Letters Voters will make crucial choice

To the Editor:

South Dakota voters will make a crucial choice on election day, Nov. 3.

A vote YES on Amendment E will ban large, non-family farm corporations from our state. A vote NO will allow them into the state to compete with independent farmers.

Historically, in other states, farmers have been hurt economically and many have been forced off the land by the corporate takeover. Studies have found family farming provides a more stable community and school, a better quality of life with less poverty and profits spent locally � not sent out of state. We must not risk our way of life, our clean air or water supplies.

Council 59 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees voted to endorse "YES on E." Members in their resolution said, "Non-family farm corporations are currently striving to take control of livestock production in South Dakota and across the nation. We do not believe that increased monopoly power in the hands of a few, giant, out-of-state corporations is in the best interest of either rural or urban South Dakotans."

Please vote — "YES on E."

Dorothy Harnisch


Amendment A is not a tax reform

To the Editor:

While its proponents suggest that Amendment A is tax reform, it is not. It may be about adding an income tax or increasing sales tax, which may mean more taxes for you and not less. This radical amendment will cut budgets for K-12 education in South Dakota by almost one-half. It will eliminate or significantly reduce local control, leaving educational decisions not in our hands or our local leaders' hands but elsewhere. And, Amendment A is not about making our lives better but is about significantly and radically changing the lives of our children and our future.

We have pride in our local schools. We respect our teachers. Mothers beam with joy when a child comes into the kitchen and says something like, "I learned how South Dakota became a state!" She should be proud. Our schools are making a difference in the lives of our children and our communities.

Sure, we want to pay less taxes but at what price? Before implementing a radical change, we must determine replacement revenue options. The amendment will certainly impact our K-12 funding system and quite possibly our children and our community.

Think about your child's future, your future, and this state's future. The Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce urges you to go to the polls and vote Nov. 3 and we encourage you to vote NO on Amendment A.

Cliff Deverell, president

Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce

Johnson receives excellent rating

To the Editor:

I am writing this letter in support of Curt Johnson, Commissioner of School and Public Lands.

Curt Johnson is an outstanding elected official. As a county commissioner, I have dealt with many "state officials," and Curt Johnson receives an EXCELLENT rating from me.

Curt is a breath of fresh air in this day and time, administering his office with integrity and plain old hard work, making sure that our state lands are used to the utmost benefit to generate as much income as possible for our schools.

Curt Johnson and his able staff make sure that the interests of the people of South Dakota are a No. 1 priority; his office is truly a public service agency. Not so before we elected Curt in 1990. He demonstrates integrity, accommodation, and fairness to all in seeing to it that the state's interests are served to the best of his ability.

Curt Johnson's office has increased income to schools by over $300,000 in 1998 alone, bringing the total to well over $84 million, with "no strings attached." He has also introduced, on behalf of the office more than 30 pieces of legislation dealing with revision of mining law and protection of our natural resources. Curt tended to these matters in his own non-partisan way; just looking out for the taxpayers of South Dakota.

Curt Johnson has proven himself to be an outstanding public servant � let's KEEP Curt Johnson as our Commissioner of School and Public Lands. Our children need him, South Dakota needs him!

Ron Riggs


Clark is energetic, informed

To the Editor:

My mailbox is bulging with flyers from political candidates who promise to represent me in Pierre. They all say the same thing. How can anyone choose? They all say they're qualified to hold office and they're all in favor of schools and educators and the farmers and the city businessman.

I'm none of the above, but I live here in the 17th District and I'm fortunate to know one of the candidates well. I know she means exactly what she says and she has the time, and the pep and the energy to carry out her promises. I know she'll read the proposed legislation carefully and thoughtfully before she votes on it. And, she'll have everyone in this district in mind!

We need an energetic and informed voice in Pierre. I urge everyone to vote on November 3rd for Judy Clark, who is a candidate for election to the S.D. House of Representatives from our district.

Jean Marshall


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