From the pages of
The Sublette County Journal
Volume 5, Number 12 - 11/16/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Letters This Week

From my cold dead fingers...

Mr. Robert Shaul, Editor of the Sublette Co. Journal wants to scrap the electoral system in favor of using a simple popular vote to elect the President of the United States. This is dangerous in theory and disastrous for our western States power in a presidential election. Just a few high population states and cities would control the outcome of the elections. Just the greater Los Angles area alone would have more influence than Wyoming, Montana & Idaho combined. We would never see a presidential candidate set foot in the West. Rural America from east of California and west of St. Louis would cease to have an influence in the presidential selection process. Primaries would become obsolete. Without our western states electoral votes the west's precious public lands, food production, mineral wealth, and our western way of life would be further under the control of high population urban areas - the very same people we constantly complain about having too much say over our lands and lives already.

One Wyoming voter counts for about four votes nationally and even higher compared to places like California and New York. Try telling a Kansas farmer or a Wyoming rancher that his vote is four times weaker and his concerns and issues will not be given 2 cents worth of attention by a candidate.

Give up the Electoral College, yes. Its purpose to protect a fragile young nation in post-Revolutionary times is over. Give up states electoral power, NEVER!

I don't know if other Wyoming citizens will placidly give up that extra punch of voting power but Congress will have to pry my two Wyoming electoral votes from my cold dead fingers. Write Craig Thomas and Barbara Cubin and tell them not let our western states' rights become even weaker.

Doug Rellstab

Right On Rob!

Right on target Rob on the ATV article. I see trashed trails everywhere now where there were not any even 2-3 years ago. Keep up the good work.

Also do some articles on the rampant Wilderness violations by snowmachiners

Jonathan Ratner

Just a Little Input

In response to the deputy sheriff's request for citizen input in last (this) week's paper, I offer the following: This will not endear me to my dear friend Sheriff Ruland, I am sure. But here goes.

When asked why motorists are being ticketed for 5MPH over posted speed limits when speedometer error could well be a factor, Sheriff Ruland said that nearly all of these citations are issued to drivers who have been warned 5 or 6 times. Maybe so, but I feel that 5 MPH over is too close to call, bearing in mind that the recipient receives an exorbitant increase of insurance premiums, excessive fines and down time sitting in his/her vehicle waiting for the officer to complete a nationwide check (every stop must include a "wants" procedure) which in some cases can be quite disenchanting. Especially if you must keep an appointment.

I have written more than a few tickets in my 25 years as a police officer and highway patrolman and note here with interest that I never wrote one for 5 MPH over, and that if I did, I would have been chastised severely by my brother officers and superiors as well. But then, maybe I date myself and the times, and a comparison of "then and now" eras should not be made.

There is another circumstance of major import that is of concern to me as a citizen and taxpayer. I keep hearing repeatedly from acquaintances and conversations that officers have observed bar patrons who appear intoxicated, enter and drive his/her vehicle, only to be followed and subsequently arrested and booked for D.U.I. Please note that I have no personal knowledge that these events are actually taking place, but I do feel there could very well be some "smoke."

Police agencies and their respective sponsors must surely know of the possible catastrophic civil suit liability that could be experienced should a law officer witness, without some type of intervention, an obviously drunk person enter a vehicle, drive away, and while under officer observation, injure or kill someone in an accident. This event, in similar or actual sequence, has occurred in other parts of the country with disastrous consequence to all.

Speaking of drunk driving arrests, I'm not at ease with reading about the person who knows he has had "too much," climbs into the back seat or bed of his vehicle to sleep it off rather than drive, and winds up in the clink on yes, you guessed it, a charge of D.U.I. when he did not or was not seen driving his vehicle. Ah, the winds of change are at hand, no?

Must not let my friends on the patrol go unnoticed - might as well make all the cops mad. I read some time ago that to qualify for grant monies, officers had to write either 2 or 3 speeding tickets per hour. Some of those tickets could be called pretty close to meet that kind of quota on a daily basis.

Must compliment Game and Fish for their obvious increase on enforcement this year. Must fault them for their inability to publish correct dates and season dates, even in their own publications. Never ends.

Must go now and polish my rear view mirrors.

Jerry E. Tully

Feel Good Temptation

I have been subscribing to your fine newspaper for about three years and have certainly enjoyed the content and tone of the Journal. Since the 1970's I have brokered the sale and purchase of many good sized ranches in Sublette County and have always been an admirer and proponent of Pinedale, Piney and the wonderful people who live in the Upper Green River Valley.

In the main, I believe your editorial opinions have been constructive and certainly appropriate for your readership so it was an absolute shock to read that you would like to see the Nation, and particularly the West, give up the remarkably leavening influence of the Electoral College.

This move would entirely disenfranchise at least 35 states in the union and, indeed, could lead to frightening efforts to divide the nation at the centerline of the Mississippi River with California becoming even more of a separate, imponderable satellite entity than it already is. At a minimum, we would see mounting apathy at the polls...many westerners would just stay the hell home and let 12 or 13 metropolitan centers run the Country further into the ground...Resulting in further cavalier exploitation of our natural resources and outright theft of our invaluable Rocky Mountain water rights. That would be a painful reversion to colonial status.

Is it fair to suppose that you would also support reapportioning the United State Senate based on population? I can assure you and all of the other "let's play fair" sympathizers that this would be the next and last defense which the common-sense and truly productive Western States would lose. The great Cowboy State and all of its true sister states must never succumb to this "feel good" temptation.

Thank you for considering this letter. I look forward to seeing my first ever letter-to-an-editor published in the Journal.

C. Patrick Bates
Salt Lake City, Utah

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Copyright © 1999, 2000 The Sublette County Journal
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
The Sublette County Journal, PO Box 3010, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3713
Publisher/Editor: Rob Shaul