To the editor:
I am all for discouraging carpetbaggers from running for offices in districts that they don’t reside in, but I object strongly to Assembly Bill 177 as being the solution (“Carpetbagger cleaning,” May 8 Review-Journal editorial). As a voter, I assume that all candidates on the ballot have been vetted as being qualified to run for the office they are seeking. It is not fair to me and all others who voted for a candidate to have our vote invalidated after the election because the candidate was not qualified to be on the ballot in the first place. This is disenfranchising at its worst.
The question should be, “Why aren’t candidates vetted by an election commission before being put on the ballot?” It’s not like there isn’t enough time to do a simple background check before putting candidates on the ballot. Employers do background checks in a matter of days, and the Department of Motor Vehicles can establish residency in a matter of minutes, with the proper documentation, when one applies for a driver’s license. Is it too much to ask candidates to submit copies of utility bills or credit card statements when they file to run for office?
Whatever the solution is, don’t punish those who voted in good faith by invaliding their vote. At least give them a chance to vote for a qualified candidate. With the way politics go today in this country, if AB177 passed in its current form, it won’t be long before one party runs an unqualified candidate on the other party’s slate in order to get the election thrown out and give that party the victory. Watch out for unintended consequences.
Student loan dilemma
To the editor:
I want to address some of the comments in Michael Kreps’ letter (“College debt is student’s responsibility,” May 8 Review Journal). Firstly, I totally agree with his basic premise, that college debt should be the student’s responsibility.
Sen. Marco Rubio would be far better advised, not only for the sake of students, but also the federal government that administers the student loan program, to promote lowering the interest rate on student loans. While Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposes a 0.75 percent rate similar to what is charged banks, I suggest that a 2 percent rate is more reasonable and far more likely to pass the political process that would make it law.
The reason for lowering the interest rate is that student loans currently are written off after 20 years or the death of the borrower, whichever comes first. Lowering the interest rate would lower the millions that would be written off in the coming years. If you’re not going to collect it, why charge interest on it in the first place? And while the average student loan amount over a four-year period is about $30,000, that figure does not include room and board.
My three-year professional degree in law cost approximately $40,000 a year in tuition alone, plus an additional amount for living away from home, bringing my total loan amount to more than $200,000. The 20-year provision lessens my concern about this debt, and I am on what is called the Income-Based Repayment plan. IBR payments are based on income and adjusted yearly. While I continue to make regular payments, they have yet to touch the principal of my loan, and as such, the balance has grown by more than $20,000 since I graduated in 2013.
Again, why charge more interest if it will not be paid in full?
CHRISTOPHER F. OWEN
Henderson City Council
To the editor:
The article about the Henderson City Council’s voting left the initial impression of some skulduggery going on — secrecy and deal-making among the council members (“Henderson City Council keeps dissent under wraps,” May 10 Review-Journal). The fact of the matter — as was mentioned later in the article — is that the vast majority of agenda items are what are deemed to be “consent items,” which include noncontroversial business such as renewing pest control agreements and other normal ministerial functions.
Perhaps, just perhaps, there aren’t that many truly controversial items that need public airing. Then again, that wouldn’t be as much fun for the newspaper. Do us all a favor and please try to educate, as well as report.