wages have not kept up with the cost of living over the past 40 years. I propose the minimum wage be automatically adjusted every year like social security.

Charles Simmons, Turlock