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Letters to the Editor February 18

February 17, 2016

Fear tactics, again

Déjà vu all over again. Another economic development story, another “say no” crusade armed with fear, armageddon, and end-of-the-world health impacts.

SCRAM’s founder(s) and followers did not have the community’s support when they tried to stop the Dollar General in Eldred, NY, lost their effort by a wide margin to get liberal lion Glenn Pontier elected to the town board, lost the effort to have Pontier appointed to the board, and now are taking their idle hands to the battle against the gas compressor station that is proposed for the Town of Highland.

I reject the outrageous fear tactics being used once again, and I am very proud of the good old-fashioned American ingenuity that has freed us from the shackles and humiliation of begging for oil and gas from the rest of the world.

Considering the typical American uses 50 times more energy than the average person living elsewhere in the world, I think we can deal with some of the infrastructure consequences of such a rarefied existence.

Chuck Petersheim
Eldred, NY

An opportunity to break the big money cycle

With primary season beginning to ratchet up, I think Americans should realize that we finally have someone seeking the presidential office who is actually willing to level the political and economic playing fields for all: Bernie Sanders.

Most Republicans and Hillary Clinton have no problem accepting SuperPac money, which is funded by special interest groups and wealthy donors. Bernie is the only one who does not have a SuperPac. As of October 2015, 77% of Sanders’ contributions had come from small donors (donations under $200), averaging $27 per person. In comparison, only 17% of the $115 million Hillary raised had come from small donors, and she has numerous SuperPacs.

Clinton is following in the footsteps of President Obama, who accepted $16.6 million from Wall Street and the big banks for his 2008 campaign. Employees of Goldman Sachs were his leading source of campaign donations. So, where did many of the key government economic posts come from in his administration? You guessed it, five out of six treasury secretary appointments came from Wall Street, and it became a revolving door for many other top appointments.

The 2008 Great Recession was brought on by the criminal acts of Wall Street and the big banks that were subsequently bailed out by the American taxpayers. We must ask: did Obama’s financial ties prevent him from holding them responsible and pursuing criminal charges?