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Your suffering can be alleviated if you have ear of the political class

To The Daily Sun,

According to a recent Gallup poll, our government is the biggest problem facing Americans. For the second year in a row, Gallup says that few of us think it represents us. That is a serious problem for what is supposed to be a "representative government." The things that politicians have done for decades appear foolish, ridiculous, brainless ... but that's only from the perspective of taxpayers, and regular people.

The presidents and the Congress making all those boneheaded moves haven't suffered a bit. The weight of their incompetence falls entirely on our households, our businesses, and our heads. But we don't have a stupid problem in government, we have an ethical problem. Those we have trusted to represent us are representing their political party and themselves. We charged them with creating a level playing field where we all have an equal opportunity to succeed through the merits of their efforts. Instead our elected officials have tilted that field harming us all . . . and both parties are complicit.

If you have the ear of the political class, the power to help them enrich themselves or perhaps to deliver them a block of votes; your suffering can be easily alleviated, and perhaps the tax-money spigot can even be turned on to your benefit. From the District of Columbia to our state capitol, the gravy flows like a river of goodies. Politicians have hiked up pay for governmental jobs, finagled perks, per diems and other benefits. They rewarded themselves with pensions while exempting themselves from paying Social Security taxes.

If we want legislators to feel what we the people feel. Let's stop forcing struggling people to pay for health insurance and allow them to get health care. Let's stop providing lucrative pensions and lifetime health care to politicians. Did you know Congress is no longer even required to vote on their automatic pay increases? They don't even have to go on record as voting to raise their own pay.

You and I see transparency as a no-brainer, as the very least we expect from government. But politicians consider it a dirty word. Those who work for us hide their wheeling and dealing from us, using private emails and personal cell phones, so the public cannot see what's going on. It's not just Hillary who has conducted public business privately. Even while her scandal blossomed in the headlines, Defense Secretary Ash Carter did likewise. So has Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. And the list does not end there.

We need to change the rules so that those who work for the public cannot do our business privately. No law should be enacted, no statute on the books should be permitted to stand, which affects the public while exempting politicians. This is basic equal protection of the laws ... without which our servants in government have become our masters. What do you think; can we count on our elected representatives to rectify their ethical lapses?

Sorry Washington; I'm Cruz'in with Ted.

Marc Abear

Meredith

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Human trafficking goes on under our noses; don't be so defensive

To The Daily Sun,

First of all, reporter Michael Kitch of the Laconia Daily Sun didn't even get the House Bill number correct when writing about a bill sponsored by Rep. Brian Gallagher. HB-1628 — not HB-1525 — is the one in which any sexual activity involving a minor would be a Class B felony.

Secondly, children are not prostitutes, they are victims. The media needs to familiarize themselves with our updated human trafficking statutes and the revised language.

Thirdly, the administration of both the Laconia Motorcycle Week and the New Hampshire Speedway need to stop being defensive and realize that just because there have been no arrests doesn't mean this activity is not going on right under their nose. I know that our esteemed Merrimack County Sheriff, Scott Hilliard, and Bethany Cottrell the Merrimack County Child Advocacy Director have had discussions with the people at the speedway on this subject.

Those of us who have been to conferences and forums on human trafficking have learned that "you don't see it unless you are looking for it." Maybe the speedway should hire people during a big race for the sole purpose of "looking for" illicit activity.

I am going to take the liberty of quoting a very astute individual, former N.H. Justice of the Supreme Court and former Dean of the UNH Law School John Broderick. He looked me in the eye and told me that when the Super Bowl was in New Jersey an estimated 10,000 children were sold for sex. He specifically said most of these were 13-, 14-, 15-year-olds. They are not prostitutes. If that isn't enough to make your blood boil I don't know what is. I wish this knowledge was not imprinted on my brain.

I commend Rep. Gallagher for sponsoring this bill. I believe the only way we can stop this evil business is to arrest the customers, the evil pedophiles who purchase children for sex. Splash their names all over the media. Incidentally, seven years in the slammer isn't enough. Also, I would add castration as an additional penalty. If there wasn't a market this evil business would not exist.

I just wish Rep. Gallagher had one Democrat among his sponsors. It seems to be the case among us politicians that we don't give the other party any credibility, even if they have a good idea. I hope that's not the case here. I even agreed with Neil Kurk a couple times. I will be looking for the schedule of committee hearings on this bill.

Liz Blanchard
Penacook

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