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Debate concerns, gun laws, and more: letters to the editor

Rep. Glenn Thompson
Rep. Glenn Thompson Centre Daily Times, file

’Thinly veiled partisanship’

The CDT article, “Who’s coming to the League of Women Voters candidates’ night in October?” noted the host of the proposed congressional debate abruptly changed from the League of Women Voters to the CDT, due to the LWV’s concerns about Federal Election Commission guidelines and retaining their nonprofit status. They should be concerned.

As Congressman Thompson’s Campaign Director, I take issue with the intimations that he is unavailable to the electorate. Rather, Mr. Thompson has chosen to stand with other Republican candidates - male and female - by not participating in LWV-affiliated events. Voters are catching on that this “nonpartisan” organization has lost its way and become a partisan front.

Look no further than League of Women Voters vs. the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where the LWV petitioned the court to deny Republican voters from intervening in their redistricting litigation. The court rightfully denied the LVW and allowed men and women who identified as Republicans to stay in the case. The LWV had the audacity to suggest they, a nonprofit organization, had more standing in the case than individual voters in Pennsylvania.

To date, Glenn Thompson has participated in several congressional candidate forums alongside his opponent. The most recent was Sept. 20 [at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall] and it was widely covered by the media.

In a Sept. 23 letter to the editor the LWV’s candidate night chair posed the question, “What message are these politicians sending?” I believe the answer is: They are drawing back the curtain on your thinly veiled partisanship. - Marcie Lynch Assetta, Spring Mills, PA

‘More sensible gun laws’

In addition to front page news about the Snow Shoe gun murder trial, a sampling of CDT headlines are reminders of frequent local gun violence: “Man drove 2 people of the road, fired shots”; “Man fired AR-15 after dispute”; “Jury finds Hawk Run man guilty in the [gun] murder of Philipsburg man.”

Unrevealed are suicides, unreported gun threats, and pain experienced by victims’ friends and family. Recognizing the problem of gun violence, “Nearly 90 percent of Pennsylvanians strongly support the gun background check system” and, among gun owners, “86 percent support enhanced background checks” (CDT, March, 2018).

Thankfully, most PA state representatives recently voted for sensible gun laws. In contrast, Newsweek reports that since 2012 over 100 sensible gun laws have failed at the federal level. Instead we have more permissive gun laws. In the house, Thompson and Marino voted to allow a person with a concealed-carry permit in one state to legally carry a concealed firearm in other states and voted to remove some people with mental illnesses from the FBI’s background check database. An exception is that, when the latter bill came to the Senate, Casey (up for re-election) voted to keep these people in the database.

We need more federal legislators to follow our state representatives. Susan Boser and Marc Friedenberg support the second amendment and reasonable gun use (e.g. hunting, sport, self-defense) but agree with nearly all Pennsylvanians that we need more sensible gun laws. Please vote for supporters of sensible gun laws. - Janet K. Swim, State College, PA

‘Issue of incredible importance’

I have known Marc Friedenberg for a number of years, relating to his deep knowledge of computer technology, including cybersecurity. Much of the Congressional district he is campaigning to represent is largely rural, economically challenged, and deficient in digital connectivity. This issue is of incredible importance for the district to prosper.

Practically every business needs a digital presence to market effectively, and every person needs to be connected to the internet for news, shopping, and personal contacts. Phone companies are ready to introduce 5G wireless technology, which will have dramatic positive impacts on education, which will allow people of all ages to connect anywhere and at any time.

Marc knows how much District 12 needs this technology; that’s what he teaches. Not only will his district profit from his knowledge, but with his representation in Congress, the nation will have an expert in this absolutely vital digital world. I will be voting for Marc. - Dr. Jack V. Matson, State College, PA