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The ‘pressure was not always subtle’

To the editor:

In January 1998, The Wall Street Journal published an article about a Del Webb land exchange with the Bureau of Land Management. After the article was published, I was told “the senator was upset about what I said.” I responded with “the senator should be happy about what I did not say.”

Looking back at my 14 years of BLM experience in Nevada, especially the seven years in Las Vegas as the associate district manager working with land exchanges, and my dealings with Sen. Harry Reid and his staff, I would like to ask the senator the following:

1. Where in the U.S. Constitution is any senator given the power to direct the activity of a federal agency, including the selection of the office manager?

2. When is it ethically correct for a senator to force the pursuit of a land deal opposed by the agency knowing that agency funds will be expended for political purposes and not the good of the people?

3. Where is the integrity in ordering a federal agency to give priority to campaign donors over other taxpayers?

In my dealings with Sen. Reid, he and his staff were always friendly and professional, although I found it interesting how quickly I would hear from my boss when they did not get what they wanted. This pressure was not always subtle and at times disrupted other work.

I do not expect answers to my questions. I do hope they generate discussion about past land deals so the voters in Nevada can go to the polls in November with more information than what is being provided in the campaign advertisements touting phony energy jobs, business owners bragging about “good ol’ Harry,” or out-of-context statements attacking whomever opposes the senator’s position.

GARY RYAN

BONDURANT, WY.

The writer retired from the BLM after a 29-year career.

Waste of money

To the editor:

First of all, let me say that I firmly believe Erik Scott was responsible for his own demise. I also believe that the district attorney (justifiably) will not file a criminal complaint against the officers and, eventually, 12 civil jurors will give the family millions of our tax dollars, then go on complaining about the taxes they pay.

So, what was accomplished by the week-long coroner’s inquest into the Las Vegas police killing of Erik Scott?

Except for wasting more taxpayer dollars, absolutely nothing. The coroner’s inquest needs to be abolished because the verdict is not binding. The district attorney has the final determination of whether or not to file criminal charges, and the “Heavy Hitters” will continue to file civil lawsuits, and civil juries will continue to award millions of tax dollars whether deserved or not.

Another example of the taxpayer paying the price.

Bill L. Wilson

Henderson

Caste society

To the editor:

Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval says he would give $6,000 vouchers toward tuition for private schools to anyone who requests one. That would gut what little is left of our schools budget. And it will benefit only those who can afford the additional $7,000 (give or take) annually for each student for tuition to a private school. It will leave the public schools without enough resources to properly educate the remaining students.

Our public school system was founded at a time when only the rich could afford to send their children to school. Evidently, Mr. Sandoval wants to return to that Revolutionary War era.

Think about this before you cast your vote for a return to a caste society.

Carolyn Brandom

Las Vegas

A survivor

To the editor:

I was pleasantly surprised to read in the Review-Journal a recent article on the first day of the German blitz on London, which began Sept. 7, 1940, and continued until May 1941.

On that date in 1940, I did not think I would survive the night to reach my 17th birthday the next day. I went on to survive many nights like that, which were spent in the home air-raid shelter which was issued by the government.

As soon as I was old enough, 18, I joined the women’s army and served 4½ years in an anti-aircraft battery on a gun site where the girls supplied the ammunition to the guns and the men fired the shells.

I came to the United States in 1950 as a permanent resident to visit a girlfriend in California and later moved with my husband and sons and their families to Las Vegas.

I am now 87 years old and enjoying life and retirement.

MURIEL BROWNWOOD

LAS VEGAS

Who’s extreme?

To the editor:

The creation of the U.S. Department of Education was signed into law on Oct. 17, 1979, by President Jimmy Carter. Its primary function was to “formulate federal funding programs involving education and to enforce federal education laws regarding privacy and civil rights.”

Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle wants to eliminate the Department of Education and give control of our schools back to the states. This should be our No. 1 goal. Bureaucrats in Washington should not be allowed to dictate what is best for Nevada.

Democratic Sen. Harry Reid was educated in Nevada prior to 1979, as were his family members, and they managed to get an education equal to or better than those after 1979. Sen. Reid’s accomplishments, however — including ObamaCare, bailouts and the stimulus — are all extreme. He has also endorsed cap and trade and card check. How extreme are these bills?

RALPH L. KRAEMER

LAS VEGAS

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