Not voting for John Smith

Dear Editor,

In the 7th Legislative District state senate race I will be voting for Brian Dansel. I had no trouble eliminating John Smith from any consideration for my vote. Here’s why:

I, along with a group of area school directors and district superintendents, met with Smith during our associations’ statewide annual meeting with legislators. Virtually all of us were stunned by Smith’s arrogance and dismissive style. To begin with, he rudely monopolized our limited time with stories of being personally harmed by public schools and then he strongly implied that his positions on our issues were already established. When we could finally get a word in edgewise, he didn’t even attempt to address the concerns that we travelled all the way to Olympia to discuss. Instead, he simply stood there with an arrogant smile on his face until our meeting time ran out.

I’ve been meeting with 7th District legislators on public education issues for nearly two decades. We have often disagreed, but I have never been summarily dismissed without any explanations until now. It is my belief that legislators who avoid honest, two-way communication with their constituents don’t deserve anyone’s vote, and Smith won’t get mine.

Finally, Mr. Smith avoided answering questions regarding an article that appeared in the July 14th edition of Spokane’s Spokesman-Review newspaper concerning controversial Wikipedia comments that appeared to have been made by him. The comments involved the church in which he was raised, a church that espouses racist beliefs. He stated that he couldn’t remember posting the comments but later that same day some of them were suspiciously removed. Coincidental? Voters need to question whether Smith has ever fully rejected the bigoted beliefs he was raised on. We don’t need that mindset “representing” us in Olympia.

Dansel is a good choice, Smith an unacceptable one.

Andy James

Colville, Washington