Dedicated to the citizens of Mason County, Washington since 1886

Letters to the Editor

What's next, auditor?

Editor, the Journal,

Regarding the so-called Mason County Voter Research Project, I find the idea that random "citizens" (do you provide the people whose doors you knock on documentation of your citizenship?) accosting folks in their homes to attempt to discover if they are lawful voters disingenuous and repugnant.

What's next? A Driver's Research Project stopping people at intersections demanding to see if they have valid driving licenses?

How about a Taxpayer Research Project to determine whether you are paying your fair share of taxes? Maybe I think your property looks a lot more valuable than the tax records say it's worth. Can I get a clipboard and a laminated badge and walk up to your door with the intent to grill you about your property value and tax history?

This effort is a divisive, and intrusive premise designed to disprove something we already know; voter fraud in America is insignificant by the numbers. Spreading doubt, making people insecure about elections is a tactic being used to further the stated agenda of lowering the number of voters - to the conservative advantage.

One might wonder if Mr. Steve Duenkel exploited this false fraudulent election narrative trumpeted by the Fox entertainment company? Fox's defense when confronted in a court of law with these false, but lucrative, allegations they broadcast into perpetuity is that they are not a news organization but entertainment. Their depositions prove presenters don't believe their own stories, but there's a lot of money to be made by fanning the flames such baseless allegations represent. I, for one, am not entertained by the lies, half-truths, or unsubstantiated conspiracy theories that comprise much of the content from billionaire Murdochs' little channel.

The person I am depending on to be sure our elections continue to be free and fair is Mr. Duenkel and only Mr. Duenkel. It is his job to be as competent as his predecessor. A job he went to great lengths, made many claims, cast many aspersions to wrest from a trusted official. It is Mr. Duenkel who must prove himself, not some self-appointed vigilante committee out looking for "discrepancies."

These allegations were looked into, by the way, and amounted to nothing significant, and mostly explainable incidents. Many just plain "wrong address" sort of discrepancies. The sort of mistakes even well-meaning amateurs make, to be generous.

Quoting the Bible does little to convince me of any investigative talent, or moral authority, for that matter. Hang it up. You got your new auditor, let's see how well and truly he can do the job. And, don't come to my house, you would not be welcome.

Constance Simpson, Shelton

Auditor concerns

Editor, the Journal,

Thank you for your response to my questions and concerns regarding the policies and procedures of your office. I had the apparently mistaken impression your office was providing voter information to the vigilante group Voter Research Project regarding so-called anomalous ballots.

I thought that would be improper. I still have concerns about what databases they are mining to identify anomalous voters and how their canvassing efforts as unofficial door-bellers can provide reliable information to you of potential voter fraud. Maybe Mr. Hill can provide that information.

I do believe, though, that your campaign pushed the false claim that our election system is burdened with error and subject to significant voter fraud. That claim is now emblematic of the Republican Party and though proven false in every instance, undermines the faith in free and fair elections, the cornerstone of our democracy.

I look forward to a report from you detailing the extent of the election fraud in Mason County uncovered by the Voter Research Project.

Remember as a candidate, Mr. Duenkel, you promised integrity and transparency. Promising something and not delivering, could be a definition of election fraud.

Craig Anderson, Shelton

Thank you, Scout

Editor, the Journal,

I have for all intents and purposes quit reading the letters to the editor, but a couple of weeks ago, as I started to turn the page, I spotted the heading "Scout behavior" and had to see what this was all about. I was not disappointed. One of our local Scouts went on to share both the Scout Oath and Scout Law. I would hope others consider the meaning and power of those words.

We have been fortunate to have had some pretty outstanding Boy Scouts, Scout leaders and scouting support organizations in our community through the years ... Dean Palmer, Carl Johnson, Dick Rust, Chuck Berets and Ron Pannell of the Kiwanis to name only a few. They would all be proud and cheering you on. It's nice to know you and your fellow Scouts are out there. Gives us hope for the future. Thank you KC Sandquist for sharing the oath and law.

Cheryl Stewart, Former Mason district chair, Tumwater Area Council BSA

Ask door-bellers

Editor, the Journal,

I would like to offer a public service announcement.

If any person comes to your door without invitation and asks for you by name, it is prudent and reasonable that such a visitor provide the same to you. The door-beller has your name and address. Get theirs. If the visitor asks a question about your personal, private activities such as anything at all to do with your political or ballot activities, for example, by all means require the same information about them for your records. Record the conversation on your cellphone or take notes. Be straightforward and polite and ask "What other information do you have about me on your clipboard, and what is your source for this information? This conversation goes no further without an answer." You can then decide to participate or not, as an informed resident. Remember, they came to you.

Arthur Rohlik, Shelton

Sticker shock

Editor, the Journal,

Mason County is double the rate of inflation.

I'm sure Mason County property owners received the sticker shock this week on their property tax bill. I have and was alarmed that Mason County is charging 16% more than last year.

Now let's compare that to the Consumer Price Index which showed 8% inflation in 2022. So why does Mason County have to charge double that? It is an easy answer. Governments have no incentive to be competitive because there is no competition. They don't plan on what they need, they plan on what they want and charge whatever they want.

This is not a small problem. Homeowners will see more of their hard-earned money going to Mason County and tenants will have to pay more rent to cover it.

Taxpayers should be outraged and vote every county commissioner, the assessor and treasurer out of office.You can't decide what taxes you pay, but you can decide on who sets the budget to waste your money.

David Cook, Olympia


Editor, the Journal,

So, you're at your computer, idly surfing the net and bored out of your socks, when pop! - big red letters appear spelling out, "Click here to see if you're secretly a sex-crazed pervert!" (An arrow points to a small X in the lower corner of the screen.)

Well, you know you're definitely not a sex-crazed pervert, but you decide to check it out anyway just to see what it takes, so ... click ... and an alluring, writhing, naked female appears.

Typically, as if on cue, this is where your spouse walks in, peers over your shoulder, and sees what you are seeing on the screen. No doubt a spirited conversation ensues.

You have just illustrated a relatively new phrase in our 21st-century American lexicon, and that is, "click bait." When this garbage appears on magazine covers or in TV ads, I call it "sucker bait," just more new-age methods of separating you from your money. Beware.

Let's see now, your spouse just took the car downtown to see a lawyer and file divorce papers, the kids are grown and have long ago flown the coop, and you're all alone. So, alas, back to the computer. Any news, perhaps?

East Palestine, Ohio, is slowly - I mean very slowly - recovering from the Feb. 3 train derailment and environmental disaster there. President Joe Biden elected not to visit the town or its residents and there is no word that he will in the future. Oh, he did manage to go to Ukraine and Poland, give a speech, dispense $500 billion (to Ukraine) and take part in some dynamite photo ops.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg went to East Palestine about three weeks after the derailment. He seemed unsettled by the barrage of reporters' questions, especially the ones about his being so tardy to the scene. One source said he was like "a fish out of water," which was probably appropriate considering where he was. Mayor Pete's presence, though, could be explained by Donald Trump's visit there the day before.

Enough with the damn computer. Your spouse should be back by now and remember, every lawyer in the world (including your spouse's) is likely to be in East Palestine today. Relax.

Except in the polluted creeks over there, I hear the fishing prospects for those lawyers is pretty good.

Robert E. Graham, Union

War with China

Editor, the Journal,

America is obsessed with the possibility of a war with China, or possibly China and Russia. I find this odd from a nation of people obsessed with self-destruction. While China is building its military, we cut ours. While China trains its military in strategic and tactical skills, we teach ours mandatory critical race theory and acceptance skills. While China enhances the math skills of their children, we concentrate on telling ours they don't have to be the gender they were born. How is it, we, as a nation, can be so concerned about being overtaken by another nation when we are willing to give up our nation from within? Where is American pride, and why is it wrong to have it? This nation was built through the blood, sweat and tears of oppressed people who left nations without the values and moral standards developed and emplaced here, nations with authoritarian rule, communist nations, socialist nations, nations without freedom of religion, nations with monarchal rule. Freedom was the cry. This nation has not been a perfect union, but the most perfect union to ever exist. We can dwell on its past and tear the nation and her people apart, or we can choose to stand together, move forward and continue to be the most powerful most perfect union. The choice is up to us, the people! If we are willing to give up our rights to an American government, what's the difference in giving it up to the Chinese? The Chinese don't respect religious rights, gay rights, weapon ownership, freedom of speech, freedom of education. They kill protesters in the streets where they stand. It sounds to me like we need to fix what we have and eliminate the Chinese threat. That takes each of us, united. Let's get this nation back on track before we lose her.

God bless you all and God bless America.

Andrea Shepherd, Shelton


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