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Letters to The Platteville Journal for Aug. 20
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Support from King for Gill

In March of this year, I made the decision to throw my hat in the ring and run for Lafayette County Sheriff. I firmly believe the cornerstone of our democracy is choice and am honored to have been part of the democratic process here in Lafayette County. At the time I announced my candidacy, I met with my friend (and opponent), Reg Gill, and vowed to him that I would run a clean and positive campaign. In a day and age when political campaigns are fraught with negativity, I am proud to say ours was not.

As a man of faith, I have prayed about my campaign every step of the way and asked that God’s will be done. I believed God would know whether I was best suited to remain in Darlington as police chief or to embark upon a new venture. And while I may not know exactly what God’s plan for me is, the primary election results of Aug. 12 are part of his plan, and I faithfully submit to it.

On Aug. 12, the great people of Lafayette County voted to advance Reg Gill to the general election in November. It is without hesitation that I offer my support for Reg and look forward to a very positive working relationship with him in coming years. Please join me in praying for Reg and all the fine people in law enforcement agencies all across Lafayette County as they selflessly work toward the preservation of our health and safety.

Lastly, I wish to thank all the people of Lafayette County for a wonderful year and for your support. Everywhere we went, no matter how people intended to vote, you were all welcoming and supportive of me and my family. This has truly been a year to remember.

Jason King
Darlington Police Chief

Taxi + shuttle = ?

At the July 22 Platteville Common Council meeting, there was a special presentation entitled “Southwest Wisconsin Regional Plan Commission Regarding Taxi Consolidation Feasibility Study.” I watched the presentation and later I examined the 30-page report. Frankly, the Common Council should have cancelled the presentation and told SWRPC the report was unacceptable.

It seemed the SWRPC was unprepared to deliver the presentation. The 30-page report is a jumbled and misleading mess. I don’t know if this is the usual quality of SWRPC’s work. It could be this was precisely what the university wanted them to give to the Platteville Common Council.

I hope the public knows this so-called feasibility study has almost nothing to do with the City of Platteville’s taxi service and everything to do with the university’s student shuttle. I think it is about someone at the university wanting others to pay for the student shuttle.

I think university students are asking why they should pay so much money for something used by so few students. Because it is a waste of money, my guess is the students would like to discontinue the student shuttle. But because the student shuttle was a “big idea,” someone at the university doesn’t want that to happen.

When Amy Seeboth-Wilson was elected to the council in April, I thought she could be a good councilperson. I did, however, wonder if she had been asked to run for the Common Council by someone at the university. I now wonder if she has been told by someone at the university to push this feasibility study through the common council.

It’s one thing that Seeboth-Wilson works for the university. It’s a whole other thing that she manages the student shuttle at the university and could benefit herself by pushing this through the Common Council.

It is my understanding that Seeboth-Wilson has a previous connection to SWRPC. It is also my understanding that she and Howard Crofoot have been working with SWRPC on this so-called feasibility study. That would mean she has played a large role in determining what is presented and reported by SWRPC. That would mean she has controlled, to a great extent, what information is given to the rest of the common council and what information is withheld from the public.

Frankly, Seeboth-Wilson has a terrible conflict of interest. It’s disappointing that she doesn’t seem to realize that she should have had nothing to do with this feasibility study. I hope she will do the right thing now. I also hope the rest of the common council does what is needed.

The one interesting and important thing said during the presentation was that “the student shuttle is ineligible.” Letting that slip probably made someone at the university unhappy. Will it now be more difficult for the university to take advantage of the city and start using public dollars for its student shuttle?

It seems the university is telling the city that the city should say that the student shuttle is not a university program but that the student shuttle is a city program. If the common council did so, besides the waste of public dollars, wouldn’t that be dishonest and untruthful?

One last thing: In March, the Common Council permanently approved increasing the City of Platteville’s taxi service to cover Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. This was done quickly and quietly without a word said about the numbers from the trial run, numbers the common council itself asked for. The only conclusion I can draw from this is that the common council thinks taxi rides to and from the taverns and bars is a good use of public dollars no matter what. I wonder how many Platteville taxpayers agree with this decision by the common council. I wonder how many even know this happened.

Richard Christensen

Now, Skubal’s turn

I find it necessary to respond to Mr. Osting’s letter of Aug. 13; his omissions, diversions and tilting of the facts compel me to unbend some of his circuitous comments.

The list of people involved in Watergate who were convicted and did some jail time was correct. In my opinion, they got off light for their corruption. Two names that were avoided that would have presented more clarity were Archibald Cox and Leon Jaworski. These were the independent special prosecutors assigned to get to the real facts. Our Justice Department today refuses to order a special prosecutor with this IRS scandal. It should be very obvious why they refuse to do that. Instead our attorney general, Eric Holder, has named one of President Obama’s campaign donors to investigate the matter. As stated in my original letter: “holding my breath.”

My statement that the IRS scandal makes Watergate look like a “misdemeanor” was based on the significance of the initial charge. A burglary of the opposing political party vs. the powerful IRS targeting selected groups because their beliefs are different from theirs. The ramifications are night and day. If the parties involved were different, Mr. Osting would be expressing his concern as well, or at least he should be.

I might also point out that nearly all Watergate charges were for obstruction of justice. Does anyone actually believe that obstruction of justice isn’t occurring by Lois Lerner, Eric Holder and beyond? Laughable indeed! I felt terrible for Ms. Lerner in hearing of her computer crash and that of eight others closely connected to her. What a pity! All of those emails lost could have proven her innocence. She has already apologized for targeting conservative groups; so it isn’t her innocence … I guess we’ll have to wait for the justice department to finish its investigation.

During Watergate, the media actually did their job by asking questions and investigating. Not the media of today. Most media of today is designed to keep the folks as uninformed as possible. It is because of this morally debased media that the promise of an apology will not be scheduled any time soon. One other little fact: between 70 and 80 percent of the media admit to being liberal Democrats. Now that is fine, but it would be nice if they separated their politics from their jobs.
This leads directly to the Fox news comments. No, I did not say that Fox News was the most watched news network! I stated accurately that they are “the most trusted news source.” If you doubt this you can simply Google: “most trusted news.” You will find that what I stated is the exact truth. It is all broken down for you. Obviously, Republicans trust Fox; Democrats trust someone else. The determining factor is that independents, like myself, trust Fox far more than the other news sources. In the category of “all Americans,” Fox News is the most trusted!

The slight of pen used to misrepresent my statement of truth brings us to the main point. Just because millions and millions of people watch ABC, CBS and NBC doesn’t have anything to do with my statement of “trust.” What it does show is that millions of people enjoy being sheltered from the truth. I understand; I used to do that myself about some things. Then I discovered that life is too short and I preferred living an informed existence. I will always fall short of that goal, but at least I am willing to try.

The example used that only watching Fox News would misinform viewers was a bit puzzling. I guess there was a point there somewhere. If that point was that Fox doesn’t always get it exactly correct, I agree. However, to compare the Reagan response vs. the Obama response and choose to ignore the issue of the Veterans Administration scandal is not laughable.
During the first 30 days of something as important as the VA scandal, those of you getting your information from ABC, CBS or NBC were exposed to an average of one minute per day on this topic. During the Chris Christie “Bridgegate” scandal these three networks used 110 minutes in just the first four days. Over the past six months, a scant two minutes was given to enlightening those millions and millions of viewers about the IRS scandal. The legitimacy of my opinions were “surrendered” … hogwash!

It may be overused, but it is true: “The truth will set you free.” Freedom also means that you can believe whatever you want, but ignorance should not be an excuse.

Thomas Skubal

The Platteville Journal will print most letters to the editor, regardless of the opinion presented. The Journal reserves the right to edit material that is libelous or otherwise offensive to community standards and to shorten letters the Journal feels are excessively long. All letters must be signed and the signature must appear on the printed letter, along with a contact number or email for verification. Some submitted letters may not be published due to space constraints. “Thank you” letters will not be printed. All letters and columns represent the views of the writers and not necessarily the views of The Platteville Journal.