Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Opinion

Voice of the People 03/08/18

Harless qualifed

Relevant experience matters. Sarah Harless, running for Eau Claire County Circuit Court judge, Branch 5, has that relevant experience.

It seems all candidates for office like to talk about their “experience.” Voters should always determine exactly what experience is really important. Sarah is the president of the Eau Claire Bar Association and has practiced alongside most local attorneys across the Chippewa Valley, having earned their respect. She is the only candidate with more than a decade of in-court law and trial experience, which informs her depth of understanding of those standing before her.

Having a working knowledge of criminal law and procedure is critical to presiding fairly and conducting an efficient courtroom. Gender matters. Our society should have a strong interest in having a judiciary that reflects the American population; in Wisconsin, nearly 50 percent of its citizens are female but only 21 percent of circuit court judges. Currently, we have five male judges in Eau Claire County.

The public and the litigants have interests in having a diverse judiciary — diverse in professional background, in life experience, and in ethnicity and gender. Women bring a unique voice to all of their positions in our communities, and it is essential that we have these voices included on our judiciary.

In addition, given that I am a criminal justice reform advocate and someone who provides programming inside of the jail and supports the reentry of formerly incarcerated people, it is important to me that we elect a judge who is committed to participating in our treatment courts and to expand their use as alternatives to incarceration. Sarah has demonstrated this commitment.

Experience matters, gender matters, commitment to incarceration alternatives matters. On April 3, vote Harless for Eau Claire County judge, Branch 5.

SUSAN WOLFGRAM

Eau Claire

Obstructionist?

A recent letter writer talked about painful obstructionism. I was wondering if he was confused on presidents. President Obama nominated a qualified man to the Supreme Court, but the GOP-controlled Senate refused to give the candidate a hearing. Obstructionism? Many of Obama’s proposals after the 2010 election were never considered. Obstructionism?

The Democrats have offered little in obstruction since little has been proposed that was not done under the budget reconciliation rules. In all of the big bills done this way, open committee meetings were not typically held. Obstructionism?

When President Trump is called misogynist, sexist, Islamaphobic, xenophobic, dangerous, fearmonger, divisive, unprincipled, hateful, shameful, liar, crazy, mentally ill and racist, people are just observing the truth, not offering obstructionism. I wonder how painful it is for the nearly 20 women who have been sexually accosted by him. I wonder how painful it is for President Obama due to Trump’s birther work. Trump has awakened the undercurrent of racism and refuses to see the pain he has caused.

K. FRED RIST

Alma


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