Last chance to make political statement

June 2, 2014 

Costa fought for truckers

As CEO of a trucking company based in the Valley, I know all too well how misguided regulations coming out of Washington hamstring our economy and make it harder for truckers to do their jobs. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when some in our nation’s capital wanted to impose an expensive new bonding requirement that would have increased shipping costs on family trucking businesses like mine. Luckily, we had a champion in Congress – Rep. Jim Costa. He spoke out against this proposal from the beginning and fought to make sure it wasn’t included in the new highway bill passed this year. The best part? He won, and so did every business like mine. Two thumbs up to Congressman Costa.

Bud Wallace, Planada

CEO Wallace Transport

Crass served nation; should serve us

Today, we get to exercise one of our freedoms as American citizens – voting. Too few of us put as much stock in that freedom as we should. So, my first plea is to vote! You can’t make a difference without heading to the polls. Second, consider your choices; understand the issues and candidates. For Congress, I think it’s time for change. Jim Costa has been in office since the Carter administration. He is a career politician. We need a fresh voice from the Valley. That voice should be Steve Crass. Steve has the strongest background of any of candidate in the race. He grew up in Merced, graduated from law school, but rather than cashing in with a lucrative law firm, he chose to serve our country as a JAG attorney in the U.S. Navy. There he was one of the first attorneys ever forward-deployed with a SEAL unit – quite a statement. After serving our military, he returned to the Valley, working in law enforcement as an assistant U.S. attorney. In that role, his caseload focused mainly on criminal immigration crimes, much of which dealt with combating international organized crime. Steve is an employment law attorney. As such, he is keenly aware of the challenges facing local businesses. We deserve strong representation in Washington, D.C. We can’t afford the status quo. Your vote counts! Vote Steve Crass for Congress.

Eric Hamm, Merced

Levey will help solve water issue

California’s drought has badly affected farmers and ranchers and has led to hardship across our local economy, which is heavily dependent on agriculture. But even before the drought, political barriers created by Congress choked the Central Valley’s water supply. Years of inaction by politicians in Washington have created unemployment and hardship, and this cannot go on any longer. We need to elect Mel Levey to Congress, because as the drought has shown us, the time for inaction has passed. Mel will advocate for protecting farms over small fish and for building more reservoirs. These are common-sense solutions that Washington seems incapable of understanding. Mel’s career as a military officer and his experience in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan has trained him to be effective at solving problems. We need to bring that perspective to Washington.

Ron Ramirez, Merced

Lunney has leadership ability

I’m voting for Pat Lunney for sheriff. We are fortunate to have a candidate with the experience and background to be our next sheriff. Merced County has increasing problems with gangs, thefts and drugs, as well as the challenges of budgets and the ability to lead a large law enforcement organization. Pat Lunney is exceptionally well qualified to provide that leadership.

Bob Carpenter, Merced

Swiggart getting the shaft

I have been following this sheriff’s race since the beginning and have been to a few of the debates. I have also read the letters to the editor and the articles in the Sun-Star along with the blogs on the website. I started completely unbiased and this is what I overwhelmingly noticed. From the start, Swiggart has stated his plan of action was “boots on the ground,” and in Warnke’s latest article he uses that exact quote. The blogs following that article had a gentleman say Vern is for cameras and the use of other technology as well at our jail. Again, at the debates I attended, that is right out of the mouth of Swiggart.

Friday, the campaign numbers came out and showed amazing support for Frank from the public and not special-interest groups or personal loans or money from a mother-in-law. These are people that really believe Frank Swiggart is the best man for the job and now so do I.

Ricardo Saldana, Merced

Lunney for sheriff

It is a privilege to endorse Pat Lunney’s candidacy for Merced County sheriff. I watched Pat rise steadily through the ranks, from patrolman to chief, through 15 years at the Merced Police Department. He was appointed to an administrative position with the Department of Justice at a time when sweeping security measures were implemented following 9/11, requiring coordination with local law enforcement throughout the state. As chief of the Merced County district attorney’s investigation unit, Pat works with all county law enforcement agencies on a regular basis.

Effective law enforcement requires cooperation and coordination among all agencies to maximize resources and share information. Pat has always demonstrated a willingness and ability to work productively with other agencies, as shown by his endorsement by all the police chiefs in our county. He is in a unique position to address the serious correctional facility problems caused by the return of many inmates from the state correctional system and sentencing guidelines under recent legislation.

With a master’s degree in public administration, and over 27 years of high-level executive and administrative experience in law enforcement, Pat brings unique qualifications and talents to the challenging responsibilities of sheriff. He has earned our support.

Ralph Temple, Merced

Levey deserves your vote

Who would you choose to represent you? A career politician like Jim Costa or West Point graduate and war veteran like Mel Levey? I think the choice could not be more clear. Washington is broken and it is time for a change. Too many politicians like Jim Costa choose government gridlock and show no urgency in dealing with our nation’s problems. When Mel served in Iraq and Afghanistan, failure was not an option. He was responsible for planning the combat operations of 4,500 soldiers and was always able to deliver results while serving. This is the approach he will bring to Congress and to tackling issues like reducing unemployment, balancing the budget and bringing water back to the Central Valley. He will get my vote and he deserves yours as well.

Clifford Berthelsen, Merced

Crass is best qualified for Congress

I am compelled to write a letter on the upcoming election for the District 16 congressional seat. I feel the candidate who stands above the others, the one with the most extraordinary qualifications, is Steve Crass. I have had the privilege to know Steve as one of my former students and to be his coach. Steve comes from a hardworking family of educators. He is a Valley native and attended Valley schools. His interests are here for the Valley. He knows our district and its problems.

Steve’s qualifications and experiences are very broad and include being a graduate of the UC system, receiving his juris doctorate from the University of San Diego Law School, serving in the Navy as a legal counsel for a SEAL team in Iraq and Afghanistan, serving as a deputy district attorney, an assistant U.S. attorney and currently practicing law in Fresno. Steve is the type of person who will always listen, judge fairly and make intelligent conclusions and choices.

It is time for a change. We need Steve Crass in Congress.

Bill Halpin, Atwater

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