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Saturday, April 17, 2004 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Letters to the editor

ANSWERING THE CALL

Law-enforcement response to Eyman's gathering protects community

Editor, The Times:

As a lifelong citizen of Washington state, I have always taken pride that our state has a vigorous initiative system in our state constitution. That pride began to erode when I saw the initiative process taken over by special interests who use paid signature gatherers to take the place of true citizen involvement ("Petitioner or ID thief?" Times, Local News, April 12).

Regarding "Eyman opponents: Think before you sink" (editorial, April 13) criticizing opponents of Tim Eyman for their tactics, I would say they bring up a valid point. I would propose that a mandatory background check be performed on all paid signature gatherers. If convicted forgers have been involved in signature gathering, what's to prevent a sexual predator from finding a new way to gather information about his intended targets? The petition form gives him instant access to his potential victims' names and addresses!

Sure, Tim Eyman would whine about the unfair added costs to his latest get-rich enterprise. But wouldn't he feel better knowing that these background checks would free him from the horrible nightmare of knowing that one of his "employees" might use his petitions for unthinkable reasons?

Robert Jacoby, Seattle

Receiver off hook

Chris Dugovich, police union president and executive director: It frightens me that you would use the faith I have in law-enforcement officers to further your political aims. I feel you should immediately report this activity to the Public Disclosure Commission, as provided by the laws your officers swear to uphold.

I will be sending another donation to the Eyman initiative today to protect my equal access to the political process in this state.

Arden Gremmert, Carnation

Message erased

The Washington State Council of Police and Sheriffs and the Washington State Council of County and City Employees should be happy to note that its deceitful phone message will have the exact opposite effect it was hoping for.

I usually don't vote for Tim Eyman's initiatives and I usually vote in favor of police, but this time around I am going to vote for Eyman's initiative in protest of the scare tactics used concerning petition-gathering.

Jonathan Jepsen, Tacoma

CAR AND DRIVER

Jumping the signals

"Seattle's impound law: not fair to too many" (editorial, April 14) misses four very important points.

First, being allowed to drive on the public streets is a privilege, not a right. That privilege is accorded to those who obey the rules and do not endanger other road users, including pedestrians and cyclists.

Second, there is a very simple way to avoid getting your car impounded for failing to pay traffic tickets: Follow the rules and you won't get a ticket in the first place!

Third, you mention that the arrested driver may not own the car that gets impounded. Perhaps owners should make sure that anyone they loan their vehicle to is properly licensed and insured. Otherwise, they should accept the consequences.

And fourth, getting these obviously incompetent and irresponsible drivers off the road makes it much safer for the rest of us. Those who can least afford to lose the ability to drive should be extra careful to avoid getting a ticket. It's just not that hard.

William Moritz, Bothell

PROTÉGÉ

Trump no mentor

As a 21st-century woman I am disheartened and disgusted that there were no women in the grand finale to "The Apprentice." I am disappointed in this East Coast tycoon who would have set an example to Fortune 500 companies everywhere that a woman is capable of keeping a three-digit paycheck.

Instead, I feel Donald Trump has set a poor 1980s example. He could have shown young women everywhere that they can be intelligent, smart and valued in the corporate environment.

Mr. Trump has trumped me, as he is no longer someone women should look up to.

Cecilie Roaldset, Seattle

ACCOUNTANTS SHADE

Green 'taint

This being tax time, it is fitting to consider the Democrats' continuing bluster about "the rich" not paying their share of taxes. Are these allegations true? Of course, they aren't.

The facts are that "the rich" are the ones who are paying more than their share of the taxes right now! The following figures are from the Internal Revenue Service:

In 2001, the top 1 percent of taxpayers had 17.5 percent of total adjusted gross income — and paid 33.9 percent of total taxes. The top 10 percent of all taxpayers had 43.1 percent of total gross income of all taxpayers — and paid 64.9 percent of all taxes. The bottom 50 percent of taxpayers had 13.8 percent of total gross income — and paid only 3.9 percent of all taxes.

The bottom 50 percent are those with an adjusted gross income of $28,528 or less. Steve Forbes, in his flat-tax proposal, would have exempted these people from paying any tax at all.

Over the past 20 years, "the rich" have been picking up a greater and greater share of the burden. The Democrats can play the "class envy" card all they want, but 'taint true, my friend.

Jonathan Hayes, Seattle

WHAT NOT TO WEAR

Hell of a tie

One of the most unfortunate things about the president's news conference Tuesday was the wardrobe choice of a tie that flickered under the TV lights, which made him appear to be on fire during his remarks and Q&A.

Hollis Williams, Seattle

Copyright © 2004 The Seattle Times Company

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